Making my way through Asia (and grad school) one adventurous step at a time.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Still in One Piece.

Skiing was great. We got off to a dubious start, as we had another blizzard the night before departure. However, the weather was warming up even by 4am, and all the snow was melting. Due to our early start, we all slept on the bus ride to the hill. (5:30am - 9:30am) and were awake and ready to ski upon arrival. First, we checked into our hotel, then rented out skis, had some lunch, and finally hit the hill. I only fell once, but it wasn't until the last two runs of the day that I felt comfortable on my skis.

We had a fantastic meal of rice (of course!), Barbequed pork, marinated quail eggs, bean paste soup, kimchi, tofu, and a variety of veggies. Afterwards, we were so exhausted, we watched a little bit of TV then hit the sack.

Early the next morning we were back at the hill, and having a marvelous time. Around 12:30, three of us called it quits, while the other two kept snowboarding. The three of us returned our equipement and headed off to the sauna. The sauna's in Korea are usually seperated by gender, and include 2 or 3 (or more) different sauna rooms (steam, red clay, charcoal, etc.) and 2 or 3 (ore more) communal baths (hot, warm, cold, green tea, etc.) plus little shower alcoves. By the time we were done, we were so clean and relaxed and warm, it felt as though we hadn't exercised at all.

On the bus ride home, I had one of those "Canadians and Korean are really different" sort of moments. There were lots of kids on the bus, yet somehow, in Korea, is wasn't innapropriate to show the movie "Blade 3". No one (except us foreigners) seemed upset that these kids were watching Vampires gnawing at people's throats. I was grossed out, but the kids didn't seem to mind.

Anyway, we're all home safe and sound, and are planning to to it again for Lunar New Year. Next time though, I think I'm going to tackle a snowboard.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Yes indeed. Tomorrow morning at 4:30am (UGH!) five of us are heading out to catch a bus to the ski hill. I haven't worn skis for ages, and have never been terribly adept at the sport. Nonetheless, it should be a good time. We've also rented a 'chalet' (read dorm-room) for the night, but have access to the pool and sauna at the nearby condos. So even if the skiing is awful, I'm sure we'll still have a great time. We'll be back on Thursday, but them I'm off to Seoul for the weekend so it might be a few days before you hear all about the ski trip.

Did you know they sell breath fresheners for cats? It's true.

Monday, January 17, 2005

It looks a little blustery. Posted by Hello

oops, wrong caption. The little red umbrella in a blizzard was the view from my window. The giant snowman is a prime example of your western 3-ball snowman. The other snowpile with a head is a prime example of an Asian style snowman. Both were tons of fun to build. Posted by Hello

The view from my window around 10:30am Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 16, 2005


Yes, I can hardly believe those words myself. After the first tiny dusting of flakes that didn't even linger for a moment on Christmas Eve, we've been bereft of the white stuff. Our days have been sunny, clear and chilly. Until today ~

I woke up around 9am and peeked out the window. The day was cloudy, but bare. I could see some students playing soccer out on the field. I made myself some coffee and wandered into my office to check my e-mail and scratch my cat. 'Round about 10:30 a took a load of laundry out to my balcony (where my washing machine is) ... and what did I see?!?!?!? Yes, that's right!! A BLIZZARD!! Snow everywhere! It was the biggest snowstorm Daegu has seen in well over 4 years. Immediately, I started phoning or text-messaging all my friends. I rustled up some breakfast, bundled up, and sat on my (unheated) balcony to watch the amazing event. As I finished my last bite, my phone rang. John and Hee-Jin were heading out to build a snowman. Would I join them? OF COURSE!! So, bundled up like woolen sausages, we joined others already outdoors. Together, we constructed the largest snowman I've ever been a part of making. (I'll post pictures tomorrow). It was great. After our snow folks were completed, and dressed, we headed around to the back of the building where there's a steep hill. Armed with heavy plastic bags and a snowboard, we proceeded to create and enjoy the best toboggan hill this side of Seoul. For the Canadians, it was a typical and welcome winter day. For the South Africans, it was a unique experience. Tracy was apprehensive about going down a hill on her bottom, but after the first run, she was hooked.

When we were all tuckered out, Tracy, Jen, and Annelie joined me at my apartment for hot chocolate and movies. (When I got back upstairs, I peeked out the back window and saw a slew of neighbourhood children already screaming and sliding down our hill on scraps of cardboard). It was the perfect snow day. I know that all of you who have been shoveling, slipping and shivering for the past 3 months may not be as excited as I am, but even though we were all around the 30 year mark, it really felt like we were 7 years old again enjoying the first big snowfall of the year. It was wonderful.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Ummm... Happy New Year!

Hi, yes, I know. I haven't updated my Blog recently. But hey, after the thrilling tales of my talented feline, it's been hard to find something to say of equal calibre. To be honest, I still don't have anything to say... Maybe I can make something up....

... nope.

Back to the truth. Yesterday I went to see Ocean's Twelve with my afternoon conversation class. (Their idea, not mine). It was nice ~ and a pretty easy class to teach! The movie was good, but I think something was lost in the subtitles. (The movie was in English, but the subtitles were in Korean). After the movie, we went for dinner, and I asked my students what they thought of the movie. The girls all liked it (Brad Pitt, George Clooney) and the guys all liked it (Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta Jones) but after a few moments, they all started to say "I didn't really understand it. It was confusing. What happened?"

Oh, and I've just remembered. I plugged my name into the Super Hero Name Generator (which can be found on Ben's Blog). I was rather distraught to find that my official super hero name is The Green Philosopher. I don't think I'll be getting my own comic book with that one anytime soon. Everyone else in my family has cool names. sigh.