Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Journey to the East (but flying west)

Hello all! Annyong Haseyo!

I think I better start blogging before I start losing these memories.

May 10th --> The flight was long and tiring. We first flew to Vancouver. I drove out there last summer and although it is less scenic, I must say it is 10 times more enjoyable to fly. Here to the left is us flying over SK or AB. I can't remember which part it was because I woke up at 5am that morning and I was all disoriented and such.

When we got to Vancouver, we didn't have to go through security again, which was rad. We just sat and chilled out in around the duty free stuff. Found out that the Whiskey that I bought Sohee's parents in Regina was more than twice as expensive as the duty free. I won't make that mistake again. I also bought some maple syrup... but not for her family... for me. They have pancakes here, but no syrup. So, it is paramount that I buy some. Anyways, here's a random picture of me picking Kate Winslet's nose.

Anyone who has flown overseas has experienced this, but I think still think it's rad. Each seat has it's own touch screen so you can watch movies, tv, listen to xm radio, look at GPS functions. it was completely dope:

May 11--> 11 hours later, we arrived at the Incheon airport. The airport is simply amazing. It's very big, but has fountains, art, and big screens everywhere. I am disappointed to say that I didn't take any pictures of that. I didn't sleep on the plane and didn't really think of it when we landed.

Sohee's brother, Changsuk (or his English name: Jack), picked us up at the airport which was really nice because it was about an hour and a half out of Seoul. So now that we are in Korea, I still had to wait another 1.5 hours to get into the Seoul, which will be my home for the next little while.

First thing we did when I got to Seoul is meet her family. We all sat down and had our first family meal together. We had Korean food. It tasted delicious (mahshisahyo!). It is customary to sit on the floor (especially if you have over 4 people.), so this is something my legs will have to grow accustom to:

It is also a Korean custom to drink alcohol with your meal. Soju (fermented sweet potato) is the most popular, but they knew I like beer, so her dad bought me some. I looked at the label, and it was 6.8 percent. lol! awesome. Jack wanted to dip into the Canadian Whiskey I bought, so we did. It was a little strong for what they are used to, but they really liked it. Jack knows a little english, but it got progressively worse with every shot of whiskey.

12-->The next day, I was so tired. I woke up at 10am. We went to a local ma and pa restaurant to have some breakfast. I bought kimbab and Sohee bought takbokgi. It was a fairly big meal, but it only cost a total of $3!! What a joke! How can they possibly make a profit? Anyways, after breakfast, I realized I was still jetlagged so I decided to go back to bed. I slept from 12pm - 8pm! When I got up, Sohee and I took a cab downtown to the subway station, which is this huge complex that also has a mall, various restauraunts, and a movie theatre. We sat down for another meal, that cost us only $6 (and Sohee said that was kind of expensive). Here's our meal:

So, after getting our bellies full, we decided to go see a movie. We went to Iron Man! It was freaking awesome. It was in English, with Korean subtitles... (apparently all the 'foreign' films are done this way so I can see all the hollywood flicks). One thing that is rad about the movie theatre is assigned seating. We choose where we want to sit, that way, you aren't stuck with those complete shizzle of seats at the front like the Galaxy. They actually don't have those seats, but it's nice to know that you get to sit where you want after paying 10 bucks. Well, that's another rad thing... the movies here are only $7. I'm not sure if there is a cheap night though. The popcorn and drinks were less than $6. It was a good deal all around for what you get.

After the movie, we stepped back out into the lobby and found that 4 360 kiosks (with big screen tv's and couches). It was completely free and super rad. We so need this in the galaxy instead of that crap arcade.

Oh, and hell ya. I had to play.

The next item on the agenda was the spa. It only cost 10 dollars, so why not? We couldn't take the camera in here, so you'll have to use your imagination. Basically there is a guys section, a womens section, and a unisex section. After changing out of your clothes, you are basically naked with other men in this huge complex. It was super awkward at first, but after getting the courage and thinking "when in Rome...", I walked out into the spa with my birthday suit on. There are hundreds of shower stalls, a sleeping room, sauna, steam room, hot tubs in this huge complex. After chilling in there for a while, I went down to the unisex area to meet up with Sohee. Of course, this part is clothed. You are given this outfit to wear which is basically cotton shorts and a t-shirt with their logo on it. This area has a restaurant, sleeping room, comic book room, chiropractor, snack bar, pc room (peeshee bang), and dozens of different kinds of sauna's. Some of this stuff cost more money, like the food and the pc room... but you don't need to run back to get your wallet, you just need to swipe your bracelet. It has an id reader on it and you pay when you check out. We went to a few of the sauna's (some have herbs in the air, and some are blistering hot, and some are really cold), then we tried to sleep. There are basically 100 people all lying down in this room and all over the place sleeping. It's cheaper than a hotel, so a lot of teenagers come here with their loved ones. I couldn't sleep because it's solid ground and I was still kinda jet lagged, so we decided to go home. I first wanted to go to the hot tub and shower, so I went back up to the naked men's part again. It was almost empty because it was like 4am or something like that. I layed in this huge hot tub for a while and this dude with tattoo's all on his arms walked in and sat in the tub with me. When I met Sohee downstairs, I told her the story cause it was awkward with just the two of us in there. She then said "he had tattoos?!?! Jaret, he was a gang member." Basically, anyone with tattoo's here (especially the dark ones with no colour) are in a Korean gang. Sure enough, when we exit the building; there were a bunch of young dudes in expensive suits around this expensive car. I just shared a somewhat ghey hot tub moment with a bad ass murderer!!

Anyways, we high tailed it out of there. We decided to walk most of the way because it was a beautiful morning. As we were walking, we past a car dealership and I saw a car I've never seen before. I asked Sohee what kind of car it was, and apparently... it's a Samsung. Yes. The very same brand that makes electronics.

We stopped at the bridge and took this rad photo of me on the Han River. Building 63 is in the background (tallest building in Seoul).

Shortly after the above photo we got a cab, cause we were tired from the whole no sleep thing.

13th ->We awoke at 12pm the next day. Our jet lag is nearly done and we likely won't have to live like owls for a while (although, it is kind of fun.). We did a lot of shopping around, wedding stuff (booked the wedding hall), got a haircut... kind of a boring day but necessary. I didn't take many photo's, but here is a random one of me in front of this skateboard thing. It's just meant to be art, you can't skate it because it has these railings in front of the transition.

After all this, we went to Sohee's aunt's place for supper. Again, on the floor. I gotta start getting used to this. They live in this high rise condo building 20 floors. The building is owned by Samsung and it has the samsung logo on the side of the building. Everything here is SAMSUNG! Here is some of the food. I didn't eat that fish. It was kinda weird.

Sohee's cousins were really nice. Kept saying I was very handsome. This is common in Korea to compliment someone on their looks. Both guy's and girls. Again, they gave us alcohol with the meal. The busted open their very expensive Ginseng wine. It tasted really strong and not all that good tasting. It was guaranteed more than 40% alcohol, I'm sure of it. Apparently, it's supposed to be good for your health. I wasn't too sure, though. They also said that you can't get a hangover from it. I didn't have a hangover the next day, so maybe it's not so bad. Here's a random shot from that night:

Outside on the balcony, we decided to take a picture of the night lights of Seoul. But arrrgh... my hand wasn't steady enough... I need to get a tripod super bad:

Anyways... That's enough blogging for today. I just wanted to get all caught up. I'll try and post more often, so you don't get this huge novel to go through! Please leave a comment behind. Is there anything you want more of? pictures? stories?


Anonymous said...

Simply Fantastic! You look happy and I am sure it is all exciting. How about a picture of you and Sohee. hahaha!

I told everyone that you were gonna leave with your head set. It is a good laugh.

Talk to you soon. Have fun!


Anonymous said...

Dood!!! did the spa have "happy ending"? lol. man that place seems wicked! I'd live in the spa at night and the movie theatre in the day!!! as for what we want...this is a good format u got goin.

keep it real, but not too real.

Sunny said...

Seems like you guys are having a good time. I am a little envious, keep the details coming. The more often you update it the more often I will read it, I can't be there but can vicariously enjoy it thru you and Sohee..Give my regards to Sohee and have a great time. Look forward to seeing more pictures and reading more about your trip. Ask Sohee if she's got a cousin or a sister who might be single and interested in brown guys LOL....



Anonymous said...

Man looks like a killer time!

City looks sweet and fun
Lets get some more animal pics!!!

Jordan and Vince are not good cube buddies :p

Miss ya here in Sask, hope you having a killer time