Great…. Slow deterioration of N-S Korean relations….no bilateral agreements, closing of South Korean industrial investment zones in the North… I’m not sure if it’s good that I’m leaving or if I should stick around to see it play out.
Archive for January, 2009
Posted by quirksalight on January 30, 2009
Posted by quirksalight on January 26, 2009
MLK day in the US, the first day of my vacation in Korea.
I went back to Bear’s Town Resort with Q and a couple other guys from Casey to practice….and ouch.
I did get a helmet, but it’s annoying… it muffles a lot of sound, and I feel like I’m overheating. But I’m going to need it for a while… especially since I’m trying to learn how to go backwards.
Odd thing… I bought a new pair of snowboarding gloves two weeks prior, when I first came to the resort. In the middle of one of the runs, I noticed that the seams were already popping and the stuffing coming out. This being rather irritating as they were pretty much new. So I went back to the resort shop to get a replacement… which I was able to, without a receipt. But… a catch… the only one of that type and price was… pink.
Here are some photos of the resort, Q, the board I was using, and my new gloves…
Posted by quirksalight on January 26, 2009
This is an annual festival in Gangwon province, the northeastern most province in Korea. It’s also the mountainous, and the coldest. (FYI, the best skiing in the country is here)
Every January, the Hwacheon area has an annual Ice Festival, focusing on the Sancheoneo fish, which is a Korean mountain trout, in the same family as Salmon. It’s a freshwater fish, and lives in only in cold water. I attended it the weekend of Jan 17th.
Several friends and attended a trip organized by Adventure Korea, a tour group that caters to young expats here. Everything is taken care of, but the drawback is that you’re on a pretty tight schedule.
Ice fishing was interesting….we paired up, found a promising hole in the foot thick river ice, and tried to catch *something*. Not really…. we saw other people around us catch some tasty looking fish, but the only thing that happened with our hooks was missing bait. 😛
We did get some fish…because of a photo op! Apparently the PR people liked the look of our group b/c they gave us some fish for a PR shoot on the ice. So if you see me holding some Sancheoneo fish in a picture….
Other highlights include barehands fishing (yes, you strip down to shorts and a T, jump into a pool of VERY cold water to grab fish), ice and snow sculptures, bumper tubes, sledding, and other festival type rides.
Posted by quirksalight on January 21, 2009
When I found out that I passed, I sent a written request for the breakdown of my test scores, to see how I did. Well, I received them this past weekend… and it was all over the place. (doh!) I barely passed the Essay portion, but that’s not too surprising – I didn’t even finish it! I ranked approximately 81% and 72% percentiles on the general knowledge and English grammar sections, respectively. I should have done better on the English grammar….blargh. But the bibliographical section… yikes…47% percentile.
Still, I’m 11.25 points above the cut off… but… now that I see my scores… I really am worried about my chances getting to the Oral Assessment this round. Well, at least I know what I need to work on. Tick tock until February, when I find out!
I heard on the FSOT forums that they had already maxed out the test slots for the February test, which is 5000 applicants, already! I signed up about a week before the November test day in 2008. It’s probably a mix of the economic downturn, plus the wave of people applying b/c of the new Administration, and the fact that you don’t have to write the 6 personal narratives until you pass the exam.
Posted by quirksalight on January 6, 2009
I’ve been wanting to learn to snowboard for a while, but have put it off for a host of reasons, including hitting my head really hard the last and only time I tried learning how to play on the slopes.
Well, I decided that it was time to learn, and hit Bear’s town resort outside of Seoul with Q and two of his friends. And it was so much easier than I expected! I picked up the basics within an hour, and with the encouragement of the boys, tried the other slopes.
It was an awesome day until later in the afternoon when an idiot on a board hit me at full speed from behind, completely taking me out. He was going so fast, his board left the slope and impacted my left leg above the boot. This swung my legs out from under my body so fast, I couldn’t catch myself before hitting my head on the slopes. It was such a bad impact, I could hardly move. It took several minutes for me to sit up and the ski patrol had to ski me down on a stretcher. Completely sucked. I think I had a minor concussion, and felt like someone had taken a hammer all over my body.
According to Q, who was facing me and saw it happen, the guy didn’t really break and was out of control. I have his name and number in case I have medical expenses that develop from the impact.
But you bounce back. After anti-inflammatories, food and rest, I felt better to give the slopes another go. Not too good. The two runs were awkward and painful, so it was time to call it a night. Can’t wait to try it again. 😛
Here are some pictures that Q took of the day.
Posted in accidents, adventure, ancedotes, annoyance, friends, health, Korea, outdoors, pain, snowboarding, Sports, travel, winter | Tagged: friends, Korea, outdoors, Sports, winter sports | Leave a Comment »
Posted by quirksalight on January 4, 2009
A couple days late…
It’s been nuts. Jumping out of grad school, leaving the US, and heading here. I’ve met great people and crappy people, but gratefully, more of the former than the latter. Picked up new skills in music and sports, and started to reconnect with my ethnic heritage.
But above all, I want to thank everyone who’ve encouraged and supported me through the constant changes of the past year.