Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Broken tailbones and bruised egos

I know that I was just on vacation...a couple of times with in the last month an 1/2...but i'm not on vacation again. Saturday morning I left with a bunch of friends to go up north to a town called Gang Nueng. It's a smaller city about 4 hrs north of Daegu by bus. It gets a lot colder up there and it gets snow! My friend Emily lives up there and told me I could stay at her apt with a couple of friends even though she was in Japan. She rocks. I also have another friend that lives up there who I haven't seen in a while. We got a little bit of a late start and arrived in Gang Neung around 1pm. We settled in and got something to eat. Only 3 of the 9 people stayed with me in the apt, the rest of them got an ondel room. Which is like a big room with no beds. The floor is heated and there are blankets and pillows for everyone. When we were eating they went to find a hotel. They showed up at the end of dinner and we made our way out. The girls went straight to the mountain. Some of the guys had to rent all the stuff and I had to rent just boots. We took a bus about 10 mins outside of Yong Pyong (where the actual mountain is) and I called the number of a rental place that Emily gave to me. They spoke JUST enough english to communicate. They arrived at the bus station and took us to the shop. When we arrived we got our stuff sorted out easy enough. The owner was a trip though. He was this 5 foot 8 guy wearing tight leather pants, a tucked in black turtle neck, a bright red leather jacket and this shiny bling bling necklace that sported 2 BIG globe shaped things, all topped off with the thickest black rim glasses I have ever seen. I really had to try not to laugh. Since we were renting for two days, and me for 3, he was going to give us a discount. I think laughing in his face would ruin our chances of a better discount. After everything was settled we got there about an hour earlier then we needed to and waited till 6:30 to get out tickets and go. It was great. Nobody on the slopes and the snow wasn't that icy. Most of my friends were first or second timers but my friend Terry could keep up with me. We basically did the whole night. One of the last shuttles was 10:40 so we met the guy at 10:10, gave him our equipment to take back, and took the free shuttle straight from the mountain back to Gang Nueng. Emily's shower didn't work so we went to the family mart to ask the person if there was a sauna around. BINGO! Got him to write the name down, went there, hit up the hot tubs and steam rooms, and took a shower. We made our way back to the apt for an early wake up.

The second day we mostly like the first except it was day time. Finished up a longer day of boarding. We went from 10 to 4:30 and it showed on my friends faces. Like all beginners they bruised their tail bones and their egos...but at least they had fun doing so. We again hit up the sauna. Right after my friends got on the bus and went home sunday night. They had to work in the morning. I on the other had, like I said before, was on vacation. I met up with my friend Cathrine, who lives up there, and had a couple of drinks. I made plans to snowboard with here in the evening the next night.

Basically went night skiing one last time. I was very impressed with cat. Probably the best chick snowboarder that I know, she kept up nicely. After that, one last shuttle ride back, one last sauna, and one last night in the apt. Next morning I woke up and took the bus back to Daegu.

I start my language exchange today...I think...with a friend of mine. I teach her better English because it's pretty good already, and she'll teach me more Korean. I can only do it for an hour maybe once or twice a week since I have a Hapkido tournament on April 13th. I have to lose about 6 pounds before then so i'm not in the "super" heavy weight division. It's funny that i'm around 185 pounds and that is SUPER heavy. What little people.

The plan for the day: Lounge around for a little more. Meet My friend for some lessons. Go to Hapkido. Go to the gym. Go downtown to meet up with friends for a birthday. Go to communes and meet up with the Philippino band and sing "Let It Be" by the Beatles with them at the bar. Gotta love open mic night.

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