A wise man once said....

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new." Dalai Lama

Monday, 29 November 2010

Seoul Weekend


View Seoul in a larger map

One thing for sure Seoul is a cold place. I see UK is cold but I had forgotten what it was like. Here is a very clear reminder!! Saturday and Sunday we went out having decided we would have a good look round. Well we did. We walked about 10 -15 kilometres over the weekend. Top loop on the map was BunChon Village which is a collection of old style houses. Some are old but a lot seem to have been restored and are now a major tourist attraction. Great fun just walking round it all. This was followed by again looking at street vendors and sampling numerous kebabs and sea foods all cooked on gas or charcoal. Spotted a Harley which Wanna took a shine to. Must say makes the thought of working for a few months in Abu Dhabi easier knowing I might buy one afterwards!!!! There is a big Harley shop in Seoul which I am going to track down next weekend. One thing we did see was vagrants who seem allowed to sleep in the subways. It seems as long as they do not annoy anyone they are left alone. Very civilized solution. I was taken aback however when I gave one old chap a few coins and he answered me in English saying thank you. The coins are quite attractive. No idea who the guy on the face is!!!! Bit old for sure.



Another thing that surprises me in the flower arrangements scattered about the town. Beautiful colours. Look closely and you will see they are cabbages. Yes cabbage seems to be the staple diet here. All a bit strange. Add in hearing Carol singing in Korea this early before Christmas all seemed surreal… videoWe also had a look in a music store. It has guitars, pianos, wind instruments and every type of amp and speakers you could imaging. Amazing place.

video


We spend Sunday going round Namsam Mountain, well a hill really, which has the N Seoul tower on the top. Good walk followed by a very good lunch. The walk had a lot to do with making the meal seem so good. Peter from work has acted as guide and a good guide he was too. We had a chance to see some beautiful views and learn All followed by a subway trip home and an early night. I’ve added in a load of photos and short video which give a lot better idea than me writing much more…

Friday, 26 November 2010

Another Day In Seoul

Did not get out yesterday but Wanna arrived here from Thailand yesterday morning. She managed to take a few photos on her way in on the bus from the airport. That’s after being held up at the airport for an hour by immigration. Seems Thai Citizens have the right to enter Korea as an ASEAN member but… they asked why she was coming and kept asking her for one hour. She went to 5 different interview rooms and still they could not understand she was coming in as a tourist to be with me… Unbelievable in this modern age.Anyway she did, after escaping the immigration, manage to shoot off a few shots and these are included below. The palace looks impressive and also the carrying style of local motor bikes is a biat different to Thailand. Noticeably there are few bikes around. I reckon the cold has a lot to do with that. But I did see a Harley this morning whilst walking to work and a Royal Enfield a few days back. Need to get out the camera… but the cold….


Last night Wanna and I had a walk down the same area I had seen a few nights back. It was just as cold as the last time. We had a good walk round, bought some woolly boots and ended up in a little noodle shop for evening meal. Than back home for a hot bath. Lovely.


We've got big plans of tonight and the weekend. Try and get to see as much as possible in a few day light hours. I am sure if we stayed here we would get used to the weather but we will only be here for a few weeks. So enjoy while we can.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Seoul The Beginning

Firstly I should mention that all the newspaper stuff on the North and South Korea shootings does not seem to have any impact on daily life. I had a walk round the streets last night and everyone was going about their business as usual.

Major drama after work yesterday. I got lost going home on the subway last night. We missed our stop and had to mess about with route maps etc. Difficult when everything is in Korean. Instead of a 25 minute trip we ended up doing a 1 hour journey. What really annoyed me about it all was that it only takes 30 minutes to walk it. But walking it…. does mean exposure to the wind and cold!!!!

I keep trying to figure out how to describe this place. Different, easy, very clean, very busy, nobody talks on the subway, on the streets everyone spends their walking time on their phones – not talking but watching videos as they walk along… the rest are busy standing around drinking coffee from small Styrofoam cups or smoking. Lots of smoking…..Strange. Pretty useless description I know but it is difficult to add more at this time believe me. Oh yes and everyone looks Korean. Again this is something very clear as foreigners are few and far between in this area. I am told there are some very good foreign restaurants and entertainment areas in the Itaewon area. It’s a few kilometres away so taxi or subway. Will be checking that out over the weekend.

Like in Uk and other places there are lots of free newspapers and flyers given away at the entrance to the subways. Once on the trains there are a group of people busy collecting all the discarded freebies. They collect them up but moving in and out of the commuters, and bag them then and there. Nobody seems to notice as they continue watching their videos. Add in the very noticeable fact that nobody eats or drinks on the train. All very clean.

So this lunchtime I’ve decided I’ll take a walk around and try to capture a few shots showing ‘down town’ life in the central business area of Seoul.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Seoul Korea

Just arrived in Seoul. Amazing place. I have no idea how to describe it. Firstly I arrived late on Sunday nigh. (now Tuesday evening).So Monday straight to work. Finished at 6.00pm and walked back to the hotel. Its cold. About +1Deg C. After Thailand thats very very cold. Anyway first evening had to have a quick walk near my Condo just to see a little of the place. Found a few small streets selling local crafts and plenty of restaurants and coffee shops. Took a few quick shots of the shop fronts. The top one os of a restaurant with spectacular windows. I could have clicked away all evening except for the cold!!!!
The two guys in the photo were selling some local sweets. I bough a box. Tasted good. Lots of sugar! Learnt to say thanks "Hamza Hamidah" or something like that.
Everyone very friendly and all seem to love speaking to me in english. So again easy life. This afternoon the news was full of the shooting going on between North and South Korea. But no one in the office mentioned it?... I am so looking forward to Saturday and Sunday. Wanna coming over and a chance to do some sight seeing. Just hope I do not freeze to death.

Monday, 22 November 2010

A Good Day Out

Finally back on the mend and decided to have a day out at the lake/Dam with Hans and Pook. There is a very large resevoir about 55 kilometers out of Khon Kaen. A day visit is enough. This was followed the next day by Wanna and I having a lunch in a little really quaint local restaurant. Some of the best noodles I've eaten for ages.
Not much of a Blog entry but It's getting me back in the swing so to speak, I mean so to write. I'm off to Seoul in Korea in a few days and that should be interesting. So check back.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Posting?.....

Two months and no postings. Why. No reason, just lazy and I have been on the move. Been over in UK to see my parents and look up my cousin Cary and family. Had not seen them for years. In fact many years about 15 or so.

During the visit Mother had a tree cut down in her garden. It was a large red wood which had died and was in danger of falling on her house. The video was taken by her friend Liz and it really is fantastic. Could not have done such a good video even if I tried for months and months. It really is worth looking at so please follow the link and after viewing leave a comment for Liz on Utube.

Requiem Tree

Absolutely brilliant video....

Visiting is fun and never long enough with many things not completed or wishing I did more. Still now back in Thailand.

One main reason for no postings is…..

I have been on Disulfrim. Look it up!!! It's to stop you drinking and 'boy' it works!!!!! I have been on it for quite some time. Except one evening after I returned I decided to have a small beer. Well that seemed OK so I assumed the tables were probably placebo type stuff. So having convinced myself all was all OK I decided to have a few and make up for me earlier abstinence!!! Big mistake. I started at 7.30 pm and drank a lot of local rice wine. Rough stuff that does give a good hit but burns your throat a little (a lot) on the way done. Bit like vodka I suppose but rougher... Well I wet to bed at 9.30 pm having had a bottle of the stuff followed by my usual glass of mike. 10.00 pm I was up. The tablets kicked in. Made me ill like I have never been ever, in life before. I finally stopped at 4.00.pm next afternoon. A day later I booked my self into hospital. I was in so much pain. I was put on drips, pain killers and loads of drugs. Burnt throat and stomach from being so ill. Mind you I did consume a whole bottle of grog at 40% proof.!! I dropped from 91 kilos to 83 kilos in 48 hours!!!! So that’s my excuse for not writing. Finished my last antibiotic etc yesterday. So please accept the apology but no sympathy.....

I start my new job on Sunday. Traveling to Seoul for 4 weeks followed by Abu Dhabi for a couple of years. New jetty construction.

So back to Blogging in next few days. Next posting from Seoul. Bye…..