Sunday, June 26, 2011

Trick Art Museum

Yesterday, we went to a super fun exhibit. The trick art museum in Seoul was running for 3 months in Seoul (it has now finished), and showcased art that looked like it was coming out of the painting. Visitors were encouraged to take pictures with the art, and it made for some pretty hilarious photos.

But enough talking, I'll let you decide for yourself!

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Sister is in Town!

Already hit up the Hello Kitty Cafe, obviously
This week my sister came to visit!

Unfortunately she managed to come the exact day yellow dust season ended and monsoon season started!! The forecast for the next 7 days?


This Sunday we also might get hit by typhoon meari 

Welcome to Korea!!

Cultural Differences in Animal Welfare

I know I need to have respect for cultural differences, but there are some things that still irk me.

Yesterday, I was walking to work and passed by the usual gaggle of ajummas set up outside my building, selling a variety of trinkets to the children who are en route to their various academies.

Kids buying birds on the way to class
Only today, there was a woman with a box of just-hatched chicks selling them --in sandwich bags-- to children.

Over the course of the day, more than a few of the students came in with tiny, helpless chicks chirping away. One student came in to show me her new pet (that she was transporting in her cloth pencil case), then manhandled it and tried to feed it crushed up french fries. I was thisclose to unleashing some major pent up anger on her, though I realized that grilling her would not fix anything. I calmly told her about the responsibilities of having a pet, and the importance of taking care of another living thing. From what I was told the next day, almost all the chicks died the first night they had them.
Buy a chick for $0.50
This adds to my frustrations of seeing dogs tied up outside for days on end (or the dogs locked on the roofs of buildings I can see out my apartment window), stray cats being hit by cars, and shocking stories about the Korean government exterminating hundreds of thousands of pigs by burying them ALIVE (click for the story)

I wish animals were more respected here!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Shanghai Ultimate Tournament 2011

This weekend I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to play with the Korean Ultimate Nation Team for a tournament in Shanghai, China (not to mention my first time at an international competition!). Teams from all over Asia attended to join in for a jam packed weekend of ultimate.

Korean Ultimate National Team 2011
The weekend started early Saturday morning when I flew out with two teammates to meet up with the rest of the teams on the field. In an unfortunate turn of events, one of my teammates was refused entry into China and promptly deported because he arrived without a visa (Thank goodness I had just rush ordered my Chinese visa a week earlier, and after an insane amount of stressing out, received my passport back 12 hours before my flight).

Saturday was a blur- we arrived just as the first game of the morning ended, so by the time we got to the field we had missed the first game, where we lost against M.I.T (Taiwan.. maybe?)

We played 3 more games that day:

Korea vs Shiok (Singapore)
Korea vs Bora (Phillipines)
Korea vs HuWa (Shanghai)

...and we won all of them! Each game was really tough, with points being traded throughout for close finishes.

Saturday night was the official party, but I was so tired from the day that I could barely keep my head up. That night I slept like a rock.

On Sunday morning we got up at 8:00am to get ready for our first game. Game was against Singapore. Spent the first half pretty matched, going into the half with them in the lead. The second half we evened the scores and went on to secure the win. On to the semi finals!

For our last game, we played against a tough team from Beijing. First half we finished trailing by a couple of points, but unfortunately ran out of steam in the second half of the game for a disappointing loss. Beijing went on to win the tournament, beating out Manila in the finals. We ended up tied for 3rd with Boracay (the team which we beat on Saturday). Hooray!

After that was all finished, we drank, danced, traded jerseys, and nursed sore legs. Another great tournament weekend full of stiff competition, friendly people, and great memories!

Hotel Party

Post game celebration

Last Supper in China
Side note: Convenient stores sell vacuum sealed chicken wings and chicken feet. BARF

Beach Weekend in Busan

Seoul to Busan
Last weekend we took a trip down to the sunny, south coast beach city of Busan. It was the Korean equivalent of memorial day on Monday, so we had a long weekend. Perfect!

I took the bullet train down on Saturday morning, which blazed down the length of the country at almost 300km/hr. I was eating brunch in Busan by 10am.

A massive group of us went with the sole intention of relaxing on the beach. The weather was perfect, and we were lucky enough to land the same weekend as an annual sand sculpture building festival.

We played beach volleyball, frisbee, and baseball. I even went swimming in the ocean! It was a tad chilly... sort of what I imagine Canadian lakes must be feeling like this time of year ^^
Some of the gang

Unfortunately this quick visit down for the weekend didn't do it justice, and I can't truthfully say that I have seen any part of the city other than the waterfront and surrounding bars and restaurants. I guess I'll just have to go back!

More pictures after the jump!

Korean movie Theaters: Now in 2D, 3D, and 4D

On Friday I went to Time Square, a gigantic mega mall in yeongdeungpo, with my friend Moon. Korean movie theaters are different than movie theaters back home in a couple of interesting ways. 

Getting the best seats in the house 
First, you reserve your seat in the theater ahead of time. No showing up to movies super early to try to actually get good seats!

Second, you can see movies in 4D... 4D?! These theaters incorporate smell, movement, and even spray you with a fine mist to help bring you into the movie.

Oooooh 4D!

Unfortunately we didn't see a 4D movie. We saw X-Men First Class, and it was awesome. I'll save 4D for next time.