Expat

I’m an expat.  Totally fine with that.  If you don’t know what it means – an expatriate is basically someone who moves to another country for work, either temporarily or permanently.

I met a large portion of the Gimhae expat group on Friday night.  They seemed like some interesting people who enjoy their alcohol.  That’s about all I’ll say to that.  I don’t want to go into specifics on here, but feel free to message me about it.

I am okay with being the white guy with a beard in a small town in Korea.  But, if I am to be perceived as something I am not, then that bothers me.  One of my goals in coming to a foreign land was learning about the culture.  If I go out and drink, I’m going to make it a fun time regardless – but, I don’t ALWAYS want to hang out with the same people, which seems to be the case for my new acquaintances.  My mission is to make new friends and see what I can see, experience what I can experience.  These expats will definitely be my friends, but if I’ll be going to the same club/bar each and every night, then that’s not for me.

Friday was a great night.  I had a major miscommunication with my waitress and ordered a meal that was meant for three people.  Unfortunately, I was the only one eating.  While sitting there talking to this lady, trying my best to sort out what she as saying, the guy at the next table over leans in to assist.  He points to the first item (which I saw on another table and REALLY wanted to order) and says, “Uhmm… Spi-shi.  Uhmm…very hot.”  And I give a thumbs up, “Ne!”  I’m okay with spicy.  But, they seemed to think it would be TOO hot for me to handle.  He points to another item, “Delicious!”  Points back to first, “Spi-shi…uhmm delicious.  Spi-shi and delicious!  (Points to 2nd option)  No spi-shi, just…delicious!”  I end up getting the delicious entree – basically a cut of bacon 6 times too large…

Come to find out, the guy who leaned over was a very important dude.  Turns out he was boxer, the heavy weight champion of Gimhae, who recently took down the Changwon champ.  I’d imagine the next step is a regional/semifinal fight.  He was a very friendly guy who really enjoyed fist bumping.  He kept talking about his strategy – jab, counter, block.  When I said I was from Louisville, he started talking baseball.  Really swell guy!

My Saturday consisted of recovery and dinner at Baylee’s.  I can’t wait to have a functioning kitchen so I can cook them a dinner!  So nice to have a home cooked meal.

Upon arriving back at my apartment, I watched some Korean TV (super fun stuff) and waited for the football game.  How I would have loved to have gone to sleep…but I just couldn’t.  I couldn’t accept failure.  And it came to bite me the next morning.  On a quick note – here re some of my thoughts on the team.  Our quarterbacks are babies, they just don’t have seasoned experience yet and people are forgetting that.  Quick needs to wake up.  Will and Reggie both weren’t really looking around the field – it looked as though they they predetermined who they wanted to pass to and that’s why so many throws were batted down.  How many times someone was open near the opposite hash?  DOZENS.  It was just a real frustrating thing to watch.  Our defense is beautiful.  They gave it all.  And they’ll only get better.  Special teams.  When are we ever going to figure that out?  EVER?  It has been our plague for years.  Yes, we have some breakaway speed.  Yes, we make plays every now and then. BUT REALLY.  It’s annoying and I almost close my eyes for each of those plays.  Our O-Line sucks.  And I respect them, don’t get me wrong… but oh.my.god.  Did we really lose that much talent?  No, I don’t think so.  And everyone will get better as the season rolls on BUT SO WILL OUR OPPONENT.  My desire is to go .500.  6-6 and a bowl would be lovely.  Petrino will do more than that probably, but I won’t be greedy for my first year as an ACC spectator.  ANYWAY….it was an intense game to watch and one too many mistakes added up in the end.  Went to bed around 5am and woke up at 8:30.

Today I went hiking with John.  We grabbed some breakfast around 9 and made our way out.  It’s surprisingly really close to where I live and will be easy to return to.  I thought I was fully prepared for this endeavor… Quickly, I realized I was wrong.  He had mentioned it was a “medium” difficulty.  A “medium” difficulty that was more steep than our “medium” difficulty level climb up the Great Wall of China…  It was awesome, though.  Very, very challenging – and the view was unreal.  And hey, now that I’ve done that I can do it again and again.  Eventually, who knows what I could hike/climb.  I know Nicole would enjoy it, but I swear I almost died – don’t know if Mom could do it (hahaha).  Start working your legs out now and you’ll be fine.

Prior to this, John mentioned there was a gym on top of it.  In my mind, I’m thinking some building, seldom visited, and yet every day, there’s a super buff Korean guy who trains his followers.  The most similar thing I can compare it to is a Pokemon gym.  Think about it, climb up this mountain – battling Pokemon along the way, and then BAM, you have to fight a gym leader.  I thought it was funny.  So, when we finally reach the top, it’s not so much of a gym as an outdoor workout area.  In Korea, in parks and random spots around towns, there are various pieces of training equipment – calf raise, bench press, tri/bi pulls, dips, leg extension – you name it and you can find it.  We reach this summit and there are probably 30-40 Koreans GOING AT IT.  I’m seeing these people working out, and I’m ready to fall over.  It’s insane.  And I have to remind you what they hike in – long pants and sleeved shirts, hats, and some even wear winter outfits.

As we sat at the top, I somehow mustered this weird, excited energy and felt like I could do anything – I pretended it was some version of nirvana.  How many breaths did I take?  How much oxygen traveled through me during those few hours?  I could focus on the smallest thought.  Weird, I tell you.

And just as quickly as we seemed to have arrived, we began our trek down.  My legs have never shaken so badly.  One wrong move and certain peril.  At the bottom, there was a Buddhist temple and we took a peek inside.  Absolutely beautiful.  Ancient Korean architecture (and basically any other culture) is flat out impressive.  They built a hollow system beneath their floors, started small fires and fanned the heat through the tunnels to heat the floor.  Ingenious.  One other cool thing John showed me was this air pump that solely exists to blow the dirt off of your shoes…. Korea thinks of everything.

Grabbed dinner by myself and had 갈략 돈까스 – basically fried pork chop with garlic sauce, rice and a salad (kimchi and soup are a given) for 6.8 won.  A while back I had mentioned a girl I had met, Sumi.  A few days after meeting her, I was with my friends and we ran into her and she showed us where to have lunch.  That’s where I decided to go for dinner tonight and wouldn’t you know, she walks in.  We chatted for a few minutes and then she went to see her friend.  What are the odds?

Solid weekend.  I’m wiped.  Full week ahead.  Possibly going to Seoul to see 정현 aka AJ!!! :DDDD
Woo! And maybe Hyun Jung and Narae as well!?  Have a great week, all!

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