Sunday, September 29, 2013

My first visitor in Korea

Last week I got my first visitor during my time in South Korea.  The one and only Jordon Holmes came out during some time off from work and stayed for a week.  Now this is no easy task, just a quick 14-hour flight.  Luckily there is now a direct flight from Dallas to Seoul, which makes the travel that much easier.

We had a great time while he was here.  But as we usually do in these situations, I spent months looking forward to his visit only to feel like it went by really quickly.  I was very fortunate that his trip coincided with a major holiday here in Korea, Chuseok.  So I only had to work one full day while he was here.  I was able to meet him at the airport when he came in, and within the train ride from Incheon to Bucheon he got to have his first cool experience.  An elderly Korean man sitting next to him grabbed his leg, and in near-perfect English said, "Welcome to Korea."  The people here really are about as kind as I've ever met.  And they genuinely care that we enjoy their country.

I did my best to show him around Seoul and my city, Bucheon.  We visited Gyeongbokgung, a Korean palace, and a traditional Korean neighborhood called Insadong on the first full day.  Actually, on my very first day in Korea back in February, I did the exact same thing (see more here).  It was a cool thing for me to see him enjoying it all and definitely brought back a lot of memories for me.

The next day was Chuseok so we were limited in our adventures due to most places being closed.  So we got together with Dawn, Tamara,  Jamie, Micah, Michelle and Ross to eat together and spend some quality time.  We found a western-style bar that was open that night as well.

On Friday we spent most of the day resting before we went to Jamsil Stadium to catch a game between the Doosan Bears and LG Twins.  The coolest thing about this game was that Jamsil is the home stadium for both teams so the crowd was huge and very divided. That plus it being the home stretch of the regular season and both teams fighting to save their playoff spots equals huge and loud crowds.  They sold about 5,000 standing room only seats to the game, so even the aisles were crowded with 2 people sitting on just about every step.  We got lucky and got one of the last good spots in the very back of the stadium.  Two floor mats, snacks and some beers were enough for us.

The crowd was loud

And there were a lot of people

On the weekend we played screen golf and disc golf.  Yes, we found a disc golf course in Korea.  Now it only had 3 baskets up and there was no set holes, but that didn't stop us. We made up our own course and played for a few hours.  I hadn't thrown a disc in over 7 months, and Jordon has really just started playing in the last 7 months, so it was our first time ever to play together.  Screen golf is huge, no let me correct that, HUGE in Korea. There's one in my building, one in the building next to me, one in the building a block down, and you get the idea.  

Look at that form!

"I'll bet you a hundred bucks you slice it into the woods." -Al Czervik

The view from the first 'tee box'

Pretty decent baskets

On Monday I had to work the entire day so Jordon used that time to visit one of my classes, get some souvenir shopping done and rest before his trek back to Dallas on Tuesday.  Overall it was a great time.  We ate an insane amount of Korean food, all of which Jordon appeared to like (He's already found and gone to a traditional Korean restaurant in Dallas).  It made me want to have everyone from the States come over to visit.  So seriously, ever wanted to visit Asia?  Mi casa su casa.   

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