Upon arriving in Kerry, Ireland, we ran into problems due to our severe Americaness of not being able to drive stick. A taxi car ride later, we arrive at the B&B and greeted by a not so friendly owner. We then settle in and head out to procure "dinner" which ended up being baguette and cheese from the local convienent store. Back in the room while we are eating, mom mentions that the lady will probably be mad for the mess we are making. I go on to say, in my usual colorful way, "b**** should have brought us welcome cookies and tea".
The highlight of this story is that I got my mom to agree to this AND start complaining as well about the lack of hospitality we would expect from B&B establishments. This went on until my sister pointed out that my mom doesn't eat cookies nor drink tea.
We then realized all those years as kids when she would ask "if the other kids jumped off a bridge, would you?", her answer would have been "yes".
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
When you're white and in South Korea, chances are you're a teacher. Which is why more than once I got asked "Are you a teacher?" especially when I was in Samcheok.
Samcheok was a wonderful little city with not a whole lot to do but enough for a long weekend or in my case a few days mid-week.
The buses are one of the most notable things of the trip. This considering the many bus trips we took from Ho Chi Minh to Bangkok. The seats were large. Only three across and included a foot rest you could put up. It was like being in first class. Koreans know how to travel.
Samcheok sits on the beach being historically a fishing village with a very sexual past (Penis park) and is also known as "Cave City". Just outside Samcheok is one of the largest caves in Asia. Although slightly cheesey in the Asian fashion with colored, string lights and lame names like "Bridge of Love", the massive cave was amazing. The cave has a metal pathway that winds through out various section of the cave which takes a leisurely 1.5 hrs. Although I'm sure if you were like the other Asian tourist booking it through you could do it in the recommended 1 hr allotment.
Jennie and Kwang took me to the fish market in Seoul. What I was not expecting was that much of the selection was still alive and sometimes well in the tanks including octopus. What I was expecting even more was what happens after you pick out your fish. They pull it out, put it on the scale still flapping, throw it onto the ground still flapping and BAM! whack it in the head. In the video is the 2nd fish's demise. The first not caught on tape was met with a loud, hallow whack followed by it bursting its mouth open as seen in the front. Warning: don't watch if you are the least bit senstive. seriously.
In positive fishy news, I was also taken to Dr. Fish in the Insect Exhibit in one of Seoul's beautiful parks. Luckily, they day was very rainy and no one was around and I got to enjoy having my feet eaten by the tiny fish. They did a fantastic job!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Upon booking my trip to South Korea, I added the DMZ to the list of places to visit. So the day after I landed, I board the bus and headed up to the heavily guarded border. Passports & clothes were checked at two different check points (can't look like slobs to the North Koreans and lose face) and the rules of no pointing, photos in most areas and drinking were explained. This photo is of one of the South Korean guards. Most are university age as all men are required to serve for two years. I think they post the ones that look most menacing at the DMZ. They stand in ready position and look totally bad ass. The mics on the table is the division line between the two countries. South Korea on the left and North Korea on the right. This is capitalism at its best.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Today was an interesting day around Bangkok. We managed to get around for about 2$ all day which was a lot of places but it came at a price.
The morning started with a lovely lady helping us find our way to the bus, which turns out we took the wrong way but the point is that after we mentioned we had been to Phuket, she asked me why I wasnt tan. What the lady didnt realize is I am tan and that I can be a whole lot whiter.
The next was our score of a tuk tuk. 40 baht all day for all the places we want. But turns out that required us stopping at tourist trap stores and spending time walking around so he could get his coupon. By the last store, they kicked us out. Guess it was obvious we had no interest in buying suits or dresses. Who would have thunk.
Our day also consisted of visiting loads of Temples. Yup more of them. I am offically on a temple boycott.
The final part of the day included a trip to the night market. After unsuccessfully trying to find the knock-off wallet I wanted, I scored something I didn't want in the first place. A ninja star! I was laughing and he offered me a price, then a better price, then I realized I could get it for next to nothing. I won. For 3$, I am the proud owner of a ninja star. Just need the ninja outfit to go with it. What am I going to do with a ninja star you ask. Well 1) pray it doesnt get taken from my checked luggage (althought TSA did let me through with cuticle and childrens safety scissors) and 2) do something awesome with it! Maybe I need to be a ninja for Halloween.....