Archive for September, 2010

Bukcheon Hanook Village

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Twee weken terug hebben we geprobeerd de hond mee te nemen naar enkele van de paleis tuinen die Seoul te bieden heeft.
Blijkt dat ze honden niet toelaten in Paleis tuinen. Kennelijk stinkt hun stront.
Helaas voor ons was de tuin naast de paleis tuin (ja, we hadden het eerste wel verwachte natuurlijk) ook verboden voor honden. Dus hebben we een beetje door de stad gestruind. Gezien de reactie op “groen plant spul” zou ik zeggen dat vorige maand Orion’s introductie aan natuur was, dus hij vond het eigenlijk helemaal prima.
En op de terugweg kwamen we erachter dat onze hond wagenziek word.
Gelukkig konden we de stomerij kosten van de taxi ontwijken doordat Orion exclusief over mij opgaf.
Gelukkig, juist . . . .

Dus . . . . volgende bezoek op afstand met hond is het Olympisch park, waar honden toegelaten worden. Of anders iets waar we heengereden kunnen worden.

Maar eerst!
Hoog tijd om Orion eens te introduceren aan de delen van Namsan park buiten het kleine deel waar we hem dagelijks 3* uitlaten.

Er zijn veel verhalen die later rond een haardvuur verteld kunnen worden over deze epische wandeling (De hoogste top in Namsan is wel 262 meters hoog), maar voor nu zal ik het bij een foto-essay houden.

De eerste foto’s zijn de mogelijkheden voor ansichtkaarten van hier. Gezien deze niet verkocht worden hier moet ik ze maar zelf maken.



De Koreaans die ik vroeg deze laatste foto te nemen had een camera pakembeet 5 keer duurder dan de mijne. Maar begrijpen dat je deze foto beter kan maken door het ding 90 graden te draaien of dat de hond erin moest, ho maar.

Deze volgende foto laat zien hoe belangrijk het is de juiste uitrusting te hebben voor aan een epische wandeling als deze te beginnen.

Een Koreaans cultureel . . . . iets


Orion’s populariteit onder vrouwen, kinderen en fotograven.

Er waren meer momenten die z’n populariteit beter konden weergeven, maar op dat soort momenten was t lastig Orion te zien door de kinderen die hem wouden aaien.

Meer foto’s hier.

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Dit weekend besloten we maar gewoon de hond te ditchen en wat cultuur op te snuiven. Ons avontuurlijke zoektocht voor de traditionele huizen in Seoul begon.

Ons eerste obstakel was de Koreaanse . . . dwerg.

Na de dwerg werden we geconfronteerd met dit machtig obstakel.

Het doorkomen van deze deur was makkelijker dan gedacht. Maar dit bracht ons alleen naar:

Machtige poort achter ons en niks in dekking voor ons. We bevonden ons in ingerichte moordvelden waar je geen bescherming zou kunnen vinden tegen . . . .

een wachtwisseling toeristen attractie.

Een uiterst gevaarlijke situatie.

Aan de ene kant koreanen met opgeplakte baarden

En aan de andere kant Koreanen met opgeplakte baarden EN veren in hun hoed

Terwijl de seconden weg tikte zochten we wanhopig naar een uitvlucht. En de kans kwam toen, alsof vanuit het niks, er Koreanen verschenen met opgeplakte baarden, veren in hun hoed EN aluminium folie hellebaarden.

Met onze tegenstanders afgeleid spoedde we ons zo snel mogelijk naar deze poort.

De poort die vrijheid bood.

Met stof opwaaiend van onze hielen, toeristen wegduwend wisten we onze achtervolgers achter te laten. Achtervolgers die zeker sneller zouden hebben kunnen rennen als ze die rare pakkies niet aan hadden gehad.

En daar vonden we de straten die we zochten.

Maar ook hier vonden we de toeristen, lopend alsof de straat van hun was. We gingen voorzichtig voort, oplettend dat we niet de foto van een toerist zouden verderven. Toeristen wil je niet kwaad zien. Beter om voorzichtig te zijn.

Aan het eind van de straten met de traditionele huizen konden we eindelijk rusten en op zoek gaan naar een heet geinfuseerd drankje om de overwinning te vieren.

Maar we waren te snel. Oh, veel te snel met relaxen.
Want voor het café vonden we  . . . .




HET SEOUL MUSEUM VAN KIPPEN KUNST
VAN VERDOEMENIS!

En zo laten we onze avonturiers achter. Terwijl ze de horrors van hun nieuwe ontdekking overdenken.
Want is het museum van, voor of door kippen. En is het renaissance, culinair of expressionistische kunst. En . . . . als allerergste, wat voorn wezen zou hier conservator kunnen zijn.

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One ninja is an elite and adversary, multiple ninjas make a group of faceless and incompetent pawns.

– Inverse Ninja Law

De zondvloed

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Wij onderbreken uw normale programmering voor dit nieuwsbericht

Vandaag regende het in Seoul.

Dit is op zich niet genoeg om over te rapporteren. Het regent veelvuldig in Seoul gedurende de nazomer.

Maar de regen van vandaag bracht delen van het hierboven gelegen Namsan park mee.

Kort na het te kennen komen van deze zondvloed (door middel van het hoofd uit raam steken) ging onze journalist op onderzoek uit om te zien waar dit allemaal vandaan kwam. Net na het gebouw in de achtergrond konden we dit zien:

Doordat we, na 5 maanden op locatie, nog altijd niet de locale taal spreken hebben we eigenlijk geen flauw idee hoe of wat, dus inplaats daarvan volgt nu een exposé waar we onze journalist kunnen zien terwijl hij erg, erg nat word.

Meer nieuws zodra onze Engels sprekende buurvrouw terugkomt van vakantie en de buren kan vragen wat er in vredesnaam allemaal mis ging.

Dit is Wally, rapporterende uit ondergelopen Seoul.
En nu ga ik een deken zoeken om onder te kruipen

Voor meer foto’s, kijk hier.

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Quote of the day:

At least now it’s merely hot, instead of humid hell

– Raphaëlle

Bukcheon Hanook Village

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Two weeks ago we tried to take the dog with us to see some of the palaces that Seoul offers.
Turns out they don’t allow dogs in palatial gardens. Apparently dog shit stinks.
Also, the garden next to the Palace was also a palatial garden. This made things tricky as we now had a dog in the middle of the city and nowhere for him to frolic.
And then on the way back we found out he gets car sick.
We managed to avoid paying a taxi surcharge as he had managed to throw up exclusively on me.
Huzzah . . . .

So . . . . we won’t be doing that anytime soon. I mean, the palatial gardens we could have suspected (and if we’d spoken Korean, probably have found out on the phone about). The garden next to that one was a bit of a bummer though. We do know, however, that the Olympic park has no such restrictions, so that’s on our to-visit list.

But first!
Time to introduce Orion to more of what Namsan park has to offer than just the little slice we’d been walking him in.

There’s many tales to tell of this epic hike (Namsan peak is 262 meters high), but as it’s been a week ago already I don’t recall most of the context of what I thought blogworthy last week. Instead I’ll show you pictures.

First are the competitors for picture postcard I may eventually send (No, they don’t have those here . . .  go figure)



While I did ask I couldn’t get the Korean dude to accept Orion needed to be in the picture. Or that he should hold the camera on it’s side so you can get the tower in better. This guy’s camera was worth at least 5 times what my shoddy camera is worth, but using it properly though . . .

The next picture captures quite nicely how important it is to undertake a hike such as this with only the best equipment you can find.

A picture of Korean cultural . . . . something


a picture to illustrate Orion’s popularity

There could have been other pictures that illustrated this, but the damn kids that kept trying to pet him kept blocking my shot. At one point 3 cameras tried to take pictures of him while Orion was desperately trying to get away from the 5 kids and 2 adults trying to pet him.

You can find the complete series here.

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And then this weekend we decided to ditch the dog entirely and see some of them traditional housings everyone is going on about.

To reach the traditional houses we had to pass it’s guardian.
This Korean  . . . dwarf

This lead us to a mighty doorway.

But instead of this doorway leading us to our prize we were led straight into the killing fields

Caught with our back against this mighty gate we now found ourselves on this open field. Providing a clear shot from all directions for anyone that would want to

expose one to a changing of the guard tourist attraction.

A more dire situation we had not yet found ourselves in.

Caught between people with glued on beards on one side

And people with feathers in their cap on the other

we were surely doomed.

Seconds crept by as we considered our position, seeing no way out. When other people with glued on beards, feathers in their cap and wielding aluminium foil halberd  came and challenged the standing order

We made the most of this distraction and headed for a small side gate at top speed, jostling and pushing tourist out of the way as we went.

The gate held freedom

Kicking up dirt while we rounded corners we soon left the guards far behind us, stumbling as they were over their silly robes.

We reached the street of most authenticity.

Here too, we found tourists though, so we proceeded with caution lest we anger one by blocking it’s photography. You wouldn’t like to see tourists angry . . .

Our goal reached we relaxed and let down our guard to enjoy some well earned hot beverages at the end of our quest.

Oh, what folly that was. To let our guard down so soon. Too soon.
For lurking around the corner was . . . .




THE SEOUL MUSEUM OF CHICKEN ART
OF DOOM!

And thus we leave our adventurers. Succumb to the horrors of contemplating their last discovery.
For is it a museum by chickens, concerning or featuring chickens. Is it culinary, expressionistic or Renaissance art. And . . . . most horrid of all. What manner of being could curate this.

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One ninja is an elite and adversary, multiple ninjas make a group of faceless and incompetent pawns.

– Inverse Ninja Law

Flash Flood

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

We interrupt this blog for a breaking story

Today, it rained in Seoul.

This, in it’s self, is not much to talk about. It rains frequently in Seoul during late summer.

Today’s rain was remarkable because it came with bits of Namsan park floating in it.

Soon after learning of the deluge by sticking my head out the window I went to see what caused this. Going right after that building in the back I found this:

Due to our inability to speak the language we are as of yet uncertain what body of water came down, but this is an exposé showing our brave adventurer unclogging drains to stop the water from coming down and examining the park above our house where the water must have come from.





More news when our Korean neighbour comes back from her trip to the beach and can ask the neighbours what the hell happened

For now, this is Wally signing off
And getting a nice warm blanket to crawl under

For the complete pictures go here.

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Quote of the day:

At least now it’s merely hot, instead of humid hell

– Raphaëlle

The Dog

Monday, September 6th, 2010

In my last post I introduced Orion.

Since then the cone is gone. Stitches too, of course. I could go on and on about him of course. I’m a dog owner now of course, and every bit up to the task of boring you to tears with tales of my dogs as any cat owner/newly-parent would with their new exciting additions to their life.

But I won’t. I see hooks in conversations where I could hook in a tale of Orion, but I just can’t put myself to do that.
It’s just . . . .
Well, let’s be fair. I’m probably 1 month away from doing it.

Met some people last week and the conversation was about the police, alcohol and college days and someone puts in that their cat did EXACTLY the same thing.

Really? This story about your cat includes the police, alcohol and it’s time at community college?
No, just the vomiting that resulted from the over-consumption of alcohol in college/over-consumption of tuna at home. Though in both cases the vomit hit the story-teller’s partner.
And both were kinda funny.
I”m sure Raph will be chiming in next week with our story next time motion sickness and vomiting on partners comes up.

I am not in the mood to tell you of the reactions of Koreans to Orion, obviously a big and fearsome dog to be avoided. Especially by old ladies who do go on to lovingly pet the golden retriever weighing in at 4 times Orion’s weight.

Instead I will tell you about how we got to pick Orion.

As I have mentioned before, picking a dog in Korea is tricky. We had a checklist.

  • Shelter dog. Plenty of them around, and there’s moral implications on why you’d want one of those instead of a new puppy. Next to morality we also had other reasons for this: Skipping house training (woot). Also, getting information about litters thrown at a non-breeder is kinda tricky here.
  • Medium size. Seriously, I’m 1.95m tall. I think “regular size” people with a teacup Yorkie look silly, it’d be worse with me. Besides, most of those do not fall under the header “Dog” in my book. Due to our lack of a car a large dog would be out of the question, and while our apartment is spacious putting a large dog in there would result in some space issues. So not small (or Korean regular size) and not large.
  • One that was a bit active. I run with Orion pretty much twice a day and like that he can keep up. I want to be able to take him up a mountain, something that needs carrying after 1 hour would not really suit me
  • Not suffering from any weird attention deficit/abandon anxiety. Soon, I’ll have a job and be away from home from 8-6? Raph will have to go away on business trips on a weekly schedule. Any dog that would spend that time annoying the crap out of our neighbours and tearing up the apartment would not be suitable for us
  • Mutt. Let’s face it, to keep a breed pure they sometimes practice inbreeding. It’s not pretty. Mutts tend to come with less genetic problems.
  • Short haired, no-brainer.

We didn’t get to check all check marks on the list. The shelter had only 2 medium sized animals, and a cocker-spaniel? No. So that left him. We liked his character, but as near as can be figured he is a pure-breed Shetland Sheepdog. This makes him simultaneously not a mutt and definitely not a short haired dog.

And this is what has come of it:





And this happens EVERY DAY.

Over the course of the month we’ve had Orion we’ve collected enough dog hair to make 3 sweaters
2 coats
a blanket
or 10 more dogs.

We fear for our computer’s health. It sticks to everything, including my stubble. It’s in our food, our drinks And we have daily shows of tumble-hair.

You’ll find more picture of Orion here. And next blog post will be about some weird ass cultural thing of Korea again.

Small side note:

Typhoon’s are cool 😀

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I have a great dog. She’s half Lab, half pit bull. A good combination. Sure, she might bite off my leg, but she’ll bring it back to me

– Jimi Celeste