Trip Start Jun 29, 2006
Trip End Jun 26, 2007

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's been a Spring of birthdays! It started with mine at the end of February and I feel like I've celebrated so many recently.
I took my roommate out the other day. We had a middle of the week fling - he and Brandon had gone to see 300 without me when Melissa and I were in Jinhae... but he came with me to see in on a Wednesday after work. I paid for a taxi to the theater and the movie. I was glad to have the company.
My roommate's birthday was April 6th and it ended up being a whole weekend of fun. We went out to Yes! for the typical Korean shindig with friends and making a spectacle of ourselves. Kang, Fred, both Byoungsoos, Gyoungmin, and Yuran came. Brandon had bunny ears that made it around to most people. John, Tom, Johnny, and Deokseo stopped by to say happy birthday, too. We had an ice cream cake, popped party poppers, and had fun.
On Saturday, Stephen and I went to the soccer game against Seungnam. Brandon joined us halfway through, but we lost and it wasn't all that riveting of a game. Afterwards we headed across town to get Stephen his birthday ribs. TGIFriday's is ok at home, but for the price here I'm not impressed with my choices. I did have a baked potato though (the first since leaving home). Gyoungmin joined us and we headed downtown to Samsandong for a night out on the town! We went for drinks and cake with Daeun and Yoonsoo. Later we were joined by John and his two friends Gijeun and Junyoung. Brandon and I ended up staying out in Mugeodong with John and his friends until 6.
That made for an interesting morning when I had to wake up at 8am Sunday. We managed to get 11 people together for a day trip up to Gyeongju for the Cherry Blossom festivities. We caught the train, rented bikes, romped around, ate ssambap, rode some more, tried to take a group jumping shot, and then came back to Ulsan. It was a long but lovely day with our bike gang! Our group consisted of me, Stephen, Melissa, Kang, Jeon, Fred, Gyoungmin, Hyunji, Hyunji's little sister "Ashley", Hwany, and Hwany's friend Charlie. 

It was a quiet, unremarkable week (like so many others). The weekend was superb though. I can't imagine not getting to see these people! Friday was pretty simple - Oh!My Dak for some chicken with Brandon, Stephen, and Yuran. Then Melissa came for a bit and we went to Yes! John and Tom showed up and stayed with me and Brandon until a quarter to 5. They left to go wait for the library to open so that they could reserve their study seats! Hardcore!!! It's midterms around here and everyone's study crazy. Of course since they were out all night they were going to sleep in their study seats before studying. Haha. Brandon and I stayed out for another hour before heading home.
Melissa and I ventured out to Eonyang on Saturday for a trip to the Amethyst caves. It took a lot longer than we thought and was a great adventure. We took forever to catch a bus out there because the routes changed and we had no idea. We did meet a gypsy guy who spoke English well and I swapped phone numbers with him. We got to Eonyang and asked a girl working at the bus station where to catch the supposed shuttle bus. She told us and we had enough time to grab some breakfast kimbap before it came. Only it didn't come. After waiting an extra 20 minutes we went back and asked her about it. She pretty much called them and told them to come pick up the poor foreigners waiting in the sun! About 15 minutes later a van showed up and took us out to the caves. We were met by a nice man who proceeded to be a tour guide for the rest of the day! He has worked at the caves for about 20 years and so he was very helpful. We rode a boat into the caves and then walked around for a bit. It was pretty strange... almost no amethyst these days but lots of strange exhibits (such as the alien room, Egypt room, and Papau New Guinea room). We caught a performance of acrobats and juggling by some Chinese kids which was really cool.

That night was a big birthday blowout for Jaeyong at Yes! His birthday was on the 12th but we had to wait until Saturday to see him. Brandon and Stephen bought him some Andong soju which we cracked open. We had also gotten our 20th stamp and got a free bottle of Cognac. There was of course an ice cream cake, lots of regular soju, and plenty of fun. Jinu (the new captain of the Mugeodong Yes!) announced that every table would get a free bottle of soju in honor of Jaeyong's birthday (Jaeyong essentially owns the Yes!) and that was hilarious. Especially when Jaeyong and Brandon went around with the cart to deliver and share the bottles. It was quite the event, with the usual four (me, Brandon, Melissa, and Stephen), Kang, Yuran, Jisaeng, Hyunji and her cousin, and Jaeyong of course. We invited Jinu over for cheering a number of times as well. Afterwards, Brandon, Melissa, and I took Jaeyong for noraebang! It was an excellent night and I was home by three.

Sunday was pretty simple. The waeguks met with Hyunji and we went to Yoonsoo's for lunch. Her mother made a scrumptious meal and we got to meet Soo's mother, sister, brother-in-law, and niece. We walked with Soo down to Shinae and went to a sticker room! Soo left us and we caught an evening showing of Ghostrider (oh yeah, it's right up there with "Reign of Fire" as far as quality and laugh-factor)!

So far so good this week. It rained yesterday and the mountain stream feeding into the resevoir was rushing more than usual this morning! It was a cool sight for me and Melissa on our morning walk. This weekend is my chance to see some of my favorites - Sangjae, Hyunggun, and Daejin!!!! Love.
Days are ticking by - I'm down to 73 days left on my contract!
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