Thursday, October 18, 2012

Motorcycle Trip - Part 2

Motorcycle Trip 2

Finally I had found a motercycle repairman that actually fixed my bike!! Unfortunatly I had to drive all the way across the country to find him. And now that it was fixed.....I had a week to drive it before I sold it.

Such is life.....

The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. More beautiful scenery, more rain, more relaxing. I made it back to pohang in time to play frisbee on the beach....perfect!!!

And so....this is my last post about Korea for a while. I've started a new blog about my travels if you are interested in continuing to read about my life.

Motorcycle Trip - Part 1

Motorcycle Trip

As my contract finshed up...I knew that I didn't want to leave right away. I had to many things left to see, and too many fun things left to do. There was going to be a Burning Man festival 2weeks after my contract finished, so i decided to stay until then and just drive around the country!

I packed my bags, extended my visa, and was off!

Unlucky for me though....there was a typhoon on it way. Not to dangerous...just means a lot of rain. But luckly my first stop was a temple stay. I had always put off doing one, but now time was amost out. I had booked it the week before so I was ready to go!

I think maybe it would have been more fun if i wasn't as tired as I was. But everytime i was supposed to be meditating....i just fell asleep. But i thought all in all it was a good experience. The next day, when i was supposed to leave, the weather got relly bad and i had to wait for the rain to slack off a bit so i could drive on. So I sat in the temple....using their wifi until I saw sunshine. Imagine that...a temple with wifi!

Instead of.continuing...i just went back to Pohang. I was supposed to meet a friend in Gyungju to travel.together...but sitting around gyungju rained didnt sound fun. Id rather head to pohang and go through a few boxes while I waited.

Later that night, I went to pick up my friend Stefan, and we were off! Because it was already almost dark, we just camped at a temple nearby Pohang.

The next.few days we spend driving through the country. Our first main stop was Ulpo marsh, the largest marsh in Korea. We ended up getting there and camping...but the next morning another typhoon hit and it rained all day. Not strong rain...just annoying. And when we went to drive around the marsh...all the roads were flooded.

The korean countryside was beautiful. Huge mountains, rice fields that went on forever. The weather (when there were no typhoons) was warm and it made driving that much better.

We made another few stops, in Jinju, in national parks, on the side of the road, but nothing really famous. We had to be in Daejeon by saturday morning in order to meet Mary. She was intrested in going to this National park there and climbing.

The thing about this park though, I had been there a few weeks ago, and acomplished nothing. A friend and I had hiked for an hour trying to find the climbing spot, but all that we found was a wasp next, full of wasps that stung me all over my hand. So even though i was willing to try and find this spot again, I didnt have high hopes.

Srefan and I arrived much earlier than Mary, so we decided that i would wait for her at the bus stop while stefan practiced driving my motorcycle. The bus stop was in this really big, empty parking lot, so we drove in and started unloading the gear so he could drive around the park. As soon as we come in a little Korean man starts blowing his whistle.and waving his arms and yelling. Since we wernt going to park, and he was across thebparking lot, we didnt pay attention and just let him. Finally he came over close and kept telling us to clear out. We tried to explain that we ere going to...but he didnt understand us. We just continued what we were doing while he threw a fit. Finally the stuff was clear, i went and sat down, Stefan drove off, and the little man was happy. He went over to HIS scooter, which was parked in the lot, and drove it all around.

After a while Stefan comes back to talk a bit and check to see if Mary showed up. Nope. We're talking, when all of a sudden scooter man drives up and blabbers on about how we need to clear the area. After a few minutes of his nonsence, Stefan jumps back on the bike, which makes Scooter Man a bit happier (he was still eying the gear suspiciously) and he scoots off to blow his whistle at some other unsuspecting victim.

After another 20min or so, Stefan comes back and starts relaxing on the steps. Since its a hot day, he takes off his shirt. Im getting a bit hungry so i decide to make.some ramyeon. There was a phone booth nearby, so i set up the stove there, thinking it was out of the way and keep the wind away as well. We are just sitting, minding our own business, when Mr. Scooter is back! "Blah blah blah autobike blah blah no blah blah anni"!! Then he looks at the phone booth. His face get redder. “Blah blah blah no camping blah blah are you crazy blah blah no no no!!!!" THEN he gets a closer look at Stefan and explodes "For the love of God what are you doing? Put your fucking shirt on blah blah blah!!!!!!!" While he is throwing the fit, yelling mostly at me until he notices the shirt, I just decided the best thing for me to do was act like my students. When they dont want to answer me, they just look at the ground till i leave them alone.  It seems to work for why not? I started staring at the ground. And staring. And staring. I dont know what Stefan was eyes were on the ground. But then i looked up, the man was about to go crazy. I look at stefan. He gives the man a "You have got to be kidding me" look, says "Fine, whatever", and just puts his shirt on his head.

Apparently, scooter man thought this was going to be as good as it gets, or he wanted to get away before he had a heart attack, so he left.

The ramyeon was finshed by this point  so we ate up. Mary finally arrived and we packed up and left the Scooter Man's domain. But, that wasnt the end. He just haaad to get the last laugh.

I parked in another parking lot, against the fence and out of the way. We start walking and are about 100meters away when we hear a whistle. Turning around, we see the scooter man, atop his scooter, calling me back.

I slowly walk back, wandering what this guy could possibly want now. When i arrive he points to the ground 2 meters back and says "move your bike here, cars drive through". As if it really made any sense. But, we had already ruined his day so I complied, moved the bike 2 meters, and he left with a smile on his face.

I joined the others, and we went of to search out the climbing location. Because i had failed last time, I let mary take charge of where we were to go. First we walked up a steep hill, following white marks on the trees. Then we found an actual trail...and began following that. Then saw a trail sign. By this time we had been walking for about half an hour. But thats about when our luck ran out. We lots the path and began walking along the rocky stream. But even that became to overgrown and difficult. The three of us split up, each one taking a different direction, but finding nothing. After another 40min or so we decided to give up and head back. At least no ome was stung by wasps this time!

The weekend continued, then both Mary and Stefan left for Pohang and I continued on my motorcycle trip. I made it all the way to the west coast, enjoying the scenery as i passed by.

The next mishap occured the second night I was alone. I couldnt figure out where i was, it started to get dark, and I was having trouble trying to find a place to camp for the night. I wanted to keep.driving, but i wasnt sure if I was driving in the right direction! Eventually i found a little town, stopped for wifi, looked up instructions, and realized i had to backtrack. So, pissed off and tired I headed back. As i was just leaving  the town, I spotted a cement clearing! Just wanting to stop....i did ajd went to turn around. Thats the moment the tire slipped and the bike fell over. I jumped clear....with a few choice words escaping my lips....and ascessed the damage. The bike just lay there, still on, as cars continued to wiz by as if nothing was wrong. I shut the bike up and stood it up. Since i really didnt feel like driving anymore, i checked the campsite. It stunk a bit, because there was a factory just over the hill, but it wasnt too bad. 

I carried all my things over to the site, then went back to move the bike. That is when I discovered the problem. Gasoline was leaking out. Not just was gushing and flowing and just a huge waterfall of gasoline. Really, I didnt know what to do, so I just starting laughing, walked back to the campsite, and cooked some eggs. My plan, leave the bike there and catch the next bus back to Pohang.

Luckly, the next morning I was thinking more clearly and decided to problem solve. I found a bus stop nearby, caught the next bus into town, and found a repair shop. The man came out, picked up the bike, set it up in his shop, and began to work. Not just fixing the origional problem, but he fixed everything he could get his hands on! Replaced the mirror that broke off, adjusted the other mirror, oiled the kickstand, fixed the chain that my other repairman refused to do 3 times, and then pointed out my tires were trash. After looking at them, I agreed, and he replaced those as well. At the end of the morning, he only charged me 180,000₩ for all that work!! And thats just because the tires were so expensive. (End part 1)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Finshing Up

Things have been coming to an end here, in Korea. I'm excited to see whats next, but that excitement in no way overrides the sadness I feel in leaving. The past few months have been so amazing, and yet so sad, at the same time. I've had tons of adventures, I've made amazing friends, and I've experienced so many new things, I'm not ready to give all that up! But the time has come to start something new, so I must say goodbye. Nowadays, every time I do something, I'm always this the last time? Lately the answer has been yes, and it's breaking my heart! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Memoral Day all over Korea

For memorial day weekend, it wasn’t just going to be a 2 day weekend, or even a three day weekend! It was almost like a 6 day weekend! Coming back to school after such a great time was hard, but  I survived somehow. Let me explain.

That Wednesday, all the students I teach went off on their respective spring field trips. That left me and a select few of teachers to sit around school all day and do nothing. Because no one told me I could leave, I was just sitting around my desk, doing whatever I could to entertain myself. Suddenly, a teacher told me to go home, and when that happens, I don’t question it….I run! I made a beeline for the door and spent the rest of the afternoon frolicking around in the great outdoors!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Strawberries, Temples, and Unlimited Rocks to Climb

A temple decorated for Buddah's Birthday

The other weekend was one of the busiest in a while. I had seen a tour online, so my friend Mary and I decided to check it out. It involved ziplining, strawberry picking, and a nighttime temple tour. We were pretty excited, but then we heard that the ziplining was canceled. No big deal, we were going to go anyway!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Look What I got!!!

Last weekend I sometime I love to do….buy expensive things. Because it’s usually a bit difficult to do (you need lots of money), I haven’t done it that often.  Luckily though, I was able to do it on Saturday. I bought a motorcycle! I spent all Saturday morning learning how to ride, so now I’m ready to go! I plan to take it out after school if the weather is good. Hopefully this summer I’ll be able to take out around the country! I really can’t wait!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Finally going to the DMZ

A few weeks ago, I didn’t have much to do, so I joined some friends who were going to visit the DMZ up near Seoul. They were booking a tour and they invited me along for the ride! Because they finish work so late, I was going to go to Seoul early and meet them the next morning outside the tour headquarters.

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