Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day

I don't exactly have the best memories about Saint Patrick's Day.

My first memory of this ancestral holiday of mine is from Kindergarten.  I wasn't wearing green and the the two big kids I sat between on the bus saw this as the perfect excuse to pinch me all the way from my home to the school.

For most of the rest of elementary school I never knew when it was and due to my home life I constantly didn't wear green.  This never went well.

My only memory of it from middle school involved the fact that my mother started smoking again on Saint Patrick's Day when I was thirteen.

All the rest of my Saint Patrick's Days were nothing special.  I usually spent the day in class and I've never gone out to party or celebrate the day.

So Saint Patrick's Day 2012 was a novelty for me.

A really, really good novelty.

Especially since I didn't have a spot of green on me.

For the past month MY has tried to arrange it for us to go to Geoje Island and spend the weekend with his best friend, SH, and his best friend's girlfriend, GE.  Due to either SH or me having to work on Saturday we've had to reschedule or put it off several times.  This past weekend we finally were able to arrange our schedules, but it almost didn't happen due to the threat of rain.

Despite worries about the weather we went for it anyway, and I'm so glad we did.  

So, so glad...

MY and I got to Geoje Island at a little past noon.  SH picked us up from the bus terminal in his car.  Then the three of us went and grabbed lunch.
Sort of Bibimbap, but with lots of sides and some barley with the rice.
After lunch we went to the batting cages and proceeded to make fools of ourselves.  MY and SH did pretty well, they at least got a few really good hits in.  As for me...I'm just glad I managed to hit the ball twice - especially since I've never tried to hit a baseball with a bat before...

After baseball we did basketball.  All three of us did much better there.  Though MY and SH did the best.  I'm still not ashamed of my performance though.

We ran by SH's dormitory (Samsung provides dorms for their employees) so he could pick up his things, then we took an impromptu hike to a waterfall.

Apparently this place is really crowded in the summer, but we pretty much had it to ourselves.  

It was awesome.
See?  Just us.
Korean version of a picnic table.  Much cooler in my opinion.
The waterfall.
Me with the waterfall.
We went for a drive after the waterfall and I saw some more beautiful things.
Pretty Harbor
Yes, that's me saluting with a potato person thingie...
A closer view of the harbor.
We then headed back to the terminal and picked up GE.  The four of us went off to Homeplus and picked up supplies for the evening.

Now, Homeplus can be a scary place on the weekend.  Usually there's a long line to park in the parking garage and the place is more packed than a can of sardines.

We got rather lucky though.  There was no line in the parking garage when we arrived.  The actual store was still crowded, but wasn't too bad.  We even found a completely empty food aisle...

Creepily empty aisle...
Our supplies! 
We then ran by the market to get fish for sushi.  GE and I stayed in our illegally parked car with the hazard lights on while SH and MY went to get the fish.  Turned out there was a crazy line though so the ten minute stop took forty-five minutes instead.

During this time GE and I looked at pictures from earlier and conversed in hand gestures, kindergarten English, and baby Korean.  A bit of an adventure there.

When SH and MY got back to the car we were all excited to get going, but soon found that it was impossible.

The car battery had died.

I'm sure Apple Jack would be proud that SH turned the key once, I heard the noise it made, and promptly declared it was a dead battery.  After hearing it once more MY agreed with me (his company makes thingies to test car batteries), but SH didn't seem 100% sure.  He called his car repair service.  The guy got here, looked at the car, declared it was a dead battery and two minutes later we were on the road.

After a dark ride down twisty mountain roads we were on the other side of the island and at the pension we were staying at.

It was a cute little place:
Our dinner table with the hard earned fish.
Bags and cute vanity.
Two futons and a bed.
The rest of the upstairs room.
The place had two floors and a standard sized Korean kitchen and bathroom.  GE took over the food preparation.  SH helped her while MY and I set the table and turned on the heaters.  The kitchen wasn't really big enough for more than two people.  It was barely big enough for two.

After a little bit we sat down for the first part of our feast.

GE with the first part of our feast.
We drank beer and ate sushi wrapped in lettuce with raw garlic and various sauces that ranged from semi-spicy to burn your mouth off spicy.

It was awesome.

Afterwards we played some Rummikub.  We did teams since SH and MY had never played before.  MY and I won.

We won a turn or two later.
After Rummikub we went out to the common balcony area.  The pension owner set up a grill for us and we prepared the second part of our feast.

Or, rather, GE and SH did most of the preparations.  MY and I were on cleanup duty mostly.

There's nothing quite like grilling garlic, meat, and mushrooms over a charcoal grill under the stars while the cold sea breeze whips around us.

Also, there is nothing tastier than hot meat fresh off the grill coated in chili pepper paste and wrapped in cold lettuce.  There really isn't.  Especially when you're washing it down with a cool beer.  (Hey, I'm Irish, what else am I supposed to drink on Saint Patrick's Day?)

More food! (GE loves mushrooms..)
Scissors doing what they do best.
The view from the public balcony.
Second part of our feast.
 After the second part of our feast I got to watch in amusement as MY taught GE and SH how to play Set in Korean.  Then the four of us played.

They all did really well, but I still won.  I've been playing that game since I was fourteen and I have yet to lose.  Even the adult Mensa players I played against in high school couldn't beat me.  MY keeps trying to beat me, he actually tied me once, so we'll see.  Maybe he'll finally end my winning streak.

We played another game of Rummikub after Set (GE won) and then we were all off to bed at about 1am.

Sunday was another big day.

To be continued...


  1. NIce outfit and dayout!


  2. The Potato Thingie picture is my favorite.