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Thursday, July 31, 2008

day 23: the reason God created hiking boots

Today I found out why people buy hiking boots. We woke up at 6 am to catch the bus to Halla Mountain, one of korea’s natural treasures. The bus brought us to the bottom and we hiked and hiked and hiked. Imagine climbing up 80,000 flights of stairs, then you will come close to understanding. We hiked 2000 vertical meters in 3 hours. I’m not going to brag, but we did it an hour faster than all the people say it would take us. At the top was a huge crater that was left from a volcano thousands of years ago. We sat up there after feeling like we had just been mugged by the stair-master. That lasted for about a half an hour, and then we started the decent. If you thought climbing up hot molten rock was easy, try going down it. it almost took us the same amount of time to go down, but we luckily made it down in one piece. (Well, as one-piece-ish as you can call legs that don’t work anymore.)

Then emily’s dad came and picked us up and drove us to the biggest lava tunnel in the world. It was long, dark, cold, and all the other adjectives that describe cave like structures.

Day 22: the windless wind surfing

When the wind is strong, that is the best time to go wind surfing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that way for us. We somehow picked the weakest day to go. After a short tutorial, we paddled out to sea and got on our boards. It took me about 5 minutes to master my balance, but then I soon found out that it is hard to actually stay up when you the waves are pushing you around instead of the wind. Jean and I tried it for a half an hour, but the wind didn’t ever pick up. So, we just played out there in the ocean until the main instructor came out to us on his wave runner and told us to come in. as we paddled in, the wind picked up and Jean and I got 10 minutes of good riding until our time was up. (We rented the boards for only the hour.)

Then we went to the Mongolian ruins. I was expecting something like the Mayan ruins from the little drawing that they had on the tourist map. When we showed up, it started to pour down, and there wasn’t anybody around. I was thinking, “sweet, this place is going to be all to ourselves!” I soon found out why the place was abandoned. It turned out to be a recent memorial for the soldiers that fought bravely 600 years ago. There was a huge headstone and that was about it. No broken down walls, no broken pottery, no idol worship. I was pretty disappointed and I bet that other people were too. (except that i know that my mom would have loved every bit of the headstone...) Then we found out that we weren’t on a bus route, and that because of the rain, there weren’t any taxis on the road. So we walked a mile or two until we came to a little information desk at the bottom of the mound. They called us a taxi, and we came back to the Ho’s house and ate some more spicy fish. My tongue wants a break.

day 21: the hawaii of korea

We arrived in Jeju a little early, and caught a taxi to the Ho’s house. It was pouring down sun, and we were sweating up a storm. Because we hadn’t showered for about 2 days, we went over to the bath house and had one of those Korean style wash downs. Then Jean informed me of a room that they have that you can go sleep in if you want. I was totally up for that since I pulled an all-nighter. Emily joined us for a little bit, but then she had to go to work (at a dog restaurant). we went and saw this lava rock that looked like a dragon and tried to rent a Vespa. They don’t like foreigners driving their things, so they wouldn’t allow us to take it. (and they think that we are the bad drivers...) lastly ,we went swimming at the beach, which is way warm. The bad thing is that its near the port, so its extremely dirty. And to top off the night, we bought some apples and watched a drama that revolved cooking pork. Only in Korea would you see a drama about finding the best pork chef.

Day 20: the korean titanic

So, the ferry to Jeju was supposed to bearable. That was an overstatement. After overbooking the boat by 75 people, we ended up in the boiler room. If the Titanic was run by Koreans, I bet a whole lot more people would have died. It was loud, hot, and there was no way that I was going to get any sleep (we left at 7 pm and would arrive at 7 am). We were in there with another 8 people, who were in our same position. One of the guys works for Korea Air and he was way funny. After an hour of complaining, they put us in another room… but this one was full of little kids. I’m not sure which was worse: a boiler room, or a room full children that have never had any interaction with a foreigner and like pulling his arm hairs and going through his luggage and making him translate every word in the Korean language to English. It’s a toss up. Luckily, I could always go out on the deck and have all the young teenage girls come up and say “hi, my name is (fill in the blank), how are you?” when I would respond, they would just look at me with blank stares not knowing what to do next. Then I would start talking to them in Korean and they would all giggle as they ran away. Simply priceless! ( Now if only I could get the older ones to do the opposite!) Luckily, around 1 a.m. the deck cleared out and I had it to myself, all until the funny guy from Korea air brought out some Japanese beer for me. I declined, but it raised a lot of questions. We sat out there on the deck until 4 talking about our differences in cultures, religions, and girls. (He brought that last subject up, not me – just to make it clear.)

day 19: the destined hard floor

Trying to sleep on a marble floor really isn’t the most comfortable thing. But if you don’t take my word for it, then go ahead and try it. It was easy for Jean because he had a couple of drinks with his uncle’s friend. I, unfortunately, didn’t have that pleasure.

After Jean got over his hang over, we headed to another Buddhist temple on the beach. This place is extremely beautiful. If I was Buddhist, or if I knew a lot about being one with nature, I’d probably appreciate a lot more. We went down from the temple and went swimming at the beach. They have absolutely no waves, which is so weird. I was thinking that I’d see some type of sport out there, but it was just a lot of people on inflatable tubes. Jean also has a little bit of a skin deal, so he can’t go swimming, which left me to swim solo. It’s a good thing that I had such a good life saving merit badge counselor because I had to help a girl that couldn’t swim back to shore.

Then we went and ate barbecued clam. I hope by the end of this trip I’ll learn to like sea food like a pure Korean does.

day 18: the boxing match

Jean was hungry, and it was 7:30 in the morning. Our bus to Busan left at 8:45, so we had plenty of time to go grab a bite. Well, after eating stew for breakfast (that’s a normal thing here) we went back and found out that our bus actually left at 8:00. We had to wait there for another 4 hours at the bus stop for another bus. Luckily, I am well trained in the art of hang man. We arrived in Busan in the late afternoon and met up with a friend of Jean’s family. He took us to the beach and we walked around the area. Here, different companies own sections of the beach and rent out spots to lounge on where you can try out their products while you swim. Then we went to the aquarium where we watched an excellent rendition of beauty and the beast. Only, they changed the beast into a shark, and made it under water. So, it was more like the little mermaid and the shark. It was funny to hear them sing Americans songs, because I had no idea what they were singing, even though it was in English. The pronunciation was terrible. The shopping here is crazy and the Sashimi is amazing. We had dinner at a little sushi restaurant on the beach and I swallowed down some live octopus. Everybody should have a go at that. It’s kind of having a little boxing match in your mouth.

day 17: the variety of squid treats

what’s better than an American burger? How about a squid burger? Or maybe a kimchee burger? Or even a combination of the too if you wanted? That’s what you get when you go to Lotteria, a knock off of the good old McDonalds. Since we were hungry before our voyage to the southern tip of korea, we stopped in and got a burger. Lets just say that korea should stick to making rice, and America should stick to making healthy foods like hot dogs and hamburgers.

Anyways, the 5 hour train ride was looking pretty dim and boring until I got onto the train. I was welcomed with “let it be” by the Beatles, but only this was the Chinese instrumental version done with a kayagum (one of those oriental harp things). I love how our cultures have made such a great bond through pure talent. I knew that it wasn’t going to be that bad, and fell asleep instantly. I was awoken by a strange smell a couple of hours later. Jean had purchased some Jerky from the little vendor on the train, but it wasn’t the normal type. It was Squid Jerky. And, other than the smell, it tasted pretty good. I can’t get the smell off my hands or breath though, even after scrubbing with soap. Everything has its ups and downs, like the bathroom with windows so you can see if it is being occupied. Ha ha. No joke. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

When we got off the train, we hit up the Buddhist temple where Jean explained what was up with the sweet buildings, gold statues, and the water that you drink right out of the hills. (I just pray that I don’t get some weird mountain bacteria from trying it out.)
Then we came back and went to the hot spring and health club to relax. However, I had a hard time relaxing because the health spas here are like bath houses, and everybody walks around naked. They even work out the buff. There was no way that I was going to go near that weight bench!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 16: The Big Surprise

I have good news and bad news. i think finishing as an optimist is the best thing, so i'll start with the bad news. the bad news is that i won't be living in my little quarters for the next week updating the blog. why, you may ask. well, here comes the good news:

this morning i got a phone call from Kyu and he said that he arranged for Jean and I to go to JeJu Island. the only thing is that we leave tomorrow morning at 5. we're going to stop in KyoungJu, which used to be the old capitol of korea, and see some sweet ruins and do some Buddhist incense burning and who knows what. then we are going to stay the night there at a top notch hotel and get free massages and room service and wear robes. after waking up, we'll catch a bus to Pusan, and spend the day at the beach and snorkeling. we'll spend 2 days there looking at sites and then on to a ferry to the Island. this is some of the bad news i guess, because its a 12 hour ride from the main land to our destination. i guess that just means a lot of solitaire and 20 questions.

we'll arrive on the island on sunday the 27th, stay for 3 days, and then head back home, which will probably take a day or so. our estimated return is the 1 of august. i'm sorry, but i don't think i'll have that much time to keep you updated. but if i get attacked by a shark or get stung by a jelly fish and Jean has to pee on me, then i'll be sure to remember and write about it later. (cuz thats the kind of things that happen on an island, right?)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day 15: The Line Dance

The earth would be a better place if there were only less babies throwing up all the time. after english class tonight with the elders, we had a big fiesta to say goodbye to some of the elders and sisters going home. everybody brought some type of treat or drink to add to the celebration. then one of the sisters thought it would be a good ol' time to line dance (because she's from texas and every texan always wants to line dance at every waking moment of existence). so, she got out her CD of country line dancing songs and plugged it into the gym. everybody moved into the tiny room to learn this strange new movement, even the young ones. after 10 minutes, we were all boot scoot n' buggying around, but nobody seemed to realize the fatal mistake this soon would raise. Because there was a table left unattended full of treats, the 4 and 5 year olds thought that this was some new offering that they could splurge themselves on. they came running in, on full stomachs of sugar, and joined us. it was like multiple energizer bunnies running around, and then it was like multiple energizer bunnies throwing up all over the place. the timing was impeccable; one after the other. the funny thing is that the gym also doubles as the chapel. the elders and i spent a while with wash cloths and soap, but i think its just going to be a smell that will have to be absorbed into people's clothing like it was in ours.

before that, the rest of the day was pretty mundane. we went shopping and then Jean took me to a restaurant that serves a bowl of spicy ramen noodles with hot dog. (not real dog like earlier - this is the sausage type hot dog that we have in the states. i hope that i don't have to keep clarifying that...) anyways, the soup came boiling out and jean just kept putting more and more in my bowl. then i realized that he didn't want to pay, so he was making me feel like i ate most of it. he's a tricky fella, that Jean!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day 14: The Sight of a Thousand Lifeless Bodies

It took Jean and I about an hour and a half to get there. it was far outside the city where the rent was cheap and the noises wouldn't disturb. As the aroma overcame me, KyuSeuk said, "and if you look in that room, you'll see the limbs." The dark liquid was splattered on the wall and covered the floor, making it almost impossible to walk on without getting it on your shoes; the carving instruments hanging on the wall, shining as if they had done a good job. we walked from room to room observing the master's work while shouting over the heavy machinery that transported the lifeless bodies. The warehouse was the most surprising, with the thousands, standing in rows, yet not a breath in their structures. It was very interesting how the mannequin business worked, and a little creepy to say the least.
After the tour, KyuSeouk took us out to lunch to eat some Shabu-Shabu (this was the 3rd day in a row that i had eaten this... its becoming a very popular dish here i guess - but becoming less popular every time i eat it each day in a row) and we talked shop. We talked about how successful a mannequin business from Korea would be in the states. I shot him some of my business ideas and he gave me some connections of people he knew in korea that could give me a good start. (maybe even financial backing...KyuSeuk is a high roller, so i'm guessing that his friends are high rollers too.) then we hiked back to the bus stop and gave the driver 2000 won (which is about $2.00) to get us back to the city. Jean and i both fell asleep and woke up a few stations farther away than our destination. Jean was running out of time before he had to go practice his driving at the driving school, but we both made time for some Dunkin' Doughnuts.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 13: the christian rock info-mercial

if i was into priestcraft, i'd sure be up for a good ol' time at kim young's church. I kept my agreement today and went with her to her service at SaRang Church. (사랑의 교회) i've been to a lot of churches, but this was more of a rock stage with Jesus' name plastered around. it was pretty impressive though. i'm guessing that people go and feel that they had such a good time that they should pay the people for entertaining them for an hour and a half. (or because the donation bag is passed around and all eyes are on you.) more than half of the time was consumed in the congregations singing christian rock songs, only to repeat the exact same words over and over again. (most of the time it was: Jesus, we praise you. i think i sang those words over 75 times.) the rest of the 45 minutes was a stand up comedy act or chanting your own prayers out loud. it was pretty funny, and i'd come back every sunday just to see that show again. heck, i might even look into it for myself. it could be a good career move.

day 12: the 101st day celebration

Sitting on a hard wood floor becomes pretty uncomfortable after a while. the typhoon weather is sure taking a toll here and so we've been spending a lot of time inside... with no furniture. Jean was feeling a little cabin feverish in my little living quarters, so we've been studying at his parent's. its a pretty nice apartment, with large windows, a huge t.v. and absolutely nothing to sit on.

anyways, kim young invited us to a first birthday party for her cousin's daughter, and i couldn't pass up any opportunity to get my aching backside off the ground. plus, there was going to be free food. when we got to the building, we found that it was going to be held in the top floor of one the biggest buildings in the area. we rode the elevator to the top, only to find ourselves a little out of place. well, when i say we, i mostly mean just mean me. you know those old country westerns when the outlaw goes into the saloon and the piano stops playing the the bar tender slowly hides behind the counter? it was like that, but more modern and more a lot more balloons. i found kim young, shook some hands, did a lot of bowing, and everything went back to normal. they had the biggest buffet i had ever seen in my life, full of sushi and soups and other good stuff. we packed our stomachs full and then watched the 돌잔치. its when the baby hits its 101 day mark. they put all sorts of items in front of it and have it pick something which will determine what the baby will end up doing for the rest of its life. they have a microphone, which represents music; money, which represents business; rice, which represents food; a long string, which represents a long life; and pencils, which represent learning. its way funny to see the parent's reaction when the baby picks up something. then they take a lot of pictures, give out a lot of rice cakes, and call it a night.

oh yeah, that place is really called "Hunt Kids." catchy name, isn't it?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Day 11: the wild goose chase

whats black, white, and red all over? a heat exhausted mike nelson wearing a black shirt. Kim Young called me last night and asked me to meet her in 이태원 (little america). I called Jean to tell him that we were going to meet at 10 instead of 12, but he didn't answer his phone. so i slept on it thinking that i'd just call him in the morning. then i awoke to a dead phone (again...). so i went on a wild goose chase trying to figure out how to get a hold of him before i left. i got pretty desperate, so i just asked a stranger on the street if i could use their phone. surprisingly, they didn't even think twice. Jean didn't answer because he was sleeping, of course.

I told the land lady what happened (through a lot of grunts and body language... much like the cave men i saw yesterday) and conveyed a message that if Jean showed up, to tell him that i went to little america. I hopped on the subway and rode it to my destination. I barely made it by 10:00 to the stop that we agreed on, but there was no sign of kim young, so i waited for a little bit. i waited for about another half an hour and then went to find another phone. after another struggle, i got a hold of her. she called this morning and left a message that she couldn't make it. but then when i didn't call her back, she started to get worried, so she called Jean. then Jean ran for 20 minutes to my house, only to find me not there and a land lord acting out grunts to him. so, he called Kim Young up and told her that i wasn't there. she hopped in a taxi and was a block away when i finally got a hold of her. i don't know what the big deal was. i made it there just fine, so i could make it back just as well if needed. anyways, she and i walked around little america for a little bit in the blistering sun (didn't she notice what i was wearing?) and ate at ColdStone. then she showed me a house that she owns that she is renting out. this thing could have been in a horror movie with the barred windows, stray dogs, and graffiti. (which was the first time i had seen that kind of thing in korea.)

Jean met up with us for lunch and we went to the little america's town that is like Beverly hills. (thats why i was semi dressed up) it was a nice restaurant that served geese. with how civilized these people are, you'd think that they would stop killing and eating everything that moved. (I say that because i found out this morning that silk worm is a delicacy.) We then visited the only Islam temple in Korea, hit up some books/cd stores, and caught the train home.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 10: The Road Rage to Prehistory

When Jean showed up today, he asked if i was hungry. that was no big surprise, because he asks that everyday. (mostly because he'd rather eat than do english.) but today was different because his parents wanted to take me to lunch. I said that would be awesome and so they came and picked us up at 1:00. it wasn't awesome.

the next 40 minutes were filled with prayers to god that he would spare my life. Jean's dad isn't the worst driver on this side of the mississippi, but he sure isn't good. and it sure didn't get better when he was cut off by a motorcyclist. we swerved in and out of traffic just so he could catch up and say some choice words to the fellow. (luckily i never learned those words, so i had no clue what he said to the guy. maybe it was a, "hey, sorry to bother you, but maybe next time would you be more considerate to your fellow motorists?" and he was just saying it loudly because of the noise. i'll give him the benefit of the doubt.) anyways, after the ordeal, and trying to keep my pants dry, i asked Jean where we were headed. Lunch didn't seem like an all day event and we had been driving for a while. he told me we were going to lunch with a look like, "duh, i already told you... can't you remember?" we finally arrived at this little shack of a place and sat down for lunch. we had this noodle soup with all the magical creatures of the deep blue sea: clams, crab, shrimp, octopus, squid, seaweed, and there probably was some coral in there too. I don't know. I don't think that it was worth an hour there or hour back, but maybe they just enjoyed the drive or something...
They dropped us off at what Jean called "prehistory". it is an archeoligical site of the netho-something people that lived in korea around 3000 b.c. it kind of looked like jurrasic park, but in a much older korean style. at this point, i didn't know what it was, and i asked Jean if they would allow us to ride the dinosaurs. (Jean is going to have the weirdest view of americans when i leave...) unfortunately, there weren't any dinosaurs, but there were really cool things, such as: broken pieces of clay, straw, sticks, a few bones, mannequins dressed in fur, and a few big maps that i couldn't read. it was sweet! you could go in one of the prehistoric huts and check it out, but no body was going in, so i tried to get a big group to go in with me. (you kind of had to crawl to get into the big room.) my efforts died in vain.

(but check out the cool pictures and video!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

day 9: the rain and sweat

today it rained... hard. we didn't do anything because Jean was on his last t-shirt for a couple days and didn't want to get it smelling like a musty city. (most people have to go to a laundromat here and its kind of expensive.) so we stayed inside and studied. then i finally talked him into going to get something to eat. it wasn't that good.

he left to go take his driver's license test and i went out and studied in a little cafe. it was funny how people would say: "look, a foreigner!" i just kept on drinking Sweat. (thats the name of the drink. well, actually its Pokery Sweat) what a great name for a drink, eh?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 8: the return to familiar territory

Jean and I studied for a little bit this morning and i made him explain what his ideal girl would be. oddly enough, i imagined Jean with a wig when he was done. anyways, we went back to Technomart again today. we ate sushi at the food court and went upstairs to wait in the long line for our customer service rep to help us. they wear these hideous orange sweaters. (sorry, that was a tangent...) so we were almost up and i reached in my bag to get my passport, only to find it not there. then i realized that i hadn't actually put it in my bag, but it was still sitting on my bed. so, we hopped back on the bus back home. it only actually took us 20 minutes to get home. yesterday Jean missed our stop so we drove around for a while until we came to one that we could get off on, so going back home wasn't a big deal. we grabbed the passport, returned once again to Technomart, and got my cell phone working. I know you could care less about what it looks like, but i'll humor you with a photo. its got a 4 mega pixel camera, 1 gig memory chip, and connects to the internet for only $10 dollars a month. (this is a pay as you go phone too.) man, i wish america would jump on this band wagon!

Jean had a hot date with his girlfriend, so he left me to my own devices for the evening. i helped the missionaries teach english class and i remembered how much i don't miss that. their class is huge though! they probably had about 55 people show up. they divide everyone up into levels. i got the beginning level which was ok, because its mostly just acting instead of teaching. then Jean's uncle called me up and asked me to come to dinner with him. i hopped on the subway to the restaurant and we ate some weird noodle stuff. he's a pretty funny guy for how much i understand. i found out that he's funding most of this for Jean. (even though Jean's parents make bank at their restaurant. its packed until 3 am everyday.) after force feeding me once again, we made arrangements for some more sight seeing and better sushi restaurants.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 7: the Technomart

i am pretty sure why star trek fans are such huge fans of asia. today we went to Technomart - a 12 story mall full of electronics (see picture). My phone doesn't work and there they have the customer service for my provider, which is SK. (man, SK keeps on coming back and biting me in the butt!) there were rows and rows of everything you could imagine. anyways, the place was packed with shoppers and we waited over an hour to talk to somebody. well, it turns out that they couldn't help me without a passport since i would be the primary user of the phone. sadly, my passport was back at my apartment, which was a 40 minute subway ride. so, we made the best of it and went and saw a movie (which is the top floor of Technomart).

Then we met up with Jean's aunt for dinner. we had 갈비 which you cook right in front of you. it was super good, but you leave smelling like meat. Jean's cousin came too, and Jean told her how i had dog meat. she didn't say much to me the rest of the night and i asked Jean if she was upset. he told me that she is a dog beautician. i didn't need to ask any more questions.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 6: the North Korean Spy Game

I was supposed to go to church with Kim Young today. (It was a deal that i made a long time ago.) the bad thing is that you have to have some type of nifty card to use the public phones here, and i don't know where to get one. so, i couldn't call her and ask for directions... meaning that i went to the mormon church. i made a pretty big idiot of myself in sunday school. they were talking about the anti-nephi-lehis and i thought, "yeah, i've got this in the bag if they ask me a question. i know that story like the back of my hand." well, turns out that i nailed the story, but flopped the question. they pulled a fast one on me and changed the subject 30 seconds before i got the question. i had no clue. after giving my grand sermon on how we too must bury our weapons, temptations, and sins, the girl next to me leaned over and said: "uh... we are talking about different thing." i slumped right back into my chair.

When sacrament started, Jean showed up. (I left a note just in case he was feeling better and wanted to study today.) I was thinking, "sweet! i didn't even have to extend an invitation and he came. why wasn't my mission this easy?!" then he said, "we must go. my parents waiting." i hadn't met Jean's parents before, and i didn't want to make a bad impression, so i packed up my things and left. his parents were parked around the corner in a van, dieing in the heat. I did the bows and and all that jazz, and they ushered me into the van. i didn't know where we were going, but everyone seemed excited about it. we pulled up to this tiny place that was crowded with people. i soon realized that we were at a restaurant waiting to be served. we sat on the floor (my legs still aren't getting adjusted to sitting indian style for an hour) and i asked what we were going to eat. they said, "보신탕. Jean said you wanted to eat 보신탕." I had no idea what 보신탕 was, so i said, "yeah, sure. sounds delicious." they brought it out and it was just like anything i had eaten before in any korean place. the beef was really tender and fatty, but other than that, it was just another traditional meal. when we walked out i told Jean that it was really delicious. His uncle turned to me and said, "that was dog. i didn't think you were going to like it, but i'm glad." I had previously made a lot of jokes about eating dog with jean, but i then realized that hadn't probably picked up on my sarcasm. oh well, it tasted good!

we hopped back in the van and we kept driving for about an hour, until we finally arrived at the DMZ. this is where the North Koreans and the South Koreans have their border. its divided a river, and the only thing that connects the two sides is a rebuilt bridge that is built next to one that was blown up. we stood on one side of the river and stared down those dirty northerners. i was pretty intimidating, so i think they'll be signing a treaty pretty soon. and i know they saw me because i was the only white guy there, and especially because i was the only person wearing a shirt and tie.

The good thing about it the trip was that they have turned it into an amusement park to show off how much fun it is to be free. The sad thing is that it was 10 times as bad as Lagoon. I don't know which is better, walking around in a shirt and tie in an amusement park, or going on spinning, loopy, and crazy roller coasters on a stomach full of dog meat. i almost lost it on the "super viking" which was a ship that went back and forth high and higher in the air. The lagoon has one just like it next to the swings, but this one has such a cooler name. plus, when the koreans say it, it comes out as "shoopah biking". thats worth it right there.

we finished the night off by eating at Jean's parents' restaurant. they own this amazing chicken place that puts every Boston market, KFC, and Popeyes in the dust. (its a sit down restaurant though.) i don't like fried chicken, but this stuff must have been drenched in MSG or something because it was amazing. i was introduced to the whole staff and we ate next to the kitchen because the place was packed from wall to wall. and when we left, my stomach was packed from wall to wall with the dogs fighting the chickens. i sure hope one of them wins before i fall asleep!

Day 5: the sign

day 5 was pretty uneventful. Jean was super sick, so he stayed home, which left me to wander through the city. it would have been fun, except God decided to make it rain all day, which dampened my exploring spirit. i ended up working on the english program and then i watched some korean dramas. i finally got hungry enough to go get a bite to eat, and when i did, there were the mormon boys walking down street. turns out that the church is only a 15 minute walk away from where i am staying. i wouldn't have ever been able to find it if they didn't draw me a map. its its down this skinny alleyway that doesn't have a street name. (that is pretty typical here.) anyways, on the walk back, my hands became extremely sticky from a sweet bread that i bought from a street vendor. so, i started looking for a bathroom and i came across this sign. "disabled man bathroom"...person wearing a skirt... you do the math. maybe this just means that only gay people are handicapped? hmmm... i'll have to sleep on this one