Summer’s Out

First of all, sorry it’s been so long. I was fine last week, but this week I’ve been working and lying in bed with flu, and that is all. I’ve just about got over my spells of dizziness, aching muscles and sweating like Gordon Brown on holiday in Jamaica, so it’s time to update.

Summer seems to be finally drawing to a close, which from my point of view is a great thing, as the heat here is ludicrously repressive. Seoul marks the close of the heat wave with ‘Hi Seoul Festival’ that despite its ludicrous name is in fact a very worthwhile piece of free-festivalness. First up was Tuesday nights gig. The Seoul Government rarely get things right musically, but whoever decided to line up two of Seoul’s best Indie Club bands one after the other obviously knows more than their predecessor. ‘The Rocktigers vs. the Moonshiners’ was played out in front of a relatively small crowd. The bands themselves played in front of a huge waving gold statue and a large collection of dinosaur print off-road vehicles, as you do. Both excellent live rock bands, the Rocktigers just about take it IMO, in part because of the stunningly attractive and very lively lead singer. Nice. Saturday was a little mellower – much like last weekend, but with a few less flying people.

Saturday night was the Japan against Korea baseball game, which is a matter of serious national pride here. Watching at the front in a Hongdae bar whilst sipping on Yoghurt Soju (whoever invented that is a genius, totally gorgeous). It’s always better when the teams losing and comes back to win it, and this was the Korean equivalent of ‘that win’ against Germany for England a few years back. 5-3 in the second extra innings, the place went totally crazy. Never seen a group of Koreans leap on tables and shout so much!

Sunday was when I really started getting ill. My first ‘DVD Bang’ experience was still a highlight of the week, however. Those things really are a great idea, though they are clearly designed for only one purpose – couples who still live with their parents! The ‘DVD Bang’ consists of a small room containing a two person lay-down chair and a huge TV screen, where you can get out of the heat and watch any DVD you want for about the same price as going to the cinema. Apart from the films not being new it’s a much better experience than the cinema, especially as the option is there to put English subtitles on all the Korean language movies. I love these random ideas, it’s only a matter of time before someone imports that to Europe – it could make a great sideline for Blockbusters!

Suwon, unfortunately, was a total wash out due to being so ill we could barely stand up. Which was not pleasant bearing in mind getting there and back involves about 3 hours on the subway. Apart from having the best football team in Korea, Suwon are most famous for the fortress, which is like a mini great wall of china (see old pictures), though we only saw a very small corner of it and none of the featured festival before retreating back to our beds for the rest of the day.

Fortunately I’ve –touch wood – finally shaken my illness today, thankfully as the last few days teaching have been really tough. Everything’s a countdown to Helena leaving now, which is going to suck. She’s going to Malaysia for a week from Sunday and then has five more days after getting back, then it’s goodbye until Dublin. Life moves so fast!

J x

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