Thursday, January 23, 2003

Last night it snowed in Ulsan. Sure, we got a sprinkling of the white stuff on Christmas Day, but last night it really snowed. We got about 3 inches and the city was completely chaotic. As it rarely snows here, the local police were mobilized to shovel the streets by hand. I guess Ulsan doesn't have much of a budget for snow removal. The police here are mainly young guys, as it is compulsory for all Korean men to either serve 2 years in the military or they can choose to serve in the police force for 2.5 years.

The kids at our school were ecstatic with the snow. We broke from classes early and proceeded to have a massive snowball fight outside, teachers versus students. It was a lot of fun and a nice change from trying to teach pronouns, adjectives and how to correctly pronounce orange (NOT oran-gee).

Strangely enough, Ulsan actually looked quite beautiful with the snow falling. I guess because it masked the massive industrial smokestacks belching into the sky.

Aside from all the excitement of a real snowfall, the past week has been pretty uneventful. Maybe because Amy and I are exhausted from our Hapkido training every morning. My joints are sore, my muscles ache - yesterday, we had to sit cross-legged on the floor while someone stood on our knees to stretch our groin muscles. I have never felt pain so bad in my life. On the plus side, we're learning roundhouse kicks, flips and throws. That stuff is fun.

The past weekend was a write-off for the same reasons, as we had little energy to do anything but sit around our apartment. We managed to go out on Friday night and on Saturday our friend Will came over and we went out on the town for a Korean friend's birthday. The evening was notable however, as we discovered one of the many batting cages that seem to litter the areas where the bars congregate. There's nothing like getting raging drunk then swinging blindly at baseballs that are firing towards you. Predictably, the evening ended up at one of the singing (Karaoke) rooms for some drunken crooning. I sang Stayin' Alive.

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