Monday, October 22, 2007

Adventurea...RE...a....

That's Adventurea, not Adventarrhea. Or worse yet, Adventorrhea. You know whaddamean.

Or maybe you don't.

Basically what happened last week, my Birthday week, is I went to Korea with the misses. Our mission? Food. Because one thing Korea has a lot of is Korean food, and everyone knows Korean food is teh sh1znit.

If you're a friend of mine there's a special message for you at the end of this post... If you don't know me, give it a peep anyhow. If you don't like me, take it to heart. But yeah, I decided to cheese out there at the last minute.

Stay with me.

Anywho, we planned our trip to begin with a visit to the Missez' family down in Mie Prefecture, so we loaded up the whip and headed down.



I know it's pretty gheytardit to post pics of your car, but I really love this car. I've never loved a car I owned before, but this car. Mmm. Love it. She's smooth and her engine purrs, just like you think when you hear an engine being described as "purring" in a book. That's the kind of shit I'm talking about here. When she gets on the open road, in addition to purring she hums, and by "hum" I mean "haul ace without you really knowing it". The missez took the first shift and I noticed the speedomoter at 150kph a couple times (93 mph). She seemed to be enjoying herself and was getting us from point A to point B most rikitick, so I didn't mention anything. Someone else did. No sooner had she waxed poetic about the love of the open road than a plain-clothed copper pulled us over.

My refusal to take anything remotely seriously kicked in and I giggled maniacally as we pulled into the rest stop, and I took a picture of her as she was escorted into the cop car.



She came back with a verbal warning, but informed me that it would have been around a $1000 fine if he cited her. I'm pretty sure that would have put the kibosh on my giggling fit.

So smooth sailing the rest of the way, until we hit about a 2 hour traffic jam. We kicked it in Mie for a couple days then cruised to the port and took a 40 minute high speed catamaran ferry across the bay, hopped on a plane, and less than 2 hours later it was Kimchi time. I think from her house to Korea was about 4 hours. Awesome.

We came in around early evening and got a bus to the hotel, which was located in Itaewon, which is a really great location and an area I was pretty familiar with. So here's a rundown with some pics. Click on the image for a bigger version.

The first night we went to Dongdaemoon, which is pretty cool looking at night.



The second day we went for a stroll, and came upon the Korean War Memorial just down the road. There are a lot of really cool static displays for you to goof around on and take pictures with.

The missez decided to get some on the Triple-A.





We didn't want to discriminate against the valiant North Koreans, so we posed in front of a Mig-19 that was taken off the hands of a defector.



The missez showed her Commie Pride by sporting a nice red scarf for most of the trip.



The museum had some amazing architecture, and a Vietnam Wall-esque area with the names of everyone killed during the war. Very somber stuff. And not to be out done by their Comrades Up North, some dramatic statues.



The enxt day we went on a DMZ Tour....Which wasn't so much a DMZ tour as much as it was a tour of things really close to the DMZ. I was really hoping to go to Panmunjom/The Joint Security Area so my wife could take a gander at it (I went there a few years ago), but instead we went to Dorasan Station, which is the last station in South Korea on the line that will "reunify the two countries", to the Dorasan Observatory, which is the highest point in the area with a really stunning view to North Korea, and the Third Tunnel of Aggression. Here are some pics.

View into North Korea. You couldn't take pictures from the front of the observatory, so I took this from above my head.



The missez hangin' with some ROK guards at the station.



My only complaint on the Really-close-to-the-DMZ-tour was that there wasn't really enough time to do anything at each stop. It was pretty rushed, but still worth the money to go if you're ever in town. Try and hook it up through the base, though, because that way you are sure to go to the JSA.

In between tours and photo-ops, we ate a great deal of Korean food and I believe I successfully negated about a month or two's worth of physical exertion. Back to the drawing board with my bloated ass....but it was soooooo good. At night we hung out with some friends of mine who I hadn't seen in a very long time, and who just happen to have ended up in Korea in the Army in the same unit, even though one of them was in the Marines with me and the other was a civilian living in Tokyo after I got out. That stuff happens to me all the time and it never ceases to be completely awesome.

We made the hour-and-a-half flight back to Nagoya, Ferried it back to Mie, and I had my 31st Birthday. Looks like I'm officially in my 30s. The not-so-white side of my family threw me a little party, and the wife and I went out for some drinks and converation afterwards. Great time and very relaxing. A few days later and back we came, minus the traffic jam and being pulled over, marking the end of an excellent trip.

I also mark this trip as the end of one chapter and the beginning of another in the volume of books representing my life. I see this past chapter as the story of the last 6 months, from the time I got married til now, marking a great deal of positive changes both personally and professionally for myself. This summer has been absolutely amazing, I've travelled off-island three times, and gotten to kindle, re-kindle, and stoke friendships with people I consider very close friends. It's an amazing feeling to know that the people I've seen over the past few months -- the people I respect and admire and aspire to be like -- I can call my friends. I look forward to the next chapters to come, when I can see more people I don't see as much as I should.

The next time you tip one back, give the people you love a thought -- a mental acknowledgement to the thoughts they send your way more often than you may realize -- and drink deeply. Maintain relationships with the people close to you and always remember why it is you're friends with them in the first place. Enjoy your time with them and send them gestures of thanks and gratitude, because you never know if or when you'll see them again.

Thanks for reading.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 80's solutes your ride, fckn tits!

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Vance said...

That was quite gay.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was the point

8:24 PM  
Blogger A Unique Alias said...

Kampai.

1:40 AM  
Blogger Hammer said...

Nice post. Curious to know how it would have gone if you were the one trying to talk your way out of the speeding ticket. Would they have thrown the book at your gringo ass on g.p. or would you have actually had hope?

3:47 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

hammer -- i'm pretty sure i could get out of any speeding ticket in japan. if the guy was a jerk, id just pretend not to speak japanese and act bewildered. if he was cool (lik ethe one the other day) id be uber-respectful in the vernacular and we'd be buddies by the time he let me play with the police lights and sirens.

that's how i see it goin down at least...

vance -- i just cant quit you.

7:52 AM  

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