Work in Progress

“In the best travel, disconnection is a necessity. Concentrate on where you are; do no back-home business; take no assignments; remain incommunicado; be scarce. It is a good thing that people don’t know where you are or how to find you. Keep in mind the country you are in. That’s the theory.”
–Paul Theroux

A human who loves the world, finds beauty in the unknown, and can't keep her feet on the ground. I like finding unique (and cheap) ways of making my way around the globe. Interacting with people while living, learning, and loving the culture I'm surrounded by.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A night out in Dong-gu

I live outside of the downtown area of Ulsan. Regardless, my neighborhood provided me with a damn good night out. It helps when you have great group of coworkers and new foreigner friends. I AM A FOREIGNER. It is still surreal to me. I've been meeting people who have been here for a few years and I'm a bit envious. They know the "in's and out's" - they know enough Koran to have conversations with strangers and they make new friends easily wherever they go. I can't wait until I can say the same for myself. Patience Ellie, patience. 

The night started off at Uncle's Beer, a bar plastered with post-it notes and random English phrases. The decor is adorable, which applies to a lot of places I've been so far. The people here know hot to create a good atmosphere. My Canadian coworkers wanted to introduced me to their group of friends. Definitely a good crowd of people that I'm excited to get to know better and make more memories with. So excited.

We made our way to another ridiculously adorable bar for a drink before we would get cheap drinks at 7-11 and retire to the beach. Always the best option. On the way to the beach a Korean man trying to make a few bucks started hounding us to play his hammer game. It's simple. You get 3 tries to hammer a nail into a piece of wood. My coworker Shaun tried first, and failed miserably. Then, of course, he convinced me that I had to do it. The little man decided to give me 5 tries, that angel. He thought I looked weak and assumed I had horrible aim apparently. He was wrong! I hit that damn nail, 3 times I think. There was only half an inch left that needed to be nailed in before my last try, and I missed of course. Which was upsetting because I really wanted the husky stuffed animal to remind me of my sisters pup, Shiloh. But it was good entertainment, as per usual. 


Emma, my new Scottish friend, was hungry. And I'm always hungry. We quickly found some street food where a kind Korean woman was offering corn dogs with french fries engrained into them or bugs. We opted for the fried death sticks. Although, trying the bugs is on my agenda. They are called beondegi, and according to some of my students they are quite tasty. I'm not convinced. We ordered and patiently waited for our treat to fry. The woman pointed to a granular substance and asked if we wanted any. Thinking that it obviously is salt, we agreed. As she started dipping the mound of greasy corn dog into the tub a sparkly caught my eye. I realized before it was too late that it was indeed NOT salt - but sugar.  Not only did we have a fried carb load on a stick, but it was covered in sugar. Emma threw hers away. I ate half. Should have ate the bugs. Lesson learned.          

There is a makeshift arcade and batting cages on the beach in my neighborhood. The boys played games as us girls tried to eat food, and then we headed off to the beach. One of the guys started talking to a large group of Korean youngsters. One of them was turning 20, and we invited them to celebrate with us. We shared birthday traditions from our cultures, and this poor kid ended up getting smacked and hit by his friend and then almost thrown into the ocean. He loved it. And then they used some of the guys to try and go pick up poor, unsuspecting girls on the beach while we sat and drank and watched their pathetic attempts. 

And then instead of cabbing home at 4 am I was much happier to take the 20 minute drunk walk home. Because I love my neighborhood and the people I'm surrounded with. I'M SO LUCKY. 

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