Sunday, October 25, 2015

KGSP - Father and Son in Busan

This week was kinda nice. My dad came to visit for a few days so I got a chance to not only see him but to hit up Busan again. I like Busan, so going back to Busan was nice, especially after going to Seoul so much this past month.

It's crazy if you think about it. I went to Seoul three weeks in a row at the start of the month, went to Daegu for a day last week, and then Busan this past weekend. It's like I hate Daejeon (and my wallet) or something.

But tbh I rather sight see in Busan than Seoul.

Me and my dad met up in Daejeon and then headed over to Busan. First thing we did in Busan was go to Haeundae and then take a boat tour. The boat went off the coast of Haeundae, Gwangalli and then did a loop around Oryukdo for a nice view of the city and coast.

It was a pretty nice ride. It was cool too because a ton of seagulls followed the boat. People were feeding them and the birds managed to fly alongside a moving boat and pluck food out of people's hands. That was impressive

Although they did come a bit too close for comfort a tiny bit.

The next day was really tiring. It turned out the fireworks festival was that weekend. Although I wasn't planning on going this year, the fact that I was in Busan during the festival pretty much means we should go check it out.

But we didn't want to spend the whole day waiting on the beach, so we went sightseeing in the morning and afternoon and decided to settle for watching the fireworks as a standee. I didn't know where to go so I just went to a cluster of places I went to before.

I also ate this cute little dessert thing.

We went to Jalgachi Fish Market, Gukje Market and Gamcheon Cultural Village which is honestly a nice way to spend a few hours to see Busan's cultural and historic side. Afterwards we had a bit more time so we went to the UN Memorial Cemetery.

That was kinda cool. As weird as it is, I kinda like going to war cemeteries. They're very peaceful. It also brings some sort of weird humility and mortality feeling that kinda gets you thinking about things. Just so happened that we went on the 70th anniversary of the UN too.

I had this cool picture of the fountain from the other side but then afterwards I realized my finger was in it.

Following that we ate dinner at Shinsegae and then headed over to Gwangalli for the fireworks festival. Despite showing up 1.5h early for the event, that is pretty much late. No chance you were getting a good spot.

We ended up standing behind a lot of people while a lot of other people were shoving and scrambling behind us. There was even a traffic light in front of us which blocked the view a bit, but it was still a good show.

Not pictured: The other million people on the beach.

I still think the Busan Fireworks Festival is the best fireworks show I've seen, despite the bad viewing arrangements. Anyways, the weekend was really tiring. Lots of standing and walking. But overall it was nice to see my dad again.

Monday, October 19, 2015

KGSP - Korean Style

This week was just straight up busy. I forgot to post my blog yesterday, so here's another Monday blog post. This week had nothing momentous as far as stuff goes, but I got a lot of stuff done. I had a chance to eat a bunch of random Korean foods this week.

This was a bit different than normal because the cafeteria doesn't really change too much, but I had a few things this week that was different. I had this pizza last week which was pretty good, but looked a bit odd.

That, that's cheese right?

There is in fact cheese on that pizza. There is also cheese in the pizza, which made it pretty good. However the white powder is not cheese. It is in fact powdered sugar. Why would people think it would be a good idea to put sugar on a salty pizza is beyond me, but there it is.

The day after we had our weekly lab meeting. The last few weeks we just ordered in for our food, but this week we went out. We went to this Japanese restaurant that had a few fusion items so I got a pasta that everyone else was ordering.

Yes this is pasta at a Japanese restaurant.

That was a really strange pasta. It was like, spicy with some weird creamy sauce on it with some fish eggs. It was just a weird combination. Classic Korea mixing random things together and seeing if it works I guess.

Aside from that I also did a short trip to Daegu. I had some issues with Daegu Bank, and being Daegu Bank they only had a branch in Daegu so I had to go in person to resolve it. Short one day trip, was only really there for an afternoon, but I met some friends and resolved some other issues too.

This is in fact not Korean, but is probably in the same vein of food as above anyways.

Now, anyone that has lived in Korea knows this, but using the Internet here is actually a pain. South Korea has the fastest Internet in the world and is very connected. But they also have a bunch of redundant, annoying security systems in place that makes everything super annoying.

It's worse when you are a foreigner because of language issues first of all, but also because you weren't integrated into the system so you have to apply for all the random things and do all the random things to get things to work.

I have no relevant picture so here's a picture of a flower festival near my school.

It's just a pain. A huge pain. Phone numbers, banks, Internet Explorer, random plugins. Everything is linked together and is just a huge convoluted mess. It takes so much more time to do things than they should. This was the reason why I went to Daegu, because doing it over the phone doesn't work.

Ugh. But at least I got it resolved this time. Hopefully no more issues going forward.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

KGSP - 2015 SK Telecom Proleague Grand Finals

So this was my third weekend in a row going up to Seoul. Now that I've been going to Seoul so much, I really don't think of it as that bad of a place. I used to think it was pretty busy and complicated, but I guess once you get used to it it's fine.

Some of my friend's had their birthdays this weekend, but that was like, a bonus reason for going to Seoul. The real reason why I wanted to go was the same reason as to why I came to Korea in the first place. StarCraft.

In all of its Korean glory.

I can't say that's the sole reason why I came to Korea, but StarCraft and Korea's eSports culture is a huge factor as to why I gained interest into this country. So I made it a goal from the very beginning to check out Proleague as that's the biggest Korean StarCraft event.

Last year I missed out on the Grand Finals because they started it earlier and ended it in August before I arrived. I managed to make it out to a regular match in studio during my first trip to Korea which was cool, but the dream was to go to the Grand Finals. Which finally, was this past weekend.

Thank you Team Liquid for this wonderful tickets.

It was awesome. SKT1, the most decorated and historic Korean team, versus Jin Air Green Wings, one of the newer teams that rose from the most unlikely of circumstances. It was a classic case of the new guard taking on the old.

It was in Lotte World, which is an amusement park in Seoul. First time in Lotte World, seemed like a cool place, but completely overshadowed by the StarCraft atmosphere. We got there like 40 minutes early and already seating was almost full with tons of people standing.

With matches like Innovation vs sOs how can you not be hyped?

Luckily I reserved tickets online through Team Liquid so I was able to get seats while all the standees just watched as I was let through. That was awesome. Games were exciting and despite me wanting a Game 7, I was thoroughly satisfied. 

Didn't get a chance to meet any players to get any autographs or pictures, but I managed to pick up a bunch of sweet swag from the event. Gifts and decorations for years to come I'm sure. Overall really awesome event. Really glad I got a chance to go check it out.

Power Rangers poster goes away now.

In other news I just kinda hung out with friends in Seoul over the weekend when I wasn't at the StarCraft event. Went to a knock off Tim Hortons and then went to Maker Faire, a crafts event, in Gwacheon. Both were alright, but StarCraft was definitely the.. star of the weekend.

But yea, I'm done with Seoul for a bit. Three back to back weekends is a bit much. Was fun, but a bit much. It's getting pretty taxing on my time (and wallet) especially since we are well into the semester now. Not sure when I'll go back next.

I will probably not be returning here though. Granted it was ok.

Gotta focus on some school work this week, but I'm ok with this.

Monday, October 5, 2015

KGSP - Seoul Again

Another trip to Seoul, another Monday blog post. This time around there wasn't any special occasion, but instead a friend of mine came to visit Korea as part of her graduation trip. As a result, being the good friend I am, I decided to go to Seoul to see her.

It was a pretty fun trip overall. Apparently the Seoul Fireworks Festival was this past weekend. We were initially planning on going late, but some of my other friends decided to go early to snag a spot, so we were ok.

Fireworks yay.

The spot was a bit off to the side, but it was fine. We still had a pretty good view and the show was alright. It definitely wasn't as good as the Busan one I went to last year, but it was a good time regardless.

The following day we went to do a bit of sightseeing. We started off the day by going to Imwangsan to do a bit of a hike. Apparently we went up a random side path and so we didn't make it to the top. However, we got close enough.

Weather was pretty nice.

The view of Seoul up there was pretty nice. Could see pretty far and could see some landmarks too so it was interesting. Afterwards we went to the Seodaemun Independence Park for a bit before heading over to Gwanghwamun Square.

To be honest, we really didn't do that much, but it was still good to just spend time together and to chill for a bit. Plus the sightseeing let me test out my new phone, cause I got an LG G4 last week to replace my almost 3 year old HTC One X.

I got the black leather back (Wikipedia).

Pretty good phone overall. Much better and faster than my old one, especially since the battery was going on that one. Pretty good purchase overall.

The next week will be another trip to Seoul. Honestly I don't really want to go that often because I actually have work to do now, but there's just stuff I want to do in Seoul too. But yea, next week is a long weekend as well, so another trip to Seoul it is.