2012 arrives….

I didn’t really blog anything in December. Nothing massively special happened so here is a brief summary:

It got cold.

Changwon Wednesday were victorious against Gwangsun in the KFFL cup. We drew the first leg 0-0 in Yeosu. Yeosu has an ancient Korean battle ship (turtle ship) that General Shin defeated the Japanese in. I saw it. I stood on it, then we played football.

We won the second leg 2-1 at home.  Fantastic performance. We also helped to raise some cash for an orphanage in the process and ate some delicious Xmas style food afterwards. Good karma.

Christmas was a non-event really. I had Domino’s pizza for Christmas Dinner and watched Elf.

It continued to be cold. (Yet elusively sunny and clear everyday, why? This makes me very annoyed…sun should accompany heat!).

For New Years celebrations I met up with Kate. Kate was visiting with her parents from Russia on a skiing trip and they made the effort to visit me for NYE. I was delighted to see them even if it meant giving up four hours of my life to shopping with Kate. I suggested they stayed in Haeundae so we spent most of NYE in Shinsegae. First, the necessary/unnecessary (depending how you look at it) shopping experience. Secondly, some Spa time in Spaland. I may not embrace the girlish love of shopping but I do embrace the girlish love of spa!

In the evening we ate dinner overlooking the beach at TGI Friday’s before heading to a few bars. We saw in the New Year at Wolfhound and then headed to U2 bar. I haven’t been to U2 bar before but it’s pretty good. One of Busan’s better ones. We played pool. I swept all before me and relaxed.

We had planned to stay up to watch the first sunrise of the New Year. At 4am we headed to a coffee shop and checked the supposed entertainment that should have begun on the beach but nothing was materialising. After sitting in the coffee shop for thirty minutes and watching all the passed-out people sprawled all around, tiredness took its toll and we said our goodbyes.

The following weekend, after Kate had been to Muju resort, we planned to rendezvous at their second resort- Yongpyong.

Yongpyong is Korea’s oldest purpose-built winter resort in Gangwon-do in North-East Korea. Despite this it is still relatively new having been built in the 70’s. After work on Friday I got the midnight bus and arrived unpredictably earlier than I had anticipated in freezing Gangneung at 4.40am. I jumped in a taxi that cost the same as my bus fare and headed to their hired apartment to crash on the floor.

We woke up early and headed to the resort. After getting equipment hired and passes paid for we hit the slopes. I was pleasantly surprised by the snow conditions and the resort facilities. My board was great, the lifts were quite fast and the queues manageable. I had fun on my board and Kate and her father sped off like downhill skiers. I was left to contend with picking my way through numerous crashes and ski schools that presented themselves in front of me. Thankfully, my time in the Alps prepared me well for this. If anyone has seen ‘The Beach’ where Leonardo DiCaprio turns into computer game mode to avoid the drug farmers then you can understand my mindset as I avoided misguided beginners on their asses on expert slopes. In the evening we played pool, ate chicken and slept early. We also played a card game called “Fool” but the less said about my ability at that, the better…

On Sunday Kate and I hit the slopes in the afternoon whilst Kate’s parents went to another nearby resort. The slopes seemed a bit quieter. At 5pm I had to get a bus to Seoul so I could bet back to Busan on the KTX ready for school in the morning. As always it was said to say goodbye but we will see each other again soon providing the Mayans don’t get their way…

In 48 hours I’m on a plane home! School winter camp is almost over and it is vacation time. I’m unbelievably excited to see familiar faces, eat English food and be overcharged for everything. If you are reading this and didn’t know, get in touch! I’ll be in Devon from the 15th to 20th and mostly Manchester, with the potential for other trips, from the 21st to the 25th. After that I am going to Finland, check out Helsinki and hopefully do some more snowboarding.

Happy New Year everyone!

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