Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday = Trashday

Every Tuesday evening is garbage-disposal day, where we have to take all our plastics, metals, cardboard and all other trash down to the street level and put it in the appropriatly labelled bag. You'd think they would have come up with a system where you can throw stuff any day of the week but no.. At least in this apartment building, we have to wait for the guys to come on Tuesdays to pick it up.
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Visitor from Sweden

Martin came to visit from the Lund office, and we took him to a traditional Korean lunch restaurant. We got "Dolsot Bibimbap", which means fried mixed rice in a heated bowl made from solid stone. You mix everything together before you start eating. Very hot, can be quite spicy, and very good. Martin seemed to like it too.
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Office building exterior

This is my office building, Digital Empire (I). It's a shot from the street-level plaza made up by the tall structures around it. In the summertime, people play badminton after work here. The building itself is not very inspiring, to be honest. Temperatures vary from 2 degrees in the hallways, 20 degrees at my workplace, and 30 in the conference room.
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Bus advertising

Is it just me, or is her left arm very long and fitted with extra joints?
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Going to Yongsan, Seoul

Pocari Sweat is an isotonic energy drink, much like the stuff you can find in Sweden. It's a Japanese drink, has a weird name but I hear it's just because they think the sound is cool: "Pocari Sweat-u". The content description on the can assures that the level of transpiration from any animal is neglible. :-)

Yongsan station in Seoul has a huge movie theater where we had hoped to see Avatar 3D on an Imax screen. Unfortunately, the shows were all sold out. We'll try again.
Yongsan is also home to a huge electronic department store, but more about that some other time.
Instead, we had fantastic sushi! This picture shows "Toro" - "Fat belly tuna".
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White love in Lapland?

We are not the only ones who think faraway places are exotic...
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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meeting the Raj

I met Raj last summer in Suwon, he's working as an English teacher in Suwon. We went for a barbeque dinner near his place. Raj is a great guy and he's shown me around in town before. He's also very persuasive when it comes to soju. Soju is an alcoholic drink (traditionally made from rice) with an alco-strength of about 20%. We eventually downed more bottles than I want to admit. I felt like Roger Murtaugh - "I'm too old for this sh*t". :-)
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Korean barbeque (Galbi)

More Food pictures!!
I haven't posted any updates in a while, so that's why I am adding so many at once. These are from 2010-01-22, when Anders and I went for Korean Barbeque dinner at a restaurant just opposite our apartment building.

Korean BBQ can be fantastic, filled with fresh foods and tasty sauces. You grill the meat at your table, then dip it in different sauces, and broths, wrap it in a lettuce leaf which you then sink your teeth into. Fantastic!

It's pretty difficult to order if your waiter does not speak English. I still have not learned enough actual Korean words, but I have gotten a little grip on the alphabet. The topmost row says "Galbi sal, 14,000",
which should be enough to say to the waiter who takes your order.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Japanese Noodle place

Across the street from Digital Empire, there is a lunch restaurant that specializes in Japanese style Noodles. You can find specialities from different areas around Japan.

Wayne, Anders, Sam and I went there for lunch on 2010-01-21, and the bottom-most picture shows what I ordered, Noodles with beef.
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Early bird needs coffee too

This is the interior of the coffee place "Sand & Food". As you can se, it's a cosy easy-going atmosphere. They even have some fuzzy animals to keep you company while you're coding on your work assignments! This day, 2010-01-21, I was at the office early, and since I hadn't yet got a key, I had to spend the time at the coffee place. The manager gave the wireless password, so I think this is not the last time.

Yes, I know I am still using the default desktop wallpaper. Guess my secret's out... :P
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Empire's Morning Angel

It's a little blurry, but this is the manager of "Sand & Food", the local espresso place in Digital Empire I, where our office is located. Almost every day here starts with a cup of her finest cappuchino. At 2700 Won (~20 SEK) it is a cheap way of kickstarting your day.
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What to have for lunch?

Korean lunch food is very good, once you get used to it. Most days, we have either pork cutlets (Don-kas), knife noodles (Kalguksu), or my current favourite: Fried rice with shrimp, Chinese style (Bokumbap).

Here's Anders with a special kind of pork, I think - the picture was taken 2010-01-19. I don't remember what Anders said it tasted like, but I know we haven't ordered it since. :-)
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Find the fish

Anders is making new friends in the fishmonger's at Home Plus.
Fish all the way from Norway! That has to be good!
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Monday, January 18, 2010

After work dinner

After a day at the office, it's nice to go out for dinner. Here's Jun, Anders, Wayne, and I having a little BBQ. The restaurant is just across the street from the office building, and the staff is very friendly. They also have western-style chairs which is very good. I find the traditional way of sitting on cushions on the floor a little uncomfortable.
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Traveling pics

Last blog updates was, as you no doubt noticed, all talk and no show. I have no excuse, other than I was running on vapor at the time. Anyway, here's a follup post with some pictures!

1. What an overcrowded security line looks like, right before the police arrived

2. Getting a little nervous now, considering my departure time was 13.30

3. There's still snow on the streets, and judging from the -5 degrees C, there will be for some time

4. The lovely ladies at Papa John's Pizza!

5. Slimy? Mudhole? My home this is! My housemate Anders will get to keep the master bedroom for a few weeks.

Traveling pleasures and pains

Saturday, 6.20 AM : Alarm clock rang. Someone pressed snooze, I don't know who.
6.29 AM : Alarm clock rang. I could have sworn it was the first time.

Taxi, Train to Malmö C. Train to Copenhagen was mysteriously cancelled for no apparent reason. Maybe Obama was making another visit.

10.45 AM : Liftoff for Paris, 20 minutes late but I am sure the schedules for connecting flights are designed with room for delays.

12:20ish PM: Landed in Paris, quite late. Boarding time for my next flight is 12:45 but If I can just quickly find my gate...

12:21 : Turned a corner to find 200 people ahead of me in line for security check. All flights were delayed, so most people were in the same situation.

12:50 : Feeling of joy as I cut ahead in line, since a guy had left his place in the line with just his carry-on-luggage to protect it. Haha! Björn for the Win!

12:55 : Just as I am about to take off my shoes, I hear the airport police shout "Evacuez, s'il vous plaït. Depeche-vous!" The very same piece of luggage was now seen as abandoned and a security-breach. Everybody out, and wait for 30 minutes. Major fail!

13:50 : After the situation is resolved, my luggage gets a thorough search, and I show up at the gate 20 minutes after departure time. I missed it. D'oh.

A couple of hours of work, movies and espresso later, I'm airborne. The flight is pretty uneventful. I had the Korean food, lots of movies, not enough drinks (I'll never fly Korean Air again), and a screaming little boy in the seat behind me. Still no 10000meter club membership.

Sunday, 15:30 (local time, UTC+8) : Finally, I am on Korean soil. I am really tired now, after 24 hrs on the road. Then a bus, then a taxi, and finally, at 18:00 I arrive, find the carefully placed keycard left by my housemate, and can sit down in my couch and relax a bit. First meal: Papa John's pizza. With pineapple. Yum yum! I took a picture of the pizza ladies, they giggled at the strange westerner. Life's good.

Friday, January 8, 2010

How to make an entrance

So, there it is, my first entry for 2010, and my first entry on this blog. I don't have time to make anything fancy in this one, I just want to say a warm welcome to anyone who might read it. This is my blog, my mouthpiece, my scene, my arena, on which I will let play out the upcoming drama of my life. I am heading to South Korea for a while, with work, and I will try to use this blog as a visual diary on what is going on in my life during my stay.

So my tickets are booked, I have my passport in order, my dictionaries are ready to be packed. All in all, I am getting ready to roll out. I still haven't really accepted the fact that, except for the odd week here and there, I might actually be away for a full year from home. I tell everyone how cool it's going to be, but privately, I hope that I will be able to keep in touch with my friends, and loved ones here. I spent almost 3 months in Korea last summer, but this will be different. Still, I am looking forward to the adventure of a new place, new job (kind of), and new opportunities to explore a country and meet new people.