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KAIST/Korea Week 7 2008-07-29 to 2008-08-04



KAIST Week 7:

So the week started off with Bobby, my roommate, going to Seoul for a conference.  He was gone from Monday to Wednesday.  As luck would have it Mr. Choi, my KOSEF adviser, called and asked if I wanted to go out to dinner.  I had not seen Mr. Choi in a few weeks so I took him up on his offer.  He took me to a nice Japanese place in Daejeon.  The funny thing is that one of the dishes that we ordered was lomien.  The lomien tasted just like it does when you order it in the States.  It is amusing that the most American tasting food that I have had thus far was at a Japanese place.

Afterwards he brought me to a traditional Korean tea place.  This was yet another nice cultural experience for me because it was not just sitting down and drinking tea, there was a whole method to how you were to prepare the cups and what not.  It was really an interesting night.  I am glad that Mr. Choi invited me out.

 

Figure 1: (Left) I am preparing some traditional Korean tea in the traditional manor.  (Right) Mr. Choi waiting for me to prepare the tea correctly =-p

 

On Tuesday we received the new CNC lath.  We had to move all of the stuff out of one of the rooms to just fit it through the door and put it in the correct place.

 

Figure 2: Ingho and Arthur pushing the lath into place

 

Due to the fact that Dr. Oh, the one at KAIST not the one at Drexel, was in China chasing the solar eclipse it was vacation time for the lab.  In fact it was vacation time for most of the university as well.  Because of this most everyone was gone.  I am glad that I have my little mini Hubo setup because if I did not I would not have much to do.

On the bright side the fact that there were not a lot of people around meant that there was more time for video games.  I got a good amount of UT as well as StarCraft in with the guys.  In fact I won my first game against a Korean!!!  Well it was a team game but I did a cannon rush and took over the middle and that kept their forces apart so we could win.

 

Figure 3: Nobody here but us robots

 

I had spoken to Anna Tsykalova, from the Goon Squad, and it turns out that she is also in Korea on a Fulbright fellowship.  She is teaching English at a high school.  She had only been in Korea for about three weeks, and she had not been to Seoul yet.  Thus this weekend we met up in Seoul.  Now this was an ordeal to meet up.  You see Anna does not have a cell phone yet and she has never been to Seoul.  I had to explain directions as clearly as I could to her so she would get to our meeting place.  We agreed to meet at 3:00pm at a given subway stop at a given exit.  We did this via email.  She emails me two hours before and says that she can not make it at that time so we will have to meet at 4pm.  Now I was already on my way so I had to way to check my email to see if things had changed.  Thus I ended up waiting at the subway station for an hour and twenty minutes, she was 20 minutes late from her new time.  I was just happy that she got there safe and sound.  What did we ever do before cell phones?  I guess we just waited longer.

 

Figure 4: Me, Bobby, and, Pedro in front of the stop where I was to meet Anna.  The building behind me is Namdaemun

 

So after we got Anna in our clutches safe and sound we met up with a few other people, i.e. Corey, his GF, and Meejin, and all went out to dinner.  We had chosen a chicken place to meet at.  This is where we were going to eat.  The thing is Meejin gave Corey really bad directions.  She even used a Starbucks as a landmark.  In a world where there tend to be Starbucks across the street from Starbucks, that was a bad move.  Thus they ended up walking in the wrong direction and to add to that it was raining.  Corey, as always, had a smile on his face but I am sure wanted to damage Meejin.

 

Figure 5: (Left) Meejin trying to hide from Corey.  (Right) Corey getting in from his long wet journey.

 

After dinner we all wanted some dissert so we went to Meejin’s favorite place, Red Mango.  They serve some froze treats and frozen yogurts and what not.  It was good.  There is a wall that you can write on.  Because there was a wall that we could write on we wrote on it.

 

Figure 6: (Left) Meejin being embarrassed when writing on the wall.  (Right) Anna writing her normal “Wurble?”

 

Because it is Mommadet’s birthday soon, i.e. August 8th, I decided to draw a cake for her.  Even thought it was not the 8th yet I decided to just write it as a message from the future and gave it the data 2008-08-08 any way.

 

Figure 7: Birthday cake for Mommadet.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

 

Later on we went out for Karaoke and then went to a pub.  One of the guys that we were with JH, he was one of Pedro’s friends that he met at a conference, got us a Whiskey Beer Bomb.  It is just bad beer with whiskey.  It was one of the best bombs that I have ever had in my life.  The whiskey really adds a better flavor to the bad beer.

 

Figure 8: Meejin and Me in Seoul

 

When we were leaving one of the clubs we were at, it was about 4:30am, and we had lost Pedro.  He was no where to be found.  We figured that he would be ok because he had a card that said where his hotel was and plenty of money.  Thus after about 20 minutes of looking for him we gave up and went on our way.  The rest of the night was well a Jawarasky night.  This means that we did not leave the clubs until about 7:30am and did not even get back to his apartment until about 9:30am.  It was a long night.

The next morning we did hear from Pedro, he was alive and well.  He had stumbled out of the club to go get some food and forgot where the club was.

The next day, or shall I say that same day just at about Noon, I met up with Anna and Meejin.  Meejin was kind enough to take in Anna for the night.  We went to a few historical places and got some tours, you know more touristy stuff.  The more shopping!!!

 

Figure 9: Bobby and I in front of one of the palaces

 

Figure 10: Bobby wanting to touch the blob

 

The scary thing was that when we were on our way to the palaces we had Anna with us.  We rushed to get on the metro and Anna was not fast enough and she was the only one who did not make it.  We ended up losing her for about an hour or so.  This was the second person I had lost in the past 24 hours.  People should get cell phones.

 

Now that it is my last week here in Korea a few people from the lab took me out for some soju and food.  I figured that this was the perfect opportunity for them to try the beer that I brought with me Dogfish Head Fort.

 

Figure 11: Giving out some wonderful Dogfish Head Fort to some of my lab mates

 

IngHo was afraid to try it at first because it was 18% APV.  He did try it and he liked it.  They were all surprised at how tasty a beer could be.  It is a far cry from the Cass, Hite, OB, and Max that they have here in Korea.

That same night they gave me some meel worms to eat.  I tend to eat everything thus yet again they were surprised when I tried one, and then ate more.

 

Figure 12: Eating some meel worms

 

So now I only have one week left.  I will miss this place but I will be happy to get back home.  I have plenty of work to do when I get back, i.e. pack and move.  I believe that there will still be one or two more Korean blogs so stay tuned.