First off, a big apology to all of those that read that last blog entry. Apparently I did not properly log out of my blog correctly on Monday so some of my coworkers took the liberty to go in and make some minor changes to my Author and The Blog pages. Then they uploaded a new post. I was think about leaving it up to give you all a taste of their sense of humor but it was kind of annoying me each time I saw it and the graphic depiction of death and lack of remorse might shake the sensibilities of some of my family members who read this. Definitely got some concerned emails…

I would have taken it down but they also changed the email address and password thus effectively locking me out. Very effective on their part. Needless to say I was not as amused as they were, I’m more of a laugh with you or well-meaning shit-talking amongst friends king of guy. Not the real laughing as group at one member in particular variety. Enough about that though and back to the positive vibrations playing out here during the Chuseok holiday!

The main events were two shows and one epic hiking trip up in the mountains. The first show on Friday night was a fairly uneventful local show of a rock duo (guitar & drums) and a progressive jazz trio (bass, keyboard & drums). There were probably only 8 other people there and I was the only foreigner in attendance so was definitely an intimate showing. Saturday night Gold Panda put on an epic show in Seoul. First band from abroad I’ve seen in my time as a resident here and they definitely brought the epic tunes with them from NY. The show was at Rolling Hall which is definitely the most legitimate venue I have been to here. The occupancy seemed like anywhere from 3 to 4 hundred. Felt like every hipster in Seoul was in attendance. Lots of dancing and running into recently acquired fans made for a great evening!

Sunday was just some festivities around the foreign district with my coworker from DC and watching a little of the Ireland vs. US in the World Cup for rugby. Later that evening we attended a Chuseok party thrown at a small house overlooking the Itaewon are near Namsan tower. The Korean and German guys hosting the shindig were outstanding hosts and a bevy of food was offered, much cooked on the barbecue on the grill outside. A large hookah offered a various assortment of shisha to partake in.

Tuesday was the end of my 4 day workweek so I celebrated by hitting up the mountain (Bukhansan) with my friends who are a couple that attended the same university I did. The weather was great and even though there were trove of people trekking up the mountain the holiday enthusiasm made for beaming smiles and a jovial atmosphere on the peaks. This marks a full month of me hitting up the mountains for multiple kilometer hikes and I couldn’t be happier. My skin is the olive tone I appreciate, my energy level is higher and I feel great overall! Highly encourage anyone who has some high altitude topography nearby to get out there and enjoy it this fall. My condition is strong.

Standing tall on a mountain!

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First full paycheck is in the bank! Last week I received my ARC (Alien Registration Card) which is kind of like a green card in South Korea and was able to open up a bank account. Now I just need to register my cell phone and I’m back on the grid! Being without a cell phone, car, bank account or computer for a month and a half was a rather surreal time, haha.

This last weekend was uneventful for the most part but quite enjoyable. Friday night I stayed in Daelim with some of the coworkers. The guys all met up at the indoor screen golf establishment across the street from our apartment building. Screen golf is interesting, I mean it’s definitely not the real deal and the fake plants and piped in birdsongs add a certain faux chesseyness to it but all in all I was kind of impressed. I was allowed to bring in a cheese pizza from the local “Pizza School” (much more tolerable if you add fake bacon bits, oregano, hot sauce and garlic powder) and some Chongha (kind of like Soju but less alcoholic and not as harsh tasting). I didn’t play this eighteen but enjoyed the spectating and smack talking. A pyramid of empty Cass cans at the end of the night was our testament to not worrying about crashing the cart.

Using my paycheck I was able to pay for two epic upcoming events in the next month. The first of these is the Boryeong Mud Festival on the South East Coast here in Seoul. Featuring tons of mud-wrestling, jousting and the like it draws a rowdy crowd of foreigners and Korean for one outstanding weekend of debauchery. I’m going with my coworkers and we reserved a package with a group that is renting out a ton of buses with complimentary beers and has reserved three entire hotels just for people who are part of their group. $100 bucks seemed like a score for the accommodations and busing.

Fingers crossed for sunshine.

This was until my coworker totally outdid herself by making the travel and housing arrangements for Summer vacation. Four of us are traveling down to Busan mid-week of our on week vacation in August. For the total cost of $179 we are taking the KTX (traveling at over 300+ km per hour it is the second fastest train on the planet) and staying at a swanky hotel the first night (Tuesday). The next two nights we have a sweet guest house with full amenities and four bunk beds right near the beach for easy access. The ride back will be a little longer in the commuter train but I know I’ll be so tired it won’t even register past my earphone aided power/recovery nap on Friday back to Seoul.

Add onto all this that I moved apartments on Sunday from the lowly fourth four surrounded by Koreans to the 7th floor which is all SLP employees. I managed to luck out with this because the previous tenant left a ton of stuff which I will definitely utilize in my time here. Now I just need to get over to the lighting store and get some paper lanterns to add a little ambience to the place. Once I have it outfitted to my taste I’ll post some pictures. Until then enjoy this video courtesy of Gold Panda.

http://pitchfork.com/tv/#/music-videos/970-gold-panda/