16 April, 2008

Blog Color

So the sky blue color sure didn't last very long. Probably no one even saw it unless you caught the right 15 minute window. It was cheerful, but it just wasn't right. Barring outrage from you, my faithful readers, I will leave it as it is now.

Back for now

Well, I lost the blog for about a week there. I'm very happy to see it back for now. As you can see, I've changed the color again. The response to the purple was so mixed I thought I'd go with something different. So I chose the color I wish the sky was right now instead of the pale yellow-grey it actually is.

I've also discovered that the way my blog is viewed on Morten's computer and the way it's viewed on mine is wildly different. All the editing and China blogs have been done on Morten's computer, but when I finally got mine hooked up to the internet last week, I found everything skewed and overlapping. I hope no one else was seeing it that way. I've made a few changes that are probably more balanced for everyone.

At the end of my time in Seoul, I realized I had quite a large collection of pictures of the Seoul horizon as taken from the balcony. Things are no different here, and I possibly find the Beijing view even more compelling. I can look down on the very distinct intersection of the 3rd Ring Road and Airport Expressway and see how traffic is progressing, I can check out the construction site in front of the window to see how it is progressing, I can check the visibility, and I can watch people scurrying across the roads, dodging cars and bicycles, or bicycles dodging cars and people, or cars trying their best not to have to yield to either people or bicycles. Here are a few pics from the new Beijing collection:

10 April, 2008

Jeju-do, Korea, February 28 - March 3

My last day of school--graduation day--was February 28. I showed up to discover that all of my kids had decided not to attend. Very disappointed and slightly bitter, I went to the graduation anyway. After school I went to my sewing class, and when I got home from that, Morten called from Jeju Island to say the weather was really nice, so why not book a flight ticket for the 29th to join him for the weekend? I checked into it, but the only tickets before the weekend was over left in an hour and a half on the night of the 28th. Being that Gimpo Airport itself was nearly an hour away, this seemed nearly impossible, not to mention the fact that I had begun to feel quite feverish. However, also feeling that this would be my last chance to see Jeju before leaving Korea, I literally threw a pile of laundry and toiletries into a suitcase, ran out the door, and crept through rush-hour traffic in a taxi to Gimpo. In a panic, I bought a ticket and started running for the gate only to realize I had nearly fifteen minutes to spare (!) which meant time to buy some much needed juice. Morten picked me up in Jeju, and we ended up having a great weekend touring beautiful Jeju-do in spite of my fever and lack of appetite.

05 April, 2008

New color poll

I think polls are fun, and for you viewers of my blog who like to remain anonymous, you can do just that yet still participate! Please try it out. I know I haven't been blogging very consistently in 2008, so hopefully I actually have some readers left.

International Ski Festival, Yongpyeong Resort Korea, February 15-17

For the second year in a row, we attended Korea's International Ski Festival. Since my school graduation last year prevented me from actually doing any snowboarding, I was excited to be involved in the full weekend of activities this year.

We arrived Friday night to prepare for a day on the slopes Saturday. When we were picking up our lift passes and banquet tickets, I met the Korean girlfriend of another Danish guy, and she told me she had signed up for the women's snowboard race. I thought that was pretty cool and asked her how many women had signed up. To protect my own image, I will not disclose exactly how many participants there actually were, but there were few enough to get me to consider entering the race myself in spite of a two year snowboaring hiatus. She finally convinced me to sign up, and I was issued a bib and race instructions.

Morten and I managed one gondola run before I had to go to the race start point. Though I had issues (to put it mildly) with the second gate due to extreme ice, I completed the rest of the course in good form.

The award ceremony took place at the Saturday night banquet. The Korean girl came in second, and I finished third. We had both decided to race for Denmark to boost their representation, and even though their only placers were American and Korean, they were very excited to have been recognized in the Alpine events. I did not realize, however, that I would be given a certificate on which I was declared as being from Denmark, and I apologize to any of my American family or friends who are offended by this lack of home-country patriotism--it was not a deliberate snub.

03 April, 2008

Gangwha Island, January 27th, Korea

I almost forgot about this day we went for a little drive out to Gangwha Island on the northwest coast of Korea. We started with some good BBQ then drove until we couldn't drive anymore. Being so close to North Korea, razor wire seemed to grow like vines along fences and roadways, and the road along the northern coast was heavily guarded and accessible by permit only, much to our disappointment. At one point we pulled to the side of the road to take some pictures. A motorcycle officer approached and slowed as if to speak to me through the passenger window. I pretended I didn't see him, so he caught Morten's attention. 'Are you American?' he asked. 'No,' Morten replied as he always does, and like the proudest Dane in the world, 'I'm from DENMARK!' Turns out the cop had actually worked in Denmark as an engineer for Siemens. He invited us down to his little police station for coffee and told us to come again for a tour. I shall end here as the power just went out.

Everland, February 6th, Lunar New Year

As Morten would probably rather watch paint dry than go to an amusement park, I knew my only chance of going to Everland during the Lunar holiday was a 'pretty please' and batting eyes. I think it was the angelic smile I finished with that swayed him. So anyway, on a sunny, freezing cold February day, we drove out to Korea's idea (rip-off?) of Disneyland for some childish fun. I had a grand old time, and Morten had a grand old time watching me act like a five year old on a sugar high.