Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Curtis' Birthday

This was a couple of weekends ago but I've been busy (and a little sick) so that's why I didn't write about it sooner. It was a two day extravaganza in Bundang. We started by having dinner at Outback and Curtis was serenaded by the lovely employees. I took a video that everyone should watch. Funny! Then we hung out at their house playing cards, other games and Wii.
We had a delicious ice cream cake and I supplied the authentic cherry whiskey that I have been saving for a special occasion. Well, I supplied half a bottle anyway. Hahah. It was nice to have cherry whiskey paralyzers for a change. Other Saturday night highlights included Dave's experiments with dry ice (from the ice cream cake- was keeping it cold on the way home), Curtis' crazy sheep pillow from Jinnie and Matt and Dave's limbo battle.
The next day we all went to Seoul Grand Park to check out the zoo. It was a surprise for Curtis and the weather was beautiful. The zoo was cool and excellent but again I am reminded how differently people view animals out here. They aren't really looked at as living creatures as much as tools- whether they are used for work or entertainment purposes. My friend Eddie commented that he often feels like he's stepped back in time a few decades when he's in Korea and I think this is a situation where that's a really accurate assessment. The way the monkeys, in particular, were treated made me feel a bit ill. The inside cages were pretty filthy and children and adults were throwing them all sorts of crap from straws, to cookies, to hard candy.

It wasn't all depressing though. I had a temporary bout of insanity and decided to be brave and face my snake fears. This was a ridiculous idea. There is a reason why snakes are scary- they are creepy and evil. Maybe I don't look scared in that picture but trust me, I am barely holding it together. Moments before that the snake handler smacked me in the face with the snake wrapping it around my neck. After he removed it I had a mini panic attack for the next several minutes. I don't plan on doing that again.
Other things were just amusing, like seeing coyotes, foxes, beavers and raccoons on display at the zoo. Or being able to buy beer and walk around drinking it at the zoo.

Perhaps my favorite moment of the day was when a group of small girls stopped dead in their tracks, tiny Korean mouths agape, and pointed directly at me and shouted "Waegukin!!!!". That's means foreigner in case you don't speak Korean. I reacted without thinking and immediately pointed and shouted "KOREAN!" at them. I mean, come on, we're in a ZOO and I'm the most astounding and interesting thing you've seen?

Anyway, it was a fantastic weekend, spent with lots of great friends. Blogger is being a pain with pictures so I really recommend you go here and look at the rest of them.


Elaine said...

We're stars in Your Blog! :-) Ah, I wanted beer, there was beer, let's buy beer! I'm excited when I think of the snakes as I was always indifferent (as I've never seen any so close before and didn't think I ever would), now I'm hoping if I ever encounter another one I don't get scared and I've warded off potential fear. I was secretly pleased that John (or any of the guys for that matter!) didn't venture forth for the Snake Experience, I think we did good!

ambearo said...

I also thought it was interesting that none of the guys lined up to pose with the snake. I still don't intend to do it again. Hahah! But at least I have the proof that shows I was once brave enough to do it.