MontanaRon

Just another ordinary English teacher eclectic expat blog about nothing in particular.

Month: March 2009

17 Dead in Butte Airplane Crash

I just read this on the internet. Click here for a report from CNN. I can’t remember the last time there was an airplane crash with this many deaths in the state. Tragic.

World Baseball Classic

It’s Sunday morning about 11 o’clock and I’m sitting in my apartment watching Korea play Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic semifinals. Korea is really whuppin’ the tar out of the Latino team, 7-0 in the top of the 2nd inning. Looks like the Koreans have this one well in hand. Tomorrow the U.S. plays against Japan, with the winner playing in the championship game against Korea. Unfortunately, I have to work tomorrow morning, when the game will be telecast here. I’ll be able to watch most of the championship game on Tuesday morning, since I have only one morning class that day.

Later, I have to go to Lotte Mart (a big WalMart-like chain store) to buy a couple of dumb bells (no snide comments please) to augment my weight training program. I’m only able to get to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays to use the weight machines there, so I’ll use the dumb bells at my apartment. (The gym is closed on the weekends.)

If I have time, I’ll try to put up a couple of Odong photos later today.

Yellow Dust Alert

Korea put up the first red flag alert of the season for yellow dust yesterday. This is an annual rite of spring on the peninsula caused by dust from the Gobi Desert in China blowing across the appropriately named Yellow Sea. I first wrote about this phenomenon back in 2005 while working in Andong. When I went jogging today it was still quite hazy, so I jogged on the treadmill in the gym instead of on the soccer field, where I usually go when the weather is nice–didn’t want to fill my lungs up with dust. When I jog I’m like an old steam locomotive, huffing and puffing away, sucking in air like a drowning man going down for the last time. Six older Korean ladies were out taking their daily walk around the field, and they all were wearing surgical masks. Click here for a photo of dust-enshrouded Seoul if you’re interested.

Good news about the jogging. A couple of my students from last semester saw me for the first time since the start of this semester and stopped to say hello. “Anderson, hello, you are sooooo thin. You have lost weight! (giggle-giggle)” (They’re girls, by the way.) Well, I haven’t felt like I’ve lost all that many pounds (and I haven’t), but of course their compliment made me feel good about my efforts, so I celebrated with a candy bar. 😀 More (candy?) later.

Spring

It looks like it’s finally here, at least in Yeosu. It was cold and rainy Thursday and Friday, but today we’ve had abundant sunshine and temperatures in the mid-fifties. I was walking around and noticed that some of the shrubbery and trees are starting to blossom, including, I think, some cherry blossoms. Hopefully, I can put away my winter clothes since this week highs are forecast to be in the mid-sixties. Sweet!

I actually DID go to Odong Island last weekend, and I have some new photos of the area. As soon as I get them processed, I’ll put a few of them up here.

I see that both Korea and Japan, as expected, advanced to the next round of the World Baseball Classic. The HUGE upset, of course, was the Dominican Republic getting eliminated by the Netherlands. I can imagine the folks back in the D.R. are still wondering what the heck happened. (NOTE: I just checked the Classic website in order to get the link to post here and I saw that Puerto Rico demolished the U.S. 11 to 1. Another upset coming up?)

My friend Nai got into another motorbike accident a few days back. Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt too badly, but he’s very upset that the other person involved, an 82-year old man, was injured and is in quite a bit of pain, so Nai tells me. It sounds like it was the older fellow’s fault. It seems he pedaled his bicycle against the light into traffic. Nai beeped his horn and put on the brakes, but he couldn’t get stopped in time to keep from knocking the guy off the bicycle and onto the road. Even though it wasn’t his fault, Nai is going to pay for the other person’s medicine until he gets back on his feet-a traditional show of respect for one’s elders, I guess. I’m really gonna have to try to get Nai to give up on motorbikes as much as possible. He always seems to be having trouble with them, one way or another. The bike he rides around on now is one that I helped him buy. I don’t think I want to help him buy another. He needs to get training wheels or something. More later.

Odong Island

I walked to Odongdo Island (do, pronounced dough, = island) last week, a round trip journey of about 9 miles or so. Including walking around on the small island itself and afterwards exploring Yeosu’s good-sized market area, I probably put in around 11 miles, all told, and my feet were feeling it. I had planned on taking a bus or taxi back to the university, but I decided that since I didn’t jog that morning, the extended walk would be good exercise. There is such a thing as overdoing it, though, so I didn’t jog the next morning. Good excuse, eh? 😉

The day was overcast, hazy and gray, which led to some rather flat, dull photos. The one below is representative of the batch that I took. This Saturday’s forecast is calling for sunny skies and warm temperatures, so I think I’ll return to the island for a reshoot. I’ll post some of the good (hopefully) shots here later.

Odongdo1

The new semester is in full swing. I’ve got some decent classes, and the kids seem very polite and eager to learn (most of them, anyway). The classes here are sorted according to what major the students are working toward, and I somehow got stuck teaching mostly engineering students, the vast majority of whom are 19-20 year-old guys. Out of around 100 students, only 5 are young ladies. Quite a disparity.

The Korean won continues its catastrophic plunge in relation to the dollar. I’m almost afraid to check out the daily exchange rates. Enough said about that for now. More later.

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