Am-nam Park

Sometimes we wake up on Saturday morning with the best of intentions. Ambitious plans are always made, but sometimes, we’re bested by fate. And by ‘fate’ I mean ‘friends,’ ‘laziness,’ or ‘beer.’ Last weekend, however, we were successful. THE PLAN: Quest to Am-nam Park, on the tip of Busan’s western peninsulas.

Right from the start, the auspices were good: we caught the bus as soon as we got to Nampo-dong (meeting point), and met Alex and Patrick within minutes of arrival. Tom was to come later with Steve and Nikki, but this wasn’t a problem.

None of us had dressed warmly enough, so off we went to pick up cheap clothes on the streets of Nampo. Allie and Alex got matching sweaters, and Patrick got a hoodie. I didn’t get anything because I’m tough. We met everyone and took the bus down (again, without waiting long) to Am-nam.

Anyway, it was a great day. The rest of Busan seemed to be windy Chicago-style, but for some reason it wasn’t
windy at all at the park. The rocks were beautiful, but amidst skipping to and fro, I fell in the water and got a wet foot (see picture). Note: if you ever get your leg wet in some freezing water, take off your sock. It’ll be much warmer.

What else? Hmm… we climbed a tree too. Then everyone went bowling, but I had to go to work. So I didn’t go. But it’s okay, because I ate the most delicious kebab in the world from a new street vendor. Take that, “friends!”



One Random Night

Saturday night! We went for a hike in Amnam park (those pics to come later after we get them developed) and then it was off to Kino Eye to watch Man U vs Man City and hang out. The cast: Patrick, Alex, Steve, Nikki, Tom, some weird people we met, and of course, Allie and I. As if we wouldn’t be there.

There was a rather… charismatic guy floating around from table to table who introduced himself as Eric. He was fond of Tom. This was before he took his coat off and was dancing around with reckless abandon. But Eric wasn’t the only one who was into Tom this night…








All sorts of other stuff happened too, of course. Here are some pics:

Alex, Allie, Nikki:

Allie and Nikki:

Nikki and Steve:

Alex and Allie:

The bar even had a strange lion/Inter/Milan foosball table. Whoa, hey!

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, Man U won the game thanks to a brilliant Wayne Rooney strike. I highly suggest checking it out.

A couple more from Muju

We got one of our rolls of film developed from our Fisheye camera.

MUJU Ski Getaway

Lunar New Year brought us three days of freedom! Woo! We went to Muju Resort for 4 days with a zany cast of characters: Alex, Patrick, Tom, Heather and Shannon. Allie’s co-workers, Julia and Rebecca were also there, but they just didn’t stay in our room with us.

(Picture L-to-R: Heather, Allie, Julia, Tom, Patrick, Alex)

Our room was “Korean-style” room, which we knew meant that it didn’t have any beds. What we didn’t know, though, was that “Korean-style” also meant that it was 112 degrees in there, and the “thermostat” was just a dial on the wall with no numbers. We didn’t know which way to turn it, so that first night was a sweaty, uncomfortable hot mess. That’s why they call me Mr. Fahrenheit. By trial and error, we figured out the right way to turn it, and eventually all was well.

Skiing-wise, we rocked. Allie and I hadn’t skied in YEARS, (like 13 years for me and 8 for Allie) so we were slightly apprehensive. The last three years, we’ve tried to learn how to snowboard, but in going one day per year, our progress was sluggish at best. Much to our delight, we flew down with no problems right from the start. On Wednesday and Thursday, the runs were PERFECT with

few people. On Friday and Saturday though, the slopes were PACKED. We asked our resident Snowboard Ninja, Patrick, who hails from Colorado, if Keystone/Vail/Breckenridge/Beaver Creek were ever that crowded, and he said “no, most definitely, no.”

Anyway, it was a fantastic weekend with great weather, lots of beer, and sprinklings of saunas and spas. And buses at 5am.

(the picture on the right was taken by Patrick Mowat).

The view on the way up to the top:

Allie and I on the lift:

Us! L-to-R: me, Allie, Alex, Patrick Tom (photo taken by a nice Korean lady, with Patrick’s camera):

The Resort:


The Cameras of our Lives

“You can tell a lot about a person by looking at what camera they use” – George Washington*

I’ve always loved that quote from our first president,* mostly because it’s so true. I certainly don’t have the patience to learn how to use a big DSLR camera. ‘Aperture?’ More like ‘Lame-perture.’**

Anyway, a few years ago, Allie introduced me to the world of LOMOGRAPHY, and it’s pretty delicious. The cameras each have a different function, they’re everywhere in Korea, they’re (relatively) cheap, and the pictures are unpredictable. My favorite part about using film cameras is the ‘tactile’ experience of it. You get your film, take it to a developer (which are a little hard to find these days), wait around anxiously for the hour it takes to get developed, and then excitedly look at your 36 exposures, half of which are crappy, but half of which are awesome, making the whole process, for lack of a better word, fantastic.

We also utilize a polaroid camera (well, actually it’s a Fuji), which is fun too. The only thing that’s oppressive is the cost of film. 15 bucks for 10 pictures. Who am I… Roman Abramovich?***

Anyway, the funky pictures on this site are from Lomo cameras. If I get a hold of them first, I just post them. If Allie gets a hold of them first, she edits them, and does a damn good job. (To see Allie’s pictures, click the link on the top of the page!)

*Not really a quote by George Washington
**I have a lot of respect and love for my photographer friends. I assure you, in reality, I love apertures.
***I’m not. (if you don’t know who he is… he’s big in the oil industry and he’s the owner of Chelsea FC)

Camera x9

Korea has tons of cameras readily available EVERYwhere. So Allie and I have bought about eight (more like four) Lomography cameras since we’ve been here. We actually got this one from Alex and Patrick for Christmas, but I finally got it developed just now… pretty sweet. Here are just a couple from the set. More to come, though. 

Spotted: Michael E/Kenny Rogers

I saw this karaoke place at Pusan Nat’l University the other day…

Apparently, my uncle Michael owns a Karaoke bar in Busan! Why wasn’t I notified earlier?!?