Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Joys of the Cold Season

Ok. I have no real excuse. I was planning on telling you why I haven't written a blog entry in months. My idea was to tell you that I'm simply far too busy editing pictures from my friends' wedding. Also I would tell you that I am swamped with a huge build up of pictures from the past several months of travelling Korea. I would also tell you that I am so busy enjoying my first real snowboarding season, that barely anything else manages to penetrate my mind other than thoughts of flying down slopes at fantastic speeds and throwing myself at rails and grindboxes. And I would tell you that I am swamped with a huge amount of work from my 3 different schools...

And these things would all be true. Ok, maybe the last one is a lie. But I have been neck deep with images from all sorts of trips and I have been having a right whale of a time enjoying the slopes at 현대성우리오트 (Hyundai Sungwoo Resort). But too be totally honest, none of those are any real excuses for not putting some effort into the blog. So here's another entry, albeit a short one ;)

So, as some people may have noticed, we're sitting pretty much in the thick of winter. The skies are no longer boasting a proud blue colour, bespeckled with the odd cloud, no, they are no far more reminiscent of days gone by that are not as cheery and upbeat. The average sky has become one of grey and white monotony. Overcast weather is the usual order of the day. We do get the occasional blue sky, but they have become more of a rarity than during the sweaty, hot summer months.

The temperatures have also made themselves more known. In the last 2 weeks the temperatures here in Wonju have dropped down below -15 degrees several times, once or twice even dipping below -20. To a couple from 'Sunny South Africa', where winter temperatures reach 0 degrees at 3 in the morning (on occasion), these temperatures are beyond absurd. Being somewhat resilient we have managed to adjust and have also found the brighter and more fun side of winter. The one thing we have both down is to get ourselves season passes to one of the local ski resorts. This being Korea, we even got a 'couples discount'. Yes, that exists.

The other thing we did just recently is to go back to one of our favourite haunts, Wonju Tattoo Stadium. This is the same arena that has hosted all sorts of events ranging from farmer's markets to the International Marching Band Festival. This time around, however our arena has been converted into an ice rink.

It took about 2 months of preparation and waiting for the temperatures to drop significantly, but we now have our own outdoor ice skating rink.

We decided to go a couple of weeks ago with some friends. We did our duties of arriving on time, and headed off to the renting counter. Claudia had no issues securing a pair of skates in her size, but when my turn came around to ask for skates in my size, I got the unfortunate reply of "Eobso-yo", which roughly translated means: " They do not exist here," so no. I asked for the biggest size they had, and with a few small 'ohhs and ahhs' managed to squeeze my yeti sized walkers into the skates.

Next on the agenda: have fun. Fun was something we found in heaps. It was lying all over the ice rink, scattered like wondeful little pieces of happiness....*^-^*

After about an hour we all figured we wouldn't make it as professional, or even as horribly bad beginners, so we retired ourselves. I cannot speak for the others, but I think this may well have been my first and last ice skating experience in Wonju. As great as it was, my feet both have to big scabs on them, where my skin was rubbed raw by the under sized, malfitting ice skates.

All in all a fantastic amount of fun, and definitely something to recommend to friends. So anyone who's reading this, feel free to head on over to our neck of the woods and join us (or Claudia, at least) for a happy-happy round of ice skating!

Here are a few pics of this glorious occasion:

Claudia stoked, on the rink

Claudia again, this time doing here thing

Our friend Mike, receiving instruction from his girl, Aekyoung

A general view of the Wonju Tattoo ice rink

Post by Oliver


Anonymous said...

That's interesting down in Ulsan,the very south of south Korea, there are blue skies everyday even though it's freezing cold! I guess we're lucky!

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