Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rock Star Party

So the Scavenger Hunt was last Saturday, and this Saturday we had a Rock Star party (we can't get enough of costumes!) at a local hotel. None of our apartments are that big, and we don't all live close together so it's easier (and nicer) to just pitch in $20 each for a nice hotel room (actually it's a suite, with kitchen, living room, etc) for a fun night. We end up spending less than we would going out anyway. So we decided to have a theme and come in costume. I was Madonna (circa "Blonde Ambition tour") so I made some cones to put over my boobs and I had a platinum blonde wig. BTW, I do NOT look good as a blonde. Geoff was a sort of Kid Rock/Aerosmith early 90's rocker, Nicole was Anna Matronic from the Scissor Sisters, Gilles was a punk...and some people were lame and didn't dress up. No Rockstar party is complete without noraebang (singing room) so of course we ended up there!! Here are some funny pictures.

Scavenger Hunt

Last Saturday a Canadian-themed bar called "Rocky Mountain Tavern" put together a scavenger hunt for their patrons. My friends and I go there every Monday night to play trivia and poker so a couple weeks ago we noticed that this would be going on and signed up. There were 5 of us on each team, and I think about 8-10 teams participated. Wearing costumes was optional but our team wanted to dress up so we were superheroes (ones that we made up). We were given a list of 50 tasks with 3 hours to finish them. We were restricted to a certain neighborhood, which was pretty busy on a Saturday afternoon, so we got some stares running around in our costumes, that's for sure! We were allowed to be creative and interpret the tasks in different ways, but we had to take pictures on a digital camera with our whole team in the picture to prove that we did them. Some examples of the tasks are "Ride a horse" (we found an antique store with a stone horse that we rode), "have some hair waxed professionally", "drive a bus", "take a bath", "get a hotel room key", "sing a group song and pan handle for change in front of the subway station", high five a hooker, have a shot at the bar that hates Santa Claus (there is a bar in that neighborhood called "Scrooge"), collect the home country flags from the people on your team (we had Canada, USA and Korea), get measured for a suit or dress by a professional tailor, take over cooking duties for a street food vendor....and et cetera. I'd really love to list all the tasks because they were all so cool and unique. We were certainly a site to see running around town in our superhero costumes asking things like "could you let us drive your bus, and can we get a picture of it?" I was utterly amazed at how accomodating people were. We only had one Korean on our team, so she was pretty much the official translator!
It was such an awesome time, I can't even tell you. I've never done anything like that, and we really had to use our brains together to get these tasks done in only 3 hours. I felt like I was on the Amazing Race or something. Each task was assigned a point value, so we sort of prioritized that way. There were some that we couldn't get done (because of time constraints or we just had no idea what to do for the task) but we felt like our team did pretty well overall. When the bartenders finished scoring (going through the pictures and checking off what each team did), we found out our team was just 5 points behind 2nd place! Even though we didn't win the scavenger hunt, we won a prize for best costumes!! That day will go down in Shannon history. All the pictures had to be on one digital camera, so I'll be sure to post some after my teammate sends them out!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Going to Japan....again!

Ok, so I couldn't let my 6 day October break come and go without leaving the Nicole and I are going to go to Japan! (Nicole is my friend who visited me in March and decided to come back here to teach. She arrived 2 weeks ago). This time, instead of going to Tokyo, we're going to fly into Hiroshima, stay there for a couple days, then travel to nearby Kyoto, stay there for 2 nights, and spend one night in Osaka. We've already booked our flights and hotels.
Chuseok (a sort of Korean Thanksgiving, when everyone goes home to their families or travels)is why I have this break, but because everyone in Korea has off work, flights to everywhere in Southeast Asia are at peak prices. Lucky for my pocketbook, many Koreans don't want to go to Japan, as there are still some hard feelings about the 50 or so years that Japan colonized Korea in the early 1900's.
In Hiroshima we're staying at this place called the "World Friendship Center", which is run by antinuclear activists. They give free guided tours of the nearby Peace Memorial Park, and they also set up meetings between their guests and A-bomb survivors. Nicole and I are going to try to do that.
Fall is one of the best times to go to Japan because the weather and the colors will be beautiful. 2 weeks away!! Yipee!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sommerset Palace

For the second time since I've been here, a bunch of friends and I decided to rent a hotel room in Seoul for a night to party. (the first time was for the World Cup) It's nice because when split among 12 or more people, it only comes to about $20/head. We stayed in absolute luxury this time. It was a "residence" rather than a hotel, so people usually do long-term stays there. It had a kitchen, living room, dining room, 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It was amazing. The best part was a rooftop garden, swimming pool and 3 jacuzzis! It was great! We got to enjoy them for awhile before it started to downpour for a few hours. We ordered in (Chinese food, which is waaaay different than American Chinese food) and by then it had stopped raining so we went up to the roof again and hung around outside (and it the pool until about 2 am). I got eaten alive by mosquitos. Little did I know that Korean mosquitos like American blood.....We went back down to our room and proceeded to play poker and another card game called "Inbetween" until dawn. I finally crashed around 6 a.m., but the guys decided to continue the game until it got ugly (over $200 in the pot!) Glad I went to sleep when I did....and of course we had the obligatory hotel pillow fight. Those crazy Koreans. Ok, so it was our idea.