Thursday, September 23, 2010

JAPAN trip!!!

I just got back from Japan last night! it was an awesome trip!! We flew to Osaka and spent the first 2 days at our friend Asami's( a japanese girl who we met in Korea) house. To my surprise japanese people ride bikes everywhere!! it reminded me of holland! They bike to the subway, grocery store and school etc. The city is in a huge flat valley with mountains on the side so there are basically no hills to bike up. I travelled with my friend Allan who is also an English teacher here in Yongin. Friday night we arrived and then we borrowed some bikes from Asami's house to go explore her area. We also ate the best ramen I have ever had in my life! Saturday we met Asami's friend Chikako and went hiking up a 900m mountain! Asami and Chikako were really good hikers and the whole course took about 6 hours. At the top we ate japanese lunch boxes that had fish, rice and vegetables. After that we went to this small town called Arima and which is famous for hot springs! We went to the hot springs ate dinner and rode a bus back to Asami's place. Sunday we went to Osaka with Asami and her friend Yuko to go sight seeing. We saw a lot of really impressive temples there and Asami's friend Yuko is really cool. Then at 11pm we rode a bus from Kyoto to Tokyo. We slept on the bus and arrived at Tokyo at 7am on Monday! After dropping our stuff off at the hostel we bought and all day subway ticket and went sight seeing all day. I'm not very good at sleeping on busses and I was tired the whole day! Tuesday we met Asami's friend Mi Na Ae who is living in Tokyo and trying to become an actor! We rented bikes and went around to lots of famous temples and parks around tokyo which was really fun but I don't really like bikign with so many people around its stressful! That evening we met 2 korean people that were also staying in our hostel! one of which is also from Yongin!!!! It was a funny connection and they were both really cool. Wednesday we met our friend Kazuki (a japanese guy who we met in Korea) He is working in Yoko hama which is near Tokyo. We went to an awesome hot springs where they had kimonos for you to wear! After that we went to this japanese TV station and they had a lot of displays about famous japanese TV shows including my favorite television program of all time Dragon Ball Z. When I was in Elementary and middle school I was basically obsessed with Dragaon Ball Z so it was really cool to see all the Dragon Ball stuff and displays for me! After dinner we got back on the midnight bus back to Asami's house!!! The last day we rested at Asami's house and spent the rest of our money buying presents. Now I am back in Korea at school making lesson plans and its gotten pretty cold since I left. It was an awesome trip!! Thanks to Asami and Kazuki and all of our new japanese friends for making it so fun and memorable.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the most epic bike ride i have ever done!

Last sunday was my Suwon Alpha club's big ride for the year. It's called the 5 mountain tour its a 180km road ride. We left saturday afternoon and took a bus out to the Sokcho city on the East coast of Korea. We at raw fish for dinner(which was really good) and then I had to sing in Korean on our tour bus while we drove to our condo!! (the bus had a karaoke machine on it)!! We got up at 3am to start the ride at 4!!!! It was pitch black the whole way up the first climb and we literally didn't see any cars!! There were 35 of us from the club riding! It was also pouring rain and about 60 degrees at teh top of the mountains!! Not fun going down! I was super cold because I forgoet my rainjacket so I bought a poncho at a convenience store and felt a lot better after that. Anyway the total ride time was 9 hours!!! with 2 stops for meals in the middle (one of which was unlimited beef rib soup) The ride was really pretty. There were lots of water falls but it would have been a lot better if it was clear because we were riding in the clouds most of the time. My butt was pretty sore by the end of the ride. Also we all road mountian bikes not road bikes because most people in korea only have MTBs so we put slick mtb tires on for this ride. At the end of the ride we all went out and had korean barbeque then slept on the bus and got home at midnight on sunday night!! This week has also been fun and Im going on a trip to Japan tomorrow for 7 days!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Winning a bike race! ($500) and Making a new life goal

Last weekend was another good one!!! I had a bike race on Sunday east of seoul. It was a perfect course for me 5km with 6 corners and a 1 mile brick/cobble section and totally flat! I entered the mtb road category because my road bike has a broken spoke but the prizes were the same for both groups. anyway I crashed on the start line because I mishiffted and my chain fell of and got some nice road rash on my leg and arm. I got up and caught up to the pack after a few minutes of chasing and sat in until the sprint. My teammate kept the pace high the last 2km and I started my sprint with 300m to go to take the win and 500,000 won!!! (about $500). Im happy to take my second win of the season especially after not winning any races for basically 2 years before this. Im really pleased with my new team and was happy to prove my worth to them by winning this one. The team has a lot of good climbers but not a sprinter so Im happy I can fill that role.
In other news I decided that I want to get an MBA. This is something I kind of thought I would eventually do since high school and while I like teaching english I really want to get into business (I'm thinking international trade or marketing) so that I can have a more interesting and challenging job. I think I will apply next fall and start in fall of 2011. If you have any advice or suggestions let me know. I plan to teach here in Yangji until next September when my contract is up and then I hope to get a job at a company (basically doing something other than teaching english to kids) for a year so I can get some more experience before starting the MBA.
Up for this week is and MBA fair in seoul on Thursday (I hope to get some advice about what else my resume needs and get some ideas for schools I'd like to apply for) and Sunday is the Suwon alpha club(my korean club/bike shop)'s big ride of the year 40 of us will ride 180km over 5 mountain passes (each of which is about 10 miles long or more!) And we are doing it on mtbs with slick tires should be a fun ride.