Korea : Day 2 to 4
So far the trip has been a great experience . Thursday , Friday and this morning I’ve spent in the office helping with the teams Computing needs etc. Every morning I have to sign at the security gate at the shipyard and we go through this little procedure where they stick little stickers over your phone camera (both back and front) and then I have to fill in a form for my laptop. This form then gets checked by a separate guy to the phone guy, and the form is stamped 3 times with one stamp, and twice with a Separate stamp…..initialled a few times, then one half of the form torn off and given to me. This is my ‘clearance’ to take the laptop in.
Before I leave, I then have to get the team admin to get another form approved for me to take the laptop back out again. I have to take this other approval form , together with my form I got on the way in, and hand both over to the security guy at the gate and show him my laptop again. He thoroughly checks both forms and the serial number on my laptop, before giving me the nod that I can leave. It all quite exhausting to witness 😉
Once you are cleared to enter the ship yard I have to walk about 5-10mins to get to the office block. On the way you must stick to the marked walkways, staying between the yellow lines. However you must keep your wits about you as it’s like walking through a Giant’s world. Every thing is SO HUGE ! You really do feel like an ant walking around next to these huge bits of machinery , and the giant Tonka like vehicles moving around.
Last night we went for a team dinner at downtown Ulsan. We went to a fantastic Bulgogi Resturant. Bulgogi is a Korean dish that usually consists of grilled marinated beef. It’s traditionally grilled/BBQ’d at your table, and it is served with a side of lettuce or other leafy vegetable, which is used to wrap a slice of cooked meat, often along with a dab of ssamjang ( a thick spicy sauce), and then eaten together with a bunch of other side dishes. It was very tasty. Of course, there is always a traditional drink to follow…..and in Korea it is SoJu. It’s a clear spirit around. 20-30% vol. To be honest it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t as harsh as knocking back a vodka or tequila , but luckily we only had two shots each. There is also a tradition that goes along with social drinking in general….When receiving a glass, you must hold the glass with two hands (left palm on the bottom & hold the glass with right hand) . If you are pouring a glass for others, hold the bottle with your right hand and support your right arm with your left hand by touching its elbow. There are a few rules unique to Soju: you never pour your own glass, and don’t refill your glass until it’s empty.
Today, Saturday, we did 1/2 day in the office and left about midday. So this afternoon I went for a walk around the large park behind the hotel. It’s a lovely area with a lake and mountain behind and lots of hiking trails throughout. Along the outer path there were speakers tied to posts every 30meters or so, and they were piping out various western songs. At one point I caught Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ !! It was the most surreal experience 😉 Also, at key points were what looked like kids playground equipment , but I soon realised these were ‘exercise’ equipment for adults.
I started walking up hill and thought I’d get a good view back down over the city. As I ascended I passed a few Korean people obviously out hiking, a lot we quite old people, so I thought it can’t be that tough climbing to the top….so I continued going up…and up…and up. To be honest I did have to stop a few times to rest…..but these old people continued to appear. By the time I got to the top I was literally crawling on all fours. I was knackered and needed to rest, and stupidly I never took enough water, but what did I find at the top….another flipping exercise playground ! Who could possibly feel like exercising after that hike up ?!?! But of course …the old people were there exercising ! How they hell do they manage it ? 😉
I did have to laugh to myself at the big notice board up there showing step-by-step pictures of how to do mouth to mouth and CPR should someone have a heart attack. On seeing that I promptly left to head down, just in case I need to use it !