I ventured down to the southern end of Korea this weekend to Busan. The goal was to at least make it to the fish market of which Busan is known for. It was wet and smelly and really awesome! I had never seen so many fish in a market. The same day I also made it to Hae Dong Yung Gong Temple which is sort of on a cliff overlooking the water. Many of the temples here look very similar, but there is always something new to discover at each one. This one had everything from Chinese Zodiac statues to mini buddha figurines.
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In effort to summon even more surprise, the lovely ladies of Surprise Industries cooked up yet another adventure for 52’s Boston base.
And it involved swords. And dedicated sword play.
The wonderful crew of Gymnasium filmed AND cut footage for our blog community.
Anyone up for avenging honor, et al?42.347618 -71.100288
Several of the adventures on my list have nothing to do with risk or excitement – they’re just about trying something new. Today I made my own laundry soap (and will find out in a couple of days how well it works!). If anyone else is interested, I found super easy instructions at The Simple Dollar. The nice thing is that I refilled plastic detergent jugs, so that’s a little less packaging to go into the landfill!
While I was in the make-it-yourself mode (and looking at the basil plants on my back deck), I decided not only to make fresh pesto, but to try my hand at making fettuccine from scratch. No pasta machine? No problem! I rolled the dough out and used a pizza cutter to cut the noodles; then I hung the pasta over a couple of plastic coat hangers to dry. I have to say that dinner was a success – especially after adding a glass of chilled Pinot Grigio!
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I’ve never been much of a soccer fan. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a soccer game. This past Saturday, Korea played Greece in a World Cup game. I was informed that Korea goes all out for soccer especially for World Cup games, so I had to join in the festivities. I ventured to a street fest, where thousands of fans gathered in front of 3 big screens to watch the game. There was a sea of red everywhere I looked on that day. Getting off the subway and out of the station was an accomplishment. It was packed. Despite some rain, I gathered with the other fans to watch the game. Everywhere you looked you saw red shirts, red ponchos, red devil ears (Red Devil is the Mascot), and even red afros. It was great. Happily, Korea won! The crowd went crazy. The camaraderie was like nothing I had never seen before.
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Habitat for Humanity #6/52
I stopped by Habitat for Humanity’s “Women Build” display earlier this year, when I was looking for opportunities to volunteer in a meaningful way. During Memorial Day weekend, I was able to join a crew of other women in working on a quadriplex; my part involved helping install windows and window trim. I was also able to assist the crew foreman in marking chalk lines for the siding. We began the day before 9 am and worked through until about 2 pm…at which time there was a birthday party for one of the volunteers. Obviously, I picked a good day to work!
I already knew how to use a hammer, of course, but the nail gun – now that’s power! (And kind of fun…they nearly had to pry it out of my hands! ) While I was working on windows, other crews worked on framing.
I’ll be back this week to help put siding on the house, and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve met a couple of the partner families, as well as some wonderful women, and it makes me feel good to be giving back to the community. Thanks to this website for prodding/encouraging me to get involved with something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
Job Interview #7/52
Well, I did it: first in-person job interview of the year. This is a public forum, so I won’t go into details other than to say that I applied on a whim for a position traditionally held by a male. The interview went well, and although another candidate was ultimately chosen, I’m glad for the experience. The fact that I was even called for an interview makes me more optimistic about the future. I’ll keep plugging away!
After finishing the 2009 Girls on the Run 5K with many other tiara-wearing runners (who were 25-30 years younger than me, I admit)
I’m clearly so very behind on my year of 52 adventures, but considering all the other things I could be behind on–taxes, mortgage payments, reading for a class, etc.–I’m pretty fortunate that my penalty is devoting some serious time in the coming months to making up adventures! Here are two adventures from the past I’ve not yet shared…
Calling my state senators
As I was walking toward yet another food booth at University of Cincinnati’s much-anticipated annual International Festival, I was stopped by someone who asked if I had a few minutes to talk about clean energy. Of course I did, even in our pre-BP disaster days. What I did not anticipate is that this someone really wanted for me to talk to my senators, not to her, about clean energy. She asked if I would be willing to call both of them, and I agreed without hesitation. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have a phone phobia, and though I would have walked back to my office really WANTING to call my senators, I really would not have done so. She was a seasoned organizer and knew that most of the people she talked to would make that same empty promise, so she then asked if I wanted to use my phone or hers. BUSTED! I didn’t have my phone with me, so, yes, I would need to use her phone. I’d like to tell you that I had long, thoughtful conversations on clean energy with both of the people I called, but I read a short script and they thanked me for my call before hanging up. Did I make a difference? Who knows. Am I slightly less petrified to call my state senators about important issues? Yes.
Finishing the 2010 Flying Pig Half-Marathon
After two years of participating in the Pig on a four-person relay team, I thought it was time to step things up. However, I did not step up my training until two months before the half-marathon. (I’m sorry, Hal Higdon … I really wanted to follow your sensible half-marathon training schedule that hung faithfully on my refrigerator door, but terrible weather and lingering sickness got in the way.) Thanks to a slightly more disciplined running friend, I spent most Friday nights in March and April wine-free so I could wake up early on Saturday mornings to train. We decided to use interval training: we ran 9 minutes and walked 3 minutes. This worked so well that we ran the half-marathon in intervals too. (Walking was a huge concession for me at first — I ran cross-country growing up, and though I was never fast, I comforted myself with the thought that at least I never walked during a race. However, I’m a convert now and plan to continue running intervals even for shorter races. That 3-minute recovery time is too fabulous to give up.) I didn’t break any records with my 2 hour 36 minute finish, but I can work to improve my time in next year’s half.
In Korea, there are clubs that cater to men hoping to meet women. Now, I suppose that’s why most people go to clubs in general. But in Korea, the purpose of these booking clubs is specifically for men to not order only drinks to their private rooms but also women. I know it sounds sketchy, and it sort of felt creepy. I went purely for the cultural experience. I was under the impression at first that I could go there, dance, and get free drinks. This, however, was not the case. The waiters came up to my friends and I and led us to a row of private rooms where there were men waiting to meet us. Typically, there is a group of men in a room. And the men have a TV screen where they can view all of the women in the club. If they like what they see, they can ask the waiter to bring the women they choose to the room to meet them. The woman then has the choice to stay or go. I really did not want to go in. And the waiters kept asking my age, and I told them it didn’t matter, and that I wasn’t going into the room. Apparently, this is not a place where you can just hang out at with your friends without being paraded around. So I decided to leave with another friend. But two of my other friends actually took part and went from room to room. From what they told me, I’m glad I didn’t go inside. For one, none of the men spoke English. And second, they were clearly only interested in one thing. The most intriguing part of this experience was witnessing girl after girl being pulled by the arm from their tables to go to different rooms. It all seemed really degrading, although the women knew why they were there when they decided to go. I probably wouldn’t go back, but it was definitely one of the most fascinating cultural experiences I’ve ever had.
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This was not the kind of place where you want to take pictures. Otherwise I would’ve totally shared them.
I’m always slightly paranoid when attempting to take candid photos of people, but I think that some of the most interesting photos or could be photos are of the people in Korea versus the sights. So, I’m slowing transitioning to taking more people photos. Here’s one I wanted to share because the man in the photo knows I’m taking his picture and smiled for me as I took it. He was sitting outside a temple during a street fest, and he has a lotus on his head. Perhaps, he’s a monk. I’m not sure.
The Lotus Lantern Fest has been one of the best festivals I’ve been to here in Seoul. In commemoration of Buddha’s Birthday, the streets were decorated with lanterns. lantern making stations, and traditional Korean music. My goal in going was to make a lantern. And despite the crowds and long lines, it was accomplished. The night ended with a lit lantern parade.
Some adventures make me uncomfortable. I know in some time I’ll have to handle a spider (what the what?!). I intend to get pierced (eek!). There’s just now a noisy bug in my window. These things I’d sooner not tackle.
But, but, but they are all things that better inform who we are and what we are capable. Even if only a bug.
So remember that what you do today, what you did yesterday, and what you are capable of performing tomorrow inspire me, him, her, Canada and the world to be all they can be.
You are just that amazing.
So I just thought to send some lovely accolades your way, and remind you to remind us of all you do.
So come on by the blog or the FB site and let us know.
We have some lovely things on the docket. Namely, an upcoming interview with Senator Bill Bradley and some airtime on Montreal radio. Whee!
As always, thanks for doing what you do. You are truly an inspiration.
Let’s race to the next leg of the adventure trail, ne?
Hula (Kimberly) – yearof52adventures42.347618 -71.100288