Recently Returned  

climber_mellows 48M
2 posts
3/12/2006 9:25 am
Recently Returned

Been some time since I started this and there's a big gap cos I was feeling down and in no mood to share my thoughts and worries (The lead up to the trip reminded me of all the things backing up at work).

So now I'm back and will be waking at 5am each morning for much of next week. No option of jet-lagged in the mood list.

Are my thoughts coherent? probably not. My typing's attrocious anyway.

There's been a lot packed in to those last 2 weeks.
Japan's a nice country and we had a good laugh in the barbeque place. Memories of it all fading fast.
It was nice to be back in Taiwan. Good to see people who are like old friends now and better than expected with AB (a strange dream of provoking him into demonstrating his agressiveness, but resisted the temptation in reality - most of the others know of it and treat him warily and the new boss will see it in due course).
Why do the others insist on eating western food, TGI's is rubbish. It was funny to see DP drunk though.
Day off on Saturday, McD's is not a good breakfast. Visited the Nova Centre to see all the latest Techno gadgets, grabbed a nap (those sofa's in the room are the best for that).
A stroll round the park and checking out the orchids in the hot house and a special exhibition on slipper orchids in the display centre - another chance to experiment with the camera. Evening in the Londoner, lots of pool and a little beer. televised football and a hen night of American teachers made it a good night for all concerned. Alex was a lovely woman.
Then a day of travel before a week in Korea.

This is getting like a list, but I just want to remind myself of key events; there's too much to record it all.

Mon morn in C. meeting people who've done business with us for a good few years, for the first time.
The Korean's are very friendly and hospitable (it's hard to get an evening to ourselves). Monday night and a banquet. It was the UK crowd that instigated the heavy drinking and I'm glad I'd taken it easy before the "bombers" (glas of ber with a shot of Soju - a 20% spirit from sweet potato). Didn't want to feel left out and it seemed important to show the Korean's that I too could handle the drink. Mr Cho and WH showed that having drinks after work is a big thing, on Thurs
But back to Mon; after 3 bombers and a good meal we were taken to Karaoke. Well it wasn't as though it was my first time; found a song I liked and was the first up, break the ice. I like singing although I'm not the most tuneful (as everyone else attested/teased
And out of nowhere were the women. I'd heard about this, but it was the first time I met the hostesses. Strange to be introduced to a line of women and I was glad that MT couldn't remember the name of one, giving them the right to chose us rather than us picking them from the line. Feeling uncomfortable about it at first.

I don't know her name but she was nice and up for a laugh. Quite good looking too.
Fed lots of pieces of fruit and not allowed to top up my own drink. Someone to dance with and cuddle.
Was a bit freaked when the oldest one cupped her hand and weighed up the size of my manhood. Later she encouraged KM to take off his shirt and was riding piggy back. When they encouraged me to lift my shirt they seemed amused and quite taken by my body hair.

My hostess would sit and stroke the inside of my thigh and literally grabbed my hand and placed it on her thigh near the end.

It's stange and not something I'm really comfortable with; but it sems to be the done thing and 'when in Korea' to para-phrase.

Tuesday; ME felt the after effects of all the bombers and the hydrogen bomb (glass of Soju with a shot of beer in it). Had to stop the bus to heave on way to other site a S. Other's were feeling the effects too but I was OK - had gone to bed soon after getting back from the Karaoke whilst everyone else went to the bar and continued on.
Not the most productive working morning, but we seem to have maintained the good relationship with the Koreans at C.

Another traditional spread for lunch at S and a hard afternoon.

Tues evening was a much more sober and formal meal (western style). But we were glad when it was over and we were left alone.

Weds; An OK morning, I like the guys at S.
working lunch and then the others left for home via a meal with Mr Moon in Seoul. They forgot about me. Eventually a taxi was arranged to take me back to C.

Nice to have an early finish and being alone; a chance to have a stroll in the area around the hotel - some fresh air and sunshine.
Light meal and an early night after some prep for the next days.

Thurs/Fri went well if a litle slow and difficult with the language barrier. Didn't really want to eat out Thurs evening but eventually accepted - turned out nice although the 1 hour turned into 2. Another chance to try raw fish - it was good. Mr Cho and WH washed it down with a liberal amount of Soju while I nursed a beer. Declined their offer to go for a drink after (WH didn't get home til 2am and then to find his wife had locked him out - I think he was worried all evening about what I'd report on an error he'd made).

Fri; wrapped up just after lunch - WH happier when I said that I wasn't going to make a big issue out of his mistake - he was a bit under the weather in the morn though.
He took me up the mountain for a look at the view and to a Buddhist temple before taking me back to the hotel. It was nice to have an opportunity to see something more of the place.

Normally it's just the factory, hotel and airport which is why I get annoyed when it's referred to as a jolly.

Sat; 5am start to get to airport. Internal 1hr flight circled for 1 3/4hrs before landing on 3rd attempt, due to fog. Missed connection but got on a later flight. Met Mr Moon in the lounge - also on his way to Paris (not Bali)

Couldn't sleep much on plane and was hanging whilst waiting for flight to Heathrow. Nice to be picked up by Tony again (in a big Chrysler "pimp mobile"), had a good chat which kept me awake.

Well that's quite a log, but doesn't really do the 2 weeks justice. Don't want to get into too much detail of work. I don't need a blog of that and the detail can go into the reports I've gotta do.

Management speak can come so easily - was just thinking it was nice to have some bullet points to remind me of what I got up to

I do find though, that despite differences we are all basically the same; and that does give me hope for the future of humankind.
I'm also reminded that I'm fortunate to be British; the Japanese, Taiwanese and Koreans work long days and long weeks with few holidays compared to the UK.


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