Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bowling and Taco Night!

Saturday, February 7, 2009
So Carol and I got to hang out with our good friends, Dan and Nikki the other day.  They are friends from church, so naturally, my first concern was to find out if they drink.  I thought about being sly, you know, maybe start a conversation by saying, "Did you know that the Catholics invented beer?"  

Once we solved that mystery, we proceeded on with our fun day.  We went bowling!  The first challenge was converting my shoe size to the Korean equivalent.  I was a little vexed that I didn't see the bowling alley people spray down the rental bowling shoes like they do in the US.  We proceeded to our lanes.  Who knew that Nikki was a female Earl Anthony?  I think that's the correct name of the famous US bowler.  Ask me for the name of another famous bowler and I've got nothing for you.  Anyway, Nikki started out with three consecutive strikes.  Ringer.  I felt totally inadequate, me in my unsprayed shoes and feminine-colored bowling ball.  I did manage to break triple digits though, which is my personal measure of a successful bowling outing.  That and not farting while trying to pick up that spare.  Hey, it happens.

Dan and Nikki are English professors at Busan National University.  They are also heavily involved in our church.  Dan gets to do the sermon every now and then.  After hearing him give a couple of messages, I know that he will be a great  pastor at his own church one day.  He definitely has a gift.  Nikki leads the praise team at church.  She's got an incredible voice and gets the entire church in the right frame of mind for worship.  I'm positive they will produce superstar kids.  We are all in the International Couples group at church and it's been really great getting to know them. 

The family bowling with Dan and Nikki.

Unfortunately, CJ was rolling gutterball after gutterball.  On one attempt where the ball traveled more in the vertical axis then the traditional horizontal axis, one of the Korean bowling alley employees came to our lane and tried to explain something to us.  With the language barrier, he might as well have been telling me that his butt was itchy.  I couldn't understand a word.  I'm sure it had something to do with not breaking the very expensive wood on the bowling lane.  Trying to salvage CJ's confidence, I told him that it's really not the amount of pins you knock down that's important but rather the quality of the dance move after you roll your ball.  What I would've done for some gutter guards.  So we discovered that CJ is no Earl Anthony.  His dance moves were pretty decent though.

CJ after knocking down some pins.  I told him he is a much better bowler than I was at his age.

Afterwards, we hung out at the apartment and ate some tacos and mexican rice.  A lot of grocery items aren't readily available here in Korea.  I think Dan and Nikki really enjoyed dinner because it's not a meal you can eat very often in Korea unless you have access to the military commissary.  

The best part of the day for me was just hanging out and talking.  They told us a funny story that exemplified the innocence and safe environment we enjoy here in Korea.  They have a secret little watering hole that they occasionally go to when the weather is warm.  One day, this group of young, muscle-bound Korean dudes comes swaggering over to the watering hole.  Uh oh.  The nice peaceful day of lounging around at their serene, family-oriented watering hole is about to get ruined by these young bucks who are about to break out a cooler of beers, soju, cigarettes and an extra large sized bottle of rowdy.  Well, in true Korean fashion, these guys instead broke out a couple of inflatable dolphin floaties and started blowing them up.  Then they began splashing around with these toys and giggling like a bunch of elementary school kids, just having a good old time and not bothering a soul.  Funny.

It's incredibly safe out here in Korea.  In the US, if you run across a group of young teens or adults late at night, the experience might not be so pleasant.  The crime we experienced in Miami left a sour taste in our mouths.  After our Miami house was burglarized twice and the car broken into once, Carol and I joked that we had to move to a country with a demilitarized zone to get some true safety.  In Korea, when you see a group of young folks, the typical reaction is them trying to politely speak English to you, followed by cute giggling, hands covering teeth for some reason, and a very friendly double-hand wave to say farewell.  It's very endearing.  Girls - young and old, hold hands all the time.  Children hop in taxis, buses and the subway by themselves.  People leave their purses and other belongings on the tables of busy restaurants.  I have to say that Korea is the safest place I've ever been to.

A group of Young Koreans we ran into while walking to our car yesterday.  

It's been very cool getting to know Dan and Nikki and our other international friends.  Dan and Nikki are from Canada.  We've gotten to know folks from the US, Great Britain, Philippines, Australia, Norway, Switzerland, Indonesia, India, China, Japan and of course, Korea.  Well, I better get my international butt off the computer.  I'm off to Thailand again.  Until next time -- C2 


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