Today was a very bizarre experience. we set off at 8.00am (midnight UK time) in a thunderous downpour to see the sights.
After several uncomfortable days in transit in the bus , we were issues a pastel colored umbrellas and fans! The first visit was to the national museum , much time was taken by the organizers to organizes themselves, reorganizes themselves , double check their organization skills and think about synergies the plan over future events, while we waited on the bus.
When we did get to the museum the most interesting part was the brolly wrapper, as you enter the museum you must insert the brolly into the machine and a plastic bag is placed over the brolly ( picture from later on due to hysterical laughter at the first event )
there were some nice pieces but in the 30 mins we had , it was frankly a total waste of time.
I did get a couple of small pressies for children ;)
then back to the bus for more sitting and on to a set of palaces, Now these were worth a visit , my poor photography skills do them no justice whatsoever.
Wow , this was worth having the rest of the day for , but then sadly onto food , more time on the bus ( 4 hours so far in the day , of which over 2 in the bus ) and then to the 1988 Olympic stadium (basketball) for lunch.
I think the polite term for the directions of the onsite managers was bossy and a classic line of " I have told you several times what to do and you are ignoring me" , signaled real trouble. A set of people sat around a large (2-3m wide) wok and stirred hopefully our food for a very long time.
the guys from channel 10 were trying to help by cheering people up but to no avail.
here is the result of the food ( not channel 10's efforts )
I am afraid I cannot even face being polite about this, it was vile , cold rice , something in something else and stuff in goo , Jim took the brave approach of putting so much chili sauce on he could not feel his mouth ( the lady organizer than announced that this was not acceptable and we should enjoy the food instead). so having being shouted at and missed dinner we progressed on to a boat cruise up the Han which was actually quite pleasant, during which the last parts of the escape plan were ironed out
as the busses moved of we readied ourselves and when the moment arrived we ran for it into the city and hoped for the best, after a while we found a shop that would sell us edible food
strolling down the street with a can of Welches Grape Soda ( we can't get it in the UK :( ) and Mat with a bag of dorrito's we decided to hit the technical markets and after getting lost in a rather dodgy area of town avoiding the catch nets of the organizers we got onto the subway.
NOTE :- when I think of a subway, I think of London, Barcelona or LA , Seoul has a whole new set of ideas on the subject. Most of the stops we entered were bigger than Kings Cross RAIL station !
The local travelers of Seoul were SO kind to a bumbling set of idiots with no language skills or sense of direction, I am truly humbled. At every turn someone was trying to help us, they have been so kind.
Tech Center Seoul Style
we then took Taxis to an Italian restaurant and ate food , real food , this is the first time I have felt close to full in 5 days.
I cannot reveal the help we had on the inside of the event to boost us out, but my deepest thanks go out to the UK and US Academic teams , thanks guys for a great day ( in the end )
Update we got back at 11.00pm Local time
It has been a long few months today and I hope to sleep well into tomorrow.