16 March 2007

Things to Do

I'm all shopped out, being largely solo in Busan I've spent a lot of time these past few weeks kitting out my apartment so it'll be more homey and wandering the city figuring out where things are. Now I have to find things to do that will keep me active without costing too much. Shopping can be fun but it's an expensive hobby, especially when I have to pack it all up at the end of a year.

I've found the Alliance Francaise and I signed up for a 42 hour course. I took a placement test with the director this morning and he placed me in their 3rd level program. I'll have some catching up to do with regards to conjugations and noun genders but he said that my aural comprehension will be ahead of the rest of the class, so it should come out pretty even. As a bonus the Alliance has a lending library of French movies on DVD, some of them have English subtitles, the others will be practice. ;)

I also found the honorary German consulate and Goethe Institute (German language school) just around the corner from my apartment, so I'm going to see about taking a course or two there as well. I'll see how the French course goes first. Of course, I'm still learning Korean, albeit slowly, so if I can learn to use three languages to any degree in a year I'll be more than pleased (I'd say I'd be shocked, but it'll be fun anyway.) So, Juergen, perhaps in a year or so we can have a real conversation. Nicht wahr?

Hiking and climbing are a couple of things I'd like to do for physical activity/exercise. This past week I picked up some day-hiking gear: boots, light pack, etc. In the course of searching the shops (hiking is a *very* popular activity in Korea, there are a gajillion shops) I found one that has decent prices on good gear and I found a slightly more pricey one around the corner (3 minute walk) that has a small climbing gym. It costs 5000 won ($5) for the day or 30 000 won ($30) for the month! I have to check those prices with the guy at the shop again but it's not unlikely that it's really that cheap. I'm going back to pick up a cheap pair of climbing shoes and a chalk bag and start doing some bouldering a couple of times a week. They have some weights and stuff there too, so it'll be a pretty cheap gym membership with a climbing gym as a bonus!

The cheaper place gave me a hiking map for the Busan area with quite a few kilometers of mountain trails listed on it. I can read just enough Korean to figure out where the place names on it are. Next weekend I'm going to go and get myself lost on a mountain.

Tomorrow I'm going on a trip to Jiri Mountain with my recruiter and about 30 other teachers. Should be a good trip, it looks beautiful from the pictures (more here).

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