Saturday, 30 April 2011

Trip to Busan

Last Thursday and Friday we travelled with the KTX (Korean Train Express) to the South-East coast to Busan, Korea’s second largest city with its ten million inhabitants. The city is beautifully situated between mountains and the ocean. Of cause both Anders and I agreed with this scenery having lived the largest part of our lives in coastal cities. Anders and the Swedish Alternate were invited to see the Navy base and met with the fleet commander. They were briefed and visited ROKN newest Aegis Destroyer.
On Friday we paid our respect to the Fallen of UN Forces in the Korean War at the Memorial Cemetery.


It was very emotional to see all the thousands of names of young people from so many nations that sacrificed their lives. The way Korea honors them and their families is breathtaking.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Change of Command of the Capital Corps Commander

Today we were invited and attend the Inauguration Ceremony of the Capital Corps Commander. It was a fantastic ceremony to see and besides all the ROK dignities some US dignities were present and the NNSC’s HoD’s (Head of Delegation for both Switzerland and Sweden) and little me ;)
The reception and speeches after woods (translated to us by a well articulated young officer) was in an open and joyful manner.

Troups listing to the speeches



Mrs Kwon in a beautiful Korean national dress

Cutting of the rice cake

HoD NNSC Sweden ;)

Many guests were sharing this happy occasion

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Fish market, best introduction possible, by West-Coast couple!

Rick, Sofie and Julia Grundevik, delegate family who has been living here for over nine months picked us up at 10 this morning. In fabulous style we drove to the fish market.
Entering the immense hall gave us a wonderful feeling of fresh, high class quality with all choices you want or can make exhibited.
Just see for yourselves!

Two hundred meters long and 25 meters wide!

You can see our expert guides gesture of approval :)

What would you chose?

"The happy couple" chose large shrimps and .....fillet, next time it will be mussels to make "moule frites"

The fisherman and -women stood on the aquariums, but I didn't capture it, maybe next time!

Friday, 22 April 2011

UNC/NNSC Spouses Luncheon

Spouses of staff connected to United Nations Command and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission meet once a month from September until May.
This month it was, I was told, Sweden’s turn to host this event. Not so foreign to me after six years with Anders’ former job. So Wednesday I planned and started the preparation of several nice dishes.
Today when I opened the curtains it was……….raining. Not a sign of bettering in the sky. I wonder when this fabulous spring everybody has been talking about is coming to Korea.
Although I had been hoping that we could be outside as well (I have 10 chairs and three tables outside and just seven chairs and one table inside!) we managed indoor. Eighteen women and one lovely young man, Edwin (three months) were squeezed into my small living room. However, it was a vivid time we spend together and a nice way to mingle and learn to know more women.
Too soon everybody left and I had besides a few left-over’s and dishes a lot of colorful packages to open.

All spouses minus one ;)

Pre-Summer roast beef, one of my best buffé dishes (thanks Kerstin) in a fabulous newly purchaged Korean dish.

They seem to like it!

Kathy Wells, creative, active and full of initiativ.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

POW exercise of ROK Army

Yesterday the Republic of Korea’s Army (ROKA) had a well-built Prisoner of War exercise to which the NNSC was invited to supervise to make sure the ROKA.was following the Geneva Convention regarding treatment of Prisoners of War. Delegates of both Sweden and Switzerland were participating, which isn’t always the case, depending on the number of missions at hand.
The roll play for North- & South Korea was with different scenarios of what could be possible to happen; riots, escapes; removal with violence, attack of the camp, fire.
Interaction and discussions between ROKA and NNSC were held before the delegates were flown back by helicopter to the Yongsan Base.

Some delegates waiting to start supervising

Explanations of excercise are given

"Ride" back to the Yongsan Base

View over a small part of Seoul

Soon home!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Our Saturday in Seoul

First weekends Anders was working both with his job and hanging up decorations in our “little house on the base”. However, yesterday we had a full day in Seoul and now that I learned more about where to go we managed quite something.
After breakfast we borrowed our neighbors’ car (which we by the way are permitted to use in weekends, so we baptized the car “Helg-Base-Car”) to shop some groceries. Had a coffee and took the subway to Namdaemun Market, an enormous trade place, where we strolled around among flowers, accessories, porcelain, candles, ribbons, clothes, hats, decorations and so forth. Had a Bibimbap (a local vegetarian dish) in a local restaurant. Walked some more and took the metro to Ichon, a fashionable living area and walked for 1,5 hour back to the base passing the Korean National museum, which will be on our program on a bad weather day. Back home we took a drink in the garden, said hi to our neighbors who returned from a fortnight in the States, prepared lunch for today and then went back into town to have dinner in “our Restaurant”. Upon return some coffee and a movie.
Wasn’t that a full day?

Starting up our strole through Namdaemun

We were early enough to miss most of the visitors!

What to choose?

Same, same but different....

Restaurant street

Ichon, a fashionable living area

On our way back to Younsan Base, through Gate 19

Cherry Tree on base

Finding our way on Younsan Metro station

What do you want from this menu?

We had Bulgogi, Thin strips of beef, marinated in sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar and garlic, then grilled at your table.

Enjoying Korean kitchen?

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Container arrived!

After over nine weeks of living from two suitcases finally our container was delivered to Youngsan Base to House 7049A. Seven South Korean men unloaded the 79 collies, and you can imagine that it went quite quick.
Anders got the mission to check and tick of the list putted into his hands and I was asked where the boxes should be putted, not too many rooms to choose from......
Yesterday we mainly worked with unpacking and organizing our cloths. I was glad that I had rinsed out my and Anders' closets before shipping our goods, else we would have had more problems to find a place for them then it was now.
Today it was time to decorate "our" new house and that was a massive challenge for Anders; for hanging up things here isn't the easiest thing to do. However, I think we got it quite "homey" now and are ready to receive guests....................Who will be first? Let us know!

At last!
Weekend enjoyment!

Every collie was accounted for, well done everybody!

Suck! Did I really give away 30% of my shoes?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Way to success? Communication, Communication and......communication

Yesterday I had my first solo "flight" and this one was to Dongdaemun Market (fabrics market). To get there with the subway was a piece of cake. My plan was to buy fabrics for two table runners and bathroom curtains. It didn't take very long when I found material for my set of runners. Then I learned from the stand owner that there was a possibility to get them made immediately in the basement of the market. Since I was interested he made a phone call and soon a lady who didn't speak a word of English came to the stand. With hand and feet plus drawings, I explained what it was it wanted. Clear? Yes clear! 165 cm long and 45 cm broad, tassels on the edges, simple. We walked down together and I saw lots of woman sewing in smallest of spaces thinkable. Now it was time to find the rest I wanted and as the efficient person I am I purchased another set of runners. Returned to "my" seamstress to have these fixed as well. Same,same...... only to find out that all four of my runners were 30 cm short. Yes, there is a difference between inches and centimeters....... I've learned anyhow that the next time I'll have a conversion table with me!
Nevertheless the bathroom curtains were correct! Why, I measured it out myself with a centimeter I had with me.
Materials more then you can imagine....

and ribbens thousands and thousends!