Well, I survived my first team MT (management training) trip. I guess my general feeling is I’m getting too old for this sh*t. Not that I didn’t have a good time, but I couldn’t take many weekends like this one and remain amongst the living. So, here’s the story in 25 pictures:
Started at Seoul Station at 1300. The KTX to Busan is about a 3 hour ride. Seung Youb overslept and missed the train. Luckily, trains run every 30 minutes or so, so Koichi and Wan Jun waited for him and took the next train down.
As always, we had a nice ride on the “Iron Silk-Road”, and at 300 km per hour, the miles (er, kilometers) just flew by. To entertain ourselves during the journey, Craig taught us the game of Euchre. I brought along some beef jerky and mixed nuts for snacks. Scott brought a couple of quarts of beer, and when that ran out we ordered more from the train concessionaire.
Tae Hun and Scott enjoying the ride.
As were me and Craig.
Did I mention we drank some beer along the way?
We arrived at our destination, the beautiful port city of Busan.
This is the promenade in front of Busan Station. It was a fine, warm, sunny afternoon in Korea’s second city. When the other team members arrived, we cabbed to the Commodore Hotel, dropped off our gear, and headed out to start our night.
Our evening activities centered around a local dart venue named Metro Bar. The owner, Johnny Jung, graciously met us where our cab dropped us and escorted us to a nice restaurant near his bar.
That’s Johnny on the far left. On the menu: galbi, samgyapsal, soju, and beer.
Tae Hun handled grill duties.
After our meal was completed, it was off to Metro for what else, darts! Metro has a nice set-up with four electronic boards and a token steel tip board for us die hards.
Scott and Craig throwing a game…
While Wan Jun shot some pool.
The local darters were out throwing as well, and they made us all feel welcome. Can’t beat that Busan hospitality…
A live action shot of darts in progress. I guess there’s a reason it isn’t much of a spectator sport. Now, you may have noticed that all the photos inside Metro appear blurry and out of focus. Well, funny thing is, that is just how things were beginning to appear through my eyes as well. There was some serious drinking going on. The boys were hitting the Jack Daniels really hard. I stuck with beer because hard experience has taught me that Jack Daniels ain’t no friend of mine…
The highlight of the night for me was participating in the doubles soft tip tourney. I’m not much for that version of the game, but when in Busan do as the Busanonians do I suppose. I drew Seung Youb as my partner. Given our state of inebriation and my lack of familarity with the game, it was a struggle. Somehow we managed to make it to the championship round where we met Johnny (the second ranked player in Busan) and his partner. It was a see-saw battle, but in the end Seung Youb and I pulled out the victory and shared the W50,000 prize money. The lovely lass pictured above was Wan Jun’s partner and we met them in the first round. She throws as good as she looks and it took a minor miracle for us to eek out the win against them.
Here’s Tae Hun, Seung Youb, and a local named Q, taking a breather and enjoying liquid refreshment between games. Before the night at Metro was over, the Blue Bulls had consumed 3 bottles of Jack and more beer than I could count. Plus two platters of chicken wings.
After saying our goodnights at Metro, we cabbed back to the hotel. Lacking the good sense to call it a night, we hit an after hours club across the street and had LOTS more beer and whiskey. Butchered a few songs with Karaoke as well. Things started getting a little crazy after that and the owner suggested that it was time for us to leave. But what happens in Busan, stays in Busan, so the story will remain untold.
I stumbled into my rack a little after 0300 and slept the sleep of the dead. Brain dead, no doubt.
We had a 1300 train to Seoul today, and I was up and around by 1100. So, I decided to snap a few photos of my surroundings.
This was the window covering in my room. I thought it was pretty cool.
The lobby at the Hotel Commodore. What a nice place. I enjoyed the very few hours I spent here and was quite comfortable. Koichi is in the travel business and he got me a W48,000 rate. I’m sure it would normally cost at least twice that.
The hotel is beautiful on the outside as well, don’t you think?
The view from my room. Not to shabby, eh? Busan is a beautiful city. I’ve heard it compared to San Francisco of Rio de Janiero. Not sure I would go that far, but I’ve always enjoyed spending time here.
So, it was back to the train station. They had this dragon out front. Breathed smoke and everything. And the tail and legs moved.
We all survived, none to worse for the wear. L-R is Tae Hun, Seung Youb, Scott, Wan Jun, me, Koichi, and Craig.
Thanks for having me along guys!