Home > Learning, Life, Travel > Taking the skis

Taking the skis

I went skiing for the first time on Sunday, with Botond and So-young and their friend Seol-Hee, who drove us to the resort.

On Friday night I didn’t get much sleep, partly because of the new late schedule at work and partly because I had to get up early to go to Korean class. The class itself wasn’t too hot – mostly review stuff; I only noted down two or three new vocabulary or grammar items on my notepad.

(By the way, the title of this post refers to the Korean for the verb to ski: there is no Korean word for this verb, instead you have to say ‘스키를 타다’ (‘seukireul tada’) – ‘to take skis’. ‘타다’ (‘tada’) – ‘to take’ – is the verb used for any form of transportation – car, subway, aeroplane, horse, skis etc.)

Later in the day I met Bo and Travis to play pool in Nowon and then go drinking in Itaewon. This night out was supposed to be an E-Castle thing, but the Korean teachers weren’t interested – to my non-surprise and slight relief. We visited several places: first, dinner at a Mexican restaurant, then Gecko’s, the Wolfhound, then there was a pause as we tried to find somewhere that either had a football table or was a ‘meat market’. We finished the night in Woodstock – which was my favourite place as it was almost empty – and therefore quiet – and played some decent music.

After about an hour’s sleep once I got home it was time to get up to meet Bo and So-young to go and meet Seol-Hee. I was feeling a tiny bit hungover, but nothing serious: I hadn’t been able to quite finish my bowl of cereal that morning, for instance. We met Seol-Hee outside her building and proceeded out of the city. The drive was about an hour or so, but with a heavy mist shrouding the landscape there wasn’t much to see out of the window.

You could tell when you were approaching the ski resort – Jisan – because of the number of skiing and snowboarding equipment shops along the road. We rented our own stuff from one of these places.

After a meal at the resort’s food court Bo took me outside to start my training. I’d snowboarded once before, two years ago, with other English teachers from Ansan – and I wasn’t very good at it – but had never skied (although I have a dim memory of a day at a ski slope in Runcorn when I was in the Scouts – but it could be imaginary). I was hoping that skiing would be easier than snowboarding.

First Time Skiing
And it was. Bo’s tuition helped a lot – in fact he was very good in this role. After a frankly kind of scary first half an hour or so up on the slopes, where I felt completely out of my depth, I suddenly started getting the hang of it. After my first awkward couple of descents I was able to go down without going arse over tit once – although I was employing a cautious, snow-plough-heavy technique. Later, as I tried to overcome my natural cowardice and go fast, and as I was getting tired, I started falling down more.

Botond, Seol-Hee, So-young, Captain Maybe

The sense of control over direction and speed was quite pleasing – especially so bearing my snowboarding experience in mind, where I felt like I only had two choices: go, and fall over.

It was hard work, both physically and, if you like, psychically, but certainly rewarding. Afterward, with my minimal sleep during the previous two days, I was fairly knackered.

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Categories: Learning, Life, Travel
  1. Peter
    1 March 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Looks like a lot of fun… I haven’t been able to go out for much recreation which is a shame.

    Miyoung and I have hit that crucial point where we want to escape the US… but obligations chain us down. Depressed.

  2. 3 March 2009 at 4:46 am

    Sorry to hear that, Peter. I hope you find enough to keep yourselves entertained and motivated. If not … it’s only, what, another three years till you complete your course. 🙂

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