Wednesday, July 18, 2012



For my first weekend in Changwon I was lucky enough to get in touch with (thanks to Heather and Tim) a Brit named Andy. Andy picked me up in his car and showed me around Changwon. It was pouring down rain, so it was nice to get around in a car.

We first went across town to a complex called AsiaMart which he told me specialized in foreign foods. Not just American/British “foreign” but like foreign, foreign. At the complex I saw Muslims and in one of the stores I met an Uzbeki guy. Much like a lot of (foreign) foreigners he works in one of Changwon’s many factories. So you have people from China, the Phillipines, Southeast and Eurasia here too. At Asia Mart I picked up some cilantro, some tortillas and some Russian beer.

 Me and Andy at the the Gyeongnam FC game

Next he took me to The City 7 which is Changwon’s new fancy mall. They have lots of western stores there like: Columbia, Nike, and the North Face to name a few. It also is one to one of Changwon’s movie theaters.

The City 7 Mall

The City 7 Mall

We then went on to the Gyeongnam FC soccer match. Gyeongnam FC is Changwon’s soccer team. Tickets were 10,000 Won ($8.75 USD). Inside they don’t try to screw you on concessions either: beer was about 2 bucks a can.  The game wasn’t particularly memorable. It was dumping rain the whole time so it wasn’t very well attended, but there will still folks in the Gyeongnam FC cheering sections singing organized chants and songs led by a fellow with a bullhorn. Also the words to the song were put up on the big screen. Also on both teams you would occasionally see foreign players. Gyeongnam FC has a Brazillian or two and an Australian. Oh yeah, thet lost 1-0.

Ticket Booth

The 1,500 in attendence

The cheering section

After the game we went to O’Briens Pub, essentially an embassy for Western ex-pats. O’Briens is run by an Irish ex-pat named Austin. At O’Briens you can get Guiness on tap and a variety of British/American bar foods including: burgers, curry fries, nachos, mozzarella sticks and so on. I got chicken nuggets. O’Briens also has a small mart for selling western goods (like cheese). It is very much a hub for the ex-pat teaching community, you’ll usually run into someone you know there.

O'Briens: Feel like taking a book or a DVD?
Go ahead take one. Bring it back when you come back.

Next with some new friends I went to Norae Bang, which is a karaoke room that you and your friends rent. They provide you with some snacks and you can buy alcohol there (or you can sneak it in a backpack). It was fun, but like anytime you involve alcohol and karaoke it can be kind of a shit show. Also the name of our Norae Bang was Shi- Tee NoraeBang. Also  I didn't pick "I Believe I Can Fly" to sing but I was recruited and was surprised how well I knew that song. They have plenty of American songs, and also silly costumes like sequin jackets and afro wigs. Also a tambourine. I was bit overzealous and banged up my hand pretty good with the tambourine.

Norae Bang

SHI-TEE NoraeBang

The wig comes with a room. And yes thats all sweat.

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