Sunday, May 13, 2012

DC, NYC and Seoul

Ahn-Young-Ah-Say-O!  (Good Day!)  I know that some of you have received some of these details, but for what it's worth I will tell the tale of our/my trip to Washington, New York and now Seoul (on the eve of visiting Iljin, our second biggest supplier).

It was wonderful to see our daughter again in DC, she has a tiny apartment, but in a good zone with plenty of good shopping close at hand (inc. a Whole Foods right across the street).  She is pretty happy, all things considered, but likes Chicago better than DC.  She might want to move back.  We also got to see my sister Amy (busy, as she has 5 children) and my mother's cousin Alan Jones, Jr.  He was a colonel in WWII and Korea, he was briefly captured by the Germans...  He told us that there were NO rats in the POW camps as they had all been eaten...  May is a nice month in DC, but there is always the risk of rain.

New York, as you can imagine, was a hectic visit even for the 3 days / 2 nights we were there.  We lucked out and got tickets to go to the 9/11 Memorial (free).  I asked Carmen not to make is stay long, else I would start crying or kill Muslims...  She then went on to visit the Tenement Museum (yes, about the ghettos on the Lower East Side), while I went over to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (yes, it is 33 Liberty St.) to try and take their tour where they show you all the gold they store there (+/- 7000 tonnes, I believe it is the second biggest gold pile in the world).  To my regret, the three cops at the entrance told me I had to book tickets online MONTHS in advance, so no tour for me.  I made up for it by going to Stack's (the famous coin shop on 57th St.) and bought gold...  That was the day gold fell some $33 so I saved a little.  Still, I really had my heart set on seeing those 7000 tonnes...

NYC is famous for walking.  And walking fast!  Walk, walk, walk.  We ate at the famous Umberto's Clam House, where mobster "Crazy" Joey Gallo (Colombo Family) was gunned down during his lunch (although the location has moved).  Apparently Umberto's is still owned by someone in the Genovese family...

So late Thursday night, our daughter dropped me off at BWI airport at 10:00 PM for my 6:00 AM flight Friday (she had to work...).  BWI is a crappy place to spend the night, COLD and the bar closed at 10:00 and they charged me $8.00 just to connect to the Internet...  I was lucky to find some "virtual friends" up late at "Z Chat" (a new feature of ZeroHedge) to keep me company!  6 hours on the plane to San Francisco, then 13 more to Seoul...  Ugh.  At least I slept some (I took Helena's suggestion, but I always do that anyway when I fly...).

I arrived in Seoul mid-afternoon on Saturday (the International Date Line can mess with your head, especially throwing in jetlag).  With some help of some kind ladies at Seoul's Incheon airport, I figured how to take the bus to my hotel, where I now write before I go eat.

Seoul is a huge city, I have heard 13 million and 15 million people reside here.  Tall buildings everywhere.  Oh, and the people walk fast here too.  Even on the weekend!

I even got to practice Tai Chi today in a park along the river.  Did the forms I know, and the Yang Long Form twice.  As I ran and walked back to my hotel, I went past the Olympic stadium, where there was a baseball game going on.  I could see through a gap, and it looked pretty packed in there.  The announcers had the crowds singing and stomping, you do not see that in Miami.  The ground trembled when they all stomped...  What, with all the walking, Tai Chi and running outside, I am kind of sunburned...

Mr Lennon H!  Or one of you ZH guys inform him that indeed many of the women here DO have cosmetic surgery to make their eyes look more western!

As soon as I can figure out how to load the software into my laptop and get the pictures in, I will try to post some pictures of this energetic city.  KOREA is ahead of us in magnets and batteries.  Asia is catching up, you can see it here.  These guys WORK!  And study!  America has some attitude adjustments to make if we want to lead again.  The competition in the future is going to be brutal...

But, "they do not all speak English!"  So, my little phrase book has helped a lot!  They like all three words I can pronounce in Korean...

Tonight I review my talking points and papers for Iljin.  I will likely visit a bearing factory, which will be very interesting for me.  I will try to take pictures!


  1. Roberto-san,

    Good read, thanks. Sounds like a great experience, hope it will all flow smoothly for you. No Carmen?

    Make sure to check out some of the gold shops there, maybe some interesting finds.

    Keep us up to date and be safe. Remember it is a BIG CITY.

  2. Sounds like a very interesting journey so far Robert. Thanks for sharing a part of it with us.


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