Thursday, January 31, 2008


'Stammtisch' is the name given by its patrons to the Thursday evening club at Pasta House which I wrote about earlier. The name is dedicated to the Germans who started it in 1999. The word Stammtisch is German which is not easily translated into English but it means something like 'regular's table' or 'regular get-together'. Literally speaking, the word Stammtisch is a table in a bar or restaurant which is reserved for the same guests at the same time every day or every week.

So this week also I was part of the group..again a big one this time with lot's of new people...

From Left round the table..Hee Sun [Owner of Pasta House,Korea], Colin & Phillippa [New Zealand], Jose [USA], Choi, Cleo, Lita, Eunhee, Mi [Korea], George Suzuki[Japan], Alan [USA], Jeung Sun [Korea], John Paul [Uganda], Adrienne, Molly [Australia], Parth [India] & Angel[Puerto Rico] all this time!

Well this time around I was a little late but not enough to miss the fun with some traditional Korean songs..

Jeung Sun sings professionally as well..she took the center stage for a while...

And while leaving she took me & Jose to the place where she sings usually on Thursday nights..and dedicated this Indian song to me..a must watch for all those in India!

I really loved this installation on the roof of the bar..

Installation on the roof

There I also met this guy Juntai who is a Japanese photographer..and a part time singer!

I dunno what impressed him while talking with me that he gifted me some of the pictures that he had clicked from the portfolio he was carrying!

The pictures appear grainy because the prints were taken on some very special glitter paper which I scanned to post them here...he said the model is one of his biggest inspirations..

Thanks a lot Juntai!

And thanks Korea for one more wonderful evening!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Long Walk

A lovely saturday afternoon was calling..and the trip to the Science Expo which is very nearby our campus was pending since long. This might be a surprise but there is a big group of Indians here [IAD, the Indians in Daejon Association] which was going to celebrate the republic day which was scheduled in the evening, so we decided to leave early and walk our way to the venue visiting places on the way.

Another KAIST entrance

Daejon Science High School entrance

It was a long walk and the absence of any people on it made it a lot longer..the only sound was of the cars whizzing past on the road.

But while talking both Anshuman & me did not realise when we covered the distance...finally we could see some people..though we were planning to see the expo [which is a site of a technology fair hosted in 1993/4 with some interesting architecture] we got distracted by some installations before that which were in the premises of National Science Museum and we decided to check it out.

Cute Alien Couple that Welcomes you to NSM

Another eye catching sculpture which probably is a fountain

But the most inviting were these transformers..which were so must to be taken a look at that we bought the tickets and decided to enter to see the whole exhibition, which according to person at ticket counter needed around an hour to be seen.

When we took a closer look, the sculptures reminded us of the Animal Abstraction assignments that the product design students did at IDC..













These are the twelve animals of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
We went inside and the museum was huge..and at a glance we knew we cannot see all of the three floors in an hour and that was just the smaller part of the building.

So we just took a quick tour, highlights of which I have tried to capture below..

A huge dummy snowflake

Installation inspired from snowflakes

Quartz Crystals

A rock from the Moon

Dinosaur Cladogram

A stuffed Eagle

An Ancient Bell

Hook of the Bell [with which it is hung]

There was a wide variety in the exhibits with some working prototypes as well..but we had to reach somewhere so we decided to move out and cover the remaining some time later..

A life size dinosaur in the outer premises

Another dinosaur

An Ancient Clock

It was almost evening and we had another long walk to the venue so we moved ahead..

But this street was lined with some interesting views this time..

Board of a Furniture Shop
A tree made a very interesting shadow on it in the early evening...

A commercial cum residential complex

I could not help but notice the perfect arrangement of the ACs and the monopoly of LG! [Click on the image to see details.]

Guess what this Ultra Modern Building is?

Yes, its a Church!

Another Modern Concrete, Steel, Glass Building

We had to pass through a tunnel on our that elongated arch the passing cars sounded more like aeroplanes taking off..

And finally after almost 5 kms of walk altogether we reached the venue..phew!

More about the program later..

Friday, January 25, 2008

Untold but still beautiful!!

In last post I wrote about surprises that life throws and guess what... the next morning after the night I wrote the post..I saw the following on my desk!

A surprise cookie as a thanks for a small favour changes the whole magnitude of the word! Somethings cannot be told or talked about or showed in pictures to realize how beautiful they really are..

I remember one of my friends saying that our languages are not developed enough to express every emotion that humans feel...instances like these just make me realise how true it is!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Old & the Beautiful!!

The best thing about life is the surprises it keeps on throwing..some good some not so good..but it is still fun. After my last post I wasn't expecting to post a good experience for a long time..but you can never just a small decision of where to eat can end up in the most beautiful evening of the tour so far!

Well it so happened that instead of eating in cafeteria on campus as we usually do on weekdays..Anshuman & I decided to go out for a change..not so far but quite a walk..especially in the chilling cold! So there is this place called Pasta House in front of the KAIST campus gate where we decided to check out some Italian Cuisine..well the pasta was nothing special except for we were served the double of what we had ordered..we were planning to share one but they brought two separate for each of us! we sat for a long time trying to finish it..

Pasta House is a small and cozy place and except us there was just another family..a Canadian guy who has been in Korea for 8 years now, married a Korean and has two amazingly cute daughters! [talk about crossbreed haan..:P] as me and Anshuman were talking in Hindi the guy noticed and could not help but mention that it really sounded sweet apart from different..[sweet? my voice? aur anshuman's voice?..ah..I love this place!]..Sorry I could not take any photos of the cuties..but there was an interesting talk about how Koreans measure the age..because the smaller one was 3 but according to Koreans she was 5! Apparently it goes like this..the day you are born you are an year old..[something do to do with life starting in pregnancy..].then on change of increment your age again! So a baby born on 30.12.2007 is 2 years old on 02.01.2008!..kinda weird because depending on the month you are born the difference between your actual age and Korean age varies a lot!

Anyways the family left when we were still trying to finish our twofold order...and the owner of the place happened to mention about this gathering that happens every Thursday 8:30 where some expats socialise for sometime. It was around 8 we decided to stick around and see if there are any chicks than we can hunt..:P

Since there was still some time left we had a walk around the area..which we had not so far..some pics from the neighborhood..

A Church

Sparkle Harvest! was a short walk..and Anshuman was not sure if it would be worthwhile but I decided to give it a try as the owner had mentioned that this tradition was started 10 years ago by some Germans but they left and people kept on changing but the tradition has carried on!

The count is usually 10-12 but today I guess was really different! There were almost 20 in the group and with just a couple of exceptions everyone was twice my age! But not for a single moment I felt that this was in any way less than a Friday night out at a pub..

The topics varied from origin of names to their modifications, from cultural differences to nuances of accents and languages, from good experiences to nightmares while traveling..well if you just take a look below you would understand how much more would have happened that I could not catch up with!..Let me see how many names I remember..

From Left round the table..Angel[Puerto Rico], Andrea, Colin & Phillippa [New Zealand], Adrienne [Australia], Lita, Mi [Korea], Olga & Dennis [Russia], Jean [France], Euhnee [Korea], Carol [New Zealand], Alan [USA], Jeung Sun [Korea], Hee Sun [Owner of Pasta House, Korea], George Suzuki[Japan] & Your's Truly [India]..phew!

Most of them were teachers and most of the teachers taught English but at different levels [from kindergarten to adults] in different kind of institutes..some had been there in Korea for long and some had just arrived..some had traveled a lot and some had in been Korea all there life..some were young and some were was a complete potpourri! But there was something surely common about them..I dunno what to call that bond..some of them had came down from outside just for the gathering!..and they do it every week! Just amazing..

As I was sitting with the Kiwis..most of my talk was with them..and they lived in country side..Pep had brought some banana cake & walnut cookie [a typical kiwi dish which was called Afghan biscuit for God knows what reason!]

Anyways about 10 p.m. or so we all started dispersing as the people who had to travel had to catch their buses. With full stomachs and filled hearts...everyone bed goodbye for a week..

No bets about my plans of Thursday evenings till I am here!
Undoubtedly the best evening since I have been here..

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