Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Camp Casey

I've been seeing Sarah now for around 2 months so inevitably I met a couple of her friends. A married couple, it turns out, are her best friends here in Korea and so we've hung out a bit over weekends, had dinners etc and got to know each other as much as you can really over a two month period. One of em - the husband - is in the U.S. army and is based up in Camp Casey near Soyosan way north on Seoul Line 1. He and his wife are leaving to go back to the USA within the next few weeks so Sarah wanted to see him off at Camp Casey before he left. First question I asked was 'As a Brit, can I just wander onto a U.S. army base? What I mean is can I plleaasee come??'. Answer was 'Yes, but you have to have him with you at all times to "supervise", as is the same with all visitors'. Second question was 'Can I A) hold a gun, and B) see helicopters and tanks?'. Answer?: 'Yes, to the choppers and tanks. Hell no, to the gun'. So, good news and bad news then.

So, Saturday morning came and we took the 2 and bit hour journey from my place in Incheon to Camp Casey. It looked really nondescript from the outside - very much unlike the U.S. embassy in London, which looked like it belonged more in the middle of a war zone than opposite a nice park with a 'dungeon themed' pub nearby. I'm not sure whether I should really describe much about Camp Casey really in case I'm breaching some kind of 'security code' or something. But basically they have a Popeyes, which do the most amazing 'biscuits' (scones with a slightly different recipe) and chicken; a Starbucks; a place where we had an awesome 'Philly Cheese Steak', which consists of plenty of cheese, plenty of steak, plenty of onions and green peppers.. in a roll; a bowling alley; a cinema; and a Taco Bell. It was glorious, to be honest. But, for an army base, it didn't seem like much 'army-ing' was going on. Mind you, it was a weekend and people go off post etc. Also there was an awful lot of bellies around.. like if there was a war they would whip out their guns only to find that they're clogged with chicken batter. Still, I felt weaksauce.

We stayed in a nice 'American style' hotel, which basically meant that they had carpet, and then set off on the Sunday after a nice chicken tender and biscuit breakfast. Not quite continental, but I think I got my '5-a-day' in OK.

Me and Sarah bowling away on the Base. My arm still hurts :/ The price you pay for victory, I guess.

Don't think I mentioned that it was like a monsoon out, did I? Well, it was like a monsoon out, and we all got very wet. My umbrella also leaked, which didn't help. And the road to all the cool tanks was flooded so we couldn't walk close to them :'(

Just noticed that Sarah got a half-strike from a split... nice :)

This is me (plus brolly) and Sarah (plus snazzy jacket) in front of an inactive tank they had lying around. Our friend described the history of 'KEEP UP THE FIRE!' but I've forgotten it :/ Something to do with covering fire or something? Not sure.

Well, that was my awesome weekend on U.S. soil :)


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