Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 Korea Open (Part II)

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to update the blog as much as I wanted to, though I did do some massive postings on my Facebook Page. A lot of stuff here will be up there as well, but this should be more or less the complete package. Another bad thing that happened was that my netbook decided to break on me and stopped working in the afternoon after I came back from some morning shopping. It was quite disheartening, but hopefully I can get it looked at when I get to Iksan, South Korea, after the Malaysia Open. Anyway, let's get back to Korea!

We started play on Tuesday, as Michelle and Alex were in the qualifications. They had an okay game with Korea, but they lost out at the end of each set and lost to Korea in straight sets. The next day, Grace and I were playing a Japanese team we had faced twice before already, but unfortunately we lost for a third time. The hall was pretty nice to play in, although it made the shuttles feel a little slow. We made too many mistakes and that pretty much cost us the match. Later, Michelle had a rematch against Tine Baun of Denmark, the top Danish player in Women's Singles. The match didn't fair too well for Michelle, as her opponent was quite relentless, being a top player, so she lost in straight sets as well. It was a disappointing tournament for all of us, but we are playing at the highest level, so we didn't really have too many expectations. Hopefully the next week in Malaysia will go a bit better.

Between our matches, training, and watching other people play, we only had a little time to do other things. However, eating is always an adventure in Korea, so here are some of the things we tried. Korean sushi (kim-bab) was definitely a favorite for everyone though the noodles (ra-myeon) were a hit and miss as they were quite spicy. We also ended up trying some dumplings (man-du), rice cake (tteok-bo-ki), among other things for lunch. For breakfast, Alex and I ended up visiting Paris Baguette a few times, getting assorted pastries and breakfast sandwiches, and we all went out for Korean chicken (and beer :P) one night. We also ended up doing Korean BBQ with pork belly (sam-gyeop-sal) and kimchi once, and I went with Alex to a Korean style Chinese restaurant... or is it Chinese style Korean restaurant? There, we had a noodle with black sauce (jja-jang-myeon) and sweet and sour chicken (tang-su-yuk).

Alex vs. 'Tang-Su-Yuk" (Sweet n Sour Chicken
Ginseng Chicken Soup (sam-gye-tang) with Oysters

Breakfast at Paris Baguette!

Alex, Grace, and Michelle with Korea fried chicken

We were able to get a little bit of time to visit some of the more interesting areas including Lotte World and Myeong-Dong. Lotte World contains a giant amusement park, skating rink, duty free department store shopping, a supermarket, and tons of restaurants! It's also connected to a giant hotel which we briefly walked through and has a museum in the mall as well. The next morning, Alex and I went to Dong Dae Mun and Myeong Dong. We were quite disappointed with Dong Dae Mun, as it wasn't quite what we expected (though we really didn't know what to expect, including some weird man who randomly yelled "WELCOME!" to Alex as he walked by her hahaha). However, Myeong Dong was quite a nice place, considering that I discovered that there was a Tokidoki store somewhere in the area. We went there and had a cheap McDonald's lunch (QuarterPounder meal = $4.00 CAD) before trying to find the mall. Unfortunately, we got lost and couldn't find the mall we wanted to go to. We were about to give up and try to ask for directions, when all of a sudden we look up and find the mall right in front of our eyes... but unfortunately across the street still. We went inside and I finally found my store, so I ended up buying quite a bit :) That was pretty much it after, aside from Alex's picture with a guy in a Mario suit :P  

Alex and Michelle at Lotte World
People playing badminton outside!
Alex on an outdoor badminton court
Noon Square at Myeong Dong
Found my Tokidoki store at Noon Square, Myeong Dong!

Tokidoki Ninja Dog hat
Alex and Mario!

Well, a pretty big update I guess... Malaysia will be different as I probably won't be able to have a computer to update, so I won't be able to do anything for a while, including uploading video unfortunately :( However, please enjoy whatever footage I have from this week!

Results: [2012 Victor Korea Open]

Matches via YouTube:
WD Qualifier (R64): KIM Chan Mi/PARK So Young [KOR] vs. Alex BRUCE/Michelle LI [CAN]
Full Match

WS Qualifier (R64): HWANG Hye Youn [KOR] vs. P V SINDHU [IND]
Full Match

XD R32: HIRATA Noriyasu/MAEDA Miyuki [JPN] vs. Toby NG/Grace GAO [CAN]
Game 1
Game 2

WS R32: 
Full Match

WD R32: 
Meiliana JAUHARI/Greysia POLII [INA] vs. NG Hui Ern/NG Hui Lin [MAS]
Full Match

WS R32: 
Tine BAUN [DEN] vs. Michelle LI [CAN]
Full Match

D R16: HE Hanbin/BAO Yixin [CHN] vs. Chris ADCOCK/Imogen BANKIER [ENG/SCO]
Full Match

D R16: Tontowi AHMAD/Liliyana NATSIR [INA] vs. HIRATA Noriyasu/MAEDA Miyuki [JPN]
Full Match

MD R16: 
LEE Sheng Mu/FANG Chieh Min [TPE] vs. KOO Kien Keat/TAN Boon Heong [MAS]
Ending Clip

HA Jung Eun/Kim Min Jung [KOR] vs. YU Yang/Wang Xiao Li [CHN]
Ending Clip

With YOO Hyun Young at the venue
Last but not least, I would like to thank Kim Dong Moon for helping us with arrangements and accommodations in Seoul! We ended up getting to stay at a nearby motel for a much cheaper price! Also, I would like to thank Lee Haeng Ham for spending time with us. He helped us out with directions to Dong Dae Mun and Myeong Dong! I think we will meet up for dinner tomorrow as well :) Additionally, I'd like to thank another player, Yoo Hyun Young for giving me some awesome Korean walnut pastries! I've given random stuff to players before, but she's always given me something back! It's really nice of her so I always bring something extra for her :) Unfortunately, we still have a pretty heavy language barrier... so instead of exchanging words, we're like exchanging gifts :P

Korean Walnut Pastries
That's all for now! I can't guarantee an update until I get my computer fixed but I'll do my best. Thanks for visiting!

Next up... 2012 Malaysia Open!

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