Hello, this is the Wongstar, welcome to my crib!
I thought about making a video of my sweet little place here in Korea like I did at my Florida race, but this one would only be 5 seconds long. I’m staying at the Grandville Pension, across from the Blue Hill House where many of the teammates are.
there is even a little Grandfather out here to greet you!
Please leave your Avias by the door, to escape the wrath of the Koreans.
it's an Asian thing.
Growing up Chinese I am used to taking off the shoes when going indoors, but somewhere along the way our family Americanized the no-shoes-inside rule by letting us keep our shoes on for hard floors like in the kitchen. Then it became a no-shoes-on-carpet rule. Here you are supposed to take your shoes off even to walk on the hardwood floors! I have been scolded more than once…
a peek from the front door
Please… make yourself comfortable.
a view from another corner
I’ll give you the grand tour! This is the dining room…
where I do nutrition homework and blogging for extra credit
Here is the kitchen…the fridge is HUGE! It is at least 4x bigger than our Swiss refrigerator, and I have it all to myself!
sometimes Blue Steel must barricade the bathroom so I have room to cook, sometimes I wash dishes over him.
The living room comes equipped with a TV (which I don’t watch much, except for maybe Korean pop music videos) and a desktop computer with a speedy internet connection! I can’t complain much but I will say I’m not used to having a computer desk so low to the ground. I’ve been doing my blogging and emailing on my little laptop in the dining room and then transferring it onto the desktop. The downside to this netbook is that there is no plug for a LAN cable. boo!
I feel spoiled. Seriously!
Then there’s my bedroom, which has a great view. You can see the pink Blue Hill House across the street from my balcony. And no, I don’t usually make my bed. And yes, this place is called “Grandville” but the embroidery on the blanket says “Grang Ville.”
this is the one time I made my bed.
Here’s my closet. Good thing I didn’t pack very much! Another wonderful thing is that the Korean washing machines here are AWESOME and free to use too. I can tell you many horror stories about the Swiss washing machine that ate all my francs, dyed Donna’s towel pink, turned all our white clothes grey, and held my last batch of laundry hostage for 5 cycles in a row because the door wouldn’t open!!!
travelling light is the way to go, so says the international superstar
and of course the bathroom…I bet you wish you knew what top-secret motivational papers are taped up on the shower, too bad the picture came out blurry! mwahaha. Let’s just say I have something to look at while brushing my teeth.
fascinating, isn't it?
After sharing the little Swiss penthouse with the Bean, LC, and later Manny, with two mattresses in the living room and having to wait for the bathroom at times, I’ll have to say…it’s pretty nice having the whole place to myself!
Well… almost to my whole self. I have a few guys here living with me that help inspire me to train my best every day. It’s a bit of a tight squeeze in here for me and the three new roommates, but they stay out of my way and never leave the toilet seat up!
he's not bad to look at either.
Phelpsie. I wasn’t always a big fan of Phelpsie, sure he’s a great swimmer but he seemed a little arrogant and douchey quite honestly. And those ears. But he’s gotten a lot of people really excited about swimming, including my little niece and nephew. They were stoked to follow him in Beijing, and got really excited going to their weekly swimming lessons–something I wish I had at that age…childhood swimming lessons!! They would ask me “Jo-jo, is Michael Phelps faster than…YOU?” Only by a little bit, my little ones. Then I acquired his autobiography in Leysin via LC from Donna and got pretty inspired myself. He has a really hard work ethic and a huge passion for swimming. Coach actually has good things to say about both Phelpsie and his swim coach, Bob Bowman…so that’s saying a lot. You get to read about how he hardly ever took a day off swimming and how much work he put into making himself the world’s best swimmer. And he started off hating swimming as a kid…so there is hope for me yet. Having Phelpsie as a roommate inspires me to be a better swimmer and keep working EXTREMELY hard on my worst discipline in triathlon.
he's not bad to look at either. wait, I said that already.
Oscar. A big thank you to Bean’s friend Kristian for sending me not just one but two Oscar Pistorius posters!! One of them got sent home with the dead warrior horse so that I can have a permanent Oscar in my bedroom at home, and a travelling Oscar who will get to see the world with me. Oscar was born with missing fibulas in both legs and had amputation surgery below both knees when he was only 11 months old. But that never stopped him! He runs on two carbon-fiber prosthetic sprinting legs, competing in the 100m, 200m, and 400m events. He has shattered many Paralympic world records (49 of them!) and almost made it onto the able-bodied Olympic track team last year. He is redefining what is possible, and as a certified prosthetist myself it is the so-called “challenged” athletes like him that drew me into the profession of prosthetics. He also reminds me that I want to help more of the Oscar’s in the world pursue their athletic dreams through my prosthetics social projects. I realize I’ve been a little quiet on the social project front but this will change pretty soon!
he kind of looks like a...
Grandpa Johnson. I know “Johnson” isn’t a very Korean-sounding name for my Korean grandfather here but it somehow seemed to suit him. And Grandpa Dick didn’t sound very nice. He is a pretty hefty guy and I actually left him here when I went to Europe…accidentally as I was loading my bags to go to the airport! The Blue Hill House kept him for safekeeping and probably saved me from some excess baggage fees. He is a solid reminder of some of my biggest accomplishments this year rolled into a single race–winning my first triathlon, winning my first pro race, winning my first ironman-distance race, winning my first paycheck…
In fact I am actually living off my cash winnings from this race during the month of September, and if that’s not the epitome of living the pro lifestyle, I’m not sure what is! Obviously my humble little abode is not huge, despite being a Korean millionaire at one point, but I have everything I need and am quite happy here.
I am really enjoying my time here on Jeju Island. I love it here!