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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day at the Derby!

Today, Aaron and I set out on a horse racing adventure! There's a horse racing track that opened in Busan in 2005, and is only a short bus ride away... so we spent the day at the races!

As a side note: Horse racing in South Korea traces back to May 1889, when a foreign language institue run by the government included a donkey race in its athletic rally... however, this type of racing was sponsored for entertainment purposes only. It wasn't until the 1920's that the betting system made it's debut!

We caught the # 7 mini-bus, where for $0.60 cents, we were driven 12 miles to the race track! Can't beat those mini-bus prices!

When we arrived near the arena, we caught the free shuttle, which took us right to the front gate! Our tickets to enter the arena were only 800 won, which is about $0.72 cents! How awesome is that?!

There's a whole area around the horse track, with entrainment for the kids... ie: machine horse rides, bike and roller blade rentals, and my favorite, sledding!

Unfortunately, I was too tall for the sledding! Being a grown up is never fun when this happens!

Aaron and I walked down to the part of the arena where they walk the horses before the race and caught an up-close and personal glimpse of the jockeys, who were, no joke, probably 4 1/2 feet tall! I'd never seen men that small in my life!

Here's one, warming up his horse.

We grabbed some chicken and found a seat outside to watch the first race! Unfortunately, neither of us were dressed warm enough for the weather! The wind was whirling and it got really cold, so we went in search for a place to sit inside!

We ended up here, at the Foreigners Lounge, which was plush with big round tables, rolling leather chairs, 3 huge TV's to watch the action, and 2 Korean hostesses who could answer all the questions we had! Talk about catering to the foreigners! We felt like a king and queen!

We were feeling pretty lucky, so we decided to do a little betting! Here's my betting card! I lost 3 times and won once! Don't worry... I'm not a big gambler! I only ended up losing about $4.00 Not too shabby for a whole day of entertainment!

This was the race where I won! YAY # 4!

I won a whole 400 won, which is about $0.30 cents! hahaha!

Thank you Red Ruby!

This is Ha Yu Nah! Her parents were sitting at the table behind us, and she came right over to play with us! She definitely wasn't shy! We ended up basically playing with her the whole time we were there! Aaron made paper airplanes with her, and I spun her around in the chair and taught her how to take pictures!

At one point, her parents went outside to bet and we noticed they had left her with us! Guess we look like pretty great babysitters! Me and Ha Yu Han

Aaron won 1 race too... a whole 600 won (about $0.53 cents)! He would have won twice, but it was my turn to hand in the betting card and the betting windows closed with one person in front of me... so his bet didn't get in on time! Sorry Aaron!

People in Busan are crazy when it comes to horse race betting! It's a whole family ordeal! They set out picnic mats and lay out all their horse racing sheets and study the stats for hours, trying to make the best gambling decision! Aaron and I just looked up at the screen and picked the horses that looked the calmest! Next time we'll probably read the stats!

After 6 races and 4 hours, we decided to head back to Busan... We caught a free shuttle bus that took us all the way back! Aaron's new phone has live TV (for free!), so we watched some Korean music videos and enjoyed the ride back home! What an awesome Sunday!

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