3

korea, Travel, weekends

IMG_5598.JPG

Not to alarm anyone but I have three months left. The pressure is on!

What have I been up to you may wonder. The answer is not much. In the time I have posted I actually have done a few things mostly just exploration, nothing huge. Either way here it is.

I’ll start with Hockey. It’s finally over! Which is a shame because it’s really fun and it also gave me something to do on Sundays.

KakaoTalk_20170530_012203925

Not to discount the season though we did end up getting second place overall. Which is pretty good. We played a tight final but eventually we just couldn’t break through. Which was upsetting but hey I’m totally fine now and hold no grudges at all.

Our team was really good, and I actually got better because of it. Am I good? Probably no, but I found my legs again. I ended up with a total of 9 points with an amazing 4 goals. For comparison I had 0 last year. So a step up I say! Either way the CBHK is a ton of fun, and I’m so glad I found it. I won’t be able to play again because the season doesn’t start till I leave. However It will probably be one of the things I miss the most about Korea.

20170527_112727[1].jpg

There also happened to be an EXO concert going on next door one game.

I also went to Namiseom Island (남이섬 종합휴양지)

namimap.jpg

Namiseom is an island shaped like a dumpling shaped island. It has a mildly interesting history but the most fun bit is the “country” status.

Naminara Republic
Nami Island declared its cultural independence on 01 March 2006 and re-named itself the Naminara Republic (Namisun).
The Naminara Republic is an imaginary country, but it has invented its own passport, currency, stamp and telephone card, and has promoted the establishment of Naminara in other countries. A “passport” issued from Naminara is required to enter the Namisum. Korea4expats

20170527_171552[1]

for example

Being an island with no bridges you can’t get there by foot and have to wait for a ferry to take you across the river. It’s very quick and not at all hard to figure out how to do. You can also zip line across to the island if that’s your kind of tea. Once there you can take a few paths to walk around the island. It’s actually quite big and took a bit longer to get around than I thought it would.

If you’re that kind of person you can rent all kinds of things to get around the island. From bikes, to pedal cars, golf carts, and even off brand segways. There are plenty of options to chose from.

It’s all pretty quaint. There are a lot of tree lined paths that can be pretty scenic at times. There are lots of groomed fields and it really just has a very relaxed atmosphere. It’s basically a giant park. It is definitely a couple and or family spot as there are lots of both running around. There are the few sculptures and a decent amount to see. However there isn’t a lot to actually do. At least how I did it, it was way more of a leisurely stroll through the island just looking at things than actually interacting with anything. There are also some animals littered around the park like peacocks, rabbits, and apparently an ostrich but I didn’t see it.

I probably wouldn’t go back there, but I’m glad I went at least once. It was relaxing and for sure a good way to spend the afternoon.

As a quick note, the area around the island is known for chicken I guess so there are tons of chicken places to eat. Choose wisely!

IMG_8256

leaving to the island

IMG_8263IMG_8279IMG_8308IMG_8353

 

Beyond that I had a cute afternoon exploring some roof tops in HBC. We went to 100 Food Truck which was a bit disappointing. Sure the view is cool but you can get it pretty much anywhere else in the area. I’m embarrassed to say how long I waited to get up there. Just to have a pretty good hamburger that totally fell apart in seconds. Eventually I was just eating a guacamole salad. My issue was mainly with the wait. To be fair we waited for the shade and as far as I know if I went for the un shaded part the wait would have been much quicker.

20170603_163122

view from the top

20170603_163255

I had the green one

Almost forgot to mention I went to Seoullo 7017.

 

20170603_142449

It was an overpass created back in the 70’s. It has since been renovated into a walkway with a bunch of trees and random other points of interest. Here is a link about it if you’re interested.

Moving on from Food Truck we went to a Thai themed rooftop. It was way better. Not only was there no one up there but it was just very chill. Also carried about 90% less pretentiousness the last place did. To make matters better it was on top of a bbq place, what a location! I will go back here again for sure.

20170603_17005220170603_175554

Random picture time!

20170603_211424

20170608_114305

So that has been the past three weekends pretty much. The last one was pretty hectic, well with not a bunch of sleep that’s for sure.

I ended up going on a trip this past Sunday to some places i’m not really sure of between Chungju and Danyang.KakaoTalk_20170616_112313101.jpg

20170611_16230320170611_16451820170611_16105520170611_16071120170611_161732.jpg20170611_131403

It was definitely a good way to spend the Sunday.

As far as school goes a new term has rolled around a few weeks ago, and it is a nice change of pace from last term for sure.

That is pretty much it. Now a new weekend is a day away so lets see what happens!

Let’s not forget though.

THE PENS WON THE STANLEY CUP!

pittsburgh-penguins-stanley-cup-story-sidney-crosby.jpg

Untitled-2

Hey I got some of it right…..

Mayday!Mayday!

korea

A lot of my time is going through the motions, and I realize I’ve calmed down quite a bit compared to when I was first here. I remember wanting to go somewhere every weekend and If I wasn’t out of my apartment by like 1 every Saturday it felt like my time was dripping away. Since then I’ve been in a way better apartment, and things have definitely slowed down. I don’t know when the change happens, but I blame winter.

I’m trying to think of anything exciting that has happened since my birthday weekend in Vietnam. Off the top of my head I can’t think of anything. Then I go through my pictures and realize how wrong I am.

20170422_173640

It’s baseball season again so I went with my friends to see a game between the Twins and Tigers. It was the first time I have ever gone here when it was PACKED even the last few games of the season weren’t this bad. We didn’t even get a seat. We ended up not even sitting in real sits and found ourselves on the stairs. It wasn’t ideal. 1494892239952[1]

On top of that the Twins lost and the visiting side was much louder. On the other hand I did get some pictures with random people. If that isn’t a win I don’t know what is.

20170429_165730

Later I went to Naksan park after getting some tacos and walking around in Hyehwa at Dos Tacos.  Hyehwa’s a pretty cool area and is probably worth going back too. It’s a pretty active area and has a ton of tiny theaters. However that’s not where I ended up for the rest of the day. Like I said I went to the park. It’s one of my favorite places because it’s an easy walk that starts somewhere cool and ends somewhere cool. It also has some pretty views.

20170429_165945

20170429_170041

The flowers are out!

20170429_17051620170429_170520

It follows the old Seoul walls. Then goes up a ridge so you can look out a bit.

20170429_17160520170429_173024Ihwa mural village is in the middle of the walk. Do you like going to cafes? If so it’d be a good place to go. If You don’t really care about cafe’s then it is probably avoidable. It is however pretty and you don’t lose anything by walking through it.

20170429_175041

Dongdaemun!

20170503_222256

This building is probably a spaceship.

20170505_154138I did two things last weekend that were pretty fun. I saw a B-Boy show which I have wanted to do for awhile. Was it as crazy as I was hoping? No. But it was pretty fun. I don’t usually get to see people break dance at an actual competent level. It was a good way to spend the afternoon for sure.

However the coolest thing I did that same weekend was watch people play Starcraft. Can’t think of anywhere else that I could do this and E-sports is just so Korean. Basically the home of the whole concept. It was a cool thing to go to. It wasn’t crazy crowded but there were people. Better yet it was free! There are tournaments that cost money and fill out some big venues. This wasn’t a tourney and from what I could tell was just normal league play. So it was free! It was easy to get to, and was on the 2nd floor of some unsuspecting office building.

It happened in a studio and had some good camerawork to make it all look a bit bigger and more crowded. So again everything was free. You got an energy drink, free earphones and a radio thing so you can listen to the English broadcast. At times I had no idea what was happening and I had no idea when it was going to end but it was a fun time.

20170506_12512320170506_135859

1494892097120[1]

After that I went to Coex in a surprise ran into a Moon Jae-in rally. The guy even showed up eventually! So that was a pleasant unexpected surprise. Three days later the guy would be elected president.

20170506_175444

That’s him. Right there!

20170507_213601

I also got diabetes at Shake Shack the next day. There is a new location in Dongdaemun. It’s a ton less popular the Gangnam location which is always packed with people for no other reason than it’s in Gangnam. Also Dongdaemun is half an hour closer.

In hockey news we just played the last game of the regular season. Playoffs begin this Sunday. Out team is pretty good and finished 3rd overall. I think we can pull it off. 20170430_135403

What made them decide to wear this stuff…

I was hoping it could be Twice’s new song, but it is terrible.

Busan Weeeeeekend!

festival, korea, Travel

templepana

I went to Busan this past weekend. It was tons of fun. Probably one of the top things I have done here.

What else has happened in the meantime? Not much else. I’ve played in one hockey game and missed another this past weekend. From what I heard we tied and won so 1-0-1. I’ll take it. This team is good and I think we can make a good run.

In other news the weather has been warming up. So going outside has been an option pretty much everyday. It’s nice to stretch the legs again.  The kids at school are getting sick again though because of this now I’m getting sick. The amount of times I have been coughed on is insane. Any time I walk near a kid who is sick there is an 80% chance they are going to try their hardest to make me ill and cough all over me.

While I remember it, I guess the biggest news country wise is that the president has gotten impeached. People were pretty happy. Celebrations etc.. and it was on a Friday! What timing… Obviously not everyone is happy about it though. However, now she is in (more)legal trouble because she no longer holds her title. She is going to be investigated. I have no idea where everything will go, but there is a vote for a new person in May.

Back to Busan though. For those who don’t know where it is it’s on the south east side of the country along the coast. It’s also the second biggest city outside of Seoul. I even edited a map for you.

kroea

So that’s where it is. Now for some history. Busan was one of two cities not captured by North Korea in the first few months of the Korean war. It was the last stand of UN forces who were pushed all the way back. Fortunately after some tense fighting and the Incheon landing the UN won out and the North Korean army was pushed back, and Korea was saved. However because of this, there were quite a bit of refugees that fled down south to Busan. Which leads us too Gamcheon culture Village!

culturestreet

This place

During the war the number of houses on this hill went from 20 to 800.

stairsGamcheon has long been home to the city’s poorest residents. In the 1940s, only 20 or so houses dotted the hillside, but that number swelled dramatically at the beginning of the Korean War in 1950. War refugees fled their homes for the relative safety of Busan, the only area of the peninsula that remained free from fighting. Within a year, Busan’s population grew from 880,000 to 1.4 million people, and a half million homeless refugees needed a place to live and fast. Approximately 4,000 people moved from the crowded port areas surrounding the Jagalchi Fish Market to nearby Gamcheon, erecting some 800 makeshift homes using scrap iron, wood and rocks.” From here

So the history behind the place is also pretty interesting. The link above explains it better than I can. I went on this trip with my friend Bailey. The culture village wasn’t bad but it wasn’t exactly mind blowing either. It’s a stroll through a few streets either trying to sell coffee or random souvenirs. Pretty much similar to any “artsy” area in Korea. Which means cool, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get there. Unless I really wanted a coffee in a colorful building. The history behind it is probably the coolest thing.

mebird

candywhat

In reverse order we also went to Jagalchi fish market. Which as the name suggests is a fish market. What I didn’t realize was I went to the same area years ago but had no idea.

lady

Old people selling things

fish

Old people sitting on things

There were plenty of curious things being sold here. Including a drink made from turtle shell, there were also live ells with peeled skin squirming around. I’m sure there are even more strange things going on, but these are the ones that I knew about. Unless you really wanted a smelly fish to carry around with you it’s all about the atmosphere here which is pretty cool.

traffic

young AND old people blocking everyone

The thing that stuck out to me the most was one the age of everyone. Everyone working there looked about 90 and how colorful everything was. There were umbrellas covering the little alley between the stalls with lots of yellows and reds. Then just like Korean hikers, the adjumas were decked out in colorful aprons, jackets etc..

sleepy

I wonder what business is like. That one lady is pretty sleepy

squid

These guys were trying to escape.

We also went to the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple (해동 용궁사). Which I went to last time I was here and by all means is kind of lame. Sure it’s in a cool spot by the ocean but not much is going on.

The big take away from this place was I got a picture with my animal the monkey, and saw two gold pigs. Riveting stuff.

That was all on Saturday. I went out and met some people and hung out on the beach for a bit. On Sunday was the reason why I was here. There is an Indian event called Holi Hai .

“Holi Hai is a Hindu spring festival celebrated in India and Nepal, also known as the “festival of colours” or the “festival of love”.[7][1][8] The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair broken relationships.[9][10] It is also celebrated as a thanksgiving for a good harvest.[9][10] It lasts for a night and a day, starting on the evening of the Purnima (Full Moon day) falling in the Vikram Samvat Hindu Calendar [11] month of Phalgun, which falls somewhere between the end of February and the middle of March in the Gregorian calendar. The first evening is known as Holika Dahan or Chhoti Holi and the following day as Holi, Rangwali Holi, Dhuleti, Dhulandi,[12] or Phagwah.[13]Holi is an ancient Hindu religious festival which has become popular with non-Hindus in many parts of South Asia, as well as people of other communities outside Asia.[9] In recent years the festival has spread to parts of Europe and North America as a spring celebration of love, frolic, and colours.” Source

At around 11 ish we went to Haeundae beach which is a pretty popular spot in Busan. I want to say the most popular but I’m not %100. I went with a tour group called WinK. They weren’t bad, and I might even use them again if I get the chance. They gave everyone a thing of powder and  shirt. Thankfully the weather was great.

20170319_112208

Bailey

Look how clean she is. 20170319_12000420170319_120037

As 3 stated to roll around it was finally time to go. I briefly washed paint off my face then sat down on the beach with Bailey waiting till it was time to go to KTX and catch the train. I could still taste paint in my mouth almost the whole day. Like I said at the start though this was an awesome time and one of top thing I’ve done recently for sure. So if you get a chance to check it out, go!

I’ve also finished up some tickets I was working on last week. allfour

There is a post about them below.

20170318_012146.jpg

The Motel I stayed in had gaming computers which I think is definitely worth noting.

2-2

design, korea, Travel
img_5647

I wan’t it to be summer…

Yay! It’s Monday again! What a wonderful time.

kakaotalk_20170306_121645897.jpg

Lets talk about how much of a miracle it is  that tlhese things are growing.

Since last post a ton of my friends and co-workers that I have met in Korea have left. That all happened last week. It’s strange and kind of lame. The next six months are going to be a lot more of a different  experience than my last 9, and probably more like my first 3. Things are just different I don’t have 0 friends but the core group that was here is gone. Which is upsetting but hey, things change.

So I’ll have to go on the march and go friend finding again. Good things that come from this is, I’ll probably be spending less money and also will have more free time not spent sleeping on the weekends. Meeting new people is always good and I still have plenty of time to find a lot of new experiences! It’s really all about how I handle the setback moving forward!

Either way the past 9 months have been an amazing experience and it’s all because of them! We had done a lot together but at least Lindsey is still here I guess.

Beyond that hockey and the cbhk has finally started back up again! I got drafted pretty low but that wasn’t unexpected. I’m really not that good. We play 2 games back to back against the same team (double header?) every Sunday. The first series of the season we lost both. They were rough games personally because I was gassed. Our team really isn’t that bad and we got to OT both times. We just couldn’t keep it out of the net at the end. I did terrible and my legs locked up within minutes of playing. I was dying!

Then we played 2 more games yesterday and it went much better. We won both! I even got an assist and maybe 2 shots on goal. Which is %100 above my average. Everything went way better. I didn’t run out of steam both games and the 2nd line man handled the other teams 2nd line. We got maybe one goal but we had plenty of chances and we kept the ball in the zone our whole shift. Hopefully there is more of that too come next week! I also took a nasty shot to the back of my knee. Hopefully there is less of that next week!

Because it hurts to stand…

20170304_171244

20170304_204411

I also got to watch Logan in/near Lotte World Tower. Lotte World Tower is kind of a monolithic eye sore but it was cool to see it nonetheless. LWT as I’m going to call it now is the 5th largest building in the world! Great job Korea! I’m sure people like it here, but I haven’t met many over the age of 12 who are glad it exists. People died what! However, you can see this thing from a long way away. Getting out of Nowon you can see it hovering in the distance pretty much anywhere you go. I glimpsed it before but this was the first time I really got to see it and take it all in.

20170304_172604.jpg

Pororo is a sell out.

Everything is huge and it has a way cooler setup than the 101 tower in Taipei. The movie theater also has like three levels too it. Which honestly was a bit inconvenient considering I was on floor 3. Logan or 로건 was ok. I know some people liked it and I know I kind of did but I was looking for a bit more cool stuff. I also had no idea what happened before this.

I also ate a non Mcdonalds hamburger for the first time in months. There was no Ketchup in that bottle. ㅠㅠ Also watched the Woodley vs Thompson fight.

kakaotalk_20170306_121645229

20170218_174030

colored balls woo!

Travel idea #1

If you come to Korea what is something I recommend doing/going?

If your here during warmish weather I say check out Bukhansan national park. It is a really cool place and there is quite a bit to walk around. I have only been to a small section of it and I enjoyed it. I only stayed around the base of the thing and had a pretty decent time. There are far more enticing places in the park to go and a lot more to explore!

Bukhansan means “mountains north of the Han River.”

The park contains forested areas, temples and granite peaks. The three main peaks are Baekundae, 836.5 m (2,744 ft), Insubong, 810.5 m (2,659 ft) and Mangnyeongdae, 799.5 m (2,623 ft). Due to its popularity with hikers and Seoul residents, some trails are closed on a rotation basis to protect the local environment.

justin.jpg

You can go on easy hikes/strolls to some that are a bit harder. There are entrances to the park all around. It is open all year round too.

Screenshot_20170306-113943.jpg

A popular way to get there is:

getting off at Gupabal Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1.
Take Bus 704 bound for Bukhansanseong Fortress (북한산성).
Get off at the Bukhansan Mountain entrance bus stop.

These directions are from here.

img_6857

Around the base of Bukhansan

If you have somewhere you want to see or any recommendations let me know!

I also made this for my sister:business-card-mockups3

tweet tweet it’s been a year.

korea

mystreet

Turns out earlier this week signals that its been a year since I’ve been here! Time has flown by, if I had to leave tomorrow I would be one unhappy person. I have done a few things but there is still so much that hasn’t happened. I’m hoping that when I leave in August I’ll get some of it out of my system because I’ll be leaving during a warmer time.

Either way a lot has happened since I’ve been in Korea but i’m not going to reminisce too much. Just look at the older posts! It has been a lot of fun and i would definitely do it again. Like go back in time do it again, not stay for another year do it again. Maybe. I’m planning to go on more trips though and get some things out of the way. It’s been a cold winter and I’ve stayed inside for the majority of it all. Which is logical because it’s cold and the cold is not fun. That and the month of January was also a pretty busy time.

I have gotten pretty lucky with where I work too. There are lots of places where I could have gone that are worse. Way worse. There is a great group here and the environment is super friendly. It’s different everywhere you go and there is no golden standard but I like to think I’ve ended up in a good spot, can’t complain!

20161102_191354[1].jpg

Egg had the best personality

 It’s funny to walk into the room and finding a kid i used to teach leave me a personalized message then hear her laugh like a maniac in the hallway when I walk in. Either way that’s one of the reasons why I’ve been busy.

I also started to go to a Korean Hagwon to take some classes after work till like 9 so my week got booked up. unfortunately I can’t keep taking them because my work hours are strange and It isn’t really feasible. I’m glad I took my chance and did it though this past month.

pan

I wen’t to Dongdamun and took some mediocre pictures. This is what I think is the best one. I need to sell my tripod….

I also went to Big Bang’s final concert! It was pretty awesome and epic. I posted most of the pictures on FB so I’m keeping it light here.

20170107_20191720170107_203544

20170107_205255

G dragon

20170107_20550720170107_205512

If you want to see more, and videos check out this link

234

I also went to see some boxing with my friend Joe from Big Bang Boxing! We didn’t have any horses in the race but it was still pretty entertaining. img_7760img_7773img_7805img_7850

For Chinese new years I went down to Busan via KTX. The whole trip was pretty relaxing for about two days. I got terribly sick for the last two days and it kind of overshadowed the trip which was disappointing. I think Busan is due for a revisit, maybe.(probably not)

20170108_120530

Reading through my Korean practice book and saw they used the Penguins as the picture for Hockey! How neat is that?!

20170114_134727

random

20170122_2014090

The coach was getting really heated with the refs after the fight.

20170122_2052430

Joe is stronger than me

20170127_213745

These were good. And apparently the muscle shells like explode if heated for too long. The more you know!

20170128_16225220170128_16225820170128_213800

20170210_232313

Cheap chinese Lego knockoffs! Lepin

That’s it! Hopefully more than two people read this because I wrote more than two sentences! So spread the word!

horn2

I also made this ^^

Working title

design, korea

looking

The Penguins just beat the Devils 5-2. So it’s been a good morning.

It’s been since almost Halloween so there’s plenty to talk about. Maybe.

First off hockey is finally over. DX beat the Alpha Males who were as douchey as the name sounds. So the good guys won. It was a pretty good series, and the good team won. Nobody who was watching was rooting for AM which got to be pretty funny. After the game there was an end of year party in Itaewon which was pretty fun. I ended the season with 5 points. All which were assists, but hey I’ll take it.

I’ll be doing it again for sure. It was really fun, K don’t know if I got any better but i’ll try to get some practice in before it starts up again. I got drafted in the 10th round last time, which I hope I keep. However I’m pretty sure it will drop a bit, if it doesn’t ill be ecstatic.

These pictures are from the semis, not the final. I was going to go out later so didn’t bring my camera.

sadgoalrefbums

20161210_145414.jpg

Speaking of hockey.After a Saturday game, I went ice skating! Which I can’t do.  SO i spent most of the time against the wall or being dragged around.

20161126_184439

I think I talked about it before but I ended up going to Langcon Fest. Earlier in the year in October or November, 2 teachers got assigned to a group of kids and we had to get them to sing a short little play and do some moves. Thanks to Annie our group won their level, on our campus.

20161112_125250

The winners!

Because of this we had to go a couple weekends ago to the “main event” which was down at a college by the companies HQ. All in all it wasn’t bad. The kids who are only in like grade 1-3 had to go up in front of maybe a thousand people and put on a 4 minute skit. I had to be on stage for maybe 2 seconds and was sweating so bad I thought I’d drop the mic. Yet the kids did great!  Overall they got 3rd and were pretty happy with it. ^^

 

There are better pictures out there, but I have yet to see them. So I only have a few from my phone.

20161217_121327

snapchat-934271334

before anything

20161217_151611

backstage

The most recent event was Christmas. If there is one disappointment about Korea its Christmas. It just isn’t the same and it might as well not exist. It isn’t peoples favorite holiday and alot of the kids don’t even are about it. That’s how you know its wrong. I asked everyone of my kids if they were excited for it, and the amount of unenthusiastic “ehh” answers I got were insane. I couldn’t sleep when I was a kid the week before Christmas I was that pumped.

It’s more of a token holiday it seems which is really disappointing. I keep hearing that it is a couple holiday which is such a Korean thing to do. As well as a  sacrilegious thing. Tons of kids got nothing, or even just a pencil case. So on top of the gift giving not being the same you also aren’t beat over the head with it after Thanksgiving. Back home it is so hard to not notice its Christmas time, sure you notice here too but it isn’t the same. Where is the bravado, and flashiness?

Overall it seems like an imported holiday and one where the idea of it was missed. That being said my Christmas and Christmas weekend was a great time.

20161217_21252220161218_140904

Friday we had secret santa! I got a cool Kakao mug. This is my favorite picture from it though.20161223_233010.jpgSaturday we got all you can eat sushi by our house. Then after watching bad shows on Netflix went to Red Dragon Spa with Bailey and Lindsey. Had a brief visit to Hongdae but then spent the night back in Nowon.

20161224_212216

20161224_151414

Matching couple in the wild

20161224_14491720161224_23372720161225_001337

 

Then on Sunday everyone went to a buffet at Coex International hotel. Which was all you can eat and drink! Solid day and night.

20161225_171357

on our way!

20161225_21174720161225_225159

It took us 30 minutes to actually find the lobby where the dinner was. Coex is huge.

Random picture time!

snapchat-33433712620161220_21245420161223_193930

I worked on these two projects a little bit ago. I started a 30 sits in 30 days plan. However I made it to 5 before I realized learning Javascript is a better idea. So that’s what Ive been up to after work recently.

business-card-mockup2pad1

panorama

korea
panaorama

응봉산

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on here. Recently I have been trying to think of what I have done in the past few weeks. I mean it’s been a couple months seen I wrote anything! I realized i couldn’t think of anything. I can’t believe for about two months I have done nothing. I still can’t think of anything though. I looked through my camera and phone and look I have done some stuff!

The weird thing though is that I don’t feel like I have done anything. I told myself that I needed to write something but I couldn’t for the life of me think about what I could say. It’s definitely true that it’s gotten really comfortable here. Pretty much everything seems the same at the moment it’s weird. Factor that in with how fast time goes and everything is starting to get washed over. I don’t like it! So I’ll be looking to go on a trip sometime in the near future to shake things up.

Plenty of things have happened since I’ve been gone. The bears have swept NC Dino’s and won the Korean baseball championship. I’m still playing hockey but our team isn’t going that great. That’s only two, but I’m sure something else has happened. Oh yeah the Korean president has turned out to be pretty terrible. An approval rating of around 5% is not very good.

img_6671img_6673img_6685

Went to a market which isn’t so crazy in itself. The food was decent enough. The interesting part of it was that you traded your money in for the old coins to use there.

img_6723img_6692

The Kroean equivalent to the White House. Cops were walking around because it was the 1 year anniversary of a protester dying and there were protests nearby. Was kind of a precursor for what happened later.

20161029_190540

Went to the gremlin night market on the river. But it was so cold there so I didn’t stay for very long. This was on Halloween. I decided to go to the protests about the president that were going down. 20161029_20002720161029_20315820161029_205357

An insane amount of people were there, about 10,000?. Even crazier is that the protests are still going on and they are only getting bigger. 20161030_132308img_6800

Went to the zoo and this kids mom was less than helpful getting him up. img_6856img_6857

Fun in Bukhansan 북한산국

img_6954img_6967

Pictures I took over this past weekend.

20161022_231625

Hongdae near halloween.

20161113_144825

대부도

Justin also came by for a few weeks. We didn’t do much together unfortunately because I was always working.ㅠㅠ But it was still fun to see him. We got to go to Hongdae and a pretty good time. Also went to a Pet cafe and almost saw Exo but we got bored waiting for 15 minutes. He was able to get a new pair of glasses and 3 new jackets/suits for under $200.

 

Break and other things

korea

Went to Jeju for Korean Thanksgiving aka Chuseok aka 추석. I was there from Wednesday until Saturday with a few of my friends from work. Every time I go there I always think that there was something else I could have seen or done and this time was no different. In part due to weather. I’d go back although maybe not for awhile since the weather is getting worse.

img_6433

I’m not single anymore!-that guy

Our group got separated for the ferry which was lame. Although it did work out. We rode the bus all night long and I got almost 0 sleep. The ride on the ferry was pretty quick since we got the quick boat. We got to the island quicker which meant basically nothing cause we just spent it waiting for the rest of our group and sleeping on random benches.

img_6419

We got  there way earlier than we thought we would. Didn’t do much that I remember really. Spent most of the time sleeping and finding something to eat.  We found a black pig place that was really good. Supposedly food here is pretty bad, which I believe. However this was good. 20160916_200940

Day 2 we went to a maze, didn’t get lost at all. Easy. There were lots of spiders and lots of cats. Like 20 cats or something. There were a ton of them.

img_6486img_6488

img_6485img_6490

We also went to a lava tube. It was pretty cool and pretty huge. 20160915_135256img_656720160916_145711

The food we ate was for the most part all good. we settled for Pizza a couple times which were the low points of the food experience. Places closed pretty early, the also opened pretty late. So it threw us off a bit. The stuff above was pretty good.It was moving when it came out which was a bit funky. The owner quickly pushed them under the boiling water and solved that! The clams in there were great. Again the food was good. We got help finding it though. If by myself chances are it wouldn’t have been like that. The last day we went to some back woods place that was really good. Had some amazing fish on the last day. The setup for it was really picture perfect too.

20160917_104116.jpg

I mean look at all of that. Another weird thing about Jeju was that the transportation totally  blows. We spent literally 2 hours trying to get back to our place one day. You can’t really just pick up a taxi like you can in Seoul. Which isn’t surprising really. We had to rely on call taxis but sometimes they weren’t available and it led us stranded for a bit occasionally. This is why there are so many rented cars there.

The last day was pretty fun though. We left at 5 in the afternoon and as usual this trip it was raining. Although this time I had a friend and they were willing to drive! We started it up by going to that fish place. Then traveled an hour across the island to go to some green tea fields. It rained a lot on our way over there. It was a bout as exciting as looking at this picture. Although the place had some pretty cool atmosphere. It was pretty swanky. Koreans are pretty obsessed about being chic.

Which reminds me. The whole place is pretty village esque. Then randomly there will be this super modern, artsy, square building. Which make sense because I figure a lot of rich people come here and set up shop on the weekends or vacation.

20160917_141432.jpg

green tea fields. The fans are to stop the plants from frosting.

Jeju was over for now. It was a really nice day outside up here though. So while I still could I went exploring to get some books from Itaewon. Overall it took about 3 hours. Pretty interesting. I saw some things I didn’t know existed and would probably check out again. For example the park in the first 2 pictures. If you follow it you go across the Ihwa mural village, which I didn’t actually go into but want to in the future. The road/ally that I was following had a lot of atmosphere. wish I took a picture of it.

In a surprise twist the thing stopped at Dongdaemun .3 .4. After I got there I walked around a pretty average road for an hour till I got to  a random path that turned into a wooded park. Wasn’t expecting that. cool part was part of the path went over the road as a bridge .5. Even weirder for the last hour I saw almost no one. It was relaxing!

After some wrong turns and almost making it the N tower by accident I found myself going up a really long and tall hill. I couldn’t believe Itaewon was on such a big hill..6 it’s not as flat as it looks. I haven’t been there much so I was surprised. Well it’s not. I ended up going right back down. At least not the part that I wanted to go to. It was a bit weird seeing it at it’s “back” though.

I finally found some books to read! Got some kebabs and walked away to Samgakji to get on the subway. I haven’t really been around that area much. It was a bit surprising because at some points between Itaewon and Samgakji it reminded me of Squirrel Hill at home. Freaky stuff. At the end of it all I realized how little of the city I have seen/know. This is isn’t much of a realization as it is reinforcement. I think little walks like this will keep on happening till it gets cold outside and I have to hibernate.

That’s what success looks like. ^^

panorama

Panorama with my real camera. Turned out oook I realized way after the fact that they had 4.5 as the aperture. Which is kind of very frustrating. However I did learn how to make a panorama and blend pictures together. Lets compare it to the last time I was there. Weather looks very different.

(also hopefully the new one is better)

20160821_131435_pano


So now random stuff that I have been up to.

Went to a giant horse race track and won a cool $10. Would go again. The place was probably x4 the size of the one at home and the track is x8 it looked like. It was huuuuge.

Then in no particular order, watched some baseball again. Played some hockey in the league I joined (im horrible)  walked are Konkuk Univ. area for some disappointing Indian food. Then went to the Kakao store in Gangnam, I might have bought something.

Bueno Weekends

korea

20160820_18562520160821_131435_Pano

Finally done with the super loaded month of classes called intensives. Where the parents aren’t sure what to do with kids during summer so we add more classes to the schedule. So the kids can spend the entire summer in school.So waking up early and doing a fair bit more classes is finally done! Including this past weekend I had some good weekends during and after intensives.

So last weekend I went to a boxing match. It was way better than the first one I went to. I went because one of the trainers I made the logo for his gym. That’s who is in the first picture. It was pretty cool to see it on shirts and see a bunch of people wearing them. Unfortunately our boxer lost but it was a great fight to watch! There were like 3 others that were also really entertaining.

After the boxing match we left and went to go watch the Bears stomp Nexen. Something like 8-1. I watched it with my friend from Jeju who I met like the 2nd week I was here when I went to the fire festival. It was a pretty active day.

This past weekend though was the most fun! i went to Jeju and stayed at a guest house my friend was staying at. Not the one from the baseball game though he couldn’t make it :(. Either way stayed at a guest house and met some very friendly and cool Koreans. They were super nice and there was a very funny couple there. Everyone but me actually lived in Jeju.

In the first couple hours I was there we went snorkeling with the gang. Couldn’t get off to a better start. It seemed like a proper vacation. Almost movie like with the characters that were with us.  I only had Saturday night there but it was super cool being able to drive around with them and explore the island. Ended up having a super fun night with everyone. I think authenticity is a thing that’s a goal but is still hard to experience. When it happens it’s great and I think this whole weekend checked all the boxes.

As for What I did Saturday I got picked up at the airport and went to a fish restaurant and embarrassed my self because I don’t know how to separate the meat and bones. All was good because I got plenty of help. The one I struggles with was the 1st on the left, the rectangle one. The best part of it though was the fish on the far right. It was a lot easier to eat but it also tasted better in general.

1471784611585

After that went to the guest house and laid down for a bit. Changed clothes and went snorkeling at a place only a few minutes walk away. With the people who were at the house. Which was 6 of us. it was pretty cool, I have only done it once before I think. Only saw a few fish but in general it was great to finally swim.

Eventually we went out to eat and had some Japanese food as appetizers because they didn’t actually have what we were looking for. When we were travelling around it didn’t feel like I was a tour or just a 3rd party along for the ride. I felt a lot more in tune with what was going on. We went through a bunch of country roads and to some secluded places. It reminded me of being back In Elkins. Although a lot more tropical. We ended up going to a BBQ place who the couple I was driving with liked because they were friends with the owner I guess. There we just ended up doing the normal bbq routine. Fortunately for everyone I broke out my “Korean” as the day went along.

20160821_122448

The olleh(?) path marker that goes around the coast

20160821_124024

final destination ^

20160821_125917

Bad timing.

20160821_131341

At ze top.

On Sunday we did a lot of driving around in the morning. We were trying to find places to swim but high tide is a thing so we couldn’t. We dropped a girl from Busan off at the bus stop then kept out search. My friend and I came to the conclusion that hey maybe we should do something else. So they decided to take me to the place in the pictures whose name I forget. Since no one told me that we were going to be walking up something I only had embarrassingly small sandals to wear. Look at those tiny things in the 3rd picture. Regardless we got to the top. 20160821_131435_PanoI’m not sure the picture does it justice but it was incredibly pretty at the top. The sky is noticeably cleaner and you could see for miles. And tiny Mountains littered the Horizon. Very cool stuff. We wen’t to eat some raw fish in a fruit sauce that was sooooo sweet.

Since the ocean calmed down a bit it was back to swimming! So we wen’t to a beach we wanted to go to earlier and played around like morons in the waves. Fun stuff. The highlight was 2 guys from the house came with their surf board. So they taught me how to surf! I didn’t think that would happen before I came to Jeju but it did! Go figure I was bad. But I almost stood up twice which I’ll mark as a victory. It was a pretty sweet experience and one that’d I’d like to repeat.

for the most part that was the end of my trip. I just took a shower then we rushed off to eat some black pig which is a Jeju specialty thing. It was good, but maybe we rushed it a bit to much! The air port was packed so I was worried I might miss the flight! Like really worried, but I got to the gate with 12 or so minutes to spare(whew).

carolinepicture11x172 [Recovered].jpg

I’m working on this for Caroline. There are a number of thing’s I want to improve but this is what I have so far. Should be done soon.

 

And that’s that!