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.

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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.

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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.

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The flowers are out!

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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.

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Dongdaemun!

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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.

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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.

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That’s him. Right there!

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. ^^

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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)

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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final destination ^

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Bad timing.

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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).

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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!