Weekends

korea, weekends

 

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This is over the past two weekends. I didn’t do much last Saturday except for watch the new Transformers movie. I won’t call it great, but I won’t call it bad. Compared to the last one it was definitely better. It was also pretty long, and I was actually tired at the end of it.

Since I did nothing on Saturday the pressure was on to do something Sunday. Having no idea what that something was I decided to just walk, again to Itaewon. I was able to see some old things I haven’t seen since I first got here and some new things too. So I’m glad it went down. It also helps give a better perspective of where places are in the city.

I got off around chungmuro because I couldn’t remember if I had ever been there or not. Which was a good thing because I instantly saw two things I recognized and one is newer than the other. First I saw the market. The market was a cool reminder because I went there in the first 3 months of me being here and totally had no idea where or what it really was. I did get my glasses there though.  Then I saw an addition of what looks like the Seoullo 7017 walk way thing.

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I remember seeing this guy!20170625_15355120170625_153850

Then I found Namsan park. I can’t believe I haven’t been here before. 20170625_15385820170625_154031

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The haze

Like I said i haven’t been here before. Don’t know what percentage of the whole thing I even saw. I don’t think it was much though. I really only saw a small section of it and a parking lot that I passed through on my way down.

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Going through HBC I really just wanted to show how hilly the area is. The whole thing is on an incline.

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Look at those slopes! The pictures are a bit of a let down though because they don’t really show just how steep these places are. 20170625_160826

At the end I met my friend at the Flying Pan in Itaewon. would I go back there again? Maybe it was really expensive and that would be my main problem with it. Sure it was good but it’s hard to justify spending $20 on a smoothie and brunch. 20170625_16503920170625_170921

In case you were wondering I did not eat the tomato. Speaking of food a new burger place opened up a few seconds away from my apartment. The reason why this is awesome is because it’s a burger place that isn’t an hour away and also isn’t terrible. The guys who work there are seem to be pretty agreeable.

I waited forever{one week} for this place to open and it’s actually really good. Better yet it’s right next door. For comparison, it blows Shake Shack out of the water. Although SS might easily be overrated.

I also went for a bit of a walk to Dream Forest near Mia. It was more of a walk to there since didn’t really walk around the park too much.

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This street was busy, with signs

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Went to the top of that thing

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Saw something like this

That was pretty much the weekend. I’m realizing that I’m down to two months left. Kind of freaky. It stills feels far away but also inevitable. It’s also rained a lot the past few days. Apparently it’s rain season and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end any time soon. So that’s exciting.

I’ve also been trying those claw machines more.  I won groot. Although the face gets pretty saggy sometimes and it looks like kind of creepy.

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jerry

3

korea, Travel, weekends

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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.

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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.

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

I also went to Namiseom Island (남이섬 종합휴양지)

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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

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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!

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leaving to the island

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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.

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view from the top

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I had the green one

Almost forgot to mention I went to Seoullo 7017.

 

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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.

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Random picture time!

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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

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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!

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Hey I got some of it right…..

Vietnam time

Travel

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I went to Vietnam this  past weekend and it was a lot of fun! I flew into Hai Phong on Thursday night after work. I was definitely pretty tired. I got in around 10 on Friday. Before I came I was really worried that I’d have a tough time figuring out how to get from point A to B. Turns out it was really simple and I was basically guided and probably ripped off from as soon as I touched down. I’m not complaining though everything was super cheap. At least I think it was.

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beep beep

I was going to Cat Ba island which like the name sounds is an island. So I had to take a boat to get there. The boat was basically a barge, it was pretty darn slow, and the seats were literally falling apart. Either way there were quite a few other tourists there mostly French which was a theme for the whole trip.  Al together the ride took somewhere between 2 or 2/30 hours to get where I was going. So it was a bit long but that’s ok. I was able to go outside and see everything. I also met a Korean on the boat and we ended up hanging out all weekend. Also thankfully the weather was really nice.

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1st look of Cat Ba from the dock

Once I got in I found the Hostel where I was staying. It was ok. The guy who checked me in sounded peeved that anyone was talking to him. He was also really strange. It wasn’t bad though not like I was spending any time there anyways. After throwing my stuff down I went and looked for something to eat. Wasn’t that hard to find something. Got some Pho Bo that was just awesome, and it was like $2. I went back there again. I spent most of the time just walking around and being asked by everyone if I wanted to rent a motor bike or mota bye.

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Didn’t do much day one. Just walked up to cannon fort for a little bit.  Cannon fort was made by the Japanese and then used by the French and Vietnamese. It gave a pretty good view of the island. 20170414_164601.jpg

See cannons. I have mixed opinions on the green army guys.

Second day I went on a boat tour. Continuing the trend of the trip it was packed with Europeans who were on week or month long trips through the country. The sky was pretty overcast which I am kind of happy about. It was still warm out and the water wasn’t cold either so it worked out and I wasn’t baking all day. 20170415_16250520170415_162703

A community of around 1,600 people live on Hạ Long Bay in four fishing villages: Cửa Vạn, Ba Hang, Cống Tàu and Vông Viêng in Hùng Thắng commune, Hạ Long city. They live on floating houses. wiki

We went through a fishing village on the way and back from wherever we went. My question is how did people end up living there in the first place? Did they just wake up one day with their houses floating in the water after being carried off by a flood? Then they just decided why not stay? Also went Kayaking. Which was probably the best thing on the trip. 20170415_09421220170415_093204

After scooting around for awhile on the boat we went swimming/snorkeling. Got to jump off the boat too. It had more of an impact than I was expecting.  The whole area was pretty cool. I found that I was taking the same picture over and over. Almost all of them looked the same. That being said it was just really nice looking so I couldn’t help it! IMG_8114

All of the rocks were thinner on the bottom from the water and there were also lots of little caves and things pretty cool stuff.

The bay consists of a dense cluster of some 1,600 limestone monolithic islands each topped with thick jungle vegetation, rising spectacularly from the ocean. Several of the islands are hollow, with enormous caves. Wiki

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Also went to a place called monkey island. Presumably because there are monkeys.  I’ve seen tours being sold to go there. I would never recommend getting a tour there. Especially not for ₩150,000. The whole thing is a 10-12 minute walk up some really pointy rocks then you go down trying not to die so you can watch monkeys steal things off German teenagers. boat20170414_182851

By far one of the coolest things I did or ever have done is rent a motor bike and ride around. It was way easier than I thought it would be and there was pretty much no traffic to speak off, there were also no driving rules it looked like. It was just really awesome.

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The first place that we stopped at was the cave hospital that the Vietnamese used during the war.

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There were two entrances and this was the exit but it looked like this on the other side too. My first reaction was wondering if this really was it. Kind of lame, it’s a cave and a room yay. Turns out it’s a lot bigger than one room and is pretty huge. Really surprising. Kind of gave me an appreciation for what people are talking about when they mention the Viet Cong having tunnels all around. These things could be really substantial bases. 20170416_104022.jpg

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The thing was still a giant rectangle though built underneath a giant cave. So the second floor to it was just walking around on the roof of the concrete box with the natural cave wall above.

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The coolest thing about the whole ride though was the drive. Going up and down the hills and through the valleys was really cool. It was kind of like the day before but on land and a lot more majestic. Going through the hills though was pretty freaky though. Sure it looked really cool but there were lots of zigs and zags and I was having trouble going around all of them. So I went about 2mph and drifted down while my friend raced around the turns.

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Top of the national park

I also went to the national park. It was a lot longer of a hike and a lot harder of one too. I was dying out there! KakaoTalk_20170419_103735410.jpg

My favorite part though was getting to the other side of the island.

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We came down from the hills on the far side of the picture and it was sweet. Looking out before making my way down I could see the inlet and the road winding and flowing next to the water. It felt like I was in Monte Carlo or some James Bond movie, racing next to the water. However the road was quite bad so I went pretty slow, it was still cool either way.

Pretty much the same thing

After this we bustled back to the rental because we had to catch the last boat out. The boat out was a speed boat and only took 45 minutes to get back. Being back in Hai Phong we still had about 6 hours till the plane left at 11. 20170416_172717

Didn’t really do much. Got a cab to Big C which is like a Vietnamese Walmart. They had Lotteria too! Lots of chicken. So we just messed around there then walked to a street and got something to eat. When all was said and done we had like 3 hours so we just went to the airport. Pro tip: give them your ARC (residency card) with your passport. Thankfully we were ahead of schedule and we landed in Incheon at 5 instead of 6 on Monday morning.

A few things I found interesting was the obsession with the USD and how important it was. Also how many Europeans were around I was expecting a lot more people from English speaking countries. Then the fishing boats and everywhere else were decked out in Vietnam flags.

Overall the trip was really awesome and I’m glad I went. Like I said in the beginning I was pretty nervous about everything, but I really had no trouble with a thing. It all worked out in the end.

Don’t forget the Pens just beat the Blue Jackets and won the series! Rooting for Nashville too.

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Old people selling things

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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.

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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..

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

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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.

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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.

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

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!

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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.

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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.

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G dragon

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

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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)

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

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random

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

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Joe is stronger than me

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

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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before anything

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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.

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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.

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Matching couple in the wild

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

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on our way!

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

Random picture time!

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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.

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