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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…..

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design, korea, Travel
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I wan’t it to be summer…

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

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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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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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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Break and other things

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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.