Road Trip! The Furthest I’ve Ever Traveled for a Single Meal

I’m not sure what the furthest or longest I’d ever traveled for a meal was before Saturday, but I know it wasn’t three hours one way. It’s monsoon season in Korea right now, which means the weather is muggy, hot, and rainy. The forecast for this past weekend did not look good, so we contemplated taking a two hour subway ride out of Seoul to the city of Chuncheon to eat dak galbi (click here if you don’t know what dalk galbi is). Chuncheon is where dak galbi originated and is supposed to have the best dak galbi restaurants in Korea. We’ve been wanting to go there for a long time since our absolute favorite dish is dak galbi, so we figured we should take a day trip there. Read more

Celebrating my Golden Birthday

Months ago I knew I wanted to celebrate my 25th birthday by leaving the city for the weekend with Dave. We chose Sokcho as the destination because it was close by and because it had both the beach and the mountains. It came with great recommendations, so I found a lovely hostel, booked a room and counted down the days. This trip was our first time sleeping outside of Seoul since we arrived eight months ago! It’s shocking I know! We hadn’t taken any overnight trips because when we first got here we didn’t want to spend money on traveling before we started getting paid and then once we did have money in the bank, it was too cold to really go anywhere and not freeze our asses off. We put off all of our exciting travels for summer and fall. It’s going to be a busy and very fun next few months!

When we decided on Sokcho we didn’t even think about what would happen if the weather was crappy. Turned out the weather was not so good on my birthday, or the week before either. I frequently checked the weather in Sokcho before leaving hoping that the forecasters had made a mistake they would find and correct, but alas my birthday was to be a very rainy one.

We bought bus tickets that left out of the Express Bus Terminal, which is also the location of the subway stop. We kind of assumed that there would be easy signage once coming out of the subway to find the bus terminal, but we were mistaken. A business man helped us out and showed us which exit to take and which direction to go, but on our return journey we realized we took a very convoluted route. Now we know. Once arriving in Sokcho our luck continued along a similar line. We apparently weren’t supposed to get off at the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, but rather the Sokcho Local Bus Terminal to reach our hostel. Who knew there would be two bus terminals?!! We wandered around at 11:30 pm for twenty minutes before our mistake was explained to us by an ajumma (grandma) who was wandering around in the night looking to bring customers to her hotel. We got in a taxi and took a short ride, which felt like an eternity because we were anxious to check-in. Read more

My Musts in Insadong

My amazing friend Zach is visiting Seoul in July for business and as soon as I found out I started making a mental list of all the things we must do while he is here. Among the many things on that list is Insadong. Insadong was originally an area for painters to study and has held true to its roots as it is now a place to find beautiful paintings, ceramics, and other crafts. Here are a few of my favorite things in Insadong. Read more

The Five Ten Climbing Festival in Chuncheon, Korea

Five Ten Climbing Festival 2011

Kim Yeong ManWe had last Tuesday, May 10th (5/10), off because it was Buddha’s Birthday. A few weeks previously we had signed up to go to Chuncheon with our climbing gym (Summit Sports Climbing Center) for a climbing festival put on by the outdoor gear company Five Ten. Our gym rented a bus and we departed Seoul bright and early at 6:30am. We weren’t sure what to expect. Mr. Chang, the gym owner, had asked Dave weeks before whether he might be interested in competing in the competition portion of the festival, to which he said no. When we arrived though, it quickly became clear that the competition was really the entire festival.There wasn’t much going on for a beginner like myself. I kind of expected there to be a competition section, an area with shwag and booths, and an area to get beginners and onlookers climbing. I guess some one was missing from our gym, because right off the bat Dave was asked if he wanted to climb and they slapped a competitor sticker on his back. He was Kim Yeong Man that day, which nobody questioned until the very end, about 8 hours later. Read more

Spring Has Sprung in Seoul

Our school has been going through quite a few changes lately, which has increased stress levels for everyone here. Just when we were all starting to crack, the most glorious part of spring in Seoul came out to restore our sanity. Dave and I visited Seonyudo Park on Saturday and Yeouido Park on Sunday to check out the stunning cherry blossoms. These trees are ornamental and won’t bear fruit. They also will only flower for a short window (about one week), after which the falling petals give off the appearance of snow. Walking hand in hand with Dave through the park under the cherry blossoms was exactly what we both needed. I was incredibly giddy, despite the swarms of people in Yeouido coming to take a gander at the trees. Spring is here and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! Here are a few pictures from this weekend. Read more

Top 7 Hilarious Kid Quotes from March

Teaching kids makes you think about all of the teachers you’ve had in your life. What did they go home and tell their significant other at the end of the day? What did we do that disgusted them? What did we do that cracked them up? What did we say without knowing what it really meant?

It’s not easy being a teacher, but the hilarity of it makes it worth all of the headaches. Here are some gems that were either found in written assignments or said aloud in class. Not all are from my students. We like to share the awesomeness with each other to brighten our days. Read more

Life as a Korean Kid

A shot from my elementary school days which were quite different from what a Korean elementary school child experiences today. That's me front and center!

Every Friday I walk into my classroom happy that it is almost the weekend and am always sad to find out that my students dread it. It almost seems like some of them would rather have it be Monday than Friday. A few of them have told me that Sunday is their least favorite day because they have to work so hard. Isn’t Sunday traditionally a day of rest? Read more