A Month

I've been back for over a month, and this first month is VERY different than my last first month (yeah that's very confusing isn't it?).  This time around Korea feels a lot more like real life instead of a magical dream.  My school does require a lot more work out of me than my old school, and yet I don't mind.  It makes my days go by really quickly and it also makes me feel so much more like a real teacher instead of this weird and beloved prop.  Not to say that I didn't love my time at DaeGyo- just that teaching at Worwick is much more like teaching at a real school with more lesson plans and less down time. 

What I See When I Look at Korea

This past Sunday I took a walk exploring the southern tip of my peninsular neighborhood.  And it wasn't until I got home and looked at the pictures I took that I realized that a lot of them were examples of what I think of when I think of Korea, or how I see Korea. 

I love the older Korean homes.  When so much of Busan's population live in apartments, it's always a nice sight to see a bunch of older homes that have yet to be torn down and replaced by some big apartment complex.  There's also something so very Korean about the hodgepodge of houses and the tangle of wires that makes Korea's neighborhoods so fun to explore. 

Spring Hope

It is already in the air, the sweet smell of Spring and as I see the tiny fresh green buds sprouting from the street-side plants, I get full of hope. I wanted to take pictures on my way home today but didn't accomplish this. I'll try to do so soon.

It fills me full of relief that winter is really going to be on its way out. Sure yellow dust might be coming and the summer heat, but I'm happy to shed this past winter. I don't share much intimate details on here, but let's just say this past cold season wasn't my best.

I hope this coming Spring is giving other people a new fresh start, as I feel it is doing to my life.

Near the Dongbu Expressway ... A River

Nearby Nowon is a long freeway that connects the rest of Seoul to this Northeastern portion. It is called the Dongbu Expressway, and is notorious for being slow. It runs parallel next to a river, and I recall the times when I would ride with my ex, how the scenery was pleasant to watch.

Since I live nearby such a feature I figured it would be wise to get out and see it, considering I didn't go at all last year.

I found a smaller stream that connects to the river and so walked down it till it merged with the big path next to the river.

Welcome Home!

Happy Leap Day Everyone!

The Romance of Travel: Home and Back


There is something oh so very romantic about traveling- by bus, car, train, plane, bike- whatever.

One car, two planes, one bus, and one taxi and here I am, back in Korea after a much needed visit home. And I use the term "home" loosely because, really, I also consider Korea home. The romanticism of it all is something I finally came to understand on the bus from the airport to Anyang-si as I sat furthest in the back, iPod going, eyes peeled on the road-side scenery, and emotions everywhere.

It's a distinct feeling resulting from a number of things and I feel it every time I'm in transit.

It's the time travel.
The stepping out of one environment and into another.

It's leaving part of your heart in one place while physically traveling to another.
Wondering when you'll see a person next.

Tom's Brother in for the Holidays

Tom's brother, Kaiju, is visiting for the holidays. His mommy is off on her own vacation. All is good, as Tom will need a place to stay come February when I go off on my adventure.

Beating the Ondol Bill

Like most of my expat friends I like the ondol heating system in the winter. Who would protest to warm feet as you walk around your house in the freezing winter? But once you get that utility bill in the mail, you kind of wonder if there is a cheaper way.

I noticed when I moved into my current place that the previous month's bill was high. I assumed the previous tenant had the ondol on high a lot of the time.

I need to save money for my upcoming USA trip and so want to avoid huge bills this season. How am I going to do that and stay warm? My solution: Use an electric heater.

Joy Jjiggae

As the weather turns to chilly and the first snow tries to fall, I can't help but want something boiling hot when I get home. That is why in the colder months of living in Korea I prefer to eat jjiggae or Korean fermented bean paste soup. They are easy to find at local restaurants and can be taken out at your usual kimbop place.

But making your own jjiggae means you have something fresh and made to your liking. Last week I made a jjiggae that turned out quite tasty. Usual recipes call for one to make a broth using seaweed squares and anchovies. As I don't like anchovies I decided to go with a different broth, a mushroom base I found at the store.

Things I Like Thursday – Pot Lucks

Where else do you have the opportunity to meet new and interesting people in an intimate setting? Test out you quirky orange-chocolate mouse? And lounge about on the floor in your socks?

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