Today we got to leave school at "2" to do some staff bonding. I'm not sure why they planned to have us leave at 2 since everyone teaches until 2:10 on Monday and then have to get the students cleaning and such. In any case, instead of grading papers and lesson planning we managed to head out by 3 to Naewan Temple (Naewansa) for a bit of "hiking" followed by food. Excited by the prospect of a bit of light hiking I brought out my full North Face gear and layered up.  We arrived at the gate where most of the teachers promptly decided it was too cold to hike (??!) and drove around to the temple. We walked maybe 200 meters. I would have preferred to walk with the few teachers that did but not speaking much Korean I was confused about what was going on sort of thrust back into a car. I didn't mind terribly, it was still ridiculously gorgeous. Observe:
We are actually having a bit of autumn this year instead of heading straight into freezing weather. My co-workers laugh at my layers (I wore 2 shirts, 1 cashmere sweater, a fleece, and a winter coat...not to mention the leggings under my pants, hat, scarf, and mittens) but I maintain that it's warmer than winter. I just don't like being cold.
I asked my co-teacher about the funny bricks. Apparently they are for making some sort of soy product? Anyone have any insight into this?

Likewise, I have no idea why they were stringing persimmons but they sure do look pretty.
I love door pictures. Absolutely can't get enough of them. I can't count how many strange stares I've gotten for taken pictures of doors while traveling but I tend to get stared at no matter what, I might as well be doing something that I enjoy. Besides, isn't the turtle cute?
I wanted more time to play around with the light options on my camera but the teachers definitely just wanted to glance around get to the eating. I can't say I blame them. Not everyone got to start off their day with leftover homemade pancakes made from scratch drizzled in maple syrup.

Spaz update: We were talking about family at the table in sort of Korean/English. Three female teachers all had older brothers, 'oppa' in Korean. Unfortunately I tried to ask a male teacher in Korean if he had an 'oppa.' Apparently I implied that he was a woman because males use different words to refer to their siblings than females which I sort of knew but can never remember (let alone remember that 2nd male vocabulary set). He laughed riotously though it took a few minutes of trying to explain what was so funny. I will probably remember not to ask boys about their 'oppas' anymore. Probably.