Category Archives: Korea

You Know You’ve Been In Korea a Year When….

8th January 2015

IMG_0152 You know you’ve been in Korea a Year When:

. Getting naked in front of  twenty old ajummas (ladies) is nothing. In fact you look forward to your Jimjilbang experiences.

. You can’t speak fluent Korean but you can order food and drink like a pro.

. You throw the posh ‘aschimnica’ hellos at your principal.

. Not only are you not scared of buses but they seem easier than subways.

.요간리드타스

. Being shoved doesn’t annoy you.

. You also know that the above statement is 100% a lie.

. At least one of your Facebook profiles has been from a Korean photo booth…along with big eyes and crazy stickers.

rsz_dsc_0466 . You’ve told the tales of the extreme heat/cold to everyone back home.

. You fear going through both again.

. Mr Bean is your new hero.

. You reminisce about the days you didn’t know your way around Downtown (or just reminisce about the fountain if you are a Daeguein)

rsz_daegu2 . You do know your way around Downtown but bars are still your main reference.

. You have seen more temples than you thought possible.

. Bowing is not only natural to you but you feel rude not doing it when you meet westerners.

. You can never pour a drink or take money without holding your arm. It’s ingrained now.

. If a café doesn’t have a dog or cat wandering around it, it feels wrong.

. You’ve forgotten what real beer tastes like. rsz_drink4

. When you hear bars back home shut at 11pm you are shocked and appalled. Your nights normally go until 6am.

. You actually want to own something in the Korean infomercials.

. You’ve tried over 50% of the Kim Pasa menu.

. You don’t even notice yourself doing impressions of the Korea accents anymore.

. Finding Cheese on sale brings a tear to your eyes.

. You finally understand the dangers of Gogo’s/Soju/Makgollie.

. You still ignore the dangers of Gogo’s/Soju/Makgollie and drink it anyway.

. Everything you own is from Daiso or Homeplus

rsz_kimchi1 . You still don’t like KimChi (After 2 years….you’ll LOVE it)

. You finally love red bean

. You aren’t sure how you will be able to survive life after Korea without Mando. rsz_mando2

. You know the second that the long 20 minute infomercial  starts its time to turn the tv over.

. Korean driving still scares you.

. The unusual doesn’t phase you.

. When you realise it doesn’t phase you, you feel at home.
signature

rsz_dsc_0607

Helpful Korean Phrases – If we can do it, anyone can!

8th January 2015

rsz_dsc_0607

Some Korean street art

Last year one of my favourite people in the whole world and also one of my oldest friends came to visit me for two weeks. I can’t tell you how touched I was that she headed across the world to catch up with me.

I wanted to help her out when she arrived so I wrote down some helpful Korean phrases so that if she got lost in this mysterious land she’d be able to at least order a beer.

rsz_dsc_0008

Jess came to visit!

So we thought we’d share it with you.

Korean Phrases

Hello – An-nyong-hasaeo 안녕하세요

Where are you from? – Awdisaw-o-syay-aw-yo 어디서 오셨어요?

I’m from the UK – Cho-nun young-gook saram imneda 저는 영국 사람 임니다

Goodbye (when you are leaving) – annyeonghi gyeseyo 안녕히 계세요
Goodbye (when you are staying) – annyeonghi gaseyo 안녕히 가세요

I don’t speak Korean –Hangookah-lul mo-habnida 한국어를 못합니다

Where’s the toilet? – hwa-jang-schil-E Awdi-a-o?  화장실이 어디예요?

Thank you – kamsa-hamnida 감사합니다

( the first Korean number is when ordering food and the other is for counting objects…I know…its weird!)

One—– Hanna / il

Two —- Duel / ee

Three —- Set/ Sam

Four —-Net/ Sa

Five —- Dasa/ O

Six — Yasa / yuck

Seven —- ilbon / chill

Eight — yudail/ pall

Nine — ah-hoe/ goo

Ten — yull/ ship

Can I have one beer please – Mik-jew han jan gesaeo

Can I have two bibimbaps please – Bibimbap Du gay gesaeo

(Gesaeo = please

Jan = bottles

Gay = objects

Myoung = People)

mik-jew = beer

Soju = sweet potato vodka…very cheap and very strong

Makgeolli = Milky rice wine … very potent and if flavoured its amazing!

Wine = Wine (for some reason they hear white as red so pro-nounce-i-ate!)

Cider = Cider is lemonade in Korea

rsz_dsc_0604 Bibimbap 비빔밥 = mixed rice with selection of veg and a red pepper hot sauce..the staple of Korea, you probably had it on the plane. Very good. When you get it use the spoon to mix all the ingredients up and then eat with a spoon.

Kimbap 김밥 – looks like Sushi but is bigger and normally filled with a few different ingredients like radish, ham, cucumber and sometimes meat or fish.

Kimchi 김치 – like it or hate it this food sums up Korea. Its fermented Cabbage in garlic and hot chilli’s that they store in pots underground for 2 years. You will get it free with every meal and drink you buy.

Sam Gyap Sal – Korean BBQ. You will see these restaurants everywhere. They give you the meat and you cook it infront of you. You have to put the meat in a lettuce leaf with sauce and wrap it into a parcel. Then you eat in one bite! Delicious

Mandu 만두 – very similar to Chinese dumplings. Lots of different types and all really nice.

rsz_dsc_0611 Dabokkie – Weirdly this spicy red sauce tastes a lot like English spaghetti hoop sauce. Then they put rice cakes which are basically Gnocchi in it.

Chicken 닭고기 (Dak gogi)

Beef 사고기 (Sagogi)

Pork 돼지고기 (dwae ji gogi)

Tuna 참치 (Cham Chi)

Seafood 해산물 (Hae san mool)

Water 물 (mool)

rsz_dsc_0635 Address 조수 (Joe soo) – (almost always the taxi drivers have GPS so if you say ‘Joe soo’ and then show them the address you should be ok.

In Seoul taxi’s are very hard to find. Avoid the orange ones as they don’t use a meter and like to rip you off. Koreans might be a little wary of foreigners (Waygook) but they are normally very nice. (Since she visited last year this has got better. The Korean government now issue huge fines if a taxi won’t take you somewhere)

Pharmacy – When you see 약 it normally means they sell medicine.

Hoff – hoffs are bars but they do like you to order at least something to eat. The food is normally cheap and nice though with very big portions.

Toilet 화장실 (hwa jang shill)

Subway 지하철 (ji ha chawl) but most Koreans know the word subway

Station 역 (Yock)

Bus 버스 (busu)

It sounds weird but if in doubt just try adding vowels on the end normally works. Change is Changie, Coke is Coke-u, nice is nice-u (seriously!!!)

 

rsz_dsc_0636

These ice creams are EVERYWHERE in Korea

I hope this very basic lesson helps you out just a little on your trips to these lovely lands…or maybe just impresses your Korean friends back home.

Coffee in Korea is more than a drink..it's a sport. They do it well. Luckily coffee in Korean is 고피 or Coppi

Coffee in Korea is more than a drink..it’s a sport. They do it well. Luckily coffee in Korean is 고피 or Coppi

signature

rsz_dsc_1264

Living the Monk life – A Korean Temple Stay

7th January 2015

rsz_dsc_0988 As the end of my time here in Korea quickly approaches I am making a big effort to check off lots of things on my Korean Bucket List. A huge thing I wanted to check off that has been on my list since before I stepped foot in Asia has been to do a temple stay.

What is a temple stay you ask? Well, a temple stay is exactly what it sounds like. You book a weekend in a temple and for two days and one night you live life as a Buddhist monk.

I am not a practicing Buddhist but the belief system of Buddhism has always appealed to me. I like that it is mostly about being good to others and about strengthening your mind. I wanted to experience the real ways in which monks live and maybe detox my poor liver a little in the process. So this weekend I headed into the mountains with my good friend Nini who was the perfect partner in crime.

There are many temples in Korea that do these experiences but we chose the beautiful Dongwasa 동와사 at Palgonsan 팔곤산 (mountain) in Daegu, since it was close to home and it is a beautiful place.

We took the hour long bus with our ears popping as we climbed higher and higher into the Daegu skies. When we finally arrived we realized we’d been a bit too enthusiastic and that we were over an hour early…opphs. So we did what any good westerner would do, we drank wine. Yes I realise this is an awful thing to do before a peaceful, clean living temple stay but in our defense coffee was more expensive than wine… I mean, it would be rude not too.

rsz_dsc_0979 After we drank the dregs of our vino we headed further up into the mountains. The temple stay was centered on Dongwasa’s main temple but the space you sleep and do some activities in is housed about a 5 minute walk away in brand new buildings. Don’t worry too much about the ‘brand new’ label since time and care have been spent to make these new buildings look as authentic as possible with good, thick wood carved all around the place. I’d be surprised if they didn’t last for 100 years.

rsz_dsc_0987 rsz_dsc_0999 Our room was basic, which is what we’d come to expect in Korea. We had a private bathroom and lots of bedding for our massive floor beds. It was a shame that the under floor heating was as hot as the sun but then again it is January and every steam, pond and water droplet was frozen solid all around us so I suppose we should have been thankful for the joy that is Ondol heating (Korean under floor heating)

First up were our monk’s clothes. Imagine getting dressed into giant pink marshmallows and you will easily be able to imagine what we were wearing. They were stupidly comfy. So we set off to our first experience, layered like trifles under our marshmallow suits.

rsz_rsz_dsc_1019 We were the only two westerners which wasn’t a problem at all since the lady in charge spoke fantastic English (even if she didn’t think she could). We had chosen to do the structured stay which means we had activities to do instead of just sleeping in the temple, and boy did they have activities for us.

rsz_dsc_1101 In the first day we had tea with a monk, watched a great stop motion orientation video (which they played twice, once in Korean and once more in English just for us two…eppp), we ate a delicious dinner made of fresh vegetables, rice, soup and noodles and had time to wander the forest. This was all in just a few hours. Next up was the 5pm drumming. Every day at 5pm the monks play the drum to sooth all the injured and suffering animals. It was incredible to watch and the sound echoed through the mountains. I’ve seen the drum in many temples but I didn’t know it was for the animals. It touched me to think that’s why they play it. There was also a bell that was rung 39 times for the deceased and wandering spirits, a wooden fish that was played to sooth the aquatic creatures and a metal plate what was rung to thank the birds for their existence. It was a beautiful ceremony and exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to learn about on this trip.

rsz_dsc_1056 Humbled and happy we headed back to learn how to bow. The bowing was the part of the temple stay I had feared and looked forward to all at the same time. In Buddhist culture you do many things in 108ths . The number 108 symbolizes the 108 struggles we face in our life such as anxiety, stress, anger and so on. The bows are quite intense. You stand and half bow, then lower yourself to the floor, place your head on the floor with your hands by your ears, you turn over your palms and raise them up as if someone was standing on them and you were lifting them to the sky, then you raise up onto all fours , sit up straight on your knees and without bending your back you stand up. This may sound easy to read but monks must have thighs of steal because these bows aren’t slow ‘think about your life’ kinds of bows. They are fast moving, thigh burning punches to the gluteus maximus that make it impossible for you to think of anything else but the task at hand….which I gather is the exact point. When we did our bows we had the added bonus of making a beaded necklace at the same time, so every time we lowered ourselves to the floor we’d thread a bead. I can’t thread a bead when I’m sat still for about ten minutes, let alone in-between bowing like a mad man and looking like I’m ‘Hulking up’. By the time we finished Nini and I resembled extras from the burning man. Our hair was all over the place and our skin was a delicious shade of puce. I can safely say that this beaded necklace is now one of my greatest possessions since I worked so hard to make the bloody thing. Those monks are heroes to do that every day….jeez

After all that exhausting activity we were invited to join the nightly meditation. It lasts from 8pm to 3am but since we had an early start (and by early start I mean earlier than any human has ever needed to start) we were only allowed to do half hour.

Meditation has always intrigued me. As a teenager I tried it once or twice. I loved the idea of centering my mind and relaxing but I had never had a guide and felt kind of silly sat in my dark room with my Care Bears bed sheets.

We were taught how to sit before entering and then we sat, quite simply we just sat, for a long time and you know what, all my worries about going insane over the half hour, all the aches and pains from the bows and all my thoughts just slipped away. I spent the time trying to thank each person in my life but I couldn’t tell you if that’s what I actually thought about since it felt like seconds later we were being woken up to leave….that was HALF HOUR? My brain was in shock. It felt great.

rsz_dsc_1081 By this time it was 9pm and we were shattered. For someone who is use to a bed time of 1am this was an achievement for me. We tried our best to get some sleep but the hot floor fought against us. What felt (yet again) like seconds later, we were being woken up…once in Korean over the sound system and then a few seconds later in English…a personal message just for Nini and I to wake up. Not embarrassing at all. Oh I seem to have forgotten to tell you what time it was that we woke up…yes that’s right…3AM!!!! Now I’m not a scientist but 3am does not feel like the time anyone should be waking up. We begrudgingly put our marshmallow suits back on and followed our monk to the morning ceremony. Was it worth it? Definitely!

The walk in the dark, cold night was horrid but because we were a small group we were allowed to slip into the temple and experience the real ceremony with the other monks. We entered the massive impressive temple, did our three bows (which my still aching leg’s did not appreciate) and followed along. The monks sung, chanted and rang gongs to welcome the day. We bowed a lot more but it was so peaceful and humbling that I didn’t even care it was 3am.

When the ceremony was finished, Nini and I looked at it each other (still too tired to talk) and smiled a knowing smile that we had just experienced something really special…..so now could we go back to bed please! Our wishes were granted and we had half hour rest before breakfast.

rsz_dsc_1206 rsz_dsc_1210 I should mention at this point that this food was incredible. It was healthy, vegetarian, colorful and tasty. Not too spicy and full of flavor. Whatever you put on your plate you have to eat so it made me over cautious and probably made me eat the right amount instead of giving myself huge portions like I would at home. Before eating you bow to the food since it is an offering from the monks and you eat in silence. It might have been the tiredness but the silence was great to gather your thoughts. We cleaned our own dishes and then headed back to meditate again. After the night before I was excited to try meditation again, unfortunately I was far too cocky. What had been an easy task the night before seemed impossible today. I couldn’t stop moving. My knees hurt. The clock was too loud. The room was too quiet. Is that an itch on my nose? A million thoughts were in my brain and none were helpful. This may have been because we were meant to meditate for an hour instead of half hour like the night before or that I was over tired but for whatever reason all I wanted to do was open my eyes. Sitting for so long was going to be impossible and then suddenly we were getting called to finish. It is a strange experience being made to sit still and quite for so long without knowing how much time has passed. I think it’s something I’d like to do more but that morning I wanted to pull my hair out. I need a lot more practice. Once that was done it was to the room for another 2 hours sleep….ahhh bliss.

rsz_dsc_1106 rsz_dsc_1165 When we woke the night had turned to dawn and we were off on a hike. We climbed the surrounding mountains just in time to arrive at a shrine as the sun rose. It is the first part of the mountain to see the sun. We could see Daegu surrounded by mountains below us and we meditated at the top of the mountain for a few minutes. This was much easier but probably had something to do with the lovely surrounds and the fact I may have been more asleep than meditating.

rsz_dsc_1133 rsz_rsz_dsc_1127 The rest of the day was spent learning how to serve Korean tea in the traditional manner. The ceremony is beautiful to watch and very intensive. People train for years to do it properly. Nini and I were commended on our tea making ability (which we still aren’t sure how we achieved since we did the same as everyone else) but it was really interesting and another thing to take off the bucket list.

rsz_rsz_dsc_1171 rsz_dsc_1191 rsz_dsc_1195 rsz_dsc_1198 We toured the temple , ate lunch and painted on wood. It was a relaxing and restful day. Once we changed out of our marshmallow suits we brought our bags up to the main temple and were ready to say our goodbyes. We thought that we had escaped a weekend in Korea without the weirdness but oh no….then there was a slide show. Throughout the weekend the leader had been taking lots of photos. This was then edited together with Korean songs and played for all of us to see. If it’s possible I looked worse doing my 108 bows than I thought. Seeing yourself awake at 3am is also not something anyone should experience but it was funny and made us all laugh.

rsz_dsc_1235 rsz_dsc_1239 rsz_dsc_1248 rsz_dsc_1257 rsz_dsc_1264 The experience was everything I hoped it would be. It was in the perfect setting as it wasn’t too commercial or tacky (apart from the slide show) as I was afraid it would be. Everyone was friendly and happy that you wanted to learn.

rsz_dsc_1274 rsz_dsc_1280 If you are in Korea, or coming to visit I would definitely recommend a stay, even if it’s just to get the lovely gifts at the end of the trip. We received beads (that I didn’t sweat over to make), a note book and some perfume that left us feeling happy. They were very kind mementos that I’ll cherish…. Just don’t tell the monks I said that about material possessions …ok?

Have you ever stayed in a temple? What did you think? If you haven’t experienced it is it something you think you’d like to try? Tell us your stories. We would love to hear your thoughts on the concept.

signature

Getting Down with the Sickness (in Korea)

29th December 2014

Being Sick In Korea

Today I’m taking my first sick day in Korea. I have managed to not take a sick day for 3 years and I’m very happy about that. I hate sick days. Having spent a lot of timing being sick when I was younger I do everything humanly possible to avoid the dreaded ‘day off’. In Korea it seems they hate a ‘sickie’ as much as me. They are rarer here than a blue steak.

I can only talk about the school system since that’s where I have worked but the way it goes around here is there is a nurse’s office in your school with a bed and when you are sick you lay down in between classes. They only time you take a sick day is if you are stupidly infectious or if you can’t physically move.

Today I am suffering from the flu combined with a sickness bug and due to having no voice, no stomach and no will to stand in front of hundreds of angry students, I am at home.

IMG_1009 So what happens? Well my teacher knew I was sick so she wasn’t surprised when I called in to say I was being a giant fool. I hung up and laid in bed unconscious to the world but in Korea sick days are different. In the UK when you ring in sick that is normally the end of it. If you are sick for more than five days you have to get a doctor’s note. In Korea teachers tend to call you throughout the day to check in on you and will often take you to the hospital. As a British person who only goes to the hospital in a life and death situation this can be scary. It can initially seem a little weird but when you step back from it and realise these people are family orientated and know you have no one then it is very sweet. Even if I just want to hide under the covers.

The doctor normally sees you in ten minutes and prescribes you more medicines than you could ever imagine you’d consume. Today I stayed in and was given a drip to replenish my electrolytes. It was all so easy and painless.

In the UK we don’t pay for health care but here you do. I remember the first time I realised that the safety cushion of my NHS was gone, I was terrified. I thought they ask for my kidney in exchange for some headache tablets. Luckily it’s a lot less than I expected with the added bonus that being a teacher provides half of our insurance.

Today I went and had two drips of electrolytes, an anti nausea injection, and a consultation. It came to 35,000 won or 35 dollars (20 pound).

All the doctors that I’ve met in Korea have spoken some English since they are very educated people. They have also been just lovely and kind so if you are feeling under the weather don’t you worry about popping to your nearest doctors, walking in and making an appointment. If there English isn’t great then luckily with sickness charades is quite effective.

I hope you don’t get sick in Korea but if you do it really isn’t the worst country to do it in.

signature

How to Make Homemade Baileys (in Korea)

16th December 2014

This is a little video of our home made Baileys. We are gonna stick some peanut butter in it next time and blend it up. It isn’t fancy and it isn’t strict but it’s just what we do at Christmas. Enjoy folks and if you want a more detailed recipe then please send me a message ^^

signature

header

The Bulgogi Tents of Daegu

15th December 2014

header When you talk to travellers about what they enjoy in other countries it is almost a guarantee that most people will shout ‘FOOD’. Lee and I have lost many hours talking about food and even more hours stuffing our faces. So when I came to Korea I was a bit disappointed with the range of street food available.

Now I feel a disclaimer must be entered here.  There is street food and it definitely feels that even in our two years in Korea there is twice as much street food as there use to be. It’s a growing industry. The most popular items you find are fish cake on a stick and tabokki (which is rice cakes in a spicy tomato sauce. Imagine Heinz spaghetti hoop sauce with a ton of chillies thrown in) but these are very much quick stops. A grab and go.

I always felt Korea was missing the outdoor drinking, street food experience. And then we found the bulgogi tents.

DSC_0959 The bulgogi tents are a well kept secret. In fact  many Koreans don’t know about them but the ones that do are avid fans.

Basically hidden down an alley on the outskirts of the town centre is a row of market sellers.  The sellers are the only people I’ve met in Korea that are trying to entice you in. Each tent is set up fairly similarly. You turn up, push your way through the crowds, pick a plastic table, take a seat on your plastic chairs and order from the simplest  menu around.

DSC_0964 DSC_0968 DSC_0971 The only things served here are udong (noodle soup) and bulgogi beef . You can order a small plate of bulgogi for 5000 won which is about enough for one hungry person or the 20,000 won plate which will feed a whole table. There is of course the obligatory beer and soju that can (and will) be ordered. The quantity of soju drunk here makes me easily believe it is the most drunk alcohol in the world.

DSC_1006 I do have to tell you a secret, for me (and I am alone in this it seems) the food isn’t the reason I go. The udong is delicious but the bulgogi isn’t my favourite food. Lee on the other hand would kill a man for this stuff. This doesn’t matter though, the reason to go here is the atmosphere. Everyone is laughing, people are singing and everyone is friendly.

I love this place and I wish I could take all my friends there that aren’t in Korea. If this place existed near my university I don’t think I’d have ever left.

DSC_0958 The last time we were there the place did erupt into a cowboy salon style fight. If you have lived or been to Korea you will know how strange this is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a slight disagreement in Korea let alone a fight. I realise this doesn’t sound like a selling point but it helps to show you what a interesting , special place this is in Korea. And it isn’t rough at all, this was just a funny oddity. On the same visit we were also offered free cake from a table of men celebrating their friends birthday.

 

How to get there (MAP)

To get to this place you can walk but we’ve never done that. We head to Jungangro subway station and jump in a taxi. Ask the taxi to take you to ‘북성로 불고기 or Buuk Sung Lo Bulgogi’ tents. It is quite famous with Korean people and they should know where to go. You will be dropped off opposite Daegu Bank. Cross the road and the alley with the tents on it is located to the right of the bank. There is another street with tents on but we are creatures of habit and always tend to go back to the lovely lady we were served by before.

 

Note

.This place only takes cash , there is a Daegu bank up the road if you forget but it closes at 12pm.

 

.This place was invented for drinking games. Get those soju lids ready.

 

Have you been to the Bulgogi tents? What do you think? Where would you recommend going while travelling for a great night market experience?

signature

IMG_0152

Our Christmas Weekend

15th December 2014

snow It’s CHRISTMAS!

I remember sitting in the cinema many moons ago with my lovely tall man and watching ‘Elf’ for the first time. After the first ten minutes of the film he turned to me and whispered ‘oh my god, it’s you’.

It is true, if I had a spirit animal it would be ‘Buddy the Elf’. I get excited by everything and have been known to talk about a good dog I saw that day for far too long. This is me all through the year so you can only imagine what I’m like at Christmas. Luckily for me Lee is just as bad.

We have put off celebrating for as long as possible but this weekend we went into full on Christmas mode.

The tree went up. The first red cup was drunk. The smells of homemade Baileys, eggnog, fudge and ginger biscuits filled our small flat and Nat King Cole was played constantly.

We checked off quite a few items from our  Christmas bucket list.

I even watched Die Hard and Lethal Weapon for the first time. At 28 I realise that is shocking but I have righted the wrong.

We hope you all had a fantastic Christmassy weekend. Or if you don’t celebrate Christmas, we hope you had a warm snuggly few days

x

IMG_0148 IMG_0152 redcup IMG_0178 IMG_0158 IMG_0150

 

christmas

A Christmas Bucket List

8th December 2014

tree

 

Last year was our first Christmas away from home. We grouped together to spread as much Christmas cheer as possible and this year will be no different. Although we have a much smaller group we are already planning Christmas themed shenanigans. I love this time of year and I love lists so it seems to good an opportunity to make one. So here is our Christmas bucket list:

.Have Korea red velvet lattes with friends.

.Watch a Christmas movie in a big group.

.See some decorations.

. Cook a stew

. Make eggnog

.Make fudge

.Sing carols some where.

. Force our Canadian friend Carly (my lovely misguided friend who use to live in Korea) to watch ‘The Muppet’s Christmas Carol’. We failed this mission last year so we shall make this happen.

.Make decorations with my class.

.Show my class Christmas films.

.Watch as many Christmas films as possible (there is a whole other list for this)

.See Die Hard for the first time.

.Watch my favourite movie (It’s not just for Christmas, it’s for life) and have ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ night….my favourite tradition with Lee. 63528377d5cbe9baf586862553afc1a9

.Decorate our Christmas tree.

. Make Christmas dinner.

.Make Christmas cards.

.Put up fairy lights.

.Skype my family while they decorate their tree.

.Send a Korean Christmas parcel home.

. Make and advent calendar for Lee.

.Make Baileys

.Drink Baileys

.Make Christmas hats

. Buy Christmas hat.

.Leave cookies and milk for Santa.

My family have been leaving things for Santa for years

My family have been leaving things for Santa for years

.Dance around the flat to Christmas music

.Make ginger cookies

.Make chocolate chip cookies

.Make stuffing.

.Play a Christmas game over Skype.

.Skype Wales, Ireland, Canada , U.S.A and Saudi Arabia on Christmas Day (busy day!)

christmas

Lee and I celebrating ‘it’s a Wonderful night’ last year

.Drink some Asti

.Make a mini chocolate table (family tradition)

My families Christmas table

My families Christmas table

. DRINK A RED CUPPED EGGNOG LATTE (This one was a sore point since Korea has Starbucks, they have red cups but no eggnog lattes so Lee has helped me brew our own)

 

There are thousands of others too but for now these are the ones that we will be occupying our weekends with.

Merry Christmas everyone! signature

 

food2

An Open Letter to Korean Food

3rd December 2014

Dear Korean food,

I have to be honest, when we first met I didn’t like you. You seemed to love Lee and I. Every time we walked around a corner there you were. You really freaked us out when you stuck photos of yourself on our door everyday.

But even though we didn’t hit it off right away all our friends liked you and were always inviting us to visit you. Then one day our friend informed us we couldn’t drink unless we had you there so in a small Makgolli bar that (of course) doesn’t exists anymore we finally saw a different side of you. We fell hard for you.

image

After that we became firm friends. We hadn’t realised how many different  sides to you there were. You were always ready for any mood we might be in, and you still surprise us after all this time. image

We love that you’re easy to find and always around, even late at night. I use to be embarrassed to be around you because you were so hot. You made me feel bad ,but I slowly got use to your hotness and now I find myself fancying you. food2 makgoli1

When we leave Korea we will miss you. I think when I’m missing these Korean lands I’ll always try and track you down for a catch up. image

You are unique , different and generous .

Thank you letting us get to know you.

Yours sincerely,

Two Hungry Travelers

 x

signature

THE HEATING’S ON!

21st November 2014

heatngon This magical day requires a drawing!! My school didn’t put the heating on for so long last year that this year I have been prepared for the worst . Today  I was teaching in seven layers. Well, I say teaching but my lips were too numb to speak. Only quiet meeps escaped me. It was like they were being taught by Beaker from the Muppets.

I had prepared myself for  the long cold winter. I’d said goodbye to my loved ones and had come to the conclusion that they would find me frozen to my chair like the native teacher version on Han Solo.

And then , as I was sat in my classroom I heard a beep. It was unfamiliar but still brought joy to my heart. The heating switched on.

it is now like a tropical paradise in my room (compared to before anyway). I now only wear three layers while working and I can actually move my arms again.Heaven!! I have also embraced the Korean cuteness and bought A giant teddy shaped Korean USB foot warmer. It is sent from all the gods. Happy winter everybody :S