December 21, 2009

Free Hug

December 20, 2009

Jimjilbang


December 12, 2009

Insadong Bird Tea Shop

 

November 17, 2009

Swine Flu

H1N1 prevention advert on the subway...were everybody is squished together!

November 12, 2009

ICE INSIDE!




November 10, 2009

Apartment



November 9, 2009

November 3, 2009

Chuseok- Korean Thanksgiving

(*Click on the title to see the pics!)

Better late than never... A few weeks ago it was Korean Thanksgiving, Chuseok, we had a couple of weeks off of school so we decided to go on a road trip around Korea. This vacation was well timed as Becky's Mum and her boyfriend, Ben, were in the country, so they came with us.
We started our vacation sightseeing around our local area. We went to lots of places we had been meaning to visit since we arrived. We particularly enjoyed our trip to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), here we got to have a closer look at North Korea but also got to have a look down in the infiltration tunnels which were dug as a route for the north to sneakily invade Seoul. It had a very eerie atmosphere. We also visited a few landmarks in Seoul, such as the tower and a few palaces. So after a few days of sightseeing around Paju and Seoul we began our road trip!

Our first stop was a nights camping near Mogok, we had previously found a really nice campsite which is by a river and is surrounded by mountains. We had a campfire and lots and lots of soju! We woke up dreary the next morning to find the car had a puncture, this delayed us slightly but once it was fixed we had a celebratory McDonalds in the nearest city. After a night of camping and a day of nursing our sore heads we decided to head to the nearest beach resort, Naksan.

In Naksan we found a really cheap 'condotel', this is just like a hotel but with a small balcony and kitchen. It turned out to be such a good deal that we ended up staying there for over a week! Naksan is close to Seoraksan National Park, which is home to the tallest mountain in Korea, but our resort was just on the beach about 20 minutes away from the park. Naksan is a great place to stay, on the beach you could rent tandems, quad bikes and small electric motorcycles, we opted for the latter and cruised up and down the seafront on our first night. Then we had some beers and set off some fireworks.

The next day we decided to rent some bikes and have a bike ride, after this we went into the National park and attempted to climb the mountain. The mountain, almost twice the height of Snowdon, was too big so we cheated and took the cable car most of the way up, the views should have been amazing, but it was quite a cloudy day and at times you couldn't even see 6 feet infront of you.

After a few days in Naksan Becky's mum and Ben headed in Incheon and we stayed behind. It was the end of the month so we tried to conserve our money but we still had a great time, on the first day alone we stopped off at Daepo harbour, a very famous port in Korea with a fish market, buts its real delicacy is deep fried prawns, we had to try these, so we bought a bag and ate them on the benches by the harbour, they were amazing, shortly after this we went to a mountain spa and had a very relaxing time. Once we were sufficiently relaxed we went back to daepo harbour to visit one of the restaurants we had spied earlier in the day. This restaurant was on a jetty over the harbour and served only sushi, so we chose a couple of fish from the tanks near the entrance and ate these with some hot sauce and salad. Then we ordered our favorite part of the meal, fish head soup! We didn't really know what we were ordering but it came with 7 or 8 fish heads looking up at us, despite this it was really tasty and we ate most of it. We definitely want to go back to it.

After a few days of sun bathing and taking it easy we finally got paid! We treated ourselves to a trip to 'Waterpia', one of Korea's best water parks, it was a really nice day and it wasn't too busy, we had a great time once we sorted out the problems of not being told we had to wear swimming caps. We also went in a pool of 'Dr Fish', these are small fish which feed off of your dead skin, they were so ticklish, but I managed to completely submerge myself and at one point you couldn't see my skin for all of the fish eating my dead skin. After the water park we decided to head back home so we could spend a few days at home before we had to go to work again.

Once home we met up with Becky's mum and Ben again and spent the last couple of days in and around Seoul. Overall everyone had a good break and we felt sad that we had to go back to work.

November 1, 2009

September 28, 2009

EV Ball

September 27, 2009

Camping in Mokgo

September 26, 2009

New Red Bicycle



Now a have a pretty red bicycle. I bought it from Home Plus (Tesco). I took it into work at the weekend and used it to 'get around' for most of the day! Everybody else who was working used it too. I think they are jealous! :)

Heyri

I love Heyri! Heyri is an Art Valley/Culture Zone! This is a little complex that is down the road from Paju English Village. There are many wonderful art galleries, film studios, workshops and cute cartoon character status and toy shops. On site are also funky coffee shops that serve delicious panini's and gorgeous home made cookies There are quirky jewellery and crafts shops, as well as Korean-American-Italian style restaurants and lovely desert shops. I love this place as it has a bit of everything. I love it because it is very random, very Korean.


September 25, 2009

Dried chillies chilling on the road.

In Korea you quite often see chillies drying on the road. Sounds common enough but it's not uncommon to see chillies drying on a motor way or dual carriage way and even filling parking spaces in car parks.

Girls ONLY!

This parking space was in the World Cup Football Stadium in Seoul. As you can see it is pink with a symbol of a lady which means, this parking space is for GIRLS ONLY!!! Cute or what?!

Soup in a bag!

Shabu Shabu is our favourite local restaurant. Shabu Shabu is a spicy chili soup served in three courses. First with smoked meat and vegetables. Second with noodles and finally fried rice is served. As it's so much food there's always a lot left over. On this visit we decided to take the left over soup home. The owner gave us a bag to put the soup in...How convenient!

Quirky Pink Cafe





We found this strange cafe whilst on our trip in Daegu. It is called Suu Cafe. It costs three pounds per person to hire a little box room filled with pink cushions, over sized teddy bears and general frilly things, for two hours. Included in this fee was all you can eat ice cream, honey on toast, soda, cereal, tea, coffee and pop corn. Also available was Internet, karaoke, computer games and Korean music videos all on a jazzy wide screen TV. Value for money or what! Quirky things like this are why I love Korea!

Cute tiny puppies :-)



In Korea pet animals are sold everywhere. Just today we passed an ajjuma selling mongrels for five thousand won which is about two pound fifty, kittens for two pound and tiny little yellow chicks for twenty pence!!! I wanted to buy them all! The puppies in the pictures above were taken in Daegu on 'Dog Street' a main street that sells only pedigree pups. The shop keepers place the dogs in the window wearing the most adorable outfits and jewellery, mostly pearls and diamante necklaces! The cost of these cuties would set you back around one hundred and fifty pounds to five hundred pounds!

September 24, 2009

My Pretty Scooter :)

I bought a scooter of a guy in work. It is not the prettiest thing but I am sure I am going to have a lot of fun with it.

Yum Yum Yum I heart cereal!

Making Kimbap

David decided to try and make Kimbap. This is a Korean dish that is served all around Korea. It consist of seaweed,radish, spam, egg, cucumber and rice. Sound delicious? It is!

September 23, 2009

The first post...

(*Click on the title to see more pics!)




So here we are six weeks in, we have finally decided to start our blog. We are working in Paju English Village which is North West of Seoul and right by the DMZ. We can see North Korea from our apartment. When we arrived on our first night our apartment was decorated with a cute welcoming sign and some little balloons. We also got given some supplies of food, we thought this was a nice surprise. Our apartment was a lot bigger than we expected, which was an extra bonus. So far we have had an interesting time at school. When we first arrived the school was in the middle of an intensive course. We managed to observe a few classes. They were fun, much better than last year! David is a drama and music teacher and I am a cooking and movie making teacher. The second week at work the school got a case of Swine flu. Six adult students and one teacher became infected with the H1N1 virus. As a precaution the students were sent home and all of the staff got put into quarantine. This meant we had to stay in our apartments the majority of the time. We were allowed outside to wonder around the grounds of English Village but we would have to wear attractive face masks. We have been out of quarantine for three weeks but the school still has no students because they are scared of catching the virus. This has resulted in many boring training workshops. Although we are grateful that we are getting paid!
Outside of work we have been very busy. We have bought a car and are making the most of it by seeing as much of Korea as we can. The first few weekends was spent exploring our local area and taking short trips to Seoul. We went to a Love Camp (Admission fee = 1 candle + a flower) which is a strange hippy party on the side of a mountain. It was cool as it was pretty small and isolated with loads of laid back Koreans. (Quite an unusual occurrence in Korea.) One weekend we drove down to Daegu to visit a few friends and collect our stuff from last year. It was nice getting all of our bits and pieces back. Last weekend we visited the DMZ in Imjingak. There is a peace park and peace train, a death bridge as well as a freedom bridge and many monuments explaining the significance of it all. It is strange to find all of these cultural artifacts next to an amusement park!


video


Friday 18th September was the start of our two week vacation as it is Chuseok. Chuseok is one of Korea’s most largely celebrated holidays. It is a time when families and friends gather to share food and enjoy their time together, giving thanks to their ancestors for the year’s bountiful harvests. We are planning a road trip around the coast of Korea. We are very excited because we will be exploring parts of the country that we haven’t seen before. Hopefully the summer will hold out and last just a little bit longer.