Archive | June, 2014

Adventures in South Korea and how important it is to enunciate

30 Jun

Alright children gather around, the following narrative is very important if you are to say anything in a different language ever!

So it is my last day before I begin working as an ESL teacher, so I decided to venture out to the neighboring town Gangneung (because they have beautiful beaches and a great market that puts the one in Samcheok to shame because you can find peanut butter). Everything was going well and I had made it to the bus terminal when I noticed that the bus from Gangneung was arriving in 20 minutes. As a proper adult I approached the counter and asked for a ticket to Gangneung. The lady at the counter promptly entered it on the computer and used a calculator to let me know the price for my ticket would be 25,000 won. I thought this was a bit steep after all the other teachers I had been shadowing had told me that it was not really that far.

So I payed (because who knows maybe they hiked up the prices and how do you argue in a different language?) when I got my ticket I read that it was going to Seoul (this is a four hour trip to the capital city) thinking that maybe she had miss-heard me I went back and tried my best to say “not Gangnum (remember that song by Psi? it is about a place near Seoul) Gangneung” she gave a bored look as if to say “yeah I know you have the ticket go sit down”. Well I did not and tried to show her a map on my ipod (because I don’t have a phone yet) and she just kept insisting she had given me the right ticket. Resigned and maybe defeated by the fact that my Korean is still horrible despite having studied it for a year I sat down and waited for the bus.

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I got on the bus and took in the scenery of leaving Samcheok and entering Donghae (which is the city between Samcheok and Gangneung (see where I got confused? it is sort of in the same direction).

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All seems well as the buss pulls over to the Donghae station and I get up and ask the driver if this is Gangneung, he gives me a looks of “Wha?” and tells me to talk to the person in charge of that bus terminal. I got to the counter and did the same pointing of the map I had done with the other lady almost convinced that I may have to return to Samcheok. But no he actually got on the phone talked to the other bus terminal (I think they yelled at the lady that sold me the ticket) and gave me money back. then they mentioned something about a taxi. Here is where I think I got confused and thought ok so a taxi is involved Gangneung must not be that far right?

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Well no it turns out it is far, very far. 45,000 won far to be exact (but then there is the dollar conversion right?)

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nope that was a lot of cab fare.

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Beroe I had realized how much money I was spending I took some pictures of my surrounding which was good, because the day was gorgeous too bad it became gloomy as it went on.

I still managed to get some things done, for example I was starving since that incident had re-routed me way out of my schedule so I manage to find this (not sure what it all is because I do get a bit grumpy/angry/nervous/bored when I get super hungry and my blood sugar drops like a hot potato with a spider on it in the hands of an arachnophobe), but it was delicious and great.20140629_220207 20140629_220210

When I got back to Samcheok I went to the information center to get a map so this never happens again. Side note the bus ride back to Samcheok was only 5,800 won.

As said earlier I begin work tomorrow which technically makes me a productive member of society so the blog flow will slow down to a weekend thing. Have a great week and remember if in a foreign country point at written things or write them down before you end up in a 45,000 won cab ride and ruin your budget.

 

Samcheok Adventures!

29 Jun

So today I ventured out ti the ocean area near my house according to the maps app on my ipod, this place was no more than a 20 minute walk. Lets begin with the fact that I don’t have a phone therefore i have no wireless internet (so I use my ipod/itouch and hope that there is free wireless internet around me and that my ipod can harness that power to rout me to my destination). I ended up walking in circles due to this kind of hopping, because well streets in Samcheok are not numbered they just like to give you a vague idea of where you are and where you may be going. So the pictures bellow do not show my struggle, they do however show the moment after I found out I was on the right road. I would like to give a shout out to the family that helped me out when I approached them (unlike the person before them who completely ignored me!! but yeah I am slightly bitter).

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I found a butterfly so I took a picture because they are cool so there it is.

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I finally made it to being able to see the ocean and that is where the adventure goes from going up hills to happily walking.

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The first part was mainly fishing grounds so swimming is not allowed, but if you walk a block or so you get to sculptures and a convenience store.

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Then you get to see the ocean again no swimming just sightseeing, from a walkway.

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The view is great and all but I am not entirely sure what the following two pictures are of, I thought it was a jelly fish. If you of someone you know could give me and idea of what this is please just leave a comment.

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So this is a building I thought was nice looking. However when I got closer to it only became clear that this building had long been abandoned (which make the perfect start for a scary film).

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Then there are a few more pictures of all I saw. Hope you enjoy a preview of Samcheok and maybe you decide to enjoy it in real life.

Adventures in South Korea: Samcheok or how I will be calling it home for the next two years.

29 Jun

 

 

Ok welcome to another edition of my adventures in Samcheok South Korea. These are from my official 5th day. I am sure now of how long I have been here.  Ok first off Samcheok like their park they have them everywhere (that checkered are is made up of that rubbery soft ground for low impact on the knees).

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The sculptures seem to be optional some parks or play areas have them others don’t

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One major thing though is that they seem to take exercise seriously, these exercise machines are all over the place. 20140626_215819 20140626_215836

I am at the top of a hill so that is my view from about a block away from my apartment.20140626_215856 20140626_215905 20140626_215924 20140626_215933 20140626_215941

As I mentioned on top of a hill and I was just recently informed that there is an elevator that can get me down from the hill (if you are feeling specially healthy you can take the stairs down or up) you can also that the long ways around the hill and get to the center of the city.

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There is always an element of nature everywhere in Smacheok, as if they wanted to modernize the city but were unwilling to give up on all of the rock formations and flora in the area (which I rather like so no complaints from this end). 20140626_220353 20140626_220356

View from inside the elevator it has some airflow which is good for the scorching summer (though I have been told it will get worse so if you like heat and summers this is your place).

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There is a Baskin robbins in Samcheok, which is great for the home sick heart (there is also a Dunkin Doughnuts). Among your usual flavors and local variations for ice cream presentations, you also get some (of what I think are) South Korean specific flavors. Clearly marketing research was put into play when developing a veggies and fruits sorbet.  This sorbet has cucumber lime (it makes the light green part of the sorbet, you will be able to tell there is cucumber here) Orange and carrot (making the orange part, which really you could not tell there was carrot in there) and the strawberry and beets (making the pink reddish part also mostly strawberry).

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Ok just a three minute walk from Baskin robbins, you find another park (they like these). another one with sculptures this one had some interesting water features and stairs which I have yet to go up them because did I mention it is really warm?20140626_230651 20140626_230655 20140626_230703 20140626_230743 20140626_230752 20140626_230754 20140626_230834 20140626_230850 20140626_230852 20140626_230911 20140626_231015 20140626_231023 20140626_231032

Here is nore working out equipment.

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I found this (I guess I can call it an art piece) it gets nice and shimmery when the light hits it.

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Samcheok does light up at night, actually it is when it comes the most alive. I could say that part of it is because it was a Friday but the day before was equally as busy at night time. (and the smell of food that comes in all directions is awesome!)20140627_041531                                                                                                                                                                               An upside of South Korea is that there is no last call for alcoholic beverages, I tried a great grapefruit flavor rice wine from a convenience store, and it was great (be careful they taste like juice so you can eventually have one too many).

 

 

My Days in Korea, an adventure!

26 Jun

 

 

So I have made it to Samcheok South Korea. What?! (if you were not aware of this please refer to the earlier posts with tags such as South Korea, ok? ok).

Anyways currently I have been her a total of four days, maybe (it is a 16 hour time difference and it feels like time travel because I lost a day).  I have been out wandering but the heat is a bit on the intense side so after an hour or so I retreat to my cool and dark apartment, so I can do internet things.

So what have I notice? well for one there are displays of male and female matching underwear (I do not have a picture of this because it is hard to take pictures while holding an umbrella and the effort of doing so to take a picture of mannequin in their undergarments seems a little bit on the way past weird side).

But what hit me the most severely was when I was doing grocery shopping (because I cannot survive on internet glow alone) what that tuna comes in levels of spiciness like chips.

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Just so you are aware of the specific region/city of South Korea I refer to, I am in Samcheok (again I will get better pictures)

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South Korea is an interesting place, you  can park wherever, and mind you they don’t really have that break for pedestrians attitude they have back home. But hey you can get any kind of food delivered to your door as fast as a motorcycle can get through trafic (which is quite fast actually).

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I have also noticed that most of things do not really become open until later in the afternoon, which made my adjustment to the time difference seem that much more noticeable, I was the only person trying to get lunch around 10 A.M. 20140622_003942

The Buildings get pretty tall, But I live on the first floor so no uncomfortable elevator riding with people who will most likely notice I do anything but belong in that elevator.

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Traffic gets a little crazy this was my view from the bus I was riding from Soul to Samcheok.20140622_015303

 

I took a few pictures of the local architecture, and the narrowness of the streets which makes me feel very glad I do not have to dive but makes me anxious when there is not much room for people to coexist with cars either. 20140623_210924 20140623_211612 20140623_211616

My very first official Korean meal (I had been wondering around and just entered the first restaurant I saw) was Kimchi spicy ramen with side dishes and mandu (steamed dumplings). This was very delicious and hot, very hot and it added to the warm weather (which was not the best of combinations).

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On my fourths day having gone on a bigger walk it became apparent that in you own some land in South Korea (or at least Samcheok) you are using it to plant, and according to my observations corn is one of the most popular items. Followed by squash, melon, or cucumber (I just recognize the plant as belonging to these varieties).

 

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And that is all for now I will venture out with my camera soon enough and write more till laters!

Big Little Step

22 Jun

This blog is officially coming to you live from Samcheok South Korea. What does that mean? well I did about 20 hours of traveling 16 by plane and 4 by bus. But now I am where I should be for the next year or so and actually the place given to me is great! so I will be back with pictures and places I have visited and you will get to read about Samcheok because when I was trying to research it I found very little. 

The world Cup so far

16 Jun

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So far an through my eyes the world cup is going well, yeah there are far too many controversies with Brazil spending millions of dollar (they don’t have) on stadium and the restoration of the Maracana. There are riots in the streets of Brazil and people may be dying. I think that while this is sad, Brazil will also be hosting the Olympic games in 2016. So those stadiums will be in use in two years (this in no way makes up for what is going on) but being that they have a really good chance of winning the cup for their sixth time. I think that this must be kept in mind that Brazil was not ready for all of this yet people are complaining about the lack of commodities in the stadiums and in the city in general (remember they have to spend their money in health care and education).  Please do not complaint about things that a country with few resources cannot comply with. Just support the country by visiting it and being nice so they can continue to grow and be able to better accommodate people for the Olympics.

Ok now to a brighter part of the World Cup:

The very attractive men in all of the teams!

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Greece

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Germany

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England

Italy Arrives In Brazil

Italy

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Brazil (Brazil has a player #7 Hulk, the guy looks like a rugby player)

The disappointing referees who will not call horrible fouls. (yet they call every single non-foul because of some exaggerated fall)

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The awesome Gols

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And the great celebrations:

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So have fun enjoy the World Cup but remember the world does not really stop because Futbol is going on, please be conscious of all the tragedy and bad in the world.

 

Cuban Fury By John Brown and Nick Frost, A Movie Review

15 Jun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok so this weekend I was lucky enough to watch Cuban Fury. What is this you say? only the best dance movie ever it does not only have Nick Frost the other half of the best bromance ever!

The movie is about Bruce, a currently over weight engineer (Who like many people resides and depends heavily on his comfort zone) who was a salsa dancing sensation when he was young.  One day he meets the fair Julia (played by Rashida Jones), who just transferred to his company as his boss. He becomes swooned by her awesomeness and begins to try to impress her somehow.

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Because he is so into his lack of self confidence he keeps putting himself down specially when he learns that she is a salsa student. However with a little bit of encouragement from his sister and former dance partner Bruce once again takes up Salsa Dancing.
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However as a returner to anything he felt like he had an upperhand in the class only to realize that No! He then realizes he was being a butt-face and makes a super awesome friend who gives him a makeover. (but I cannot stress how much awesome this guy is throughout the entire movie!)

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(Bonus spoiler Simon Pegg makes a feature appearance!) that is all.

 

 

 

 

 

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This movie has one of the best BEST! (seriously best) Dance fight scenes I have seen as far as my existence on this earth goes. (Tha being said I do think that this makes me seem like I watch way too many movies that involve dance fighting,But you can’t ever watch too many movies with a dance fight scene(s) in them. It is just not possible.)

 

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Do your self a favor and watch this movie laugh, hate, feel happy and sad. Feel all the feels! because there is nothing better than an underdog in a movie. But I would like to point out that this underdog does not simply win the girl but he wins the right to feel like himself, he gets to express himself and dance when  believed that he would never get to do what he really loved! Most importantly he is loved and accepted by his friends and family as he is because he respects himself and that is the best we can do.