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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Beginnings of Spring

Here are a few pics of early spring blossoms, all the more noticeable given the brown, dead backdrop:




Children's Day Presents

May 5th in Korea is Children's Day, a national holiday.

It is a day when many children go with their parents (including the father, whom they sometimes seldom see, but that is a different post) to a park, a restaurant, an amusement park, etc.

Many children get a gift of one kind or another.

Last week one of my 6th grade students said, "Teacher, last night I asked my mother for a Children's Day present."

I awaited the response, kind of knowing what it was going to be, since I have heard it from students before.

The 6th grade student continued, "But my mother said, "You are not a child!"  I was so sad."

I asked some 5th grade students about that remark, and they confirmed it, saying that as 5th graders this was the last year that they could expect to receive a present.

Not all that different from Western cultures, is it?

However, it's still a bit of a shock when thrown in your face . . .

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Ansan Walking Path

Outside of Seoul, between Geumjeong (금정)  and Oido (오이도) on line 4 of the subway, lies Ansan (안산), which encompasses multiple stations.

Close to Jungang station (중앙역) there is a walking path that encircles a large hill; the path connects to the Home Plus parking garage:



You can walk for a few kilometers around the hill


on the path that also has several other connections:




It is one of the nicer (double-wide) paths that I have been on, and will be even nicer in the coming months as the brown vegetation turns green.  It's a great way to walk off a large lunch or to stretch your legs after viewing a movie at the cinema.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

North Korea's Rockets

How is it that North Korea can continue to launch so many rockets into the ocean and nobody--not one news source that I have seen--has mentioned the environmental impact that these splashdowns might have?

So far this week, according to news sources (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26703821), North Korea has launched a total of 46 rockets into the East sea.

What impact will these rockets have on fishing?  Who will be harmed by these acts in the future?

I think there is more to these news accounts than simply "North Korea is reacting to the U.S.-South Korean war games" [and acting like a big baby in the process].

Just my thought.

City Views

Since the weather in Korea is on a warming trend, more people have been getting out and about.

Here is a picture of a park with a soccer field in Gunpo city (near Seoul); the air quality has been poor over the last 10 days or so . . . this was one of the better days:




Here's you can see a city-center pedestrian area, where a lot of people go to shop and eat out:


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Videos

Need a laugh?

Watch these short videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9j3-ghRjBs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etKCHLgW_o0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNJdJIwCF_Y

Another Barley Rice Meal

I wanted to try a different barley rice restaurant, so here are some more pics.  The place looks very different, kind of a western 'log cabin' decor.  However, the food is pretty much the same (though the meat was a bit too spicy for me):




Sunday, 16 March 2014

Traditional Bibimbap

Here are some pictures from a traditional bibimbap restaurant:

The outside: nothing special, except for a guy who parks the cars--valet style--in a rather terrifying manner




The entrance: We had to wait in line as it was busy, then walk past part of the kitchen, and get a plastic bag to put our shoes in (that was a first in Korea), as there are not enough shoe spaces available when the restaurant is full



Finally, the meal:  acorn jelly with lettuce (도토리묵), a delicious combination


Vegetables with barley rice: (나물 + 바리밥), obviously healthy, but also tasty




They get mixed with red pepper sauce: (고추 중), a good texture + taste combo



And then there's the spicy pork with vegetables: (제육볶음), hot and tempting



Last, as is often the case, is the soup: salty but good



 What a wonderful meal!

Overpriced

This waffle was served up at a coffee house that overlooks a small lake.  It's a nice stand-alone building, though it and the lake view (through dirty windows) are not worth the $12+ price for the waffle (nor the $10 cafe latte's):


Just my thought.

(And a few more swirly-loops of chocolate glaze on the plate aren't going to change it.)

Korean Soup Pots

When you go to a restaurant in Korea--or when you order out from one--any soup that accompanies the meal is usually served boiling hot.

Literally.

Here's why:


The ddukbaegi, or Korean earthenware pots that soups are served in, are also the vessels that they are cooked in.  These pots are placed directly over the burners in the kitchen.  Then they are served at the table.

Warning: don't touch the pots when they are brought to the table!


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Pyeongtaek: A City in South Korea

I hope that I don't offend anyone when I say that Pyeongtaek is not the prettiest  of places, but I have friends who live there so I visit occasionally.


This last time I was served up some homemade crepes:


The insides were filled with strawberries--yum!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Korean Lunch Picture

Here's a picture of our Korean lunch yesterday.  Along with an additional platter of fish, this is food for 4 people (with some of the side dishes refilled).  In the covered metal bowls there is rice.  Delicious, healthy, and only 7,00 won per person (less than $7).


Saturday, 1 March 2014

New Semester

Our new semester begins on Monday, and we are off to a new start . . . a new teacher, new books, changed classes, etc.

I've had to say goodbye to some students whom I have taught for a long time, but I am looking forward to teaching some different kids.

Hopefully it will be a good beginning for everyone!:)

Short Animation Films

For a unique creative approach to animation, watch these short films:

"Sheep in the Island"

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvR8LGOUpNA

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YY6uyV2CYCI