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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Evian Baby Videos

I had not seen these videos before, but have had an enjoyable time showing them to students during our break times:

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sunday Lunch

Kind of out in the country, this unassuming place

serves up a wonderful Korean lunch, filling the table with a variety of healthy and delicious side dishes:

Someone asked me last week what my favorite Korean food is, and I honestly answered that I can't choose just one.  However, this is my favorite kind of Korean meal!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Village in Gangwondo

Last weekend I visited friends of mine at the village where they own a house:

This village is simply a farming community, a collection of houses; there are no stores or schools or restaurants (and, seemingly, no children)

It's always nice to experience the countryside, especially in the spring when nature is greening up!

Korean Wedding

On a happier note, I attended the wedding today of a Korean co-teacher.  It was held at a church, instead of the wedding halls that are common in Korea, and the service was quite nice (though it was in Korean):

After the ceremony there was a buffet lunch (as is common at wedding halls):

It was a nice way to spend part of a Saturday:)

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Ferry Disaster Fallout

Because of the ferry sinking, public schools in Korea are afraid to risk trips, and many parents are afraid to send their children on trips.

Some of my students--from different elementary schools--have told me over the last week that all of their school trips (they often have 1 per semester) have been canceled, as well as any picnics. Two students told me tonight that their school sports day was canceled, though I have yet to figure out how that is related to the ferry sinking.

I believe that such trip cancellations are going to have an effect on the Korean economy, as bus companies, hotels, etc, will lose out in sales.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Ferry Disaster

If you have read the international news today, you know that there has been a ferry disaster in South Korea.  Reports continue to supply different information, but it seems that many of the passengers are trapped within the ship.  Most of them are reported to be high school students from a city near where I live.  While the outlook seems grim, let's hope for the best.

You can check Korean news (in English) here:

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

BBC Article

Check out these pictures of a girl in Mongolia:

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Vegetables and Fruit

I would much rather spend my money on vegetables and fruit at a family-run place like this than go to the big grocery store next door:

They have good, fresh produce, and the food is a bit cheaper too.

It bothers me a bit that the store takes over the sidewalk, but that's a relatively minor thing.

In addition to veggies and fruit, the store sells nice, fresh, daily-made black bean tofu, $2 a square:

It takes me a week to eat that block!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Surprising Heights

In the middle of Beomgye, South Korea, you might see this intersection, full of traffic.

On the left is the New Core department store building; on the right, if you look closely . . .

(It's another hazy day, I know, but)  . . . up past the corner of the building you can see that it is the . . .

. . . new 10-story Lotte department store.

What do you think you might find on the roof-top terrace?

Why, of course, a kid's area complete with animals and life-like sculptures!

Doctor's Visit

One of the nice things about living in Korea is the affordability of the health care.  Through my English academy I co-pay about $75 a month to be part of the national health plan (unfortunately, a lot of people aren't on it, though the current government is working to extend coverage).

For the third time in maybe 5 years I developed a sinus infection, partly due to kids coughing and sneezing in class and partly due to the spring weather (a lot of dusty/dirty air this year).

So I went back to the same doctor and--after having a camera inserted into my nostrils ("Don't move; this might be painful")--was prescribed a round of antibiotics and antihistamines (or something similar).  Then they flushed out my nasal passages with saline and packed me off to the pharmacy next door.

Doctor's visit = $4.00
Medicine = $4.50

Now, I will have to pay that same amount again as I have to return to the doctor and have my prescription extended, but, still, $20?  That's terrific!

Granted, I have been paying into the national medical chest without using most of that money, but I am more than pleased with the way the system works, especially knowing that I have that system as an insurance policy should I need it.

Friday Market

Every Friday there is a one-day market in this apartment complex area (I have posted pictures of it before).  Though it isn't very big, there are a wide assortment of fresh foods, and usually the same vendors frequent the market:

Friday, 11 April 2014

Break-time Fun

Here are some students watching an animation ("Minions Mini Movies") during break time; as you can see they have arranged some puppets to share in the entertainment:

Sunday, 6 April 2014


Mackerel with side dishes and soft tofu stew (sundubu jjigae; 순두부찌개):

Too much food for two people, but it was very good!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Cherry Blossoms

We had a week of warm weather and the cherry blossoms are out in full bloom:

Student Shirt