Sunday, August 31, 2008

11. MD Festival

Today we went to Chuncheon to attend a festival celebrating Dakgalbi BBQ Chicken and Makkuksu Noodles (what this region is famous for). So this is what we saw when we got there.. (it was about half an hour walk from the bus teminal).

One of the first stalls had this.. I have no idea, and I dont want to know!

You can't really see it, but this was the food on offer from one stall.. there was a huuuge range! Including whale meat and what we understood to be baby butterflies (more on that later)

We looked around a bit more..

And then it was time to eat.. What else should we have but Dakgalbi Chicken! This is how it comes.. they put some raw chicken, cabbage, green onion, onion, and dakgalbi sauce on this hot plate and it cooks.. Well, actually we cook it ourselves.. So I sat there stirring it for about 10 minutes until the meat was done and then we ate.. it was nice and spicy!

You supposed to put it on a lettuce leaf with some raw onion and other type of spicy sauce.. like this..

And then we finished.. Man it was a good meal! Oh it also came with a sweet cold soup with radish in it.. it was a perfect counter-balance for the heat of the Dakgalbi.

This is the line for free beer tasting.. the beer here is pretty bad.. I wonder what they'd do for some Tooheys Extra Dry!

Here's the stage for live performances..

Air conditioning...

Korean sweets...

Oh and last, but definatly not least.. we took about 5 minutes trying to decipher what this is.. apparently its "baby butterfly".. yes you heard me.. they eat cacoons here! As requested, bigger pictres can be found by clicking on the small images:
Free Image Hosting at
Free Image Hosting at

Ok well it's now time to sleep.. I have work tomorrow, so I hope to get up early and explore a bit.. goodbye for August..

Friday, August 29, 2008

10. Singing Room

I'm glad I took my camera to work again yesterday, I got heaps of pictures! The day started off quite normally, the usually stuff like teaching the alphabet and phonics to little ones like this:

But then something strange happened. Jay, my boss (here's a beautiful pic of him picking his teeth):

Well he said we should take the class out for some karaoke for a couple of hours. Of course I agreed (hey, it's something new!). So we all rocked up to this place:

And for 2 hours we all sang! The girls ofcourse sang korean pop songs.. But I made it a condition of entry that everyone had to sing at least one song! So the Korean teacher who was with me (Mrs Kim) also had to sing! She sang Whitney Houston I think, and another Korean song! Oh here she is btw:

And then Thomas, the 60 year old Yankee teacher decided to join us! I told him about the condition, and he wasn't keen. So I gave him the folder full of songs and told him to choose at least one, and I'd even sing it with him if he wanted. He chose Hold Me Tender. And after that, it was as if we couldn't stop him! He sang three more songs after that, including Sunny, and Michelle by the Beatles and another one I cant remember. Here he is in his element:

Oh and of course the girls hated photos.. nothing like back home. In fact I think it's the total opposite of back home where most people love taking their own photos (not to mention any names hana cubs?) Here they are, from left to right we have, Susie, Sandy, SomeoneICantRemember, and Amanda. Oh that's another thing, when they're in the Hagwon, they must have English Names. Some of them don't, so its up to me to give it to them. So far I've named Harry, Joshua, a few others who I cant remember right now. Oh and two gorgeous little girls I named Isabelle and Gabrielle. I think I can get the hang of this naming thing! :D

Then I decided to walk home, while Jay dropped all the girls at home. It was about 9:30pm. I was walking home and thought I'd take a picture of this (it's the closest thing to anything Indian for miles around!):

Then I thought I deserved a drink.. so I strolled over to Dunkin Donuts and ordered my usual. White Choco Mocha, half strength on the coffee, no froth/cream/chocolate on top. Here it is, and this is what it looks like when written in Korean. I asked one of them to write it down for me last time, and I just pull out the paper and give it to them.

Ok well it's time to go get some groceries, I think I'll make some pasta today before work so I need some vege's. Bye for now!

PS: I sang Gangster's Paradise by Coolio and Piano Man by Billy Joel!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

9. Foood

Last night I took my camera to work and thought I'd take a few happy snaps of how we order in take-away here.. Basically you just call up and ask for what you want and then 10 minutes later this guy on a scooter brings you your food in his little metal box:

And this is typically what we get for two people. Ok going from top-left, clockwise we've got:

  • Rice in the metal container (comes with the soup)

  • Kimchi, the spiced chinese cabbage beside the rice.

  • Seaweed.

  • Onion and pepper (from what i can tell) soup, which comes with the fish.

  • Fish Meal, comes with 3 fillets of fried fish, rice, coleslaw, corn, apple slice, and mayo and another gravy type sauce on the fish.

  • Pickled Eggplant, to the left of the Fish Meal.

  • Pickled tiny fishies above the eggplant.

  • Pickled sweet radish, the yellow stuff.

  • Soup Meal, which last night was a bean paste soup with tofu (pronouced tooboo here). They tell me its like Miso that the Japanese have, either way it was good!

  • All this for $AUD9.00. Oh and these were the more expensive meals here..

Then after work on the way home I thought I'd take a couple of pictures of the city at night..

And finally, this would have to be the Western-est street here, only because it has a Dunkin Donuts, Disney Shop, Baskin Robbins, and a Mr Pizza.

Ok, and nothing much happened so far today. I went to a photo place to have my picture taken for the Education Department.. and then came home. Its too hot to go for a walk today I think, and I woke up late.

Thats all for now... Tonight, I'm thinking about going to this cosy little cafe/bar I saw last night.. see how it goes.. ok byebye!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

8. The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost

So this morning I decided to go exploring again! But this time I'd take the path less travelled. So I went back up into the mountains, past the Korean Independence Memorial, and the Sporting Courts..

and up these stairs which deviated from the normal pathway..

As i went up and up and up, i thought there must be something at the end.. otherwise they wouldnt have gone through all the trouble of making these steps. So i kept going.. andwhat I found at the top of the stairs was this clearing.. well sort of a clearing. Here, a picture paints a thousand words:
It reminded me a lot of a rainforest in New Zealand for some reason. Ok so then I was faced with: left or right? Keeping with today's theme (path less travelled), I decided to go right. Which led UP.. and up..
Until I finally came to a cross road.. which way? Left or right? I decided right, since it looked like people hardly went up that way.. Oh and it was darker and spookier! :)

Again, it led up and up and up, until I came to a burial site..
I dont know why yet, but where ever I've been exploring, there have been burial sites in high places. I think they want their loved ones to have a view.. Or at least be closer to heaven and not have to travel so far.. Oh by-the-way, this is the view from the burial site:
I couldnt believe how high up I had come! To put things into perspective for you.. remember that photo i said "I come here to sit", and remember the view I had from there of mountains? Well this is where I went to sit.. alll the wayyy dowwwwwwn theerrrre... (in that little clearing in the centre of the pic):
So then I thought I'd keep going, but I came to (and nearly ran into) a huge spider web with a spider in the middle of it! I took that as a 'sign' that I'd come far enough, and it was time to go back and take the left fork in the road.. So down the hill I went..
and down...
and down, until i came to a crop of something.. and I looked down the right hand side and saw this cosy little resting place. I think it's the farmers resting place. But anyway, this is what I found.. And you would not believe it, but someone had tapped into some water from inside the mountain and ran a pipe with constantly running, crystal clear, icy cold water! There's no plumbing this high up, so I knew it was straight from the mountain. They were even nice enough to leave a glass there for travellers.. and whatever overflowed just ran down into his crops..
And this was the view from the resting place:
So like I said, this pathway ran along side a farm, and there I saw the greenest of green Rice Paddys!
So then I ended up back in civilisation.. but I had no idea where! I thought I knew which way I had come.. so I made for that general direction. I kept going right.. and then right again until I saw a building I thought I remembered.. I headed towards it and 10 minutes later I was back home! Oh and for Becca, I saw this along the way back home.. they have sunflowers here too :D

So in the end, what had taken me about an hour and half through wilderness and jungle, had really exited about 10mins down the road from where I live! There were so many other routes I could've taken, but I'll have to leave those for another day I think..

Ok well, that's all from me for now. Oh one last thing, a few people have been asking for bigger pics because the ones on this blog arent so big. I think all you need to do is click on the pictures and it should take you to a bigger copy of it!

Ok bye for now!