Archive for the 'travel' Category

Back to Korea…

I have 3 days left on my vacation here in the states.  Man, it’s hard to go back to Korea.  I now see why folks advise against going home over the holidays.  On one hand, I have a significant other back at home, so it was sort of necessary for me to go home in the interests of the strength of the relationship (plus, you know, I missed the guy!), but on the other…man, it’s so tempting to just stay here.  Thankfully, I only have 3 months left, which shouldn’t be too bad.  It’ll go fast.

By the way – just reminding you guys – this blog is basically defunct at this point.  To see my new blog, go here.

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Stuff.

Today was a school holiday, so I decided to drive the scootercycle to Mokpo.  The drive to Mokpo was fine. Driving around the city was a bit challenging, as I had no clue where I was going, but the drive there was fine. As predicted, it took about 45 minutes to get there, a full half-hour less than the bus. Most of the drive was at 80-90kph, which is generally about as fast as I’m comfortable with on the twisty roads here in Korea. I have a crate on the bike now though, and when it has weight in it, it really helps with turning and wind gusts, so I may just keep my bag of dog food in there permanently from now on, since I am always forgetting my tupperware containers of the food anyway. I think I’m just too light to really make the bike behave well. I get blown around a *lot*.

I went to E-Mart (Korea’s answer to Target, or a “HyperMarche” in France) and bought another rug (I have 5 now. Korea doesn’t do anything other than like, doormat-sized rugs, so I have them all over the house), more dog food and treats (half the price they are here in Jindo. Ironic considering this is “the dog island”), a shirt and skirt, an anti-bacterial cutting board, and some more nice wooden chopsticks (Korea uses metal ones, which conduct heat). I was going to go to HomePlus to buy a second one of the skirt I got there last week that I like, but I couldn’t figure out how to get there, so after half an hour of driving around aimlessly, I went back to E-Mart and got a burger from the McDonalds there, before heading home.

Got home, and found that my co-teacher emailed me asking for a document and photo I have given them 4 separate times (Korea is chronically disorganized). The document was a format my computer (and, for that matter, pretty much any western computer) can’t read, and she wanted a new photo taken as well. She says she wants this tomorrow, and yet she sent the email at 6pm, after the photo studio had closed. Korea is notorious for informing people of things and asking for things at the absolute last minute, and it is one of the things that I find truly frustrating. They seem to have major problems with thinking about the future at all, and it really, really shows.

Okay, no more griping. Time for dinner.

Here, have a photo:

 

3 minutes from my house...

3 minutes from my house...

Fabric Market Workers

Other photos from the same series can be found here.

Back again…

I’m back in Gwangju after a weekend in Seoul, and I head back to Jindo on Wednesday.

I’m about ready for this merry-go-round to stop.  I’d like to get off now, please.

——————————-

In other news, I have 9 months and 6 days left.  w00t.  I like Korea, but I am definitely looking forward to being back with Marc, and being able to order food without resorting to gestures.

Recap Part 1!

So. A lot has gone on lately!

Last Friday, JETI (both us teachers and our trainees) went on a field trip to Namwon (to see something involving the Korean folktale Chunhyangga) and then to Wolchulsan. The first leg of the trip was entertaining, mainly because they insisted in dressing up us silly foreigners in traditional Korean clothing, dressed as the characters from the story. Here’s me as the love interest:

Me as Chunhyang

Believe me, those clothes are fucking hot to be in in this weather.

It was neat, and there was a very detailed temple (the shots in the two posts before this one are from there), though the lunch we had was so spicy that about half the foreigners started to feel ill, myself included. For the second half of the day, we went to Wolchulsan, which took almost two hours to drive to. Wolchulsan is Korea’s smallest national park, but it’s quite beautiful. If you can make it up the mountain (mountains in Korea are phenomenally steep – often almost straight up), there’s a very wobbly “cloud bridge” that spans two minor peaks. Sadly, we were running out of time, so I didn’t get too many shots. Here’s one of me on the bridge (it’s a long way down from there, believe me):

 

Me on the Wolchulsan Cloud Bridge

Me on the Wolchulsan Cloud Bridge

 

My friend Colin thinks that should be captioned “sweaty on a bridge”. I kind of agree.

After Wolchulsan, we headed back to JETI, and me and the two teachers from Wando (Melisa and Dan) went into town and caught a bus to Wando. Unfortunately, there were no seats left, so Dan and I had to spend almost three hours sitting on the floor of the bus, in the aisle, but it wasn’t the end of the world. The ride down was quite pretty. When we got in, they ran into some other Wando friends (Wando is about twice the population of Jindo, and half the size) right off the bat, and they offered to put me up on their couch. I said I was fine with staying in one of the cheap motels nearby, but they said that there was some sort of beach day tomorrow that all the foreigners in the area were going to go to, so it would be easier to just stay with them so we could all go together.

Okay, that’s it for now, as I need to sleep. Tomorrow I will talk about: Wando (and Myeongsashimni Beach), Gwangju, Korean Fashion, finally having an “aw, I like Korea…” moment, and yesterday evening’s Three Stooges inspired antics.

Damyang

One positive aspect of the JETI camp is the location.  Damyang is gorgeous, and very quiet, so it’s essentially my ideal sort of place.  Here’s a photo I took on my first evening there, actually:

And now, off to bed!

Stuff.

Spent last night and most of today in Wando with some other foreigners who live there.  I’m now back in Gwangju so I can do some food shopping and see a movie or two, and on Monday, I’ll be back in Damyang.  So whirlwind, my life these days.

I’m actually looking forward to the start of the school year, interestingly enough.  My life has been so unstable since early July, and I just want to go back to having a standard space to return to at the end of a standard day.  Unfortunately, said standard space will change again in a month or two after I move in, but…there’s not much I can do, so I just have to roll with it.

Wando was pretty, and is bigger than I expected, and their beach is nicer than Jindo’s.  There are 4 Canadians and one really irritating American.  I’d like to go back sometime, but it’s an irritating part of the province to get to.

I’m contemplating heading out to the expat bar nearby, but I’m not sure I want to go.  Frankly, as a single woman, sitting at a bar here in Korea will just equate to me endlessly fending off and disappointing hopeful and horny expats, and that’s not my idea of a fun evening.

*sigh*


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