Monday, 31 October 2011

It's Always Magic at Everland

Everland Resort is much like many other theme parks across the world but its unique (especially for me) as it’s in Korea (this opens it up to all kinds of strange possibilities, huh?). There was a lot of debate as to what we were going to do over Halloween weekend. It was originally going to be spent at the Busan Firework Festival where we would also swim with sharks, but that fell through so we started thinking up other ideas. I came up with Everland, a theme park literally 40 minutes away from central Seoul. We expected it to be really busy on Saturday, especially since the park was holding a Halloween Horror Night. Alas, we woke up to a small downpour on Saturday morning (made hilarious by the fact that Natalie left her shoes outside of the hostel door the night before thus allowing them to get absolutely drenched over night). We hoped this downpour would deter the crowds from the park, which to some extent it did. We hopped on the tube which is always a fascinating people watching experience. There was a drunk (or at least very tired) overweight Korean falling asleep on the shoulder of a young Korean lady who he didn’t know. You had to be there. It was hilarious. After the subway ride it’s a 40 minute bus journey across town and through the misty weather to the Everland bus terminal.

Entrance to the park is much like any theme park, there is fantasy music playing and people dressed in costumes in a mythical magic castle type setting. It sucks you in and entices you to enter and get swept away (spend your money) for the day. We started off by checking out the Go Africa exhibit where you could feed some birds, spy on some rather large tarantulas, and watch a hyena get very horny as he tried to get it on with his female friends. I had never seen a hyena before; they are actually quite majestic and fascinating to watch.

Not all of the rides were open at the beginning of the day so we had to wait a while. We did manage to get on the carousel (slow but no queue), the haunted house (where you’re given a laser gun to shoot things with), and the rotating house (an experience much like HEX at Alton Towers). All of which were pretty fun. After this we got some lunch at the European themed section of the park, I had a sausage selection and it was wonderful.

After lunch fantastic news, the rides are all open. Let’s go! How long is the queue? 80 minutes. Damn! So we queued. And we queued and we eventually got on the ride, which has an almost vertical drop on a wooden roller coaster (it’s called the T-Express if you’re interested enough to look it up). It was super fast and didn’t work wonders for my headache. I was actually pretty terrified on that ride, as you slowly turn the corner and see the sheer drop in front of you. After the ride to recover we went to check out the animals. They have an amazing selection here and loads of animals I had never seen before. We saw a beaver making himself a damn, loads of orang-utans and chimps, tigers, lions and some exotic creatures that I can’t remember the names of. Oh, and polar bears.

What? Yes. Polar bears. World population: between 20,000 and 25,000. It was a privilege to see them even if they were in a cage, but its good that there is some conservation work going on for these animals. They are stunning. You can get really close to the animals on this side of the globe, nothing near the amount of health and safety there is in England. So, it was a pretty good time. Polar bears! I know, right?

Once we had checked out the animals and gone on a lame water ride we went and watched the parade. A sickening experience akin to a Disney parade where people are dressed up in scary animal costumes dancing around singing overly happy songs on top of floats. Magic? Maybe. Then we went on a pirate boat which made my stomach do back flips. Oh, and the cat show, another sickening experience where cats are exploited live on stage performing tricks to an overly excited audience. I didn’t know cats could do tricks like that, but come to think of it, I didn’t care.

Night was ascending and we went and had some more food before getting in line for the horror maze. Where you walk around a very dark building with live actors inside who try and freak you out. The live actors succeeded and I was scared, its this over active imagination of mine. The theme was abandoned hospital and there were people in bloody hospitals gowns chasing you, jumping out on you, following you in wheel chairs and grabbing your feet. Spooky. The whole park was dressed up for Halloween and in horror village everyone was dressed up for a spooky old time.

We had some time left so we went on the Safari. Something very similar to that of Jurassic Park, with big gates that you drive through. They had lions, white tigers, a liger (never seen one of them before, mental), elephants, and these bears that were really playful but if they decided to get less playful and more angry I swear their paws could easily go through the safari cars windows.

After walking around a little more we left to get back to Seoul for about 10pm. I was knackered. As was everyone as far as I could tell. Had a wicked kiwi ice shake on the way out. It tasted so good after a long day!

On Sunday we went to the Korean War Memorial to go to the body worlds exhibit. The exhibit puts on display plasticised bodies (all the bodies that are preserved have been donated, mostly by people who declared while living that they would like their bodies to be plastinated to advance human knowledge). The bodies are pumped full of plastic replacing the water in the bodies cells wit plastic and so on and so forth. It was fascinating. Parts of it creeped me out though and made me really consider my health. They would display normal sliced up brains next to sliced up stroke victims brains (knowing they were real made it quite intense) and it makes you really think about how well you look after yourself. Health is important it seems and I should stop eating burgers. Normal lungs next to cancerous ones, heads chopped in half, dead babies from embryo to nine months showing the progression of human development in the womb. If you’re not squeamish the exhibition is well worth it and can be seen in different cities across the whole world. It’s educational, it’s exciting and its entertaining. You come out a more health aware and health conscious human and you are in a way more appreciative of the fragility of your life. Not every exhibit can boast that, right?

Monday, 24 October 2011

Joint Security Area, DMZ

Ok, so the De-Militarized Zone, right. Phew, I’m overwhelmed. I’m exhausted at the thought of trying to document everything I saw and learnt. Let’s start with the basics:

The De-Militarized Zone or ‘DMZ’ is a 4km wide and 250km long band of land that divides the border between North and South Korea, 2km of the width belong to the South and 2km by the North. The border is heavily guarded (the most heavily guarded border in the world) on both sides. It was designated at the end of the Korean war in 1953 and hasn’t changed much since, it being, the consequence of a stalemate. Technically, these countries (with polar opposite ideologies) are still at war with one another, though this strip of land keeps that war to some extent, at bay. The JSA or Joint Security Area is the only populated area of the DMZ and it is where both forces face off on a daily basis.

The first stop on our tour was the Freedom Bridge.

Let me back track, our tour guide was called Mr. Kim. He called Kim Jung Il his ‘brother’ because they shared a last name. I’m not sure if this was because whilst in the Joint Security Area he wasn’t allowed to mention Kim Jung Il so by calling him his brother he could openly talk about him, or because he was a bit weird. He was very enthusiastic and nearly the whole journey he was giving us information about the history of the DMZ. He also filled us in on the rules of visiting the JSA.

The rules: No pointing (it might look like your pulling out a gun), no reaching for things inside pockets (it might look like your pulling out a gun) if the North Korean guards think you have a gun, they will shoot you. No questions asked. No torn clothing. No sandals, high heels etc (you need to be able to run if things kick off), no photo’s (only when you are told to take photos can you take photos), you will walk in orderly lines to the designated areas of the tour. There were more rules, but I forget.

So, the first stop was the Freedom Bridge. This bridge was where the last train to enter the North and vice versa rode across; it is also where the repatriated prisoners of war and serving soldiers returned from the North. It is right on the DMZ fence and there are several roads that lead into the North here. There are wishes and dreams of reunification and freedom stuck to the fence in this area, mostly written by Koreans but there were some English signs as well. You can also see the train that came from the North, it is full of bullet holes and is rusted into an early grave, but it sits there, a monument to the past.

Next we arrive at the first military checkpoint to have our passports checked before entering the DMZ. Then you enter the second checkpoint where your passports are checked again along with your dress code, once you’ve gone through a few more checkpoints you get to Freedom House, essentially the Joint Security Area visitor centre. We sat and watched a presentation about the Korean War, the DMZ, and North Korea. It was an interesting presentation albeit a biased one, with some strange assumptions getting made throughout (thus seems to be the way with Korean tourism). After this, before you know it, you are back in your coach, and you pull up outside a rather grandiose looking building. You are lined up. You walk up some stairs. Bang. There you are. The JSA. North Korea. There is a North Korean guard who stares at you from the other side, when the tour group steps out it is his job to take photographs of you and watch you like a hawk through binoculars. You are instructed not to make any eye contact with the North Koreans and not to gesture to them in any way.

There is a line of concrete in the middle of the road which is the actual border line between North and South Korea. The buildings on either side of this line are for meetings and negotiations and you are directed into the centre building. Followed by armed guards who stand with you in the building whilst you look around, this is where you can actually step foot on North Korean soil. The border line in this room runs along the centre table and in-between the legs of the guard standing in the middle. You are instructed not to touch him and not to walk between him and the table, oh, but you can take a photo with him. Weird.

So, what would happen if you were to just run for it? Well, this would be the most ridiculously stupid place to do this, however, if you were from the South running North, the South Korean guards would do everything they could to stop you, but if you made it, there’s nothing they can do. The North will probably not shoot at you and will take you in for questioning and try and find some use for you. Apparently there’s some German guy who comes every year and tries to make it across, apparently he thinks he’s destined to save the North Korean people. What a douche.

Now, if you’re coming the other way, from North to South, it’s a different story. In 1984, a Soviet tour guide did a runner. Several North Korean guards followed him across, guns blazing. South Korean guards fired back and eight North Koreans were shot, three killed. Yeah. I know!

After you’ve experienced this for a while you are escorted out and then led back to the coach. You drive around a little more, you see the bridge of no return which is where the two countries orchestrated their POW exchanges after the war. It is aptly named because any POW who crossed this bridge was never allowed back. The dramatic tensions of this somewhat alludes me, I guess it was tougher if you were North Korean.

You also pass a plaque which is where a tree used to stand. What’s that about? Well, back in the 70’s, in the summer months this tree would block the view of the South Koreans watching another South Korean outpost. So, in 1976, the South decided to chop the tree down. This led to what is now known as the 1976 Axe Murder Incident, a stupid name if you ask me. Basically, they tried to chop the tree down, the North got pissed and started yelling ‘Stop’, they didn’t stop so the North retaliated, the North Koreans grabbed some axes and clubs and went cave man on their asses. They killed one US soldier and injured others. The next day, the South came back, with a convoy of 23 vehicles and sixteen men with chainsaws to chop the tree down, oh and 2 lots of 64 armed guards, 20 utility helicopters, 8 attack helicopters, fighter planes and the works. The tree was chopped down. Now there’s a plaque.

From here you can see the North Korean ‘proper gander’ city. There stands the tallest flagpole in the world and atop that the second largest flag in the world. In the city beneath this, there is nobody. Nobody lives there, nothing goes on there. The North Koreans just got jealous of the flag that the South put up, so they put up a bigger one. South Korea has a farming village, so the North had to build a city. This is what they’re up against, a jealous, fascist, sociopathic infant.

They have a gift shop. I got some North Korean wine, and a shot glass. It is ridiculous to have a gift shop at the most heavily guarded border in the world though, right?

A fascinating trip however and there’s no way I can chronicle it all here, but hopefully that gives you an insight into my visit to the JSA.

What else did they have in the gift shop? Oh, bits of the fence, t-shirts, key chains, the usual. What a strange situation. Who knows what is going to happen?

Friday, 21 October 2011

Top Secret

Let me tell you a story about tea. No, no, that’s wrong. It’s about water really. Is it water? They say its water but it’s brown. Maybe it’s brown water? It doesn’t taste like water. Whatever ‘it’ is we have it every day at lunch and I hate it. It’s brown water and the taste is like nothing I’ve ever tasted before and all I wish is that we had real water. But we don’t.

I was told two weeks ago that we would be going hiking with the school on Thursday 20th. This is all I knew. Nothing else was mentioned. So, Thursday rolls around and I’m assuming that we are all going to go hiking with the kids, chase butterflies, play pooh sticks and sing marching songs. I was wrong. This was a staff only trip. Strange, because we left the school at 1:30, leading to the cancellation of three of my classes. No matter. Me, the vice principle, the janitor and the accountant set off together. None of them speak any English. Fun.

We walked about 1km down the road outside of my school when we reached an army base. I didn’t think for a minute that this would be where we’d be heading. There was some commotion as we walked through the front gate. My VP started making phone calls as did the general in charge of the army base. I decipher the reason for the commotion is that I am foreign and I am not allowed on the army base. Several phone calls later, after getting increasingly nervous about the armed soldiers surrounding us we are given the all clear. I was allowed onto the army base to hike to the top of the mountain. I was the first foreign person ever in the history of Korea to be allowed into this army base and to be allowed to go to the top of this mountain. The general approached me, he was a friendly well built and sturdy fellow. He said, (in perfect English) “This is a secret base. Top secret. You cannot tell anybody about what you see”. Weird. “Of course”, I reply.

So here’s what I saw.

There were a few tanks knocking about the base, but we quickly proceeded up a trail into the forest. There was really very little to see aside from some ropes hanging from trees. It was like this pretty much the whole way up, some trees, some birds, some berries that my VP was plucking to his delight. We turned a corner and could see for miles and miles, I could almost see Sachang-ri from up there. In the other direction we could see the top of the mountain, a barbed wire fence with some outpost / lookout buildings on top.

On we trekked. Man, Koreans walk so slowly. My VP was apparently impressed with my ‘climbing ability’ but they were walking at such a pace that they would have been impressed with a snails hiking ability.

We eventually reached the top where the rest of the school was waiting. Apparently they took a car. What? That’s fair. Make the foreigner walk. Now, as I stand on top of the mountain I understand why I wasn’t allowed to talk about what I saw, because what I saw was North Korea. What I saw was the DMZ fence. And seriously, I will not mention what was on the mountain, because I promised I wouldn’t.

We talked a little about North Korea and the feelings the teachers had about reunification. The older generation seemed to have some deep emotions on the subject, talking about how hard it has been, the younger generation don’t seem to care a whole lot. The younger generations primary concerns seem to be purely financial: if reunification happened then what effect would it have on the Korean economy? I imagine it would be similar to what West Germany went through. South Korea would have to deal with a nation that is so astoundingly backwards when they themselves are on a jet plane into the future. It’s an interesting situation. It was a tiring hike and luckily we got a ride back to the bottom with some Korean soldiers who were very welcoming.

When we reached the ground we were taken for some snacks with the soldiers. I did not want to drink, the last time I was in a ‘drinking’ situation with my school they made me drink so much I ended up passing out on my bathroom floor. So, I came prepared.

“I can’t I’m afraid, I’m taking these tablets and can’t drink with them.” (hold up tablets as false proof)
“Oh, we understand.”

Sorted. I didn’t want to offend them but I also didn’t want to drink. After talking to the general (really his English was great) about his time with the UN in India and the Philippians (really interesting), and once everyone had finished drinking we all went for some food, which was pleasant. Although, the amount of courses was preposterous.

Home by 7:30. Duty of socialising with teachers complete. This weekend I go to the JSA and I’m looking forward to writing about it.

They took a photo of me atop the mountain and made me promise I’d never show anyone. Pointless.
It’s a strange old world.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Lazy Daze

This weekend was pretty quiet and steeped in anticipation of the arrival of my film. Friday night me and Natalie ordered a pizza, it was some kind of Bacon Supreme epic fill your stomach up to the brim pizza and was accompanied by wine and Scrabble with Nathanael and Russell. Nathanael is essentially the scrabble champion of the world and remains the undisputed and undefeated king of the scrabble ring. At one point he used up all of his letters and received a fifty point bonus. We all sucked. However, it was a fun relaxing night in. You see, we were going to go to Samcheok to see the underground caves this weekend but after much research we realised just how far this was, so we skipped out on it.

Saturday rolled around and we all got the 10:20 bus to Chuncheon. There’s a mountain in Chuncheon called Samaksan. It’s surrounded by beautiful waterfalls, temples and amazing rock formations. We thought we should probably check this out. Natalie was feeling a little worse for wear so we were taking it pretty easy. We got the bus to the mountain and started hiking, at first you go through this valley of rocks which takes you right next to these amazing little pools and waterfalls. Up quite a few steps and a rocky trail, about an hour and a half later we make it the temple which is near the top of the mountain but not quite there. As we reached the top the heavens they did open and it rained and rained and rained. We took shelter under the temple for a while and had some lunch before manning up and hiking back through the rain. After this we got the bus back to central Chuncheon and went to EMart to do some shopping. Natalie bought herself a new mug and we got some meat and fish in for the weekend. After this we got the bus back home. Oh, we had Dak Galbi. Obviously.

That evening Russell went drinking in Hwacheon with Ben, but Natalie had been ill so didn’t fancy it. Nor did I. Me, Nathanael and Natalie spent the evening watching crap youtube videos and an idiot abroad over some beers. Life in Korea isn’t all that unlike life anywhere else. There was a massive thunderstorm however and we thought it would be a good idea to go and watch it for a while. So, we did.

On Sunday it was still raining. We cooked some fish and potatoes for lunch and it tasted great! We went for a walk around Sachang and spent most of the day hanging out there. I noticed Ben walking outside my window and had an impromptu conversation with him. Apparently he thinks it wouldn’t be a problem if I went running on the track outside Sanae in the evenings, so I think I’m going to do that. I received my film but Ben didn’t feel up to anything (hungover) so we decided to watch it the next day. Me, Natalie and Nathanael (the ones who didn’t go drinking) went for some duck in duck village. I made duck village up, but the duck tasted good there. Another preferably lazy weekend that was then.

Next weekend the plan is to visit the JSA (Joint Security Area) which is where the North and South stand off, so next week I should have a pretty interesting blog for you. Until then chums. Until then...

Friday, 14 October 2011

Things That Aren't Really About Korea

As promised my first Korea vlog. Although, if you count the Apartment Tour (see below) my second.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

You Will Hate Japan, You Will, You Will

Seodaemun Prison was a forcibly built Japanese detention center constructed by the Japanese colonialists during the Japanese occupation of Korea between 1910 and 1945. They used the prison essentially to lock away any Korean nationalists who were fighting to liberate Korea from Japanese occupation. The prisons basement was used as a torture chamber to interrogate inmates who may have had information about the Korean Liberation Movement. Some of the torture devices and methods used are on display at the now aptly named Seodaemun Independence Park, which was the first stop on our school trip yesterday. Some of these methods included locking Korean inmates in boxes lined with nails and shaking the boxes, the classic water torture making inmates believe they were being drowned, putting in mates in coffin like boxes with no room to stand or sit properly, putting sharp needles underneath inmate’s fingernails and all other sorts of debauchery. (I must highlight the fact that while torture shouldn’t be used under any circumstances these inmates had not committed any crimes apart from fighting for the illegal occupation of their country to stop.)

So, naturally, taking a bunch of elementary school children who could never possibly conceive of such atrocities to this prison was a great idea. The kids didn’t really get it, and nor should they. They seemed to enjoy locking themselves in the coffin like boxes or running around the courtyard though. The aim, in my opinion, was to further promote the Korean ideology that you should hate Japan. Koreans (more specifically older Koreans) hate the Japanese. It’s not like the Irish hate the English or anything like that, I mean, they really hate the Japanese. It felt to me like the whole school trip was designed to get these kids to feel the same way. Of course, the kids are more switched on than that and it will probably not work, but I was blown away by the blatancy of the whole charade.

Ok, Japan did some pretty rough and tumble things to this country. Some unforgivable war crimes were committed, and some inconceivable tortures were dealt out. Can you really live in the past to that extent though? Maybe I can’t really understand because I come from one of the most brutal colonialist countries around, but the grudges held by countries who were occupied by the British Empire don't seem to be nearly as fired up as Koreans are about Japan. There’s this phrase here‘must have been made in Japan' which people say when something breaks. This whole Japan grudge is a huge part of the zeitgeist and I think it’s a little silly.

The prison was horrible however, and it reminded me of when I visited Alcatraz in San Francisco. There is something in the air, an eerie atmosphere that shrouds these old monuments of by gone brutalism. You feel guilty for being there. You look through cell windows into spaces that you could hardly move inside and think to yourself, wow, this was somebody’s home. Walking around the torture chamber was really disturbing and luckily I don’t think the kids really picked up on it. Long hallways with cells on each side, old abandoned buildings where lepers used to be kept away from healthier inmates, labour factories where inmates were forced to work 14 hours a day, a really wicked era. I don’t hold a grudge against the Japanese however. Although they suppressed the culture of Korea, tried to destroy the Korean language and tried to destroy or loot temples, monuments and scriptures, it was a part of the past and will remain that way. Yet, for the Korans who went through this, you do begin to understand why Koreans think like they do. This country has been scarred and continues to be (with North Korea's shadow looming) and you feel for such a kind people.

After visiting the prison we went to the palace that me and Natalie had visited a few weeks before. Same old stuff, Japan stole this, Japan stole that, we spent about half an hour walking around this place, a place that took me and Natalie a whole morning to walk around. A shame, I suppose.

After this we went to another palace called Gyeonbukgung palace. This is a much larger palace complex than Chungbeokgung and has a very tranquil pool surrounding one of the temples there. We spent longer here walking around the various buildings and gardens of a place steeped in cultural history. The teachers and kids mainly used this as a series of photo opportunities, with the occasional ‘this building was used for’ now get in front of it and pose. I suppose it stems from another Korean tradition in which look is more important than function. As long as something looks good then no matter, no worries. This was also prevalent on Sports Day and I’ve started to notice it more and more.

This has sounded a little negative and I don’t want it to. The kids enjoyed the trip, and so did I, although I spent most of the day on a coach. We got back at around six and me, Natalie and Nathanial went to get a chicken burger which we ate on the roof. I also found a group of Korean urban explorers on a Facebook group, there's photo's on the page of this old abandoned theme park called Okpo Land on the South Coast that I really want to go and check out. So, hopefully, we'll get down there at some point.

In other news the film me and Dave made before I came to Korea is finished and he sent it to me, I spent most of the day getting excited by the fact I’d be able to watch it. Alas, the file type was wrong (a Mac / PC issue) so I’ll have to wait a little longer until I get to see the finished product.

Last weekend was a quiet one, we had a stroll by the river, went to the Tomato sculpture park in town (crazy I know) ate lots of junk food, went for Chinese, and watched a Korean movie with Ben. So, this weekend, so as not to feel guilty, we are actually going to do something. (EDIT) We were going to go to the Penis Sculpture Park and Underground caves but it would take nearly 7 hours in total on a variety of buses to do it, so instead we are going to check out some sites in the local area.

Oh, and I will make a video blog soon, I promise.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


We had a three day weekend as it was National Foundation Day here. I didn’t know what this meant, so I googled it, apparently this holiday celebrates the creation of the state of Gojoseon in the year 2333 BC. Weird how they have AD and BC. Maybe not that weird. Whatever, we had three days off. It was Russell’s Birthday on Friday so after work we brought a tonne of balloons and a Birthday cake, decorated the rooftop and surprised Russell with a Birthday party. I think he enjoyed it. We played drinking games, had pizza, and when the roof got too cold we went to Deanna’s room to continue the festivities. Actually, despite much partying we got to bed pretty early.

The next day, me, Natalie, Amanda and Nathanial got on the bus to Sokcho. Sokcho is actually pretty close to YangYang (where we went for the teaching workshop) so we all knew the area a little. We had to get an hour bus to Chuncheon and then another two hour bus to Sokcho. Amanda wanted to do a zipline that she had heard about on the beach, so we headed off in that direction. Despite Natalie being a little reluctant to chain herself to a wire and get pushed off of a tower over the sea we all enjoyed the zip wire. It wasn't quite as big as the one we had done at Nami Island, but it was beautiful never the less. The sea was rough and we walked back along the coast, stopping off to gaup at some odd rock formations along the way. Afterwards, we hitched a taxi back to central Sokcho and had some food at an all you can eat restaurant. The food was great, as much meat, fish and vegetables as you could possibly want, cooked on an iron plate in the middle of your table. It was delicious and although it took us a while to figure out it was all you can eat, we clocked on eventually. It was cheaper if you had beer as well, so we did. 8,000 won for all the beer and food you could drink and eat. That’s about four pounds. Beat that.

After traipsing around town for a while we eventually found a lovely guest house to stay in for the night which was pretty much next door to the bus station. The room was 30,000, about fifteen pounds, split between the two of us (per room) that was 15,000 about seven pounds. Seven pounds! Maybe holiday inn should look at their prices. Huh?

The next day we went to Seoraksan National Park. That place is beautiful, apparently it’s the most beautiful national park in Korea, apparently all Koreans know this, apparently that’s why half of Seoul was there! It was busy! I have never seen a national park as busy as this. When I hiked Yosemite I passed maybe twenty or thirty other hikers. Here, try thirty thousand, all hiking the same trail. There are of course hundreds of trails to hike but the one that we decided upon was Ulsan Bawi, a rock face that has amazing views across the mountains and all the way back to the coast. It was magnificent. It’s just such a shame that there were so many people there, and the paths are ever so narrow, its like an obstacle course of Koreans. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about Koreans, something they all have in common, they take life very slowly. They walk ridiculously slowly. No, really. It’s so slow you could die. The pace of life is very ‘take your time’ but at the same time this i a country that’s moving forward so quickly. I don’t get it. I’ll get back to you when I do. I personally just wish they would hurry up!

Natalie and Amanda took the cable car up to the top of another mountain whilst me and Nathanial hiked the bad boy. It was a hot day, but thoroughly enjoyable. It really is a beautiful place.

It was time to get the bus back after that, stopping for Dalk Galbi in Chuncheon and then home. On Monday we went shopping and as enjoyable as that was its not exciting enough for me to bore you with, but we got some new stuff for the house, and, I bought myself a jacket to keep warm in the winter. It’s starting to get pretty cold here already and I can only guess that it’s going to continue to get colder.

Natalie cooked an amazing Spaghetti Bolognese last night, and then we watched a French film that I’ve wanted to see for a long time. It was very existential, moving and heartfelt. It’s called Les Chansons D’Amour (Love Songs). Check it out, kids.

As I end almost every one of these posts with: I'm back at school now and another week of classes awaits. I like Tuesday’s because I’m with the specialist English teacher, although during our first class today we had to teach one student, very tough. Not only is it tough to teach just one student but it’s not like she’s very into the class either. You gotta work hard with that. Hopefully the rest of my classes will go well. Next weekend we are thinking of going to see these amazing caves and the penis sculpture park. We might stay in Sachang though, depending on the weather and how adventurous we are feeling.

I'm also thinking about doing one video blog a week. Each one will be something about Korean culture I find funny, odd, emotional, or whatever. I'll keep you posted.

Be well, be reckless...