Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Myeongdong : Korea's wonderful shopping district

It's Saturday before Christmas, and we have nothing to do...
Why not head over to Myeongdong, and buy a present or two?

Presents, no matter how close we were to Christmas, were not our motivation for checking out Seoul's busiest shopping district. We decided not to buy eachother any gifts this year (the gift of eachother is all we need... hehehe BARF) - instead we will spend our money on our upcoming vacation to South-East Asia. Nonetheless, we had heard wonderful things about Myeongdong, and Jason needed a new pair of jeans. That was motivation enough for me!

A glimpse of the mysterious North: Korea's Demilitarized Zone

We can't really say we were surprised at our families' initial reactions almost a year ago when we announced we were applying to come teach in Korea:

'Korea? Aren't they at war?'
'But... the nuclear weapons!'
'Maybe you should consider a safer country...?'

So began our quest to convince our loved ones that their biased Western vision of perceived impending war on the Korean peninsula was flawed. As one of Jason's friends so wisely put it: 'I'm more afraid of Wal-Mart than I am of North Korea'.

They eventually came around, but remain curious and at times uneasy, especially given the recent news surrounding Kim Jong Il's death. Who could blame them, really, since North Korea remains such a secretive country, revealing so few details about all aspects of its daily life that the rest of the world (including the South) is, for the most part, left in the dark.

Here, kitty kitty kitty!

My favorite cat at the cafe. He looked so sad!

I love the kitties. Jason hates the kitties. After a few failed attempts at trying to convince him to join me, I resigned to the idea of going solo. There was no way Jason was going to agree to my bright idea to go enjoy a couple of hours hanging out with a dozen cats in a coffee shop. As a result, my night out at the cat cafe would become my first real korean 'excursion' without my husband. I did manage to round up a couple of cat loving friends - Jen and Katie - and together we had a grand ol' time!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Food - Oh, Glorious, Gloooooorious Food

I heart WNCE <3

Korean-Chinese cuisine
The Wednesday Night Culinary Experience Group (it sounds sophisticated but it's really not - more like an excuse to eat, drink, and spend time with new friends) started out in early October and comprised itself of three members: Katie, Jason, and I. Jason and I had heard of a 'Trivia Night' at Traveller's Pub, a local foreigner bar, which took place on Wednesdays. I was sceptical because it started at 9pm - too late for my lazy bum on a weeknight, but I decided to give it a shot. Groups between 2 and 5 people were accepted for the game, so we called up Katie and asked her to join us. It wouldn't hurt to have an American friend on our team, right? Besides, it would be more fun than just the two of us (not that we don't enjoy eachother's company or anything, but you get the point). So we paid our 5,000W buy-in, ordered some beers and delicious fried food, and attempted to answer some questions. It can't be worse than Jeopardy, right?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Let's go climb a mountain!

Why not?

After all, I'm totally in shape (not), adore the outdoors (not), and hiking is one of my favorite pastimes (never done it in my life).