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Tag Archives: South Korea

[Korea Bound] – Korea, I don’t undrstand you…

July 7, 2012

After so many months in Korea, there are still some things that I just don’t get about Korea…

#1. Their consistency on bad English, and the need to use it anyways. There are many many many online translators or something call a dictionary that you can use if you insist on putting English on EVERYTHING!

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“I am so happy. Feel it, YOU FEEL IT! That this was meant to be.” on a cup, with bears?? why?


“Yes! So Good!” and “No! Too Bad!”


Chanese RestauRENT…what do you sell?


This one gave me the LOLs “The Black Face” first thing that came to my friend’s mind was racist! The worst part of it all, while these pants are fake, “The Black Face” is an actual proper Korean name brand for sports wear.


not one, not all stars just two star (notice no s)!


This was on a bag that I purchased, it was so close to making sense!!


For sure I need more of those stamps! Mailing letters is just the same as shopping for shoes and bags!

#2. The inappropriately places things/pictures


creeper face on a toilet. I totally want to feel like being watched when I go to the toilet! That is totally my thing!


And this was outside of a (I think) restaurant. I promise I don’t have a dirty mind, it is what it is!!


And this was an advertisement for my hot yoga class. Girls lined up with a “I love you” at the top corner? What in that does it say come do hot yoga it’s good for ya? At the risk of offending people, it looks more like an ad for escort services…

Hope you enjoyed reading/seeing these odd WTFs of Korea as much as I enjoyed taking pictures of them!

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2012 in Korea Bound, Out of the house

 

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[Korea Bound] – Shopping Weekend in Seoul

When in Korea, you go to Seoul!

I made a weekend trip up to Seoul. Thanks to Debbie Kim, my highschool friend that I haven’t seen in a while, for helping us save on hotel costs. Plus she planned out the entire weekend, which is great for me. I love plans, but I hate making them, because they always end up wrong. Especially when you are with people that don’t go by the plan.

Since arriving in Korea, I have noticed that it seems Canadians are the only ones that follow plans. Some people are just not too fond of planning. They like to move with the flow. Which sometimes is nice, but sometimes it’s not so great. Especially when you only have one weekend in Seoul.

We arrived in Seoul around 9PM via KTX train. We had a hell of a time getting to our KTX station though. Gyeongju’s KTX station (Singyeongju yo) is not in the best location. It is about 20mins taxi from where I live. Buses are even worse, apparently it takes about an hour to get there by bus due to all the stops and longer route it takes. I was lucky enough to find people that were heading there on the same day around the same time, and we shared a taxi.

On a side note, ever since I came to Korea, I have not ran into a taxi driver that spoke English. My friend had told me when he was here, some of the best English speakers were taxi drivers, and so I was a little disappointed. The taxi driver that took us to the KTX station however, spoke really good English. We were able to have a conversation. And found out that he had a nephew in Toronto.

Anyways, we got to the station just in time. I was about 10mins from catching my train. My friend, Amanda, however was no where to be seen. I called and called and no answer. She finally made it to the station with one minute to spare. Turned out she thought the train was at 7:30 and not 6:58, and ended up taking a taxi (was going to take a bus), who decided to go through downtown during rush hour (how smart). But we both made it in time.

The KTX ride was ok. The train was comfy but loud. It took 20mins to get to Daegu (normally an hour bus ride), and we were both very surprised by this.

We got the Seoul in one piece and found Debbie. We had our first meal in Seoul, which was delicious BBQ beef (OMG was I craving steak).

We took an early day and went back to get some rest, as we had a very long day on Saturday.

Saturday morning, we got up fairly early and went to Seoul Square in Gwanghamun

It was known as the financial district in Seoul, what is special about it is that it’s got a “park” smack in the middle of the street, and also a traditional palace.

We took a short walk around the palace. It was HUGE! Then we headed over to Insadong, which was not far away

Insadong is all about artistic scenery and had this building that’s all about hand made things.

Ssamziegil is probably my favourite place in Seoul. I regret not buying some of the stuff in there.

And of course when shopping in Seoul you just have to go to Myeongdong

It was packed of people, and shops. The shops are so small that it’s hard to manoeuvre through them. I bought a few things and saw a few things that I wanted (but ended up waiting for Dongdaemun, but it didn’t happen). It was a whole other experience from Busan.

After Myeongdon, we met up with our adorable homeroom teacher from orientation and had some dimsum. I thought it was funny for me to travel all the way to Korea to eat at a Taiwanese restaurant, but it was a nice change from all the Korean food I’ve been eating.

We took a walk by the Gwanggyo river after dinner.

The river really reminded me of the Love river in Taiwan, as they were both once heavily polluted, until recently the government decided to clean it up.

Our original plan was to walk off dinner than take the subway to Dongdaemun, but the walk was so nice we ended up walking all the way to Dongdaemun LOL.

Shopping was both good and bad. There were definitely a lot of selection, but I didn’t particularly enjoy being yelled or gabbed at by the merchants. Most of the merchants on the lady wear floors were fine. But the men’s wear floor, boy are they aggressive. Because we were with Amanda, who is as white as a white person can be, they kept talking to us in English. A few asked if Debbie and I were Korean. We decided to ignore them. After about 10 mins on that floor, I wanted to get out of there.

I got my loot and we were out of there. It was a long long day. We started at 8 in the morning, and got home a little after 12.

Special thanks to Debbie who was a great tour guide and planned out such a nice day. Seoul needs to be revisited again for sure.

And here are my loot from Seoul


 
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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Korea Bound, Out of the house

 

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[Korea Bound] – Korea, how much do I love thee, let me count the ways…

1. I love being about to find cute adorable things everywhere to waste my money on (it’s a love hate thing)

2. I love that bibimbap only costs $4.50

3. I love kimchi

4. I love not having to pay an arm and a leg for data on my phone

5. I love there’s still English shows and movies on TV

6. I love everywhere is walkable, and not too far

7. I love that the 7-11 is just around the corner and not a 10min drive away

8. I love how cheap the train tickets are

9. I love how I can find all my favourite skin care brands everywhere for cheap!

10. I love that onion rings also come in spicy flavour

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2012 in Korea Bound, Out of the house

 

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[Korea Bound] – Vancouver how much do I miss you, let me count the ways…

1. I miss having access to a multitude of cultural food in Vancouver, regardless of how expensive it is.

2. I miss the cars that stop for people, and not try to run them over.

3. I miss having side walks to walk on, and not having to worry about scooters or cars driving on to them and possibly running me over.

4.  I miss not having to pay an arm and a leg for strawberries or fruits in general.

5. I miss not being able to find stupid adorable things that makes me want to (and eventually do) waste money on them EVERYWHERE!!

6. I miss the smell of the ocean and even the stupid seagulls that poops on me.

7. I miss the green green grass that I can find everywhere in Vancouver, even the downtown area.

8. I miss being able to look at clothes in stores without having people follow me around like I am going to shop lift.

9. I miss being able to know how much something is before I decide if it’s worth trying on or even looking at.

10. I miss my stupid brother that understands my lame jokes, and screams when I hug him.

11. I miss hanging out with my friends.

12. I miss not having to be so reserved all the time.

13. I miss being able to ease drop on other people’s conversations and understand them.

14. I miss not having to push a button before I can get hot water running through the pipes.

15. I miss having a phone that fits in my pocket.

16. I miss people that will not cut in line.

17. I miss people not seeing my face and just start talking to me in Korean.

18. I miss my mom.

19. I miss watching hockey (especially with the play offs on now..T_T).

20. Most of all I miss speaking English and people would understand me!

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Korea Bound, Out of the house

 

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[Korea Bound] – After the first month

Ok, seriously, I really meant to post a lot more than I did. I don’t know why I am so lazy with this blogging thing…I will try harder ><

So impression after first month:

let’s see, well, the biggest thing that I cannot get use to so far is the whole cars before people and no side walk on big streets, and scooters on side walks when there is side walk, and cars parking every which way and every where (like on the side walks). I’ll be walking down the street, and this car would drive straight towards me, I would freak out and stare, but some how that’s not what the driver wants me to do, they would want me to move out of the way so they can do whatever they are doing. It’s pretty scary. I realise many parts of Asia is like this, but I have been living in Canada for 20 years, where people are before cars even when they are jay walking. I think this will be something that I will never get use to.

So far teaching has been ok. I am still a little rusty with lesson planning. I had been teaching idioms for last and this week, but found that I picked a hard idiom for them this week, and they seem uninterested in idioms. I told the students that English speakers often use idioms without knowing, so the more they know the more they would be able to understand English speakers. I am hoping that would be motivation enough. The other motivation was provided by 2 of my co-teachers, who have decided that the students will be asked to use the idioms in the speaking tests they receive. Students complain but they still listen. It’s nice to have them finally pay attention.

What else…oh yes, my co-teacher introduced me to a friend of hers for language exchange. But I don’t think I have been a good student. We’ve mostly been speaking English, and the little Korean I ask her I never remember it LOL. I really should memorize the Korean alphabets. That will be my goal for this month (which will end this week…don’t count on it happening LOL)

Places that I’ve visited:

So I talked about the Bulkusa temple that I went to. It was pretty amazing how much of the temple is restored and kept in great condition. I loved the temples. This past weekend we went to the Gyeongju National Museum, which was free by the way. During our trip we found that the Korean people have an interesting definition of the differences between a jar, a bottle, a vessel, and a bowl. To our eyes some of the bowls look like a vessel, and some of the jars and bottles look alike. As far as I can tell a jar has a narrower opening than the actual body (like a curvy shape), and a bottle has a longer neck, but then some of them were called a long neck jar..I really don’t know. Eventually, everything started to look the same. I did enjoy our trip though. Although one thing I didn’t get, I wanted to buy something from every site I go to that would be representative of that place, the museum had so many options, and yet their gift store had nothing that was really representative of the museum or the artefacts inside it. I was disappointed.

here’s the link to the facebook album. I will try to upload some pictures onto wordpress now that I have a smart phone, but I am lazy so just a warning that probably won’t happen LOL.

This up coming weekend we are heading down to Busan for some much needed retail therapy.

That is all. Again I will try to blog more.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Korea Bound

 

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