Oh boy! It’s snowing! Yesterday brought with it a nice soft snow with big fluffy snowflakes. It snowed through the night and even this morning, so we’re enjoying the snow from the comfort of our apartment. Here are some pictures and a short video. (in response to the video, yes, I have a cold)
Last week we went up to Seoul for my first time. James was there for 3 months about 12 years ago, so it was fun for him to see how much the city had changed in that time and it was interesting for me to see what a huge city it was! I liked the visit, but I’m glad that we don’t live there. There are too many people and if you want to get anywhere you have to take the subway for half an hour. I prefer the ‘small town’ life of Daejeon.
Our tour was focused on our stomaches, so we had Indian food, Mexican food, Italian… you get the idea. One thing we’re missing in Daejeon is international flavor. We didn’t have Thai food (our favorite) but since we’re going to Thailand later this week, we don’t mind!
There are some interesting pictures in the slideshow that I think I need to explain. We stayed with Jo in her huge apartment near the Seoul National University campus (where she is an English teacher). They have a nice art department and we went behind the art buildings where there was a lot of discarded work. It looked like a sculpture graveyard…
There are also several pictures of Gates and I think they can be best described by the website http://www.orientalarchitecture.com : When general Yi Song-Gye overthrew the Goryeo (Koryö) dynasty in 1392, he transferred the capital from Gaeseong to Hanyang (Seoul) and had a defensive wall built around the city. It was finished in 1398 after three years of work. In keeping with East Asian precedent there was a gate at each of the four approaches to the city: north, south, east, and west. Of the original four, the south gate is the best preserved, dating from 1447.
Spending the week and Christmas with Rob and Jo (who you will remember from our previous post on Pusan) was a real treat and we look forward to seeing more of them when we get back from Thailand.
We hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas!
Make a Sypmathy Doll December 19, 2007
So a couple days ago I came across a Make article about making a sympathy doll. Well, what could that be? It’s a doll that looks so pathetic that you can’t feel bad yourself! I personally think they’re really really cute and since I like to do crafty stuff and I had two friends in need of a sympathy doll (one moving away, another in a car accident) I decided it was time to make one!
The process is really simple and you can check out the original post here: link
I’ve made two but I was in such a hurry to give the first one away that I didn’t take a picture. When we moved into our new apartment yesterday someone had thrown out a TON of clothes that would be great for making sympathy dolls (the one in the picture is from one of James’ old shirts).
This one took me about an hour to make. If I had a sewing machine I’d have saved half an hour, but I like hand stitching.
Balloon Festival and Sky Park November 19, 2007
Ever been up in a hot air balloon? I have! Well, only for 5 minutes and only up about 10 meters, but still! Daejeon has an annual hot air balloon festival and we got to go check it out. But on top of the hot air balloons they also had para-sailing. James keeps saying he wants to try the para-sailing, so he may be flying through the air someday.
Jaewon and I went up in the balloon and James took some pictures. Here they are!
We took some video of para-sailing and a fireworks show. here it is!
We also went to the Sky Park at Expo Park and we took some photos from the balloon. After we got out of the balloon we went into expo park where they had some crazy toys- they were animals and dinosaurs that walked around if you fed them $1, so if course we did! We of course rode the panda bear.
Hiking at Sotongol Valley November 18, 2007
One of the great things about my church in Korea is that they do a lot of field trips so that foreigners can have the chance to see more of the country than the immediate area. So, we joined the church in a hiking trip. About 20 people went and we hiked up to the peak! It was beautiful and very good exercise, although it was a little hazy and so the pictures are not as good as I hoped. But, enjoy!
Pusan International Film Festival November 2, 2007
This fall we went with a few friends to Pusan, another city we considered when deciding where to move in Korea. The city is big, the second largest in the country, and is right on the ocean. We went for the Pusan International Film Festival, but as it turns out, we didn’t watch any films! We had a great time though, and we plan to go back again when it is warmer.
We spent a lot of time on the beach on Saturday afternoon and evening (which resulted in two of our party needing tetanus shots, oh well) and on Sunday we spent the morning on the beach again before it was time to go home. The weather was beautiful until an hour before we left, when it started to drizzle. Good timing us!
On Saturday night we went to a fish market. You look into all these tanks with fish, octopus, squid, whatever you like swimming around inside. You pick the one you want for dinner and they chop it p for you right there. Then you walk outside and there is a whole street lined with tents and tables where they cook your fish and bring you side dishes and drinks to go with your (sometimes still wiggling) fish.
It tasted good, but it was a little tough deciding who would die for our dinner, so I don’t know if I’ll do that again. James, of course, ate side dishes and beer. Luckily while we were at dinner someone came by with Kim Bap (rice and veggies wrapped in seaweed- yummy!) so James had a more filling dinner.
On Sunday James and I got up early and walked along the beach. I was collecting shells and beach glass because there was a lot of it and it’s pretty! We met a man called Mr. Kim from Jeju Island in S Korea who was taking a vacation. He manages a wildflower park on the island and in his spare time he paints. He was taking three weeks to ferry and bike around the little islands of Japan to draw and paint. When we met him he was camping on the beach waiting for his Ferry later that day. He was really cool and we promised that when we went to Jeju we would call him up and go to his park. We were admiring his paintings and asked if we could buy one, they were so lovely, and he said that we couldn’t, but later he gave us one as a gift! In this time when I’m always afraid to talk to strangers and I’m afraid of what kind of crazy people are about it is refreshing to sit on the beach and have coffee with someone I met just 5 minutes before while collecting shells.
After we got back from our trip I made some jewelery with shells and glass I collected off the beach.