countryside

Baesangmyeon Neurin Maeul Brewery Tour – September 6th

 

Sansawon Poster 3-01

Date: Sunday, September 6th.

Time: 9am – 6.30pm

Place: Pocheon City, Gyeonggido.

What:  Transportation, Lecture, Guided Tour, Lunch, Unlimited Tastings


In the Country

I've had a rather enjoyable week, despite the humidity and the MERS scare. Actually, as horrible as this probably sounds, I'm feeling rather thankful to MERS. For one thing, there's soap in the school bathrooms for the first time since, well...ever? I guess people are actually washing their hands now? It's a miracle! Also, since parents were freaking out about it, my school decided to close for 3 days, because allowing students to roam freely around town is somehow safer? One way or the other, teachers still had to come in, though it still felt like a bit of a vacation.


Disappointing Hike, Amazing Dinner

Thanks to midterms this week, the students get to leave school around 12:30, and yesterday, my school took advantage of that absence to go on a short trip out to the countryside. Attracted by the lure of hiking and a free meal, I signed up happily. Plus, I like seeing my coworkers outside of the work setting. It's easier to talk to people and actually get to know them, and while I don't like to admit it, the more I get people to like me, the safer my job is. In the game of NETs...

So, after lunch, we all piled onto the bus for the ride out to Inje, up in the northeast corner of Gangwondo. It's always pretty funny to see everyone in their hiking clothes. People who you always see in formal or at least business-casual clothes seem so different in baseball caps and athletic pants. I felt woefully underprepared, having just worn jeans and a t-shirt. Some of my coworkers looked reading to go mountain climbing up a sheer rock face!

Korean Countryside Adventures

Time has been flying by. It feels like just yesterday I was bemoaning the changes in my office, with favorite teachers moving to new offices or even worse, new schools, and scary new teachers moving in and refusing to let us turn the heating on. Imagine that. Wanting to turn the HEATING on. Now I have constant daydreams about air conditioning. They said it would be on this week, but...

Korea in May

 

So why no blog post for a while you ask? Well I don’t know. I had something to think about then I realised…whatever…so I stopped. I could have been serious but that would have been something difficult. So I’m on the dry, blog wise. So to cheer you up here are some photographs from May in Korea, which is always a lovely month here.


It’s All in the Blue

 

Whenever I arrive in Jumunjin (home of Herself if you’re not already in the know), one of the first things I always look to do is to go down to the beach. This would make sense to most people as a goal when you arrive in a coastal town, right? But I like to think I’m different because I do it regardless of the weather.


Yangyang Traditional Market

Across Korea traditional markets are still a common feature. Taking place every five days in towns and even cities, the markets give a brief insight into an older part of Korea. For the most part these markets are straightforward occasions and possibly a bit like you could imagine in the so-called olden days, drawing in all the local populace for not only business but also social reasons.

Throughout you can see people meeting and doing business, while at the same time there is a good quantity of back slapping and hearty laughing by the stalls. There are rows and rows of people, mostly old women it has to be said, selling what is clearly the excess from their small gardens, and for them it seems to be as much a chance to get out and meet people, with the added benefit of actually making some money.


One Month and a Bit: photos from Korea, August to October, 2013

As I said, I’ve been back in Korea for a little over a month and a bit. Plenty has happened, including Chuseok, the IAK ceili, a trip to Herself’s grandmother’s farm, walks into and out of work, and a little bit of a trip to a theme park.

Here is a simple photo update of the past 40 odd days. Some have had some editing, others go up in their natural state, so to speak.

All photographs copyright Conor O’Reilly, 2013

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Days of Chuseok

The Chuseok holiday is ending slowly here. All that is left is the rest of the weekend, but that’s not really Chuseok. Most businesses will open up tomorrow in the hope of catching those desperate to restock their fridge and fill their belly with something other than Chuseok food.

Of course we suffer in Korea this year because Chuseok, a three day holiday, has fallen on a Thursday, so the three days around it also meld into Saturday and Sunday making it a nice rounded five day break. There will be a very slow and more unenthusiastic than usual start to work all around the country this Monday.


Essay on Korea’s National Image – “What is Modern Korea?”

In October I entered an essay competition organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Korea. The competition sought to find out what foreigners thought was Korea’s national image. I entered, you’ll be happy to hear, but not because of some overwhelming desire to share my thoughts on what made Korea Korea, more because top prize was a new computer, and I fancied my chances.

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So I dutifully brainstormed a notion and worked away on the essay, then forgot about it, then remembered about it, and of course I waited until the last minute to submit it.


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