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Gwangju Day 2 – 5.18 Memorial Park & Downtown


Living Here During the North Korean Threats

 


Individuality

It’s come to the point where I can predict the answers to most of the questions I ask in my conversation classes. “What’s your favorite kind of music?” “Balla-duh.” “Who’s your favorite actor?” “Won Bin.” “Why do you like him?” “He is so sexy.” “What do you like doing?” “I like sleeping.” “What are your plans for this weekend?” “I’m going to a cafe to talk with my friends.” “What’s your favorite kind of coffee?” “I like Americano.” “Why?” “It is very delicious.” And on and on.


Spring is finally here!

Training You know what that means! I am challenging myself this year and trying out my first 10K. If anyone knows me, you know I hate exercise. I just never liked it. The closest I get to it is through salsa and other forms of dancing. But Dave and Matt are runners, and like to [...]

Where The Heck Have I Been?

It’s been just over a month since I last wrote, I haven’t gone this long without writing in over a year, if not more.  So, where the heck have I been?

The truth is, nowhere.  I’ve been right here.  But there have been a few reasons why I haven’t written in a long while.  I’ve met some people in my life who seem to write best or become creatively inspired when they are upset or unhappy.  I am not one of those people.  I find when I’m stressed or upset, I don’t feel like pouring my thoughts out onto a page (or more accurately, a screen).  This past month has been a very hectic, dynamic, and at times an extremely stressful month.

So what have I been doing?

House sitting and cat sitting:


St Patrick’s Day in Seoul, 2013

If you haven’t heard already, I’m chairman of the Irish Association of Korea, and every year around this time we organise a small get together. You might have heard of it, we call it Saint Patrick’s Day.

I won’t blether on too much about it as my brain is exhausted at the simplest mention of the event, however give this link a click and you’ll find all the info you need about the event.


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.


International Women’s Day and Korea

Today is 100th International Women’s Day. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women (its roots in primarily Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet bloc) to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements (the United Nations sets a theme each year to raise awareness about [...]

Les Miserables ROK Air Force Parody Les Militaribles / 공군 레미제라블 ‘레밀리터리블’

 

Les Miserables ROK Air Force Parody Les Militaribles / 공군 레미제라블 '레밀리터리블'


DGFEZ – Road Trip Through Gyeongbuk

 


DGFEZ – Seomun Market 서문시장

 


Jimjilbanging: It’s kind of like eating kimchi, but you’ve got to get naked.

 

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photo credit

Korea is lovingly known as The Land of Kimchi, but I argue the slogan could lose kimchi and replace it with jimjilbang and no one would throw a fit. Kimchi and jimjilbangs are both well-known elements of Korean culture. Jimjilbangs are large public bath houses (mostly gender-segregated) and can be found on almost every street in Korea. Some are more fancy than others, but most have a handful of hot baths, showers, saunas, massage tables, lockers, sleeping areas and social meeting spaces. Jimjilbangs are usually open 24 hours a day and many people visit them to bathe, relax and sleep. Most rooms, including the saunas, have special minerals, woods and stones to create a soothing sanctuary and provide elements of traditional Korean medicine. The Korean jimjilbang is a familiar and calming oasis for all Koreans. Each is a mini spa that caters to your every need. They are more prevalent than Starbucks shops and you can spend a day in one for the cost of a latte and a snack. They sound perfect, right?


Lunar New Year – A Road Trip Adventure

 


Valentine’s Day in Korea (발렌타인 데이!)

 


You Are Awesome, Tim Burton

This past weekend I went up to Seoul with my friends Heather and Beau as a goodbye trip before they leave to go work in Japan. While I was there having some fun (while freezing a bit), I was also able to cross something else off of my 27 before 27 list.DSC01247

This past weekend I braved the cold weather of Seoul and went to the Seoul Museum of Art to see the amazing Tim Burton exhibit!


Winter in Korea

Vacation is over, Korea is feeling cold, and I think I have a case of the Winter Doldrums. But I’m not too worried because it is a proven fact that cupcakes are an age-old cure for the Winter Doldrums.  DSC01145

And cupcakes with old friends is an even better remedy (the Banana Velvet cupcake worked wonders for me).

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Korea’s favorite snack

Street foods are a favorite among locals, expats and tourists in South Korea.  The most popular and often beloved of these foods is Ddeokbokki.

Ddeokbokki (do-bo-ki) is everything one looks for in the perfect street food, or any food for that matter: It’s commonly found, inexpensive, fulfilling and most importantly – delicious!


In an Unremarkable Corner

DSC00904In an unremarkable corner, in a quiet temple in Phnom Penh I found this bowl of water with flowers floating on top.  There is something about these flowers that keep drawing me back to this picture, and I wanted to share it. Maybe it’s the colors, or the lightness in a dark space, or even just the shine of the waters on the petals, but I do need to remember to keep an eye out for the unexpected beauty not only when I travel, but in the places I pass every day.  I hope you have a lovely Wednesday and find beauty in unexpected places.

From Busan with Love,
Jenna


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