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Sprung

 

Spring has moved beyond it’s intial flex and is now well into the process of ejecting life from within the winter locked bowels of the plants and people longing for the seasons much anticipated warmth.


7 Ways South Korea Rules the World

 

CNN just recently did an article called, “10 things Korea does better than anywhere else”.  Some of the things I can’t confirm, but I can say that 7 of them are definitely spot on.


Tea Time and Sea Roads Shake Up Someone’s Same-Old Syndrome

A girl sitting two rows behind lightly gasped as our bus passed through the rural western Korea town.

“That house looks like it came from somewhere in America,” she said of the single-family dwelling, an odd sight if an expat spends the entirety of their time here somewhere where such things rarely exist, like Seoul, Busan or pretty much any of this country’s metropolises.

Her astonishment made me smile. She’s likely not been in Korea long, at least not long enough to have seen that single-family houses in Korea exist, even if their apartmentalized counterparts outnumber them by perhaps 5,000,000 to one–kind of how waygookin sometimes feel outnumbered by their Korean overlords.

But, they exist. It was about a year ago that I, too, stared dumbfounded on Gadeok Island, during my first visit to Soyang Orphanage.


This is Why Koreans Are THINNER Than Americans

You’re probably wondering whether or not you want to travel to a country like Korea to teach English. If you do decide, you’re probably going to wonder about things like bills, transportation, how to open a bank account, how much Korean will you need to speak, what kind of guys and girls to Korean girls and guys like, and everything else.

Oh, and food.

What is the food like?  Is it really spicy?  Are there choices for vegetarians?  I’ve heard them all. But there is one thing I don’t hear of a whole lot that is related to food in a round about way. “Will I gain weight or get skinny?”

The truth of the matter is that traveling to Korea has an element of stress for everyone. It’s more for some than others, but it’s there. In fact, I had someone in my orientation class who never made it to the teaching part. They just turned around and went home.

And what happens to most people when they get stressed? They EAT!

The degrees to which each of us eat under pressure varies widely. However, as Americans or westerners, we have a tenancy to eat like, well, an American or westerner. There within lies the problem.

There are differences between the indigenous foods here in Korea compared to back home. In America we love processed foods, MSG, artificial sweeteners, fat, salt…everything that tastes good. But you want to know something? So do Koreans. There are snack shops, bakeries, fast food joints, fried chicken joints, pizza joints and burger joints EVERYWHERE. It’s all here. Even though Korean’s “big size” at McDonald’s is basically the standard size back home, you can still get Double Quarter Pounders with cheese.

However, the average Korean has a far smaller circumference than the average American. Why?

Many people have had many opinions on this, but here I share what I’ve noticed and what I believe is the core reason for unnecessary weight gain or obesity in America. It also explains why it isn’t rampant in Korea, though it is beginning to rear it’s ugly head.

The post This is Why Koreans Are THINNER Than Americans appeared first on The Red Dragon Diaries.


Saint Patrick’s Day in Seoul, 2014

 

When you live in Korea long enough expecting public holidays from home to fall on their usual day or date becomes a waste of time. Really. Anyone American will be familiar with Thanksgiving falling on a Saturday, and even the Superbowl the night after. Irish, like myself, are now most familiar with a Saturday Saint Patrick’s Day, and yesterday was no different from other years (except for last year and the year before when Paddy’s Day actually fell on the weekend…which kind of ruins my point), the day of Ireland and it’s ‘ness was transformed from its early weekday schedule to a much more alcoholic friendly Saturday.


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.


Korea in Chiang Mai

 

You spend enough time in Asia as an Irishman and you give up expecting to find Irish stuff. You know you’ll stumble across something here or there, but at the best of times all you can find is a can of Guinness and a Westlife song. Chiang Mai, despite its large expat population and even larger tourist numbers was no better than Korea, or anywhere else I’ve been. I had hoped for half a day or so, but any hopes I had were soon dashed by the obvious.


Five Misconceptions about Korea

Having lived in Korea for roughly four years now, we’ve heard countless questions and comments about the country. Most of them are curious, good natured notions that we’re happy to answer. Some, on the other hand, are strange! Those strange questions usually stem from some misconceptions about what Korea is and what it’s like here. We wanted to dispel some of those myths, so we chose our top five misconceptions about Korea and made a video about them!


Communication Breakdown


Until They Bleed

By Eli Toast

When I left Ralph at the bus station his mien was one of resigned disappointment with the way things had panned out. He was going back to a different part of Asia and I was boarding a train heading south the same evening. I took a rickshaw to the train station and enjoyed a pleasant conversation with the driver about our families and life trajectories. At the train station I sat and waited like everyone else, all of us looking nauseously green beneath the platform’s droning sodium bulbs.


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