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Taiwan, again! (Part 1)

The stars have aligned to make the beginning of this year quite unforgettable. The questionable Korean public school calendar, a bonus ten days contractual holiday for re-signing last June and my ability to be thrifty over the last few months culminated in me being able to have another adventure. Since moving to South Korea in 2010 I have used my vacation time to visit new countries and cultures. When I was younger my vacations were always spent in the Balearic Islands, snowboarding in France or a few cheeky trips to Germany with the boys. Broadening my horizons has definitely become one of, if not the key motivator when it comes to planning my travels. You may question why I visited Taiwan again for the second time in seven months. Was I in love, did I have a baby there, am I getting married, was I in trouble with the police, did I have a job there? All fair questions, but none fortunately applicable.

The 38th Parallel

For Ric’s birthday in October, we spent a weekend in Seoul and had the opportunity to tour the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), doubtless one of the most politically tense spots on the planet.  It was definitely one of the most interesting things we’ve done since coming to Korea. 

For the historically uninclined, the DMZ is an area encompassing the 38th parallel and a couple of miles of land on either side.  The 38th parallel has served as the de facto border between North and South Korea since the cease fire in 1953 that halted the Korean War.  It is the most heavily armed military border in the world, the setting for a variety of armed skirmishes, a handful of defections, an axe murder, and what was perhaps the world’s most expensive landscaping event.

The ‘City’ Below

I use quotation marks for city only because Jangnim, not (yet, hopefully in 2014) on the subway line, is in a lot of ways a world away from Busan proper. One girl posting on the Saha-gu Foreigner and Friends Facebook page commented that this area feels like a more authentic Korea. The only foreign food easily accessible is in the food of cereal at Home Plus or the Chinese restaurants owned by Koreans. For Indian, you’ll have to take the bus to the nearest subway station, then travel about 5 or 6 stops to the next hub. 

And, it’s slowly becoming OK. Is there adjustment passed? Thankfully, yes. Is there adjustment still to come? Surely. But, I’m adjusting.

And, with that, here is the city below, as seen from the public balcony located just outside my apartment:

High 1 Ski Resort


High 1

Photo by Nicole Rafael

We all know that the Korean term of “famous” just means “popular”. High 1 is thought to be the most “famous” resort in Korea, and by that they mean busy.

The mountain is located in the Gangwon-do province due north of Busan this resort is just the thing to get the more advanced mountain goers buzzing.

2013-02-10 09.45.42

A Little Help at the Right Time

While I sort of understood those familiar feelings of isolation, homesickness and overexposure were going to come back at some point on this third attempt at completing a teaching contract in South Korea, it doesn’t really hit you until it hits you. And, this weekend, even though I got to see some more old friends from 2010, it hit me.

Which is why this came as such a pleasant surprise this afternoon when I got back to my apartment:



Inside this mixing bowl, found just outside my doorstep in the hallway, are eggs, a frozen chicken breast, a container of milk, carrot, Craisins and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

Tax article: retract


Hey guys,

There was a US tax article on our site written by a writer outside of Busan Awesome, and we cannot claim whether the tax advice given was legit or not. We claim no responsibility for incorrectly done taxes, and you should definitely consult a tax professional before deciding how to file and how to do your taxes. I believe under US tax law, you do owe something, but I know this is a contentious subject.


Meeting 8 – Jeonju Makgeolli (전주 막걸리) Photo Gallery

If you have ever been to Jeonju, you will know that it is the Mecca for Makgeolli. The style of Jeonju makgeolli is to be presented with a vast array of side dish after side dish, and we managed to find a place in Seoul that gives a little taste of that. Jeonju Makgeolli also imports the owner’s personal favorite kind of makgeolli that he maintains will not give you a hangover. We weren’t entirely convinced ;)
Check out our review here.

Quick Note On Ads

One of my friends has brought to my attention the fact that this website has ads. This was completely unknown to me beforehand because I use chrome as well as adblocker. If, after a month of no posting, I still have any readers left at all, please do yourself a favor and download these two applications—the internet is so unpleasant without them.

Kaizen Yoga Hits Busan


BY Mindy Sisco


Dear, sweet, blessed Korea- land of second chances. Apply this sentiment as you will- be that becoming employable after that not-so-lucrative declaration of Fine Arts as your major, or in our line of work, a second chance at new year’s resolutions! That January 1st date is like the trailer to the full feature of Lunar New Year’s. This is great news for anyone who’s been dragging a little ass getting started on rectifying the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” hangover of the year that has just come to a close. Take a hint from 2013′s power animal: time to shed the old and get fitted in a new skin!

More Photos from the First 24 Hours

Because, why not?

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