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SURVIVAL TIP: All about taking the Korean Trains

To travel from city to city in Korea, taking a train is probably the most safest and the best way as a foreigner.

There are several types of trains in Korea.

1. Regular Trains

Korail_ktx_sancheon_17

a) KTX : It’s the fastest train in Korea. By taking this train, it takes less than 3 hours from Seoul to Busan. Although the train fee is expensive, you can save time with high quality seats. If you go to Busan from Seoul by Mugunghwa train or a car, it takes more than 5 hours.

518-10m


Selfie with the PM

 

Today I got to meet an interesting person and world leader!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Korea after his tour of China and Mongolia. He was greeted by Indians in Korea with a lot of enthusiasm and love.

All Indians and others were invited to view the speech of the PM at Kyunghee University auditorium. At first, the embassy had invited just a few of the Indians to a formal luncheon with the PM but seeing the tumultuous response from the Indians living in Korea, resorted to a bigger venue. The program was free of charge and all were encouraged to register with the embassy by sending an email.

The PM was scheduled to arrive at 1PM. But I reached the venue at 11:30AM. Over enthusiasm, i guess :) It was heartening to see so many saris and colorful salwars amidst the formal suits and volunteers. There were many shuttle buses to help us to the auditorium from the subway station. The sign in process and the security check was so smooth and easy. Only the wait for the PM was so long and exciting.

I guess I was expecting punch lines, double talk and drama (I blame the IPL for this). The speech made by the PM was more factual, clear, to the point and in Hindi. He insisted that the Indians in Korea learn from the technologically advanced Korea and implement in India. He asserted that implementing and educating people to have toilets in every home was a difficult task, but he was going to get it done. He maintained that India is the fastest growing economy and developing nation in the world and he would do more for it with his "Make in India" mantra.
 


Training Day 1: A Terrible Afternoon at the Medical Center

I know I said I wasn’t going to post this week because I’d be too busy, but my first day of orientation was a special form of hell that definitely merits a ventpost.

Part of training with my company (that shall remain unnamed) includes, on the very first day of orientation, a medical exam. I never expected that a job position as an English teacher would demand such a humiliating, physically draining medical exam.

For one thing, we were told to fast before the medical exam, so during the morning training session I wracked with hunger. That’s why it was physically draining. It’s no big deal for me to skip breakfast and be a little hungry, but something about the jetlag and the act of being in a completely foreign environment made me SOOOO motherfucking HUNGRYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! I could hardly pay attention to the material we were covering!


Balancing then and now.

How is it that something I've done for so long can suddenly feel so foreign? A few weeks ago, Stupid Ugly Foreigner came back to Korea for a wee visit and we met up one Saturday afternoon, me rattled and in a mid-deadline haze, to catch up on -- what, years? -- of conversation in a few hours. It's some strange social mark of our tribe, how we don't meet for months or years, and then turn up at the designated spot and carry on like it's been a few weeks.


My first 24 hours in South Korea

Can I tell you something? I don’t actually like airplanes. Twenty-six hours total in flight. Nightmares, people. NIGHTMARES.

Things got better after the flights (there were three). Since I’ve already been to Seoul, I felt a sense of familiarity at Incheon International Airport, and on the subways.  It was weird after all those hours traveling to feel such a strong sense of returning.

I chose to stay at Dustin Guesthouse, a place I visited during my first trip to Korea. The first people I met were some Southern army boys boasting loudly about their affection for guns. Weird to travel halfway around the world to hear that conversation.


North Korea with SLBMs Scares the Hell Out of Everybody




Kim Jong Un North Korea

Am I the only one who is amazed at how good North Korea seems to be at developing new military technology? They got to nukes despite all sorts of international efforts to block them. They’ve got an apparently pretty successful missile program. They beat South Korea to drones last year. And now they’ve got submarines, and ones that can launch missiles to boot! Wow. We seem to consistently underestimate the Norks – probably because everyone loathes them so much that we keep telling ourselves that the place is falling apart and will implode any day now. Alas, it doesn’t look like it.


A lovely day trip to Petite France and Nami Island (Namiseom) in Korea.

Although Petite France Village and Nami Island are known as two of the most popular travel destinations in Korea, it’s not easy to get around the places when you actually want to visit, especially for foreigners without a vehicle to move freely.

One of the best and the most convenient ways to reach these places is to take a package trip available out there, which offers a hassle free tour. We’ll show you around how we got to visit and enjoy the attractions! We guarantee you this will be the most thorough review of the day trip adventure. 

(Visited & written by Yoonhee C.)

First, there are two options for departure: Seoul Train Station (Line 1) or Hongik University Station (Line 2).


Kopino Reunites with Her Korean Father: An I-Witness Documentary

 


 

Photo taken from: gmanetwork.com

Photo taken from: gmanetwork.com

Kopino (코피노) pertains to children born to a Korean father and a Filipina mother.

Two years ago, I wrote an article about “The Sad Plight of Abandoned Kopino Children in the Philippines” after watching an I-Witnessdocumentary about Kopino children searching for their Korean fathers and the good Samaritans who are helping them.

The good Samaritans are Mr. Bum Sik (Cedric) Son, a Korean, and his Filipina wife, Mrs. Normi Garcia Son. They founded Kopino Children Association Inc. to give Kopinos under their care free education, shelter, moral support and most of all hope for the children to see their father.


L2W: Wrong Korea, Divorce Increase, & Kpop Econ Boost


 

1. National
1) Seoul express ‘regret’ at Abe’s lack of apology 
Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Yun Byung-Se expressed “regret” that PM Shinzo Abe lost golden opportunity to confirm the correct perception of history by failing to properly acknowledge Japan’s responsibility for WWII at Abe’s speech in the U.S. Congress last week. Yun’s comment was made to lawmakers who are concerned about Korea being left alone while Abe and Obama are having nice dinners in Washington last week, and Abe and Xi Jinping are taking smile photo in the Asian-African Conference in Jakarta last month.


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