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Scenes from a movie on Geoje Island

As Steve and I recalled our trip to Geoje Island, we compared it to scenes from a movie. We made the comparison to movie scenes because it was a really fun day, effortless, carefree, and seemed almost too perfect to be real.
Scene 1: Steve and I wait outside Dunkin Donuts in Gimhae for Sally (our co-worker) and her boyfriend (Sunshine) to pick us up. We have only had about three quick lunchtime conversations with Sally and are now planning to spend the entire day with her and her boyfriend. They pull up to the meeting place and enthusiastically wave at us and smile. We get in the car and begin our 1 hour and 30 minute journey to Geoje Island. On the way we chat non-stop and eat birthday cake (from Sunshine's birthday the night before) with chopsticks by passing the container around the car. We arrive at Geoje Island, via a newly built underwater tunnel which you can read about here.

Aile Turkish Restaurant & Mediterranean Halal Food (NOW CLOSED)

AILE has now closed.
Thanks to all those who supported us during our AILE Journey. 
Stay tuned for any updates. 

Aile Turkish Restaurant Menu
Aile - Great Mediterranean Food, Friendly Hosts, Very Reasonable Prices
Hummus, Falafel, Kebap, Kofte, Kavurnma, Pide, Breakfast, & More Full Menu Below

Open: 11:30am ~ 11:00pm
(Closed Mondays)

Korea’s Indebtedness Is A Problem

Rising Interest Rates & High Debt Levels: A Bad Combination
The Seoul Gyopo Guide has been pointing out two areas of concern for the Korean economy: lower real estate prices and heavy indebtedness occurring as a result of inflation the high cost of living. The Dong-A Ilbo pointed out that indebtedness in Korea has soared.

Bank of Korea’s Difficult Task Continues
The Bank of Korea (BOK) has had an unenviable task. Inflation has increased, in part because import prices are high. Why is that? The Korean Won is weak. However, that same, weak Korean Won encourages exports of Korean-made products. Usually, central banks use the level of interest rates to dampen inflation. The BOK has been widely expected to continue to increase interest rates. However, at the same time, the BOK has been believed to have been intervening in the foreign exchange markets in order to weaken the Won. In short, the Bank of Korea is in between a rock and a hard place. Recent actions suggest that the BOK is trying to have it both ways.

Busan e-FM Week 3: Living with Korean Parents

About 'Open Mike in Busan'


In the four years since I first met my future Korean parents-in-law, there have been plenty of ups and downs in our relationship. A lot of this is down to me and the cultural difference – I’m sure Koreans just see these things as normal, and of course, they don’t have the language barrier to struggle with. Well, hopefully not anyway.

The first negative experience

Korean Movie Review #4: Paju (2009)

(Sources: left, right)

I’m not allowed to love this person?

Because you say I can’t, I want it all the more.

The Jeju Massacre

On April 3, 63 years ago, on the South Korean island of Jeju, protests swelled and degenerated into a massacre followed by 15 years of persecution. Jeju Weekly’s Darryl Coote recounts the escalation into violence. Christine Ahn yesterday relates how the South Korean and American governments plan to build a naval facility on Jeju (via The Western Confucian) in the context of arguing for the closure of all American military installations in South Korea.

Should Korea rethink nuclear energy?

Edited version published in Joongang Daily, March 30, 2011:

A recent revelation that Korea’s nuclear reactors broke down 89 times over the past 10 years due to malfunctions warrants a reflection over the country’s ambitious pursuit for nuclear energy. Korea, always dubbed as an economic model for developing nations, is also the world’s fifth largest nuclear power producer and the second-largest in Asia after Japan. It operates 21 nuclear reactors which provide about 40 percent of the national power supply.

While there are undeniable benefits of nuclear energy in providing the capacity of electricity needed for homes, institutions and industries, the cost and safety concerns involved in nuclear energy production is undoubtedly colossal and hazardous.

Sex and the University, Part 4: A Scared 19 Year-Old’s Ob-Gyn Experience

( Source: Dramabeans )

With thanks to Marilyn for translating it, allow me to present the fourth and final article in the Sex and the University series:

겁많은 스무살 기자의 산부인과 검진 체험기 / A scared 20 year-old reporter’s ob-gyn exam experience (19 in Western age)

Korea’s Real Timebomb: Its Rapidly Aging Population

North Korea? No. Inflation? No. Its Aging Population? YES.
This article printed in The Chosun Ilbo points out Korea’s largest underlying problem: it is the most rapidly aging population in the world. It is for this reason that the Seoul Gyopo Guide has suggested two taxes, one on soju, and one on cigarettes. Those proposals made here on this blog were suggested in order to address Korea’s aging problem. The facts are that Korea faces larger cost outlays as its population ages, either in the form of higher pension payments to its citizens, or in the form of higher medical costs to the elderly. If you want to see a template for what happens when a nation grows older and is not prepared to face the consequences, then you can look to the United States, where the entire social security system and medical system for the elderly (Medicare) is threatened.

Squid Boats and Island Dusk

Squid fishing’s big on Ulleungdo.  It’s done at nighttime, when old Korean fisherman pull out in boats strung with long hanging bulbs that plunge light deep below the sea’s surface, luring the creatures toward their next-day destiny of drying out in the sun. 

I’m not drawn toward spending days out on an open ocean, but I love strolling through ports like this one in Jeodongni, the island’s second-biggest (but still village-like) settlement.  Old, rusty boats rock against the dock at dusk, waiting to set out for the evening’s catch.


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