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Stories of Seoul: Amber

The second video in the Stories of Seoul series is quite the tear jerker. Bring out the tissues...

The other day I had a conversation with a Korean university friend and he mentioned that he would be afraid to go to Itaewon because of transgender people. Hopefully watching this video will enlighten him a bit?

안녕히 가세요, Korea: Some Things We’ll Miss About You

This week we head back to America, which for all its school shootings and conspicuous consumption, will always be home. We will return to a pretty similar version of the life we left there two years ago, kids a little bit older, location a little more central, but essentially the standard NC middle class teacher existence.

We will always hold this place in our hearts. Korea has been special for us in a ton of ways. Living abroad is challenging, and especially so when transitioning between Western and Eastern cultures. Living here, thriving here, taught us a lot about ourselves, our resiliency, our ability to surmount obstacles together.

And there are a laundry list of things we’ll miss about this place. Here are just a couple:

1.  Cheap, delicious food eaten in the company of good friends (WITH CHOPSTICKS):

Late-Onset Culture Shock

I think the hardest thing about living in Korea, as a foreigner, is what feels like constant scrutiny. Maybe it's easier in Seoul, or Busan, places where being a foreigner is no longer so noteworthy, but in my small city and smaller neighborhood, I feel as if everyone is super interested in anything and everything I do, from the moment I step outside my door. If I buy bread at the bakery, the owner wants to know why I'm buying it. For dinner? Breakfast? If I run into my students, they want to know where I'm going, why am I going there, who will I meet? Friends? Korean friends? American? A boy? Girl? Your boyfriend? North Korean spies?

Temple Stay in Gyeongju City

As part of the summer programme (SPIKE) at UNIST, we went for a 2 day 1 night temple stay in Gyeongju City. Temple stays are getting more and more popular as a tourist activity in South Korea. We did not get to sleep in a real temple but we had to eat vegetarian food for the two meals there and we had to attend the evening and morning prayer sessions.

All the happy faces.. not knowing what they will be facing the next morning...

Peter DeMarco on Photo Contests

Let’s face it, the idea of winning a photo contest and getting a the top prize is pretty tempting. They are designed that way or else no one would enter. You get the feeling of satisfaction that your photo was chosen over all the others and you get a nice chunk of change for your hard work. What could be better than that?

The Badass Koreans

First thing is, there are two types of categories for Koreans who’ve made Russia their home.

And when I say Russia, I actually mean the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Photo Clubs around Korea

One of best things about photography is the community that can be built from hanging out with people with a similar passion. The benefit of this is that you can learn from each other but as well as just be more in the moment. These clubs exist online and off-line as well and this can be a good thing. For myself I like shoot with people but I feel that I am more effective on my own. However, the online discussions can really give you some tips about what to improve or where to shoot.

Over the past few years, I have met so many great people from different clubs around Korea. If you are new or are starting out, I would highly recommend getting involved in these groups and getting out with some people. The connections and networks you can make are really valuable and could lead to some great exposure. Below are a list of the groups that I recommend. In this day and age, most of them exist on facebook, so you may already be a part of them.

Muuido Island: Sea and Sand for the Weary Waegookin

Maybe it's just me but the weather has been especially pleasant here in Korea for this time of year. The rainy season is starting a bit later than usual and the temperatures, particularly in the mornings and evenings, have been enjoyable. Hope I'm not jinxing anything here.

A couple friends and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and planned a weekend camping trip to Muuido, a small island located near Incheon International Airport. The peninsula's western coast often catches a lot of flak for its less than impressive beaches and lackluster views. As we soon learned, however, Muuido is just as enjoyable as the country's better known coastal destinations and is the perfect place to waste away a lazy summer weekend.

My All New Book!!! Korean Temples: From Korea’s Southeast Corner


The Cover to my All New Book!

Hello Again Everyone!!

I’m very happy and proud to announce the publication of my very first temple book, Korean Temples: From Korea’s Southeast Corner.

Xi’s Trip to Korea: SK as a Hole in the Pivot in Exchange for Help w/ NK


This is a re-post of an essay I wrote last week at the Diplomat. I guess South Korea-China relations is a hot topic, because I got a bunch of emails over this – note to grad students.

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