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Another Queer Weekend: MW Lounge Bar, DJ Twink, and your last chance to see The Gays are Coming

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Not too much going on this weekend from what I'm seeing... but there is a new 'one-shot' and 'talking' bar opening in Itaewon with a current 20% discount event going on. The bar is for men in their 30s and 50s and open everyday from 8pm to 4 am except for Tuesdays.
MW Lounge Bar is located straight out of exit 3 from Itaewon station next to ITW Hotel. (Check the map below).


A new recurring event is DJ Twink spinning at the Rabbit Hole every Saturday from 9 pm to 1 am. While not necessarily a queer bar, the Rabbit Hole certainly is a welcoming place. For more info about DJ Twink and the Rabbit Hole, check out the event's Facebook page.


This Saturday is also the last weekend to see Volume 3 Some of the Gays are Coming. Although the lack of English subtitles may be difficult for some viewers, the short films were quite interesting and were followed by discussions with the directors and actors. The threesome never happened though...



If anyone knows of anything else going on this weekend, please leave a note in the comments! 

About Classic Bibimbap Kit

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Class Bibimbap Kit
Enjoy authentic bibimbap right at home!

 

 
We are so excited you’ve decided to make bibimbap with us. The classic bibimbap kit includes the Korean mountain
vegetables and seasonings essential to authentic and flavorful bibimbap. Just buy a few fresh vegetables and/or meat from
your local store and you are ready to go!

You may ask, “why haven’t I seen these mountain vegetables even in Korean restaurants?” That’s because quality Korean
mountain vegetables are expensive and difficult to source. So most restaurants in North America avoid using them.
However, proper traditional bibimbap in Korea always includes at least one, if not all, of these mountain vegetables.

The dried vegetables in this kit are not dried for the purpose of creating this kit. It is a normal practice for Koreans to buy
the mountain vegetables in a dried format and soak them overnight before cooking. All ingredients in this kit are carefully
selected based on quality and flavor to create the most delicious and healthy bibimbap. Absolutely no chemicals or flavor
enhancers are added.

Making bibimbap is an art in itself, and requires patience and care. It can also be a chance to unleash creativity by adding
a new topping with your own flare. We hope you enjoy the journey as much as your final creation! To make this easier, we
have more detailed info, tips and Q & A below. If in doubt, give us a shout at contactus@crazykoreancooking.com.
Unless the email is sent to a wrong address, you should receive a reply in 1-2 days.

We look forward to seeing the photos of your beautiful creations. Post your bibimbap photo using #CrazyKoreanCooking
to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram for a chance to win a set of stone bowls.

Happy cooking! Oh, don’t forget to soak dried vegetables the night before!

~ Crazy Koreans

How to cook other bibimbap toppings

The bibimbap kit recipe book suggests carrot, gray squash and beef for additional fresh ingredients. You can add other
fresh vegetables you love instead. Other ingredients commonly used in traditional bibimbap include: soy bean sprouts,
mung bean sprouts, spinach, eggplant, cucumber, pear and Korean radish
. When choosing optional toppings,
consider red and green colors and crispy texture to contrast those included in this kit.

For cucumber, pear and Korean radish: Simply cut them into thin strips (julienne) and lightly saute in sesame oil
with a pinch of salt.

For other toppings, see below:
http://crazykoreancooking.com/recipe-search/namul

Q & A

1. Can I make bibimbap with this kit alone, without buying additional fresh ingredients?
Yes. You can still enjoy delicious bibimbap without additional ingredients. If you don’t add gochujang (red chili paste) at
the end, it will be basically Sachal Bibimbap (Temple Bibimbap), which originates from Korean temple cuisine. Korean
temple cuisine is vegan and does not include any stimulating herbs and spices like garlic. It is famous for being one of the
healthiest diets.

2. Any suggestions for a protein-rich topping for vegetarians and vegans?
Tofu is obviously a great choice. Use the same seasoning and cooking method as beef. Another option is to add veggie
burgers on top. You can season the veggie burgers with the base seasoning. You can also add your favorite beans when
you cook the rice. Since beans take much longer to cook, pre-cook the beans first before adding to the rice. Although it
is not a traditional practice, you can also braise beans in soy sauce and use it as a topping.

3. What do I do with left overs?
Bibimbap is best eaten immediately after cooking. In its final form bibimbap may last for a day in the fridge. If the cooked
and seasoned toppings haven’t been touched and are stored separately in the fridge, they may last longer. You can serve
the cooked toppings as a side dish for the next meal. Blanched but not seasoned vegetables can be kept in the freezer
for long term storage.

4. How do I store unused dried vegetables?
Avoid direct sunlight and store in a cool and dry place. Once opened, seal tightly to store. You may also freeze it after
blanching in boiling water with some salt.

5. Can I cook all ingredients at once?
There are three reasons why ingredients are cooked separately. First, it allows you to create a killer presentation. If you
mix everything up, it won’t look as beautiful. Secondly, ingredients get cooked at different speeds. So, you may end up
with some things undercooked or others overcooked. Thirdly, when you cook things together, the flavors can be infused
to create a different flavor than the intended one. However, we are not going to discourage you from experimenting and
adapting the recipe to your liking. After all, cooking is a creative process!

6. Not all the toppings are hot after following this recipe. Is that normal?
Traditionally, the veggies (namul) on bibimbap are not supposed to be hot. Namul are room temperature side dishes that
you can also use in bibimbap. If you prefer everything to be hot, use stone bowls (or other stove-safe bowls) and add
all the toppings when you pre-heat the bowl and rice. Leave the whole thing on the stove on low heat for a while, with a
cover or a lid. Some suggest putting the whole thing in the oven for a while.

7. Why is bibimbap served in a big bowl and how many people can I serve with one bowl?
Bibimbap bowls (regular or stone bowls) are traditionally for individual servings (meaning one bowl is for one person),
though they are big. But, that doesn’t mean you have to fill up the bowl to the top if you are not a big eater. Big bowls are
used because it’s easy to mix things up without making a mess. If you don’t care too much about following the tradition,
you can use a fully filled bowl as communal bowl to feed 2-3 small eaters.

8. Do I have to use a dolsot (stone bowl) for bibimbap?
No, bibimbap can be served in a regular bowl. But, sizzling dolsot (stone bowl) bibimbap is definitely a step up in terms of
taste and presentation.

9. How can I make sizzling dolsot (Stone Bowl) Bibimbap with this kit?
It’s super easy. Just buy stone bowls and make bibimbap following the instructions. The only difference is that you leave
the stone bowls with rice on the stove on low heat until it forms a golden crust at the bottom.

10. What is a dolsot (stone bowl) and where can I buy one?
“Stone Bowl” is the common North American name for the sizzling bibimbap bowl, directly translated from “Dol Sot”
bibimbap. Natural stone bowls are mostly used in restaurants for the unique look, but many Koreans use ceramic
stoneware at home for its ease of use and sanitary benefit. In terms of function, it performs just like natural stone. One
primary example is its sizzling effect. Buy stone bowls here.

11. Why can’t I get the crunchy crust at the bottom even though I am using a stone bowl?
There are two possible reasons for this. ONE, you may be using the wrong type of rice. For all Korean cooking, use short
grain rice. (It’s also called sticky rice. Koreans and Japanese eat this type of rice). Other types of rice may not be sticky
enough. Also, your rice can be cooked too dry. TWO, you may just need to leave your bowl on the stove for a longer time.
It takes awhile to pre-heat the dolsot, so you probably want to leave the rice in the bowl for 10-20 min. Always use the
lowest heat and check it frequently to prevent burning.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in
the comment section. We will do our best to answer
as soon as we can.

 



Follow Crazy Korean Cooking

 


How to Learn Korean with K-Drama

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Did you know that you can study Korean using Korean TV shows? Watch the video here to find out how!
How to Learn Korean with K-Drama

What you’ll need:
  • A notepad and a pen (that's it!)
What you’ll need to do:
  • Write down every word that you hear, but that you don’t understand – yes, every word.
Notice:
Don’t worry if you’re misspelling words. As your listening improves over time, you will be able to write down the words more accurately.
What to do with the word list:
  • After watching an episode, you will probably have a very long vocabulary list, full of words that you didn’t understand.
  • Now use a dictionary and look up each of the words. If you can’t find the word in the dictionary, then skip it. If you find the word, but it has a difficult or strange meaning, then also skip it.
  • Then, study the remaining words that you found with definitions. This might only be 10% of your original list or less, but this is fine.
  • Finally, repeat this method again with a new list.
Why this works:
Koreans will often use the same vocabulary words over and over again when speaking, and this includes television shows. Although you might not understand many of the words at first, after making many lists in this way, and studying the words you’ve found, your lists will get shorter and shorter.
Most importantly:

Practice the words that you’re learning as much as possible. You will be able to remember these words and phrases much more easily if you can use them in any way.

-Billy

www.GoBillyKorean.com

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean

FOLLOW ME HERE:

Google+   

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL:

 


Our pets in Singapore and Korea

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Maxi, our four months old puppy whining. Kimchi boy and I adopted him when a neighbor's dog gave birth to a litter of puppies. We've no idea what breed he is, except that he is a mixed. Pretty smart dog that listens to both Korean and English. This is a video of him going crazy. Kimchi boy should bring him out more often!



This is Latte, my family's pet. She's with us for almost 10 years now.  Really sweet cocker spaniel mix.. (how cute is her bed!!) This is a video of me trying to surprise her but she surprised me instead.

Translation: 배우 차수연, “레즈비언 역할 위해 실제 동성애자 만나”: Actress Cha Soo-yeon, "For a lesbian role I met sexual minorities in real life"

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From TV Report: (TKQ: I know that these reports from trashy television websites can be a bit meh, but I think that it is god to know how homosexuality is being portrayed in the entertainment industry)


[TV리포트=황지영 기자] 배우 차수연이 연극 ‘두 번의 결혼식과 한 번의 장례식’에서 레즈비언 효진 역을 연기하기 위해 실제 동성애자를 만났다고 전했다.

[TV Report= Hwang Ji-yeong] Actress Cha Soo-yeon from the film 'Two Weddings and a Funeral' said that she met sexual minorities in order to play the role of Hyo-jin. 

Source


차수연은 2008년 인기리에 방영됐던 KBS드라마 ‘그들이 사는 세상’에서 현빈의 전 여자친구 이연희 역을 맡아 여성스러운 매력과 함께 신비한 이미지를 어필했다. 오는 27일부터는 김조광수가 연출한 연극을 통해 새로운 연기변신을 시도한다.

In 2008's popular "The World That They Live In" on KBS, Cha Soo-yeon played Hyeon-bin's ex girlfriend Lee Yeon-hee, who had a feminine charm and mysterious appeal. From the 27th, she will have a change in acting style with a new role in a play directed by Kim Jho Gwang Su. 


또 이번 레즈비언 역할에 대해 차수연은 “20살때부터 잡지모델로 활동하며 동성애 아티스트들을 많이 봐서 동성애에 대한 선입견은 없었어요. 블로그를 통해 동성애자들이 좋아하는 것, 싫어하는 것 등을 파악했고 동성애 관련 웹툰을 거의 다 읽었어요. 또 실제 레즈비언 커플을 만나 인터뷰 하면서 ‘이들도 우리처럼 사랑, 생활에 있어 별반 다를 게 없구나’라는 생각도 했고요. 이제 드라마, 영화에서 레즈비언 역이 들어온다면 망설임 없이 결정할 수 있을 것 같아요”라고 설명했다.


Speaking of this lesbian role, Cha Soo-yeon said "Since my 20's working as a magazine model I saw many homosexual artists and don't have prejudice towards gay people. I grasped what homosexuals like and hated through blogs, and have read pretty much every webtoon that deals with same-sex love. Also, I've met lesbian couples in real life and while interviewing them thought 'They love and live just like us with no particular differences'. I think I could take this lesbian role without hesitation." 


연극무대로 확장해 폭넓은 연기 내공을 쌓고 있는 차수연은 tvN 드라마 '라이어게임' 에도 캐스팅돼, 활발하게 활동할 예정이다.

A seasoned actress playing a variety of roles, Cha Soo-yeon is scheduled to appear on tvN's drama 'Liar Game". 


황지영 기자 jeeyoung2@tvreport.co.kr /사진=bnt

This report included bits and pieces of a full interview of Cha Soo-yeon, which can be read over at bnt News


Leave Me Alone

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by Mr. Motgol

Over the last couple of years there has been a proliferation of what I call “small beer” joints in the city I call home. These places are great. I can now can grab a cheap, cold, very drinkable glass of lager in my neighborhood without being required to purchase any anju, the often pricey “side dishes” that are de rigeur in any Korean bar. These small beer joints are cozy and friendly. They’re the very antithesis of the dark, sequestered, giant-couch vibe that used to dominate the Korean beer-drinking scene, an arrangement that purposely discouraged interaction between patrons. These places are bright and stylish and take a cue from Japan and the West, with both tables and bar/stool space, all crammed together with an eye for aesthetics. They’re usually run by hip younger folks who don’t spazz out at the fact that a foreigner has sidled up at their counter, even if I come alone. I am a regular at several and they never fuss or stare or bat an eye, but rather treat me just like any Korean patron. But the best part, for me, is proximity. There are five or six of these places within a couple minute walk from my house. No longer do I have to jump on the bus or subway or pay taxi fare just to make my way to one of the sanctioned watering holes for my kind—the so-called “foreigner bars.” I live in a bustling neighborhood with plenty of nightlife and almost no expats, and am tired of the tyranny that one or two districts have held over the drinking options for the waegookin. Finally, I have a local. Well… a few locals, to be precise.

bongu

Tuesdays are a grueling day for me this semester. I teach 9 to 9, and though I have an extensive break in the morning, I usually fill it up with my non-teaching work, which often means writing. By the time the day is done I am zapped, and usually ready for a cold, wind-down beer. So last week I headed to the newest small beer joint in my ‘hood, a great place called “Hero Salon.” The proprietor is a skinny, long-haired artist who has done the whole place in a superhero theme, with numerous pop art paintings and murals featuring Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, borrowing heavily in style from the late Keith Haring. Like many small beer joints this one has not one, but two tiny outside counters just a step up of the street. As it was late summer and still warm, I sat my ass at an outside stool, ordered a cold one, and proceeded to get lost in Kindle world.

For a moment, I had found basic bliss. I had finished a long, productive day of work; I was on a quiet side street just minutes from my house, sipping a beer, engaged and transported by the book in front of my eyes. It was proper unwind alone time, and at that moment I couldn’t have been happier.

“Oh, hello.”

I glanced up from my reading as a man approached from the street. He looked familiar.

“Do you remember me?” he asked

I then recognized him. He was a professor from my school. A colleague.

“We work together at Suyeong College. I saw you at the restaurant a while back with your wife.”

“Of course…” I said. “Hello.”

“Are you waiting for someone?” he asked. His English was good.

“Uh… no.”

He appeared confused by my answer, as if the idea of a man enjoying a drink alone was too much for his brain to process.

“I’m just reading,” I said, motioning to my Kindle. Please. Go. Leave me alone.

“Oh. Do you live near here?”

I stifled the impulse to lie. “Yes, just around the corner.”

“Me too! What … what a… what’s the word?” He searched the files in his head.

“A coincidence?” I offered.

“Yes, yes… coincidence. But I was thinking of another… hmm… oh: fate. I think our meeting is fate.”

Red flag. Red flag.

With that he took a seat next to me. He would not be fucking off anytime soon. Lucky me. I now had a “buddy.”

He was from Seoul, but worked in Busan. His wife and kids stayed up north, while he sent them cash and maintained a tiny apartment just up the street from the bar. He just came back from playing ping-pong with a friend. He asked me if I ever played ping-pong. I told him that I have only ever really played ping-pong once in my life, twenty years ago, and that it had been a disaster.

With that he switched gears.

“What is your religion?” he asked.

I knew at once where he was headed.

“Uh… I am a Catholic.”

This is true: I am a baptized Catholic, though my beliefs now firmly run on the agnostic side. But when I sniff an overzealous Christian trying to suss out where I stand with God, I always affirm my Catholicism. Being a member of the One True Universal Church can sometimes work as fundie repellent. This can sometimes appease their missionary zeal, though with others, winning me over to “their side” becomes an even more attractive challenge.

“Oh, I see.”

I shifted on my stool, grabbed the beer, and took a big gulp.

“I am a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Do you know about this church?”

“You’re a Mormon?”

“That is right. What do you think of Mormons?”

Ugh.

“Well… I have a lot of respect for Mormons. I just find their beliefs a bit too conservative for my tastes.”

“That is right. No smoking or drinking. I quit 25 years ago.”

With that I ordered another beer. He ordered a Coke. Shit. He’s camped. He had no wife in town to go home to. He was bored and lonely and now had a mission: To win my soul for Joseph Smith and the gang. I would not be getting back to my book. I would not be left in peace. I would have to come up with an exit strategy, STAT.

“What is your wife’s religion?” he asked.

For fuck’s sake.

“She’s a Catholic too.” This was true, her family was as Catholic as mine, but like me, she stopped attending mass years ago.

“I see.” He smiled. “So, what do you usually do on Sundays?”

I usually recover from soul shattering hangovers by drinking goat’s blood.

What he wanted was so nakedly apparent. It was obvious that he was feeling me out, fishing for a chance to try to invite me to his church or rope me into some kind of Mormon’d up activity. It’s happened so many times before, that I can feel it coming. You know how some people have great gaydar? Well I have a highly developed sense of Modar. I remember ages back, 1989 or ‘90, sitting in a park in Lacey, Washington, with three friends, stoned off our asses. We had a guitar and were jamming a couple of songs. Suddenly a couple of clean cut kids our age showed up and asked us if we were hungry, that they were having a barbecue and had extra burgers, hot dogs, and pop. We were in the grips of the munchies and took them up on their offer. As soon as we arrived I felt the zombiefied fake happy/enthusiastic Christian vibe (the weed helped attune me), and sure enough, the whole posse of them were Mormons. They shared their food, only to then push us with the hard sell. They pressured and leaned on to join them at their church the following Sunday. We told them, very politely, to go fuck themselves.

But this guy was a co-worker. He was a professor, a colleague. I had to tread lightly. I needed to occupy that middle ground where he would know, in no uncertain terms, I would never, ever, attend his church, even if they were giving out fistfuls of free cash. But I also had to be nice about it. After all, like most Mormons, he was a nice guy. If he hadn’t played the religion card so early in our conversation, I just may have made a bit of time for him. But probably not. Like I said, I was very happy alone, more than content to NOT participate in new Korean buddy interrogation time.

Now that I knew that what he wanted and that he would not leave me alone that evening, I feigned receiving a text message from my wife.

“Oh, man. I gotta go. The better half requires my presence at home.”

“I see. But we must meet again!”

“Sure, sure.”

“What is your phone number?”

I was trapped, so I gave it to him. He even called me right then and there to make sure it went through (it’s harder to just give a bogus number these days). Luckily I saved his name in ALL CAPS, my particular code for DON’T EVER TAKE THIS CALL. EVEN IF YOU ARE ON FIRE.

I paid the bill—including his Coke—which he took for an invitation for him “treat me next time.” And as I walked to the store across the street (I had to buy a few things for home) he followed me, lingering outside for a disturbingly long time while I did my shopping. Finally, when I emerged, bag in hand, he was gone.

I have lived in Korea a long time now, and am pretty accommodating when it comes to slight acquaintances or strangers approaching me to try out some English. I am not one of those douchey foreigners who moans about being a “free English lesson” any time a local wants to talk a bit with a real, native speaker. I know how it can be. I remember when I was learning Spanish, all those years back, and would sometimes approach a Spanish speaker to attempt a conversation. My heart would be beating through my neck, and the first few times I tried the words got jumbled like unevenly shaped stones in my mouth and I came across like a gasping fool. I try to smile and be welcoming of most any folks who address me here out of the blue, but this is only when I know that they’re doing it out of pure curiosity and kindness. I don’t deal well with shallowly hidden agendas.

And sometimes, just sometimes, I really want to be left alone. This was one of those times. I wanted, more than anything, to sip a couple of beers and enjoy the rich harvest of my reading in peace. I didn’t want to talk to ANYONE, foreign or Korean, friend or family. And then when my tranquility was shattered, when I was forced into a conversation that I had no interest in being in, it was with a guy who pretended to want to get to know me as a friend, when we both knew all along that he really didn’t give a shit about what I was really about. He didn’t care about the real me at all. He only wanted to get me to go to his church, in hopes of converting me and earning a notch on his tally of souls. I’ll never have time for that.

 



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This website has moved!

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I’m gearing up for the release of a new book, which also means a new website.



ELT Live#3 - Mobile Tools and Strategies for ELT

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ELT Live#3
Mobile Tools and Strategies for ELT
September 17, 2014
 

Participants

오정훈 (Elliot)'s profile photoLindsey Wainwright's profile photoBenjamin L. Stewart's profile photoTaehyun Kim's profile photoJeff Lebow (you)'s profile photoDaniel Craig's profile photo

Links Mentioned

 

Chat Log Below

 
Daniel Craig
 
I think I'll be joining, but a little tired today. Need a pick-me-up
 
 
jefflebow
  
(Admin)
 
We'll do our best to wake you up
 
 
jefflebow
  
(Admin)
 
Starting the Hangout in 3, 2, 1....
 
 
Daniel Craig
 
I think my connection is struggling. Hope I'm coming through OK
 
 
Michael Griffin
close call, Dan.
 
 
jefflebow
  
(Admin)
 
Michael, please feel free to join us:
 
 
jefflebow
  
(Admin)
 
just sent the invite
 
 
Daniel Craig
 
You stalking me Griffin?
 
 
Michael Griffin
I was here to see and hear Ben and Jeff and others. 

Thanks for the invite, Jeff. I think I will just listen tonight.
 
 
Michael Griffin
how was that dictionary app spelled? 
Sorry. :)
 
 
jefflebow
  
(Admin)
 
Divii
 
 
Michael Griffin
thanks very much and sorry to make you keep so many windows going.
 
 
jefflebow
  
(Admin)
 
Go to http://www.socrative.com, click on “Student Login”, enter room 22500.
 
 
KEV LANDRY
 
hi again
 
 
jefflebow
  
(Admin)
 
hello Kev. Would you like to join in?
 
 
KEV LANDRY
 
I'll just listen thanks.
 
 
KEV LANDRY
 
missed the beginning again. thanks though
 
 
Michael Griffin
id also wonder about using an app i usually use for fun and life suddenly turning into an educational space
 
 
Michael Griffin
(as a student)
 
 
Michael Griffin
i hope it is not too shameful (shameless?) to share a blog post i wrote that is somewhat related: http://eltrantsreviewsreflections.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/why-dont-korean-students-use-apps-for-learning-english/
 
 
  
 
 
Waves hello
 
 
KEV LANDRY
 
reading books has caused us to remember less.
 
 
KEV LANDRY
 
always some drawback to new technology
 
 
Michael Griffin
thank you very much
 
 
  
 
 
oo 8amDurff Time?
 
 
  
 
 
cool
 
 
  
 
 
I was at that uni!
 
 
  
 
 
:)
 
 
  
 
 
yeah will be late for my own funeral
 
 
jefflebow
  
(Admin)
 
:)
 
 
  
 
 
some great resources! Thanks!
 
 


 


Our 4th Chuseok in Korea, Part 1 – Seoul

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Growing up, Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. There is no pressure about gifts, the family is way less stressed, and it is all about gratitude, family, and good food. My kind of holiday. The day really embodies Fall, with it’s smells and sweaters, colors, and football (or nap time for me).

In Korea, Chuseok is compared to Thanksgiving because it is also a harvest festival (minus the genocide and kum ba yah stories of sharing some turkey), but it is as big as Christmas is in the States. Being that it’s one of the two biggest holidays in Korea, we usually get 4 or 5 days off! Hooray!

We also got some pretty great Chuseok gifts this year, and if you’re interested in seeing what kind of quirky things we got check out the video!

In the past we’ve taken part in Chuseok activities in Seoul, gone on a trip to Gangwon-do, and have had a laid back stay-cation, but this year was really special. My Aunt Kathy came to visit us for the holiday! She is our first family member to come visit us in Korea, so it’s an understatement to say we were really excited. We’ve been waiting for years to share our life here with people we love, IN PERSON. It’s one thing to do these blogs and videos, after all family is the reason we started doing them in the first place. But it’s just not the same as seeing everything in real life. My Aunt Kathy and I also have a special bond because we are kindred spirits, so the trip was extra special for me.

We left on Friday right after work and took the train up to Seoul. I could write a whole post about how stressful it was getting the train tickets for Chuseok weekend, but I’ll just say I had the help of my coteacher, her husband, 2 computers, and a phone. Traffic is insane during Chuseok so traveling by train is the only way to go. I’m so thankful for my coteacher’s help in getting the tickets for us!

Anyways, our plan was to hit the ground running. We met her in Myeongdong, and as we got out of the taxi from Seoul Stn. it was so surreal seeing my Aunt sitting there waiting for us! After living here for 4 years and never seeing family, it was such a new feeling seeing a loved one’s face in the landscape of Korea. After lots of hugs, we ventured up Namsan mountain via cable car to see the city from the top of N Seoul Tower.
N S Tower

They were closing the tower so we had very little time up there, but at least we got to go up! It made me remember just how huge Seoul is, it’s almost overwhelming sometimes! After admiring the view we went back to check out our hotel, Fraser Suites in Insadong. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a nice place in a great location! So many things are within walking distance, there is great service, and we even got upgraded to a 3 bedroom apartment! Our place was so nice that we didn’t wake up THAT early on Saturday – me and Evan were enjoying the comfy queen sized bed and my Aunt was still catching up on sleep.

It worked out perfectly because I wanted to be starving for what I had planned that day. As you guys know, near the beginning of the year we went on Zen Kimchi’s Dark Side of Seoul tour and really enjoyed it. We knew we wanted to do one of their food tours and this was the perfect opportunity. A group of us met by Mapo Station at 1pm and we set off for some delicious BBQ. The Mapo neighborhood in Seoul is famous for it’s style of BBQ, with a tray around the side of the grill where egg is mixed with kimchi and green onions and cooks alongside your meat. This style has become popular all over Korea in the past few years and can be found everywhere, but it’s great to eat it where it all began. This was my Aunt’s first Korean BBQ and she loved it! This will be a common theme, hehe!
bbq

We also had some of the best Korean food (and drinks) I’ve ever had at two other restaurants, but I’m going to save the delicious details on that for another post. :)

After we sobered up a little bit we jumped on the Seoul Bus Tour. Our first stop was Deoksogung Palace. We arrived at dusk and it was gorgeous. We sat by the pond and just admired our surroundings, all the while I was eaten alive by mosquitoes! After that we took a long bus ride following the Han River to see all of the best night views of the city. I love how many cool bridges there are! If you haven’t used Seoul City Bus Tours I highly recommend it. Just 12,000 for a day and you can hop on and off where ever you want.
deoksogung

The tour ended at Gwanghwamun Plaza, so we got off and walked to the Cheonggyecheon Stream. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, so after walking around a bit we grabbed some coffee and just sat at a table by the stream! We decided to try to throw a coin in this circle in the stream for good luck, and Aunt Kathy got it in on the first try! This was just the beginning of our great luck on this trip.
coin
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Eventually we wandered over to the plaza to admire the great statues of Lee-Sun Shin and King Sejong. We sat in the grass and had a long talk about everything we did and saw that day. It’s so refreshing to see Korea through the eyes of someone new to the country again. It makes everything exciting and new again for us …not that we were getting tired of it here! ;)
G Plaza

On Sunday we didn’t do that much because we had a train to catch to Busan! But before we left we had time to take my Aunt to one of our favorite places in our first neighborhood, Yangpyeong! It sits by a stream that flows into the Nakdong river, and there are also great views of the more famous Mokdong neighborhood behind us. We also managed to meet up with our good friend Michael, take her to Le Cafe, our favorite coffee shop in Seoul, and eat bingsu of course!
Mokdong




We only had a short time in Seoul but I think we made the most of it without making it stressful! When we travel we don’t like to see it all, and I knew my Aunt felt the same way so it was great to show someone around that was laid back and mostly wanted to relax and see the highlights.

Be on the lookout for a post about the Busan part of our trip coming up soon!

The post Our 4th Chuseok in Korea, Part 1 – Seoul appeared first on Evan and Rachel.


 

 


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