Thursday, March 24, 2011

Korean Beer

There are about 5 or six types of widely available Korean beer. These include Cass, Max and Hite, all of which are low gravity lagers. I prefer the Max, but it is similar to any mass produced American lager. Not much flavor or color.

I came upon this 6 pack, and grabbed it to try something new.

It really works for me. It has a fuller flavor than the other lagers, and also helps to keep me regular.

Not only that, but it is designed and brewed specifically with youngsters in mind.

Thanks, Stylish Beer!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

First Trip

So we went to Seoul yesterday for the first time.
Rule Number 1:
Take an updated English subway map with you.
Really, that's all the problems we had. All the subways have English speaking announcements, and most maps have English names, but sometimes trying to find the English maps were tricky. So next time, a pocket map will be ideal.
The subway was so easy. I can't wait to ride it and do more exploring. Also, if you take a bus shortly after you leave the subway (or vice versa) the bus or subway is free. You just need a transportation card which you can buy at any convenient store.
It's awesome!

So below are some pics of our mini trip - which I was amazed at the amount of English speakers we met. Many from Canada - but we also ran in to a group of students from Harvard.
Mostly Korean girls who had valley girl accents!

Pocari Sweat is the Energy Sports Drink here in Korea

This guy is holding his girlfriends purse

We saw a lot of odd footwear trekking around the palace. Ladies sure don't mind wearing heels to hour plus tourist attractions...

Peace Corps at the Embassy!

Men who aren't toting their girlfriend's purses, usually have a man satchel

Or a European Handbag

And finally, KFC. We got off the subway and this greeted us. Hello, Old Friend!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

I made it out to the mountain behind our apartment today. It was a 5 minute walk to the park, then about an hour and a half to the top. The trail is 2 miles up to the top, with an elevation gain of around 2000 feet. I learned several things about Koreans. First, they love to hike. When I was huffing and puffing my way up the trail, groups of elderly were buzzing by me in both directions. Second, drinking heavily on the trail is acceptable.

Here are some pics from the hike:

About 200 meters up a muddy slope there was this traditional grave site and burial mound. The stone had dates noting that one person laying there was born in 1903 and passed in 2000.

On the trail following a frozen stream.

After hiking up for about 30 minutes, I came upon quite the party. These folks were part of a mountaineering group. They had a pretty impressive spread of food and drink. They were really tanked, and interested in talking to me for about 5 minutes. Then they gave me a Dixie cup full of soju and:

This cake. The man on the front right of the previous photo gave it to me. He said "Korean cake." I think it's a gelatinous paste covered in beans. The flavor is like gummy rice with a mild hint of sugar and salt.

A young English speaking girl took a photo of me and her friends about half way up the mountain.

The top, with a view of Namyangju-si in the background.

Here is a brief video with a view of what is going on at the top of the mountain.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Apartment Pics


"Whew. I almost lost it, there"

View from our apartment

Fancy Toilet. Please note the butt and flying woman...

Spare Bedroom #1 (we have Spare Bedroom #2, but it is currently our closet. Same size)

Front Door and shoe rack (No wearing shoes in the house!)

Fancy Toilet

Kitchen with sliding doors open to the utility room and kimchee station

Kimchee Kitchen (the 2 drawers are fridge #2 and 3)

View to left of Kimchee kitchen, to the washer. Look at all the trash from our old roomies we cleaned up! We have to wait till Wednesday to take it out.

Breezeway area next to master bedroom. Clothes drying and storage are perks!

Master Bedroom. The fancy toilet in the 1/2 bath is to the right.

Me on the kitchen telly

Main Bathroom

Anthony chillin' in the Living room. There is a mountain out through that window, which we will climb once the weather permits!

Our school director/landlord is coming over today. It is a holiday, and we are taking the opportunity to have him do a walk through of the apartment. A few minor problems, but nothing we can't do without for a while!
Our new school session starts tomorrow. I'm very nervous. Everyone wish me luck. I have 1 class of 14 middle schoolers - who think they are too cool to be in English class. Ugh. I have to keep a straight face and lay down the law in the first class - other wise they will walk all over me!