Friday, September 16, 2011

We're All One Big Family

At least that's the motto the Mt. Odu Unification Observatory tries to pedal. While it does have some good points about people trying to work together to get along it plays more like South-Korea-is-trying-really-hard-to-unify-and-North-Korea-keeps-screwing-it-up. It also stated that North Koreans, unverifiably, suffer from lack of proper nutrition, housing, and general modernization.

We walked up a freakin HUGE hill to get there, and on our walk down a cab picked us up. We celebrated by going to lunch at Salad and ShabuShabu. I found this happy surprise in my noodles...
(after turning the camera off Adam was mocking me and said, "I'm never letting you kiss me again!" hahaha) It wasn't bad at all--just really chewy and not very flavorful. But I did succeed and I'd do it again!

Museuming We Did Go!

Actually, we didn't. We tried to go to the National Museum of Korea, but because Chuseok is a three-day event, causing it to fall on the museum's normal day off (Monday) and it's secondary day off (Tuesday), it was also closed Wednesday when we tried to go.

Fortunately, the grounds were still open so we were able to see the outdoor exhibits.

After seeing these really awesome sites we also had the good fortune to visit Insadong. It is very popular for its artistic and antique shops. Additionally, it is renown for the cuisine. Which was fortunate for us because we were hungry by the time we got there! On the way we met his fellow...

Here is some of Insadong and the restaurant where we ate.

The last video is quite possibly one of my favorite discoveries thus far in our adventuring. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Everland: Where Every Day is a Holiday!

So it's not the happiest place on earth, but it is a crap-ton closer and A LOT cheaper! During Chuseok (chew-sock) they offered "Foreigner Day" where the regular price of $40 was reduced to a measly $23. So with 5 co-workers and another friend we went a tramping to Everland!

Our journey consisted of a 45 minute bus ride, 35 minute train ride, and another 40 minute bus ride. Except it was Chuseok (read: everybody in Korea has the day off). Traffic was insane, the buses, subways, and terminals were crowded beyond belief. But we made the best of it and had a good day!

The following videos are a progression of our journey and adventuring...

The return trip was a little more intense, as the bus we rode home quit running (we were told) at 10:30pm. Adam and I left ahead of the rest of the group around 8:30. For a trip that's total time is supposed to take 2 hours that sounds like plenty of time. Except our trip TO the park had taken 3 hours because of the crowds. We waited about 20 minutes for a bus. That ride was the promised 40 minutes. Then it was a 5 minute wait for our subway. It was not a 35 minute ride. It was 55. That's right. We arrived at our subway station right at 10:30. With relatively little problem we made it to the bus stop and the great wait began. As did the debate, do we taxi? Do we try to ride a train that goes closer to home and hope to taxi from there? 15 minutes later the blessed 2200 express bus pulled up. Apparently the driver was trying to make up for lost time (or just driving like a maniac like they all do) because that 45 minute ride only took 35 minutes.

In short, the trip was a smashing success! Today we recovered by doing absolutely nothing, and tomorrow we're going to a museum with some friends. Happy Chuseok!

I Spy!

So I am fully willing to admit that my blog has become nothing more than short narrative surrounding video clips of my life. But ya know, it works for me right now.

With that, here are some of this week's clips!

First, I went into the ladies room to "freshen up" and noticed this HUGE creepy-crawly in the window. Nevermind that there were several other people going in and out at the time who may have been put-off by my whipping out a video camera, I just had to capture this behemoth in all its glory.

And last, I had the opportunity to volunteer to cover some of my co-worker's TEMP (Teaching English to Military Program) shifts this week. The first one just out-and-out never showed up. I was paid $30 for their negligence. The other one our ride took us the 40 minutes to the base of the 25th Infantry Division, only to be told there would be no class. So I was paid $60 for an 80 minute car ride. Go me!

During the ride we drove at speeds that accommodated some video of real Korea, so here they are!