Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Last Post from Korealand

 So here is the last post from Korealand, my last adventure in the great and shallow location of ... South Korea. 
So what did I do for my last big adventure in Korea? Well, I first met up with my friend Jackie and headed to my favorite City of Busan. 

We ate lunch at the Wolf hound and after our tummies were full and happy we ventured to see the beach for one last time. Haeundae, you amazing beach you! Fireworks, failed attempts at wind surfing, mass of crowds, seashell searching, bloody cotton candy, the memories are endless...
 Also, on the beach there was a guy making my favorite kind of candy : dalgona
You can see it below: It tastes like burnt/caramelized marshmallows
 We then got to the Costco, I wanted to see the difference between the one in the states and the one in Korea. So can you see the difference?
 I think the only thing I really noticed was that everyone was Korean and the products have been asianified. But Kirkland still exists. The other main difference was the prices were doubled as well.
 But they still did have samples and the food was kinda the same. I got the very berry smoothie to see if it was different and discovered that it was. After the first gulp I realized that it was overly sweetened to the point that I couldn't finish the thing. It was nasty, oh well I'll get the real thing soon.

Then on the way home we ran into a K-pop group dancing in the Subway system. Yeah, for K-pop, one thing I will not miss at all.

  
(Visitor, Eunmi, Sojeung, Youjeung, Me, Jungin, Sister Kim)
 
 This sunday I had a few parties to get to. At church, I said goodbye to my YW group, and I got them a gift to say goodbye. It was a good thing too cause no one had prepared a lesson for that day and because I am a genious I gave them a gift that could easily be turned into a lesson. I got them these phone medallions that were the colors of the YW values. Each medallion represented a different value. So we spent the hour looking up the scriptures that corresponded with the value and then discussed how the value was important to us. It worked out really well. 
Also, I was asked to give my testimony, but when they asked me to do it they told me it had to be five to seven minutes long, I about died! That wasn't a testimony that is a talk! It was okay though because I shared the story of how I received my testimony and I ended up talking for about fifteen minutes, it took longer than normal because of the translation took a little while.
(Beomin, Lulu, Veronique, Migine, Me)
After church, the ward all ate together. We ate purple rice and peanuts, supposedly by eating peanuts you are scaring away evil spirits. I tried to get the reason why but no one knew. 

Then after the ward meal, I went to Veronique's place and spent the whole day there, helping out and playing with the kids. I am going to miss that family sooooooooo much. That family is amazing!

I said goodbye, as I ran to the bus and all I wanted to do as I returned home was cry. 

Well I am packed and ready to go, I have transferred some of my money to Japanese Yen and I am super excited to see my sister. And play in Japan. It will take a couple weeks to share about that adventure but don't worry it will come.

Adventure is out there!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Valentines is for the Boys

Well, happy valentines day everyone... okay a week late but hey last week I had to focus on Lunar new year so yeah, now I will talk about Valentines Day and this last weekend.... of 'last's.

First off, I just want to point out the difference between the Valentines here and the Valentines in the States. Most of us knows how Valentines is in the states so I am not going to go into that but here in Korealand, this holiday is strictly where the girls get gifts for the guys. The guys will give the gifts to the girls on what is called White Day and that isn't until middle of March. So I spent most of my Valentines day saying 'Happy Valentines Day' promptly responded by all my boy students asking for something and the girls looking down or away. It was interesting.

Okay lets jump to this weekend. Actually there isn't that much to share. I started out the day by helping my friend Jackie put on a play writing competition. The place we were at had a mirror on the ceiling so I had some fun just taking pictures:


Then after I said by to my friend I went to my very last Young Women's Activity in South Korea. The girls had come early and tried to prepare some macaroon for me. They failed at it but it was a great surprise and it was fun spending time with them as well.

 Some of the girls didn't want their pictures taken but I got them eventually. Here is Eunmi and Sojung.

Here is Youjung, Jungin, and Migine

Then On Sunday I went over to Jinju to my favorite Tea shop and had the most amazing Plum Tea and said goodbye to Jinju. It was a fun place and it harbored one of the most amazing friends I had here in Korea.
  

Only one more Weekend of Korea then I will be adventuring in Japan with my Amazing Sister.
Ha, one more week!

Adventure is out there.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Tapsa and Lunar New Year... the last big adventure before Japan

 
Happy Lunar New Year Everyone! This is the holiday where the family gets together and the children, wearing traditional Korean attire, bow to their elders and ask for money. You get paid to dress up! And they look so cute!  This is also one of two most horrible dates to travel in Korea. Everyone is traveling to their families place and therefore the traffic is horrible. Only a psycho would get on a bus to go anywhere this last weekend. Thankfully, I consider myself pretty crazy. 


I went on my last big adventure till Japan! I got to the temple called Tapsa. It is this really amazing temple where there was this Hermit monk who spent his whole life stacking stones to create about 100 pagodas. Only 80 of them survive today but some of the bigger ones are huge! These pagodas surround a small temple but around the temple are these really cool mountains that are called horse ear mountains.  The real reason I loved this temple is because of the hermit himself... the fact that he was a hermit.... okay I am a nerd.
 Being a Temple, it is located in a fairly secluded area, go figure the home of a hermit is in a far away location. psh. Anyways, my friend Jackie and I, along with a couple of other girls headed to this temple together. We had to catch an early bus to get to a city called Jeonju, then catch another bus that would take us to Jinan and then we grabbed a Taxi in order to actually get to the temple. It was a long process.  But that is what Saturdays are for :)

 
But along the way up we ran into a bunch of vendors and some really cool people. Like this awesome Hot chocolate stand. Koreans are super nice people because this guy actually allowed us to leave behind on of our bigger backpacks with him while we climbed to the temple.
  
Also, while we were on the road up to the mountain we ran into one of these vendors who was selling hard toffee from her stand. This toffee was covered in nuts and there were birds everywhere. They were coming pretty close to us to, so I whip out my camera in hope to catch one of these feathery creatures in action. As soon as we start chasing the birds around the lady calls us over and sprinkles a few nuts onto our hands and instructs us to hold out our hands to let the birds eat from our hands. Well the girls get into this and soon enough the birds come and they all get to have their very own bird eat out of their hands. One girl started screaming when a bird landed on her hand, but despite the high pitch squels the bird munched on its meal and calmly flew off when it was done. At least Stephanie didn't move. I was the last person to feed them, for some reason none of the birds would get close for a long time. I was wearing my bear-eared hat and so my friends said that it might be scarring the birds off. So the moment I put my hand up to remove my hat, a bird lands on my head!
Somehow my friend get a picture of it and the bird did venture to my hand after taking a rest on my head.
That lady was super sweet so I bought one of her toffee/nut sticks. It was actually really tasty too!

 And then we finally arrived at Tapsa, or Maisan Temple.
 There were a ton of these stone pagodas everywhere! And I think I took about 200 pictures but sorry you will only see a few of them here. ( I know your secretly saying, thank you)
 This is a statue of the monk, I approve of Hermits :)
 The whole area was covered in snow and it was really pretty to see and be around. Though a little dangerous, because this mountain was snug up against the sheer cliff of the mountain and occasionally there was snow and icicles falling from the cliff.

 There was a path leading up farther past the temple and my newly found friend Amanda and I decided to explore it, to see where it ended up. Well not so surprisingly but there was yet another temple up their, more for where the monks lived. Well walking around the area we found an old drum and someone had absentmindedly left the mallet next to it. Well I couldn't help myself and I grabbed the thing and hit it once. The boom was resonating and after my friend had a try as well, we scurried off before some monk got the idea to come after us. bwahahaha

Here is another fun story, so my friend Jackie wanted to take a video of herself dancing to the song 'Can't touch this' by MC hammer, she wanted to do this at the temple so that she could send the video to her sister to make her feel happy. Jackie is such an entertainer. Well, she got a lot of viewers and when a couple of kids came to watch, she told them to join her. AND THEY DID! It was awesome watching them copy her moves and then they taught her some moves too, yep even the Gunnam Style dance. It was awesome! Lets see if I can get a video:
video
well it is part of a video, but you get the idea :)

Later, as we were about to walk back down the mountain, the family stopped us and asked if they could drive us down the mountain. Which was super nice because we wouldn't have made our bus if we had walked. While in their car, we learned that the family was from Jinju, where Jackie and Amanda and Stephanie were working as Teachers. This made everyone very happy in the car and numbers were exchanged. It was awesome and it just shows how amazing some Koreans can be.

   
 These are the horse-ears Mountains

Luckily I was able to catch the last bus back to my city after we returned to Jeonju, but I had to miss dinner with the girls. It was a great trip though!

The rest of the weekend, I stayed in Masan but I was invited to a couple of families houses to eat and celebrate the Lunar new year. Not a bad weekend, actually everything turned out really well. I really felt like my Heavenly Father was looking out for me this weekend, in more ways than one.
That's all for now, folks.

Adventure is out there!



Sunday, February 10, 2013

I eat Cake...with chopsticks


Yeah for birthdays in Korea, because I was a day ahead it was like celebrating my birthday for two days. And because of my amazing friends, I had about four parties and ate cake for about five days. It was very awesome!

It actually turns out that I have the same birthday as one of my coworkers. And so the night before our birthday, all of my coworkers and I went out to eat Sanipsa, and that was tasty, we had cheesecake.

Then the next day was my birthday, and I got a random call from Alisha. She invited me over where she made me a traditional Korean birthday meal. It had kimchii and this really good seaweed soup that I surprisingly now crave. That night I met Alisha, again, and Jinny, and Hannah to eat yet another amazing meal of seafood and noodles. Everything was cooked live in front of us, a little barbaric but really fresh.  It was super tasty and what was really nice was that Jinny brought her boyfriend who ended up paying for everything. We had cake at the end that I got to take home. Therefore cake was for breakfast.

Friday came around and my friend Jackie came to meet me and we went out to Gamsheetong (potato soup that only has one or two chunks of potato). And guess what, yep she brought cake. It was awesome!

So I got to at least talk a little about the previous weekend. I decided to explore Masan for the last time. So I got over to the fish market and a few of the streets around it. Fish market was cool to walk around in and my friend Jackie was there with me along with a new korean friend named Jisoo. We got over to the Bumin Market as well which is just an area where there are a bunch of shops. 

 

That's all for this week, happy adventures everyone, oh and three weeks till I go to Japan :)