Hello, strangers!

I haven’t been posting very often. I tend to struggle to find the motivation to get back to blogging after I get so behind. Plus, I’ve been quite busy lately… if you don’t believe me, ask my Hulu account. My queue is almost always over 20 episodes these days. (If you don’t know, Hulu is a website that you can legally stream the latest TV shows from)

A lot has been happening. In the past few months I have renewed my contract, fallen in love, been to Texas and back and have been making lots of travel plans for the next year (Jeju Island, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Hawaii, China)! Life is pretty amazing. To make up for my slacking, I will post another edition of…

THINGS THAT JUST DON’T SEEM STRANGE ANYMORE

Part III

Boys don’t mind sitting in each other’s laps and playing with each other’s hair.

The school bell makes you crave ice cream.

Fish and rice belong at any breakfast table.

Outdoor gyms at the top of mountains absolutely make sense.

There are 3 shower settings – boiling hot, luke warm, freezing cold.

Someone is always watching you.

You are now always ready for anything to happen.

When the department store opens, the staff will kindly bow to you just before they are nearly trampled.

The only thing Chinese about a Chinese restaurant is the name.

You need a new pair of shoes before you will be allowed to work out at the gym. They must never be worn outdoors. Ever.

You can’t be trusted to teach regular class alone but if it’s after school or camp, they’ll expect you to teach multiple grades, levels, and gender groups alone.

Who needs a janitor when you have a school full of kids?

There is no better browser than Internet Explorer.

Mechanical pencils break after each letter but students love them.

Even if the cab driver has no idea where you want to go, he will spend 10 minutes pretending that he does.

The perfect side dish to pizza is a pack of sweet pickles.

It makes perfect business sense to open a cell phone store right next to 20 other stores that sell the exact same thing.

Who needs a peephole when you have a video camera that shows you who’s at your door?

Every store carries covers for your umbrellas on rainy days.

You like 2 of the seasons. The start of Spring and Fall are more anticipated than Christmas.

Your hands are cold all winter. You can’t stop sweating all summer.

It’s a tradeoff between using the toilet and staying warm.

Broom handles are needlessly short.

Flashing red and blue lights are more effective at controlling speeding than actual police cars.

The elderly have more active lives than you do.

The most used feature on the phone is the mirror.

You can conveniently buy thermal underwear on the subway. Its use will also be demonstrated for you.

Matching outfits show a committed relationship.


You never know how to dress. It might be school picture day or you might be going on a staff hike up a mountain. You just never know.


You can often make purchases by swiping your card, without entering codes or signing anything. You still feel very secure about your finances.

Korean women can do anything in high heels.

Koreans love freebies when they go shopping. Especially when they’re given out by young women in short skirts wearing headsets.

At least 1 student has gotten your phone number somehow.

And in case you missed them, here’s the previous editions of…

THINGS THAT JUST DON’T SEEM STRANGE ANYMORE

Part 1   &  Part 2

I borrowed most of these images from other blogs. I tried to link back to all of their sites and they all happen to have really nice explanations of the pictures so check them out if you’re curious.

**Click on any picture above to see the full sized image.**

And finally, HAPPY BIRTHAY, NANA!! Love you….

Urban Hike

I recently ran across a Busan etour website and found my neighborhood and discovered all sorts of things that I never knew existed. On Sunday I decided to set out alone to explore my area.

Dongnae Station is in the middle of the map. I live near Minam Station (left of Dongnae), which is about a 15 minute walk from Dongnae Station. I make this walk all of the time. If you look at the map, you can see that there are all sorts of landmarks in the area behind Dongnae Station so I decided to go exploring and see if I could find any of the things listed on the map.

I was basically wandering aimlessly. I just started walking in what I thought might be the general direction of things and hoped eventually I might run into something on the map. The first thing I came across wasn’t actually on the map.

   

  

The cool thing about this place was that it was tucked away in the middle of an outdoor market that I just happened to decide to walk through.

Next, I saw something that looked interesting so I walked up the winding driveway and it happened to lead to a Buddhist temple. The temple was quite busy. I saw many people heading up the stairs and there were women out front greeting people as they entered. They bowed to me when I walked up so I said, “annyeong haseyo” (hello) and they all giggled. They were super cute so I decided to try to ask them directions to one of the places on the map. I showed them the map on my iPhone and they all discussed things amongst themselves before they called over another woman who spoke a bit of English. That woman asked me where I was trying to go and then walked me back down the winding driveway so she could give me better directions. Her directions weren’t extremely clear so I ended up getting a bit lost.

I was trying to find Beokcheondong Gobungun Ancient Tombs. The woman told me that I should walk past these apartments so that’s what I did. If you click on the picture, you can see that the tombs are in the background, but there’s just no way to get to them from where I was. I kept walking up and behind this area, but it came to a dead end. It was so frustrating because I could see the tombs and the museum… I was walking all around them… but I just couldn’t figure out how to get to them.

  

So I went back and decided to keep walking even farther past the apartments on the main street. It worked out for the best because I came across some other nice finds, including a Confucian school and this man, decked out in full hiking gear, that I though truly represented my “Urban Hike” theme.

  

  

I had been walking for a few hours at this point and I was beginning to get exhausted, but I was determined to find the tombs before heading back home. I followed the road and took the first right at the next major intersection and I just kept walking…

 

I was so close to quitting, but I didn’t. I pushed through and I’m so glad I did because after the bend in the road, I finally found what it was I was looking for (and more)!

First I walked up the trail…

  

Then through the Dongnae Eupseong Fortress and Science Park…

  

As I walked a little further, I knew I was in the right place!

  

After the long journey I had just endured, it felt AMAZING to walk across this bridge because it led straight to the tombs. Success!

  

  

Sunday’s hike was so much fun. I can’t wait to get out there and explore some more!

I hope you clicked on some of the pics. I know the pictures don’t really do it justice, but the views were truly amazing.