Making a life in Korea

Whew, I’m getting behind on blog posts! Stay tuned for more updates- my thoughts on life so far here- what’s teaching really like? How am I handling the culture shock? Views from the top of gorgeous Bukhansan mountain and- wait for it- some of the delicious meals I have been creating! (It’s quite fun letting my mind run wild with local, seasonal ingredients and uniquely Korean ways of bringing them together).

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Tasty little melons called chummi (hangul). Delicious to cube and add to fruit fruit salad, or simply slice in half and scoop the insides out with a spoon!

 

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I frequently find myself impressed by the cloud formations here. The autumn skies thus far are warm, bright, and glorious!

One Sunday evening, too sore from the previous day’s hike to want to tackle any major sightseeing, I decided to tour nearby Jeongja, where I did my training and orientation session when first arriving in Korea.

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Giant skyscrapers- definitely a ubiquitous feature here.

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Again with the bizarre clouds!

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I will note that my camera does funny things with nighttime lighting- sometimes the effect is quite cool, and often it’s rather irritating! I’m hoping to upgrade the camera, eventually…

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A well-designed active transportation trail- one portion is for walkers and joggers, the other for cyclists. It seems to be quite a common feature along streams and waterways. Great idea!

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They had ONE job!


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A large, lovely bridge crossing the stream.

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View from the bridge.


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The following photos are from the next weekend- I headed to Songdam station to meet up with Tessa, a South African woman who lives and teaches relatively close to me. She outright kicked my butt at squash  and then we wandered around the nearby markets. Also, I finally, FINALLY had proper bingsu!

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What a glorious creation. Almost too beautiful to eat.

Bingsu is a Korean dessert made from very finely shaved ice, condensed sweetened milk, and a variety of toppings- red bean paste, coconut, fresh berries, mango, and oddly, cornflakes, make frequent appearances. Ours had a delightful assortment of frozen berries- cranberries, rasberries, blueberries, and a sort of blueberry sauce on top. Absolutely delicious, and best enjoyed with a bingsu buddy!

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But we definitely ate it- we couldn’t leave it sitting there! This is the lovely Tessa.

 

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Another unique and fun aspect of Korean daily life- giant inflatable signs advertising a particular business. They catch the eye, but only when there are fewer than ten per street- which isn’t always the case!

This is what the train stations along the Everline near me look like- just like the monorails I imagined as a kid. 
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