Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First Snowfall & Lotte World!

This is a bit of a late update, but we experienced our first snowfall in Korea!  :D It was really random and only lasted for about an hour, but it was still beautiful.

Our friends, Matt & Jessie... I think these photos look like a still from a Korean drama.  :P

We had plans to go to Everland to celebrate our coworker's birthday, but due to the weather, we decided to head out to Lotte World!  Lotte World is pretty much Korea's Disneyland.  It is the largest indoor amusement park in the world and they also have an outdoor section!  It's also really easy to get to - all we did was transfer once on the subway and stayed until Jamsil station!

Oh and Jamsil station just randomly has beautiful water fountains everywhere...?  Haha, it was pretty cool.

So anyway, after spending some time fawning over the random beauty in this subway station, we decided to go into Lotte World.  Since it was after 4:00 PM, the tickets were only 20,000W!  :D  Yay!  And of course, the first thing we did was... try on and buy matching headbands~

I wish I could say that Daniel bought those ears... but alas, he did not!

The girls!  ^^

Although we were not able to ride a lot of rides, I think we successfully took a lot of photos. :P

I was so excited that they had a Peter Pan broadway show going on when we arrived!

 Lotte World's castle... Makes me miss my Disneyland castle!

They had a mini exhibit of fake paintings for you to "interact" with... it was so fun!

Lotte World at night!

We weren't able to ride on too many rides because we were exploring Lotte World. There were a lot of rides I want to try next time and I definitely want to go ice skating on the bottom floor.  :)  So I'm pretty sure we'll be back to fully experience Lotte World! :D

Sunday, March 18, 2012

One Month!

I can't believe that Daniel and I have been in Korea for one month. It's crazy! On some days, I'm amazed at how fast time has flown and on other days, I feel like we've been here for so long. It depends on the day. :P

 Things that I love about Korea so far: 
- How convenient everything is - we live less than 5 minutes away from the subway station, right next door to our school and we're surrounded by a bunch of restaurants. :D
- Delivery! I just love how lazy Korea can be. McD's delivery is amazing. So is pad thai and jjajangmyun!
- They play Big Bang's new album EVERYWHERE... which is just awesome.
- I think it's the funniest thing that all my kids say, "So-so," when I ask about their day or weekend. I have no idea who taught them that phrase, but they all use it.
- My students! Well, most of them. :P
- Food. Do I even need to explain? I think 90% of my entries so far have been about food, haha.
- Coffee is a huge thing here. After you eat out with anyone, you get coffee and talk. It's just something you have to do! That is also why there are like five coffee shops on every block.
- Our cozy apartment. Daniel and I have accumulated a good amount of furniture and it's starting to feel more comfortable. :)
- Last, but not least, our branch! Our co-workers are really cool. I know that they are going to make this year much more fun! :)

Since we've been here, our schedules have been packed pretty tight with prepping and teaching our classes. I can't wait to have more time to sight see and learn more Korean. I heard of a coffee shop where foreigners come in and practice speaking Korean. I might have to check that out when I have more time because I would really like to improve. So far I've been learning little words and phrases (the most recent being "포장 해주세요" {"pojang hejuseyo"} which means, "Can you box/wrap this please?" when you want food from a restaurant in a doggy bag, hahah). But it would be nice to learn more!

This was a little bit of a scattered entry, but I really wanted to write an entry marking our first month in Korea. :) I'm excited for this month #2! :D

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

White Day!

My students gave me candy because it’s White Day! In Korea, boys give girls candy on White Day since girls give boys chocolate on Valentine’s Day. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Street Food

I have a slight fascination with street food in Korea. I don't know if it's because we don't really have anything like that back home (maybe hot dog stands are the closest thing?)... but I am seriously in love with it. Everything (or almost everything) smells so good when you're passing by the stands. Last night, Daniel and I decided to go to leave our little area of Sunae and check out the next neighborhood down, Seohyeon. We walked around and noticed that most of the vendors had a lot of the same food, so we decided to try a little bit of everything and people watch

... Starting with 오뎅 (odeng... pronounced "oh dang!" according to Daniel, haha)!  This might look gross, but it's actually just fishcake! It's drenched in a spicy broth of... well, I don't really know.  My guess is gochujang?  Anyway, you get a skewer of fish cake and a cup of broth/soup (not the spicy one, just a clean, fresh tasting one).  It was delicious.  Not too spicy either.  :)

Daniel decided to try out a "hot dog" vendor.  It didn't taste much like a hot dog, but the sausage itself was pretty delicious!  Of course, it had a kick (they really love spicy food here!).  :P  Then I wanted to try 튀김 (twigim), aka vegetable tempura!

It was so good...  Probably the most oily thing that I've eaten in Korea so far just because it was deep fried.  A lot of food here has less oil/msg than back at home, haha.  So in a way, this was a delicious fix for unhealthy cravings.  x)  Anyway, I cannot wait to try different types of street food while I'm here.  :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chicken Night~

The eating and sleeping schedule of an English teacher at a hagwon/academy is just ridiculous.  I feel like I'm back in college!  We finish teaching our last class at 10:00 and have to find places that are still open for dinner.  Thankfully, there are quite a bit of restaurants near our hagwon and our apartment.  Last night, Daniel and I walked around our neighborhood and saw this stand...

It was a kebab stand and it looked deeeelicious!

 So of course, we bought some.  It was chicken and dduk and it was SO GOOD.  It was spicy, sweet, tangy... basically just amazing.

Mm, mm, mm!  But of course, that wasn't enough to fill us up for dinner.  So we headed to a dakkalbi place and got way too much food, haha. I learned that I really need to increase my tolerance for spicy food if I want to survive here!  x) I guess the only way to do that is to keep eating deliciously spicy food.  :P