7.31.2006

Dog Days

No, I haven't tried dog soup....yet. It's just the dog days of summer. So hot. 39 degrees today and usually down to around 28 at night. Sick.

Tomorrow we are off to Busan for a day (looks like we're off for our first sauna/bathtubs experience) and then Wednesday morning we take the ferry to Japan for 5 days. Should be a blast! I will try and post sometime in there but if not you'll hear it all in one large post when we get back!

7.29.2006

Nolana


Nolana is the photographer of the family and as such doesn't get the press she deserves. So this post is paparazzi style. You're the star!

That't from our stay in a caboose hostel in BC... fun times road trippin' it. There is no other person I would rather jump into an adventure with. She's the voice of caution to my, well, lack of voice of caution. Together our ideas usually get results and we laugh and demand the other gives us props when one of our ideas works and the other doesn't. We love to laugh.She's the bestest wife in the world. Without her I would still be living in my parent's basement, eating KD and wishing I had a wife. And this is from Mexico where we spent a great week celebrating being married for the first week. Good times. And many more to come. I can't wait to do them with you babe!

Free Bird

We are free! 9 days off starting Friday. Unfortunately everyone in Korea is freed at the same time and had more than a week to book their trips. So everything is booked. But we managed to snag a ferry trip over to Japan for 4 days so that will be our adventure. And tomorrow we might head to the bus terminal for a trip in Korea until then. Might as well.

On Friday because it was the last day of school for the semester the director took all the teachers out which was nice. We got to chat with some teachers we haven't really had a chance to yet which was good. Making new friends. Nolana was especially grateful for a chance to connect with some of the girls.

Today we met up with Amelie and Cathy who are two teachers in the English school with us for an adventure at the beach. Oh yeah, side note. Summer has begun in earnest here in Ulsan. Yesterday topped out at 36 degrees and today was significantly warmer. It was 34 when I checked at 9am and 34 again at 6pm so the heat of the day was smoking warm. Anyhoo, we met and took the bus across town (now we know how to) to Ilsan beach where we had a jolly time and saw the first of our Ulsan Scenic Sights.

Us frolicking at the beach, which was suprisingly not that busy (by Korean standards). We then walked up the side of the cliff (by stairs) and on the way stopped for a delicious snack of these small seashells which are boiled and then you just suck out the little meat inside. Tasty snack. We passes on the silkworm larvae this time around.At the top was a lane of many many stalls selling seafood and cooked shells and mussels. At the end was the pine forest which is one of the scenic sights I posted earlier. It was indeed much cooler there as a nice breeze comes off the ocean. We were able to give our busy sweat glands a break.

The forest breaks onto the ocean and the coast is littered with tons of smooth rock formations which are quite scenic. I remember seeing an amazing picture of these cool rock formations sticking out of the mist. No mist today, just sun. Here's a snapshot.

It was fun to walk around. We saw the famous female divers who collect shells and cook them on the beach. You can sit on the rocks and have a diver bring you shells right out of the water, cook them and within a few minutes you're sucking down the freshest seafood you'll ever get. Old men are fishing off the edges. And in the background of all this scenery is the ports of Ulsan with all its barges, cranes and smokestacks. What a contrast.

We walked back after a couple hours out in the heat and we were hungry. So the girls took us for shabushabu which is supposedly Japanese. Undoubtedly one of our favourite dining experiences so far. You have a stove on your table which is boiling this flavoured water. You then dump veggies (lettuce, mushrooms, onions, etc...) into it and then slowly dump really thin slices of pork into the water. It cooks almost instantly and you eat the pork and veggies, dipping it in soya sauce/wasabi mix or wrapping it in some sort of pickled pink radish circles (which tasted oddly like salt and vinegar chips). It was a gastronomic delight. But it wasn't over yet. Then, when all the meat is eaten up you toss a bunch of noodles in (looked homemade to me), some spicy kimchi mix and cook them in this porky, veggie water and then eat. Oh yeah. And then top it off with a final course of kimchi/seaweed fried rice. We were stuffed but in a fantastic way. Definitely going to have to do that again.

We made our way back into town, tuckered but pleased. It was really good to hang out with some Korean people and have them show us around a bit. They're English is sketchy at best (how do they teach??) but it was fun to try and figure out what each other was saying...worked pretty good. It's amazing how far actions, a Korean/English dictionary and a willingness to try will take you. We then stopped at Starbucks for a deserved reprieve from the heat. Only to find little reprieve on our pocketbooks. I know people complain about the $4.50 Mocha back home but a grande mocha frappucino will set you back $7 here and a 250g pack of beans will set you back $16. Whoah.

So we are having fun and looking forward to more fun on our days off. We'll try and keep you posted.

7.25.2006

Is Anyone Out There?

Been oddly silent in the comment section lately... is anyone (besides Jen!!) still out there? Jen, you're a blogger to the core! lol

Nolana is feeling crappy beyond belief tonight and that is not cool. Not sure what it is but from seeing her and hearing her it is not pretty and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, let alone her. Hopefully it goes away soon! And that I don't get whatever it is.

We went out for eats the other night to a place that had been reccomended to us... but we couldn't remember what it had been reccomended for. Got there and the older gent who managed/owned the place seated us and managed to spit out "chicken" in English so we said sure and waited to see what we got. We got dak baeksuk (see below):

It's a whole chicken that is stuffed with rice and other goodies and then boiled to make soup. A bit of work to get all the bones out but pretty tasty! As you can see in the picture Korean meals come with what is called banchan which is all the little dishes you see on the table. They are free, refillable and contain ususally veggies and some sort of seafood dish. They are all for sharing so everyone picks at them throughout the meal. No meal is complete without at least a few banchan.

So at this meal we got served a plate of onions and green chili peppers as one banchan. This was new and half way through the meal I decided to pick up one of the peppers and ask my lovely (and intelligent) wife, "Do you think that it's hot?" to which she replied "Of course" to which I replied "But I thought the green ones weren't hot" as I took half of the pepper into my mouth in one gigantic bite. The resulting spiciness that I experienced was beyond anything I have ever felt and beyond what I might wish to feel again. I am all for experiencing everything to the max but this is one experience I would probably pass up were it to face me again.

Just a couple pics and I will wrap this up. First one is of Nolana who asked that I take this picture because she was so proud of herself. She managed to get her first Korean reward card for Home Plus (where we often shop) without speaking Korean. Now we can get money back when we shop!!

The next pic is us coming back from Masan on the bus, tired but happy. Just to show all of you that we're still alive and kicking. Are you??

7.22.2006

Busy, Busy

First off, sorry on the delay with posting. My goal was to post a couple times a week but this week I dropped the ball. Too much going on but that means lots to tell you guys now, right?!

School has been hectic. Lots of demands on us being the new foreign teachers and we're finding it a touch too much right now. I am teaching the most hours of any one in the school and it makes for a real long day. But in general the classes are alright (except for one period where I have the Basic class and let me tell you, here basic means they don't speak any English!) and the kids are generally fun to be around.

But it is outside school hours that we are having a blast! Lots to do and explore. On Thursday we went to the market that's held just down the road a bit. I went last Thursday when the weather was nice and it was PACKED, this week it was pouring rain and only the diehards were out. It’s been said that markets are the most Korean way to shop so we had to make a few purchases. The picture is of one of the stalls in the market, selling any size of dried anchovies and other seafood. Any size you want, you got it. Dried squid, you got it. Lengths and lengths of dried seaweed, yours! Dried shrimp, it's there. And that's just one stall. There is a long street lined with stalls and stalls. Most are selling veggies and seafood (just hanging there to buy) but there are also pre made foods, clothes (hey, who wouldn't want to buy their bras from a stall across from the fish stall!), cooking ware, snacks and a hodge podge of other things. Live seafood, dead seafood, dried seafood: there's a ton of the stuff. Which I love, Nolana not so much! We didn't get any real good pictures because it was raining so hard, so next time we go we'll get some to share. We did buy a few things though. Some fruit we thought was peaches but turned out to be some weird peach/apple combo. Fuzzy like a peach on the outside, crucnchy like an apple on the inside and tastes like both. I also got some sort of fried noodle in a batter... cheap and tasty but I am sure they fall under the category of artery clogger. Also some spicy noodle deli stuff that may or may not contain uncooked meat. No jokes, I did a taste test and it was pretty tasty so I bought 200 grams of it (yeah, my Korean has progressed so I can ask for that in Korean!) and when I got home I realized there might be raw meat in it and I am not sure if I should cook it before I eat it. So I am waiting until Monday when I can ask a teacher at the school. I Also got a snack: a hotdog on a stick, fried in batter and then rolled in sugar. Mmmmmm. Tasty.

On Friday everyone at the school was in a tizzy because it was their end of semester production of Wizard of Oz. Who knew Korean kindergarten kids could put on an english rendition of Oz? Made for a busy day (actually all week was kinda hectic because of it) but we got to skip our last classes and watch. It was pretty cute and actually impressive that these little rambunctious kids could hold it together and remember their few lines. Here's a couple pics because Nolana thought they were just so cute!’

After the show we had to do our song and dance and introduce ourselves to all the parents, see what nice foreign teachers we have teaching your kids!


Later Friday night we want walking through the park again. There was another one of the open air concerts going on but it was all opera style singers and it just really wasn't our thing. It has also been quite smoggy here lately which is not cool but does give an ethereal quality to the park and makes for some good sunsets because the sun is reflecting off the smog. Here's a picture from the park, you can see how the smog makes for a cool light.We decided to walk the other way in the park and uncovered a few more of its treasures. There is a massive tobogganing hill which is covered on sort of plastic strands (not really sure how to describe it) and you can toboggan there, whoah. It's a couple thousand won to rent a sled and go down this huge hill (we think). There is also this crazy driver's course for little cars. We guessed it had to be some driver training thing because it's all set up with the right signs, lanes, train crossings, pedestrian walks, etc... to replicate a real street system. It was crazy. We also found some huge, crazy kid play areas and Butterfly gardens. It was night so nothing was really open but this park is crazy!

This weekend we went to Masan to visit Matt and Shawna one last time before they head off to Canada and then England. Good to chat with them, they are neat people. Got some house stuff from them to enhance our meagre possesions, toured the pedestrian/shopping area of Masan, caught part of the Street Dance Festival that happened to be going on there, and topped it off with a great meal at a great hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant. All in Masan. Who knew. Fun trip and our first time to visit another town/city here. Next will have to be an overnight stay.

One more week of school and then our 9 days off (crazy timing) so we're trying to pull together our trip to Vietnam and if that doesn't work, somewhere, anywhere!

7.17.2006

Playing in the Rain

We woke up today and saw it was raining. Nothing torrential but raining none the less. Not beach weather though, that's for sure. Then Suzie, our head teacher, gives us a ring and says she's going to her temple, do we want to come? Yeah we wanna go rub Buddha's belly! So off we go. On the way there it turns into a torrential downpour... too late now right? After a beautiful one hour drive through luscious green mountains and eye-stretching lengths of rice fields we arrive. Her temple happens to be one of the main temples in Korea, Tongdosa. So we have an inside look and tour guide for one of the sights of Korea. Even though it was raining we had a great time. Here's how it went down....

First we drive up (it's on the mountainside) to the actual temple, the one that's still used(which is one of 12 or so that are part of Tongdosa. She says her prayers and bows. She takes the time to explain to us how it works, etc... and we leave with an authentic Buddhist prayer book. The temple is pretty impressive in its own right as it is meant as a functioning place of prayer. Then we head on over to the monk's place (who she happens to drop in on now and again) and we end up having tea for an hour with a monk who is keenly interested in Canada. Suzie says normally she stops by for ten minutes but we were there for over an hour. He seemed like a really friendly guy but the funniest thing was when this revered monk folds up a coffee bag (the foil kind) so there's a point at one end and works on cleaning his ear with it as we talk. It's a cultural thing but I could not help but smile. Nice guy though and we even got a picture with him!!

The temple there had some small gardens with some carvings and little stone pagoda things, etc... In the rain it was quite beautiful. Here's a pic of the gardens with one of the wood carving guys (on the right) that I thought were pretty cool. Actually the monk had a sweet black and white picture in his lodging of him with a grin and another monk in the middle of a belly laugh behind two of these gruff wooden carvings. I want that picture!

After our visit we went down and checked out the main temple which is the tourist trap. One blessing the rain brought was that the normal screaming hordes that would have been there were scared away by the downpour. Still a few brave souls but for the most part we were able to hear the chanting coming from the temple. The first thing you see is is this (note pouring rain!):It is a graveyard of important people/deities in Korean Buddhism. It goes way back with lots of tombs like the ones you see and some more basic slabs which you can see interspersed. It's not royalty, they got buried in burial mounds which I hope to see when we go to Gyongju. Next on the way to the temple are these imposing dudes which represent heaven and hell... though they kinds look like they could both represent hell!

After all this walk you enter into the main area which is guarded by four sketchy looking dudes which represent the four different directions. Inside are all the old buildings which are generally from the Silla dynasty or rebuilt from that era. The thing about Korea is that is has a ton of history but not much of it survived the Japanese occupation and the Korean War. The inside is all stone pagodas and buildings which are clearly old, some from the 1600's. Koreans still worship in the main hall which was built in 1674, imagine having something historical like that as your place of worship. Though I don't think it's a place where people go regularly. Here's a pic of some of them, take particular note of the monk with his pants all rolled up to avoid the mud and water!!

It was a pretty sweet visit and our first chance to get out of the city and see some more of Korea. We were suprised by the lush greeness everywhere but it is rainy season, supposedly it stays that way until Fall when everything turns fall colors.

On the way home Suzie stopped for some boiled corn from a roadside stall. We had seen these all over but hadn't stopped to purchase the wares yet. It really was pretty tasteless and chewy, nothing like juicy, sweet Canadian corn.

But it was a good Korean adventure. We got home soaked and feeling like we had a great day! Hey, it's not everyday you sit down and enjoy tea with a Korean monk (and the tea was stuff he grew!) I am excited to have more adventures out of Ulsan to more great places like this. Hope you enjoyed the adventure too, especially the pictures.

7.15.2006

We're Rich! Pt. 2

Ok so here's the pic of the breakdancers....
I think our pictures are so big I can only put so many in one post... next time I will make them smaller. So after the performance someone gets up on the stage and says something in Korean and everyone immediately gets up out of their seats and quickly congregates around this little tent. So we figure let's see what's going on (actually it was Nolana's idea, giving credit where it is due). They were giving out goodies and we each nabbed a plum drink and a goodie from a local bakery. So we had a snack.

Right next to where the concert was going on was this crazy looking shelter which housed a really, really big bell. Here's a couple pictures.

As you can see in the 2nd picture which shows the big beam which rings the bell, it has to be a very large bell! I was kinda tempted to push the beam but as you can see it is chained to the ground. I guess lots of people are probably tempted to push it.

On the way back we saw this path where people were taking their shoes off and walking down. So we checked out the sign next to it and it had a picture of big feet and we figured out the path was supposed to massage your feet. So we took our sandals off and did it. It actually kinda hurt. It went from a section with little pebbles sticking out to big cement ridges back to small pebbles to larger rocks to more concrete ridges. It was craziness and generally a little awkward but when we finished (we actually took the early exit) our feet felt totally different. It was an experience.

That's the first day of our long weekend and everything is looking brighter now that we know we have money to do things! We might go to a Buddhist temple tomorrow with our head teacher (if she goes, it's her temple) and we want to go check out the black pebble beach. And we want to take it a bit easy, take some time to settle into our place. Seems like we've been here much longer but it's only been a week and couple days! So much we have learned in a short time! Alright, take care peeps.

We're Rich!

Over the past couple of days we have been trying to figure out how to get more cash. The won we had brought with us was quickly running out and we had yet to find a way to get money out of our bank back home or use our credit cards for cash. That was a problem. But today we found an international bank machine (different than your average ATM we found out) and got cash. Woohoo! One of the many joys of living somewhere that you have no clue how things work.

One of the crazy things here is that scattered along the streets are little video game units and prize machines circa 1980's. Here's a pic of some kids gathered around one.

Often there is a lawn chair or an old matt (like in this one) in front of it where you can sit and play. Lots of them are soccer games and kids flock to them, it's kinda weird.

Tonight (Sat.) we went to the Grand Park and explored more of it. It really is a huge park! Nolana was saying that she wouldn't want to raise kids in a city like this but the park is something that she would love to have close by. It is filled with families walking, biking, rollerblading and playing soccer or hitting a badminton birdie back and forth. The park is this little pocket of nature completely surrounded by the neon lights and highrise monsters. Kind of surreal. The windmill had its lights on tonight and it was turning. It was gorgeous so here are a couple pictures to share with you.


As we continued walking we happened along some open air concert that was going on in the park. It was near the end but we caught the tail end of some break dancing type performance and then a song. The breakdancing was amazing and we remember seeing a poster for something going on in the park so we want to check the times and see if we can go back and take it all in. Here's a pic of the breakdancing. Actually, check the next post for a continuation. Thanks!

7.12.2006

Waygooks

So an internet story... up until now our internet has been really sketchy. The school called and had it hooked up for us but it has been really off and on, sometimes we get service, sometimes we don't, sometimes we get really weak service... but always a really weak signal. Seemed weird seeing that Korea is like 2nd in the world for internet use, this is not a third world country. So the school called the internet people to come fix it. Seems internet in out apt. is not wireless like I thought it was (didn't see any connection) and that the previous residents must have thrown out the modem. So the small bit of internet we were recieving was off a neighbour or user somewhere out there. NOW we have reliable internet. YAY!

We have discovered the fast food of the Korean culture and it is great! It's kimbap and it's the Korean sushi. Seaweed outside with rice, ham, egg, pickled radish, carrot, crab and some root inside. It's super tasty and only 1000 won for a whole role. So we can run out and get it (there's a 24 hour kimbap place like 5 min walk from here) and it costs us like 3 bucks for supper. For two of us. Now that is what I am talking about!

Also, the head teacher gave us some kimchi (what Korean household can be without it!!) so we have 3 types in our fridge right now: the traditional cabbage kimchi, cucumber and green onion kimchi and sesame leaf kimchi. All of course marinaded in chili! Spiciness. Mmmmmmm.

The local supermarket has had ice cream treats on sale so recently Nolana and I have been treating ourselves. I mean, it is stinking hot here and humid like nothing we have experienced so what is better than ice cream! 250 won (25-30 cents) for all sorts of goodies like revelos or oreo bars or something more exotic like canteloupe flavoured ice cream bars (my favourite!) or something decadent like chocolate and fudge. So today I went and stocked up. Now, every time a foreigner (or waygook in Korean) walks down the street with a grocery bag, WITHOUT FAIL, if they look at you they only look at what's in your grocery bag. Some national fascination with what foreigners might buy. Could be a reality show. No smiles, no looking at how much I look like David Beckham (my kids think so!), no looking at how much I am sweating (buckets). Just, what could the waygook possibly be buying. So I felt guilty walking home with a big bag of ice cream. Back off, yes I'm buying ice cream and beer, AGAIN!! It's hot, I can buy whatever I want!

Another thing here is that everywhere you go kids are coming up to you to say hi. We are like B level celebrities when we walk the streets or cruise the supermarket aisles. Kids come up to practice the 2 or 3 English phrases that they feel comfortable repeating to you. "Hello", "What's your name?", "Where are you from?". So at the supermarket today a kid comes up and gives me his speil. Then when I am checking out with all my ice cream he happens to be checking out with his mom beside me. He looks over, sees my stash and in awe, 'Whoah, ice cream!". Which of course draws a laugh from the cashier who has yet to say a word to me otherwise. Gotta love it.

Really, we have it so good here. Good food, freedom to do whatever and the unparalleled feeling of being in a totally foreign place. We have a long weekend this week so we're going to go explore some of the scenic sights of Ulsan. I can't wait!

7.09.2006

And Then The Rain Came

It is currently the rainy season in Korea but up to this point we have yet to see a drop of rain. Up to this point. Saturday afternoon it started sprinkling and then by the evening it was deluging (You can verbify anything). So everywhere we went we got soaked because we haven't invested in an umbrella yet. We have now.

Saturday night we went out with Nolana's friends Matt and Shawna who have been teaching in Korea the past 2 years, as well as with about 4 other teachers they knew. We hit a pretty sweet Korean/Chinese place for dinner and then were off to a soju bar for drinks and snacks. The Korean tradition is to make the evening a bit of a progressive dinner. Dinner at one place, drinks at another, then off to a noreabang to karaoke it up and then back to a bar for more drinks. We skipped the noraebang but hit a foreigners bar after, well, being at the bar. It was good to chat with people who know the ropes and have much wisdom to impart. Also, seeing Shawna conversant enough to order food, etc... was all the more motivation for me to work on my Korean so I can do the same. It makes things so much easier.

Today (Sun.) we made a trip to Home Plus (kinda like a Superstore) which is fairly close by, only about a 2500 won taxi trip. Here in Korea taxis are cheap and for short distances it is about the same price as taking the bus for Nolana and I. So taxis it is. So much easier. And Home Plus had lots of good things, so we'll likely shop there when we need to. And we stopped for sanjok, which is meat kabobs with sauce on them. Yummy.

The rain stopped this evening so we went on a walk to scout things out around us and to see a bit of the Grand Park. We found a fast food place close by as well as a french style bakery. Both good to know. Here's a view from our walk.

The Grand Park is huge! It is quite impressive. We just saw a small part of it but looking at the map it is acres of water parks, a petting zoo, gazebos, putting greens, kids zone, and tons of trails. Like any place in Korea it is always busy busy but we're excited that it's so close by and that we get to explore it! (No pics cause Blogger won't let me upload another.)

We had a pretty good first weekend in Korea, feeling good about all the new sights, sounds, smells and people!

7.08.2006

A Whole New World

So many new sights, smells and images to sort through. This place is completely different from Canada but at the same time so many things have a hint of the familiar that it doesn't feel like we are a half a world away. So time for some ramblings.

Our apartment is quite modern and nice. Here are some pics.

Our door opens into the entry and the hallway you see in the pic. On the left are two doors, a bedroom that we are kind of using for storage right now and the bathroom. On the right are two doors as well: another bedroom which we really aren't using at all and the small laundry room. No dryer in there, all the clothes are hung on a rack on our deck. Straight ahead is our bedroom (as you can see the house is a bit of a mess already as we are yanking stuff out of suitcases).

The whole back wall is closet space which is a ton of space. The bed is rock hard. Seriously, a couple blankets over a bed of concrete. The first night my back was sore from flying, etc.. and I just could not sleep on it. This morning I woke up with a sore shoulder because I slept funny on the hard mattress. There's going to be alot more bed related injuries...

To the right of our bedroom is the kitchen and our living room.

We have a dishwasher (that we don't know how to work) and the fridge we found out makes a beeping sound when it's not closed all the way. Pretty high tech. Our living room came with a TV and VCR and desk but no couch or sitting place of any sort. So we sit on the floor.

We have a deck with a great view. Or at least a very Korean view.

A high rise apartment! They are all around us and our 4 storey building is the smallest around. It's a long skinny deck and on the one end is a rack to hang all of our laundry to dry.

One last pic of the bathroom.

As you can see the shower is more of a... space. The floor angles to a drain behind the sink. At least we have hot water.

The streets here are super chaotic and crowded. People park haphazardously on both sides which makes the driving area really narrow. Add pedestrains walking down the middle of the street (no sidewalks) and large trucks trying to deliver something or other and you can imagine why they don't reccomend foreigners drive in Korea. It's madness.

We spent Friday at the school observing and being quite overwhelmed at times. The kids all have the crazy energy and all love to shout any answer or your name over and over. Nothing like walking into a class and having the kids break into a chant worthy of a soccer pitch, "Eric-teacher, Eric-teacher, Eric-teacher..." They were all so excited to meet the new foreign teachers and especially me because I am the first guy teacher to have worked there. I even taught one class of older kids. We start Monday and that should be interesting.

We went out Friday night for supper with the head teacher and another teacher to an all you can eat buffet. I had an octopus. Not octopus tentacles but a whole octupus. It was a baby one and fit in one big bite in my mouth. Whoah. We also tried a bunch of other things that we had no clue what they were.

Oh yeah, and Friday was the head teacher's birthday so they ordered a couple pizzas for a party... and a cake. The pizza was sweet potato pizza and the cake was an ice cream cake... green tea flavoured. Some seriously weird combos going on here.

Today (Sat.) we went grocery shopping. Almost bought the green tea flavoured breakfast cereal but after tasting the ice cream we decided to pass. We bought some mystery meat to make spaghetti with but passed up on the 2 feet long skinny fish that were laying in the meat department, that and the whole dried squid. But ice cream treats were on sale for about 25 cents so we bought some of those!!

We also went out for a beer with the teachers after dinner. The guy at the table just down from us passed out drunk. Like, literally fell off his chair onto the floor, face first. His friends just propped him up on of their laps and kept right on drinking. Supposedly it's quite common to see men passed out drunk here in the summer.

Lots of street vendours everywhere selling fruit and food, we're going to have to try some things sometime.

The air is always so full of smells here. First, the air is humid so it feels so thick in your nose and then it is always so full of smells. So different from the cool, clean air of Canada.

Well, I think that's about it for now. I keep forgetting to take the camera when we go out but I promise I will have more pictures to show you how our new life in Korea is going and what we are experiencing! Anyonghi kyeseyo.

7.06.2006

Are We Having Fun Yet?

No pictures because we haven't taken any yet, but just a note to let you all know we arrived safely in Ulsan, SK. It was quite the journey....

About half way through the flight Nolana starts feeling naseous and starts throwing up. Fun. Then with about an hour left in the flight (to Seoul) I start feeling kinda naseous. We make it to Seoul (late) with Nolana feeling like she's about to die and me feeling increasingly sick. Our terminal is on the other side of the airport, the very farthest gate and we arrive their spent. We board the plane to Busan and I start heaving. Fun. Long and short it I heaved all night and today both Nolana and I are still feeling gross. Though I feel a bit better now that I have slept some. What a way to start.

We stopped by the school today to say hi to the kids who have been eagerly awaiting our arrival and to meet the other teachers. It is quite a nice school, very modern and such. The staff there seems quite nice and eager to meet us... and they are so happy that I am a man!! It looks like I am the only guy teacher and must be the first guy teacher in some time because they are all so excited to have a man teacher! It was short and sweet as we were feeling crappy but tomorrow (Friday) we are going back to observe a day of classes.

The apartment is great, it's probably nicer than our digs back home. I will post some pics and do a blog on that soon.

We walked and bought our first things at a supermarket here... water and orange juice because that's all our stomachs are handling right now! Though alot of thing sound really close. We are also about a block from the Great Park which looks quite nice and also includes a massive waterpark with waterslides. When we're feeling better we'll check that out.

When they said we were a 2 min walk from the school they must have meant 2 seconds cause it's just around the corner.

So that's that for now, I promise more info and lots of pics as we get up on our feet and figuring things out. Keep us in your prayers and especially Nolana as she is feeling really crappy and thats not really helping with adjusting to all the changes. Anyhoo, more to come...

7.03.2006

Down to the Wire



At this time tomorrow we will be in Seattle waiting for our flight to Seoul.

Today we ran the last of our errands, picking up some picture books of Victoria to share with people over there and some local fruit wines for gifts... and now we officially have everything we need to go and we are ready!

The weekend was great as we got to hang out with family, friends and family and enjoy a great long weekend with great weather. BBQ's, birthday parties for Brielle, breakfast with each set of parents, dessert and drinks with friends... we got it all!

And of course some goodbyes. We said goodbye to my crazy sister-in-law Ang who always makes us laugh and is always good for an inappropriate joke (Can YOU find the Twins?).

And tonight we will have to say goodbye to John and tomorrow morning at the airport will be the last goodbyes. The great thing about goodbyes is the fact that we'll see people again and we'll keep in touch so goodbyes are not terminal, they are not the "be all and end all". Just a temporary goodbye and when we meet up again we can fill each other in all the adventures that have been had.

So I had a dream last night (I slept like crap) where I thought my blog was interesting and people actually left comments in that vein. Hmmmmm.

And of course another picture of Brielle. We had her today cause Ang is gone so she gets to spend the day with Aunty and Uncle. Her and I were rock stars until Aunty told us to knock it off. Uncles are always more fun!!

Well, adios, until we meet again. Make sure to check here often cause I am sure that once we are there we will have tons of experiences to share and lots of pics. And lots of bafflement. And lots of excitement. And all around GOOD TIMES!!! Rawk on.