Thursday, March 26, 2009

Intermission....

I apologize to those who actually read my blog for the lack of posts as of late-however we have recently made the big (HUGE) move from Korea back to Canada and I have been a zombie for the past few days. I will continue to blog about the things I ALREADY miss about Korea shortly and will finish the countdown very very soon. Stay patient and stay tuned...

Love K

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What I will miss most about Korea #9: The Seogwipo Harbour and the Teepee Cafe

Among the most beautiful aspects of South Korea is the little unique places and spaces that I always seem to come across. One of these spaces is a little place in Seogwipo City called the Teepee Cafe which is nestled in the Seogwipo harbour. The Seogwipo Harbour acts as temporary home to many events and festivals, but even when nothing is going on, there is plenty to do around the area. A mere minutes walk is the famous Cheojeon Waterfalls (a popular date destination). However, my favourite part of this area is the Teepee cafe, where you can enjoy a fresh pot of Champchi Kimchi-Chigae (a spicy tuna and kimchi stew served right at your table). With its signature teepee and catamaran, this cafe/bar/pub gives off an inviting, unique and eclectic feel. Plus its always fun to enjoy a pint of beer or a shot of soju outside by the ocean while listening to cheesy 70s ballads...

Love K

What I will miss most about Korea #10: Jeju City!

As I mentioned in a previous entry, Jeju Island is divided into two distinct parts: south and north side. I already wrote about Seogwipo (the south side) so now it's time to mention the slightly cooler (weather wise) but just as interesting north side: Jeju-si! This past year, I have considered Jeju-si my home...and what a home it is! This tiny little bustling city, has everything and anything one could ever want from a big city, without the crowds, pollution and big metropolis stress. Although Jeju city doesn't have the natural wonder that Seogwipo has, it is still an amazing city that is surrounded by beautiful beaches, orums (mini-mountains) and a plethora of parks. On top of all that, however, is the fabulous night-life that the city offers. On virtually every night, students, adults, and kids alike take to the streets to let the good times roll! Seriously, even though the city isn't very large, it is always bustling with social life-I love this about Jeju-si! Some of my favourite places: The Factory (used to be Led Zeppelin), Jung-an-Ro (main shopping area with an underground shopping maze), The Doors (a small bar that features live music on occasion), Nox and Nox (an adorable Norebong-singing room), Jaeng-E cafe and of course Bagdad Cafe (a FABULOUS Indian restaurant-to be mentioned in a later blog entry!)...My Korean home, Jeju-si, will be missed immensely--boo hoo!!!












Love K

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What I will miss most about Korea #11: Korean Magazines

Considering the fact that I can't read Hangul (the Korean writing system), and yet I still enjoy "reading" Korean magazines-says a lot! Maybe it's the fact that they are different and the whole "I don't really understand what's going on" factor makes them even more alluring than English magazines, whatever the reason I just can't seem to get enough. My particular favorites are Korean Vogue girl and Korean Elle Girl-I admit that this is mostly because of the free gifts that usually accompany the publications (I have about three planners, Four L'Occitane creams and countless books that I have collected in the manor of "free gifts"). Either way, there is nothing that I love more than settling myself one of the many adorable cafes that line the streets, and cracking open a brand new Korean magazine...sigh...this will definitely be missed tremendously!

Love K

What I will miss most about Korea #12: BUSAN!!!

I have been a little bit neglectful as of late, and in my defense it is because we have been packing up a storm, cleaning up our apartment and moving to our good friend Michelle's house (all in the span of 3 days-stressful??? A tad!) But now that it's all pretty much done I can concentrate on blogging about all the wonderful, interesting and slightly random things I am going to miss about this great country. So that being said, number 12 on the list is a little-big city called BUSAN! My husband once said that Busan is the only city in Korea that could use a Batman-although I think that this view is a tad bit harsh-Busan is definitely a place that is unlike any other on the peninsula. First of all there are a lot of Russian sailors, so it's always shocking to see so many non-Koreans in one place. Secondly, it is a port town and, as is the case with most port-towns, shady characters are a-plenty. On that note however, I have to say that Busan is an awesome place to spend time in. Michelle and I have had the fortune of visiting twice now for a girl's weekend and every time it's been FABULOUS!!! My favorite area is Nampo-dong (of course). This is the main shopping, restaurant and cafe area, but it also has one of the largest vintage/second-hand markets of any place I have ever seen in my life. Honestly, it is a vintage hunter's paradise...and seeing as Michelle and I are quite the second-hand lovers, this place is truly a wonder!
Aside from shopping, eating and drinking, however, Busan has some pretty great sites. It is home to the largest and most popular beach in Korea (Hyundea Beach-sorry about the miss-spelling) and also one of the largest fish markets in Asia (seriously I always wonder how there is anything alive left in the sea after wandering through this place). Busan also has a really great Aquarium and to be honest I'm not one for such tourist attractions but even I was in awe of this place. Lastly, it is nestled in between mountains and borders the ocean which makes it an interesting place to explore from a natural point (plus lots of temples to explore as well :-)...In a nut-shell, Busan is a guaranteed good time, one that will be most definitely missed!





Love K

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What I will miss most about Korea #13: Seogwipo City (the south side)

The foreigner culture of Jeju Island can be divided into two very distinct groups: The NORTH side and the SOUTH side (no animosity between either side :-). I've had the fortune to live on both sides of this cultural environment. When we first arrived in Jeju, we were located in Seogwipo (the south side and otherwise known affectionately as "high-five city"), which is smaller, warmer, a little bit more isolated and definitely more natural. I LOVED living here-the town is gorgeous and a little bit more laid back than its northern counterpart. Seogwipo has a population of about 50,000 inhabitants, it is surrounded by the ocean, cliffs and little fishing nooks. It's gorgeous and a great introduction to living in Korea. We met some really great people here-the community is after all a lot smaller than the North side (stay tuned for that blog coming shortly). The city is located literally across (or over) mountain Halla (an extinct volcano which is responsible for the creation of Jeju Island). Although Seogwipo is a small town, there are plenty of things to do, explore and see. It has one of the largest fish markets in Jeju-do, an experience in itself, and it is home to Oedelgae (already mentioned in the countdown) which speaks entirely for itself. I will most definitely miss this little gem...
Love K

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What I will miss most about Korea #14: (some) Food :-)

Hmmmm...what can I say about Korean Food??? Well I will be honest-I don't LOVE all of it, that's for sure. Because I am quite a picky eater and I don't eat any pork or beef, this definitely makes eating in Korea a little difficult at times. However, I can certainly appreciate the uniqueness of the Korean cuisine. I think most people will agree when I say that Korean food is...different. For example, I have never seen quite as many fermented vegetables in one cuisine- EVER (and I am Slovak-we love our pickled veggies!) Secondly, if you're not a fan of spicy food...GOOD LUCK!!! Koreans love their spicy red pepper paste-on virtually everything! (Thank goodness that's the one thing I actually LOVE about the food here!) I have to say, though, that regardless of the frustrations I have with eating in Korea sometimes, I have come to appreciate, enjoy and crave some goodies. One of my favorite foods in Korea is Tak Glabi, which is basically spicy chicken with vegetables served in a communal skillet for everyone to share. Another favorite is "jook" or porridge, which comes in many different flavours and is a staple for a cold winter day. I have included some names and pictures of a few of the Korean basics below, however I must warn you my spelling is probably VERY wrong :-)
Aside from the actual food, I have to say that the style in which most food is enjoyed here is my favorite part of any meal. Korean culture is extremely communal, meaning when you are invited to a restaurant be sure to bring your "sharing hat". Nobody ever orders meals for themselves, instead, everything is shared by a group-drinks included in some cases. I feel that this is probably one of the most beautiful traditions in the culture-and something I will miss very much...






Love K
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