Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Murals and soups and teddy's, oh my!

Hello again!! I have now been in Korea for over three weeks. Despite being lost and confused nearly all the time, the massive language barrier, and my constant close proximity to children (shudder shudder), I am enjoying myself immensely. I am definitely still getting settled in but at least I can go to the store without feeling like I have to take a nap afterwards. Side note about the grocery store: Workers literally yell at customers to buy things or about sales but since I don't understand Korean I am impervious to advertising! Haaaaa! It's like a really non-dramatic Twilight Zone episode. Their mouths are moving but I just keep looking for the popcorn. 

Now onto what you really came here for- the pictures.

I walk past these murals every day on my way to work, which is about a 7 minute walk from my apartment through a park. It is lovely. 

Though my friend Amber looks a bit suspicious/disgusted here, I'm pretty sure she was just concentrating. All the restaurants gives you side dishes that consist of kimchi, tofu, veggies in mysterious sauces, among other things. At this place everyone eats out of the big pot in the middle which cooks in front of you. Koreans are really into cooking things at the table. At first I was nervous about something going awry and ending up like two-face from Batman, but now I poke and prod like, "is this done yet?!"

How many times have you been to the movies and been like, dude I need my squid! and there is none to be had? Never? Well, alright. 

Found this gem across from the movie theater. Fries covered in sauces/cheese. DON'T MIND IF I DO!

That's right, 5000 calories and you don't even have to walk your ass into one of the golden arched chemical factory pits of hell. 

I will do whatever you tell me sign! That yellow box is noooo bueno.

A night out in the City Hall area of Jeju. Lots of action until the wee hours of the morn (and then some) and mysterious street food rumored to be delicious. I have yet to partake. 

Though it looks like an innocent tea kettle, that shiny Aladdin lamp is full of rice wine called "makkoli". It's not too shabby.

Though it looks like an innocent tea cup, this is in fact a margarita with a Corona inside of it. My train of thought was, I like Corona, I like margaritas, so together as one? The ultimate delight! Wrong. It was actually pretty gross. It looks badass though, riiiiight?

I ventured out one stormy evening to find some soup for my cold and what a score! Got all of this wonderment for about 6000 won ($5).

This soup came boiling and we cracked an egg in it. This soup had a bunch of different types of mushrooms in it, ones I had never seen before. DELISH.

That is not tofu, that is one of the many mushrooms this soup boasted in a spicy broth. Mmmmm.

More soup. Am I the only one obsessed with soup? This is a giant pot of glory with not one but two eggs getting cooked to perfection in it...alright, done with the soup pics. Geez I need to get out more.

Part of our dinner posse who goes out a couple nights a week after work. Here we are at a traditional sit down on the floor restaurant waiting for...

KOREAN PANCAKES!!! The green one is green onion and the other one is kimchi. They both had some sort of meat in them too. Delicious and filling!
One night after dinner my friends and I went to this arcade sort of place, though it's a lot different than an American arcade. It has karaoke booths (where we totally sang "Part of Your World" from Little Mermaid and it was AWESOME), and lots of random Asian games including this one. Called "Bishi Boshi," you hit different colored orbs per the directions from one of the many random games in its arsenal. It doesn't sound that fun but it is up there with Tetris, Sequence and Rummy as the best games ever. Ridiculously fun. Side note, my forearm hurt the next day. Pathetic or impressive? You decide.

So all of that occurred in Jeju City which is the lovely place I call home. On Saturday I decided to go on an adventure to the south side of Jeju Island to a town called Seogwipo (pronounced so-gee-po. I pronounced in phonetically and my polite friends laughed openly at me). I took a VERY curvy 45 minute bus ride (during which I curbed vomiting all over the place by going to my happy place- NPR podcasts. Good to know American politics are still cray-cray).
This is one of the signature statues of Jeju Island. These are all over the place. 

 I went to this place called Alive Museum, which is a 3D interactive art museum where you become one with the art (which I guess is implied in interactive). I had a blast.

Paint the car on the screen and lights change the car in front of you. A real sense of power. MWAHAHA.

This very elaborate teddy bear village was included. I just laughed and snapped photos because what else do you do in this weird and unnecessary place?

This was one of the art pieces you can get into. I have another good one but I'm saving that for something special (ahem Christmas cards ahem).

 I also went to a waterfall! I didn't realize how nature deprived I was until I got there and felt this huge sense of exhileration and peace. The smell of ocean was potent and walking on the rocks was therapeutic.

 As I was going to catch a bus, I was directed down this long path. The sun was out but the air was crisp, and it was so beautiful.

One of those, "oh yeah I'm in Korea" moments that sporadically happen.

Classy ass wall. 

Well that completes this episode of Kim's adventures abroad. I think about family and friends at home every day as I mosey about looking for things I haven't seen before. It all reminds me of how much I love you all and how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life that miss me when I'm gone, who I will be ecstatic to see again when the time comes. : )