Dreaming in Korean

A few months ago it finally happened. In my broken English I finally spoke Korean in a dream. It felt awesome! I’ve heard it’s always a good sign when that happens, in regards to language acquisition that is. 

So last night was dream number 2. Here goes:

I was babysitting this small 8-year-old. When I picked her up from school she was balling. “What’s wrong?” I asked, and she started to tell me that she couldn’t live in her house anymore because a ghost was haunting her. I told her I’d see what I could do. We get to her place and there it is. A boy, a creepy dead looking ghost boy. And he is staring at us with the most stoic expression. Creeeeepy. The girl is covering her eyes and wont stop crying so I have to guide her and drag her to the apartment. Her family and I all watch as this boy appears in the dining area and just stares at us. Frustrated I yell at him. “Leave! Stop haunting her!” ….

I couldn’t help it. I had to draw it. It’s moments like this I wish I was a digital artist. Sigh, oh well ^_^ One day! 

Hahaa … so yes. It was a Korean ghost who did not speak a lick of English. I love how even in my dreams I suck and struggle to speak Korean. Maybe one day … ^_^ 


Blueberry Milk, Love and Choco pies

Oh, you funny student

As I was snacking at work yesterday and talking to a student, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as I realized what exactly my blueberry milk said:

Do you want to find someone to fall in love with? We will be happy when you start your love through drinking Blueberry Milk! Nunblue! Masblue! Let's Enjoy!

My student also thought it ridiculous how random products have things about love written on it. “I found insecticide…insect killer..it said, ‘If you want love, buy me’. So strange teacher!” I could only agree and think, well even they think it’s odd. We continued to have a rather intellectual conversation about love and Korean culture which ended like this: 

What’s a Chocopie?

Don’t know a choco pie? It is just the staple snack here. It is similar to a Moon Pie, with marshmellow in the middle of two biscuits and dipped in chocolate. In South Korea, Choco Pie is associated with Jeong (情), which indicates closeness among people in Korea. Its advertisements emphasise the relationship between family members and friends, and its jingle is widely known. North Korean workers even smuggle them out of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a joint venture by South Korean and North Korea, that Pyongyang wants their distribution stopped. Here are some interesting articles on that. [1 and 2]

My students made me a whole choco pie cake plate with candles on top for Teacher’s Day last year ^_^.

Haein Temple 해인사


As a last minute trip before we have to start another semester of school, my art teacher and I decided to venture out to Haein Temple, about an hour away from Daegu. ‘Sa’ means temple in Korean. 

Haeinsa, on Mount Gaya, is home to the Tripitaka Koreana , the most complete collection of Buddhist texts, engraved on 80,000 woodblocks between 1237 and 1248. You can learn all about it here. The Haeinsa Tripitaka woodblocks were carved in an appeal to the authority of Buddha in the defence of Korea against the Mongol invasions. 500 monks currently live there today, studying the blocks as well as guarding them. [source]

My teacher enters the Storage Hall

I was surprised how freely these ancients texts are stored



This place is huuuuuuge, and in the middle of nowhere, which was so refreshing. As we walked along the wooded path, I could breathe the fresh air and it was so pungent that I had to stop and gulp down a few breaths of it.

I was amazed at the storage area of these ancient texts. Here are these relics, and they are in these wooden houses that have air circulating through it. Apparently I wasn’t suppose to take pictures but I got one good shot. 

I had to read up on Wiki how this place was so well preserved and here is what I found:

Several ingenious preservation techniques are utilized to preserve the wooden printing blocks. The architects also utilized nature to help preserve the Tripitaka. The storage complex was built at the highest point of the temple and is 655 meters above sea level. Janggyeong Panjeon faces southwest to avoid damp southeasterly winds from the valley below and is blocked from the cold north wind by mountain peaks. Different sized windows on the north and south sides of both main halls are used for ventilation, utilizing principles of hydrodynamics. The windows were installed in every hall to maximize ventilation and regulate temperature. The clay floors were filled with charcoal, calcium oxide, salt, lime, and sand, which reduce humidity when it rains by absorbing excess moisture which is then retained during the dry winter months. The roof is also made with clay and the bracketing and wood rafters prevent sudden changes in temperature. Additionally, no part of the complex is exposed to sun. Apparently, animals, insects, and birds avoid the complex but the reason for this is unknown. 

I hope to visit in the spring or summer, to see the temple in bloom. I “settled” instead for the amazing colors that decorate the temples in Korean architecture. It is so beautiful and intricate! 

The town around the temple