April 2013 in 2 Minutes

  1. Rooftop view of Daegu
  2. Sinchon River
  3. School Lunch –  Some kind of kimchi, sweet & sour pork, mini fishies with walnuts, rice & dried seaweed, kimchi soup with hot dog slices
  4. Salmon on lemon thyme cream cheese and toast
  5. A beautiful school and awesome spring day
  6. Pier in 월포
  7. A beautiful school and awesome spring day
  8. Rainy train ride to Seoul for an audition
  9. Sampler dish at “Comedor” – empanadas and some chipa (baked cheese and yucca bread)
  10. “Comedor” Paraguayan Restaurant in Itaewon
  11. A French trained baker is a dangerous person to know
  12. Duryu Park, with the Daegu Cultural & Arts Center on the other side of the lake
  13. Constanza, my Spanish-speaking friend ^_^
  14. Growing herbs for some cookin’
  15. Gyeongju Marathon – tried doing the 10k and slightly regretted it
  16. Garden of Eden at the Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center
  17. Daegu Gyesan Catholic Church (대구 계산성당)
  18. Puppy shops!
  19. Amazon crash a Toga Birthday Party
  20. Physical therapy due to the 10k  (ㅠㅠ)
  21. Old meets New – My favorite picture of the month
  22. Best Jogae Gui 조개구이 place! They put the baked sweet potato into cheese as dessert.
  23. Co-worker’s wedding (The bride was my English co-teacher and the groom was the P.E. teacher from my school)
  24. Roman who moved out of Korea about a year ago. He surprised us with a visit!
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The 22nd Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon!

 

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My Gyeongju Story

We had a FANTASTIC time running in the 22nd Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon 제22회 경주 벚꽃 마라톤. Sadly, the cherry blossom trees were already losing their flowers, and not really in a romantic kind of way. More in the  this-is-kinda-depressing-to-watch-spring-go kind of way. But it was a beaaaauitful day, the sun was out and about, the wind decided to take a rest for the day and it was just perfect. I must admit, waking up at 5 am to go run 10 kilometers wasn’t my idea of a Saturday morning. But, once we got there and I took the much needed nap in the car (I am such a jerk passenger!), I was ready to go!

I attended the Daegu Marathon last year, but this marathon was by far waaaaay better. Here’s why:

  1. The meeting place for runners was roomy and filled with awesome tents that had snacks and drinks. Much easier to relax in and lay on the grass. 
  2. The scenery was beautiful even though the trees weren’t at their peak.
  3. These guys:
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They wanted to make sure they stood out, in case people didn’t realize they were foreigners.

 

Camera Drone

It was like the Hunger Games!

Running Marathons in Korea

Marathons in Korea are fun. One, they simply call them marathons, regardless of what you are running. So I feel so awesome when over lunch or coffee I offhandedly let out a “Oh yea, in a few weeks I’m doing a marathon”. No biggie…hehehe. Or rather simply, I just lack the Korean language skills to easily explain what I’m doing ;). Anyways, I love the fact that my money goes to full use. One, I get an awesome sporty t-shirt as a souvenir. And it’s not one of those lame 100% cotton shirts, but it is a legit sports running shirt that could actually be put to use. Second, I get a medal! Every participant gets a medal, and I don’t know about you, but I freakin’ deserve a medal after running 10 Kilometers. That pseudo-gold circular disk on a blue string means something!

Next, my money gets put to use through the means of unlimited food and drinks. I assume it’s unlimited, I have never tried to gorge myself on the soups and boiled eggs they serve, or on the beer and rice wine they are pouring for you after the race. Gatorade is for the weak apparently. So my 30,000 WON (about $30) is fully used in a way that I can’t complain. Because alas, at the end of the day, the comradeship that was built between Matt, Dave and I and the almost violent self-competitive “rivalry” I waged through for the past two months, cannot be measured by bills alone. Blood, sweat and tears went into this… at least sweat and probably messed up cartilage (-_-).

Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon

I’m sorry, did you say “free makgeolli”? … Come again?!

Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon 2

You can shop for your next marathon outfit right here!

Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon

Imma sun bath all day and get my money’s worth!

A Gyeongju Day in Spring

Last week my friends went on a last hurrah trip to the beautiful city of Gyeongju (same place I’ll be doing my race in next week). Laura and Analie left Korea this past weekend, so it was a last epic trip with them. Plus it’s spring, the cherry blossoms were starting to blossom and we wanted to ride some scooters. The trip in summary:

  • Matt forgot his licence before getting on the bus so he had to take a different bus while we waited at a cafe in Gyeongju for him.
  • Far from where we rented the scooters (aka the bus station), Analie got a flat tire.
  • Waited for 2 hours, while they arguably did the worst job in getting that tire fixed, then replaced the whole bike with another after pushing for the guy to come to us and stop wasting our time.
  • Had an amazing lunch of tteokgalbi  떡갈비, and got filmed and interviewed by a TV station crew.
  • Went to a traditional festival near downtown, and found Yujeong’s friend who works at SBS and got filmed again!
  • Matt and Laura were interviewed by a reporter.
  • Yujeong haggled with the ajossi until Analie got her $5 back that she paid for, trying to get the scooter fixed by owner’s friend.

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Lunar New Year – A Road Trip Adventure

A Road Trip Adventure

Lunar New Year in Korea: Seolnal (설날)

  • The celebration of the Lunar New Year is called Seolnal (설날) here in Korea
  • Gifts are exchanged among family members and friends, so gift shopping before the holiday is essential.
  • The main tradition of Seollal is called Charye (차례) which is performed early in the morning. An offering of food is sacrificed for ancestors, and family members pay their respects by bowing twice. Afterward, the food is usually eaten to close the ritual.
  • Another morning ritual is Sebae (세배), in which younger people pay their respects to their elder relatives by performing one deep bow and saying “Sae hae bok mani badusaeyo”. They are then rewarded with money!
  • You eat tteokguk, a soup with slices of rice cake, to signify advancing one year in age.

Our Road Trip! 

Matt and I got the opportunity to help out DGFEZ (Daegu Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone) with a few promotional videos about  the area. Our friend Yujeong helped translate between the Korean director and camera guy and was our tour guide for the occasion!

Our first stop was Andong. We headed to the traditional folk village of Hahoe, but took the scenic view – the cliff across the river. Hahoe Village (translating to “Village Enveloped by Water”) gets its name from Nakdong River, which flows around the town’s perimeter.

Next, we passed the Andong dam to a village that had been relocated uphill. It was perfectly restored and even allowed us to go inside and explore the homes. Matt and I got to have an awesome “sword” fight.

We had jjimdaek in Andong’s jjimdak (찜닭) alley. Andong jjimdak is a variety of jjim (a Korean steamed or boiled dish), made with chicken, various vegetables marinated in a ganjang based sauce. It is one of my FAVORITE dishes in Korea. It is such a comfort food in a chilly winter’s day. If you ever get a chance, definitely try it out ^_^

Hahoe Village - Andong

Hahoe Village – Andong

As you will see in the video, we got into a bit of a tight spot when we got stuck on a beach for 5 hours about an hour away from Pohang. We called a tow truck, the police and finally an Excavator. Sand is one dangerous element that you can’t mess with!

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By Sunday evening, we traveled quickly to Pohang for some shots and then drove straight to Gyeongju for dinner – bulgogi ssambap (beef wrapped in lettuce and rice). But by that point I was so tired and drained from the day I couldn’t even eat much. The trip ended with an interesting sleep over at the home of the director’s friend – an artist who let us borrow his home and studio to record. It was right outside Daegu, in the traditional Korean style. What made it super special was finding the small art he had drawn everywhere around his home. It was quiet magical and quaint. And his cute dog was just adorable!

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