Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Weekend shenanigans

After my tutor session with Sujin on Saturday, her, Sona and I went for Shabu-Shabu. It's beef slices (never seen beef this pink before), which you then swish around in a soupy type of pot and wala! It turns into delicious beef stew!

And then I went to meet up with some other teachers in Chun Chun Dong for some red wine and much excitement about the snowboarding season coming up!!
With Christian, Matt and Neil just before heading out to Nore Bang (Karaoke Room)...

Annie and Neil and too many glasses of wine.

These two photos I don't really remember taking...

Happy Chusok to all the Korean families. I hope you all have many things to give thanks for. I know I have :)

Cooking for South Africa

I was invited to cook in a contest at the YWCA where I go for Korean classes. It was very last minute, so I didn't have much time to prepare or be creative. I went with steak and potato salad, and they loved it! I didn't win, but the Vietnamese gogi rolls that won were delicious :0) It was fun trying all the different Asian dishes (Chinese, Cambodian, Vietnamese)!!

Elena from Uzbekistan offerered to help since I was the only South African. She added the creative touch that I just don't have...

The Vietnamese girls hard at work.

Baby Jessica even helped peel the eggs!

And Luan also dropped by to help out.

This and that...

So things have a been a bit busy lately. Loving it. And looking forward to this coming long weekend, even though I haven't really planned anything special. It's going to be nice to just relax and not run around!

Autumn has arrived and along with it, some nice gloomy weather.
When they make glossies here, they don't mess around.

Some typical English translation. More to come...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Life as I know it

I didn't take many photos at all this week. I've been so busy, and also, I guess that's what happens when you settle down - all the things that seemed so new and exciting in the beginning just become part of your life as it is.

I did go to the dentist this week, and the good news is I don't have to have my wisdom teeth removed :) The bad news is, I do have to get some other treatment, and it's WAY expensive :( like WAY WAY WAY expensive!

Mr Jeon (the director at my school) invited me to his sisters wedding in Asan on Sunday. Asan is a small city about 1.5 hours south west of Suwon. It is famous for it's folk village and has one of the oldest natural spas in Korea. It seems like a nice place, so I might go there for Chusok, or Korean Thanks-giving, which is coming up at the end of the month.

The wedding ceremony takes place in a communal hall, where they do about 4 or 5 weddings a day. It is a short service after which the cake is brought to be cut and they sing a cute little wedding song. Then there is a chance for the photographer and guests to take photos.

This is Mr Jeon with his wife and youngest daughter. How beautiful is her HanBok?!

The bridal couple.

Then everyone goes to a banquet hall and shares a meal together. The bridal couple also change into traditional HanBok clothing and briefly come in to greet the guests. And then everyone goes home. It all takes about 2 hours!

The bride, with her two sisters-in-law.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Eat, eat, eat, eat, eat!

Once, when Janine's dad was visiting, he said all us Mullins' do is eat. Well, I guess you can take the girl out of 3k8, but you can't take 3k8 out of the girl. It seems like at the moment, my life consists of teaching, learning and EATING, and I must say, I can't complain about that latter part :)
참 치 김 밥. Chamchi Kimbap (Tuna sushi rolls), quick and cheap - perfect for lunch at school.

숙. We went for Jook on Friday night. It's like a stewy rice with tuna, beef, vegetables or what ever else you feel like.
On Saturday my tutor took me to the YMCA, where she organised for me to take the Hanguel course for free, in exchange for helping her brush up her English skills. So now I'll be doing three 2-hour classes a week. I should be speaking pretty soon!! I wish...
We went to a really traditional Korean restaurant afterwards. The food was typically bland and scary, but still very good!

Yang Yang, my tutor.

Today Sona and I went to TGI Fridays, which is an American diner, a bit like Spur. We ate steak and chicken wings, and drank whopper cocktails. It was goooood. Oh and a brownie from heaven for desert.

And then we went to my favorite shop, Valley Girl, and I bought a gorgeous top.
BTW, yesterday the weather decided that it was finally time for Autumn. And I realised that I should have made more space for winter stuff when I packed my clothes...

Hwaseong Fortress

Hwaseong Fortress is a World Heritage Site, and is almost literally on my doorstep. I've been to it a few times, but always to the same part of the wall.
So on Wednesday I decided, for a bit of exercise, I would walk the entire length of the circular wall, which is about 5.5km long and makes a ring around the city centre.

It is a special thing to have this place at my disposal any day of the week, when people come from across the world to see it.

I started here from the Western gate, close to my apartment.

On the inside of the wall, the bustling city centre.

And on the outside, things are a bit less hectic.

Near the North gate, you can try your hand at archery...

The North tower has amazing views of the city. Here you can see the World Cup Stadium in the backround, where I watched SA play soccer against Korea a few weeks ago.

The walk 'end's at Namun (or South gate) which is the main tourist area of Suwon.

The South Gate.

On my way home I went to see the palace grounds, and accidentally found a bronze statue of King Jeongjo, who built the palace.

And then I got VERY lost and was almost late for school. I'm so good at that.
P.S. There are a few more photos on FB to give you a better idea of the wall.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Manseok Park

There are loads of lovely parks all around Suwon (thank goodness, this farm girl needs her fresh air).
Manseok Park is one closest to my home, and I go there quite often just to relax in the sun, read and watch people going about their days. At 12 every day they play music through a loud-speaker system and do a fountain display. And people exercise here night and day, literally. If you walk home from the pub at 1 in the morning, there will be people doing 10 laps around the reservoir...

A badminton hall - popular sport.

An open-air theatre used for live performances, and sometimes they display international events on screen too.