2 Canadians in Korea

Welcome to our blog. It's designed to give people back home an idea of what it's like living in South Korea and to allow you to follow us on our journey.

I've been blogging a lot of facts and I feel I should say that some of it is copy pasted from books, the internet and the signs that I took pictures of at the tourist site itself.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Paradise Island in South Korea

On our sailing trip we stopped at a beautiful island that made us feel like we were on a cruise ship in the Caribbean but no, we were in South Korea eating Kim-chi. The island had a very small village on it and the "hut" properties were surrounded by walls, some of which were up to 7' high making it feel like we were walking around a maze. We had breakfast at a small restaurant on the island and we ate fried fish, mashed / mixed seafood, small clams, kimchi, rice and a few other Korean side dishes. We had plenty of time to explore the island and we found a little shop that sold beer and other corner store products. We found all kinds of neat things like the rock face that Angele fell in love with and kissed. I'm pretty sure he blushed. The island was connected to several other small islands by sand bars and as the tide would go up some of the connections were lost so they built bridges to connect the main ones for high tides. We wandered away on our last day and found what I thought would be a perfect place for a small hotel. There were a  few small pools in the rocks that were frequently filled by waves splashing in. Some of those pools were a little dangerous so we didn't swim in them, but others were a little more safe like this one. We spent a good 2 hours just sitting in there talking about my hotel idea while drinking beer and soju and getting washed by the waves. Don't worry mom, it was completely safe. The most dangerous part was going back to the boat as the tide had come in and the sand bar was almost submerged under water. Another hour and we would have had to swim back I think. 

I climbed a rock that was a little easier going up than down, but once I was on top I was really glad I did it. The waves were coming in really hard and were slamming on all the rocks around me, which made it hard to talk to the guy I was standng next to. 
The sound was really good but I thought they needed a maestro to direct the orchestra and did they ever. As soon as I got on board the waves came in more organized and it was beautiful. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dinosaur Footprints

On our sailing trip we were brought to a beautiful small island that had sand bars connecting several islands together. We were told that there were dinosaur footprints on the island. Someone thought this would be a major tourist attraction and it might have been at one time but not anymore. This building behind the dinosaurs is near the docks and used to be a tourist information centre but now is just an abandoned building with washroom facilities. We spent 3 or so hours wandering around the island in search of these so called dinosaur foot prints but not one person from our boat found them. Angele and I decided to pretend we found them which is what you see in this picture here. Her drawing wasn't far from the real thing other than the size difference. We were expecting huge footprints like we saw in Jurassic Park.
Since no one found the footprints our captain decided to stop by the island on the next day to give us another chance and this time I found a picture of the island with the "X" marks the spot. I was able to find the area where the dinosaur footprints were. We figured out that unless you were there in the morning before the tide comes in you can't see them because they are under water and that's one of the reasons why no one found them the day before.
We were told that the dinosaurs stepped in clay, or something like it, and it hardened shortly after which created the footprints. The footprint was filled with sand and then covered with more rock which helped preserve it. With time the top layer of rock broke off and the sand washed out leaving the footprints for us to find.
This information about the process is only as accurate as I remember hearing it so please don't quote this on any kind of important paper you may be writing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tall Ship Sailing Trip

We found a group on Facebook that is lead by a Korean man by the name of Charles. He does foreign relations for one of the major companies in South Korea and he plans all the trips for the important people from other countries that come to Korea on business with his company. On his spare time he plans trips for the foreigners that are already here. We have been on two of his trips so far and we will surely be going on more. They are very cheap as he doesn't do it to make a profit and since this is what he does for a living we find all kinds of things that we would never find on our own.

Near the end of August, Angele and I went on a sailing trip with Charles. It was a big party on a boat really but it felt like we
were on a cruise. We left Friday night at 12 midnight and drove through the night to our destination. We climbed a small mountain near the ocean shore to watch the sunrise from a temple. After picking up supplies, food and booze, we went to our ship, the Koreana.
The ship was really amazing as it had surprisingly enough room for 50 + to sleep below deck although almost everyone slept above deck under the stars. We made several stops to swim and tour one of the islands along South Korea's Southern shores. We came back Sunday afternoon and bused it back home at around 11pm.
It was a beautiful weekend and we would definitely do it again. The trip was $150/person and worth every penny. I will be posting about a few other things we did on this trip later.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Speech Contest

This Halloween, we had a speech contest which, no matter how low key the event is, it seems to be very important to kids and their parents. I had the honour of being one of the judges and it was quite fun. Most of the kids recited a poem or a short story, some recycled a small speech they had written for another contest, and very few wrote a new speech.

The winner was one of the students that I had previously mentioned in another post. He wrote a speech specifically for this contest and I corrected it. At first, I thought it was a joke since the title was "My Sexy Panty". The origial version was even funnier since there was some pretty good Konglish in it, but this is the corrected speech that he did in front of the class. The best part was his sidekick who was wearing a gold cape and he held out the briefs as Raphael proceeded to point out the characteristics of his briefs, with his retractable pointer! This picture was taken a week later.

My Briefs
Hi, I'm Raphael! I will tell you about my sexy briefs. Yesterday, I observed my fantastic briefs. Why did I observe my briefs? Because they are shiny and beautiful and attracted my line of vision. First, I observed the colors. My briefs are brown and dark brown with stripes and they have a cute mouse on them. Second, I observed my lovely briefs shape and noticed they are quadrilateral. (his word, not mine) Third, I observed my beautiful briefs height which is 30 cm. I observed my briefs and realized that briefs have a great task, they hide our things. I think everyone should join me to love and honor our briefs. Thank you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Pumpkins

They don't celebrate Halloween the same as us in South Korea. Some kids will wear a custome but it was mostly just at our school. They don't go trick or treating and they don't carve pumpkins. Angele and I and four other teachers got together and carved pumpkins for the schools. It took us 3.5 hours and a big mess later and we had 6 beautiful pumpkins. During this process we found out that they don't trick or treat in Australia, England or South Africa either. The idea of knocking on someone's door and asking for candy seemed crazy to our non-Canadian friends. It was the first time carving a pumpkin for Vanessa (SA), Sonia (Aus.) and Anna (Korean). Ben was a seasoned pro and is unfortunately behind the camera on these pictures so you can't see him. The pumpkins turned out quite nice and were a great hit at school. The kids were amazed to say the least and I found out that most of the Korean teachers had never seen a carved pumpkin in person before. A lot of firsts were had in South Korea this Halloween. I made the one I'm holding and Angele made the big one one the ground. She also made a small one the next day with the School's logo on it.