Sunday, October 25, 2009
well i recovered from my cold and feel a lot better. I mostly focused on getting better but I did do some short hikes and bike rides. I found an extremely awesome trail yesterday! It is about 4-5km of gradual downhill with some short steep climbs you can grind up! its very nice! Fast flowy and best part is you can ride continuously without getting off for like 15 minutes! I also visited Wawoo temple last weekend (www.wawoootemple.org). It is just a 1 hour hike over a local mountain range away! Its a very famous Buddhist temple with some big Buddha statues. I was very impressed by them. In other news I found out there is another foreign teacher in Yangji at the middle school! And surprisingly enough his name is also Derek!!!!!! He is from England and we are gonna meet up sometime this week. It will be nice to have 2 other foreign friends in yangji. up this week! Its fall and the leaves are changing on the mountains! Its very beatiful around here! I will get some nice pictures from my bike and hiking. This weekend I have 2 good hikes planned too! I also plan to rest more so I don't get another cold!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
So I had a really great week and weekend but I paid the price this week and got a major cold! Last Thursday after my Korean class I met up with a friend from Kyung-Hee University where i am taking my korean class and didn't get that much sleep that night. The next night I went back to Kyung-Hee for a big concert. They had a lot of the top korean pop stars and it was all free! I went with some other teachers from the area and it was a blast! After that took busses to Dokso to visit my friends from the summer camp. Again we didn't get very much sleep. Saturday we went tent shopping for me in Seoul and then we went to a wedding Saturday evening for the a girl from the summer camp. The wedding was pretty fun. It was like a condensed version of an American wedding. The whole ceremony was only about 30 minutes and it was followed by a buffet dinner. Also at Korean weddings you don't give presents you just give money. The wedding was also great because I got to see and catch up with everyone from the camp! I found out a few of them live near me too! After the wedding a few of us went out to a singing room which is like a personal Karoake room you rent for your friends by the hour. Sunday I took the bus home and went for a nice long hike in the mountains around Yangji! Then I went to the local public bathhouse with my new American friend Scott who is the only foreigner I have met in Yangji! The bathhouses here are awesome they have hot tubs, cold tubs, dry sauna's and steam rooms all for about 5 bucks! So yeah it was a very busy but fun weekend! It has also gotten a lot colder recently! So i got a cold but now it is almost gone! I am feeling a lot better after a few nights of good sleep! I have a new rule to prevent getting sick. I will spend at least one full day a week without leaving Yangji. That way I will hopefully go to sleep earlier!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
A lot of stuff has happened since Chusok break finished. Friday I met a new friend who goes to a university in Bundang which is this huge suburb of Seoul I also thought I missed the bus home but after waiting for 20 minutes one finally came! Anyway the next day I got up at 6am to meet some teachers from another elementary school to go hiking. They were koreans one was 29 years old, one 35 and one 50! We went to Gaelyong mountain national park near Daejon which is about 120km south of where I live. It was an incredibly beatiful park. We parked at the bottom and started hiking with a ton of other people all around. In korean at famous mountains on the weekend it is almost always crowded. still a great hike but we definitely got caught up in some traffic jams. The view at the top was really spectacular! if you wanna see pictures check out my facebook. after hiking for about 6 hours we at lunch and drank some dong dong ju which is one of my favorite korean drinks! Its this brown colored rice wine that is served ice cold and is great after hiking. Saturday night after hiking I just fell asleep. Sunday morning I finally went riding with a local Korean bike club. Its called the Suwon Alpha team. They do road and mtb racing (www.suwonalpha.co.kr) They even put some pics of the ride on the website already that you can check out. We rode trails on SeokSong mountain. It was a blast but there was also a lot of waiting around due to the really wide ability range in the group. also only one guy in the group spoke english so I got a lot of korean practice. We went to lunch after the ride and then I rode 20km back to my house. They were all really nice to me and the owner of the bike shop even offered to pick me up for bike races since I don't have a car yet. There is a road race this weekend but I can't go because i am going to a wedding Saturday evening. Sunday evening i went into seoul and met a new language exchange friend! Monday after work I went for a mtb ride and discovered some new single track trails! They were awesome super technical with rocks but still very rideable! I didn't have time to ride it all though as the sun was setting. I definitely have more exploring to do there!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
So my chusok break was action packed! Thursday I went out for a 4 hour mtb ride to test out some of the trails I had hiked and find a few more on my bike. Anyway the ride was really great! I found this new fire road climb that takes about 15 minute and goes all the way to the top of a local mountain where you can choose a few different single track descents. Then I went to my korean class and we all went out for dinner afterwards. of course silly me I missed the last bus home and I ended up having to stay at a friends apartment for the night (Thanks Allan!) Anyway I made it home the next day and then my new korean friend Min-Hye (a girl) came and we went on to visit my new friend julia who lives about 45 minutes south in another small town called Juksan. We went for a little hike and then ate korean bbq for dinner. After that we went to a Nore-Bang which means Singing Room. You pay about 10 bucks to use a room with your own personal karaoke machine for you and your friends. it is a very good time and they have a bunch of american pop songs that I sang. The next day I met my friend Kyung who and we went hiking at Bukhan mountain in Seoul. Being korean thanksgiving I thought it would be a great day to hike a normally very busy mountain since everyone would be at home. We couldn't have been more wrong. The top of the mountain is super rocky and steep and open and it was like being at disney land almost! Really awesome view though! After that we met up with Min-hye for dinner! I got a lot of bus and subway time that day. Sunday I met another korean friend named Bomb-Hee and his dad for a short hike up a local mountain. We ate pig spine soup for lunch! it was great! had dinner with another guy named Chi-ha after that and we drank some soju which is a very popular korean drink. Monday I met up with a coworker of mine for a really nice hike. His name is Man-gyu.(korean names are kind of difficult to pronounce and remember but I am getting the hang of it). we hiked Taehwa mountain which is the tallest in Yongin county at about 3000ft. Then I went to Suwon station with Julia to meet up with some other foreigner teachers for dinner. Suwon station is a really cool area that is about a 1 hour bus ride away. lots of bars, clubs, restraunts and young people there. So needless to say I was pretty exhausted after all that travelling and was planning to stay in today but then I got invited to meet up wiht some people for dinner in Seoul (a 40 minute bus ride) so that is out the window. I guess I can sleep on the bus!!!