Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pictures from today

My Classroom
Taught the kids "hamburger face" now I have to look at this all day

My Writing Class

Today my students learned how to write a formal letter and an informal letter.

Yo Laura Teacher,

Wassup? How r u? I hope 2 C U l8er


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Friends are Never far with Technology

Today I woke up today feeling a bit disconsolate after learning that a big group of my best friends were all together back in Canada (and the host didn't have skype). Not to be discouraged, I logged on to my computer and immediately got a call from Jack in Vancouver. I told him about the party and he facetimed (used his cellphone to video call) the group in Kingston. They (Ryan, Brendon, Erica, Jess, Becca), Jack, and I all chatted. Then they decided to fire up another computer and call Martha in Singapore. Then someone else in Kingston brought out another computer and they called up Nick and Lindsay in Toronto.

So this means we simultaneously connected South Korea, Singapore, Vancouver, Toronto, and Kingston. We had some laughs and shared a drink. (Whisky at 11am? Why not).

It was the best. I love my friends!!

Skyping Jack, while he facetimes Becca, Ryan, Erica, Brendon, and Jess,
while they skype Martha, Nick, and Linds. We were playing a drinking game at this point.

O'ngo Food Communication Part 2: Making Kimchi!

I hosted a friend for the weekend and decided to bring her to a Korean cooking class (visit their website here). On the menu was:

  • Vegan Kimchi
  • Tofu Steak with Chili Soy Sauce
  • Mushroom Japchae
Watching the demonstration
Kimchi Workstation
Chopping Ginger

Chopping Radish

Making the kimchi sauce
Packing the cabbage


Frying the tofu steaks
Mushroom Japchae

Om nom nom


We had a great time and were able to make some simple dishes. Maybe I will try to make them at home? (I always say that!)

I've posted the recipes after the jump... Click 'read more' to get the full recipes!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Secret Item that is Cheap in Korea #29430: Prescription Glasses

Last weekend I went shopping in Myeongdong. A friend had bought some super cheap prescription glasses there from some shop and they looked awesome. I had to see for myself.

We went to Kaist Opticians.

Check out my new looks:

First bought a pair of prescription glasses. The frames cost W20,000. The lenses? If you have a weak prescription the lenses cost W20,000~W40,000. Because I am basically blind my specially compressed and coated lenses cost W160,000, which is still several hundred dollars less than I would have to pay at home. The sunglasses are Ray Bans. W120,000 which is pretty standard.

They staff were pretty eager to help, and one older man even professed his love for  Emilie (apparently she looks like a young Brooke Shields)

How to get there:
Take Subway line 4 (light blue) to Myeongdong station. Exit 5
Walk into the shopping area about 50m until the first intersection and turn left. Then walk another 50m or so. Kaist Opticians will be on the corner on the left.

Hint: Korean made frames are the cheap ones. I'll update again if they prove to be poor quality, but thus far seem to be holding up!

RecROK: Intramural Sports Leagues in Seoul

Since I arrived in Korea, I had been looking for a league to play volleyball in. It's one of the sports that is really enjoyable to play, as well as a fun team activity. I'm not exceptionally good at volleyball, nor have I ever been; however, I've played on and off since elementary school and refereed the intramural league at University. Unfortunately for the first 6 months I was told that there were no leagues to play in that anyone had ever hear of. Google searches also turned up little.

Which made it even more exciting when the organizer of the Ultimate league I play started up a sport and social club called RecROK. She started with a basketball league in the winter, and continued with a volleyball league in February.

I put together a team of friends and friends-of-friends, and now we are playing every Saturday afternoon!

Team name: Setsy Time (paying tribute to the Borat catch-phrase)
Rank: 4th out of 5th (we won our first game last week!!)
Team members: 10~14, depending on the week... without a doubt the largest team in the league.

What we may lack in skill and precision, we make up for in team spirit. Every week has been a blast, and it's a great opportunity to meet new people.

RecROK can be found on facebook and regularly updates their sporting and social events.

Get Fit/Have Fun in Seoul: Studio X Fitness

UPDATE (January 2012): Studio-X Fitness has expanded, changed its name and moved. It's now called Reebok Cross Fit Sentinel and is  down the hill between Itaewon Station and Hangangjin Station. You can find them on Facebook at


Since late December I have been going to bootcamp at Studio-X-Fitness.

Located 3 minutes walk from Noksapyeong Station (Brown line 6), it is the perfect gym for me because it is:

  • English speaking (Owned and operated by Cody, a Kiwi!)
  • Full of friendly foreigners
  • Trainers who tell me what to do
  • Appropriately priced classes (paying around W10,000 each hour bootcamp for 36 class package)
  • Maximum class size 10 people
  • Visible results! In 2 1/2 months I not only feel stronger but have a noticeably stronger core strength... and completed way more burpees and squats than I could have ever imagined doing!
I intend on continuing classes here as long as I am in Korea. When the weather starts getting warmer, we have the option to move bootcamp classes outside. Should be fun!

How to get there: Take exit 2 from Noksapyeong station, walk straight and cross the street in the underpass tunnel. Entrance is through what looks like the IBK bank entrance, then walk through to the building behind and up the stairs. Right beside Craftworks Taphouse & Bistro.

Front row right- Gettin' jacked at Studio-X-Fitness