Saturday, July 23, 2011

Teeth Whitening at the Dentist

This week I went to Tuft Dental Clinic in Gagnam to try another (relatively) cheap Korean medical procedure: dental whitening.

I was encouraged by friends who had been to this clinic already that it was fast, easy, painless, and moderately priced...Plus the end results were stunning!

So I booked my appointment for a morning before work. They told me to take a couple of painkillers before in case I had some dental sensitivity.

When I sat down in the chair, the first thing they did was a quick cleaning. Then, they  painted a seal at the edges of your teeth and gums to protect gums from the whitening goo. From there they painted the liquid on to your teeth. I knew how strong the stuff they were using was because she got some on my gums and immediately it started burning. This is where things started to go downhill.

This is my torture
Then they put a little blue light in front of my teeth and told me to relax for 30 minutes. The first 5 minutes were okay; my gums were still burning a bit from when she got the acid on them but she had cleaned it off. Suddenly, I felt a shocking sharp shooting pain in the root of a  tooth on the bottom that I know is sensitive. It stopped as quickly as it started so I tried to move my head back to the light and continue. A few minutes later the shooting pain came back worse than before, so bad that I started to have tears in my eyes and my heart was beating really hard from the shock. I tried to alert the nurse and tell her, but obviously my mouth was open and it was hard to talk. Then the shooting pain came back again, and in another tooth. It was turning into a torture session.

In the end I was a crying mess, slapping the blue light away and telling the nurse to take the acid off my teeth. The tried using a "weaker whitening agent" on my teeth only to have writhing  in pain and begging her to take it off. In the end I left traumatized, in pain, and W200,000 poorer. My teeth were whiter, though. Was it worth it? NO WAY

My advice: If you have any problems at all with sensitive teeth, NEVER get your teeth whitened... It was top 2 most painful experiences of my life.

Never again!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Boryeong Mud Festival 2011

This past weekend, 6 of us rented a van and drove southwest to the coastal town of Boryeong. Every summer this vacation town hosts a massive mud festival which attracts hordes of Koreans and foreigners alike to relax on the beach and indulge in the skin softening "beneficial properties of Boryeong mud"

We arrived to torrential downpour at about 11am, but the party had already started. Concerts, games, mud wrestling, body (mud) painting and muddy carnival games were packed. We set up our things on the beach, then bought W5,000 wristbands to gain access to the muddy playground.

By the afternoon the sun was shining and the mud pits were packed. It was great fun but unfortunately the lines grew waaaaay to long to stand my patience. I did one mud slip n' slide (after waiting for 20 minutes) and then spent the rest of the time having fun. Overall a great experience!

Word to the wise: WEAR SUNSCREEN! mud does NOT stop you from getting burned. Learned that the hard way :(

Click here for the official website: Boryeong Mud Festival

Post rain-storm

Running into friends

Beach Crew

Real Muddy

Prepared to get splashed with mud

Friday, July 15, 2011

Three Weeks Left in Korea!!!

It's hard to believe, but I am now 49 weeks into Korea.. there are only three weeks left before I embark on another epic adventure through Southeast Asia.

Over this past year I have done my best to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Korea. From the relatively tame (neighborhoods, restaurants, museums, tea shops, temples, cooking classes, musicals, and hikes) to the more obscure (naked saunas, laser hair removal, cat cafes, body building competitions, international ultimate frisbee tournaments, and visits to North Korea)

I keep wracking my brain and going over all of the tourist brochures and foreign magazines for things that will give me insight.

The question is: What do I still need to do in this city? After almost a year I feel so comfortable here and yet there is always so many new things to do.

Three weeks left to take in as much of Seoul as I can. Suggestions Welcome.

The countdown begins!!!

King Sejong

Spring Ultimate League Finals - Champions!!!

Last Sunday was the final weekend of the Spring Ultimate League in Seoul.

My Team (Cho Jang) were the champions!!! Unfortunately our team was slowly losing players as the season progressed.. by the time we got to the finals we only had four guys and one girl (me). Luckily some other players were willing to sub in and help us out.

Because of all the rain in Seoul the fields were completely soaked. Cleats would have ripped everything up so most of us ended up playing barefoot. People were slipping all over the field and completely muddy; just made it more hilarious!

It was a great game and I had a ton of fun.. after we wrapped up, the slip n' slide was brought out for another spin!

The Champions!

Group shot of everyone

Sloshball with RecRok

Last weekend we played a hilarious game. Kickball with beer.. and a slip 'n slide!

The premise was simple. Kickball (baseball but you kick a ball instead), only you must chug a drink to move from second base to third base, and to move from third base to home plate you dive onto a soaped-up slip n' slide!

The rain actually let up for a few hours to let the sun through for the perfect afternoon. Because of the weather a few teams didn't show up for the tournament, which left more bounty for us!

By the end of the game we were having so much fun we lost track of scores. Best part- $20 bought us two tacos and unlimited drinks!
Team Blackout

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A new Adventure in October

Today I signed up for the Tough Mudder in Virginia, USA. According to the wiki page:
Tough Mudder is a series of obstacle course competitions that bill themselves as “probably the toughest one day event on the planet.” According to the New York Times, the event is designed to be “more convivial than marathons and triathlons, but more grueling than shorter runs or novelty events.” Tough Mudder courses are between seven and twelve miles. It is estimated that about 20% of participants do not finish the course.
Thank goodness I have been training so much with Studio-x-fitness , or I would be in rough shape for this event. Next thing I need to work on is my cardio. This is gonna be AWESOME!

Monday, July 4, 2011

My name is in a magazine!

I came third place in Goove Magazine's Konglish of the Month!

"Konglish" is a mix of "Korean" and "English", generally referring to the hilarious and poorly translated messaged you sometimes see around Korea. 

Groove magazine is a great foreigner magazine that is published every month. Check it out here (

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In the Classroom today

My kids in my beginner speaking class were being a bunch of weirdos today when I played a song. So instead of trying to control them I took a video.


Monsoon Season Begins

Last week I mentioned that I had some visitors in town; I also noted that they came right before a big typhoon was forecasted to hit Seoul (it didn't, it stayed west of Korea). However, one thing that I failed to mention was that they also arrived the exact day that yellow dust season ended and monsoon season started!

What does this means? Days and days of endless rain. Non-stop. On top of normal weather forecasting, just assume that it will rain. Sometimes it was heavy rain, sometimes it was a light mist. Unfortunately it rarely stopped. In the last  two weeks we have had three days where it isn't raining. Cloudy is as good as it gets. This wet season ends in August.

Somehow I missed the memo about this wet season. I though it was going to be a hot, sunny summer like at home. I thought I would spend my last few weeks in Korea sunning myself along the Han river, going for casual drinks on patios, and general frolicking outside.

My visitors were troopers and still managed to get out and see much of Seoul, despite the rain. And me?

I've invested in a large umbrella!