Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I'm going to take an intermission from talking about my Japan trip because of some noteworthy developments (hence the title "Intermission." Yea I know its not very creative).

지난주말은 서울에 갔어요. I went to Seoul last weekend. 금요일 밤에 진성 엄마 서울역에서 만났어요. I met JinSung-mother at Seoul Station. 진성 나를 한국 엄마처럼해요. JinSung is like a Korean mother to me. 토요일에 일찍 일어났어서 에버란드 가요. Saturday we woke up early to go to Everland (amusement park). 강원역에서 여주 만났어요. We met YeoJu at Gangwon Station. 진성과 여주는 날 한국에서 두명 가장 친한 친구들이에요. JinSung and YeoJu are my best two best friends in Korea. 진성는 유치원선생님이고 여주는 대학생이에요. JinSung is a kindergarten teacher and YeoJu is a university student.

In the interest of time... lets finish it in English. I went to Everland amusement park with YeoJu and JinSung. We had a picnic lunch and had lots of fun. At about 3pm we met up with Viruck, Candice, and Willie, who are all foreign teachers in Korea. And around 5pm we parted ways. JinSung, YeoJu, and myself went to AnAm Won Buddhist Temple for the weekly service and we had a meal and discussion afterwards. On

On sunday, we slept in late and went to the temple for the lesson for new students. I made some new friends at the temple. One girl was really kind and helped me with a lot of translations. I wish I could remember her name. Afterwards, JinSung, myself, and some of the guys had a quick dinner before I got on the subway to Seoul Station. I got the 8pm train back to Gimcheon and I reclaimed my hoodie that I had forgotten on the train on friday. On the train I was surprised to see my friend Tiana sitting only two seats behind me. I was so engrossed in conversation with her that I didn't see JinSung waving goodbye outside my window... Oops! Sorry JinSung! But I had a wonderful time last weekend and I'm so thankful for friends such as you and YeoJu!

Lastly, ever since summer I've been weighing a few possibilities as to what I should do next year. They all consisted of me staying in Korea, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to teach at my high school for another year, move to an elementary school, or become a student. Also, I wasn't sure where I wanted to teach/study. But my mind is clear now. Next year I really want to be a student in Seoul, studying the Korean language. Possibly at a SKY university (SKY is an acronym for the 3 best universities in Korea). So this week I'm going to look into the process of getting enrolled in that starting in Feb/Mar 2010.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nippon 3

Day 3:
I cant really remember much about this day... maybe if I start writing about my day it will spark my memory. I think I had some time in the morning, so I wandered around Asakusa (the area near my hotel. It's a big tourist area because its a traditional area with temples and shrines and other things to see. I headed to Shibuya to meet up with Yuriko and her friend Gabi. We met at the statue of Hachiko, and Yuriko was late (like always). Not just a few minutes late... but late enough that I felt it was worth mentioning. We went to a famous music store in Tokyo called Tower Records. Two months prior, my favorite singer had released her first solo album in 5 or 6 years. I was happy to see they still had a big display of Shiina Ringo items in the store. I was able to pick up her new album and see all the items they had. They had reprints of old magazines with articles on Ringo, and of course lots of newer magazines (June 2009) and even a few books. One book was a biography of Ringo, another was a scrapbook of her life, especially her career. It was really cool but the price was roughly $100. I realized that she is one of the most popular Japanese singers in Japan, even though nobody outside of Japan seems to know about her. It's kind of curious, since her style seems to be one that would lend itself well to international acclaim -- She has alot of English in her songs compared to artists such as Ayumi Hamasaki who is one of the most internationally recognized J-singers. And she is very uniquely persistant, along the same vein as Bjork (but obviously to a lesser degree). Anyhow, I digress. I could have spent all day in that store but Gabi looked bored out of his mind, so I figured it was best if we left. But it was cool to see some of my favorite J-singers albums and magazines. I also saw albums by Utada, Perfume, and other groups/singers.
It was hard to find the backcopies of the June magazines so we search for those a little more in another store, with no luck. At this point the days kind of blend together. We went into a secondhand clothing store that had a lot of kimonos, but maybe that was on day 2. And we went into a famous electronics store... I think that was day 2 also, because i remember Yoshiko being there.
Back to day 3. We were walking and came to a park, where we got some ice cream and rested. Then we decided to go see Tokyo Tower in Southern Tokyo. When we made it there it was already dusk. It was quite expensive to go to the top. So, we just stayed at the bottom and explored the temple near the base of the tower and took photos of the tower. It was pretty cool in the evening because all of the lights come on.
After that we went to an Ainu restaurant. This was one of the most interesting things that I did in Japan, so I don't think I can fully summarize it now. I'll update more later. Cya~

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nippon Ni+

Day 2: I met up with Yuriko (it was good to see her again!) and her friend Yoshiko. Together we went to the Tokyo Sky Tree (the new Tokyo Tower). It wont be finished until 2012... so its only about 30% built now. Then we went to some other cool spots. We went to Shinokubo (korean district in tokyo) and saw a few Korean fan memorobilia shops. Some Korean actors and singers are quite popular in Japan. And I took them to a Korean restaurant where they could have kimchi 김치 and Naengmyun 냉면 and taught them how to eat Korean style. After that, we headed to Shinjuku. Near the station, on the bridge, were some girls dressed up in cosplay outfits so I took my photo with them. We went into the nearby Meiji temple, but it immediately started raining. We eventually made our way around the shrine though. This is the largest temple in Tokyo and the torii arch is the biggest of its kind in Japan...I think. At the temple, we got our fortunes. I got the Japanese fortune and Yuriko and Yoshiko got theirs in English. I only remember one of them now... something about the mirror of life and how you view yourself and others in the mirror. Another friend of hers met up with us as we left the temple and we wandered around until we eventually found our way to Shibuya. I got to see the statue of Hachiko the dog at the station there, which was cool because I had written a question about it for the English Listening test that my school held a few days ago.

We went to a nice restaurant that was in the basement of a building. The atmosphere was very traditional, yet still classy. I got to try some Japanese shochu (like sake, but stronger... maybe 25% or 30% alcoholic content). I wanted to order the horse sashimi but the waitress said they were all out... but we got a variety of food and it was all quite good. One of the dishes was raw meat (chicken, maybe) with a raw egg on top of it. Then you mix it together and eat it. During the meal there was an earthquake (there would be a few noteworthy earthquakes this week). I couldnt feel it, but everyone else could and we could see the blinds and lamps swaying from the impact of the earthquake.