Day 1873

December 16, 2016




Hello world? Is that you? What is... Is this what sunlight feels like?

I can't seem to remember a time before grad school began, but I'm DONE and finally able to pay some attention to my kind and patient blog that I've neglected for the past few months.

My last update was at the beginning of summer when I returned from Canada. After coming back to Korea in July, we had to figure out how to avoid being killed by the heat. Our solution was a kiddie pool and beer and it was ev-ery-thing.




We sweat our butts off for the second year in a row at the Muan Lotus Festival





It was time for some vacation classes. Instead of university students, we had a homeroom of elementary students for a week. The focus of the camp was various Asian cultures, so each homeroom class chose an Asian animal as their mascot. Our team chose to become the Scary Tigers (despite my adorable students being anything but). The finale of the camp was a marketplace, so our class made and sold candy sushi. 




The fun came to a halt with some more grad school classes.


I bought a new car to spark things up (no pun intended... it's a Chev Spark haaah) which is much newer, safer, and yellower than my Matiz. 


We also adopted this dum-dum, Louie. He was small at one point, but he's since almost doubled Songi's size. 



I was finally able to get away and have my first vacation since last year. This time to Jeju! This was my second time to go to Jeju; I first went to Jeju when I was relatively fresh in Korea four years ago


Jeju is home to one of Korea's few casinos. It's illegal for Koreans to gamble or go to casinos, so these places are built solely for tourists. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to check it out.

My winnings (10 cents).



Not my winnings ($50).


Jeju is also home to oodles of beaches, waterfalls, and celebrity-owned cafes... 


Wonang Waterfall (원앙폭포) / Swimming hole 


Se-so-kkak (쇠소깍) is an amazing area with a black sand beach and a canyon through which you can ride glass-bottom canoes (which sell out almost immediately every morning). There is also a small stall nearby that sells orange ice cream that tastes like a creamsicle. The piece of dried orange on top is smrrggghh. 




Celebrity-owned cafe? Oh, yes. This is G-Dragon's coffee shop on the coast of Jeju, Monsant Cafe (카페  몽상 드 애월). Despite having been open for nearly a year, it was still swarming with people so we didn't bother waiting around to get coffee. 



Another Jeju tourist trap: Osulloc green tea fields (오설록 티 뮤지엄). Honestly, the fields in Boseong are more impressive and not an airplane ride away, but this place wasn't bad. Mostly because they have swivelly picnic tables. 


For the final sunrise of our trip, we ate chicken at Hyeopjae beach (협제해수욕장). 




Back on the mainland, we took a weekend trip to Metaprovence in Damyang (담양 메타프로방스). My best guess is that this village was created with the purpose of giving off Euro vibes. 



Metasequouia Road in Damyang (담양 메타세콰이어길)


KIA Tigers vs Busan Giants


This was my second time to visit this pottery shop in Naju (흙내음화가) but this was my first time to try painting. I can't wait to try it again.


For the Chuseok holiday, we spent some time in Daegu. It was my first time to visit Daegu's amusement park, E-World!






Weekend in Gokseong to visit the cosmos flower festival (곡성 코스모스 축제).





Simcheong Hanok Traditional Village in Gokseong (곡성 심청한옥마을)





Casual Pentatonix Concert in Seoul on a Tuesday


The Jinju Lantern Festival holds a special place in my heart because it was the first festival I ever went to in Korea five years ago. It's pretty crazy to see how much the festival has grown.





In hopes of catching glimpses of fall foliage, we headed to Dogapsa (도갑사) in Yeongam. We were a bit early, but it was beautiful just the same. 



Halloween festivities included Toothless the dragon, a black cat, kids games, and Scream.



At Gyelyong mountain (계룡산) near Daejeon we saw some serious fall colours. 




And suddenly it's Christmas season and 2016 is coming to a close. It's a cliché, but this year flew by. This year was full of changes and I worked really hard, so here's hoping it will all pay off for a fun 2017. 



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