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Ever Evolving Primate: Travel, photography, food, cooking, and just about anything else.

Ever Evolving Primate: Travel, photography, food, cooking, and just about anything else.: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Adventures at the Immigration Office

So I’m sitting in this quiet, internet-less apartment while Babehoney is off at her first day of work. I met my co-teacher this morning at Dongchon station, clear on the other side of Daegu to register for my Alien Registration Card. It was about a 35 minute ride on the subway from Daegok to Dongchon. My school is going to have two native speaking English teachers, and the other is from Ireland. We met outside of our apartments this morning and walked down to the station for the ride. For some reason traveling in groups seems a bit more comfortable. It’s not like you’re going to be able to hold off a horde of Koreans (not that you would need to) with just a couple of dudes, but it’s easier to ask for directions, find your way around, or not feel so dumb about being lost when there’s another English speaker that looks a bit different than everyone else with you.

Registering for the Alien Registration Card was quick and easy, hopefully I’ll have mine back in 7-10 days as everyone but the Immigration office said it would be, but they warned that it would be more like 3 weeks. I stopped by the back side of the coffee shop on the corner on the way home to try a couple of Skype calls and then went up to Babehoney’s apartment for lunch. We’ve been mostly living out of that apartment, but I guess there’s still plenty of “checking on things” to be done, because someone from her school showed up as I was eating my curry noodles to check on something by the washing machine. After they left I decided it’d be best if I used this time to clean up my apartment a bit to make it at least appear that someone lives here, and if Babehoney doesn’t get a chance to get down to the Immigration office it might be easier if we just set up our internet access here so that we can get going on getting back to normal. My apartment didn’t come equipped with a television or air conditioner as the contract stated it should, and when I brought it up to my co-teacher she said they were already in the process of fixing those things. I was hoping she’d say “wouldn’t you like to just move in with your girlfriend and get paid 400,000W a month extra?” But that didn’t happen. The conversation happened in such a way that I couldn’t suggest it either. We really can’t complain though. We basically have a floor of the building minus one apartment to ourselves. That makes a total of 2 bedrooms (3 if we use the living room in my apartment), 2 bathrooms, and 2 kitchens to work with. Way better than we could have ever hoped for.

I guess now would be a good time to tell you about dinner last night as well. The Irishman, Babehoney, and I had planned to go out for bibimbap, but the place Babehoney had been before wasn’t open on Sunday, and the place that the other native English speaker from her school knew of had closed down. So we were looking for something close by. The Irishman suggested we try the place right next to our building, so we did. It was kind of funny, I guess not many westerners eat there, because we were suddenly the center of attention. We ordered 300 grams of Kalbi (marinated beef short ribs omg(ood)!), a coke, and then watched as two different kinds of soup, a plate of raw kalbi, and a huge helping of onions, zucchini, mung bean sprouts, and lettuce appeared at the table. We stuffed ourselves pretty well (while amusing the onlooking Korean families out for Sunday night dinner) and then  reached for the bill. The total for this feast was 17,500W. That’s about $15.75 in US Dollars. For three people. We had a huge meal for $5.25 each. This is utter craziness. The best part is that it was good too. I noticed a conspicuous absence of kimchi at the meal, and I’m not certain if that’s because we’re westerners and they thought we wouldn’t like or appreciate it, or if it just isn’t actually served with every meal in Korea. I like kimchi well enough, but I certainly didn’t mind not having it at the table last night ;).

Now that I’ve enthralled you with today’s adventure to the Immigration Office and last night’s supper I think I’ll cut this blog post here. While you’re doubtlessly shrieking  “No! Don’t stop here! (yeah, right),” I’m hoping that Babehoney is going to be home in a few minutes. We need to make a trip up to the EMart to get an iron for our clothes (which somehow moved to the living room of her apartment from the laundry room, meaning someone else has been in there today), and to make sure we have some foodstuffs in the house for tomorrow. Tomorrow is a national holiday in Korea, and we’re not certain what’s going to be open or closed, so we’re going to play it safe and stock up on stuff today.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll write the blog I’ve been thinking I need to write about Korean candies.

That’s all for now, annyeong-hi-gyeseyeo!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Introduction to Colorful Daegu

The move to Daegu went pretty well. We loaded up on a bus in Busan at about 8:30am and arrived at my middle school at around 11am. I immediately met my co-teacher, who is super nice, the principal of my school who is exactly as I imagined he might be, and the vice principal of my school who also seemed very nice. We apparently have around 1,500 students and two native English teachers. The other English teachers seem to speak on a very effective level. I'm very excited about working with the other teachers and the school itself is very beautiful. Pictures soon!

After introductions we went to a Korean/Vietnamese Fusion restaurants. I usually hate fusion, but this was different. I'm pretty sure you can fuse sam gyap sal with anything and it would be good. Koreans clearly know how to cook and eat a pig! After lunch we took a hike down to the subway station to pick up our Gyodong cards (metro cards) and then over to the EMart to pick up some essentials. After that we made it to our apartments. This is the shocking part.

I had prepared myself for a dirty, tiny, apartment next to a river of sewage. I ended up with a 600 square foot palace less than a minute walking distance from my school. Babehoney got a similar pad across the hall from mine and about a 2 minute walk from her school. How freaking lucky are we? Very lucky is the answer. We went out to eat at a Korean/Italian fusion restaurant which was pretty good, and crashed for the evening at about 10pm.

We woke up at about 8, got ready and headed into Daegu to check out our new city. It's huge. We took the subway down to downtown Daegu and walked around. We tried to find the traditional medicine market which is one of the huge tourist draws here and found it, but no one was there. We had a huge western lunch at the Outback Steakhouse of all places, a bit spendy, but boy did it hit the spot! Downtown we checked out the mega Lotte Young Plaza department store, the Seomun Market, and then headed home. The city is really beautiful and there are always mountains in the distance.

Daeguk Bil (Our apartment Building)

Street Corner near home

Daegu is surrounded by mountains

Gate to the Traditional Medicine Market

Looking hot at Jincheon Station

Now I have some more observations about this land that I'd like to point out.

  1. There is a smell in the air that I can't identify, it's familiar and sort of intoxicating, but it's not something I remember smelling before. The food at most places tastes like this smell too. Since I can't seem to identify it I'm going to just say that it smells like Korea. The food tastes like Korea. It's some base flavor that must be in the stock they use that is very distinctive but not really describable. The food at the Outback did not taste like Korea, the food at the fusion places most certainly did.
  2. Parking is difficult here, apparently. It's a big city and there's a ton of cars but few parking spaces. There are a few dial-a-space lots with a carousel where you can park your car for a fee, but it seems more common to just pull your car up onto the sidewalk and park there to run into a business if you need to. This can be a bit intimidating if you're not used to seeing moving vehicles on the sidewalk.
  3. This one is pointed out in every blog. Kids who know a few words of English like to yell "HELLO" to you on the street if you look like a westerner. Now, what I didn't read in blogs was that if you turn around and say "Hey there, how are you?" the kids go wild. I ran into some kids from Wolbae middle school which is one subway stop up from here and they were all excited when I talked to them.
  4. It's important to know a few words of Korean. We would have had zero luck finding our way back to the EMart if we didn't know how to say "where is Emart" in Korean.
So that's been our first couple of days in Daegu. It's raining today or else we'd be headed out for a bit more adventure, but we might just stay dry and take it easy. Hopefully we'll have internet access at home soon so that we can update more often, but for now we're a bit stuck.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Last night in Busan

Ahhh. Sweet freedom. We finished the EPIK orientation today with demonstrations of our lesson plans and a closing ceremony. We signed our contracts and it's official. Babehoney and I will be working at adjacent schools. She's going to be at the elementary school and I'll be at the middle school. Apparently the easiest place for us to find each other once we're there is at the school itself, and we'll live nearby. I'm pretty excited about it, that's for sure. It'll almost be like we're back to normal, except, halfway around the world.

To celebrate we went out with some of our new friends. One is moving to Daegu with us, the others are staying in Busan. We went right outside of the college to one of the brightly lit alleyways (seriously, this is the first place I've been where the alleys are brighter than the streets) and had a night on the town...for about 2 hours. We went first to a little bar that was filled with westerners and western music. We all had a beer, and they went for about 2500w each. That's a little over $2 for a beer. Not bad! Then we went up to a soju-bang or "Soju Room" for some soju, Korean rice liquor. The menu was 100% in Korean, and the waiter wasn't about to speak English. Somehow I piped up with "Soju olmayeyo?" He held up 3 fingers. Then I said "Set soju juseyo." I couldn't believe that I had actually ordered something in Korean. 5 words that made me feel like for like a minute and a half.

Babehoney at the Sojubang

Me, clinging to a bottle of water for life at the sojubang.

Tonight was the first time I tried soju, and you know, it's WAY better than I thought it would be. It's not as dry as sake, and it's far more drinkable than hard liquor. I can see how people can completely drink themselves into the ground with it. After we finished up our soju we walked back over to the university to call it a night. Tomorrow we have to get up bright and early to load our luggage onto the trucks and bus and make the trip up to Daegu.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This is an interesting time...

Today we finished up the last bits of lecture and the long days of sitting in the classroom listening to speakers wax poetically about classroom management, lesson planning, and other critically important but still dry topics have come to an end. Now it's getting close to "go" time. Tomorrow we're meeting with the Municipal Office of Education that we'll be working for, and for most of the people I've met and become friends with that means the Daegu MOE. We should find out tomorrow what school we'll be teaching at, what level that school is, and then we can extrapolate from there what side of town we'll be living on. This is super exciting and somewhat terrifying all at once. We're moving to Korea and being set loose all on our own on a new town to explore. Exciting! Babehoney and I will have to somehow locate each other after we separate to meet our co-teachers. Terrifying! 

Once we arrive in Daegu we're going to have to get our Alien Resident Cards, get all of our services like cell phone and internet hooked up, and all of that jazz. This means we might feasibly only be able to communicate with family and friends back home by email for a bit...terrifying! But, I'm sure we'll come to a place where we can make it work easily. It's just a matter of getting the lay of the land and figuring out what to do first. I was rather intimidated when were leaving for Busan, and this is a much, much smaller journey. We're going to be just fine, and I'll update my blog as much as possible from work and any available wifi hotspot as we progress towards getting the intertubes installed.

We're so ready to get back to "normal" with a place (or two) of our own and a routine to fall into...and all sorts of neat foods to try and sites to see and such.

That's all for tonight, we have presentations of our lesson plans early tomorrow morning, meetings with the MOE tomorrow afternoon, and I could use some rest.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No big news today, but an update anyway.

There's no big news to report today, just a few funny observations and a description of my lunch.

We had seminars and lectures all day. I think I have a functional command of reading Hangeul. Reading doesn't mean you know what it means, but it does mean that you know what subway station to go to, which bathroom is for Nam-ja and which one is for Yeo-ja, and you can pronounce the items on a menu to see if you recognize them from your prior Korean dining experience (like we did with the sam gyap sal the other night).

Before arriving in Korea I had been listening to a podcast called Talk to me in Korean. I thought that the host of the show had a great command of English and the production of the show made it really easy to learn the small things that help you get by in daily life. He was one of the lecturers today, and his lecture was just as good as his podcast. I was happy to tell him I really enjoy his podcast and that I found it very helpful.

Our lunch was a nice surprise today. DIY Bi bim bap! I loaded mine up with a fried egg, gochujang and various root vegetables. It was pretty yum compared to everything we've eaten in the cafeteria so far. And it was free!

It's pretty cold out today, so we didn't go out exploring or anything. We're pretty tired and decided to just do some lesson planning and take it easy tonight. This orientation has been really helpful. Even a Master's in Education doesn't quite prepare you for teaching in the way that hearing a teacher's perspective on their students does. Especially when the students are of a type that studies harder than you ever did, goes to school more hours in a day than you're even awake, and doesn't speak your language.

Anyway, it's getting late and it's time to tuck in for the night!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Another day in Dynamic Busan...and Global Pohang City!

Before I begin this blog in earnest, let me note two more observations about things I've noticed in Korea that just seem kinda funny.

  1. Every city name is preceded with an adjective. For example, Busan is not just Busan, it's DYNAMIC BUSAN! The city that we're moving to on Friday isn't Daegu, but rather, COLORFUL DAEGU. Today we visited a city that exports a vast amount of steel to the rest of the world. It's not just Pohang City, it's GLOBAL POHANG CITY. I think it's kind of neat. The Koreans have more civic pride than they know what to do with, and that's a problem that I think people back home could stand to be burdened with sometimes.
  2. When you enter a men's restroom, there are probably women in there. Cleaning it. They'll clean the urinal next to the one you're using. I got used to that. It's okay. Even more shocking is that when you walk up to a urinal it flushes. Instead of when you leave. It flushes upon arrival. It just seems a bit backwards. I'm sure there's a reason for it.
Now, onto today's exciting update:

Today we went out for a Korean cultural experience, and I think we all got a little more than we bargained for. Our first activity was a 2 hour bus ride to Pohang City to tour the POSCO steel factory. This was the biggest factory I've ever seen. They said it was 800,000,000 meters square, with 210 miles of conveyor belts. We got to enter the actual steel mill where we saw massive slabs of glowing hot steel get pounded into 6mm sheets of steel in front of our eyes. The heat was amazing as the big pieces of steel passed by. They wouldn't let you within a mile of a place like this in the US, but here in Korea it's apparently a tourist destination. They seem to be very proud of their industry and ingenuity here.
POSCO Factory (Main Building)

After leaving the POSCO factory we drove back to Busan to have lunch at the Hwanha Resort. The food was kinda meh, but the view along the waterfront was stunnin. A beautiful bridge called Gwang-ann runs across the bay, and the picturesque Korean coastline is like a ghost on the Sea of Japan. That was poetic, no? Here's a picture, it's worth about 950 more words than what I just said.
Gwang-Ann Bridge
It really DOES look like this.

After lunch we headed over to the JUMP! theatre to watch a performance of...well...JUMP! The show is a martial arts show featuring Taekwondo, Hapkido, Drunken style kung-fu, and other martial arts style. It's a bit of a campy hong-kong-fooey kung-fu story that's played out with absolutely amazing athleticism right in front of your eyes. I'm very lucky to have gotten to see the show, I probably would have never heard of it if it wasn't for EPIK, and I would have never believed such a show would be good enough to pay to see. I'd pay to see it again! It was really that good. This isn't my video, but it's the show we saw!

A short bus ride back to the campus left us with a few hours of free time, and Babehoney and I both decided that it wasn't going to be a day for another cafeteria meal. We knew we liked Korean food when we left home, but the cafeteria had me questioning in the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back of my mind whether or not I had just faked myself out. Well, we made sure to "oops" miss dinner tonight so that we would "have" to buy something to eat off campus. Babehoney needed AA batteries for her camera, so we took a trek to the MegaMart. More on that in a minute.

The first stop on our evening trip was the United Nations Peace Garden memorial for the Korean War. My grandfather (who I never met, but was my grandfather nonetheless) served during that war, so it was kindof cool to see a memorial for his and all the other participants, on both sides, sacrifices in the place where it happened. We're going to have to go back during daylight, though, we ran out on our walk over today :(. 

Korean War Monument

We walked from here to the MEGA MART. They are not kidding around. This is the first Korean big-box store I've entered and they had everything. And a million employees all saying something that sounded like "Annyeong Hashibnika!" The store layout was fairly confusing, as the snack foods were next to the pants, and the shoes were in several different locations. I bought a box of rice crackers shaped like chicken legs to snack on. They were kinda fun. After we picked up batteries we headed back towards Pukyong National University and looked for a place to eat. We re-entered the small alleyways to find less traffic and plenty of neon lit places that looked like they had good stuff to eat.
One of the "dark" alleyways with restaurants and bangs galore!

Cool view from a foot bridge

After much walking we decided on a sit-down looking place with a really scripty sign (which means I couldn't read the Hangeul) and started looking at the menu. I just learned to read Hangeul in the past few days, so I was quite slow trying to work my way down the menu looking for familiar Korean favorites. The nice maitre'd came over to the table and asked if I needed help. I asked if Kalbi and Bulgogi were on the menu and she said no, then pointed out that they only served pork and duck. Sam gyap sal. Pork belly cooked at the table and served with bahn jahn, the Korean collection of side dishes that you use to flavor your meat. We had to get 3 orders minimum, so we did. Then she said "drinkee?" and I said in KOREAN, "Meul juseyo." Which means "water please" and she brought WATER! FREE WATER!!! Now, this meal was a little pricier than we wanted to pay. For two of us, the meal was 18,000W. For 3 meat orders and bahn jahn. That translates to about $14.94. No tax, no tip (you don't tip here). A similar meal in the U.S. at a Korean restaurant would probably be about $75 in my experience. 3 meats at about $25 each, same bahn-jahn. I like how this worked out.

A quick walk back to Pukyong National University and we're in for the night.

Anyeong hee gyeseyeo! 

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Some observations about Korea

I didn't get to go out and explore today. Babehoney and I decided it was just too damn cold and we were already tired, plus tomorrow morning is going to be a bit earlier than usual. I want to write down a few things I've noticed since we've arrived in Korea. I don't know that any of these observations are universal for Korea as a whole, in fact I doubt they are, but they're some of the first experiences I've had and I want them written somewhere, regardless of whether my loyal reader will one day challenge their accuracy or not. So here's a few observations, some funny, some not, some just causing me to ponder (why'd they do it that way?).

1) The trash cans are kinda intimidating. They take their recycling seriously here. In cafeterias you pile all the compostable food into a giant bowl, then throw your trash in the proper receptacle. It's either PET (Plastic), Glass, Cans, or Wastes. If you don't know the Korean for those items you need to look under the lid to see what's inside.

2) Some bathrooms have soap on a stick. Instead of liquid soap it must be easier to put a bar of soap on a pike and let everyone touch it. It seems kind of gross to me, but they're such a collectivist society and consider themselves as "one" I guess that they're not too afraid of this kind of exchange point.

3) Elevators seem to stop on Odd or Even numbered floors only. I have no idea why. If I need to get from the 15th floor to the 2nd floor I have to stop on the 3rd and walk down. I think this one is kind of funny for some reason.

4) The chocolate tastes different. I don't really know how to describe it, it's just a little...funky? I really like the Crunky bars but the chocolate isn't what I'm accustomed to at all.

5) Pedestrians most definitely DO NOT get the right of way. Motorists will run your ass over if they have to. Motorcycles and mopeds are apparently welcome on sidewalks.

6) Sometimes hot powerlines are just hanging loosely from a tree or building. Kinda different. Stay clear!

7) You'll see like 10 amazingly cool buildings that look so modern they make you feel like an ancient, and somewhere among them is another building that looks like it's about to collapse.

8) It smells different here. I don't know what the smell is, but it's different. Not bad, just different.

9) People watch TV on their phones or movies on their computers as they walk. How they don't trip on a curb and faceplant I do not know. Koreans are amazing multitaskers like this.

10) If you give a Korean even the slightest compliment you make them blush :).

That's 10 mild musings for today, nothing super fancy or insightful, just stuff that I'm sure won't be significant to me anymore in a couple of weeks :). This is a really cool country, the kind of place I've fantasized about relocating to ever since I was home sick from work watching Anthony Bourdain and being happy that I was sick enough not to show up to Pro Dive for 4 days (honestly, if you'd rather be sick you're working at a dump.) It's almost hard to believe that things have worked out to where I could have the coolest girl in the world who also wanted an adventure like this. My life most definitely does not suck.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

First full training day

When they say we're going to do a day of training, they don't kid around. We had lectures, class sessions, and various other crash-courses in teaching methods and such for about 11 hours today. The last class was probably the most interesting, it was a beginning Korean language class. I already knew many of the expressions we used tonight, but now I'm starting to really grasp the Hangeul alphabet. After the last class babehoney and I went out for another walk, and this time we found narrow, neon lit streets with every kind of bang (no rae bang, pc bang, dvd bang, etc) and every kind of street food.

This is a PC Bang. Koreans go here to play online games, apparently.

You can see that the super narrow streets host foot and auto traffic.

Pick your own prawn!

More and More Bangs

I'm feeling a bit more comfortable in Korea. The traffic is really daunting as a pedestrian, but just taking a little extra care certainly mitigates the fear a bit. I'm also starting to get over the jet lag just a bit. I'm going to be happy to be in a normal day/night schedule soon, that's for sure. Anyway, that's about the extent of my wisdom for tonight. I'm sure I'll post again in the next few days.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Now Blogcasting from the Republic of Korea

It's official in the most physical, literal, and spiritual way, babehoney and I relocated to South Korea yesterday for at least a year. We're really happy to be here, and really tired. Jet lag is no joke, fools. Anyway, today we had our medical exams, a couple of sticks and x-rays, and then went to the 2011 EPIK Opening Ceremony where we saw kids from the Pukyong National University Samul Nori team and the Busan Arts High School do a few VERY impressive performances.

 After that we had a short class meeting with our training groups, a welcome dinner, and then babehoney and I headed out to find some neon. We sure found some! The street traffic here moves at a very frenetic pace, and the buildings are lit up like no other.

We were pretty tired so we didn't go into any shops, bars, restaurants, or bangs, but we did walk past a garden we found this morning which was lit up beautifully, and stopped to admire it a bit before we came back to blog and sleep.

I'm too tired for any more adventure tonight, but 'm sure tomorrow is going to bring a whole slew of new fun and adventure to the mix.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh man, it's here.

We're leaving for Korea in a mere 30 hours. It's pretty amazing how fast the past few days have gone. We've packed and packed and packed, and I think we're packed pretty well. We've somehow consolidated our belongings into 4 bags, 2 carryons, and a couple of backpacks. We leave from Austin at 6:00am Wednesday and arrive in Busan hopefully no more than about 28 hours later, with stops in Chicago and Tokyo. We're ready for it all. We embrace the idea of culture shock. We want to see neon lights, interesting architecture, and jagged mountains. But are you ever really ready for something like this? I don't think it's possible to not feel overwhelmed by such a huge event looming literally just over the horizon.

We have a few last stops to make, a few last purchases to do, and a few loose ends to tie up tomorrow. It should be no problem, then early to bed, earlier to rise, and ride up to Austin for the flight to Chicago. It's gametime. When I think about the things we're going to see, hear, smell, and taste in the next few days my heart beats faster. It's really crazy. All I can do to calm down is distract myself by reading, playing iPod touch games (my PS3 is packed!) and burying my nose in the news. This is an amazing sensation.

I can't wait to report in from our new digs, on the other side of the planet.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Two Weeks

Two weeks from today Babehoney and I will probably be settling down to bed for the first time in Korea. We've worked really hard to get to this point, and it's super exciting. Here is a list of all of the silly challenges we've been through to get this job, and I don't think either of us has ever worked this hard to get a job we wanted this bad before.

1) Babehoney notices a posting for teachers in Korea
2) We read up on Korea and teaching English in Asia and decide it sounds good
3) Initial application with our recruiter
4) Initial interviews & grammar quizzes
5) In depth application with a hagwon
6) Video introductions for hagwon (boy was this a peach!)
7) Rejection from hagwon
8) Application to Public School program
9) Get fingerprints for FBI Background Check
10) Wait for FBI Background Check
11) Get laid off of our full time jobs
12) Moved to Texas
13) Phone Interview with Korean Public Schools
14) Notified that we are accepted into the program, time to gather documents
15) Drive to Austin to visit Secretary of State's office to get all documents but FBI Background Checks apostilled.
16) Drive to Austin again to get FBI Background checks apostilled...DENIED!
17) Hire to get FBI Background checks apostilled through the state of New York (OUCH!...but they were really fast)
18) Wait wait wait
19) Get confirmation email that all documents were accepted and we would receive contracts
20) Received contracts
21) Drive to Houston to visit Korean Consulate to hand in contracts/notices of appointment
22) Received Passports with E-2 Visas stamped in
23) Purchased one way tickets to Busan
24) Filled out some tax forms for the IRS to hopefully get us Korean tax exemption

That's what we've done so far, who knows what the next two weeks is going to look like! All I know is that I'm so ready to be working again, settled in a new city with my gal, have something new and interesting to talk about every night when we get home from work, and be part of the world again. It's all so exciting. And to think that we're going to be eating Korean food, IN KOREA, wow! I hope we also get to take taekwondo classes while we're there, and do all sorts of other "authentic" things.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just an update...

I left my last post off with us having been to the Korean consulate to apply for visas and filing my taxes. In the past few days, our passports showed up, with E-2 visas attached, and we bought plane tickets. We're going to fly from Austin to Chicago to Tokyo to Busan to start the next chapter in our lives. It's pretty exciting, I would say! I don't know what spawned it, but I recently had the urge to start drawing again. I had a mild fascination with the world of comics and comic characters right after I saw Iron Man when I lived in Hawaii, and it came back right about the same time as we got back from the road trip. I think I realized that I was going to for the first time ever be living in a super-urban city that needed a superhero, so maybe I should start drawing one. It's amazing how much of the "draw what you see" came back from the drawing for non-art majors class I took in college, but I've got a long way to go before anything is decent or presentable.

I guess that's the update. We're getting on a plane and heading for Busan on the 16th. Cray-cray!