Korea: Visiting Our Northern Neighbors

  Many years ago, Billy Joel wrote a little-known song called We Didn’t Start The Fire. Some of the lyrics go like this: Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom Brando, The King and I, and The Catcher In The Rye I remember when we were learning this song in my middle school social studies class, no one…

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Korea: Morning Calm

It’s 6:30 AM here at the time of this writing, and I’m awake. I just wrapped up a phone call back in the States, and I simply can’t seem to fall back asleep. So here I sit in the living room, typing this out for wont of something to do. The sun is slowly rising,…

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Korea: Museums and intellectual things

It’s been a while since the last post. Chalk it up to a bruising touring schedule – over the past week, I must have walked at least 50 miles. But that’s what happens when you go backpacking in the south end of the country, a place with some of the most beautiful natural sights and…

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Korea: Chicken feet and eels and other everyday snacks

Every culture has their share of ‘weird’ food – Southeast Asia has balut, Scandinavia has lutefisk, the Aussies have Vegemite. But no culture possesses so many of them like Korea. The list goes on and on… Blood sausage, silkworm pupae, fermented fish heads, raw marinated crab, fermented fish, shrimp paste, dog soup… Yesterday, I got…

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Korea: Day One

So, as it turns out, my laptop charger isn’t compatible with the outlets in Korea with their different wattage. Which means that I’m stuck typing out this entry (and other future entries) on my diminutive iPad. First world problems, yes, but I’m more than a little miffed. I did make a promise to take you…

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Life In Korea: Redux

Longtime readers may remember that I lived in Korea for a few months in the summer of 2011, and covered my travels extensively (not extensive enough, though – I still have some things I forgot to post from way back when!). Well, here’s the kicker – I’m going back, and I’m bringing y’all with me….

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Life In Korea: Jeju Island, Part III (제주도)

OH MY GOSH, this is so so so very, incredibly, super-duper late… like, two years late. Well, better late than never, I guess! Anyways, I found out that I had uploaded all of these photos … and never actually posted them! To catch everyone up, I went to Korea two years ago (summer of 2011)…

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Life In Korea: Jeju Island, Part II (제주도)

By sheer amazing coincidence, our vacation date coincided with the current promotions that had been going on to get Jeju Island selected as one of the “New Wonders of the World”. And South Korea, which is known for its amazing (and sometimes overwrought) patriotism, brought forth some of their biggest guns – K-pop idol groups…

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Life In Korea: Jeju Island, Part I (제주도)

The sky is blue, the plane is ready – off to Jeju Island we go! Jeju Island (제주도) is a self-governing province of South Korea, and lies south of the Korean peninsula itself. It is a volcanic island, dominated by Mt. Halla (1,950 m above sea level). The island measures 109 miles across at its…

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Life In Korea: Busan, Part V (부산)

It’s definitely been a while since our last Life In Korea corner. But fear not – there is still plenty of material I’ve yet to reveal! This time, we’re going to continue our Busan excursions. You can find the previous parts here, here, and here. Our destination today is the Haedong Yonggung (해동용궁), a temple…

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Life In Korea: How to Ride the Subway Without Killing Yourself

When the only form of transportation around you has been the good ol’ automobile for as long as you can remember, it can be quite a drastic change when you’re forced to use public transportation. After having used the Seoul Subway for what amounts to three months, I can say that I have a good…

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