Archive for ‘Travel’

November 29, 2011

Veni. Vidi. Vici.

With a title like that… you know this is going to be a looooooong post.

I’m the let’s-take-the-easy-way kinda girl. Because life is short. And if something can be done in less time and with less effort, then uh… why struggle? (I struggle anyway but that’s another story for another post.)

So I lovelovelove pretty views. I mean, I live for views. You know the kind that take your breath away? Those. Whether it’s from the top of the CN Tower or the Eiffel Tower or <insert your fav tall structure here> or… mountain tops.

But see, there is a slight technical difference between a man-made tall structure and… a mountain. They’re called elevators/escalators/lifts/flying glass cubes. Whatever you like to call them- I like them to come packaged with my pretty view. Like French fries with ketchup. Or samosas with chutney. Or crunchy apples with peanut butter. One without the other should never be!

So I brought 5 pairs of shoes with me to Korea: 4 heels and a pair of black flat boots. I figured the only kind of working-out I’d be doing is yoga so why pack runners?! But Korea is on a mission to change me. And I’ve gotta admit- she’s been showing some pretty solid game so far. Here’s the foot gear I wore for this view-finding-journey:


They were probably made for driving to, and walking around… in a mall. And to say I had a couple OMG-I’m-gonna-die-moments would be an understatement.

So the journey started with this pretty Jetsons-meets-nature path (doesn’t it look all futuristic!?)

Which led us to this beautiful pond/lake…  it felt all calm and serene and peaceful-esque. We went over to the edge and watched the fishies do their thing.

And then I made a friend. Isn’t she just precious?!

Then we passed this mountain of rocks. If I wasn’t with the most awesome 1/2-Korean-1/2-german-American I know, I would’ve thought it was one of those things Koreans just do. You know, pile rocks up in random spots on the mountain. Totally logical explanation. Only in my head. Like most other things. I digress.

So Noel told me to pick up a rock nearby. A ROCK TIA – not a clump of mud. I think he called it a tarp? terp? turd? Turd. And then you’re supposed to make a wish. And put it on the top. Here’s mine:

And then. AND THEN. the most random sight. EVER.

That’s right. A gym. On a mountain. In the open air. It’s like oh-hey-I’m-not-already-getting-the-workout-of-life-let’s-stop-and-REALLY-workout.

So this is probably where I should mention that Noel is a boxer. So is Sherif. And Jade? She climbs the mountain approx 3 times a week. No biggie. uhhh. NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHY I STRUGGLED SO MUCH. You would’ve too. It took “us” 2 hours to climb up and down. And by “us” I really mean me. If I wasn’t there, it would’ve probably taken the 3 of them, oh I don’t know… 27 mins? In total.

To the left of that gym, is this cute washroom.

And then we reached the top. (The I climbed the CN Tower in 27:13 tshirt I’m wearing in that picture? Total coincidence. I didn’t plan that AT ALL. And if you were wondering when I did that cray-zee thing… it was when I worked for HP and and they did a fund-raising climb in partnership with WWF- World Wildlife Fund. Like I said before, I’m an elevator/escalator kind of girl usually.)

And here’s a plaque we found on the way to check out the helipad.

And here’s the helipad.

And the rest is a blur because I was so hungry and my legs felt like mashed potatoes.

Until of course my new friends took me to the most awesome-est restaurant ever: Seoga & Cook. (Every restaurant I’ve been to so far has been awesome. More awesome-r than the one before. That’s what life is like in Korea. It just gets more awesome by the minute.)


Then the food came and I forgot to take a pic before we devoured it. So here’s a collage of a half eaten plate and a pic of the pic of the full plate on the menu.

And like with every night in korea, the night just doesn’t end until you’ve had a little kiwi-soju-lovin’.

Mountain climbing. Wishing on a Rock. Gym. On said Mountain. Awesome food. And a little Soju. All in a day’s work.

Veni. Vidi. Vici.

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November 20, 2011

My (first) Short, Sweet Korean Wedding!

Let’s start this post with a… !   !

Ya. Uh. I saw this shop on the drive to the wedding. And the 11 year old inside me giggled then prompted me to take a pic. Blame it on the ah ah ah eleven-year-old!

My awesome awesome director got hitched on Saturday- my FIRST short sweet Korean wedding. Get it? It’s a play on “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” No? Doesn’t work? Ok… moving right along.

So Korean weddings are really short. The ceremony lasts about half an hour and then everyone eats. Did I mention that watching the ceremony is optional? As in, you can walk in… greet the groom/groom’s parents. Walk over to the bride’s room. Say what up And then peace out. To the buffet. Like. SERIOUSLY?! And that’s what most guests did. People would also get up and leave. Talk. Walk around. WHILE THE BRIDE AND GROOM WERE EXCHANGING VOWS!

I heart Korean weddings. Only as a guest though. I’d feel gypped as the bride. I mean if I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life. And running around like Bridezilla in the months leading up to the wedding then I better get (at least) a WHOLE day of undivided attention. And not a moment less.

Traditional Hindu Tamil weddings last a day… but recently the trend has been to borrow additional events from our Hindu friends up north like the mehendi. This is also one of the reasons I secretly hope to have a Gujarati or Punjabi wedding. These weddings last up to a week! (and come pre-packaged with days and days of undivided attention) Like hellllllooooooooo, where do I sign up! And uh Mom, if you’re reading this, I’m totally kidding. OBVIOUSLY.

Sorry, let’s get back to the wedding I went to and not my own hypothetical wedding…

Here is a pic of all the lovely ladies I work with (there’s a few more who couldn’t make it) What’s that? Is there anyone you know? Of course there is! Kayla is standing to the far left. I think she’s the only one I’ve written about so far… but the others are just as lovely. LOVE them all :)

So like I said before, you walk in and greet the groom and his parents. Here’s a pic of my director and his parents at the entrance to the hall. His mom is wearing the traditional Korean dress: a hanbok.

You also go and check out the bride. She sits in a room on the other side with a photographer ready to snap pictures of her and the guests. (It’s kinda like the brown wedding group photo op post wedding. Only difference being the koreans do it pre wedding and don’t invite the groom to this party.) We passed on that one, the photo op I mean. Because, well… we didn’t really know her. She looked gorgeous and I absolutely loved her dress. Especially the back of it.

Here’s a pic:


Next up… the ceremony starts and this part is like most church weddings in the West. Although, there are no flower girls or bridesmaids. And it’s not in a church.

AND this part really bugged me: the bride doesn’t get a grand entrance. Let me explain. So in this pic the groom is standing right in front of her. He walks down the aisle, bows and then takes his place at the front. (as opposed to the groom waiting at the front before the bride even enters the room) THEN she just walks down the aisle with her father. There is no opening of doors or a grand revelation. Or anything like that. I would’ve been like REDO please. As in just pretend you didn’t see me and let me walk in again. I digress. Again. Sorry!

Here’s a pic of them making it officially official. Doesn’t she look like a fairytale princess right out of Disney?!

I don’t have any pics of the bride or groom from the front – only videos. And I have no idea how to upload videos yet. So when I figure that out, I’ll update this post :)

Then. It’s time to EAT. (granted, most people were already eating as the bride and groom were making it officially official) But Kayla and I stayed til the end. We walked over to the hotel restaurant and this was the view (if you look closely you can see mountains!)

The buffet consisted of a variety of korean food – everything looked and smelled absolutely delicious!

But of course everything was either pork or beef and I wasn’t up to the challenge of eating raw seafood so I stuck to veggies. I had kimbap, kimchi, tofu, soup and noodles. It was SO good. I was so full I didn’t even go to the dessert table. Ya. You read that right. This is why I always say: Eat Dessert First!

And that was it. To be a little sentimental for a moment, (hey, I just witnessed two people commit themselves to each other…and sure I didn’t understand a word but that’s beyond the point. wedding = free pass to be emo) I just want to say that I’m so glad my first korean wedding was my director’s. He’s honestly one of the nicest people I’ve ever met and I wish him and his new wife all the happiness in the world. <3

After the wedding the other teachers and I decided to drive back to Chilgok and hang out for a bit. We went to this cute little coffee shop with the cutest name:

Andddddd here’s random photo of the day. I call it… I whip my hair back and forth.

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