Saturday, May 29, 2010


Usually after a night out in Hongdae (Seoul's club district) Hannah Teacher wakes up with a pretty brutal hangover. Blame it on the Soju...

The past 3 months I have come to realize that drinking is a major part of the Korean lifestyle. You can drink anywhere in the city. On the weekends, you usually see people stumbling around as early as 10PM. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you will see people randomly passed out everywhere; on the subway, in restaurants and even on the sidewalk. There is even a highly entertaining website dedicated to this issue (

Soju is native to Korea. It is typically made from rice. It is a clear liquid and ranges from 20-40% alcohol by volume. You can find Soju anywhere, and it will cost you less than 4,000 (around 3-4 dollars). Koreans usually just drink it straight in a shot glass alongside their kimchi and bbq, but I prefer it mixed with Powerade. Another popular way to drink it is shot by shot, mixed with Dr. Pepper. "Soju Kettles" are popular at some bars, which consists of kool-aid and Soju served in a plastic bottle with the top cut off.

Powerade and Soju: drink of champions

If you're looking to hop on the train to black out city, Soju is the drink for you. The stuff always seems like a good idea at the time, but one always regrets it in the morning (trust me). I don't know how the Koreans do it. Cheers to them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Buddha!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of experiencing a new part of Korea, Busan. Busan is South Korea's second largest city, with a population of about 3.6 million. Busan is known for the 5th largest port in the world. Compared to Seoul's population of over 10 million, Busan was a little slice of heaven.

After riding the KTX for about 2 hours and 50 minutes, I arrived in Busan to bright sunshine and smiling people everywhere. I stayed in Haeundae which is known for its big, sandy beach, flooded with tourists and Koreans with their umbrellas and tents. We stayed in a "women's only hostel" called The Planet Guesthouse. This place was wonderful. Super modern decor, comfy bunk beds, and best of all right on the beach. In the morning, the owner, made each of us breakfast. "A Korean specialty" a fried egg atop a piece of toast with strawberry jam and butter, then drizzled with ketchup and mustard. Strange, yes, but delicious.

Highlights of our trip: laying on the beach in the sun (let's be honest, I am ghostly).
Eating an expensive Italian meal (including an amuse bouche to start, and perfectly cooked pasta).
Taking a night boat cruise and viewing the bright lights of the city.
Visiting Jalgachi Fish Market and getting harrassed by Korean men to eat raw, bloody, sliced up sea worms.
Eating candy coated strawberries on the street. Buying new hair accessories.
Eating two Korean meals in one day. Going to the top of Busan Tower.
Buying 5,000 won shirts and getting completely drenched in the rain.
Drinking gin & tonics and extra large beers at Thursday-Party and meeting awesome new people.
Eating burgers and fries to cure the hangover. And spending quality time with a great, new friend.

As I was exploring this great new city, I wondered whether I would want to stay in Korea for another year, and possibly move to Busan. The city was that appealing, with beaches, great people and culture. I'm going to tuck this idea away for now and ask myself again in 3 months whether or not Busan could be my future home.

All and all it was an amazing weekend, thank you Buddha for being born!

Haley and I
View from Busan Tower
Korean BBQ
Candy coated strawberries
Octopus at the Jalgachi Fish Market
Gwangan Bridge
Haeundae Beach


I know this has nothing to do with my adventures in Seoul, but I still feel the need to blog about my favorite television show coming to an end...

After watching the series finally of the show Lost, I never thought I would be so emotional and overly attached to a television show. The two-hour series finale brought out so many emotions. I cried off and on for the entire two hours. I cannot believe after 6 seasons, it is finally over. I have mixed feelings about the finale but now that I have let it sink in, I love the way it ended. Although, there still are a few unanswered questions, the episode made me realize what the show was all about: the characters and their connection to each other. I’m really going to miss the show, the cast, the confusion of it all, watching Matthew Fox on a weekly basis and John Locke; my crush on him will never fade.

"The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That's why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them and they needed you."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

changing it up

This week at school we switched homerooms. Now every morning I am greeted by Apple class. I now eat snack and lunch with them (which is a joy because Kiwi completely cleared out all of the food), grade their homework, pack up their book bags and send them on the bus every afternoon. I have been teaching for 2 months now, and never thought I would develop such an attachment to these children, already. I already miss Kiwi class. It has only been 2 days since my partner teacher and I switched homerooms, but already I have developed a feeling of sadness when I do not get to hang out with the kids in Kiwi as much anymore. At lunch, they have been wandering into my new room and sitting on my lap and telling me that they love me. Now, I will just see them once a day from 11:40-1 and then every Tuesday for science class. Although, I will miss my babies, I am super excited to get to know Apple class more. Already, they are growing on me, and I feel they are becoming more and more comfortable with me. Who knew I would love this job so much? I already feel like these kids are my family and when I wake up every morning I definitely know that they are the reason why I am here.

Apple class (minus Eric) not the best picture of everyone but gives you a good idea of my new homeroom