Life in the ROK

West goes East: The lives and adventures of a Californian couple living in Seoul

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A man just arrived at my door carrying a box wrapped in a pink cloth. He said it was a gift of Korean cakes from our landlord for the upcoming Chuseok Holiday. Chuseok is kind of like a Korean Thanksgiving. During this holiday everyone leaves the city to visit their families in the countryside and pay homage to the graves of their ancestors. So far I have tasted two of the mochi like cakes and they are delicious, some are even still warm. The arrival of these cakes was very good timing for me, I have never had mochi for dinner.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Trying hard to fit in Cara and I tried on some traditional Korean outfits.

Tall Korean clowns outside Osan Air Force Base.........need I say more.

At the Korea House in Seoul they have traditional wedding ceremonies that are open to the public. The ceremonies are real in that the couple ends up married at the end it is not just for entertainment purposes, although some of the Korean guests seemed to think it was and were chatting throughout the entire ceremony. One fascinating Korean wedding tradition is that of the Korean ducks. Every new couple gets a pair of wooden ducks when they get married. The ducks are placed in a prominent place in their new home and if the husband or wife is mad at the other spouse they will let them know by turning their respective duck away from their spouse's. Considering that the divorce rate is pretty high in Korea maybe this is not something that should be adopted in your own marriage.

Don't let this happen to you, especially when you are carrying your cute heart purse.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Riding on the tram in Namsam Park on our way from Seoul Tower Cara and I were surrounded by school children, equally frightened and excited about our steep decent down the mountain.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A tall ice cream and some shoe shopping no real consolation for Jay being in the states but it will have to do. And yes I did get a haircut, thanks for noticing!!!!

The clothes looked the same from the outside......maybe there is just more protein in them....yet another Korean mystery unsolved.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Welcome to Wolmi-do. This odd creature is the apparent mascot of Wolmi-do a strange beach town that I discovered when my best friend from preschool visited Seoul on a twelve hour layover after traveling in Vietnam with her boyfriend....somtimes reality is better than fiction.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jay shows a young Korean boy where we live in Seoul.

So there we were, driving in the middle of Seoul when all of a sudden this big 30-foot tall dragon comes around the corner, wriggling and writhing like a warty wittle worm. Since we were in the hoopty, I wasn't worried about door dings but he didn't even leave a mark as he slithered on by.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

This speaker is located in the entryway of our apartment and faces into our living room. The speaker cannot be turned off or on and if it had not started speaking we probably would have never noticed it was there. Tonight the speaker played its 3-note song and then a man's voice came on and spoke very importantly in Korean for about a minute. Then the 3-note song played again and the speaker was off. This is the first time I have heard the man's voice. I have heard a woman make some announcements a few times during the day. Once we even figured out what she was talking about when we went to the get on the elevator and realized that it was not working. But for all the other times that they have spoken to us in Korean we have had no idea what they are saying. You might be wondering if this speaker in our house feels at all intrusive? The answer would be yes, it is very strange, and feels a bit big brotherish.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Jay imagines he is an ancient Korean warrior.....or just that he has a really uncomfortable helmet on.

Me in front of Starbutts in Itaewon. We found this "bar" on a street called Foreigners Alley. It doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out what kinds of things take place in this part of Seoul.

There are all kinds of strange foods in Korea and once I speak and read some Korean maybe I will be able to demystify some of them. For now I just have to guess and/or taste them. I guess that this is maybe....half of a pig, there seem to be a lot of legs though so really it is open to your own interpretation. I took this picture while wandering around Nam Dae Mun market. The market is a maze of indoor and outdoor stalls of just about everything you can imagine from live eels and kimchee to knock off designer bags.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Things are different in Korea.....this machine is used to move all of someone's stuff into their new apt. Forget about elevators and lots of men carrying boxes, the Koreans just load up this device and everything gets pushed up to your window. I wonder how high it actually goes and if it will reach the 24th floor when all of our stuff finally makes it across the ocean.....we will see.