Life in the ROK

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

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Today I saw a reenactment of Kong Jeongjo's royal procession that dates back to the Chosun Dynasty in Korea (1392-1627). When the king traveled he always had a procession of around 1000 people with him and sometimes many more. The top picture shows the procession traveling over the Han river on a pontoon bridge which is how they would have crossed the river in the old days too.....It is a lot easier now that Seoul has about 20 permanent bridges that crisscross the Han.

Fireworks over the Han River. In the background is the 63 building, yes it has 63 floors and is the tallest building in Seoul. The fireworks were set off to mark the beginning of the Hi Seoul festival. This year's festival has the tagline of being the "Cultural Miracle." I am not sure if that has a different meaning in Korean....still trying to figure that one out.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

After what seemed like a never ending winter I am very happy to report that Spring is here in Korea. This is a picture I took at Namsan Park of the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Today Jay and I saw a performance called B-Boy Korea. It was the story of a rivalry between two B-Boy groups. (For those of you who don't know B-Boys are breakdancers and Korea won the B-Boy Championship this year, and they are very proud of it.) The performance was quite impressive, not only because there were guys spinning on theirs heads and jumping around like their joints are made of rubber, but they were doing some of it to traditional Korean drumming, flute, and string instruments. And of course there was a love story, a b-boy with oddly dyed hair falls for the beautiful country street performer who plays a gayakeum (a 12 stringed long hand held wooden instrument.) It was awesome.

We went to a Korean baseball game this weekend. The home team was the Doosan Bears and they played the SK Wyverns. It was pretty good baseball, maybe between AAA and Majors quality. I snapped the first photo of Colleen right after a basehit and you can see the home crowd in a snap second of excitement. The cheerleaders in the second photo were another reason to get excited.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Here are a few pictures from our Thai Cooking class on Koh Chang at the Blue Lagoon Cooking School. In this picture Jay is grinding herbs and spices for our Indian Curry, we also made Tom Kha Gai, and Tom Yam Goong soup, Red Curry, Green Curry and Sticky Rice with Mango. It was all very tasty as was almost all of our food in least now we can enjoy more of it at home wherever we are living.

Jay and I looking pretty greasy after whipping up some delicious Pad Thai, and then the best part......we got to eat it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Here are a few more pictures from Wat Phra Kaew. The temples in Thailand are really beautiful with so much gold and amazing brilliant colors on everything. We were constantly in awe of how ornate it all was.

Us with Noy, my family's Thai exchange student who was an awesome tour guide for our 24 hours in Bangkok. Here we are at Wat Phra Kaew or the temple of the Emerald Buddha, which is actually made of green jade or jasper......The Buddha is thought to have been made in the 15th century and was the cause of several wars before ending up for good in Bangkok in 1782, when Wat Phra Kaew was built and Bangkok was founded. No one is allowed to take pictures of the Buddha so you will just have to imagine it in all of its green glory. Another interesting thing about the Emerald Buddha is that it's outfit’s change seasonally, for winter, although it is never very cold in Bangkok, summer, and the rainy season.

Jay and I on the ferryboat leaving Koh Chang with a strange Thai drink of sweet orange juice with gelatin things floating in the bottom. Although we are smiling we would have very much liked to spend at least one more week on Koh Chang swimming and realxing on Lonely Beach.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Here are a couple of pix of our resort, Bhumiyama. They did a nice job of pulling the jungle in close. It was right on the beach, which was far from packed. It was a very nice place for not too much money. There were a few more fun things we did but I will let Colleen post on the rest of them.

We went elephant trekking on Koh Chang, which means "Elephant Island" by the way. At one point our guide was thrown off by the raging creature and I had to jump onto its neck to wrest back control. No worries, it was easy since I am so tough. I handed back control to the guide but he made us get off when the elephant took a shower to cool off.

We went out to Koh Chang to spend the week. The first day we kayaked out to a smaller island, maybe 2 km away, and went snorkeling. The scenic photo is looking forward to Lonely Beach, where we stayed. The air temperature and water were both 85 degrees F.

We just got back from Thailand and it was GR-R-R-EAT! The first day in Bangkok we visited the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. He is about 150 feet long. We are standing next to the toes of his right foot. The toes of the left foot are above it but out of the frame.