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South KoreaSouth Korea

Confessions

He picked me up in his old, beat up Kia and we headed to The Coffee Bean for 4,000? Americanos and language exchange.  He is back in Korea after a year studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia.  The 9AM sunlight was too much for our eyes that morning, though he had ... read more

Brittany Weyen

South KoreaSouth Korea

Green Line Number 2

Thank goodness for the Green Line! If you’ve never looked at a map of the subway system of Seoul, then here you are. It’s a complicated tangle of intersecting, river-crossing, color-coded nonsense. Except for the Green Line. Thankfully, most of the destinations I will be traveling to are on the ... read more

Yuri Min

South KoreaSouth Korea

A Tale of Survival

I did it… I tempted fate and survived. That’s right, I slept with a fan on. Not only did I sleep with a fan on the whole night (no timer), but I also closed every door and window to my room. And I have lived to tell the tale. ———————- ... read more

Amanda Purnell

South KoreaSouth Korea

4 People to Avoid In Busan

Friday at 2am, me and Jensine decided to make the 1-hour journey to Busan for a day trip on Friday. Got on the wrong train, but no probs, just had to stand the whole time. Arrived to meet the boys, ventured to the beach, soaked our feet in the ocean ... read more

Amanda Purnell

South KoreaSouth Korea

Why Korean Women Remind Me Of Chickens

Back home, my parents own a small acreage-turn-farm. After leaving for college and subsequently, Europe and Asia, my parents started to collect animals. Most notably, chickens. A phone call to 1-800-ChickensPlease and next thing you know, egg crates of chicken eggs had arrived, had hatched, and were born. Whenever I ... read more

Amanda Purnell

South KoreaSouth Korea

Why the Korean Educational System Sucks Sometimes

This will be a truncated post about my feelings towards the Korean educational system. For some of you, especially my teacher friends, this will be interesting. For others…. not so much. I would never want to be reincarnated as a Korean child. They have it so tough, especially academically. The ... read more

Amanda Purnell

South KoreaSouth Korea

Like and Love in Korea

Like & Love in Korea I’m in a country where I look nothing like the locals. They have high cheek bones, almond-shaped eyes, dark straight hair, weigh an average of 100 lbs., and are generally hairless. Me?  My cheek bones scream Westerner.  I have big, round, blue eyes.  My hair ... read more

Amanda Purnell

South KoreaSouth Korea

Curse of Curves: Shopping in South Korea

The drought is over!  Well, typhoon/monsoon season is still raging, but the shopping drought in my life has reached an end! For a bigger, curvier girl like me, Korea is pretty much the last place you want to come.  You will be turned away in boutiques, stared at in shops ... read more

Amanda Purnell

South KoreaSouth Korea

Hocus, Pocus and Dr. Kim

I had always heard of ginseng, but never really knew anything about it.  Obviously it was some oriental herb that they put in multivitamins or face creams or something. Since coming to Korea, I can distinguish the smell of ginseng and locate the nearest oriental medicine clinic or pharmacy within ... read more

Amanda Purnell

South KoreaSouth Korea

it's true

In my class of little first and second graders today, our theme was “Laws”.   From the book: “Laws make people obey traffic signals.” Me: “So when you are in a car, and there is a red light, you stop!” Tiny Isabel: “No, you go faster!” Yes, I guess you ... read more

Laura Knight

South KoreaSouth Korea

Outing o' Awesome

  I think I am going to stop looking at the weather forecast. It just makes me sad. For instance, this weekend was prime spring weather. Clear, warm, just lovely, right? This week, you ask? Rain. All week. Everyday. Rain. All I can say is all this shower better make ... read more

Sarah Potts

South KoreaSouth Korea

To Less Than Ideal

Saturday night 4 lovely ladies and I raised our glasses. Here’s to “less than ideal!” I sit here, Monday morning, reflecting on the weekend, thinking about when it all started, and I can’t help but chuckle. It all started when we arrived. That’s never a good start. Thanks to the ... read more

Sarah Potts

South KoreaSouth Korea

Learning to Cook

The half-way point, the six-month mark, the point where the time I've been here exceeds the time that I have remaining, looms in the very near future. I should start thinking about what I want to do next – keep travelling or go back to The States, go back to ... read more

Kristin Pederson

South KoreaSouth Korea

Day 4- June 11, 2009

8:30 am This traffic is incredible. Apparently half the stoplights, called robots here, stop working in the rain. I feel bad for the boys in the back of our 4x4, as it probably 50 degrees fahrenheit and raining outside. I'm excited to go to Nelson Mandela's house in Soweto. Last night, ... read more

Bailey McBride

South KoreaSouth Korea

God's Day

(Written on 3.01.09) Sunday. The day of worship. Little did I know that I would actually be going to church today. A few days ago, my exchange adviser invited to the international student welcoming at her church. I figured that everyone from the church would be gathered to welcome us ... read more

Sarah  Shaw

South KoreaSouth Korea

Korean Life

(Written on 2.28.09) Today I went out to dinner with Ji Hyun and her friend Dana. We went to a nearby restaurant, where I was able to experience the communal eating habits of Koreans. There was a hot plate in the middle of the table, where we cooked pork and ... read more

Sarah  Shaw

South KoreaSouth Korea

Settling In.

(Written on 2.27.09) Annyeong haseyo! Yesterday I met up with my exchange partner, Ji Hyun, who studied at Pratt (my college in the US) last semester. She took me to run all my errands, and showed me where everything is located around my school. I needed a photo for my ... read more

Sarah  Shaw

South KoreaSouth Korea

Overwhelmed.

(Written on 2.25.09) This is how I would describe myself on this February morning, sitting in my dorm room in Seoul. Let's rewind. I left Portland at 4 am on Monday morning. Luckily I was able to leave, seeing as how there was a snowstorm the night before. I was ... read more

Sarah  Shaw

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Culture Shock

The Ajumma Way

Jon Wick

04 Apr 2009

South Korea

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Jon Wick

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The tiny, stout, old Korean women, sporting tight perms, an 'Eye of the Tiger' attitude, and clown-like makeup, are affectionately refered to as the 'ajumma.' On the subway, protect your ribs; their sharp elbows will hurt as they cut in line just ahead of you. On the streets, harness their fearlessness by staying close as they shuffle across the suicidal streets oblivious to traffic. Play your cards right, tolerate their blunt nature, and you will be rewarded with one of the most genuine smiles you'll ever see.

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Etiquette

Drinking in Korea

Tyler Ray

11 Mar 2010

South Korea

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Tyler Ray

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Korea is a land of subtleties and unique culture. This is in part due to it’s centuries isolation from the rest of the world. Very few Korean backpackers are encountered in hostels around the world. So their practices remain unknown to most of the world’s avid drinkers. 1. Never pour your own drink. 2. Unless you're older person, have two hands on the glass or bottle. However two can be polite always. 3. If a glass is dry, fill it. If you're done leave some alcohol in the glass to indicate you don't want it refilled. 4. When drinking hard alcohol don't shoot it in front of an elder. Turn to the side and cover your mouth. 5. The host will pay the entire bill. If you are befriended and bought drinks don't worry, you won't pay a dime.

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Food

Eat a live octopus (but make sure you chew it well!)

Christopher Duffy

03 Jul 2009

South Korea

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Christopher Duffy

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You can't say you've really been to South Korea unless you've sampled some "Fear Factor" quality dishes. Sure, there's dog meat soup, but everybody and their mother's tried that. Head south to Busan, South Korea's second largest city and try a plate of samnakji, live baby octopus. Sliced up right in front of you, the tentacles are still writhing as you dip them in sesame oil and pop them in your mouth. Be sure to chew well though! Otherwise the tentacles can suction onto the inside of your throat, causing a potential choking hazard.

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Nightlife

How to Drink outside a Convenience Store in South Korea

Kristin Pederson

22 Apr 2010

South Korea

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Kristin Pederson

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I haven't yet been in Korea for a year but I am stoked to resume one of my favorite seasonal activities – drinking outside of a convenience store. There is no limit to the amount and types of convenience stores in Korea. In any urban area you can easily see a GS25, Family Mart, Buy The Way, Gmart, 7-11 and any number of knocks-off such as Yes 25 without taking a single step. Basically without walking more than a block you can have your choice of 6+ establishments to buy anything from ramen, kimchee and chips to beer, soju, makgeolli and other various alchohols. The magic in this becomes apparent when the weather is warm enough to sit outside. Korea has very lax drinking rules and

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