Friday, December 16, 2011

Abundance Go's: Snow Resorts

Even though I tell people I don't like winter, they usually end up saying how much they love going to ski resorts in Korea. I'm not much of a winter sports person (or summer sports), but I'll take their word for it. However, I have heard that these places get really crowded. Anyways, here for you are some people who have been or can talk about winter in a good way.

1. Eleanora's Life in Korea: Last year she wrote about the best time to go skiing in Korea and where to get tickets in case you don't have your own transportation.

2. Kiwi Wonju Blogger: Here he takes us to the Pheonix Ski Park, which by the sound of must be good. Pictures and details await you.

3. KoreaJjang!: Generally have no clue what ski resort to go to? Well this post (although old) can sum up the popular ones to help you out.

4. Halfie in Seoul: Maybe you just find yourself not sure which hat is proper to wear. Keeping the head warm is essential to staying toasty in the winter time. Here is a fun post about hats to wear.

I for one find myself stuffed inside my house doing work at home. It keeps me warm but also away from all these winter wonders. Hopefully I can get out to something special this season, and you too!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Abundance Buzz: Christmas in Korea

For some they go home and share presents in person, but for must of us Christmas is another holiday spent in Korea. It is a good time to meet up with new and old friends and celebrate. Also it can be a great way to observe how Korean people enjoy this time of year. For sure, things like the Christmas tree and lights have taken over this country more and more. Here for you are a selection of Kbloggers who have had good times this holiday season.

1. 유♥웃: Here you can see what Christmas time is like at the charming Lotte World.  You can see she had a lot of fun.

2. CocoinKorea: Like I said, it is a good time to gather with friends. A lot of people host a party at their house and share in good eats. Here she did such a thing and it looked like a lot of fun.

3. Paul Ajosshi: Ever pass by the Paris Baguette and see a table full of cakes? Well those are the famous Christmas Cakes of Korea. Here Paul gives us a cake that is likely far better than the ones sold on the street.

4. ZenKimchi: But maybe you are still curious about the standard Korean Christmas Cakes. Well take a look at last year's fare all lined up.

5. Wonju Wife: A little something here for you to ponder and well laugh at. It is a guest post by Roboseyo and one that will get you thinking about Santa.

Seriously, though the thought of buying a cake specifically for Christmas is not something I recall doing when I was young. However, sometimes they can be so cute, you can't resist! What do you have planned for this special time of the year? I hope you have time off and get to rest before camps come. (I know I will!)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Abundance Go's: Noraebang

You can't live here without at least once going to a loud singing room, otherwise known as Noraebang. I don't go as much as other folks, but I've been there when the stories were told of legendary nights spent singing away. Here for you are a selection of tails to capture that Noraebang feeling.

1. F5Waeg: Even for this seasoned resident of Korea one cannot escape the singing room. Check in to hear about some good times.

2. Kiss My Kimchi: Maybe the pleasure of a Noraebang isn't enough, well nowadays you can find "multi-rooms". With video game systems to computers...perhaps the next best thing.

3. Halfie in Seoul: I selected this one because you get a general story of going. Definitely it is a place to let loose and be carefree.

4. WhoMovedMySambal: A post with various pictures so you can get a better idea and some photos of sightseeing.

There are many "rites of passage" when first living in Korea and the Noraebang experience is just one of many. Have any fun tales to share?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Abundance Aid: Ondol Time

One of the first things you learn when moving to Korea is how to heat your house during the winter. For practically everyone this means using the ondol system built into your floor. Somewhere along your wall is a switch that controls the temperature and timing. But not all houses are alike and the same goes with the ondol system. Having lived in 4 different places already, I can tell you I have had 4 different kinds of ondol switches to deal with. Thankfully they all did the same thing, which is heat up your floor. Today I will take you to people's amusement with the ondol and how it has kept their life cozy during Korea's cold season.

1. Bathhouse Ballads: In this amusing post you get to hear how the Korean heating system can often lead your body to getting dried out. Tips are given on how to keep your home from turning into a dry place. Take a look at the post to find out more.

2. Grrl Traveler: Not a blogger linked on this site but I thought it would be useful for those who want to know how to heat themselves in other ways. Like those hand warmer things.

3. On Becoming a Good Korean (Feminist) Wife: This is a great post because it features her pets enjoying the benefits of the ondol. I bet it is paradise for them.

As great as the ondol is, one of the unfortunate aspects is how much your utility bill shoots up. In that case you have to be sometimes selective about your use of the thing, which could leave you freezing one night and burning up the next.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Culture Cookies: Korean Weddings

I remember during my first year in Korea I was asked by family back home what Korean Weddings were like. Eventually I went to a few and found them to be less what people thought they would be like. They were still full of rituals, but they seemed to be like just another day in a Korean's life. Korean weddings, for the most part, take place in "wedding halls" where everyone who knows the bride and groom comes. But people mostly seem to come for one thing, the after-ceremony buffet. During the ceremony people talk and walk around like it is no big deal. Although these sights can be alarming to see, it seems Koreans are fine with it. Because of this I have accepted what it is like for Koreans to marry here.

But let's see what other folks think about Korean weddings in their posts as part of my new series, "Culture Cookies." In this series I hope to present how Kbloggers have come to terms with culture shock and other general cultural awareness.

1. Xweing away in Korea: In this post you can see what the actual rituals are during the wedding ceremony are like. But also you can get a feel for how weddings in Korea are definitely different amongst other Asian countries.

2. I Got Seoul: Another really insightful post about the experience where she says, "There was so much missing, it appeared that while marriage is highly regarded, and highly pressured in this country, the actual act of getting married means very little." That certainly explains why the wedding ceremony seems like just another day in the life.

3. Buhay sa Korea: Although this post is about gift-giving in Korea it points to what kinds of gift one should expect to give at weddings. What does it turn out to be? Go and find out.

4. Roboseyo: This post wouldn't be complete without a more thorough look at the whole thing amongst Korean society. He proposes, "And here's the next big kicker: if we accept that, as I said before, nobody owns a culture, then we might need to take a different approach to the wedding hall wedding in Korea." A very insightful post on many topics that you should consider.

 The most interesting thing really, is when Koreans and Non-Koreans marry in Korea. Rob's wedding was very beautiful and less tacky than traditional ones held here. Some folks even manage to have true traditional weddings wearing hanbok and doing it at a palace. Whatever the place or time, marriage is an important step in a person's life no matter what the ceremony is like.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Abundance Buzz: Halloween Fun

Even though this holiday has passed I think some folks are still looking back at the good times they had. Or maybe thinking just how much candy they gave out to their students. Since living in Korea for 3 years now I can definitely say this holiday has picked up steam here. On the academic side schools tend to have some kind of event for their students. And on the "free time" side many bars and clubs host events for people to take part in. Costumes, both in the kid and adult department, have come along way too.

I for one don't really do something special for this holiday, but have seen other people do it. I thought I would share with you guys what happens in Korea around this time of year.

1. Annie Around the World: In this post you can see how during the day one gives Korean children a dose of what this holiday is about, and at night how one celebrates. Some cute costumes!

2. Stupid Ugly Foreigner: Here he hits the point that holidays abroad aren't really the same as they are back home. But you try to make the most of it. You get to hear about how he developed into a Zombie and spent the night away as such.

3. Elyse Marie: Another fun mix of work and play in this post. It makes you wonder how this holiday will develop in years to come.

4. Kiwi Wonju: Just a nice post here about how work is affected by Halloween, drawn up in 2008. Maybe looking at this post and then comparing it to earlier ones you can see some changes. For sure many schools like teachers to decorate the rooms for the festivities.

How was your Halloween this year? Anything special happen at work or outside of it?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Abundance Found: 7

What is lurking out there amongst the Kblogosphere that could be both random and amusing? Let's take another spin around and find out!

1. Bobster's House: Looking for something traditional and that you can eat? Here I found a post about a dish that involves duck and spices. I have had roasted duck in Korea, and found it to be very yummy, but never had duck soup. Check the post out to learn a thing or two.

2. Wet Casements: Maybe it comes with living in an urban setting, but you begin to get use to that walls become places for markings. These markings can be the usual graffiti scrawl, but nowadays they tend to lean in an artistic direction. On this post were some colorful walls that happen to be in Daegu.

3. Elyse Marie: Sometimes you just gotta do it yourself. Here she took herself on a date. If you haven't been to her blog it is full of great photography. This whimsical post will surely brighten your day.

I leave you here with those random finds to ponder over. By the way, if there is a KBlog you read that gets your noodle wet, then please do share!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Abundance Go's: Fall Colors, Oh My!

It's exciting seeing the trees go from green to yellow, orange or red. This time of year also reminds you to get ready for winter and that cold months area ahead. But for some reason the sun shining down on a colored tree is always pleasant. Today we look at some blogs who posted about this phenomena.

1. Ahlumdahpda: Mostly just some great photos, but of course that is welcomed.

2. Mountain and Field: Here you can explicitly see how time changes with the seasons.

3. Ajumma's Journal: Wondering where to go this year? Well check out the post for some great details on the hot spots to check out Fall foliage.

Have you already been out and seen the colors change? If so link us to your pics or blog. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Abundance Works: Notes from Students

As a teacher in South Korea getting notes from you students is often fun and charming. Other times just noticing what they wrote or produced on worksheets can also be quite amusing. It's not that their English is poor, rather it is the way their creativity goes. In this new addition of a topic I am calling, "Abundance Works" we take a look at notes or other creative pencil creations from students.

1. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat: In some extra class she was teaching her students sent signals of wanting to go, via handmade signs. The humor is there but the reality is also prevalent.

2. Coco in Busan: Sometimes kids creativity is very amusing and here her students made up a drawing of love.  It points to how even the youngest of children can have feelings for each other.

3. Plate Full of Onions: One of the best day's to get Teacher's notes is on Teacher's Day. Usually they are cute and hand-made. Here she displays some of her treasures from this occasion.

4. The Seoul Patch: You don't always have to see the creative stuff from the youngsters. Here his teenage group went to town on creating apps for an iPhone worksheet. The results were amusing.

As always teaching in Korea brings us lots of happy times and fond memories. These kinds of notes and creative responses help us remember why we are here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Abundance Yum!: Something South of the Border

Today I am taking you away from the kimchi and gochujang to the wonderful world of tacos and hot sauce. I am talking about Mexican or Mexican-inspired food found in Korea. For most folks who have a craving for Mexican food, and live in Korea, they know that there isn't some place to go next door. (Unless you are lucky) Instead you have to travel to Hongdae or Itaewon to find something up that alley. Here we take a look at folks who have found something Mexican-like here in the land of water-kimchi.

1. The Seoul Patch: It was big news when Taco Bell finally came to town a while back. And so many Kbloggers picked up their Tcards and headed for some American-Mexican food. I myself have enjoyed a few items from here, but definitely miss the whole menu.

2. A Search for Happiness: Then sometimes you think you are getting something Mexican inspired, but it seems the inspiration is lacking. Some place called, "The Holy Grail" didn't quite live up to expectations.

3. Kiss My Kimchi: A location in Gangnam, where Mexican food places are starting to pick up one can find a place called, "The Tacos." Certainly a clear message with the name of the restaurant. Did it win over the taste buds of this writer? Well go check the link and find out.

The Weird
The complete name is The Tacos Uncle 29 Mexican Grill… Just who is this Uncle 29?

4. Zen Kimchi: If you just don't feel like trekking the distance than try a popular fusion food of Korean tacos. Here the writer Tammy gives us a yummy recipe to try out.

I hope that got you hungry as I certainly now have a craving for something wrapped in a tortilla!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Abundance Found: Sixxx

Come with me and let's explore random posts by the many Kbloggers that have contributed to the discovery of wonderful and oddball things in Korea.

1. I Am Saja's Mom: Something you may not know about Korea is that they like to give you bonuses to dining out or shopping. Often times you can find things taped to ramyeon packages and cereal boxes. Here she shows us the bounty of cereal boxes with things strapped to them as a promotion.

2. ElyseMarie: A new blog for me, but full of great content. In this very comical post she showed us an Ahjusshi and Ahjumma party that her and her friend's put on. Having lived in Korea for some time now I couldn't help but cackle at the site. Certainly a great idea to make any week less boring.

3. Jennipal: A post-blogger, but still has lots of great posts to dig through. Here we get a glimpse of something rather odd hanging on the wall of a Korean relative's house. You have to click over there to go see it!

4. Paul Ajosshi: We end our trip down random-road with a stop at Paul's place. I recall this funny post about a cat up in a tree and his funny spin on the whole thing.

Again, I hope you enjoyed this voyage down Abundance Found lane and hope to see you back again sometime!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Abunance Go's: The Museum

Wherever you live or travel often times you know you find yourself inside a museum. These are a city's place where you can learn and discover more about the local culture or get a sense for contemporary art. Living in Korea there are many museums to choose from and not just in Seoul. Often times you do find yourself at museums that house odd objects. Today's post is to show some bloggers who have ventured into the stone walls of museums around Korea.

1. George Bailey Sees The World: Here we are taken to the "Santorini" museum in Hongdae. It's a museum that mostly has "trompe l’oeil" or trick-eye artworks. Personally I am not a fan of this kind of art, but now and then one does need to have a little fun. Check the post out for some funny photos and a good read.
2. I Got Seoul: It's one of the more infamous museums in Seoul, that is the Chicken Museum. The place houses artworks with the theme of roosters and hens. I suppose if you are a poultry lover or enthusiast this would be the place to be. Seriously though this museum is one of many unique ones to visit in Seoul.

3. A Search for Happiness: Like I mentioned earlier you don't have to always look in Seoul to find a museum. Here you can see that there is one in Busan called, "Busan Museum of Art". Amongst this post are other highlights one could do in Busan, so go take a look!

Even if you have visited most of the museums in Seoul or elsewhere it is wise to go back and take another look. Often times there are special exhibits and temporary ones that spice up the space inside.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Abundance Buzz: Chuseok

Chuseok is here! A time when Korean people celebrate their culture and family heritage. For us expat folk it means several things, for one we get time off from work and another an opportunity to experience this aspect of Korean culture. Today I will take you into Kbloggeres experience of Chuseok in the past. I for one had a memorable time when my ex took me to his family gathering in the mountainside.

1. Plate Full of Onions: For these folks the holiday meant gifts and dressing up. The pictures show how colorful this time of year can be with people wearing hanbok.

2. The Harrington Times: Chuseok means vacation to most of us and with that said you can go and do anything. Also this time of year has a lot of festivals, but people like to gather and go places. This blogger went on a hiking trip, which turned out pretty nice.

3. Wonju Wife: Although no longer in Wonju she does bring us a post from the past about a family experience of Chuseok. She visited her husband's Grandma's house in Cheong Sang a place apparently famous for apples. Take a look at the post for some great photos and a good story.

The air is getting cooler and there might be some rain this Chuseok, but whatever you do enjoy this special time in Korea.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Abundance Thinks: Eating Dogs

It's a topic that will inevitably come up if you are planning to come to Korea or already here. That is the topic of the Korean cuisine known as boshintang (보신탕) a soup that includes dog meat. I for one have never tried this food and still can't as I just don't see myself eating dog meat. But there are other foreigners in Korea who have tried it out and lived to tell the tale. Included in today's "Abundance Thinks" are those experiences along with posters who have spent some time talking on the humane side of the subject. I hope these posts clear some questions you might have about this kind of food in Korea.

1. In My Time...: An old traveler to Korea, but had a boshintang experience. Here she gets a "pot of dog" and goes at it. Certainly she knew about the controversy but wanted to try it anyways. To hear about the taste and experience check out the post.

2. Hangook Summer: Here we take another person's experience, but this time he just watched his friend eat it.

3. Roboseyo: Now let's get into the issue of raising and slaughtering dogs for meat. Rob highlights for us the animal and cultural rights that this cuisine has created. He articulately gives us an understanding from many view points and also gets you thinking about whether it is right of us to come in and try to change this aspect of Korean culture. Check out the post for a good read.

4. Karori to Korea: Generally speaking there have been times I have wondered if Korea even has an animal rights group. I've seen animals on TV programs abused and handled in awful ways. Well on this post we see that people do care and even take their angst to the streets.

The topic of eating dog meat might come up someday with your Korean counterparts at work. It might be a good idea to get an understanding of the issue from all sides before leashing out some opinions. Remember not all Korean people eat dog meat and some even don't want to. In that case, don't assume all people in Korea eat it or support the practice. I hope these posts give you insight into the taste and political aspects surrounding this kind of food.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Abundance Aid: Visiting the Doctor

Whether it happens to you in your first week in Korea or not until your 12th month it is inevitable  that you will get sick living here. This is especially true being a teacher and being around the not-so clean habits of young students. (Not covering their mouth when they sneeze or cough and not washing their hands after a trip to the bathroom.) So it is that you will find yourself at a local doctor's office or hospital visiting someone who you hope speaks English. Today's Abundance Aid post takes you into Kbloggers experience with visiting the doctor in Korea (for various reasons) and the wisdom that they can pass on.

I for one have never had an unpleasant experience at a doctor's office here in Korea, and found both the price and service to be quite satisfactory.

1. Plate Full of Onions: If your nervous about going to the doctor your first time in Korea, well don't be. Here one of the authors had the sniffles and got out just fine. They also highlight one of the interesting things of getting a doctor's visit and that is the pill packs you get. Check out the post to get a better idea.

2. Biz and Steve: Although the two have returned home and finished their journey in Korea their posts are still valuable. When it is cold and flu season in Korea there are some cultural remedies that you can use to thwart getting sick. Here they explore a citrus example to try and stay healthy.

3. Seoul Searching: Here we have a tail of a Kblogger spending some time at a hospital. I actually visited her while she was there and would say that the "normal" accommodations are like being shacked up in a dorm room, but with old-sick people. It seemed pleasant enough with privacy curtains to give a bit of comfort. Take a look at her post to get a more real understanding of what it is like.

4. Karori to Korea: Another set of folks almost on their way out of Korea, but do have a doctor tale to tell. Again we see how it is a simple operation to go to the doctor and get your pills.

5. Kiwi Wonju Blogger: There are times when western medicine isn't so cutting edge, and one would rather try their hand at oriental medicine. Thankfully, Korea is abound with oriental medicine clinics. After having some muscle pain he decided to try his hand at one of these clinics, to find himself having a unique experience including acupuncture and other things. Check it out!

Whether we like it or not someday we will get sick in Korea (knock on wood) and we could try and stick it out, but the best thing is to see a doctor. I hope these posts give you some insight into what it is like in Korea, and also that it isn't such a big deal.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Abundance Buzz: Cat or Dog Cafes

Purrrrr! Woof! Woof! Being far from home you know you miss your parents and friends. But you might not expect that you miss those furry pals in your life. With the lack of back or front yards and our houses usually being the size of shoe boxes, having a pet might seem like a bad idea. Although, many folks do have pets in Korea. Yet if you are craving some fur ball love than there are places to go that can help you get your fix. These are called cat or dog cafes, and I believe they got their start in Japan. In fact my first experience at a cat cafe was in Japan, and I was really blown away at how awesome the concept was.

Since my three years in Korea I have seen cat and dog cafes blossom around Seoul and elsewhere. The following are Kblogger's encounters with pet cafes.

1. Eleonora's Life in Korea: In Hongdae you can find the Geo Cat Cafe, which is one of the better known cafes. Here the writer had a good time playing with some cats and enjoying the atmosphere.

2. Seoul Searching: If cat's aren't your thing than maybe you would be interested in a dog cafe. Another Hongdae location and called the "Bau House" here you can pet dogs and play with them, for a small fee of course.

3. Karori to Korea: Perhaps you don't still get the gist of what a cat cafe is like, than why not check out the videos in this post to get a better visualization.

4. Coco in Korea: She takes us to "Hello Cat" in Cheongju where you not just pet pretty kitties but also sip on some yummy drinks. She remarked on how the place smelled clean, which is to show that these places are not really as dirty as we may think.

As for myself I practically live in a cat cafe, except so far the occupancy is just one cat. But I like to get out to these places as it is fun to watch the animals play and do whatever it is they do. (Mostly sleep)

Have you been to a pet cafe? If so do share!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Abundance Yum!: Seafood

Korean cuisine is one that has many varieties, where you can go from a tasty rice dish to a strange configuration of sea creatures. I for one am not a fan of eating seafood, especially if it isn't salmon and not cooked over an open flame with a hint of lemon. When it comes to seafood, in Korea, you can pretty much find about anything. Live octopus, sea squirts and eels are just to name a few. Now and then people try their hand at this out-of-sight food and the results can be surprising. Today I will show you a list of Kbloggers who have tried their hand at seafood dishes in Korea and came out safely on the other end.

1. The View From Over Here: Let's start off with some fresh live fish! On her post she takes us to Jeju Island where she experienced 회 or non-cooked fish. The post is a fun read and also gives you info about stuff to do when in Jeju. It definitely shows you how varied your choices are of seafood here in Korea.

2. Ah-lum-dahp-da: From fish I now take you to the spiky crab. In this post she ventures to Yeongdeok for some very delicious but also expensive crabs. Another good post here and also one that shows you another side of Korea you may not have seen before.

3. Buhay sa Korea: What do you think when I say the word, "fishballs"? Probably not exactly appetizing thoughts. I for one don't like odeng but a lot of other people do. In this post we go into the kitchen and see the author cook up some fish balls. Go check it out to see what it is all about.

4. Shinshine: Lastly I take you to the wonderful world of octopus. You cannot get me to eat one of these guys, and as much as my school likes to hide little bits inside pancakes or soup I still refuse. But there are many people out there who just love to eat up this 8 legged creature. Here you can see a recipe and also maybe learn something?


silken tofu 순두부 (sun du bu)
oyster (gul)
garlic chive 부추 (bu chu)

Maybe the next time your out looking for something to eat perhaps you will be interested in the creatures of the sea for your next dinner. If so do share it with us. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Abundance Go's: Summer Destinations

If you are like me and a teacher here in Korea, than you are bound to have some time off during the summer. Either it be a week or a month you know you want to get away from your area and see someplace new. For some people going back home and relaxing in these comforts is their destination. For other's they seek out new places in Korea or go beyond the border. Today we will explore places other folks have been to during their summer vacation and see just how endless the possibilities are.

1. Coco Busan: In this ticklish title called, "Time Travel on Route 97: Jeju" you can tell you are in for a treat. Exploring new possibilities on your vacation is a great idea to enjoy your time off. When you are somewhere new it is often a good idea to take the advice of someone and go in a different direction. In her post you can see just a few wonders of her trip.

2. Xweing away in Korea: Sometimes for a few of us just hitting the beaches isn't enough. When you are traveling it also a good idea to get in some of the cultural sites to see. Here she took a trip to Gyeongju where you can definitely see some great historical artifacts.

3. Kiwi Wonju Blogger: He took a trip to Japan where he made a hike on Mt. Fuji. A part of his series while in Japan last year you can see some great photos and read even better stories.

4. The Harrington Times: Maybe getting out and exploring South Asia is one of the better options. Either you go in the winter to warm up or go in the summer to just enjoy the beaches. Here on their post they show some eats and highlights from their visit to Chiang Mai.

Wherever you are going on your summer vacation this year I wish you safe travels and a fun time.