Oh Happy Dae!

Yep, it’s true. As of this date I have left Korea. Apologies! This video went up awhile ago, but I didn’t pair it with a blog post.

I left Korea on March 28th. Sad day ㅠㅠ. I left behind a lot of great friends (and great weather btw – it’s not warm enough in the Midwest!).

As to why I left, well, I wasn’t feeling… fulfilled? I always liked my workplaces and my co-workers. The past job at the kindergarten was pretty great actually. But towards the second half of my employment I just wasn’t feeling good about things. Even though things went well for the most part I still went in thinking, “Well, at least I only have 6 hours or so until I can go home”. That really didn’t feel right.

I didn’t dislike being a teacher. I had a lot of great moments with my students. I never really felt like a”real teacher” though since Education wasn’t my major. I thought maybe getting an university job would be nice, but these days it’s very hard to get one of those if you don’t have a MA. So I decided to come home.

I’ve seen a few friends leave and return to Korea after a year or so. I have friends who went home to get certificates or a Masters, or even those who stayed in Korea but do those programs online. So that’s my tentative plan. I love Korea and, if I can, I’d like to go back. So I’m going to apply for an online program to earn a TESOL MA.

I still want to make vlogs and blogs about Korea, as well as traveling and my life in the U.S. Thanks for sticking around. I’ll still be here making content as long as you guys are around. :)

Cheers!

I love going to noraebang (노래방). If you aren’t familiar, you may know it better as karaoke. In the U.S. we have karaoke nights at bars. Which means you have to get up in front of everyone at the bar and sing. Not that good if you’re the shy type. I prefer what Japan and Korea have – businesses that have singing rooms that you can use for an hour or so.

Usually when I’d want to go I’d get go with a group of friends. Sometimes it’s hard to get everyone to agree to go out. Or maybe you don’t want to sing for that long. That’s why noraebang booths are awesome.

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Noraebang booths at a game arcade.

Welcome!

Welcome!

In many game arcades you’ll see a few of these booths lined up. You can fit 2 people comfortably, sometimes 3. You can pay 300 won for 1 song, 500 won for 2 songs, or 1,000 won for 4 songs. Then it’s time to rock!

Time to pick your songs.

Time to pick your songs.

The remote isn’t always easy to figure out if you’re not familiar with Korean yet. So I went through the basics in my video for how to pick out a song. Here’s a few words you should know:

제목 – [song] title

가수 – singer

These are how you find the song you want. From there you type in the words. You can go between Korean and English by pressing the button that says “한/영”.

시작 – start

예약 – reserve [a song]

최소 – cancel

Once you find the song you want you press one of the above buttons.

You can also change what country’s song you want by pressing 국가. There’s Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese. Sometimes you can find Vietnamese or Thai.

There’s also other buttons like the Top 100 songs, changing the tempo (템포), key, or skip interludes. I usually just use the basic function buttons.

Now you can sing your little hearts out!

TV at the noraebang

I sang 2NE1′s “Missing You”

I love coffee. I didn’t always though! Luckily if you are a coffee/cafe lover then Korea has got you covered. There’s one place in particular that I especially like – Roasting 나만의 커피 (Roasting – Only My Coffee).

It’s located in Gung-dong (궁동) which is the area right next to Chungnam University in Daejeon, and I mean *right next to*. You walk out of the parking lot on the southeast side of campus and the cafe is pretty much right there. :)

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Besides getting a good cup of coffee they have excellent desserts. I’m a big fan of the brownies. They’re huge with walnuts inside and dusted with powdered sugar on top. Yum!

The owner also teaches about coffee and how to make it. I believe you can do your own hand drip even without taking a class, but I’m not 100% certain.

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Bit of a line.

It gets a little busy in the daytime with all the students around, but not terribly noisy. They also have wifi should you need it.

My favorite part of the interior is the bathroom. That may sound weird, but take a peek at my video. It’s hidden behind what looks like a bookcase. I wanted to go inside, but someone had just walked in. ^^;;

Cute bear latte art

Cute bear latte art

The latte art was a bonus last time. I didn’t even know they did that (never got it before). Super cute, right?

 

Location

Location

Getting there isn’t too tricky. If you’re a CNU student you’ll be coming out of the parking lot nearish 다술아파트. Otherwise you can come from Rodeo street, turn left at GS25, walk down the road til it stops and turn right. It’s around the corner. Otherwise you can plug the address into your phone on Naver Maps or Google Maps.

Address: 대전광역시 유성구 궁동 395-4

I went over to Gyeongbokgung the other day when I had some free time in Seoul. Unfortunately, I didn’t look up the hours/days they are open. Turns out it’s closed on Tuesdays. ㅠㅠ Oh boo…

But still I had a nice walk down Gwanghwamun Square to see the statues of King Sejong and Admiral Yi.

*Plus* Artbox giveaway winners are announced! I’ll be contacting them shortly.

As always, thanks for reading and watching. :)

I just can’t resists cute things. So heaven help me if I walk past Artbox.

Artbox is one of my favorite stores. They have stationary, clothing, make-up, home goods, and more! I especially like buying the notebooks for when I’m studying Korean.

So I’m going to share my love of this fine store with you guys. I will be giving away 2 sets of goodies to 2 lucky people. Check ‘em out!

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This is the perfect little set for studying languages, I think. I love the vocabulary note cards. Much better than the big ones I used to use when I was in school.

To participate I’d like you to comment either here or on YouTube. Don’t forget to Share & Like too. ;)

Deadline: March 19th 11:59 PM KST

Thanks, guys!

Finally! I’ve been meaning to film this since I moved in. ;>.>

I’ve been in this place for 2 years.  My first year with EPIK I lived in a decent one room. It was clean and newish, and no real problems with neighbors. I decided I wanted more space though so I found a 2 room in the same area.

It took a little work to find a new place. At the time my co-teacher couldn’t take me around so one of my Korean friends was kind enough to go with me. Basically in Korea you call up a real estate agency (known as 부동산) in the area you want to move into. You can tell them all the things you’re looking for like 1 or 2 room, fully furnished or partially furnished, your price range, etc.

I looked at about 4 places and wasn’t really feeling any of them. Then the realtor said she knew one more place. All the other places were either a little small or didn’t have all the features I wanted like a cooking range or fridge. This seemed just right. For 320,000 won a month the price seemed too good to be true. I had my friend asked them if there was  catch, but they just said “Oh we’re Christian”. So… I guess it’s thanks to Christian charity. The deposit, however, is nothing to sneeze at. It set me back 5,000,000 won (about $5,000). Granted you usually get it all back, but that’s still a lot of money!

Other than the mold problem and the upstairs neighbor who walks around like an elephant I’ve really liked it. Plus my landlord and his wife are super nice. He fixes things when I need it and every once in awhile she brings me something like fruit, rice cake, and hoddeok. I’m grateful for my 할아버지 and 할머니 (grandpa and grandma) landlord/lady.

Now I just have to get organized for moving out. Oh joy!

Coming from the grand old state of Wisconsin, I’ve had many chances to “enjoy” the winter weather. I say “enjoy” because I honestly really dislike winter. However, if there’s one winter activity I like it’s skiing and snowboarding. Actually, I’m pretty crummy at snowboarding since I just tried it for the first time last year, but it’s still fun. I had the chance to ski yesterday with friends at Muju Ski Resort.

Muju is roughly 1 1/2 hours from Daejeon. You can get buses that’ll go from different parts of the city right up to the resort. We left at the wonderful time of 6:30 AM from Chungnam University. I go recommend going early so that you can get in as much time of the slopes as possible. Unless you go during the week, there will be long lines to deal with  on the weekend which really cuts into your total time.

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Rental rates depend on how long you’ll be there. It’ll be roughly 30-38,000 won if you’ll be spending most of the day there. The lift ticket is around 70,000 won. My friend booked yesterday’s trip though, and we only paid 80,000 won total (lift, rental, and bus). That leads me to believe that there are trip packages with good deals so you’ll have to ask around.

I’m no expert on such things, but I thought Muju had decent conditions. We hadn’t had much snow so it was the fake stuff. There are several slopes ranging from beginner to advanced. I was generally on the intermediate all day since I haven’t skied in many, many years. There were gorgeous views at the top! There’s actually a gondola that goes up because there are lots of hikers that go to the enjoy the views as well.

Going up ~

Going up ~

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The weather was just perfect. Look how clear and blue the sky is!

When you need a snack break too there are a few choices for you. We all pretty much ended up eating at Popeye’s, but there’s your typical Korean food, (donkatsu, galbitang, etc.), Dominos, and a couple others. There’s even a GS25 at the very top of the slopes in case you’re a bit peckish after that long lift ride up. They usually run out of cup ramen pretty fast though, so grab it while you can.

Besides all that there are lockers on hand for you to store your stuff that’ll cost 1,000 won. You can also rent clothes (coat and/or ski pants) if you don’t have the proper gear. I highly recommend buying proper ski gloves and goggles before you come. They are much more pricer at the ski shop. I ended up having to get goggles there last year and they were over 40,000 won I think. You could probably get a decent pair at Home Plus or off of Gmarket for between 20-30,000 won.

They also provide lessons for an extra fee, but please note these are taught in Korean only. If you have some experienced, patient friends on-hand I would say ask them for help instead.

If you wanna check it out you can look over at the Muju Resort website.

Laters!

 

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