Showing posts from 2006

DIY Haircut

Not many people mention how disastrous bleaching a head of hair can be.  It had become a tangled, damaged mess despite additional coloring with Manic Panic (very moisturizing hair color), and warm oil treatments.

I have a limited tolerance for things that annoy me.  I had reached that limit with my hair when I enlisted my husband to help me with a DIY haircut.  Take a gander below for green through gone.

Eyes Ahead

In the time since Mom & Dad M.'s visit, nothing much has changed. Well the weather's changed a bit, but we've not been buried in snow like we were this time last year. It's a shame, because the temples look their most serene under thick white blankets as the monks wander the grounds in their warmest hanboks.

As we approach our last two months here, it's dawned on me that
1. We're approaching our last two months here (!), and
2. We've a lot of things to think about and do in the next two months.

I had sort of forgotten the chore of relocating overseas; deciding what to send home, taking the time to properly thank and visit with friends and those who have become like family, to see and do the things we still want to and revisit the things we enjoy. Regardless of the fact that I cannot wait to see my family, Korea has become a part of me and I will miss it greatly. Even in the most trying of times, this country has still offered enough kindness, joy, a…

Fall in Jeolla with Mom & Dad M


No Chairs

Mom & Dad M. were in Korea last week!  It was an amazing week filled with walking, hiking, and of course, card playing. 

The first day they were here was the second to last day of the Gwangju Kimchi festival, which could not be missed for a visitor to Korea. So on day one they got an overload of the national dish.  Though Koreans often believe it's not palatable to Westerners, we really enjoyed it. Although by the 7th or 8th stall, I think their tongues were getting spice-weary. 

That day was also an introduction to the very helpful nature of Koreans, and their desire to make certain everyone understands even if they cannot fully explain it. While I cannot speak Korean to communicate the vastness of Kimchi experience, I am able to read quite well and translate the main points. However, despite all my assurances to the volunteers, we were followed by no less than three volunteers who wanted to make sure that we got the full experience. They were very kind, and our conversatio…

let the culling begin . . .

Over the past week the bird flu came to Korea.

When we first arrived in Korea, the newspapers touted the "kimchi cure", which was essentially to eat kimchi. Some farmers even fed kimchi additives to their chickens/ducks and other livestock, companies began developing air conditioners that would emit an enzyme found in kimchi, and the new-age movement (called "Well-being" here) began supplying the masses with material meant to increase the purchase power of their "well-being" kimchi products.

At least kimchi's still delicious.

Gwangju Art Biennale

On a recommendation from friends, Alex and I ventured to Gwangju's Art Biennale, and now we can officially recommend it, too! Here are some photo highlights.

The road to praising communism is paved with good intentions?

Last weekend while enjoying some truly fantastic art at the Gwangju Art Biennale.  Thoughtful, dramatic pieces. Meditative pieces and glittering spectacles of art.  But in the 5th gallery, titled "U.S.'s Imperial War", was an exhibit that catered to the growing anger at America, and it gave me pause.  Not because I cannot conceive of hatred towards America. I can.  I just couldn't follow this artist's conclusions.

He aligned his political philosophies with communist China and guerrilla soldiers in Venezuela. He touted the failures of a democratic system while supporting China’s communist hero, Mao Zedong. Never mind that an earlier exhibit showcasing China's doctored photos to paint communism in a favorable light, or that in a communist society his rights are not so protected or that he, in fact, lives in America.  Never mind, indeed.

He claimed that Cuba was a slap in the face to American democracy because of its resoluteness and success.  We wondered w…

Justin Was Here & Now . . .

Well, it’s been quite some time since I last made an effort at this blog. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to, there are plenty of irons in the fire.

Justin’s visit was excellent. For Alex and I, it was a revitalizing experience being able to introduce someone to how our lives had changed so much in the past 1.5+ years. Alas, one week isn’t adequate time to do everything we wanted, but we made the best of it. a2’s favorite aspect of his stay was the culinary adventures that he was none to shy about. He ate everything we put in front of him, and we were able to experience some dishes we hadn’t. Sadly, he didn’t enjoy the silkworm larvae that I have become so fond of, but we both agreed whole-heartedly on the deep fried baby crabs. Delicious, shells and all.

Besides Korean cuisine, we dipped our toes into the insanity that is the drinking culture where Justin discovered the time-honored toast of “Bottom’s up!”, and a trip to a Noraebang (singing room). While he didn't ch…

Catching Up

Justin's here. YAY!

South Korea has always had air raid drills. Meh.

North Korea has not, and probably will not, attack. YAY!

I do not have a hyperthyroid. YAY!

I will blog more after our visit to Seoul this weekend. YAY!

Here are some recent pics. YAY!

Bye now.

Jeju-do Pictures

As some of you know, we recently took a trip to Korea's Emerald Isle, Jeju-do. We were hoping for some R & R on the beautiful beaches, and maybe some hiking on the volcano Hallasan, BUT the weather conspired against us.

We flew onto Jeju-do as a large typhoon was beginning to churn through the straits of Japan and Korea, so we didn't need suntan lotion or bathing suits. We were still able to see the island's most famous waterfall, Jeongbang, and enjoyed the sound of an angry sea on lava boulders.

For My Mom

. . . and this time I didn't dye the bathroom any strange colors!

Love is . . .

"More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse."*
It was the ultimate convergence of being ill-equipped and ill-prepared that led to this moment. Sore muscles and joints creaking to a halt where we could only assume was not anywhere near the end of our trail, my parents’ voices in my head rattling off the checklist of a successful, or at least smart, adventurer. Yet here we were, in the pitch black of a forested mountainside on an unfamiliar trail with one working flashlight (one busted flashlight) and an uncertain number of miles left to go.
The courses on the northwestern face of Mt. Mudeung (무등산) are among the most beautiful but least traversed on the mountain. The early climb is a steep, wide, well-marked affair “paved” with large rocks and tree roots for footholds. The later paths, however, are not for the weak of heart or body. Rarely marked trails wind over jagged ravines of boulders, narrow ledges coupled wi…