i’ve locked myself in a cafe so that i can update this without interruption. not that i have roommates or large pets to interrupt me in my apartment. i didn’t post anything about the holidays and i realize now that there wasn’t much to post. i had a nice time with new friends and acquaintances, and seoul was very cute throughout. there’s still christmas decorations up now as i type this, actually.
here’s a photo album highlighting november/december’s shenanigans including a trip to a manmade island known as nami and some christmas festivities. also the all-important purchase of an amazing cell phone charm that i’ve named george michael. not pictured: attending one of the best concerts ever. that being flaming lips in seoul. wayne coyne remains a fantastic human being and the spectacle alone made it worth all the won.
lazy eyes, here:
a bridge in nami
the first of december was world aids day, and i spent it volunteering at an event called rubber seoul. it felt good to do some nonprofit work, and the event itself was a lot of fun, involving five bars with bands playing all night. it was mostly sponsored by little travellers, a great organization that supports the women of south africa through the sale of their handicrafts.
i also went ziplining in december. to clarify, ziplining is when you are harnessed to a hook that travels along something that looks much like a telephone wire. the actual facility website is here. it’s fun and exhilarating and FREEZING to do it in the wintertime. but it felt extra crisp to do it then, also. my camera died that day so i have no evidence that i did this, but i know someone who does.
now onto 2011…
new years, much like christmas, was low-key and pleasant. as for the rest of january, i tried to go ice fishing and failed. so, the major thing that i did was go to something called the taebaek snow festival with a friend. it was also freezing cold. and technically cancelled! korea’s had an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, so a lot of festivals are being cancelled. but people go to the areas anyway. the snow festival centers mostly on a lot of beautiful snow sculptures and a sledding hill. there’s also a shrine that you can visit. and a coal museum! that i was both genuinely and foolishly excited to visit.
i went with the group adventure korea, and we were lucky because we also got to go into a cave (which has the highest elevation of any cave in korea) and hike mt. taebaek itself. in order to get up there safely, everyone had to buy cleats aka crampons, which are those spikes you put over your shoes that stab into the ice/snow to give you stability. they worked like a charm. the hike wasn’t particularly difficult, but due to lack of sleep and too much layering, it wasn’t exactly a breeze.
the view at the top was beautiful, and it made us all feel accomplished. i met some really nice people on that trip, so it ended up being one of the best weekends i’ve had in korea. here’s some photos of it. (i actually took close to 300 pictures, but these are the most relevant ones). for lazy eyes, here’s a sample.
sydney opera house
ciaran and i at the top!
that’s it for the winter update. the next entry i have to write will be about my trip to hong kong for lunar new year! with my current rate of update that should be finished sometime in may. ;)
also, worthy of note: this is the last term of my teaching contract! so expect the emotions that come with such a time to color all entries from now onward.