Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Have a wonderful Chuseok!

Best wishes to you all..have a wonderful Chuseok.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Chuseok Events for Foreigners in Seoul

With Chuseok just around the corner, a lot of events are taking place to engage foreigners in Korea to enjoy the event. One such event is hosted by Seorae Global Village Center at Banpo - it's a contest to make Songpyeon or송편 (moon shaped rice cakes).

A registration is mandatory to take part and seats are limited to 30 people.

Chuseok is the same as Thanksgiving Day.A lot revolves around food, family reunion. The most unique feature of Chuseok is turning of Seoul into almost a ghost town...very few people remain. Anyhow, back to rice cakes dates and place is below.

When and where: 26th September, 2012  from 2:30~5:30 p.m at Seorae Global Village

For more information, call them at:(02) 2155-8915-6 or 2155-8949

Another event is the Korean Speech Contest at Seocho Gu City Office on October 10th.

Where: Seochu gu City office.
When: Oct 10th, 2012
Registration Time is open until Oct.05, 2012.
Email:  ju8112@seocho.go.kr 
Phone: (02) - 2155-6168

Thursday, September 20, 2012

TRIP by Korean Railways (Korail) Tourism Organization

If you are free on this coming weekend then you can join this trip sponsored by KORAIL for 2 days and 1 night. 

Participation for this trip is very nominal - 10,000 won. Hotel stay, meals, bus and train fee are all covered. It is first come and first served so hurry up!

1)    Date & time: 2012 Oct 5th (Friday, first team) or 6th (Saturday, second team) at 7: 30 am
2)    Departure: Seoul station 
3)    Schedule: 1 night 2 days course. The schedule is changeable due to the weather. (please find attached file)
4)    Participation fee: 10,000 won per person (bus fee, room charge, entrance fee, meals are included)
5)    Pulic: Foreigners only (limited to 80 places, first come first served basis)
6)    Registration: Send email until September 25th with your full name, cell phone number, foreign registration card number, passport number, sex, age, nationality. After sending email application, please call the responsible to confirm. 

7)    For inquiry contact: 02-2084-5779 / 02-2084-5761 / 02-2084-5762 (available on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday only) 
010-8840-6201(in Chinese)
010-6306-0116 (in English) 

Email your personal information at: wish-s281@hanmail.net

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pumpkins in my neighborhood farm in Bundang

My everyday walking track includes some streams, farming communities and lush green rice, phaichu (Korean cabbage), youngpha(spring onion), hobak (pumpkin), peppers or kokuma (sweet potatoes) fields. I thought I should share. After yesterdays typhoon - it is a partly cloudy/sunny day and I'm so happy.

This huge pumpkin is about 7-8 kilos in weight, when it fall off and I tried to pick it up - had problems doing so...

Rice fields near my house...

Dragon flies are in abundance and are quite friendly..

I made tamporas with the pumpkin flowers... a simple and delicious recipe!

Another shape...

Wild flowers - beautiful but thorny..

Spring onion +green chili in a green house...

Small baby pumpkin - they are delicious when baked or even grillled

Cheonggye Mountain is in the background - hikers, trackers and mountain bikers visit it frequently.

More of pumpkins....

..and some more...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Typhoon Sanba Hit Korea

...and hence strong winds and crazy rain. On my way to the research center - the umbrella go inside out - inverted due to the heavy winds and rains boots had water and I was all soaked up!

I hope everybody is fine - wherever they are!

Looking forward to a dryer, sunny and warmer day!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Traditional Market: Yeoungdeungpho Shijang (영등포 · 永登浦 - on Line 5)

There are all sorts of markets in the world and some of the most original are the ones located in older part of the cities or are formally designated as the traditional markets. They are the flip side of globalized/modernized world. In South Korea there are about 1500 traditional markets and actually these are the places where you'd see a lot of middle aged people or old age ajusshies and ajjumas.

They sell about everything that you can think of. My first ever traditional market was the biggest and the most famous one - Namdaemun Market - in the heart of Seoul. I also frequented Dongdaemun Market that has transformed so much that it is hard to believe what you'd see. In 2002 -2007....it was a "very typical and traditional" market area, the place had a few malls like DOOTA Tower and across from it was the baseball stadium and underneath it were all sports related stuff being sold. This same area had a very dynamic and active night market that used to start at 8:00p.m and used to finish at 6:a.m. On weekends there was a huge "Weekend Market on the Streets " and one could buy things at a throw away price. I liked it then.

By 2007 with the end of his Mayor term (the current President)Mayor Bak came up with a plan to transform Dongdaemun area. There were fierce battles between the old timer shopkeepers and the police and finally what we see today is the jungle of malls in the area. Baseball stadium was demolished and so was the adjacent huge parking lots. All one can see are the flyovers and sky scrapers of steel and glass. There is still a huge market and sales all the time but it is NOT traditional anymore.

I also discovered Jagidong Traditional Market or  located near Cheongneagni for wholesale vegetables and fruits. They have one of the biggest centers for selling traditional medicines & herbs too. Nearby is Seoul's biggest meat market - highlight of it was dog meat and dogs in freezers. Korea has a long tradition of enjoying dog meat but these days not every place or restaurant sells it. One has to go to the typical markets or places to get the delicacy (yes...I mean, it is a delicacy).

This week, I finally went to Yeoungdeungpo Market / 영등포시장/  which has a reputation of being a famous flower market hub however, it has other things too. Since I have visited many traditional markets in Seoul, I had high expectations from Yeoungdongpo Shijang but it fall short to my expectations.

Almost everything was either sold for the same rate as any place else or was expensive. This should NOT be so. As soon as I entered the main entrance of Yeoungdongpo, the second stall had dog meat and dogs in the freezers - it is NOT a common sight of course. I mean I do NOT want to debate on eating dog meat or any other meat but I moved from that stall , as fast as I could. As I moved a little more, I found all sorts of grains some among them are used as "dals" or lentils in Indian cuisine - that made me happy. Commonly sold was "hari moong dal" for 5$/kg. ....not bad, I thought.

I loved to see these poped up corns and wheats though - it is a nice snack!

Fruits were sold at slightly low rate  (may be 500 won less or so) , like in the photo above that seeded grapes bucket was sold for 2$.

Painting of all sorts were available from Jesus to Jardin!

 Ajumma fasion was in high demand - colorful shirts and pajamas and traditional boots were plenty. I loved the Phaichu (Cabbage for sale) in the middle of the street for sale. Nobody can miss that out!

Chicken and ducks were a hot commodity especially chicken feet(as above). Entire family was involved in cleaning them and several other organs of chicken such as liver, kidneys skin etc. Chicken feet is a favourite Korean dish in all university neighborhoods. Even feet of pigs and cows are loved here. They simply boil them and eat it with soju+panchan of all sort.

Yeoungdongpo Market has one of the "huge underground markets" so give it a try. This one was filled with yound people.

Vegetables being sold on streets are cheaper than those inside the market

Trousers and trackking suits in all shapes and sizes!

Street Stall at Yeoungdongpo

Traditional Korean Cookingware Shop: if you need dolsut etc. I also found out where all the university eating trays and tableware is coming from...^^

Ajusshi: Dozing off!!!

Namja (men's) Shoes!

Ajumma Shots for summers in pretty colors!

Since Chuseok is around: Jesasang stuff /tableware and tables for sales

Yeoungdongpho Flower Market's : one side of it!

More shoes: Another Ajjoshi dozing off inside the shop where as the wife is selling the shoes, an interesting feature of this market is that some of the shops are linked to the real houses of the these shop owners so that was quite unique.

Korean pears: they are very juicy and huge and the juice is used in bulgogi marination as one of the ingredients!

 Mangoes from the Philippines and Apricots

More fruits!

I bought shrimps - had to throw half of them since I forgot to put them in the freezer ( I really felt bad and the paprika that I bought from there, had to be thrown - almost half - I can NOT use the huge quantities that these traditional markets sell for minimum. Hence, if you are not sharing with someone or are not here with your family: prepare to throw things that you may buy out of excitement of being cheap. It will cost you double the money as well as the effort - carrying all the way from the other end of of the city!!!

I'll recommend to visit these traditional markets that we call bazaars in our part of the world. They are very cool - they will show you how the cities have evolved as well as the real life, people and culture. The trip will be a memorable one!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Buzz Korea Autumn 2012 Contest

 For more on that please visit the website of Buzz Korea.

Asian On Air Program for active SNS users in Asia is set!

Asian On Air Program is a special tour event which the Korea Tourism Organization and Korean Air provide for active SNS users from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, etc. to feel and enjoy Korea. Participants will visit Seoul, Paju and Yangpyeong from October 22nd to 26th for four nights and five days.

Application Period: September 10th, 2012 (Mon) ~ September 23rd, 2012 (Sun)
Date of Announcement: September 28th, 2012 (Fri)
Tour Duration: October 22nd, 2012 (Mon) ~ October 26th, 2012 (Fri)

How to Apply
Choose one topic from below and upload posts with photos or video clips relevant to the topic. The hosts will evaluate applicants based on quality of contents, and activeness through SNS Channels.

■ Topic: Choose from one thing you want to do/ see/ listen to in Korea
■ Contents Format: Video contents OR Blog & Photo contents

How to Increase Your Chances of Winning
Be a fan of KTO’s SNS channels (Facebook, Twitter, Weibo) and KAL’s Facebook.
Also, if you actively promote the Asian On Air Program through SNS, you will get extra points!

■ Go here to apply( http://www.ibuzzkorea.com/eng/event/asian_on_air/ )

Don’t miss out on the chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery, unique taste, and dynamic culture -including K-pop- of Korea!

We always try our best to bring you interesting events, and hope for your continued interest and participation on buzz KOREA.

buzz KOREA

Email Address:sarahinsouthkorea2002@gmail.com

My email address related to this blog is: sarahinsouthkorea2002@gmail.com
In case you have any questions or queries then you can send them to me directly on this address above. I'll try to find an answer for you.

You can leave a question in the comment box too and that would be better. This may help many others with similar queries.

There are a couple of emails ever since I started the blog and though I have been trying to put then in FAQ, it will take forever. Moreover, I do NOT get enough time these days to blog as much as I wish I could...one reason is that I do NOT have internet and just pick up free WiFi signals - that means non availability of internet when you need it most.

Anyhow, I'd build up FAQ slowly and that will be helpful.

Look forward to hear from you at my new blog's email address, twitter or Facebook page with the same name as the blog.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Seoul and Rains

I'm in Seoul physically after a break Since I've arrived here it has been raining with few dry and sunny days. Nothing stops ,cancels or postpones here because of the rain. I had to go out and hence, took some pictures too on my way to some appointments.

All kids were at school

 Some of the women were still in heals when typhoon Tembin (named after a Japanese term for the zodiac sign Libra) brought the heavy downpour and strong winds.

The change in past 10 years in Seoul with respect to rainy season has added rain boots and rain coats to umbrellas. They come in all shapes and sizes which was not very common before. Umbrellas was all you could see but now we can call it a full blown "Rainy Day Fashion".

In Korea, even if there is a drizzle one would see  umbrellas or if it is a clear weather you'd see parasols. My first ever visit to Lotte Department Store started off with stalls selling umbrellas at all their entrances and I made my may into the excited ajumma crowd who were pushing each other to get hold of a good designed umbrella.

Source: Road to Mandalay.com

I found out that an umbrella on sale had a 20USD or 20,000 won price tag (40% off) - the crowd was acting as if they were getting it for free and I went the other way. Not all umbrellas in Korea are expensive, you can find one for 2,000 won only at Daiso Stores (dollar store of Korea).

Source: Korea Times

Rain boots (레인 부츠 in Konglish )or Jaangwha (장화) and rain coats were seen on kids only a few years ago but now everyone has both - it is a must-have for fashionista. Rain boots are sold for as much as 80USD or 80,000 won but one can find them for 25,000 won too (cheap ones).

A view of a corridor of boys dorm (above) and that of girls (below) in a lot of pinks, purples and beige....

and more umbrellas...

All the photos are taken by the author unless stated otherwise.