Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Falling into Fall

Summer seems to have left like an unwanted guest. Temperatures have dipped down into the 50's in the morning and the 60's during the day.

Today was the first day I put on jeans, which I really needed to do. I was being stubborn the past few days wearing long skirts but the chill was definitely felt. Sigh, time to take out the winter clothing. I really want to purchase new long sleeve shirts and a fall coat, but don't feel like it till I definitely know what my plans are for this winter.

It sure is getting close, people. Next week I will be told about my contract and whether or not they want to renew. I am in the camp of that they don't want to renew, based on a rumor I heard from the other foreign teacher. (They want to only keep one foreigner teacher) Also, I am leaning heavily to take a rest and find something new for next year, even if they want to keep me.

And whatta ya know? Tomorrow is my birthday. Wow a whole year went by and I am turning ... gasp... 29. (USA age) Although I enjoy getting older I am still astonished that my 20's are basically over. Looking back I spent 7 years of it in college, half a year of it terribly sick, and then the rest of it here in Korea. Certainly, all of which were meaningful to my life. What's next, right? I feel myself not too worried. Rather I feel really ambitious and full of ideas. I think I am starting to get over that 20-something anxiety about how to manage one's life.

My birthday is on a Thursday (again) and so the celebrations won't be too big. So far I hope to gather with some local pals for a pleasant night. I guess this would be my third birthday in Korea, and definitely it feels a lot better than the first one I spent at the hagwon.

This winter I hope to be more active and not let the cold-snowy weather get in my way. But, summer... I sure do miss you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Seoul Design Fair 2010

On a lovely Saturday afternoon I headed to Jamsil, Seoul for the Seoul Design Fair 2010. Located in the Jamsil Sports Complex park near line number 2, as you can see on this map.
The fair takes place inside the Olympic Stadium where there are exhibits throughout the hallways and on the field.

 There was a lot to see at the fair, which showcased both national and international works. I didn't see everything but felt I saw enough to be convinced that the design industry is very extensive.

 When entering from this main entrance I was a little confused as to the path I should follow. To my left and right were exhibits but they had dead ends. When entering the field area there were some whimsical designs there to see.

I believe this section, that used the stadium seats, was called the "Green Garden Panorama". It was fun to see how different designers took on this challenge.

 I went down the steps towards the field and then into the corridor area to check out the designs from different universities.

If you have ever had a moment where you thought, "Koreans aren't creative" then you should just throw that away. Because the works on display at this show definitely proved that Korean people can think and work creatively.

The place was set up with a section for each school. Some school's had a deliberate focus while others were a bit scattered.

The Sangmyung University exhibit showcased their student work, which all had a utilitarian design. 

Most objects were meant to make your life either more pleasant or easy. There was a lot of innovation showcased here, which was almost like looking at an invention contest.

The following design, I take it, is to help women who wear heels to ride bikes a lot easier.

As I continued on I found a couple wearing matching shoes.
The rest of the exhibits were theme based.

After looking over these exhibits that showcased products with a certain artistic theme I couldn't help but see how diverse product design can be. It seems they have to design not just a poster, but the packaging and other items.

Although I didn't continue much into the depth of the show I would suggest others checking out the whole thing. It is on till October 7th, so there is still time.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Out With the Old and In With the Semi-New

For a really long time now I have been aching to get a new cell phone. It's not that I wanted the new fancy-shmancy Samsung Galaxy or the iPhone. I just wanted an upgrade, because I was getting tired having to squint to read a text message outside or to press the tiny keys when writing one.

Finally the stars must have aligned because yesterday I was in the right place at the right time. I was near JH's friends phone shop. He took me there and his friend helped me get an upgrade. It was one of those neighborhood shops so the selection was pretty minimal.

I picked out the recent Lollipop 2 phone. Below you will see a picture with my old phone (one on the left) next to my new one (on the right).
The Lollipop phone is a lot of fun because it has many flashy gimmicks, both inside and out.

Sure, it's not a touch screen phone and you still have to manually flip it open but I find it to be a great upgrade. I like that it is colorful and flashy on top. Goodbye old phone!
Here's a video of someone messing around with theirs.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chuseok Getaway: Geoje Island Pt.3

Chuseok vacation is practically over folks. I believe most people have returned from their family gatherings and sunny-beach vacations to their lives at home. Speaking of sunny beaches, that is exactly where JH and I ended up the afternoon after our visit to Oedo island.

Gujora Beach
I kept on asking JH whether or not I should change into my swimsuit, but he kept on telling me nobody swims this time of year. I asked him, "Who is going to stop me?" and he said maybe there will be some person who will do that. We even asked the pension owner who told us the same thing. So we headed to the beach without our swimsuits.

The next thing I know I saw people swimming in the water and having a good time. We decided to go back to the pension and change. Luckily we had enough time to enjoy a nice swim.

Gujora beach is known for it's sandy beaches and warm waters, but I think there is something else that has made it famous. This would be that foreigners frequent this beach. Indeed, while we were there it seemed the cluster of foreigners outnumbered Koreans. Even JH remarked on this saying how when he was there four years ago, with his buddies, he saw foreigners at this beach. When two bikini clad foreigners walked past us he seemed to think they were the same ladies he saw last time. haha

I don't know exactly whether the foreigners at the beach were local folks or people from further out areas. After doing a google search I can see a few have blogged about it. This beach is even listed as a best place to live by Dave's ESL cafe standards.

Anyways, I couldn't help but feel envious towards those living near a beach as glorious as this. JH had a good time and seemed to unwind from his life of daily work stress. At one point I was resting on the shore making a drawing and I looked up to see him jumping over the tidal waves.

All I have to say is that this place created a lot of great special memories for us. After our fun in the sun and surf we headed back to the pension for rest and dinner. We made galbi that night with some simple side dishes to go with it.

Pension living is great as you can cook a small meal on a porch and look out as the sun sets.
As with everything in life things have to come to an end. The next morning we were back in the car heading towards Seoul.
I hope to see Geoje island again sometime and explore the many other historical and fun places that it has to offer. Till then I hope your Chuseok was relaxing and memorable.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Scrabble Time

Since coming back from Geoje Island I have been enjoying my free time. The best part so far seems to be that my mind has completely forgotten about all the little dramas it attaches itself to from work. Actually, today I kind of woke up to my mind thinking about work. But maybe that is natural to feel at the end of one's vacation.

Anyways, I enjoy playing scrabble and so recently made a little group on facebook to get people together in my area to play.

Yesterday we met at the Jukjeon cafe street area and played over lunch.
I like the boot of maple syrup my friend got that came with her pancakes. I had the house sandwich, which consisted of bread, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, a fried egg and bacon.
We had good times and I met a new person who was enthusiastic to play. Actually, it is my little hope that I can turn our game time into a podcast. Just an idea for now which I pitched around the table. 

Don't worry I haven't forgotten about posting the last bit of my trip to Geoje island. ;)
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