I can’t believe it has already been a week since we left the states. Our journey to the south has continued to amaze, awe, and inspire both Tom and I. I will start back at Wednesday April 10th when Tom and I took the bus from Seoul, South Korea to the small city of Jangheung…where our friend Amy has been living for 8 months. This is a long post, but it’s been 5 days of stories!!!!
Our Journey so far (in red):
Gwanju is underlined in blue- where we head next for orientation, and Yeosu our home where we will be living!
Wednesday 10th– This day was much of a travel day. We were bummed we didn’t get to explore Seoul more, but feel confident we will make it back soon to explore. The buses here are similar to a coach buses back home. We made it to Amy’s city in 5 hours. By the time we arrived it was 8pm and we decided to grab some grub at a pork “bbq” with Amy’s friends Jetta’ and John. It was a restaurant that you have a small grill type thing in the middle of the table and you cook all the meat on it. All meals here are served family style…you all share soup and many small side dishes like kimchi and a whole lot of other things that I really don’t know what they are (seafood, veggies, etc). Each restaurant is a little different and the other night we ate hard boiled quail eggs as a small side dish. Similar to our eggs just a LOT smaller. I’ve noticed there is always a few sauces for dipping meat- which are usually really amazing!!! We went for ice cream (gelato) and coffee after dinner, and then called it a night.
Thursday April 11th:
Amy headed to school and Tom and I had a relaxing morning at Amy’s place. Walked down by river in her city called- Tamjin River. I found this from the official site of Korea about the city of Jangheug: “Often called the Home of Korean Flavors, because of its many creative, rich-tasting local dishes. Jangheung is famous for grass-fed juicy beef, raised on pasture. Also, not to be missed is namdo jeongsik – or a full-course meal accompanying steamed rice, kimchi and an overwhelming number of side dishes – made with Jangheung’s local produce.” —which explains why we went for 2 “bbq” style meals where you “grill” your own food if you will and all of the side dishes! Which is very typical in Korea. 🙂 Pictures as we explore Jangheung:
So, we met Amy for lunch…then in the afternoon relaxed, played basketball when Amy was done with school, walked up a little hill to see her city, and finished the day with an amazing meal similar to Wednesday night except with the famous Jangheung beef instead of pork. (Really, amazing food) Walked into what looked similar to a butcher shop back home- pick out your meat you want and then go upstairs to “grill” it on your table!!!Some side dishes include yellow picked radish, and a leaf looking thing that I learned you.
1. Get meat off grill with chopsticks once it is done. 2. Dip in sauces 3. Grab a few side dishes. 4. Set of all of this on the leaf thing. 5. Roll up with your hands like a little mini burrito. 6. EAT!
Friday April 12th-
Went to Amy’s school in the morning (she teaches at a school in the country on Friday’s) We loved getting a taste of what life will be like teaching for Tom as Amy has middle school students!!Don’t ask me how this turned into an arm wrestling game…Oh, Korea.
Friday afternoon Tom and I did an AWESOME hike near Amy’s city. We are finding that if you just start walking to the mountains you will usually find a path up! The hike was short and I don’t know the name of it, but we had a great time and I think it took like 2 or 3 hours total and was 518m 🙂
Just your typical random workout equipment as we started the hike:
For dinner Amy, Tom, and I headed to a place for traditional Bibimbap and we got to sit on the floor 🙂 I loved it. Tom has some difficulties with the floor as his legs are SO big hehe. Food was good, and we all of us were exhausted!
Saturday April 13th- Went to the local market in Jangheung. Similar to a farmers market back home. Complete with dancers/performers in the middle of the market. Oh, Korea!
Next, we went to visit a Buddhist temple near Amy’s city. It is the biggest Budda statue in South Korea standing 36 meters high and costing 10 billion won to make. It was about 10 min from Jangheung, and was pretty neat to see.
Then, Tom and I hopped on a bus to Mokpo- to see our friends Alyssa and Pat. We met Alyssa in Wisconsin as well. There are so many Midwestern connections…even so far away from the states. Mokpo was amazing. To summarize: Mokpo is a city on the ocean surrounded by mountains (like the rest of Korea) that will be very similar to our new home of Yeosu. Watched a laser light show with music on the ocean…and we had a bbq style dinner! The highlight of this dinner was the amazing seafood! After dinner we went for a drink at a cool little bar, and on the way home stopped at a small arcade complete with batting cages and ping pong cages. I have started to realize that Korea is full of surprises 🙂
oops, Jessie, Pat, Paul, Jen, Alyssa.
Sunday April 14th-
Walked along the ocean with Alyssa and Pat…climbed a little hill filled with beautiful cherry blossoms, had an amazing dumpling/soup lunch (sitting on the floor!)
Feeling so blessed. Feeling so happy.