the oddities continue…

Here are few more pictures we’ve collected over the last few weeks.

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We walk by they sight every day on our way to work. Check out that crack!  No idea what this store is selling.

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Korea loves to have English on their products and in their restaurants or clothing stores.  Most the time they don’t make sense or there are misspellings like, ” Enjoy every moment of erery day”.

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This one says, “Just like your life so soft and clean for your facial”.

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This is how Koreans take a load off when they don’t have a seat handy.  This guy was right in the walkway!

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The above picture explains why they have these “squatty potties” in public restrooms.  Super weird when you really gotta go.

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Saw these little girls peddling around town with their little pup passengers just hanging out in the front baskets of their bikes. So cute!

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This was in Namhae, we needed to shower from our camping on the beach so we found this “love motel” / castle to rent a room for one hour to use their showers.  We had to make a deal with the owner since there were three couples all wanting to use the same room for showering.  These motels are all connected with the same symbol… it looks like a steaming loaf of bread or bowl of soup.

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No sunlight for this lady.  It’s common to see women carrying umbrellas on a sunny day , they believe the sun makes you look old.  They do everything they can to stay in the shade including face masks.

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People pull these carts around to collect random junk and cardboard to try and resell but this guy snagged an old lady!  ha Probably his mother or wife, just out for a spin.

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Never know what to expect while at the super market, these live crabs were just hanging out in a box of sawdust.

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This is a parking lot under an apartment building.  Crazy that almost everyone lives in an apartment!  The buildings aren’t inviting looking either.  They are all the same and labeled with 101, 102, 103…

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We saw this on our trip in Namhae.  Korean style banana boating….real safe.

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Hula hoops are a big deal here.  They even have them on top of mountains.

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They’re huge!

Koreans also love SPAM…breakfast, lunch, dinner, whenever!  These were Chuseok gift sets from our boss.  🙂

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More Oddities + A House Tour

Hello All,  we have collected a few more pictures to share with you in addition to a tour of our lovely Korean abode.  We had been putting off the tour until we got settled in and made it feel like home.  However, we’ve realized that it may take a while because Korea doesn’t exactly have many decor options that suit our style.  So, our DIY projects begin…we might post updates as they happen.

Disclaimer:  This video is basically our first video ever, so the transitions are a lower grade than that of Hollywood but they add some comic relief.  We rock, paper, scissored  for who had to be the tour guide and Ethan lost. 🙂  Sorry, the tour got a tad long.

Here is a link to the video on YouTube:  http://youtu.be/3_sWhlvCEWA

Well, one oddity we couldn’t really capture but we have encounter twice now happened at church.  We have visited a couple of churches and both times they have singled us out and asked us to come up to the front and introduce ourselves.  There’s no sneaking in for a trial visit, I guess.  We’ve also been asked to stay after for fellowship (not bad) which leads to asking for our phone number…on the FIRST visit.  🙂

^Typically, restaurants only give you miniature cups for water; usually, they are these little metal ones.  You are responsible for your own refills too!  Also, for anyone who watched our tour video, do you know what that green/grey sack of sand is in the top left corner?  ….the fire extinguisher

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^Working out and stretching at the top of a mountain.  Oh how Koreans love their outdoor exercise equipment.  These are in every park and there’s always someone using them, even in the rain.  It’s usually older people, guess it’s a good thing that they are staying active and limber, just kinda funny to see.

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^Some kind of foot massage/therapy path. We could only make it half way through before we wimped out and jumped off.  The further we went the more intense it got!

^Great exercise here.  Some people will do this for 5 minutes at a time.  I’m going to have to work up to that.

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^ A lot of times you will see trees tied together and to stakes.  It adds an interesting flare to the landscape.  We’ve heard it’s to keep them standing through typhoons.

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^Ethan’s student Kylie, she’s 8 years old and comes to our school 30 minutes early every day.  She is super cute but is always all up in whatever we’re doing to prepare for the day.  It seems that most Korean kids (in our school at least) don’t like their picture taken.  So, we just put out a camera and she’s outta there. In this pic, she is on her cell phone with her mom. Once she got out the door, we heard a thud; she tripped over another student, but don’t worry she and her phone were both ok 🙂

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^Korea is a small country….  so are the isles in Korean stores.  This supply store had so much stuff they had to set isles inside of isles.  Most  little shops are usually catawampus and there are no prices on anything!

^Ok, these are a little awkward.  We pass probably 5-8 shops with this type of display when browsing in the shopping district.  Young couples like to dress alike, same tennis shoes, same shirts, and I guess same underwear.  Go figure.  We haven’t quite caught on to this trend.  These were the most modest pairs we could find.

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^When I walked into this restroom, I had to go back out and make sure I went in the right one!  I guess women can use urinals too?!?

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^Yes, 16 apples for 89,000 won or about $79.50.  We passed on that “deal.”

^There are a few different “super centers,” if you will, and they are big.  Since space is limited, the stores have to be broken up in levels, so there are these escalator/walkways that carry you and your cart from level to level.  The wheels lock into the track while you stand back and enjoy the ride.  Also, the wheels swivel so your cart can go side to side, which is a nice feature when it’s empty but when it gets full it can get a little out of control.

The Oddities of Korea

Well,  these will probably be ongoing posts because while living in a foreign country you see, encounter, and have to live with things that seem a bit odd (to us the foreigner).  Here are just a few to get us started.

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This is a picture of the shoe shelves at school.  Everyone has indoor classroom shoes (crocs for most).  I bought a pair of different shoes like toms…I didn’t think crocs would compliment my outfits most days.  In people’s houses and some restaurants you must take off your shoes too.
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All schools, restaurants, and business have these water dispensers. Most you use a small paper envelope to drink out of.   Next to it is Korean instant coffee; that’s everywhere too, including our house.  Ethan was really excited to buy a box of 60.  Now, coffee is easier than ever…

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Almost all public bathrooms will just have a bar of soap and a public hand towel.  Apparently, Koreans don’t usually wash their hands.

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This is our bathroom at home.  You are supposed to wear bathroom shoes in the bathroom and they should only be worn in there.  Shh don’t tell, we sometimes wear them around the house too.  Oh and Ethan’s are 2 sizes too small; we need to look for a bigger size.

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If you haven’t heard, Koreans believe in something called “fan death.”  If you sleep in a room that is too small with the door closed and no windows open, you can die.  Therefore, all fans sold in Korea have timers on them.  Here is what wikipedia says on the topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_death

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No dishwashers in most Korean households.  Even if they do have them, they usually don’t use them, which is crazy to me considering they use SO MANY dishes (remember that picture of the table with like 70+ dishes on it).

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They use these instead of closets.

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Any beer besides their native beer is super expensive.  Also, it is easier to buy single beers than six-packs.  14,700 won is about $14.70

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No dryers either, so you use drying racks.  Also, the top towel is a regular sized bath towel; however, Koreans don’t use that sized towel…they use the one below it.

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We always have to turn on our hot water before a shower.  It has become a joke cause we always forget until we are ready to jump in…then we have to wait.  Also, there are no furnaces you just have hot water pipes that heat the floors.  Piggy was gracious to make us labels for the buttons.  🙂

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Koreans have cold noodle soups in addition to hot noodles.  This is Naengmyeon it is fishy and spicy with radish garnishes and buckwheat noodles which are slightly chewy.  Notice the slushy ice in the broth.  I kinda liked it 🙂  I hear it grows on you.

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Whiskey or other kinds of alcohol besides their beloved Soju are not very common.  As you can see they can be quite expensive too!  Soju is a rice alcohol that may be most similar to vodka (or rubbing alcohol in my opinion).  More to come about Soju.
So, in addition to beef jerky they have squid jerky.  Cheaper too!

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Here is Mr. Soju.  A happy fellow.  Soju comes in a beer bottle and they drink it like beer even though it is 19.5% alcohol.  You can buy a bottle for about $1.20 where as the Budweiser next to it is $3.00.

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Eggs come in packages of 10.

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Back to our bathroom… notice, the sink is at my knee and we have no shower curtain.  It is rare that we have a tub most of the time the shower is just attached to the wall and there is a drain on the floor.  We have that too…just spray down the bathroom when it comes time to clean it.

This is a little crazy right… ice cream on a waffle (green tea and strawberry) and of course grape tomatoes to garnish!  I guess they use them on cakes too.

These little guys show up a lot in stews and other soups.  Quite chewy.

Koreans don’t have full size ovens.  They have toaster ovens.  Just convert celsius to farenheit and baking banana bread is no different.

We’ve started a Saturday morning coffee shop tradition.  However, our first Saturday we found out that coffee shops don’t open until at least 9:30 am.  However, the Korean restaurant down the street was open at 9:00 am.  I guess coffee isn’t necessarily a morning starter.  Coffee shops are busier in the evenings.  Also, if you thought Starbucks was expensive think again.  Our coffees and muffin were over $12.00.