Buddha creates a three day weekend and multiple parades!

I doubt that Buddha was born with the idea of lotus lanterns and decorated temples. Most of our students are Christian and few celebrate Buddha. Most students see it as an opportunity for additional sleep, food consumption, and TV with mom time. Taking this into consideration, there were many people at the festival we went to. The Lotus Lantern Festival takes place in Seoul. 300,000 people march the streets of Seoul with glowing lanterns and animated parade floats (there was a dragon that breathed fire!). 30,000 of these people are not from Korea. It was startling to see all the outsiders. Living in a small foreigner community I forget that there are hoards of us here, just not here in Gochang. (In Gochang, I often fight the urge to wave and smile at foreign tourists I see at the fortress.)

The following weekend (last weekend) was Angus’ Birthday so four of us headed to Busan. We go beach! Beach nice. Beach fun! After a five hour trip and one bus change we ended at the empty looking Dove Hotel Good Stay! Good stays are hotels that have received an award from the government about how awesome it is to stay there. Well I guess they got the award a few years back. It looked like they had a cafe at one point but it closed. This actually concerned me at first. It looked like the hotel had closed down- which would suck because we had paid for two rooms for two nights! Luckily it was not closed but there was some confusion about our rooms and what we had paid. I left this conversation to the boys and took a walk outside.

When I came back we all climbed into a half elevator, even with the attendant. When I got in the elevator doors closed on me, hard. These doors had it out for us. I believe by the end of the trip everyone had gotten smashed by the doors.

Busan was awesome. We went to the beach- I love the beach. Jim brought a baseball so we played catch! We went to a giant aquarium and shopping mall! We saw The Great Gatsby! The mall closed on us while we were at the movies so we had to get three security guards to help us get our stuff. We went dancing and bar hopping. We went to an arcade. We ate delicious food. We had a blast!

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Foodie week

Today I’m coming to terms with my inner homesteader. I’ve always had a desire to be creative and have fun in the kitchen, but this week feels like all my secret hopes and wish have surfaced and I’m finally becoming a good person… ;P

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A very fancy dinner of nachos! All seasoning, salsa, cheese and sour cream is from the US or Seoul (a grueling four hour bus ride).

Life in Gochang is quiet. The days pass by quickly. Winter is over; we now turn our attention to Spring. Spring is setting the tone for a lovely hot summer. The apartment has already gotten amazingly hot. I’m happy to know that there is a pool in town… somewhere. Flowers are in bloom still- not cherries really but other flowers. Bees cover them in the hundreds. Like the bees, I am finding tons to do in the bread basket (barley basket? produce basket?) of South Korea.

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The coffee is from the lovely shop in Jeonju. Wyll is still raving about it

A few weeks back, I spent a Sunday afternoon making Strawberry jam. Without pectin it was quite the production. I cooked the berries at a rolling boil with half a lemon for over three hours. I did add some sugar, but not a lot. I had the jam with brie cheese and Korean crackers. I also discovered that it tastes amazing on cereal- Special K! I haven’t made any PBJs but the bread here is not great for them. Although a nearby store has started carrying cream cheese and that’s excellent on the crackers.

I recently received pickling spice from an online store. Wednesday this past week we had the day off and I used some of the time to make pickles. There are just fridge pickles and my expectations are low, but I’m proud of myself so far! It was so easy- finding the right kind of vinegar was maybe the hardest part. I’m not even sure it’s regular white vinegar- I guess I’ll know on Friday!

On Saturday, the boys came over. They are going to teach me how to play D&D. We created the world, team and quest. We built our characters for the game, there were gaps in activity so I also took the time to make YOGURT!!!!!!!!!!! I have been wanting to do this for a long time. Awhile back, I got a yogurt packet from High Street Market in Seoul. It was very easy you mix a packet with water in a tupperware. The tupperware goes into a bowl with boiling water which luckily has a lid. It wasn’t very insulated so I had to replace the water once, but in the morning there was yogurt!

I’d like to take this moment to say YES! I have SKILLZ!!!!!!!

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This is the curry with cilantro rice and yogurt! What a treat!

Between making the yogurt and building my D&D character. We got a little hungry and went out for food. This restaurant like many Korean restaurants have burners on the table. We sat on a heated floor while others sat at western style tables. A giant cast iron skillet was brought to the table. It had several layers. The bottom layer was water then cabbage, duk (pronounced dOh) and raw chicken, red pepper paste and sesame leaves. It was very yummy. I’m glad the boys said cho-gum (a little) for the spice level, it was still very spicy.

20130504_215439 Wyll and the beginning of a delicious meal!  It was too anticipated for after cooked photographs. 🙂

Wyll has a BLOG!!!!!!!!

The training wheels are off as Wyll’s games spins around different states in the US and different houses here in South Korea. Have you ever wondered what goes into creating, designing and publishing a game? Or maybe you are a friend of mine who knows and loves Wyll. Anyway you can check it out here. If you like what you see make sure to follow it.