Dispatches From Korea: October

Here I am again, forcing myself to sit down and write a blog post about stuff that’s already been done; that I’ve pretty much forgotten about, all in the name of journalistic integrity.

I desperately want to catch this blog up to the current time. Not because my life is super exciting at the moment, but because it’s going to be soon and I want to be able to report all of it in real time. So, here we go, a quick wrap of up October 2016. Continue reading “Dispatches From Korea: October”

Dispatches From Korea: September

After the summer of 2016, I didn’t think my life could get much crazier, but September, my first month in Korea, easily destroyed that assumption. Here is a brief summary of what I did in September divided into food, outings and highlights. I should probably also note that I worked full time, but you wouldn’t know it looking at these lists.

Food

-Tried about 100 types of kimchi (a spicy vegetable side dish most often made with cabbage or radish).

Kimchi, Seoul, South Korea

– Discovered how delicious and affordable school lunches are (about $3 a day). I tweeted pictures to the USDA to shame them into improving the horrendous lunches in America. They never responded.

-Sampled all sorts of Korean street food: tteokbokki (rice cakes in a spicy sauce), pajeon (fried vegetable pancakes), odeng (fishcake skewers).

-Became a pro at cooking samgypsal. No I’m totally lying, the waitresses won’t let this waygook* anywhere near the grill.

-Devoured bingu three times.

-Had my first (of many)Korean bread oopsie. The bread was filled with cream (why Korea, why?).

Outings

-Went to Seoul for the first time to see friends from France Thibault and Jiyoon.

-Visited two palaces (Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung).

-Traveled to Sokcho, a town in Gangwon Province about two hours away from my town. It’s popular because it’s not labeled on maps of Korea as a way of tricking the North Koreans. Because of that, it was the first and only city to have Pokeman Go! for a while. No, I don’t play.

-Met up with friends from orientation in Seoul for the Chuseok holiday (Korean Thanksgiving). Our four day visit consisted of waiting in line at Lotte World, arguing about what to eat and completing an escape room. Despite all the hiccups it was a fun long weekend.

No resemblance to Disney World at all. Lotte World, Seoul

-Admired the beautiful lanterns at the Wonju Paper Festival with Julie.

Highlights

-Dancing on stage all night at a nightclub in Seoul. Thanks waygook power!

Right after watching this…

-Welcoming Julie for a three week visit.

Not impressed? Terrified?

-Turning 25 and realizing it was already my third birthday abroad *cue quarter-life crisis.*

*foreigner

Have you been to South Korea? Do you want to go? Post a comment or connect on Facebook and Twitter. 

Se Débrouiller

The verb se débrouiller in French is difficult to translate. If you consult a dictionary, it will tell you that the English equivalent is “to manage.” But that doesn’t quite capture the sense.

Rather, this word means something like “if you want it, if you’re smart enough, if you work hard enough, you might succeed achieving your objective.” The utility of this word is that pretty much anything from finishing a degree to moving abroad to simply figuring out how to open a door (I’ll explain) can be described by se débrouiller.

This word also heavily implies that ain’t nobody gonna help you get what you want except you. Continue reading “Se Débrouiller”

Complaints Americans Have in France

In addition to the bizarre questions French people have asked me, I am also often asked my opinion about life in France. Usually my response is “I like the cheese” or “it’s beautiful.” I even wrote a post about what I love about France. But even though there are a lot of positives to living here, there are things about France that drive me (and other Americans, I would wager) absolutely batty that would never be a problem in the US. Continue reading “Complaints Americans Have in France”