Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Family in Korea

That's right.  I have a cousin that lives in Korea!

Aaron and I took a trip down to Gwangju to pay them a visit.  Cousin Trevor and his beautiful wife, Ju Young, let us stay for a weekend.  It is very nice to have a Korean cousin-in-law that can interpret, take us to new places, and teach us the ways of the people.

Koreans are VERY generous.  We didn't buy one meal or any street food.  We didn't pay for transportation or any of our entertainment.  They are so generous.

Ju Young taught us some cool facts about Korea...

- When a Korean writes their name, they write it like this:  Jung Ju Young
(family name/last name) (generation name/middle name) (given name/first name)
The generation name, in this case, Ju, is given to all the children born of the parents.  For example Judy, June, and Ju Young.

-  Korean family roles are still very traditional.  The women do the housework: cleaning, cooking, and tending children.  Aaron tried to help clear the table after dinner one time but Ju Young insisted he stay seated, not sure if it was because Aaron was a guest and she wanted to make him feel comfortable, but the reason she gave was, "it is women's work."

- When a baby is born in Korea, the baby is 1yr old because they count all the time in the womb.  Then January 1st comes around the baby turns 2yrs old, despite how many months it has actually been born.  Everyone in Korea turns a year older on January 1st.   Ju Young is going to be having a baby next month.  When the baby is born in November, the baby will be 1yr old.  Then two months later, on January 1st, the baby will turn 2yrs old (even though the baby is technically only two MONTHS old).  Crazy counting!
- We were taught how to write our name!  Aaron: 아론  Amy: 에이미

We had a marvelous time family.  Until we meet again in the spring - this time to meet their new baby!

It was conference weekend.  We made the most of our train ride to Gwangju.
I can't get over the rice patties.  So pretty!
It was a festival weekend, not sure what they were celebrating,
but the street was full of vendors, music and delicious food!

Trevor and Ju Young live in an apartment above the roof tops.
I felt like I was from Mary Poppins - the Asian version.
On the rooftops of Gwangju, ooh, what a sight.

We met up with Ju Youngs family and they served us a wonderful, traditional Korean meal.  Very yummy - especially the Korean beef, which Korean pride themselves on.  All on the floor of course.
This is all the furniture in the living room.  A tv, a small table that folds away, a floor mat that heats up, and a shelf.

Pictured (from L to R) family friend, Ju Young's dad, family friend,
nephew, Trevor, Aaron, me, niece, Judy (sister), June's (sister) boyfriend 
Aaron giving it a whirl.   Unfortunately he didn't catch a fish... but I did!
To the ocean!  This is the ocean on the West side of the peninsula.  Very dirty water.  The East side is clear.
Our generous hosts - Ju Young and Trevor.
Eating another wonderful meal at Ju Young's aunt's restaurant.

We ate temple food, the food the Korean monks eat.  No meat, garlic, onion, chives, leeks, green onion, or strong spices.
"Very healthy. Good for hangover" says Ju Young (not that we were drinking).
Pictured behind us is the temple.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Seoul Temple Trip - Good for my Soul

I finally took a trip up to the temple in Seoul.
A temple is only TWO hours away this time, via public transportation.  So awesome.  (My Utah peeps are thinking, "man, she is crazy to think that two hours is awesome."  But it is.)

Do you see it?
According to my map, the temple was supposed to be right here.  But I couldn't find it.
The first thing I spotted was the nicely manicured bushes, very unusal on a shabby street like this, then I saw the angel.

The temple is actually MUCH smaller than what the picture makes you believe.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Conveniences of Korea, Part II

Not sure if this is a convenience -or- an inconvenience but I like this Korean custom.  I want to continue it in my own home.

It is customary to remove shoes when entering a home or restaurant (maybe because they sit on the floor?) but if you desire to still wear shoes then you can put on fancy slippers.  They are found at almost every store, including grocery stores, cost just a little, and help to keep the dirt from your home.  They are a comfy foam and very stylish, hehe.

Don't you think it goes well with camouflage?

Thursday night is PIZZA NIGHT!

This was my birthday present from Aaron.  And he got himself a matching pair.
You can't see it from the image, but the white strip says "I love Korea".  Yes.  Yes, we do.

Whenever Aaron gets new gear he gives me the pleasure of trying it all on.
This bullet-proof vest weighs about 40lbs.

NEO Exercise

N - noncombatant
E - evacuation
O - operation

Every year, families stationed in Korea practice an evacuation drill in case of an emergency.  You practice fire alarms - we practice flee-country-as-fast-as-you-can drills.

The drill is actually a lot more simple than imagined and very well organized.  And fun!

Families are to bring 72-hour kits, special documents, and gas masks.  We meet at the post to get everything checked and cleared then we load up on Chinook helicopters and fly away.   I'm sure there are a number of important points I'm missing but you get the idea.

Waiting for our ride to land. 

The last seat = the best seat
You can see beautiful S. Korea from the back of the Chinook.
This solider pictured is a crew chief.  His job is to watch the tail end of the helicopter and to lift and lower the hoist.
Kind of awesome.
New profile pic.  Yes, please.