Thank you, Psy.

6th grade boy walks in early.

"Hello mauder fauder!"
"Don't say that!"
"Mauder fauder!"
"Hajuma...." (stop)
"Mauder fauder!"
"Hello seonsaengniiiiiim!" (Hello teacher)

"Hello seonsaengnim mauder fauder!"

"Okay, give me your stickers"


Thanks, Psy. For teaching my students how to say m*ther f*cker but with a Korean spin. Real great.


Plastic surgery in Korea. Women go under the knife to look like a completely different person.

Girls experience such great pressure to look a certain way here in Korea. Being 'beautiful' to Korea's standards may promise a happier life aka a rich and handsome husband.
 Someone once told me that so many girls are getting the eyes, nose, chin, and jaw surgeries that the older generation complains that the younger generation of Korean women no longer look Korean. I've only been here a year but I agree. The older generation looks very "Korean" and exotic to me. While the younger girls are starting to look the same; petite nose bridge with a perfectly round, but slim tip. Plump lips with a perfect horizontal line above the perfectly small chin. AND THE V LINE JAW! Korean faces are supposed to be squared. Who told this country square jaws are ugly and V line jaws are beautiful?

The story that inspired this post. Watch her friends' reactions to 'meeting' the new her.

Below is a quick video of all the Miss Korea contestants.
In my own opinion all of these girls have had the same eye surgery. WIDER IS BETTER!
(I know it's old news, just trying to prove a point here)
The way she treats her old image is so negative. What is she telling all of the young girls watching this video? Don't love your image, change it! ㅜ.ㅜ (Korean cry face)
I think she was beautiful before the surgeries. Very unique and KOREAN looking. When she is giving her little brother a bath and smiling!!!!! Perfect!

One more video here. I just can't get over the way people react to her like she is finally  a real human.

Ladies, love yourself for who you are. Don't spend $3,500 to change your face. God created you the way you are. And teach your daughters to love their looks, too.

Flash back to March 2012 "Oh Korea is so Westernized, you'll love it!"

I didn't know it was like this, though.
Traditional Korean faces are out. The new Korean face is in. 
Stepping off my soapbox. Watch all the videos.

Thanks for reading,



How to get to Seoraksan

Sokcho is less than an hour from the border!

We went to Seoraksan (6/1) with our friends Megan and David while they were in town. All the blogs I found were no help at all. Should have asked my Korean friend, Donghyuk, for help in the first place!

I read so many blogs about people traveling to Seoraksan by train. They ended up spending over six hours traveling since there isn't a direct train to Sokcho. Luckily  Donghyuk is amazing and helped us find all the right buses and we got there in less than half that time! (okay... if you don't count the Cheonan to Dong Seoul bus).

Cheonan to Dong Seoul W6,000'ish
Buy your bus tickets from the same terminal where you buy Incheon Airport bus tickets.
This is about an hour bus ride. We stayed at a jimjilbang near the Dong Seoul bus terminal and took a super early bus to Sokcho the next morning. It's definitely possible to do both bus rides in one day but we started on a Friday night.

If you want to find a jimjilbang just ask around. There are four super close to the bus terminal.
The bars near the station are NOT foreigner friendly. David was given a simple finger X by the bartender the minute they made eye contact at the door. Tried THREE different places, all fails. We had to sit at the 'picnic' tables outside of a convenient store to enjoy our Friday night beverages. NBD.

Warning: This area felt really weird. All the bars were stuffed with business guys... no women. I was eyeballed a lot, and Megan, too. I had to show my wedding ring to one guy that winked at Patrick and said the Korean word for prostitute. Grandpa taught me that word!

FYI the subway station is directly across from the bus terminal. If you miss it you're blind. I can't remember the name but we used that subway line on the way back to Cheonan instead of taking another bus from Dong Seoul. Pit stop in Gangnam for my visiting friends! ^^

Dong Seoul to Sokcho W17,500
(deluxe express bus!!! 2 hours and 40min)

Ask for the fastest bus. I literally said 'fastest express' since there are three buses that go to Sokcho and some aren't as direct and take longer. One woman was too shy to help me but the next woman was fine. I don't think the language barrier is too bad here. This place is not as foreigner friendly as the rest of Seoul. We survived though!
Our ticket said Sockcho kkkk and I think we took a 5:30am bus. I don't remember! It was so early and we didn't sleep much because the jimjilbang was more like a partybang. I think the buses leave every hour for Sokcho.

This is the ticket counter  at the station in Dong Seoul.

Motel for your stay in Sokcho
Walk out of the bus terminal and turn left. The motel we stayed at is next to the terminal. Can't miss it.
W30,000 per night. W5,000 per person after 2 people. So we paid W40,000 for four people. The woman at the counter gave us a key to a room so we could look around before paying. It was pretty nice. Thick mats on the floor (compared to jimjilbang mats, much thicker) and good pillows and nice fluffy pink comforters.
Once we paid we were given two extra mats and 2 sets of blankets. So that's three mats and four comforters. We just made our own mattresses with all the extra stuff. Free toothbrushes, toothpaste and hair stuff provided. Fan + aircon, TV with lots of Korean junk to watch. There were even English channels! This place was pretty exciting.

We were able to check in before noon and needed to check out at noon the next day. It was a great deal! Also you will sleep like a baby after hiking! You won't think twice about not sleeping on a Western style bed.
There are places to stay closer to the park in Seorak-dong, but I think they're a little more tourist priced.
Bus to Seoraksan National Park
(Thirty minutes)

Jump on the 7-1. The bus stop you need use is on the same side as the bus terminal. It sits right outside of a really good coffee shop. I rode this bus four times and it only felt like 5 minutes each time. THIS PLACE IS SO BEAUTIFUL! 

IMPORTANT: Sokcho city buses accept cash and Cashbee ONLY. No T Money. It's around W1,600 per ride. Some are W1,200.

You will ride from Sokcho to Seorak-dong. Get off at the last stop inside Seoraksan Nat. Park!

I will add Seoraksan pictures on a separate post. You can find millions of Seoraksan pictures on Google^^ Here are three from our trip.

The bus to Sokcho from Dong Seoul will give you a twenty minute  break after an hour. The scenery gets better and better the closer you get to Sokcho!
This was taken right before we climbed the rest of the stairs to the Geumganggul Cave (금강굴).

Sokcho is magical! Tons of seafood and the typical beach stuff:
mini bikes for rent, fireworks for sale, dead carnival, etc.


Holiday in Thailand

Patrick and I have been busy being lazy. 
We took our sweet time completing three weeks of English camp (one was spent co-teaching together!). Then we had a dreamy two week holiday in Thailand. Now we are effortlessly going through four weeks of TESOL training. 
Teach for five months, then train to be an English teacher. Whatever you say, KNU. 
We are enjoying our time, though. Meeting the newbies, refreshing our teaching techniques, and most importantly, learning how to do things the right way.

I will write captions for most of these photos later, enjoy!

Layover in China, two days in Bangkok, and ten days on the spectacular island of Phuket.