Tuesday, January 27, 2015


On the weekend Jihyeon and I headed to Muju to revisit where we met in 2011 and see what the resort looked like in winter as opposed to summer when we met. Jihyeon, worried that I would break a leg on the busy ski slopes, advised me against learning to ski. I'm happy I didn't ski. As you can see in the photos below it was crazy busy. At one of the ski lifts I estimate there were at least 3000 people waiting. We wanted to take the gondola lift up to the very top of the mountain and had to wait 3 hours!

One of the busy ski slopes. I saw two serious accidents on this slope, both requiring staff assistance and a snowmobile to carry the injured back down the mountain. 

Lunch time was still 2 hours away when I took this picture in the cafeteria. 

With 3 hours to wait for our gondola ticket number to come up, Jihyeon and I went for a walk around the ski resort. 

In 2011 we stayed in the lodge at the back on the far right. 

These ski slopes were not as busy, but still crowded. 

We returned to the gondola to wait for our ticket number to be called so we could join the queue. 

More waiting....

This kid had the right idea, getting mum to pull the sled while kicking back and relaxing. 

Some bored ajumma's playing hopscotch while waiting for the gondola. 

Yay, our number was called. 

Up the mountain we go~~.

View from the top of the advanced ski slope. Jihyeon was terrified I would fall down the slope. 

Mandatory selfie on top of the mountain. 

I was surprised to see how many Koreans were there to hike rather than go skiing. They were like a procession of ants making their way up the mountain. From the gondola, it was just a 600m walk to the peak, but once we got there we saw steady streams of Koreans making their way up two other paths on the other side of the mountain. I don't know where they were coming from because to my knowledge there isn't another resort on the other side of the mountain. 

After much slipping and sliding, we made it to the top. 

And then started the slow shuffle back down.

It was getting late so we headed to the pension where we would be staying the night. It was cosy and well equipped. 

Korean BBQ (samgyeopsal) for dinner. 

After a sound sleep free of noisy neighbours, we headed home the next morning.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Journey to find a meat pie in Seoul

What do you call a seven-course meal in Australia? A pie and a six-pack. Jokes aside, the meat pie is considered iconic in Australia and has been described as our national dish. An Aussie meat pie is a hand-sized meat pie containing largely diced or minced meat and gravy. Sometimes there is some onion, cheese, peas or mushroom too, but the key ingredients are the meat and gravy. Sounds delicious huh? I think so.

About 6 months ago I embarked on a journey to find a proper Aussie meat pie shop in Seoul. It had good reviews and the pictures looked authentic, so I set off on a journey of a lifetime. While desk warming at school this week I found the video footage on my computer and finally uploaded it to YouTube. 

After traveling to Seoul, taking the subway for 30 minutes, and then walking for an hour.... I was rather annoyed to get to the only pie shop in Korea to find it was closed! Not having satisfied my craving, my brain was on hyper alert for meat pies. I re-checked a few supermarkets in my city hoping against hope that one of them would stock the frozen variant of this tasty treat. Finally... success! I found some in the frozen food section of eMart, a large supermarket chain in Korea. 

nom nom nom nom.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winter English Camp 2014

I'm on the home stretch. Only 50 more days in Korea and I have completed my final English camp. I wasn't as prepared as previously because I was really sick in the 2 months leading up to camp, but I think it went well. I was a little lazy taking photos this time, but here we go.

I had a good turn out. 14 in the first class, and 11 in the 2nd class.

A warm up game of musical pass the balloon.

Next up, making some team posters. Recently one of the family members of Korean Air threw a tantrum about some peanuts on a flight and forced the aeroplane back to the terminal. One of the groups decided to name their team "peanut return".

Another group tried to suck up to me.

Game time. Practicing countable and uncountable nouns for items in a bag while we travel.

Less than 0.1% of the internet is written in Korean, while a mammoth 56% of the internet is in English. I wanted students to feel more comfortable searching in English on the internet, so I set some simple research tasks each day for students to complete by only using English. I was a little unsure how this activity would go, but overall students had a lot of fun with it.

Mum recently sent me a care package with a jar of Vegemite, an Australian delicacy. For the best part of 2 years I had Kimch shoved in my face every lunch, it was time for revenge. Vegemite is an acquired taste and, much like Kimchi, unless you have grown up with it you tend not to like it.

A couple of students thought it was horrible, some thought it was below average, but surprisingly I had 7 students ask for more!

A game of telephone, or Chinese whispers as I called it growing up. Lots of fun. I wish I could play it in my regular class, but the logistics would be too hard with 30 students.

The final person in the telephone line had to write the sentence on their mini whiteboard.

I also came up with a new game called chopstick dictation. I wrote letters on small styrofoam ball which students then had to pick up using chopsticks, run back to their desk, and make the word I tell them to make.

I've done a science related activity on all my camps. This time it was making parachutes and dropping eggs out the 3rd floor window.

Some of the parachutes were not so good.... luckily the other two girls in the group were more scientifically minded.

Then we went outside to wreak havoc.

Eggs away!

English Camp Group 1

This was a really nice way to finish off my final English camp. A student wrote me a letter, in English, thanking me for my fun camp. It makes the stress of coming up with engaging English activities worthwhile. Thank you.