Tag Archives: seoul bloggers

Liebster Award

Sometimes I love my blog, I mean, it is my Korean baby that I have nurtured for the past year in my tiny closet of an apartment. There are nights where I find myself typing well into the night and laughing at my own dorky jokes that I try to nonchalantly slip between sentences of Korean observations. Other nights MyKoreaQuest is a pestering tot that nags for attention while I try and relax in front of the latest HIMYM episode (tot is one of my classroom vocabulary words this week). I ignored my blog for 6 days last week and it was the perfect time to receive a Liebster Award nomination from A Fat’s Girl’s Food Guide.   This is just what I needed: a simple reminder that people out there read my words and all of us crazy bloggers are in this together. Thank you so much fatgirlkr – keep doing your thing – I love your blog!

So…to accept the nomination you must:

1) Thank the blogger who nominated you and share their blog link in your post. Thanks again, Fat’s Girl’s Food Guide!

2)  Attach the award icon to your site. (see above)

3)  Answer some questions from the previous blogger and choose new ones for your nominees. (see below)

4) Nominate other bloggers for the award. (see below)

Ok, here goes…

1. If you could be a superhero which one would you be and why?

Catwoman – Did you see Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises? Enough said.

2. What would you eat for your last meal on earth?

I am not sure what I would eat, but it would certainly be home-cooked. I have worked in enough restaurants to know better.

3. If I gave you a $100 right now what would you spend it on?

I would splurge on cupcake ingredients. I just inherited an adorable cupcake-maker from a friend who was leaving Korea.

4. When was the last time you cried and why?

I was homesick on the phone with my mom pretending to not be homesick and crying on the phone, but shucks, that woman knows me too well.

5. Whats the last nice thing you did for someone else?

I just burned a CD for my friend.

6. What’s the best costume you have ever worn?

I was a hotdog for Halloween one year. I’m still bitter that my mom donated the costume to our local public library to work into their holiday display.

7. If you could go back in time which year would you choose?

1994 – summer

8. If  I gave you a free plane ticket where would you go?

I would fly to Boston to see my grandfather.

9.  What was the best present you have ever received?

This is a tough one…but I do smile when I remember receiving Jagged Little Pill (my first CD) for Christmas in 1995. I proudly popped out the Christmas ballads and blasted Alanis’s bitter and inappropriate words for the remainder of the holiday morning. I had no idea what I was singing, but I am sure my parents did, and somehow the CD ‘went missing’ the next day.

10. How would you spend your last day on earth?

I would love to be at the beach or at a stellar concert – maybe a concert on the beach?

11. Is a jaffa cake, a cake or a biscuit?

This is the first I have heard of Jaffa Cake, but after a quick Google image search I am going to go with biscuit because I love to shake things up.

Ok, here are the sources of inspiration for my own blog / aka my nominations. Check out these blogs about life in Korea!

Alien’s Day Out

The Wanterlust Project

Mapping Words

From Korea with Love

Lateral Movements

Live Life: A Girl’s Journey in South Korea

Waegook Tom

Margaret Tries Being

Some questions (from me) to ponder:

1) What was the first CD / tape you owned?

2) If you had to describe Gangnam Style with 1 word what would it be?

3) How many T-Money cards do you really own?

4) How do I prepare for Pepero Day?

5) When was the last time you felt embarrassed?

6) What’s a new song you recently discovered and think I should listen to?

7) When was the last time you danced?

8) What’s a saying you would love to make happen?

9) Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?

10) What time (9am, 11am, 1pm…) do you consider to be an appropriate time to wake-up on a weekend?

Thanks again for the nomination, be well and have great weeks all!

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Seoul Subway Line 9!

Seoul Subway Challenge: Line 9

Line 9 still needs some work on its smile, but speaking as someone who didn’t get braces until the end of high school, I am going to give the 2009 addition to the Seoul Subway a break and appreciate the quirky half smirk that is a work in progress. Line 9 went live in July of 2009 and is the first privately run subway line in Korea run by Veolia Transport, a French company. Also called ‘The Golden Line’, Line 9 snakes from Gaehwa Station and Gimpo Airport along the south side of the Han River toward Sinnonhyeon Station in Gangnam to form a half smile. A full smile should be completed in the near future with plans for further station stops at the Sports Complex Station and later at Oryun Station.

I began my exploration of Line 9 close to its most eastern point. I was hungry after a long ride down from my home in Uijeongbu and I figured the Express Bus Terminal would stimulate my taste buds and sense of adventure on a lazy Sunday afternoon in Seoul…

Express Bus Terminal

At the Express Bus Terminal I did not venture outside as I did with the remainder of my Line 9 stops. There was no need to leave. There was plenty to see within steps of the subway exit. The Express Bus Terminal Station is under the Seoul Express Bus Terminal (aka Gangnam Bus Terminal) and it is not where you go to escape the hustle and bustle of Seoul. The terminal is full of people on the move. People are busy and moving fast in the Express Bus Terminal. They are in a rush to snatch up the latest designer pieces at Shinsegae, eat at the ‘Prestige Food Empire’ (Who knew we had ‘Premium Food Courts’ in this world?), check into the exclusive Marriott Hotel or depart for/arrive from another swanky city in Korea. After mindlessly wandering the maze of floors in the terminal my friends and I decided to eat at KFC before venturing to our next stop on Line 9. Believe it or not, this was my first time eating at a KFC. *shock* I don’t know, the ‘Prestige Food Empire’ just freaked me out. And I had promised my friends a travel-worthy lunch for accompanying me on my Seoul Subway Challenge adventure. And they like KFC.

Dongjak

Line 9 leaves no room for travel confusion. The elaborate digital screens in each car display the upcoming station information along with a birds-eye view map showing the immediate neighborhood at each location. At Dongjak Station we simply scoured the map and chose a spot to explore and its corresponding numbered exit. Seoul National Cemetery was desolate except for a lone woman wandering the aisles of graves chanting some sort of prayer or song. We walked among the uniform grave stones of hundreds of Korean Veterans. The late President Kim Dae-Jung was interred here in 2009. We soon found ourselves in a lush pathway leading to a bridge over a small river teeming with brightly colored fish. With no KFC leftovers to spare, my friend searched her bag and found a package of crackers to feed the fish. Watching fish jump and splash for bits of old peanut butter crackers: It really is the little things in life…

Noryangin

A few stops after our friendly fish feeding experience we found ourselves in the midst of a bloody and lively seafood massacre. We followed small signs illustrated with fish designs along a subway track  overpass toward the obvious smell of fresh fish. The Noryangin Fisheries Market is Seoul’s largest marine products market with over 66,000 square meters of small shops, auction spaces and restaurants. If it swims you will find it here and usually at a much cheaper price than you would at a supermarket. The 24-hour market is full of an intense sense of urgency. With many of the 700+ small shops selling the same products, they are competitive and will stop at nothing to gain the attention of shoppers meandering up and down the market aisles. As I stopped to snap a few pictures of live octopus, shrimp, giant crab, oysters and flounder, some shopkeepers were full of pride and posed for my camera while others frowned and quickly ushered me away because they saw my photography as a distraction and a missed selling opportunity.

Yeouido

After the crowded fish market it was nice to breathe some fresh air upon exiting the station at Yeouido. We walked a few blocks to the Cultural Event Plaza where a sign at the park entrance encourages people to “rest or talk with friends”. We did just that and also snacked on some cotton candy a friendly man was selling from the back of his motorcycle. Children giggled as they ran about in the open space, older couples walked briskly along the shaded bike path and young professionals played basketball in  collared shirts, ties and dress pants (Sunday?).

Dangsan

Dangsan was a perfect last stop for our expedition. A narrow bridge outside the station exit led us over the busy street to the Han River where we spotted a strategically placed 7-11. I can’t think of a better way to spend a late Sunday afternoon: enjoying a cold beer sitting beside the river and watching boats pass by. As I finished my beer I felt my phone buzz from my pocket. A message from my father back in the US surprised me. “Are you prepared for the TYPHOON!?” it read. I laughed and put my phone away. Korea continues to surprise me each day as I attempt to teach and survive typhoons, but at least I can rely on the Seoul Subway for convenient and dependable transportation.

Which line gets you around Seoul? Take a look:

Line 1

Line 2

Line 3

Line 4

Line 5

Line 6

Line 7

Line 8

Thanks to Waegook Tom for making this happen!

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