It was Monday, June 4, 2012 that I decided to start this blog! Of course I started at the beginning of my stay in Korea, which took quite a while to finish before I could start on my current entries. I really love it! I worked so hard on this blog this week to get caught up. It’s such a great feeling to be able to share my experiences with everyone. What I like most about it, is that I get to reflect on everything I’ve done so far. It’s amazing how much I’ve done and how much fun I’ve had in the short time I’ve been here! I’m reminded over and over again that this was the best decision of my life! What an amazing experience and what an eye-opener to new people, new places, and new food! Loving it!! 🙂
There is this one boy in 5th grade and he has captured my heart. He can be sooooo naughty sometimes (well most of the time) and other times, he can be the sweetest little thing. His name is Sangjin, and from what I understand, he lives in an orphanage. He is a smart little thing. My co-teachers and I started this English/Korean club a while ago. My co-teachers have to memorize an article in English and I have to memorize 2 sentences in Korean. I was studying my sentences one day in class while Jinyoung was teaching, when Sangjin came into class late. He’s quite nosy and came over to see what I was doing. I had 2 articles with me and he read them both to me in very clear English! He struggled with some words and was pretty good at sounding them out on his own. He only needed help with a few of them. If only he would show this much effort in class during our activities!
We had the day off on Wednesday, so I took the opportunity to hike an Olle. I decided to do Olle 17 because it ends at Dongmun Rotary near Karima’s place, who I was planning on meeting later anyways. I started off early and got to the start of Olle 17 at 7:15am, and at this time, it was already getting pretty hot out… This is going to be a long day! The first part of the trail I was walking through a wooded area, and my legs would not stop itching! I tried to resist scratching, but eventually gave in and of course it got more and more itchy. When I got out of the wooded area, it was fine… That seemed like a very long time though. Then I was walking by some fields when this HUGE man wearing a light blue T-shirt came driving by on a little scooter. About 30 minutes later, I see him again and he stops next to me and hands me a nice, ice-cold bottle of water! I had water in my backpack, but it wasn’t cold. So this was an awesome treat!! I thanked him and he went on his merry way. I also saw him 4 or 5 more times in the next 2 hours… I had a feeling I had picked up a Korean stalker, but once I crossed the bridge I didn’t see him anymore for the rest of the day.
By 9am I had reached Iho Beach (where we had the Jeju Furey Beach Volleyball Tournament not too long ago), and I was sweating like crazy!! After I crossed the beach, I got to the parking lot and didn’t see any ribbons or horses to show me the way to continue the Olle. So I went left, not knowing that one of the cars in the parking lot was blocking the little horse to show me the way. So that took about 15 minutes to walk the wrong way and come back to get back on track. Oh well. On my walk, I saw many women drying seaweed and other sea plants on the sidewalk… They COVERED the sidewalk. I wonder how long it takes them to lay all that stuff out? After a while, I had to climb a big oreum (parasite volcano/big hill) and it was rough. I kept telling myself “You can do this! You can do this!” I did it! I could’ve soaked a beach towel with all the sweat that I produced, but I did it! The view from the top was incredible! The airport was right there, so I got to watch a few planes take off. The view of Hallasan was amazing! It was a nice, clear, sunny day and it looked great! I could also see the whole city of Jeju!
I walked along the coast for a while and saw a lot of cute little coffee shops and cafes… Might have to venture down here sometime to check some of them out. I also walked through some more fields and past little gardens. I also came upon my favorite flowers!!
Once I got into town, I found it a little bit more difficult to follow the Olle ribbons… They were often hidden by parked trucks and other obscurities.I walked past some cute little pieces of artwork on a wall made out of random materials.
I finally made it to Dongmun Market at 1:00pm. The Olle pamphlet said this Olle would take 6-7 hours, and I finished in 5 hours and 45 minutes (including the 15 minute off course walk).. Go me!! 🙂
Later I met Karima in the City Hall area for a little shopping and some dinner at the rotating sushi restaurant! Great day to spend of day off of school! 🙂
Jeju Province recently decided to close down big, corporate businesses for 2 days every month to help out the local and 5-day markets. I think this is a great idea to improve the local economy! On the 2nd Friday and 4th Saturday of every month E-mart (the Wal-Mart of Korea), Lotte Mart (the Target of Korea), and other big businesses must close for the day. Apparently this also includes McDonald’s. I was sitting at the bus stop across from McDonald’s the first day this went into effect. McDonald’s had put up orange cones to block their drive-thru and put a BIG red sign on their door (that I’m assuming said they are closed), and people still tried to get in and order their Big Macs. I saw several disappointed people who could not get their McDonald’s fix for the day… Life can be so unfair sometimes.
On Saturday, Karima and I took a trip down to Seogwipo, on the south side of the island, for the Mayb Cafe Summer Block Party. It’s a place where Koreans and Waygooks get together and play music. It was a good time! I suggested Karima try to play her new songs that she just released to the world of Facebook today! It seemed that there was a set list of singers and she didn’t want to intrude seeing as she didn’t sign up beforehand… Well she eventually got up there and she was GREAT!! So excited for her and everybody loved her music!! Go Karima!!
Here is the link to listen to her music!! http://karimawalker.bandcamp.com/album/a-good-year ENJOY!!