Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Favorite Things About Korea - Part II

Sunday, April 25, 2010
Although life out here in the Far East can be a little strange compared to hanging out in the good ol' US of A,  there are many, many things to like about being here in Korea.  I did a previous post on some of those things.  The first list included:

- my team at MSCO Korea
- bulgogi
- optional red traffic lights affectionately called "might lights" cause you "might" stop at them
- cheap taxi fares
- Asian pears
- clean subway
- police rarely give out traffic tickets
- kimchi
- coffee shakes
- paper lamps
- spicy octopus
- the many sights in Busan
- people respecting their elders

Here's a few more items to add to the list:

- Our church.  We go to the English service of Sooyoungro Antioch International Ministries (AIM).  Great people there and a very diverse crowd.  We recently attended a wedding of two of our friends that met from the church.  There were over 20 countries represented at their wedding reception.  Pretty cool.

The music is awesome at AIM.  The English service is in a brand new building in Suyeong.

I volunteer to do the Children's message near the beginning of the service.  I really enjoy doing that with the kids.  The things that come out of their mouths!

The Children's ministry started out with 5 kids.  Here I am doing the Children's message with 16 kids.  Now it's up to 40+.  Pretty cool.

- Nice toll booth workers.  They dress up, smile and actually give you a greeting.


- Samgyupsal.  This stuff is awesome!  You take this very tasty grilled pork, throw it in a lettuce leaf, add some sauce, garlic and kimchi and you've got the perfect bite of food in your mouth. There's something about that grilled kimchi.  Samgyupsal is kinda fatty but man is it tasty.  Even CJ, a very picky eater, likes this stuff.  That tells you something.


- Girls holding hands.  Here's a pic of Carol and Ms. Sin from the Korean American Busan Association (KABA) holding hands.  Sometimes when Carol is around some of my staff, they'll unknowingly hold Carol's hand.  I think it's very cute.  Ms. Sin is great, btw.  Although we can only speak a handful of words to each other, we still have a blast together.  She's a dancing machine too.


- Gotta love all the high heels.  Check these out:

High heels at a museum.

High heels at a temple.

High heels at another temple.

And high heels even on the beach.  I've even seen girls wearing high heels in the sand at Haeundae Beach.  That's what you call dedication to fashion.

- The kissing camera at sporting events.

Here's how the kissing camera works at basketball or baseball games.  When the kissing camera is on, the two random people they spotlight on the big screen TVs are supposed to kiss each other, whether they know each other or not.  Laughter from the crowd ensues.  Depending on the enthusiasm of the kiss, a restraining order might follow as well.

- Inexpensive car wash/wax.  Only 25,000 won (about $22 US)  to get your car washed, waxed and vacuumed at Homeplus, and that's for an SUV.  Excuse me, 24,000 won.  It costs an extra 1,000 won for them to shampoo Jake's car seat.  Can't beat it with a stick.

- Blazing fast internet.  South Korea used to be the most wired country in the world.  If I have my facts straight, Singapore is now #1.  Still, pretty smooth sailing on the internet.

- 24 hour McDonalds and home delivery.

I really shouldn't have this one on the list because we have yet to take advantage of Mickey D's after hours or called out for delivery.  

I gotta share this next thing with you cause it's so dang funny.  A little sad but pretty dang funny.  This is an actual Facebook update from a friend out here in Busan:  

"As if I didn't feel guilty enough ordering McDonald's, I find out that my order is over an hour late because the delivery boy had an accident with his scooter and was sent to the hospital.  Dang!  At least he is okay...and the food was hot."  I busted a lung over that one.  I do hope the delivery boy is okay though.  BTW, Koreans on scooters - not one of my favorite things.

- Dry cleaning is delivered to your house.  Nice.

- Cheerleaders at sporting events.

Cheerleaders at a Lotte Giants baseball game.

Cheering at a Sonic Boom basketball game.  Where are the blondes?

- Busan Foreign School.  A lot to like about the school.  CJ's been lamenting lately how there's no way his next school can hold a candle to BFS.

- Doenjang chigae.  Carol and I both love this spicy soup.  It's served piping hot with white rice on the side.  It's got tofu, veggies and sometimes, seafood in the soup.  The base is made of bean paste.  I'm really hoping Carol learns how to make this soup before we leave.

- Cherry blossoms.  Just gorgeous.  Wish they could stay longer.


Cherry blossoms with our building in the background.

- Spending time with the kids at the orphanage.  Those little ones are just a ball.


These pics are from a recent ice cream party we had with the kids.  That's Set Byul in the middle, the half Russian, half Korean girl.

- Movies are inexpensive and the concession stand prices are reasonable too.  You pick your seats when you purchase tickets.  This way, you don't have to stand in an extra line to grab a good seat for a popular movie like you do in the US.

- The overall innocence and cuteness of it all here in Korea.  Here's an example:

You can wear hats like this, no problem.

This guy was wearing this hat and his buddies weren't even laughing at him.  Very common.  Couples wearing matching outfits, girls holding hands in public, the popularity of cartoon t-shirts and Hello Kitty gear are other examples of the cuteness and innocence of Korea.

- When picking someone up from the airport, you can just park your car right in front of the terminal and just leave it there.  I'm sure it's illegal but no one messes with you.

- We can step out our front door and walk to the world's largest department store, visit the Museum of Modern Art with pieces from Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Picasso and other masters, partake in a luxury spa, geek out at the Apple store, run to Haeundae Beach and APEC Nurimaru Park or grab McDonald's for the boys and Korean food for me and Carol right across the street.

Yeah, we're gonna miss Korea.

4 comments:

MommyCha

I really enjoy reading your blog! You always write very upbeat and entertaining posts.
I love many of the same things about Korea, although my Korean husband and son are probably the things I love the most! ^.^
As for the food, you can use the website http://www.maangchi.com/ for great recipes and videos. This is the recipe for doenjang jigae. http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/tofu-stew-doenjang-chigae
Cheers!

Em and the Fam

Really wishing we were able to visit you all out there before you leave! It sounds like a blast! Great job with the kids' service at church, Chris!

The Cruzers

MommyCha - Thanks for the website. I know we will have Korean food withdrawals when we're back in the US!

Em - It'll be nice to be on the same continent with you guys again. We were mapping out the distance from Millington (near Memphis) to Houston just last night.

GRRRLTRAVELER

Love this list! Very nice things and cool perspective!

 
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