Sunday, August 20, 2017

Gangneung, South Korea- A short trip with my wife (Part 2)

Jumunjin Harbor

(continued-Part 2)

After my wife and I went back to our AirBnB apartment, we took the sand off our feet, took a shower, and got ready. After we got ready, we took a taxi to Jumunjin Harbor and Fish Market.  We saw some boats docked and many people selling all kinds of seafood as we got closer to the market. The whole area was pretty huge. From what I could see, restaurants and fish markets added up to at least two blocks parallel to the beach and there were various streets off of the main road along the beach that sold raw fish, dried seafood, or souvenirs related to the fish market. There were also plenty of restaurants competing with each other to sell seafood soup, sashimi, crab, shrimp, and other things for lunch.

Jumunjin Harbor
You could order whatever seafood you wanted that was alive and they would cut it, cook it, and serve it for you. Here are a couple shots of the market as we were walking through it...

Jumunjin Fish Market
Jumunjin Fish Market
My wife loves seafood and so she started getting hungry after seeing all of the fish before our eyes. Trying to be a wise husband, I thought should find a place to eat at as soon as possible. However, my stomach was also talking to me. We sat down next to these people in the picture below...

Time for some raw fish!
Before we arrived at our place to sit at, Eunhee (my wife) selected the fish that we should eat. The merchant then had us pay for our fish. Next, a high school boy escorted us to the restaurant where they would serve us our meal. He was really friendly, asked me my name, said it was nice to meet me, and asked where I was from. He then told us he would bring our food back to us. Five minutes later, he came back and asked to take a picture with him. I said "Of course!" and then he asked to be my Facebook friend. And yes, we are now Facebook friends! Haha! Here he is...

My new friend
Then he helped bring us our meal. My wife is pretty adventurous and likes all kinds of seafood but I'm not quite as adventurous as her. Here's an example in the picture below. I liked the two kinds of white raw fish on the left, but couldn't eat the slimy stuff on the right. My wife ate pretty much all of that. Eunhee was very happy!

Our meal

After that, we headed to one of the most popular beaches in Gangneung towards the evening: Jumunjin Beach. We found out later that this beach was packed during the day, so we were thankful that the beach we went to during the day wasn't crowded at all. And once when we got to Jumunjin Beach, it was very quiet.

Jumunjin Beach

Jumunjin Beach

We wanted to have some coffee, so we stopped off at a cafe right next the beach. It was in the shape of a train and we noticed that they had a patio deck with a pool. We weren't allowed to swim in the pool but we could drink our coffee there. We had a great view of the ocean and we felt so relaxed at that moment.

Not a bad view!

My wife wanted a red bean dessert (patbingsu) and I got an iced cafe latte because it was still warm that evening...

My wife is about to dive into her patbingsu
Here's another look at the beach from the pool area....

Jumunjin Beach
There was a beach bar that served hot dogs, some grilled meat, and beer. I got a hot dog that was barely edible but I still loved the atmosphere. Next to the beach bar were two filipina ladies singing some old Korean and American songs. I wanted to take a picture of them, but I didn't want them to be offended, so I decided just to take a picture of the scene around them at night.

A beach bar with the cafe behind it
Finally, we reluctantly decided to head back to our apartment after such a wonderful day and evening. The next day, we would head off to Gyeongpodae! To be continued......


Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Gangneung, South Korea- A short trip with my wife (Part 1)



Three weeks ago, I told my wife that I wanted to go to the beach. I told her that I had been to Sokcho but heard Gangneung (just south of Sokcho on the eastern seaboard of South Korea) was also a great place to visit. Then my wife asked me to take a Friday off from work. Then we could bypass some traffic, come back on Saturday, and be back at church on Sunday. At the same time, we could also miss the Sunday night traffic.

My wife did some research and found that most of the hotels in Gangneung were extremely expensive due to it being the summer peak season. We decided to check AirBnB.com and lo and behold, we found a place to stay at. We booked a room with a Korean guy with the English name Damien. We originally thought we were just going to get a room. However, he told us he would be leaving at 12:00pm on Friday, so by the time we arrived, we would have the whole place to ourselves. What a blessing that was!

We took a 10:40am bus from DongSeoul bus terminal at Gangbyeon Station and headed on our way. The traffic wasn't bad as we arrived at the Gangneung Bus Terminal at around 1:10pm. Then we took a taxi to the Jumunjin-eup, the northern section of Gangneung. Although the taxi fare was about W15,000, the taxi driver was very kind and got us to our destination as promptly as possible. When we were near the apartment complex where our airbnb place was, we stopped as soon as we saw a restaurant that looked good to eat at. My wife and I were starving, so we found a great galbitang (beef short rib soup) restaurant. Coincidentally, we later found out that it was one place that Damien had recommended us to eat at! The picture is okay but it was even better than the picture shows:

Galbitang (Beef short rib soup)
After lunch, we walked to the apartment and found out that Damien lived on the 15th floor, which was the top floor of his apartment building. We got a penthouse! Well, sort of. ;-) Here are a few pictures from his floor.

View from our AirBnB apartment
Other side of our AirBnB apartment

Just a 15-minute walk to the beach
We were quite thankful to get a pretty nice place with a great view and all to ourselves. We then decided it was time to head to the beach! We weren't exactly sure how to get there, but we got ready and then started our journey! We walked down the main road in Juminjin-eup and then saw Gangwon State University (강원도립대학) to our right. We thought we could cut through the university to get to the beach. Fortunately, we were correct with our assumption!

Here's a view of the school and it's very well-maintained soccer (football) field:

Gangwon State University football field

Then we came across this academic building right next to the college and we turned right.

An academic building next to the college
Once we turned right, we walked down this street with plenty of shade from these pine trees on both sides.

My wife in the middle of our road to the beach

Once we got to the beach, we didn't realize that we came upon a very famous place. The Korean drama Guardian with Gong Yoo and Kim Go Eun is filmed at this breakwater where you see people taking pictures at:

One place where the Korean drama Guardian is filmed at
As people took pictures, my wife and I just decided to go swimming. There were two people in the water when we arrived at the beach, but once we got in, we were the only ones swimming for about an hour before someone decided to wade in the shallow end. The temperature of the water was perfect although the water wasn't that clean surprisingly. But we still felt great and we stayed for two hours. Once we were done, we headed back to the apartment to get ready for our next stop: Jumunjin Fish Market. To be continued....


Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)



Sunday, August 6, 2017

Never Judge a Person By One's Appearance


One of my weaknesses is that I have as a Christian is that I am very good at judging a person's character when I meet them. However, that has led me to be judgmental and even make assumptions about people even before meeting them. One example happened last Thursday.

In the morning I had an 8:00am class with a high level student. The class content was mainly about the environment. Two days prior to that day, I taught two women the same content and they didn't have much to say about the topic and the class seemed to drag. Due to that class, I sensed dread that I had to teach Unit 49 to one student, since I didn't have much to say about the topic myself.

My student, an older gentleman in his late 40s to early 50s walks in. He spoke Korean to the personal tutor at the front desk, which annoyed me. I had this assumption that because he was older, he would be a bit arrogant and that was one reason why he didn't speak English. I thought "Maybe, he's just refusing to speak English because he doesn't like being told what to do." I commented to him that he should speak English especially since he's a high level student. The personal tutor laughed, but he just proceeded to walk to the board which told him where his class number was for that morning.

Now I'm dreading the class more thinking that the class would be super boring and that the hour would feel like an eternity. I even prayed before the class and asked God to give me strength to get through the class. Then as I walked in, I was greeted with a pleasant "Good morning" and a smile. Although he saw me before, he wasn't sure if I was going to be his teacher. I asked him how his weekend was and he gave me a very detailed answer.

Then we began the class. As soon as I started the warm-up, I started to realize that my assumption was totally off. I asked him to brainstorm 10 words about the environment. Not only did he do that, but he also numbered them from 1 to 10. He followed my request to a "T".

Then we began to talk about the environmental problems of South Korea and was very well educated on the issue. He recalls that South Korea used to use the term "yellow dust" because they thought it came from the Yellow Sea on its way from China. Then he saw a news report that said that only 25% of the air pollution was caused by China. He then mentioned that the Korean government needed to do its part to solve the issue. That's why the term changed to "fine dust" instead of "yellow dust". He was also knowledgable about other environmental issues: recycling, water pollution, etc. I was stunned that this man was not only friendly, but very intelligent. The class was the best one for me despite the topic being a bit challenging. I felt guilty for making a wrong assumption about this man before I even walked into class. This was a learning experience and I wanted to share this so other people don't make this same mistake. When it comes to people, we should never judge a book by it's cover since we may be totally off with our judgments.

Scott Worden (The L.A./Seoul Guy)