In September Jeff’s cousin’s wife, Becky, came to visit us in Daegu! It is always fun to be able to show to friends and family back home what our lives are like here. Daegu was a different Deagu when Becky was here. She came during the IAAF World Championship Games for Track and Field. There were foreigners everywhere! People from all over the world. The entire city was transformed for the games. There were performances downtown every night. Ussain Bolt’s picture in every store window, it was just crazy! More about the games later…
First thing we did was go check out the herbal medicine street and museum in downtown. At Yangyeongsi Market we saw lots of interesting ginseng plants and had the pleasure of tasting ginseng candy. Gotta say, not my favorite but it wasn’t too bad. We wandered into the Herbal Medicine museum which is near the end of the medicine street.
We explored the Herbal Medicine Museum and they had a lot of interesting displays about differences between Eastern and Western medicine. One diagram in particular was a persons body divided up into the separate systems and when you press a button it changes to look more cohesive. It was showing how in Western medicine people are just looked at the particular system and are not looked as a whole person.
We also fell into the tourist trap of getting a foot bath in some special herbal waters annnnnd putting on hanbok.
IAAF Track and Field Championship 2011
Evening was creeping in on us so it was now time for us to make our way to the Track and Field games!
Now, we only had 2 tickets for the games but there were 3 of us, so our plan was to go early and scalp another ticket. Easy, right? No. We showed up and we were so unprepared next to all of these other experienced scalpers. They had pretty signs and knew where to stand to find the people selling them. “A sign!” Everyone is saying on their signs in korean- I want a ticket. I decided to be a little more polite and ASK for a ticket- DING DING DING! A guy walked up to me and right behind him, a police officer! Yelling at us! The scalper guy told the officer that we are his friends and together we walked away. Once he was out of sight we traded our 2 tickets for his 3 tickets in a general seating area. Little did I know that Becky had bought EXCELLENT tickets with a meal bracelet and everything. : / I was sad about that. Nonetheless, we were all together now!
Of course, who wasn’t excited to watch Ussain Bolt? I couldn’t get a good live picture of him probably because he is so fast! haha I did get a good video of him after he won.
Herb Hillz is unlike any ‘amusement park’ I’ve ever been to. It is an herb garden + amusement park + zip lining + nice park to have a walk in all in one. On this day we wanted to zip line. The weather was perfect for soaring from tree to tree.
Jeff and I had done the second to hardest ropes course, so on this day we decided to do the hard one. It was definitely challenging. There was so much balancing that I didn’t have a whole of time to enjoy the fact that I was up in a tree haha. Also, I was PARANOID about my glasses being knocked off. I came close once…
Wandering around Herb Hillz you find really unique things. For example…
Herb Hillz was our last outing while Becky was here, we had a lot of fun with her and learned that it would be pretttty difficult to eat out in Korea if we were vegetarians.
Ah. Blogging? What’s that…? Whoops.
I recently got back from a long and very beautiful vacation back home in Portland, Oregon. (Will blog about this later because I am sorting my pictures.) I have been back in Korea now for about 8 days and it didn’t take long to readjust and to have things go back to the way they were before I left. There is a catch, not exactly the way they were before I left. Over the past year I had made a lot of good friends; some of which who are not staying in Korea for another year. So upon my arrival of feeling refreshed and ready to welcome another year in Korea, I was quickly reminded that it would be the last time I saw a lot of the people that I met here.
The day I got back I had to say goodbye to three great friends. That was the most in one day! After a night of sangria and talks of reunification in Ireland, in a barn, I felt much better about our futures!
The going away parties didn’t end there-
Goodbye everyone, good luck and I’m so glad that I met you here! Daegu will always welcome us all back! haha
Despite saying all my good byes, I feel really great about this year to come! It will be different, but it will allow me to grow. In my new apartment, with a new attitude and a new appreciation for all things in my life~ I do believe it’s going to be a great year.
I like running. Whoa, it feels weird to even type it, let alone say it aloud. Since moving to Korea one of my friends (Bridgette) somehow got me into running. Waaay back in November she proposed that we run the Daegu marathon together. I, naively agreed to this proposition. I didn’t even know how long a marathon was to be honest. I can tell you that when I did find out, I nearly pooped myself. So I settled on running the 10k. I had 5 months to train for a 10k- more than manageable. The only thing was that I hated running. Every time I got on that treadmill I was only thinking about WHEN I COULD GET OFF OF IT.
Daegu Marathon April 10, 2011.
The week prior to the Daegu Marathon I was a wreck, I was really doubting whether or not I could complete the 10k in under 1 hour and 30 minutes. Although, by this time I actually am enjoying running- I’m still a beginner! Luckily, Lana came to Daegu this weekend to support me and she kept me from going insane.
The day of the race I got really pumped up~ the vibe around the race was so exciting and it felt so good to be a part of it!
With a little help from my ipod and this little magical gel and all of the adrenaline from the cheerers on the sidelines I was feeling really good during the race. I paced myself with my friend Bridgette who is a runner and we finished together!!!! 1 hour, 8 minutes and 56 seconds!
After a group stretch led by girls in very short shorts we made our way to the race line. “The Daegu running crew” which consists of my friends Erin, Bridgette, Kristen, Ann Marie and Jezebelle stood at the starting line for what felt like an eternity. (Although Kristen wasn’t participating because the day before she ran a FULL MARATHON, her spirit was with us!)
Seongju. Sunday, May 22, 2011.
In the time between the Daegu race and the Seongju race I hit the gym for realz. I was determined to beat my time. Seongju is where my friend Jez lives just outside of Deagu, so we all took a trip to run in her town! It was a beautiful, sunny day- perfect running conditions!
Seriously, the biggest difference from the Daegu race and the Seongju race was the LACK of people cheering for you!! It was so eerie, but we were the loudest people in the town haha. Cheer!!! Its a race!!
During the Seongju run I was able to shave off 5 minutes off of my time! I couldn’t be more proud and it only makes me want to keep improving and keep running!! : ) Next up, Jeju-do marathon.
Instead of reading something about my rambling on and on, I am choosing to tell a story of what has been going on or what I have been doing for the past…while. I REALLY want to blog more often but sometimes I am so very tired at the end of the day. Anyways, I am alive and well just surviving the yellow dust season- it just started so..
Recently, I ate.
Recently I went outside…
Recently, spring came.
Just for fun.
A few months after I moved into my apartment I began to feel really happy with it. Hanging pictures up, rearranging things to optimize my space. I started think “oh my, this apartment is so cute.”
One evening, back in October, Jeff and I were eating dinner and I was looking past his head and I saw a black mark on the wall. I assumed that I had bumped it with something that was black. I got up to take a closer look at it…
it was black…
it was fuzzy…
it was alive…
There was mold growing on my wall. Before coming to Korea I was frightened by the prospect of mold growing in my apartment after reading about Jimmy and Rachel’s experience on their blog. (Strangelands.) They had a mold problem but theirs was more of a mystery about WHERE the mold was.
The black mold was cramping the style of my beautiful, flower wallpaper as you can see.
After my discovery, I was so shocked. I didn’t even know what to do next. It wasn’t even hot outside! How could there be mold growing on my wall? In an open area, really? I decided not to touch it or else it might want to release mold spores and get in my lungs to make them bleed! …thats worst case scenario… I also had to hurry to Korean class downtown so I couldn’t handle it just yet. During class all I could think about was what that mold was doing in my apartment. Was it throwing a party? Was it growing bigger, bigger and BIGGER!? On my way home I picked up some clorox bleach and a few other gadgets to try to work some anti-mold magic.
The result of my purchase…
Gah, I just felt more scared after splashing mold on it and trying to just ‘grab’ the mold. IT really didn’t work that way. I ended up doing anything I could to try to get rid of it. I have never really dealt with this type of a situation but I am sure that this was not right. To add another factor in- I have an allergy to mold so I was really scared about my breathing. So, I did the only thing I think of. I used plastic.
Yeah, so I found more mold. Yeah, so it might not have been the brightest thing to do but I was desperate.
I broke down after this, I called my coteacher. I might have sounded panicked and hysterical. (note to self don’t ever do that again.) She said that she would come to my house the next day.
The next day…
My coteacher seemed really short with me, and was kind of avoiding me. She didn’t want to discuss the mold whatsoever. Actually, she thought it was very funny that I was reacting so strongly. I tried my best after that to be as calm as possible, but come on, it was my health. At the end of the day we headed to my apartment. After taking a look at it (through the plastic barrier) she went to get the landlord. The landlord came to look at it and didn’t really believe it was mold. She needed her husband to take a look at it, so he would try later that night or the next night. It was the next night.
The next night, I dropped my keys off to the landlord and headed for Korean class. I asked my co teacher to please explain HOW important it is to keep the plastic on. whether or not that plastic was doing anything, the placebo effect was working on me. After class I came home to the plastic on the floor along with little bits of mold. It was basically just ripped off and exposing itself to the rest of the apartment. Thanks. They were unable to do anything else until the next Monday so I stayed away from my place for the weekend.
Monday ( a week from the first sighting) the job was going to get done while I was at school. As it turned out, the prior tenant wanted to hang a picture up on his wall, thats fine. The only catch is that all of the walls are solid concrete. Oh, this didn’t stop him. He took a nail and a hammer and he hammered that nail in nice and good. So good in fact that it was rest in a water pipe. That puncture to the water pipe had grown bigger and water was running into the wall, causing mold to grow from under the wall paper.
Currently, over this giant patch of exposed concrete hangs a picture that Jeff and I painted together in Jinju at the light festival. Thats my Moldy Molderton tale, and I hope to never meet him again.