Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In the Kitchen: November 2010

Melissa Harrington didn't hold out during November. The Harrington's ate a multitude of delcious meals while out and about in Daejeon as well as a number of delicious meals in their 519 Galma home.

The month began with a special fall celebration centered on apples. The couple enjoyed a Slow-Cooker Apple Crisp, Apple Cider Taste-Alike and a roaring good game of Apples to Apples with a number of dear and lovely friends.

Mid-November an oven and a slow-cooker cook book arrived at the home of the Harrington's insipiring a new bunch of menu items including Beer Bread and a couple of potato dishes which showed up on 2 of the three Thanksgiving meals enjoyed by the Harrington's and friends. (Further information and recipes regarding the potato dishes - and many other recipes - will be posted in a future article relating the stories of Thanksgiving in Korea).


A few other favorite dining-at-home moments for the Harrington's was a 'fusion' meal of sorts highlighting curry burgers and lettuce wraps, enjoyed with yet another dear friend of the Harrington's.

Having used lentils in the above dish, Melissa was inspired to seek out additional lentil recipes and put together this fabulous dish of Lentils and Spinach.


Last, but not least, the Harrington's enjoyed a breakfast-themed dinner of Brie and Apple Pancakes.

To friends of the Harrington's in Daejeon - they hope you will continue or ask to join them for a meal in their little Asian home.

To friends of the Harrington's elsewhere - they hope you will consider experimenting with one of the above recipes and remember all the good times we've had and those that will one day again resume.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Harrington's Ate This

As an English Teacher in Korea, one often finds they have a bit of extra time. This time can be used in a number of ways, studying the Korean language, reading the news, learning a new instrument, taking an online course or two. Prior to their arrival, the Harrington's had considered various hobbies and activities they hoped to pursue upon settling in South Korea. One hobby the couple, particularly Mike Harrington, wanted to offer more attention to was that of photography.

It is under these desires and the availability of the time that the Harrington's have decided to tag team photo ideas and photo taking. One form of motivation to pursue this hobby will be received from a blog titled: I Should Be Folding Laundry. Weekly, the blog author presents a You Capture challenge. Most recently, the challenge was You Capture -- I ate This.

Here, the Harrington's present their first photos which are part of the You Capture challenges.



Thanksgiving in a foreign country is simply different. Unfortunately, the Harrington's didn't have a five day weekend, and the 25th of November was spent teaching students English then going seperate ways in the evening to prepare for various upcoming Thanksgiving meals. Unwilling to settle for a cup of Ramen or quesadilla, Melissa opted for her favorite Walnut Cookies after school and a bacon toast sandwich from a nearby sandwhich shop. Mike Harrington on the other hand made a trip to Costco, encountered a few foreigners hoping to snag a pumpkin pie and ended the shopping trip with a Costco hotdog. Two acceptable ways to enjoy Thanksgiving in a foreign nation.

Family, friends and readers should note that the Harrington's did have more than one opportunity to enjoy Thanksgiving in a more traditional manner, stories to be published in the coming week.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Hearts in Daejeon

Unlike any other Thanksgiving Day, the Harrington's both conducted this fourth Thursday of the month as if it were any other Thursday. They woke, showered, walked to work and taught their regular round up of Korean students. The equivalent of Korea's Thanksgiving was in September meaning the Harrington's had their chance at a five day weekend a couple months ago.

The next few days will provide the Harrington's a number of opportunities to be with friends and co-workers celebrating this Holiday, giving thanks for the many gifts they've received. But today, the Harrington's have taken a moment to inform readers what they are thankful for, in Korea and back home.

In Korea, the Harrington's are grateful for:
  • Adorable and often wonderful students.
  • Opportunities to travel and see many parts of Korea.
  • The amazing variety and flavors of Korean food (at super affordable prices).
  • Green Tea Lattes from OEC Coffee.
  • Expat friends to chat with, thrift with, play Catan with and enjoy meals with. Friend who are more than adequate at serving the role of support network and 'family'.
  • Beautiful scenery from the natural to cityscapes.
  • The opportunity to travel and work simultaneously.
  • The generosity and hospitality of the Korean people.

From back home, the Harrington's are grateful for:
  • Fellow bloggers, allowing the couple to stay connected.
  • Emails, Facebook messages, blog comments, cards and Skype calls, everything that constantly reminds the couple how richly blessed they have always been and will continue to be.
  • Outpourings of concern regarding the couples safety.
  • Memories of holidays past, spent with family playing games and preparing delicious meals.
  • Gifts which arrive at the perfect time. 519 Friends, you are a part of the Harrington's family which is deeply missed. Thank you for allowing the following moment to occur in the lives of Mike and Melissa Harrington.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Harrington's are Safe and Sound

We at the Harrington Times expect that there are many back in the US and around the world who have heard recent news regarding North Korea and South Korea.

If you haven't had a chance to catch up on the latest, check out this article from The New York Times and/or this video from CNN.

Prior to arriving in South Korea, the Harrington's communicated with expats who measured their safety by the actions and reactions of native South Koreans. The Harrington's have seen nothing but continued calm and cool-headedness by South Koreans nor have they received a message from the U.S. Embassy to which they registered.

Therefore, family and friends back home can rest assured that the couple is safe and unfortunately won't be making a trip back home for the Holiday's as of this posting.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

No-Rae Bang Favorites

A common pastime in Korea is Karaoke, in Korea it's known as 노레 (no-rae). No-rae bang then is a Karaoke or singing room. Usually paid for by the hour or half hour, a singing room is open to customers and their favorite singing partners to choose old favorites, current hits and anything in between and relive their adolescent dreams of being a pop star. Friday, the 19th of November, the Harrington's attended a no-rae bang with a group of good friends and had an exceptional time. The couple has only gone twice but look forward to future no-rae bang opportunities so long as they have the perfect crew of singers to join.

So that readers my have a greater appreciation of these singing room experiences, the Harrington's will occassionaly post some of their favorite no-rae bang songs and readers at home can do one of two things: 1) imagine the Harrington's belting out the song or 2) begin belting out the song in your own home or office.

We at The Harrington Times now present to you five of their favorite no-rae bang songs thus far while living and singing in Korea:

The sound and harmony was of this quality, at least!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nameson Middle School Students Got Seoul

On Saturday, November 13th Mike and Melissa Harrington rolled out of bed earlier than should be legal on a Saturday and made the short 10 minute trek to Mr. Harrington's Middle School. For unknown reasons Mike, along with his lovely bride, were invited to join a Middle School Fieldtrip to Seoul. Unable to say no to free transportation and a day with sweet Korean students and teachers the couple braced themselves for what would surely be a wild ride.

However, this fieldtrip wasn't a wild ride. It was an extraordinarily calm, relaxing and well organized field trip to Seoul. The attendance breakdown was about 17 students, 7 teachers and 10 mothers - a perfect one-to-one ratio which means a day with middle schoolers was nothing less than enjoyable.

The group began by meandering the cities famous neighborhood: Insadong. In and out of shops went students, teachers, parents and the Harrington's. Leather bound journals, wax stamps, traditional treats, cheap souviners were all to be found within the numerous shops. Before long it was time to sit down for a warm, stone-bowl of Bimbimbab prior to continuing with a bit of shopping. Alongside Nameson's Social Studies Teacher, the Harrington's explored potery shops, antique shops and even a tea museum (better described as a tea house).
Finishing up with the shops the Dajeon crew from Nameson made their way toward some traditional housing which once housed famous and honorable Koreans. From what the Harrington's were able to gather from the itinerary they had the pleasure of touring the home of the Korean who is featured on the 1,000 Won bill. Having toured the beautifully simple home and courtyard, the Nameson group sat down to paint a fan, a precious token of their first day spent in Seoul.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's Cookin' in South Korea

Every other Friday evening the Harrington's have boarded the subway and made their way toward old down town where they learned a few cooking skills specific to South Korea. One thing that South Korea doesn't lack, is services for the expats such as Mike and Melissa Harrington. In Daejeon one prime source of expat services is the Daejeon International Community Center (DICC). (Check out the site for a couple candid shots of Mike and Melissa making up some of these Korean dishes). It was through this Daejeon organization that the Harrington's were able to learn a few Korean dishes by participating in the DICC's Korean Cooking Class. The Harrington's missed the first class but made it to four and have given the Harrington Times special access to recipes and stories behind the recipes via Melissa Harrington's food blog: Extended Shelf Life.

Following are links to the dishes made by the Harrington's in order of least favorite to most favorite. Let The Harrington Times know which dishes you hope to try out in honor of our dear Mike and Melissa Harrington.

2. Korean Pork Ribs and Rolled Egg Omelet

1. Goong Jung Dak Pooki and Kimchi Mandu

Monday, November 15, 2010

Seven Blunders of the World

In his search for information regarding the seven wonders of the world for a winter camp program with his students, Mr. Harrington came across a list of the seven blunders of the world written by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He gave it to his grandson, Arun Ganhi, on their final day together, not too long before his assassination. The seven blunders are:
  • Wealth without work
  • Pleasure without conscience
  • Knowledge without character
  • Commerce without morality
  • Science without humanity
  • Worship without sacrifice
  • Politics without principle

The list grew from Gandhi's search for the roots of violence. He called these acts of passive violence. Preventing these is the best way to prevent oneself or one's society from reaching a point of violence. To this list, Arun Gandhi added an 8th blunder; rights without responsibilities.

Much thanks to Wikipedia for connecting Mr. Harrington with this thought provoking list.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Day for Chocolate, Cookies and Love

While many friends back home are thanking a veteran and reflecting on the sacrifices made by a many good man and woman, the Harringtons as well as the rest of South Korea are collecting and giving the gift of Pepero. November 11th, more popularly written as 11-11 is a day overwhelmingly celebrated in South Korea as the number 1 has an uncanny resemblance to a straight stick of candy known as Pepero.

The day is more or less a take on Valentine's Day however the gift market on Pepero Day is essentially a Monopoly held by Lotte, the makers of Pepero, although, according to the all-reliable Wikipedia, "Lotte denies starting the holiday and instead states that they noticed a bump in Pepero sales around November 11th and after continued popularity they decided to then encourage the holiday with special gift boxes and other promotions." Having been in Korea for three months, the Harrington's believe either story is entirely possible.

Regardless of the history or purpose, the day ushers in a fair amount of delicious sweet snacks for teachers and loved ones.

Besides having a delicous chocolatey treat, the reciepient is also encouraged by the loving words printed, in English conveniently, on many Pepero package. And here, in no particular order are some of the loving words one might read on Pepero Day:

  • I only want my love to grow in you.
  • I beleive we need to let others feel the love instead of talking about the LOVE.
  • I love you today more than yesterday.
  • You & Me -- I'm happy to have been with you so far.
  • Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in the same direction.
(For more information on Pepero Day do a quick google search or check out this Wikipedia Article.)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Future FIFA World Cups

The Harrington's enjoyed their time in South Africa so much that they are already looking forward to their next World Cup experience. The next World Cup will be held in 2014 in Brazil, and there's no telling whether or not the Harrington's will be able to make it to that one. However, the following two (2018 and 2022) are in the process of being decided as we speak. The 2018 World Cup will be held in Europe in either Russia, Spain/Portugal, England, or Netherlands/Belgium. The 2022 World Cup will be held in either Japan, Australia, Qatar, South Korea, or the United States. We at the Harrington Times are interested in knowing where our readers would prefer the World Cup to be, and have added two polls to figure it out. Please vote for your favorites. The winners will be announced on December 1st, and 10 AM Eastern time. information on the countries bids can be found by following the links below:

General Information be sure to scroll down and read a bit more.
United States
South Korea

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finding Fall

Having sought rest, silence, and fall colors at a near by National Park on October 30th, the Harrington's found themselves longing for a little more. A little more rest. A little more silence and solitude. A little more color in the trees. On Thursday, Melissa enjoyed a short hike with her larger of the two Elementary Schools. She noticed the the mountain (or hill) was much closer to their apartment than the National Park and was much less popular with hikers. So she took some mental notes of bus numbers and landmarks and hoped her husband would be up for a fall hike come Saturday morning. Lo and behold, Saturday morning both Harrington's were ready and excited for a hike that held nothing back. Level trails as opposed to the straight up the side of the mountain as is common in Korea. Changing leaves, falling leaves, crisp air and all things autumn greeted the Harrington's on Galma-Dong's own Tan-Sol Mountain. A short hour and half hike and less than a hundred smiling Korean faces had the Harrington's feeling a little closer to home than the National Park trail from the previous week.

Getting There: Bus 301 goes right by the mountain as well as a few other unidentified bus numbers. As for when to get off, you'll probably have to go with the Harrington's for the best chance at that working in your favor.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy 27th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

On November 5th, 1983 the parents of Mr. Harrington joined the club and began their wedded life.  It's because of these two special people that the Harrington Times even exists today.  In honor of them, Mr. Harrington has created a short video of his students in South Korea congratulating his parents.  It was filmed the day of the anniversary, but not edited until moments ago.  Enjoy!

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gyeryong-San National Park

On Saturday, October 30th the Harrington's made their way to Daejeon's most proximal National Park - Gyeryong-San, translated to be Rooster-Dragon Mountain. The couple has been anticipating the arrival of fall as Laramites, Wyomingites and those who live in the west have been constantly boasting via blogposts and facebook statuses of a perfectly beautiful fall back home.

Korea is not about to dissappoint the Harrington's in terms of fall colors, however the season seems to be taking its slow sweet time in arriving, a phenomena unknown to a couple who have spent most of their autumn seasons watching the snow fall down and the few decidious trees drop their leaves within a matter of weeks.

For Octobers final Saturday the Harrington's expected to see vibrant colors of reds, yellows, oranges and few bronzy browns, however the mountain was surprisingly green (and not due in part to their being numerous evergreens). Of course, the Harrington's are always content to simply be outside and were actually a bit encouraged by the idea that fall can be a season rather than a month.


Therefore, the couple, along with some thousands of Koreans enjoyed a bit of meandering, sitting, pondering and photographing at Gyeryon-San National Park, easily reached by bus 107. Unlike National Parks in the USA a Korean National Park, or almost any destination of note, is well skirted by souvenier shops, restaurants, convencience stores and one or two no-rae bangs (karaoke rooms).

This Saturday, the Harrington's hope to search out the fall colors once again, although this time on a less popular mountain trail so they can perhaps experience a bit of serenity in the walls of this concrete jungle.

Getting There: Bus 107 takes trekkers right up to the front gate or as near as possible depending on the day. The Harrington's choose to take the sub to the National Cemetary Sub Station and catch the 107 from there, an extremely easy manner of transportation to and from a National Park.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stories from the Couch: October 24th - 27th

Prior to the arrival of the Austrian CouchSurfer the Harrington's with the help of the Mullen's directed Olivier and Samira to meet up for pizza and Catan in Songchon-Dong before eventually making their way back to the Harrington's place in Galma-dong.

This couple hail from France and provided the Harrington's and others more than a few good stories, good vibes and good conversation. Each has served many years alongside NGO's and within various Humanitarian efforts on the African continent. Their hearts are good.

And now, the French couple is undertaking an impressive world tour that may inspire the Harrington's to take on yet another world tour. From France they have been riding trains, boats, buses and hitching a ride; never once since the beginning of their trip have they been on or plan to be on a plane. They've crossed Europe and Russia, made their way to South Korea and were heading toward Japan for a short stay before they'd boat on over to China and begin travelling through East and Southeast Asia with hopes to eventually arrive in Australia, find a little work and if all goes according to plan, slowly make their way by boat to the Americas, South and North. Epic and Beautiful. The Harrington's are fully inspired, one of many reasons they adore hosting CouchSurfers.

Many nights the Harrington's were a bit busy or the couple was trying to save on some cash so chose often to cook in the Galma-dong kitchen.  However, on their last night, the foursome made their way to a couple of Korean Bars to enjoy Pineapple Soju and Cass as well as take a photo or two with the giant teddy bear which shared a booth with the couples.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


On October 22nd, Mr. Harrington's middle school, Namseon, held it's fall festival. This is a time for the student's to showcase their talents and skills, much like an American school's talent show. And these kids ARE talented! There were magicians, violin players, singers, harmonica players, K pop dancers, ballet dancers and none other than Mr. Harrington himself up on stage.

Many readers of the Harrington Times will be wondering why in the world was Mr. Harrington up on stage? It's so against his grain. And it is. When his coteacher asked him to perform at the festival, Mr. Harrington felt like he couldn't say no, like he usually would. He at first agreed to sing, thinking that some of his coteachers would join him, but as more and more declined his offer, he decided he had to change his act. He decided to perform Michael Jackson's Thriller with about 20 of his students. They practiced everyday at lunch for about two weeks, and even pulling a few two-a-days in the week preceding the festival. And it all paid off! Watch the video for proof.

Thriller was definitely one of the hits of the festival. So much that parents and teachers all congratualted Mr. Harrington afterwards. Even the principal, whom Mr. Harrington had hardly spoken a word, came and poured a shot of SoJu for Mr. Harrington at the teacher dinner later (which was HUGE). Up until that point, Mr. Harrington had assumed that the people congratulating him were just being the overly kind Koreans he has began to know. It wasn't until he watched the video later that night that he realized how well it turned out. He was pleasantly surprised! But, there were many other stars at the festival. Mr. Harrington's school is just loaded with talent. Check it out:

By far one of Mr. Harrington's favorite acts. For those of you who don't know, Mr. Harrington loves the sound of a harmonica. This act had three, of different shapes and sizes, the likes of which Mr. Harrington had never seen before. He wishes he could have filmed the whole thing!

Wondergirls never fail to get the crowd cheering.

One of the other hits. Clap.

Ballerina. One girl in front of about a thousand people. Gutsy!

The mothers did a dance too. This is their warm up.

What I assume is Jpop warmup.

Stories from the Couch: October 24th - 25th

On Sunday, October 24th, 2010 the Harrington's welcomed their first CouchSurfer(s) into their Daejeon Home.  This is the account of one of the three CouchSurfers who made himself at home with the Harrington's.

As is common with travelling, Andrea's plans didn't all pan out exactly as anticipated, therefore rather than arrive on Monday night, he came on Sunday.  What that meant Andrea was that he had to first make his way across Daejeon to spend some time at the Mullens' home before returning to '519' Galma-dong.  And, common to CouchSurfers, he was more than flexibile in working within the Harrington's Sunday night plan.

After a game of Catan, a few sips of Soju and much conversation as Daejeon friends met and mingled not only with Andrea, but also with our darling French CouchSurfers.

Monday, the Harrington's made their way to work and wished their Surfers a pleasant day in Daejeon.  Andrea took the day to explore a local Asian market offering some great stories and food recommendations to the Harrington's upon their return home.  With only one day left in South Korea before returning to Austria, Andrea wanted to eat some of Korea's best, the Harrington's knew just the place!

Loaded up on the 113 the trio made their way to Gung-dong near Chungnam University wound their way through the streets and lights and settled into their all-time favorite pork restaurant.  A fellow EPIK Teacher, Paul met the trio and the four enjoyed saucy pork with garlic, onions and kimchi in a lettuce wrap before ordering the highlight of any meal at 'Ssada Pork Villiage', the rice!  Rice at this pork restaurant is what keeps the Harrington's coming back 2 - 3 times per month on average.  The rice is first mixed with the left over pork sauce, kimchi and bean sprouts - once the perfect mix is created a well is created in the rice, a cup of cheese is thrown in, tin foil encloses the rice dish, cheese melts and within minutes diners are discovering a cheese volcano and fighting to have the most ooey, gooey goodness in their rice bowl.  The perfect final meal in Korea.


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