Sunday, May 29, 2011

Night Life: The Shisha House


If you find yourself hitting up Taco K or Santa Claus or just plain enjoying the sights and sounds of Gung-dong near Chungnam University - don't hesitate to step into the Shisha House. Home to some non-Cass/Hite/Max brews (a fabulous Red/Amber Ale and a well as a Wheat), The Shisha House provides a relaxing environment for some drinks, the hook-ah or a bagel-sandwich and nachos.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Second Time Around: Trick Art - Daejeon

Because the first time was so amazing, the Harrington's roped some friends into hitting up the Trick Art exhibit that is/was taking place at Daejeon's Expo Park (event ends May 29th...only a couple more days left!)

It's just plain fun. Have a look-see for yourself!





Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's not all Adventures and Cute Children:Yearning for Home

This isn't so much a post on homesickness. This isn't so much a post that fits the usual beat of The Harrington Times. However, if the Harrington's are about 'anything' - it's about being real. Being real in the way they pursue adventure as much as they pursue community and friendships. Being real in the way they choose where to live, what to do and how to do it. Typically, that realness is accompanied by the main 'editors' propensity to look 'on the bright side' which offers posts highlighting fun (and, if we're honest, food).

However, recent events call forth a need to be real about pain. Real about the sacrifice and hardship that can come with living abroad. Because there are sacrifices being made. Dreams pursued and sacrifices made, they coincide.

For the Harrington's and countless others who choose to live abroad one major sacrifice is creating a deep (and expensive) distance between family and friends. On June 27th the Harrington's said some tear-filled good-byes to mothers, fathers, sisters, and friends who are so close they might as well be twins.

Since arriving in South Korea on August 18th, the Harrington's began saying 'long-distance' good-byes to family members whose lives have been given to eternal rest. While in flight, Melissa's grandfather passed away surely singing praises to his Lord and Savior. Hardly a month ago the Harrington's each sat at their respective work desks mourning, the loss of Mike's uncle and godfather who expressed a good and pure heart throughout so many years of his life. And even more recently, the Harrington's sat on their couch and received such unwelcome news once again. On Sunday evening, a man who leaves a legacy of financial responsibility and anonymous giving wrapped with his spit-fire wit and entertaining tales, Mike's grandfather, also bid farewell to this world.

This is the part of living 5,000 miles from home that hurts. The part that tugs a little harder on your heart strings and begs that you confirm your purpose in living abroad. Is it money and job experience? Is it a life-long dream? Is it simply where your 6th senses tell you to be? For the Harrington's, there is no single or simple answer. However, they will stay. They will re-sign and they will continue on in Korea for another year or more if that is where they feel lead.

Mike has tickets to go home. He will be there, to lay at least one of the men he so admired to rest, to be comforted by his family and to comfort his family. Melissa will anxiously await his return on Tuesday evening.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hot Dog 추세요: Hot Dog Lab and Tea House

Hot dogs aren't a frequent craving for the Harrington's, however, teacups always catch the eye of the Mrs. so, it's no surprise that on a walk home, this Hot Dog Lab sign with a winged hot dog sitting pretty in a Teacup caught Mrs. Harrington's eye! Within a few nights, the Harrington's found themselves stopping into the Hot Dog Lab and Tea House with good friend Aaron to enjoy a paprika/pepper chili (sweet and spicy) hot dog (more like sausage). For less than 5,000 Won and with an eager to please, English speaking...owner (?) the joint is a great place to stop in for a snack before hitting up any of the bars, no-rae-bangs or coffee shops in Gung-dong.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thrifting in Daejeon: Vintage

Thrifting in Daejeon is a well-established past-time of Mrs. Harrington as evidenced by previous THT posts. Most common to the thrift-store, second-hand scene in South Korea is The Beautiful Store (such as this in Daejeon, the one in Nonsan and a recently seen one in Seoul!) However, The Beautiful Store doesn’t have a monopoly on thrift stores in Korea and it’s a good, good thing.

Capturing Motherhood: A dog and her ball

There's not much 'motherhood' happening at 519 Wookyeong-bil. No children. Each of the Harrington's mothers are currently thousands of miles away and close friends who are mothers are also thousands of miles away.

Fortunately, the Harrington's live with a dog who is full of personality and quarks.

A dog who loves her tennis ball. A dog who makes sure she is close to her precious ball. That the ball is protected and feels loved.

We at The Harrington Times, do believe that Lady Annyeong is a shining example of motherhood.
Wouldn't you agree?



Surprise! We're Going Hiking


Somedays you arrive at your given school setting expecting to bust out some lesson plans, waste-precious-time on facebook, play a little online chess and send of some important emails as you've been informed that you won't be teaching that day. Yet, occassionally you arrive at work on these days to be told that your plans to be productive are being replaced with an all staff hike followed by all staff dinner. It's on these days that you are fully aware of the Dynamic Korea in which you live.

The above photos are from one such day in the life of Michael Teacher. Hiking on the edge of Daejeon city, you can see the haze of yellow dust hanging in the sky - the least pleasant attribute of the spring season in the Republic of Korea. Regardless, trading in a computer screen and squeaky desk chair for a peaceful stroll on the mountain side is always a welcome surprise.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Of Trick Art, Breweries and a Circus

A week ago today, the Harrington's were finishing off a fabulous weekend in Seoul, South Korea. Arriving Friday night, the Harrington's made their way to a friends home to settle in for a delicious dinner of Japanese Curry and a few hours of healthy conversation before settling into one of Korea's most comfortable beds.

Saturday morning came with thunder and lightening and after a shower, the Harrington's stepped out into the 'radioactive' shower that was Seoul on Saturday April 30. Not to be disheartened, the couple made their way to the subway, successfully transferred lines once or twice and found themselves in Hong-dae; a very university oriented area of the city. With rain pouring down the couple made their way between shops and cafes before finding their destination: The Trick Eye Museum. The place where dreams and laughter abound.

Following the joy of Trick Art, the Harrington's made their way to Itaewan - the foreigner neighborhood of Seoul to pick up some English books as a Birthday gift for Melissa and then to meet up with friends Jon and Whitney for a burger and beer at Craft-works Tap House. The beer and burger were phenomenal for these American taste buds that have been yearning for a full-bodied, flavorful beer outside of their own home. Filled with good eats and drinks and a bit drained from the activities of the day, the Harrington's made their way to the subway and back to their friends home for a comfortable nights sleep.
Sunday morning came and the couple enjoyed a leisurely breakfast of breakfast tacos, easy conversation and eventually a stroll to the subway station. With less effort and transfers than the day prior, the Harrington's made their way to the Jamsil Sports Complex and went to looking for the Big Top Center where they would soon enjoy their first Cirque du Soleil Performance.

The show was amazing and left the Harrington's breathless a number of times and had them on the edge of their seats throughout. If you've never been to Cirque du Soleil or watched a performance on tape, it comes highly recommended as the show itself and the level of skill showcased is beyond explanation and is therefore best viewed in person.

After a quick pit stop at Cafe Ti-Amo for a waffle and gelato with friends the Harrington's gathered their belongings and began the trek back to their Wookyeong-bil home and sweet Lady Annyeong.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Another Year Older: Melissa's Birthday in Korea

Early in April, the Harrington’s took a few days to celebrate the life that is Mike Harrington. Now, just a few weeks later, the Harrington’s have celebrated yet another life, that of Melissa Harrington.

Having suffered the hit of yellow dust and waking up with horrible body aches and fevers, Melissa enjoyed her last day of year 25 and the first year of 26 home sick, cuddling with Lady and making Tomato Soup from scratch. However, mid-way through the second day of staying home sick things began to turn around and Mike pulled through with a huge birthday-celebration-win!

The evening of the 27th Mike and Melissa headed out with their dear friends Kolt and Holly for a burger from Holy Cross a short walk from the Harrington villa. Having finished up dinner the couples grabbed a few donuts and made their way to the Harrington’s for what Melissa thought would be a quiet night of card games. Thoughts of card games were soon dashed when Melissa entered her home, turned on a light switch and discovered a dozen or so friends shouting “Surprise!”, handing over a beautiful cake and more than one bottle of wine.

The night carried on with much chatting and enjoying of company and indulging in a fabulous confectionary masterpiece made by Jen. For Melissa, the day was a perfect combination of relaxing and celebrating with a handful of dear and beautiful souls.


The coming days, Friday in particular, brought Melissa the superb joy of being an English Teacher to some of Korea’s sweetest students. A significant handful of students from Bongam Elementary school recalled that Melissa’s birthday had passed and spent the day coming to the English room to offer hand-written notes and all manner of gifts. Friday classes ended with two birthday parties as students had worked-hard in English class so they could celebrate with Melissa Teacher.


Considering the love showed through these birthday celebrations, Melissa Harrington can rest assured that 26 will be as good as, if not better, than 25.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trickery of the Eyes and the Provision of Joy

To cap off April and fulfill a growing desire in both the hearts of Mike and Melissa Harrington, the couple made their way to Seoul, South Korea for a variety of activities: conversing with new friends, enjoying good food and good brews, enjoying Cirque du Soleil and most 'importantly' - the desire of their hearts, visiting the Trick Art/Eye Museum. Located in the Hongdae neighborhood of Seoul, this museum provides a number of entertaining possibilities to snap a picture or two...or 70 and spend the next few hours, days or weeks giggling to oneself while avoiding work at the school computer. Take a look for yourself at the fun and funny moments enjoyed by the Harrington's on a recent weekend trip away.







In the Kitchen: April 2011

This month, The Harrington Times will offer only a Teaser, the top Five dishes of April. However, you can always get the latest from the Harrington kitchen by visiting

5. Green Chilie Smothered Rice and Bean Burritos - Tasty and amazingly home-made...sauce and all...not the tortillas though.


4. Sweet Potato and Apple 'Alfredo' Pasta - Just. Plain. Clever.


3. Mexican Tortilla Lasagna - A meal which required the use of for some corn tortillas but a meal that was worth all the effort.


2. African Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup - Creamy, Flavorful and the Perfect Compliment to cornbread.


1. Spicy Sesame Noodles - Easy, Delicious, Perfect for Spring and the meal which elicited the greates pleasure from the man of the house.


Monday, May 2, 2011

No-Rae Bang Nights: Farewells and Celebrations

A dear friend of the Harrington's and other Daejeon GET's has bid-farewell to the land of kimchi, last minute changes, uncaring co-teacher's and a frustrating educational system. As well, he bid farewell to a good group of friends, some fine meal options and restaurants, a host of lovely students and a few good co-workers. Good-byes, under such contexts and within the majority of contexts, are bittersweet.

However, when such good-byes come with Nights (that's right, plural)at the No-rae Bang, sweet treats, and flashing lights, the sweet over-rides the bitter and joyful times are had by all.



Highlights from the latest round of No-Rae Bang:

Mmmbop - Hanson(dedicated to Melissa's dear friend who she once said a bitter sweet good-bye to, Erin C.).

Wonderwall - Oasis (The friend who said "good-bye's" favorite No-Rae Bang moment - EVER, so he said).

Purple Rain - Prince(only because only one singer of the No-Rae Bang was a true-blue fan of Prince and everyone else was wishing the song would just end).

Zombie - The Cranberries (Most fabulous when accompanied by the 'Zombie' walk or when performed by the dynamic Mullen duo).

A Whole New World - From Aladin (Because Disney is a happy place, even after too much soju and beer)

일어나 - 김광석 (Because we are in why not sing some Korean song every once in a while?)

We at THT are sure we've missed some huge joys...some should simply be saved for the No-Rae, however, feel free to chime in if you were there or make suggestions as we will surely be hitting up the No-Rae Bang again.


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