Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Muju Firefly Festival

Since arriving in South Korea, the Harrington's have enjoyed their fair share of festival-going-shenanigans. Being the easy-to-please-folks that they are, they generally leave festival grounds feeling as though the day was well spent, even if a few things were amiss. However, most foreigners have more than a few bouts of disappointment when attending some of Korea's festivals as there is frequently a trend to over-promise and under-deliver. (Daejeonites who've been here a while may recall the great Rock Band and International Beer fiasco!?!)

So, with relatively low expectations for the festivities themselves, yet knowing their ability to enjoy a day trip regardless of the occasion, the Harrington's made their way to the Muju Firefly Festival

Friday, June 22, 2012

Michael Teacher: The 'Off' Hours

Typically, when the last bell of the school day rings, teacher's all over the world hope to leave most of their teaching duties and responsibilities within the confines of the educational institution.  Native English teachers are no exception, often keeping their fingers crossed that they don't run into their students too frequently (read: never) once the school day has let out.

For Michael Teacher however, those rules don't apply. With a heart of gold and an uncanny ability to build meaningful relationships with folks of all ages, Mike has had a long-running tradition of meeting up with his students at OEC for a cup of hot choco or other cafe specialty.

Having recently decided that Korean Public Schools will no longer be their source of income, Mike has made an even greater effort to convince/remind his students to swing by the cafe for a delicious drink, a round of Uno or in the case of the young boys pictured above, a bit of footy (soccer).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Korea! Fighting!: South Korea vs. Lebanon

On Tuesday, June 12th, Mike and his friend James made their way to Goyang, South Korea (just north of Seoul) to watch South Korea defeat Lebanon in a World Cup Qualifier.

For a detailed account of the story, check our James' post Mike and James' Righteous Korean Tuesday where you'll gain some finer details into game play, the half-time show and the interesting subway ride into Seoul.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Place for Rest and Gambles

After exploring Beartree Park and wanting to refresh their hearts and minds just a touch more before the reality of Thursday and the work week returning set in, the Harrington's and the Kim's made their way to Hyunhee's father's farm

Set back off of the country roads and on the edge of a mountain nestled between rice paddies and a young fruit orchard, this simple 'farm-house' is similar in concept to Cabins or Cottages - a second home of sorts that allows one to soak in all that is beautiful and peaceful on the weekends and holidays while the city maintains it's hold on you for the rest of the days of the year.
The Harrington's were amazed by the views and the solitude of the place and quickly took to soaking it all in and meeting the farm pups (two Jindo's and one Shepard of sorts).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Bear (un)Necessities

Unlike the typical academic calendar in the United States which offers a short (2-week) winter vacation and a long (3 month) summer vacation, Korea offers approximate 2 months in both the winter and summer (although, this summer will only be a week or two over one month). Regardless of these differences, the truth is, for westerners who are used to hitting summer livin' late in May or early in June having to work through July and conduct camps into August makes for a less than anticipated summer vacation. Therefore, each educator easily embraces any and every holiday, even those that fall on a Wednesday.

 So it was, with joy in their hearts and a mid-week chance to sleep in, that the Harrington's found themselves getting together with good friends Hyunhee and Hakcheol for a short road trip toward Jochiwon where they would explore Bear Tree Park.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Wicked - Wedding Weekend

The weekend of June 2nd and 3rd saw the Harrington's taking on Broadway shows and Wedding Ceremonies.  Beginning on Saturday morning, the couple headed down to Daejeon Station where they were limited in train ticket options and therefore ended up with standing room only tickets on the two-hour 'slow train' to Seoul. Not too eager to stand for the entire time, the couple found a short set of stairs between the proper train cars and took a seat while the world outside flashed by through the door frame window.

Soon enough, the couple was encompassed by the herd of people that is Seoul Station on a Saturday (perhaps everyday?) and made their way onto the Subway and toward BlueSquare where they would soon take a back-of-the-theater seat to watch the stunning and impressive Broadway Musical Wicked.


Although the couple was as far from the action as possible (other than sitting around at home), the show was absolutely worth the standing-room-only train ticket and left Melissa literally sitting on the edge of her seat for more than half the performance.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

In the Kitchen: May 2012

May was a month in which the Mrs. made a goal to master (or begin mastering) the art of pastry crust. One of her more tasty goals to be sure, the process of making a fine pie crust requires fine butter (purchased from Costco, because Korean butter is not fine) and some mad finger-flour-butter-combining skills. Melissa has worked hard at mastering Pie Crust and even put together a delicious Blueberry Pie, Lemon and Almond Pie with White Chocolate Drizzle and a Brownie Pie with Bananas and Cream. Each was delicious and have encouraged the Mrs. to continue her pursuit of great pies and pastry crust.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pensions, Beaches and Green Tea: Happy Birthday Buddha

In order to perfectly round out the month of May, the Harrington's were thrilled to come face to face with a three-day weekend. Monday, May 28th of 2012 happened to coincide with the lunar date dictating Buddha's birthday (or arrival on earth) and allowed many residents of South Korea to enjoy an extra day of sleeping in and/or exploring the peninsula. The Harrington's made the most out of the weekend by celebrating, barbecuing, camping and exploring.

Saturday got off to a slow start with Melissa putting the finishing touches on a cover letter and resume for a dream job and Mike gathering the necessary items for a successful weekend which included tents, sleeping bags, home-made root-beer and home-brewed cider and beers.

With their tasks accomplished and fully yearning for a get-away, the couple loaded up the car and headed just south of town to Jang-tae san a recreational forest boasting a Sky Tower and Tree-top Tower walkway. However, the forest wasn't the sole purpose of the Harrington's outing, rather the couple was heading off to a Pension where they would spend the evening and the following morning celebrating Ryan's (one of Mike's soccer buddies) birthday. The afternoon and evening were filled with barbecued duck, pork, beef, a few veggies, more than a few pitchers of beer and bottles of makgoli, birthday cake, food offerings to and from Korean families at the same pension, a roaring campfire and numerous drinking games.

Morning came all too soon for some of those celebrating, including the Harrington's who struggled to sleep on the hard, heated floors of the pension. Regardless, the crew cleaned up their site, grabbed some orange juice, soaked up some morning sun along the river and went their separate ways with most returning to Daejeon while M'n'M made their way into the recreational forest and further South to the coastal city of Yulpo. 
As mentioned earlier, Jangtae-san boasts a Sky Tower and Tree-top walkway which provided the Harrington's a pleasant start to the day but were nothing entirely impressive or worth ranting about.

Monday, June 4, 2012

B-boy and Ballerina: A Love Story

On Sunday, the 20th of May, on the verge of a horrendous sickness, Melissa accompanied her fine gent of a man and good friends Garrett and Alla to an evening showing of The B-boy who loved a Ballerina. Having previously seen Nanta and recently having seen Jump, the Harrington's were excited to see what else Korea could produce in terms of live shows.

The B-Boy who loved a Ballerina was an impressive display of B-boy moves, popping and locking, fancy footwork and body rocking movements. From the first scene to the last the audience was entertained and amazed at the talent showcased by these dancers, B-boy's and even the Ballerina's.

Considering the Wyoming and Montana origins of three out of four from the Harrington's crew, and their personal distance from all things hip-hop and b-boy, it's an impressive testament to the nature of this show that these four audience members were continually impressed and would willingly attend the show again given the opportunity.

If you're in Korea or if the show comes to a stage near you - it's is highly advisable that you purchase the tickets and get ready for a show that will blow your mind.


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