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Are there bugs/cockroaches in native English teacher apartments in Seoul, South Korea?  What an excellent question!

Yesterday, while taking a shower Julianne suddenly yelled and I came running . . . and then went running for my camera, lol.  This sucka was HUGE!

Think about the size of a shaving creme cap and then look at this guy . . . Julianne asked me to kill it.  I took care of business a la “Say hello to my little friend…”

If you gotta blow your 500,000won apartment deposit this might just be the way to go, lol.

J

p.s. Newbie teachers! Not every apartment has bugs in it in Korea–but then, a fair number do.  Moowhahahahahah! Good luck!

Went out for a walk tonight to get some exercise and try not to think about all the things I still have to do before Julianne and I leave for China in TWELVE DAYS!!!  I haven’t been posting many pics lately which is unusual for me, so I grabbed my Canon 400D and Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens and headed out to try and de-stress.  I ended up walking around the Dongdaemun Market area, and took some night shots of Dongdaemun gate.

I probably should have brought my tripod with me, but didn’t . . . I think I still got some decent shots with my ISO on 1600.   The Sigma lens is really good with hand held night shots, though, so I didn’t bother to lug my tripod along.

I walked around the entire gate and snapped quite a few shots.  I really like this next one.

You can see the rest of the pictures I shot around Dongdaemun Gate on my flickr page here.

I should probably try and get to sleep soon–tomorrow I have a million things to do as Julianne and I get closer and closer to leaving Korea.

J

Julianne and I headed to the Chungmuro Station area to grab some Popeye’s for dinner and I snapped this shot of Typhoon Dianmu just before it opened up on Seoul.

You can see a kickass picture here taken down on Jeju Island of the typhoon’s effects in this article, Typhoon’s effects felt nationwide.

I wish I could have been up on Namsan Mountain to take some shots of this storm entering Seoul–now THAT would have been awesome!

Actually, I just did a bit of “Googling” (hehe, lol) about the typhoon and came across this,

“At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dianmu was about 450 miles south-southwest of Seoul, rumbling north at 15 mph packing 58-mph sustained winds and 75-mph gusts, below typhoon strength, but still a pretty significant tropical storm.

Landfall is forecast for around 6 a.m. Wednesday over Mokpo on Korea’s southwestern coast. Dianmu should pass about some 60 miles southeast of Kunsan and 60 miles west-northwest of Chinhae, still packing a pretty powerful punch, 58-mph sustained and 75-mph gusts at its center” (my bold).

Looks like it’s gonna create some pretty awesome skies–hopefully I’ll catch some of that on my camera.

J

Really not that much to say about this . . . other than “—SE”!!!

J

I took this picture back in 2005 when I first came to Korea . . . and it’s been buried in a folder for years.  I didn’t think I had a fairly close up shot of a wedding castle but I do.

Check out the post below on weddings and wedding castle culture in Korea.

Korean Wedding Hall/Castle Culture — “Jason, when are you [and Julianne] getting married? You should get married

J

This picture was taken back in March of 2005 when I first arrived in Korea.  If I remember correctly this was my first middle school cafeteria lunch tray meal, and my first time trying kimchi–lol.

Something else I find interesting about this picture is that I took it with my Pentax point and shoot (don’t remember the model, sorry).  It was the first camera I’ve ever owned, and I was thrilled to be taking pictures with it.

My home middle school where I also lived had pretty decent cafeteria lunches.  But I only taught there on Mondays and Thursdays . . . the other two middle schools I traveled to had pretty abysmal track records and I often ended up bringing something else with me to eat after I’d gone to the cafeteria with all the teachers (they would freak out if I tried to stay at my desk and not eat with them, and I didn’t know any better then that I could actually eat on my own if I really wanted to) I’d then eat what I’d brought with me.

UPDATE: I forgot to point out something in the picture.  The rice is on the right, and the soup is on the left.  When the Korean teachers around me saw me doing this they all made such a big deal out of it that I did it deliberately for the entire year I was there, lol.  Looking back now, I probably should have just gone with the flow and conformed to the way the tray is “supposed to be” used . . . but really, how big a deal is it to switch things around?  Lol…

Anyways, I’m thinking about doing a series of retrospective blog posts for each year I’ve been in Korea–looking at all the pictures I’ve taken is bringing back a lot of memories.

J

For me personally, yangyom galbi would have to be one of my favorite meals, probably number one, of everything I’ve eaten in Korea.

I hope Julianne and I can find some Korean restaurants in China that serve it.

J

I think final exam stress may have gotten to this student . . . lol.  That, or he’s a non-conformist–which is EXTREMELY UNUSUAL in Korea.

J

A small number of Korean motorcyclists will wear World War II German helmets while riding around on their bikes . . . to western English visitors it’s a fairly surprising/shocking sight to see because these helmets often evoke images of the holocaust due to the strong associations movies and TV shows have created.

This picture isn’t as clear and sharp as I’d like it to be but I was just walking along when this guy drove past.   I was using my Sigma 18-200mm lens on F/5.0, ISO 1600, and aperture priority settings . . . it’s not a bad shot considering he was driving past me, but it could be better.

I’m not sure what the exact appeal is for Koreans who choose this helmet, but I’d love to have somebody translate what their responses would be.

J

From the first time I saw a custom made delivery motorcycle and/or scooter in Korea to five years and several months later . . . I am still shocked to see how much cargo can be crammed onto a bike.

I’d seriously love to show a traffic police officer from Canada or America these pictures–I can just imagine their reactions, lol.

Even bicycles have custom made cargo racks welded onto them.

Pretty much anything and everything that can be strapped onto the back and that needs to be delivered is . . . this is a floral arrangement that also doubles as a vertical banner/sign congratulating or announcing something for a business or many other kinds of places (schools, offices, grand openings, weddings, etc).

Anyways, these bikes are definitely an everyday part of life in Korea.

J

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