I have been Advisor to KITIA, the Korean Core Industrial Technology Association in Seoul. I have done a lot of business consulting and you can see some of it on my teaching website, Ba Lao Shi Perfect English.
When Amy came to Korea for Christmas and we went to Pan Dorothy together it was a very happy time!
Another culinary surprise about Korea is that they are really into Spam. This is a leftover (no pun intended) from the American military presence in war-ravaged Korea in the 50's.
One of my fellow professors who had also taught in Japan described Korea as "Japan light," meaning it was a like Japan in some ways, but just less of everything. This bowing robot in boots outside of a cell phone shop seemed pretty Japanese to me.
Another revelation was that there is a "Korean Popcorn" made in a bizarre, high-pressure cannon that fires with a big bang when it is ready,.
Gyeongbokgung Palace, at the northern end of Gwanghwamun Plaza, is pretty overwhelming. Originally built in 1395, it has extensive grounds that now include museums. The maps and guides can give you an excellent perspective on Korean history--and the history of North Asia as a whole.
This little Buddhist temple was a place of peace for me.
There was a small mountain near my apartment with hiking trails and outdoor exercise equipment. One day I noticed a tiny figure someone had placed high on a rock. I climbed up and discovered it was a little Buddha. A trip up a narrow, steep path revealed a burial mound. The mountains of Korea are covered with them.
What most Americans call "Korean Barbecue" is Bul-go-gi, which is usually beef in Seoul or the US, but in Daejeon was usually pork. My favourite is a Daejeon version called Bokumbab, in which the meat is grilled and then rice and vegetable are added and they are cooked together
Korea very definitely has season. In summer, Daejeon was blistering hot. Fall was nice, but Korea winters are like the Ninth Circle of Hell.
Daebudo has extensive mud flats and has local short-necked clams. There are MANY seafood restaurants and the local specialty is called bajirak kalguksu (noodles with short-necked clams).
Woosong is located in Daejeon, the 4th largest city in Korea--but it seemed more like a town.
Korea has a lot of interesting places. It's a small country, so it doesn't take that long to get to just about anywhere. Daebudo is an island that has been attached to the mainland is sometimes known as "the Hawaii of Korea," though I think this is a bit of a stretch
Seoul is a true metropolis and home to 70% of the residents of South Korea.
Needless to say, the Seoul train station is bigger than Daejeon station.
Hair still orange...
The highpoint of my life in Daejeon was this family-owned restaurant. I made a friend in the son and they were all extremely kind to me.
Going hiking here always had a spiritual feel.
"Going to Seoul" was always the highpoint of living in Daejeon. The Dejeon station was pretty deserted in the early am. That's the loneliest Buddhist monk in the world standing there.
I had been interested in Korea for a long time. I had had Korean friends and encountered the culture (and the food) in LA and written about it in my first book, Romancing the Southland and had enhanced my perception of it in Japan and China. So, when the chance came to teach in a university in Korea, I went for it. I was able to keep my work for Changan Ford in Chongqing via the Internet.
Robert Badal, A Writer and Teacher
This is "the Popcorn Man" in Daejeon.
King Sejong's statue is in Gwanghwamun Plaza, which has Gyeongbokgung Palace at its northern end and has the naval hero Admiral Yi Sun-sin standing watch to the south
Bongeunsa Temple (봉은사 (서울), across from the Intercontinental COEX Hotel, is even lovelier at night.
Daejeon has MANY coffee shops, this one, Pan Dorothy, was my main hangout because it was nearest to my apartment. It is also significant because this was where my first SKYPE call to Amy took place.
This was my birthday, September 22nd of 2013 when we realized we were in love--via Skype. Yes, my hair was orange.
In Korea, I was a professor at Woosong University in Daejeon. If you are interested in my teaching history, please CLICK HERE to go to my teaching website.
The KTX high-speed train was fast and comfortable.
The exploits of Admiral Yi Sun-sin in the 16th century invasion by Japan place him amongst the greatest admirals in history. This is a Turtle Ship, or Geobukseon, invented by Admiral Yi and one of the first armored ships in the world.
Korea's great king, King Sejong, who reigned from 1418 to 1450, on the boulevard that bears his name, Sejongno. Here he is suffering the indignity of being snowed upon and surrounded by traffic, but he is still proud. After all, he invented the Korean writing system, Hangul, as well as other scientific and political achievements
I wrote a historical article for CNN called about the Japanese invasion of Korea and the naval battles called "Weapons Technology on the Korean Peninsula: A Never-ending Story." I also wrote another, more modern historical article called called "Why is North Korea." It's sad that CNN discontinued the iReport program, but I still have the articles and may publish them somehow, someday.
Amy's favorite Korean dish is Sam Gae Tang, a heavenly chicken soup made with ginger.
For such a small country, Korea has an amazing variety in its cuisine. My Pinterest site has several boards about it. CLICK HERE to see it.
I liked the students at Woosong, some of whom were Culinary Arts majors.
The Cafe Noble Cat would turn out to be a special place. Here I am hanging out with the cats with two of my colleagues from the university.
I liked living in Korea, but now I was going to marry Amy and move to Hong Kong! Once more, my life was in boxes. This is only a small bunch.