Tuesday, March 15

Yeongdeok Snow Crab Festival

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 The awesomeness didn't stop with Andong.  We wanted to take advantage of the nice weather, so on Sunday 8 of us got lunch together then decided to take a scooter trip to Odoe Beach.  We live near Bukbu Beach, but it's close to Posco (2nd largest Steel company in the world) so you can only guess how "clean" the water is, plus it's really busy.  So if you're willing to drive up about 20 km you can find beautiful sandy, turquoise watered beaches with fewer people. 

So we took a nice drive on the highway, then took the side roads through rice fields and made it to Odoe Beach.  We stopped for ice cream and bottled Cola and then went on up the road to Yeongdeok, where there just so happened to be a Snow Crab Festival going on.  In Yeongdeok, Long ago, these snow crabs were regarded as such delicacies that they would be specially presented to the king. King crabs in Yeongdeok are reared in the sand and therefore have a particularly clean and pure taste.They were absolutely delicious - Here's the day in pictures, Enjoy!
In Leigh's neck of the woods sporting y riding glasses, they keep the dirt and bugs out of my eyes while driving  haha :)
Leigh envious that he doesn't have a pair
Teddy and Jared
Megan "the Rider" Ridley
The Tilt Cruisers :) I was designated photographer
The whole group - Andy, Megan, Kory, Teddy, Teagan, Jenn, Leigh & I
Oedo Beach - 25 km from Pohang
The girls -Megan, Jenn, and Me! :)
Beautiful day for a drive :) Now I understand why people drive motorcycles
I was not sure about this at all - I think I almost tackled an ajuma (old woman in Korean) to escape the crab
conquered that fear! :)
The gang pickin out our crabs - yummy
haha free face paint - why not?
Teddy and Jenn

"mash-e-soyo" (delicious in Korean) rice steamed in crab head with natural flavorings
100,000 won (> $90) and 9 crabs later = happy Wagooks
on our ride home, great day!

First of many scooter trips! :) Lookin forward to a summer by the beach in Korea
Love Always, Em

Sunday, March 13

Andong Awesomeness

An-yong haseyo! :) (hello in Korean) March is turning out to be a busy, busy month.  I'm working about 27-30 hours a week at BB English (my after school academy) so that usually goes from about 2:30-8:30 or 9:30pm Monday - Friday and now my friend/director Rim, has helped me pick up some extra work so I've started teaching an adult class at Hyundai Steel.  Three days a week for an hour, I teach anywhere from 6-12 Business men English in the morning from 11:40-12:30. < It's rough getting up that early, let me tell you haha.>  :) Teaching businessmen is quite different than the songs and listen and repeat work I do with my elementary students.  It's proving to be a little difficult getting them to talk, but I think I can crack them!

After the Pohang Steelers game last week and a busy teaching week, I was ready for some culture.  It'd been a few weeks since Leigh and I went to Gyeongju to see Anapji Pond, so every now and then I get a craving to see something I could only see in Korea.  My friend Jenn had a great idea to visit Andong. I hadn't been, but am always up to explore a new place so, bright and early Saturday morning (we're talking 7:45AM) we met and scooter'd to the bus terminal. 

Andong is known as a centre of culture and folk traditions. The surrounding area maintains many ancient traditions, so in mid October there's an Andong Mask Festival, which I missed last year, but really want to make sure I go this year. The Hahoe Folk Village is perhaps the most notable folk village in South Korea.

We got a jumpstart on the day and it was only up from there - here are pictures of the folk village.  As usual, it's really hard to capture the experience in still shots, but it was a really neat experience to be in such a serene place, and see people living so minimally. 

Andong Waygook Crew - Lia, Brenden, Jenn, and me

Love the mountains in the background

awesome swing mid Folk Village :)
Jenn under these beams that had been put in place to help the tree stand - love her!
Awesome day in Andong! :) Can't wait to go back in October for the Mask Festival
xoxo Emily

Monday, March 7

1st Pohang Steelers Game

Mary and I scooter-ing  back from the game
I've written this before, but just to reemphasize :)Where I live in Ocheon, for most happening in Pohang, is not very convenient.  I'm about a 20 minute scooter ride from the beach and downtown, and about a 20-30 minute scooter ride from where most of the foreigners live/hang out. BUT I do live about 10 minutes away from "The Steelyard" where the Pohang Steelers Professional Soccer team plays.  So this past weekend, on a warm, sunny Saturday we all got together, drove our scooters to the stadium and watched the Pohang Steelers take on Seognam. Our friends Mary and Tyler who moved to Korea in February came in from Busan for the weekend as well! :) The game was a blast.  Granted, I'd never been to a professional soccer game and it was my 1st sporting event in Korea, but it was pretty similar to most sporting events I'd been to in the States.  There were corndogs and buckets of chicken for sale, cans of beer for 3,000 won and they even gave us nifty flags as we walked in. The Steelers scored within the first few minutes and went on to win the game.  I'm excited to go to more games this Spring and Summer.  Surprisingly there are lots of sporting events to go to in Korea.  Baseball season just started and the Lotte Giants in Busan (about 1 1/2 bus ride away) are supposedly a great team, certainly a favorite team of many of my students.  And there's even a basketball team in Busan, too! :) Here are pictures from the game

"Kill the Yellow" - Koreans are pretty intense

Sun-shiney day!
Halftime show: Superheroes on stilts

 Perfect ending to the day - Fireworks on Bukbu Beach

He gets really excited about Roman Candles ;) 

Is this real life? :) or is this just fantasy...doesn't really matter to me...
Love, Em 

Wednesday, March 2

Gyeongju Getaway

The past few weeks, we've gotten a few really gorgeous days.  I think after all the snow I've seen in the past few weeks, the warm weather and sunshine was just enough to get me out of hibernation mode. Leigh and I both had some extra bounce in our steps! On Saturday, we took our new found energy and went to explore some of the culture South Korea has to offer.  We autobiked to the bus station, and paid a whopping 3,000 won each (less then $3) to bus to Gyeongju. Read below to see why it's an easy choice for an inexpensive, cultural trip!

A little background on Gyengju: it was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla which ruled most of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries. Many archaeological sites and cultural properties from this period remain in the city, giving it it's nickname as "the museum without walls".
We got off the bus, I immediately went into Tourist mode snapping pictures of everything. I even went on a paparazzi spree taking pictures of unexpecting 'ajamas' (means older women in Korean).  Some yelled at me to stop and some were good sports.  Either way, I was having a blast.  We walked for a ways trying to find reasonably priced accomodations.  Then, we were famished and found something to eat.

I want more than a "hose with which to splash myself"

looks a little different than the BP at home

My Handsome Navigator :)

Strawberries in February!?!?

Unexpecting Local

nice guy
She giggled :) so cute


Yep, that's a whole, small chicken in that bowl
 After dinner, we went to Anapji Pond.  King Munmu (the king responsible for unifying the Shilla, Koguryo, and Paekche kingdoms) built Anapji Pond in 674 as a pleasure garden. He designed the pond so that one cannot view the entire pond at once.  

My Anapji Vanna White

We were so lucky the water was still - perfect reflections!

so beautiful!
I've been here for seven months, and am still amazed daily at how lucky to be experiencing the things I am! :) I'm so thankful for supportive friends and family back home! Miss you guys!
Love Always,

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