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Monday, May 15th, 2006
8:41 am - Korean Temple Doors

Korean Temple Doors
Originally uploaded by kang_a_ji.

We're exiting Korea. It feels weird now that it's real. Wonho's application for permanent residency was accepted and we bought plane tickets for June 26th. Needless to say, we have mixed feelings. On the one hand, we're excited to be starting our new life in Canada. On the other, there's so much we're going to miss. I really hope the settling in and getting accustomed to Canadian culture outweighs our longing for Bibimbap and the madness of Seoul...

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Sunday, April 23rd, 2006
9:26 pm - Frisbee

Frisbee
Originally uploaded by kang_a_ji.

Heinz has a talent that we were unaware of. He loves playing Frisbee! He practically goes nuts when we bring it out and barks like a mad dog. He pounces for it and if he gets it in his mouth you have to play tug of war until you yell at him to "drop" it...and he eventually does. When we throw it, he's races after it and brings it back for more tug or war and catch. It's great exercise for him. He looks so funny trying to walk and balance the huge frisbee in his mouth...

On another note, we're now over half way through the immigration process for Wonho. I've been accepted as his sponsor and now we're waiting to hear from the embassy in Seoul if he'll be accepted as a permanent resident. We still have no idea when we can leave Korea. We're getting more and more anxious!

...but until then, we'll bide our time and play Frisbee with Heinz.

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Friday, April 21st, 2006
9:50 pm - Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima Castle
Originally uploaded by kang_a_ji.

We had a super trip to Japan. The cherry blossoms were better than expected (we expected rain that would destroy our cherry blossom viewing). Hiroshima was by far our favourite city in Japan. It was so calm, clean and easy to get around. The food was excellent and the people, kind. Can't wait to go back someday...

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Thursday, March 30th, 2006
1:00 pm - Fan Death
An artist friend of mine from England was intrigued by the "fan death syndrome" in Korea and decided to produce these stickers:

The writing means "caution."
I think these stickers are brilliant (in a comical sort of way). Her students also liked them and funnily enough thought that they'd be a useful addition to any household fan.
If you're not aquainted with the "fan death syndrome," check out these websites:

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a970912.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_death

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12:10 pm
I went with a friend to see Pride and Prejudice last night. Although the sets were fantastic, I found this version a bit too gloomy. Keira Knightley was a believable rendition of Elizabeth Bennet, but at times seemed too cheeky for her own good. Also that weird underbite of hers just got on my nerves after awhile. All in all I have to say that I was satisfied with the movie but it wasn't nearly as captivating as the 1996 version with Colin Firth. Cloin Firth IS Mr. Darcy as I'm sure Jane Austin would have agreed.


And this interesting (and silly) website can offer more on the '96 version:
http://www3.bc.sympatico.ca/yve/darcymania.html

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Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
8:42 pm - The B&B Dream
Wonho and I have had a week of heavy thinking about our future in Canada. Needless to say, we're worried about what we're going to do, but we're (well I'm) also optimistic. We've realized that with all our travelling, we really have an interest in tourism. We'd really like a business of our own someday and ideally, we'd like a bed and breakfast of our own. We want to use Wonho being Korean as an advantage-- he'd work with travel agencies in Seoul to send us Korean tour groups. We'd like to be located between Niagara and Toronto so that we could offers tours of both spots. Also, that location would keep us near Brantford and family. It's a perfect plan except for the fact that we'd need a ton of money. The cheapest B&B for our needs is about 500 thousand and the ones we actually have an interest in are about 800 thousand. I guess it's time to buy lottery tickets.
This bed and breakfast is our dream home. It's such a georgous house and located on the waterfront...perfect. This one's not too shabby either! It has 8 bedrooms!
So, we've decided to keep our goal and in the meantime, do whatever we can to make and save money...

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Friday, January 27th, 2006
8:41 pm
We're leaving Shenzhen the day after tomorrow. I have mixed feelings as I'm excited to go back to Seoul and see my dogs, but I'm also hesitant to leave China since I've been having a great time here. The past two weeks have been terribly busy. We had two guests visit and each day has been full of touring and/or shopping.

Lisa arrived on the 14th and left this morning. We managed a few day trips to Hong Kong, some days here in Shenzhen and a couple of days in Macau. We were going to take a trip to Chengdu or Shanghai but changed our minds. There's enough to do around here. Like yesterday-- we spent an hour and a half at the post office sending away all the things we bought in our crazy shopping adventures. I sent two big parcels to Canada (to myself) and a smaller parcel for my Mom. I paid about 80 dollars, but that's much better than trying to carry that stuff back to Korea and then to Canada later.

I manged to post some more pictures on my .Mac homepage of Lisa and Kerry's visit and our trip to Macau.

So, our other guest was Kerry who stayed just 2 days. We spent one day in Shenzhen and one day in Hong Kong. I think she liked it here but was probably happier going on to her next destination, Thailand, to see her boyfriend who she hadn't seen for over a month. Lisa has also travelled on to Thailand and will be kayaking for a few days. Later she's going to Cambodia to meet up with Katie and Mary (all friends living in Korea). Hopefully Wonho and I will meet up with them in mid-February so that we can explore Siem Reap together. I've been there before, but I know that Wonho would really like to go there (and I'd love to go again too).

After that we'd like to spend some time in Thailand. I'm not sure where in Thailand yet, but Kerry, Chris and Tom will be in Ko Somui and probably Lisa will end up there too. I also hope to get to Bangkok since we met a guy in China who's a jeweler on Sukumvit Soi 8. I recently bought 7 vintage white gold rings (without stones) on eBay and hope to buy some Thai sapphires and rubies to put in them. I'm sure I can get a good price and some nice quality gems. I'll keep the best ones and try to resell the others. We'll see. If all works out, I may have found a nice hobby for making some extra cash...If not, that's OK. The rings didn't put me out by too much.

Anyway, I'm sad to be leaving China, but happy to see my doggies and soon travel more....

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Thursday, January 12th, 2006
12:28 pm - Windows of the World
Wonho and I went to a theme park near our hotel called Windows of the World. We weren't sure what to expect since we weren't all that confident that a theme park in China would be all that entertaining. But, we heard good things about this place and decided to give it a try. Luckily, Wonho had Monday off so we were able to avoid weekend crowds. We arrived in the early afternoon and each paid 120 RMB to get in the park (about 15 dollars). We thought that was rather pricey by Chinese standards.
Well, it was worth every penny (or should I say yi jiao?). There was so much to see there. Famous structures and places from all over the world were recreated on a much smaller scale. I wouldn't call it miniature, but much smaller than the original. For instance, they have an Eiffel tower that is big enough to take an elevator up, but still much smaller than the real one. The details on these displays were very precise and even the plants surrounding it were true to the region. These are pictures from our visit:
Windows of the World</a It was truly and fun place and I hope when my friends Lisa and Kerry visit us, they'd like to go becuase I'd be more than willing to see it again...

current mood: awake

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Monday, January 2nd, 2006
7:54 pm
We had a pretty good New Year's Eve. We went to Wonho's coworker's place for dinner. We had Samgyupsal, which we cooked on the livingroom floor, and then drank some champagne (from Walmart) when midnight came around. After that, I taught everyone how to play Rummoli. I made the game board myself and bought pumpkin seeds to use instead of poker chips. Whoever lost all their pumpkin seeds first had to pay 10 dollars to whoever had the most...I won!! We really had fun with the game and played until about 2:30.

New year's day was a big family day in China so when we went out to eat that night, the restaurants were packed. It was very lively and festive and Wonho and I had a good time. We try to learn the Chinese names of the foods we like best. It's hard because the menus are in Chinese and the waitresses never understand what we want when we ask how something is pronounced. A couple of times when we pointed at something in the menu, it ended up on our table. All we wanted was to know what it was... We ended up with a couple of stange dishes, one of which was a plate of pan fried dough. Another time we got fish tails. Yum. It's a learning experience...Luckily, each dish is not more than 2 dollars.

Wonho and I have been using the gym at the hotel which is pretty nice. I use the treadmill and weights and Wonho opts for the bicyle and weights. We've also been playing badminton on the rooftop. There a nice space set up with tables and chairs and nobody's ever up there. We really need to work off all the yummy food we've been eating!

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Friday, December 30th, 2005
6:40 pm
Our New Year's this year will be quiet. We'll probably get together with Wonho's coworkers and either have dinner out or visit their apartment for some beer and cards. I'm going to try to buy a bottle of champagne, but it might be hard in China. Walmart has all their New's Years decorations on sale. They hang red lanterns of every shape and size in and out of their homes and shops. It's really pretty. I bought two fish shaped lanterns for about 50cents each.

I also bought three pairs of red underpants to celebrate the new year for about a dollar. They sold my size...surprising! Wearing red signifies future happiness and good luck. I hope my underpants work!

Wonho has been a bit crabby lately because his stomache is rumbling a bit too much. He's getting tired of Chinese food which is delicious but always on the greasy side. We're making sure to drink a lot of Jasmine tea to combat the oil. Apparently the reason Chinese people don't get fat is because they drink tea with every meal...I'll try anything once.

It's rainy today and a little cool out. It's a good day to stay in the hotel and read.


title or description

current mood: content

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Thursday, December 29th, 2005
3:54 pm
Christmas is over and an interesting Chinese one it was...
We went to the Christmas 'Gala' at the hotel on Christmas eve. It wasn't at all what we expected. The invitation was quite elegant looking so we dressed up. When we got there, it was full of people in track suits and jeans. Kids were running all over the place. The hotel gave the kids horns and a toy (a balloon that they half filled with air and then released so it made the most annoying sound on Earth). Wonho and I felt like we were in Halloween costumes all dressed up. We also had a hard time sitting at our table because a little kid didn't want to get out of my chair. The mother didn't want to make him move either (Chinese boys are spoiled little princes, because they can only have one kid). We finally were able to sit down after the managemnt came and talked to the mother. The entertainment was also weird: scantily clad russian dancers and a band from the Philippines doing Christmas and Abba medleys. After eating and politely watching some of the show, Wonho and I left and enjoyed watching "A Christmas Carol" which I downloaded onto my computer.
Christmas day was much nicer. We relaxed in the room until the afternoon. After that we tried an Italian restaurant next to the hotel which was surprisingly authentic and excellent. The owner turned out to be Malaysian and he lived in Italy for a few years. He hired an Italian chef to come to China to oversee his resaurant, Cafe and icecream shop. We'll be regular customers when we don't feel like eating Chinese food. After dinner we walked about 15 minutes to a small amusement park which advertised a Santa Parade. It was a cute park with a few rollercoasters and rides and was extremely clean and organized. The Santa parade was cute with a few floats and funny looking skinny Chinese Santas throwing toys for the kids. We had a good time. When we got back, Wonho and I celebrated Christmas with some Canadian ice wine we bought in duty free on the way to China. Yummy.

current mood: amused

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Wednesday, November 16th, 2005
8:39 pm
Wonho and I have an opportunity to live in China for awhile, but we can't take our dogs with us. It's a difficult situation, but we can't pass up this opportunity to live in China and explore the country...Anyway, we happened to find this Dachshund breeder near Seoul who is willing to look after our pups while we're away. I think it's a great idea! They'll be with "their own kind" for about 2 months and enjoy space and fresh air out in the countryside. During the night, they get to stay indoors where the floors are heated and cozy. They'll be sent with their own pillows, blankets, toys and food. I'm going to miss them like crazy, but I think they'll be fine at this place. This is their website- Bear House To see pictures of the kennel, click on 'about us' and then 'contact us'. They have about 300 Dachsunds of all sizes, colours and textures. It was really fun to go there and get greeted by hundreds of excited wieners...

FELIX AND HEINZ

current mood: busy

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Wednesday, September 28th, 2005
6:08 pm
I realized today that I like using Livejournal, but I don't enjoy writing at all. I'd rather read other people's posts and look at their pictures. I do enjoy posting my own pictures and adding captions but I really dislike writing anything in paragraph form. It's too bad really. I think that I have a fairly interesting life and have experienced a lot. I really envy those who can sit down each night and write something, even if it's about nothing at all. Some people keep daily diaries...how can they do that? I tried, but my entries end up sounding stiff and contrived-- no natural flow whatsoever. Perhaps I should make myself sit down on a regular basis and write. I'm sure it would be good for me (although I'm probably better off exercising than sitting at my computer)

current mood: aggravated

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Saturday, August 13th, 2005
12:09 pm - The Wiener Dog Version of "Jeckyl and Hyde"
This is Felix. He's a quiet dog and is chicken of everything.
He hates the broom and runs from his squeaky toy.
title or description
But every so often, he turns into a monster. This is Felix under the
bed. He's just playing, but wow! He looks scary!
title or description
This is how Felix plays with his pal, Heinz. Felix is usually
timid, but when Heinz gets rough, Felix can fight back!
title or description
After a hard day, Felix likes to settle down and chew a bone...
or tear off some wallpaper...
title or description
THE END.

current mood: lazy

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Wednesday, May 4th, 2005
9:46 pm - This journal thing seems to be a monthly event!
Tomorrow is Children's Day. I'm going to stay home tomorrow in order to avoid the chaos of kids everywhere. Even E-Mart (Korean Walmart) will be invaded and if the weather is nice tomorrow, there'll be no park with any space to move. I guess we can forget going to see a movie too. My guess is that if it's sunny, we'll set up our tent on the roof and relax there with the dogs all day. Sounds good to me!

A picture of when a public park in Seoul isn't crowded (Monday afternoon):


WORLD CUP PARK

current mood: groggy

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Monday, April 4th, 2005
4:11 pm
Tomorrow is Arbour day in Korea. It'll be the last time that Arbour day is considered a holiday. Starting next year, everyone will have to go to work and school. Who's going to plant the much needed trees? This year is also the last year for Children's day (May 5th). I guess Koreans don't like their kids after all.

This is all an indication of how the modern world is evolving. More work and less play. I'm feeling it in my own life as well. Now that I'm "settled down," I realize how hard we'll have to work to get the things we need. Well, maybe not need, but the things we think we need. A decent home, cars, kids, school, travel, food, drink, pets, music, art.... I feel like the more money we save, the more we spend. How? Who knows? I'm not mopey today. Actually I'm in a good mood. I just sat down, figuring that I should update my journal. I had no plan...this just came out. Something to think about (something in the back of my mind). That's all.

current mood: hopeful

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Friday, March 4th, 2005
8:17 pm - On the Job Again
It's Friday evening and boy am I exhausted! I've been on holiday for about 6 weeks until I started my new classes on Wednesday. Wednesday and Thursday were both easy, I had one class on each day in the morning. Today? I had 7.5 hours of teaching. What a schedule! On Tuesday I have another 8 hours in a row (Monday is off). Of course, I can't complain. I have plenty of time off, but weird how my classes are all bunched up in two days. This week we had introductory classes. I go in, say my name, show them the textbook to buy, give them a syllabus handout and say, "See you next week." Oh, I let them go after they have a chance to ask me some questions. I meant questions about the class, but of course I get questions such as "How old are you?", "Do you have a boyfriend?" or "Are you married?" It's nice that they want to practice their English I guess.
One guy had the courage to say to me"I love you" as he was leaving the classroom. How nice of him. I hope they get more original when it's time to study and they have to actually impress me with their English....

current mood: drained

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Sunday, February 27th, 2005
4:45 pm - Sunday
Such a relaxing day today. We slept in, ate a yummy Korean brunch, I did laundry while Wonho had a short nap.... The best part of the day was washing the car. Not that washing the car is so fun, but it felt like a great achievement to do it. Since I was away for a month, my car was so filthy I couldn't even see through the windows into the car. Really. Now it's sparkling...well, pretty clean. My 1992 car will never be sparkling again (not like the one in the picture). I have a lot of good memories associated with that car. Many adventurous road trips were taken through the Korean peninsula. Also, it was my means of transport from the country life of Hayang to downtown Taegu every weekend. Now, it's my way to work. As much as I'm attached to the car though, I can't wait to get a new one! We're considering a new Kia sportage.



current mood: accomplished

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Thursday, February 24th, 2005
3:51 pm - After a LONG Vacation--
It's been over a month since my last confession....I mean journal entry. I was lucky enough to have a month home to go to Canada for a visit. Actually, it was a pretty great time considering I was given a wedding shower by my Mom and sister-in-law. Strange that Wonho and I have been married almost a year now, but that's how it works out living so far away from family and friends...nothing can go on schedule as far as a wedding is concerned. I was really glad to see some friends I haven't seen in ages-even though the day went by really fast and I felt like I barely had a visit. I suppose the best part though (and I shouldn't really say this, but I will anyway) was the presents! Wonho and I hit the jackpot for household goods. We got dishes, towels, glasses, wine, kitchen appliances and my favourite gift- tools. I can't wait to use the electric screwdriver, staple gun and sander wherever we end up buying a house. I just know that we'd better buy a pretty old house to make good use of those tools! Here, check out the presents:                 

current mood: calm

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Wednesday, January 19th, 2005
5:15 pm - Absent Minded
I'm worried about my mental health. All day today I thought it was Thursday. I got ready, walked to the oriental medicine clinic and found it was closed. Every Wednesday it's closed. This is just one example of many that shows how absent minded I've been lately. Another priceless example was on Saturday. Wonho and I had train tickets to go to a wedding in Pusan. We set the alarm to get up early enough to make it there on time. As I was getting ready, I just never thought to check the time. We got ready, left the house and realized that we only had 20 minutes to catch our train. Of course we didn't make it. You can't get anywhere in Seoul in 20 minutes. We had to cancel our tickets on our way to the station and reserve seats on the next train. The only ones availabe were in 1st class. We spent an extra 40 dollars because we never bothered to check the time. Wonho and I are both so forgetful. Sometimes we worry that someday we'll produce a kid who's as bright as Homer Simpson. Doh!

current mood: scared

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