Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Haejang Guk. Nom nom nom.

I'm going to be completely honest with you.  Before we came to Korea, I didn't really enjoy Korean food.  I mean, I liked kimchi only because my Hawaiian family eats it at almost every meal.  I liked galbi because, well, it's delicious.  That was about the extent of my taste for Korean dishes.

I distinctly remember having a talk with the boy one night after one too many shots of soju.  He wondered aloud if I would ever learn to enjoy Korean food.  I had tried samgyupsal but didn't find it too pleasing.  I'm not a fan of shellfish or seafood in general (I've just started to enjoy canned tuna again).  I wasn't a fan of being given raw pieces of meat that you had to stare at while you cooked it's counterparts.  I did like ramen.  And I lurve shabu... but that's Vietnamese.

Well ladies and gentlemen, after approximately 22 months of Korean living my body (and taste buds) have finally welcomed Korean food with open arms.  Seriously.  I love samgyupsal (albeit a certain type).  I'm a huge fan of galbi- even more so than before.  I've found that kimbap is the new burrito.  I'll have intense cravings for kimchi mandu, and I'll never, ever pass up the opportunity to enjoy a hearty helping of haejang guk.

Of all of the aforementioned culinary delights, haejang guk is probably the most repulsive peculiar.
Haejang guk is called "hangover soup".  It's the food that you're supposed to eat to cure and/or prevent a hangover.  It's really tasty and has a homemade, hearty feel to it.  My co-workers and I often find ourselves eating hangover soup a few times a week.  There's just something so relaxing about enjoying a good helping of the stuff.

Maybe it's the ox spine?  Or perhaps the coagulated blood?  Or the way you have to carefully pluck the steaming meat from the rib bones? 

What do you mean it doesn't sound appetizing?  

Here's how it works.  Your bowl of haejang guk is served to you while it's still boiling.  You then fish around and pull out the chunks of ox spine that have been simmering within.  This is where you get to peel off the meat (it actually pretty much falls off the bone).

See that white bowl that's holding the chunks of rib/spine above?  I prefer to put all my chunks of meat in that bowl, throw in some hot rice, and pour some soup over it all.  That way I can clearly and easily scoop the appropriate amount of meat, rice, and soup onto my spoon, thus concocting the perfect bite. 

Apparently the rest of the world just dumps their rice and meat back into their big black pot of simmering soup so they can blindly swirl around in search of the perfect harmony of the two.  To each their own.

Take it from me, the girl who doesn't usually eat anything with the words raw, blood, or bones in its title; Haejang guk may sound disgusting, but it's actually deliriously delicious.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Our Sunday in Pictures.

We were lazy buggers all weekend.  We've been fighting off all kinds of allergies and germs from the itty bitties this week.  We were completely exhausted once Friday rolled around and decided to lay low this weekend as we'll be spending the following two up in Seoul.

We spent the day walking around Jukdo Market, drinking coffee, and watching Jeon Woo Chi at a local DVD bang. 

What's a DVD bang, you ask?  It's a honeycomb-like den where one can go to watch a movie for relatively cheap. You get your own private room complete with a huge leather sofa, big screen tv, and unlimited sugary popcorn.  There are shelves upon shelves chock-full of movies from all over the world.  It will cost around $10/movie- depending on how many people you can shove into one room.  It's more intimate than watching a movie in the theater, and it's better than attempting to watch the at home on our laptops. 

The movie was high-larious and I highly recommend it to anyone who can access it.  Make sure that English subtitles are available or else you'll need a decent grasp of the Korean language.  Also, when entering a DVD bang make sure the heavy smell of Lysol is present.  Apparently young Korean couples head there to um... you know, "study".

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Drool Worthy.

So as you may know... the boy and I are in the tedious process of planning for our big RTW expedition.  When we're not caught up researching around the world airfare, cruise lines, hostels, currencies, vaccines, woofing and the like- you can find us (or me, rather) looking up sa-weet gear to load into my backpack. 

What am I pining for today, you ask?

Vibram Fivefingers Bikila running shoes.  Tell me those aren't awesome.  It kind of resemble a frog's foot, but they're built to maximum provide comfort for your underfoot as well as strengthening and training different muscles.  They're said to be uber comfortable as well.

The Patagonia Vitaliti skirtI've read nothing but great reviews on this skirt.  It is wrinkle resistant and durable.  You can wear it casual, dress it up, or even take it out on a hike.  It's lightweight, and it's versatility makes it a good fit for a backpackers pack.  It's also easy to clean.  A sink, some water, and a little soap should do the trick. 

Osprey Aura 50.  Come to mama, you beautiful little thing.  Just look at her!  She's perfect.  It might be time to trade in my old backpack for a slightly smaller model.   I've had an REI Venus pack for a little over two years.  It's been great and I love it, but it's also a little too big.  It's 74 liters and I ideally want something in the 50-65 liter range.  The bigger the bag, the more useless stuff I'll pack.  It's just how it works.  I'm terrible about over-packing, and having a smaller pack will drastically reduce the amount of things I'll try to take with me.  Plus, this Osprey pack is a stunner.

That's the wish list for today.  Maybe REI will let me pick up a part-time job for the month that I'm home so I can score some sweet discounts.  That, or an extreme garage sale is in my near future. 

Korean Pillaging

Some call it an art, some call it stealing... others might just call it creepy and dirty.  We, at Captain and Clark, call it awesome. 

We're talking about pillaging.  Well, more like taking a load off of someones hands.

In Korea, when someone moves, passes away, or wants to clean and clear their apartment they often set their unwanted furniture and goods on the side of the street.  It's not uncommon to see a bookcase, drying rack, bed frame, or even a toilet laid out on the pavement.  We know plenty of people who've found their sofas or coffee tables waiting for them on the side of the road.

Our Korean co-workers told us that some people believe that the possessions of a deceased person are cursed and are therefore unwanted.  They've also said that while there are places set up where one can discard unwanted furniture, many people are too lazy and just set them out on the street instead.  It's a free for all, first come first serve kind of thing.  It's like a garage sale, but better since everything is free. 

It just so happened that our good friend and neighbor Owen Wilson (yes, that's his real name) left Korea last night in search of greener pastures (cough cough Thailand).  While the boy and I have everything we need, we decided that it would be an ample opportunity to teach our replacements, Christie and Brad the art of Korean pillaging. 

Did they find it enjoyable?  Take a peek for yourself.

Chrisie and Brad made out like bandits.  And yes.  Owen Wilson even left a plastic bag full of Korean change. Cha-ching!   In the end, the boy and I walked away with a few National Geographics (which I lurve), a set of speakers, and a small backpack.  Christie and Brad found a new bookcase, some books, dvds, a traditional hat, some bed padding, and a few other knickknacks. 

Not too bad for their first pilfering experience. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chewing Live Octopus.

Chris has been filming a short series about teachers in Korea that become super heroes.  Last week they filmed a scene in which the boy and his fellow actors had to eat 산낙지 (san nak ji) also known as live octopus.  He was able to document it all for your... viewing pleasure. 

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Our parcel from TripFilms

pimp your myspace at

Our t-shirts and hoodies have arrived from TripFilms!  These were the babies that we won with our "Destination Profile" and "Going Local" nominations and awards.  Not gunna lie, the shirt is extremely comfortable.  I might have slept in it last night... then wore it to work.  Then went for a run in it.  I swear I'm going to wash it tonight.  If I can tear myself away from it, that is.

Don't worry, the boy has one too.  Now we have couple shirts that we can wear for the remainder of our time in Korea.  SCORE!

Thank you TripFilms for the amazeballs attire.  You best believe that we'll be sporting them in our up and coming videos!

Wandering Wednesdays.

This picture is from our short (and incredible) time in Bahrain.  Bahrain is where wishes come true.  Want to watch falcons hunt on restricted royal property?  Done.  Care to attend a sacred religious Shi'a mourning festival?  Check. 

We asked.  We received.  All thanks to our good friend May and her awesome family and friends.  I know that the boy and I are so saddened by the trauma that Bahrain is experiencing at the moment.  It's a beautiful country rich in culture and religion and it hurts to see it in disarray.  We actually loved our time there so much that upon our return to Korea I immediately began to search for teaching positions there, and you all know how much I love Korea!

The picture above is one of the many that we captured while taking a tour of the royal falcon hospital, where May's father works as vet.   The boy's father is actually a published author and his book, The Falcon Rises fostered his passion for the art of falconry.  We jokingly had asked May if her father could show us an actual falcon hunt, and we were flabbergasted when she made it possible.  Check that bad boy off the Bucket List.

I'm going to include more than one photo just because it was a once in a lifetime experience... and the pictures are awesome.  I'll even post the little video we made to document the whole story.

Watch more Manama videos at

Monday, March 21, 2011

May I just say...

... that I love running in Korea.  Seriously, I do.  I doubt that there's anywhere else in the world that's as enthusiastic and uplifting to roadside runners as Korea is.  I feel like a genuine rock star every time I run here. 

It all started last year when a few friends and I decided to start training for a half marathon.  Since we're all hagwon teachers and we don't get off work until late, we couldn't start our nightly runs until around 9 PM.  The first few runs I thought that it was odd at the sheer amount of people who would stop for us on the street and clap and cheer us on.  I figured that the majority of them had to be somewhat intoxicated as they were leaving a restaurant or bar late in the evening.

Things only got better during the World Cup.  I began sporting my Korean soccer jersey, to support Korea- but mostly to get more people to enthusiastically cheer for me while on our jaunts.   We would run the dark alleys of Pohang and every time we'd come upon a group of Koreans we would all shout, "Dae Han Min Guk" and everyone, I repeat, EVERYONE would reply with a "clap-clap clap-clap clap" in unison.  There would also be cheers, thumbs ups, and high fives.  It.was.awesome.

Tonight my friend Claire and I decided to run a few (ahem... four) miles to get some hangover soup (I'll have to have a separate post dedicated to the stuff).  I wasn't sure if we'd get any attention this time.  It was late, dark, and we were running a different route.  Luckily for me, a few minutes in we were cheered on by a group of men leaving a soju bar.  About a half a mile later a man working a parking booth took the time to stand up, wave at us frantically and give us a thumbs up.  From then on we were unstoppable.  Groups of men, women, and children held up their hands for high fives and congratulatory pats on the back.

I only wish that it could be the same in the States.  Having consistent support from strangers makes my run so much more enjoyable and I find myself wanting to run for a longer period of time.  Back home I ran hard because I was scared that if I stopped I was going to get shanked in the kidney- and that was in broad daylight.  I remember running around my university neighborhood in Tacoma, carrying a can of pepper spray and a pocketknife in my sports bra.  Baby steps people.  Baby steps.  Until that day, I'll keep the glory runs of South Korea.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Your Daily Gem.

Today's Gem comes from the beau.  Chris now has the task of teaching sweet, angel Jacob.  If you don't remember him, you can visit this post.  He apparently loves Chris and is usually on his best behavior for him.  He's a completely different student now.  He's even nicer to me!

A few days ago, Chris gave his class their daily vocabulary quiz.  When Jacob was finished with his quiz he gave it to Chris so that he could correct it.  He got all of the answers right except for one.  The sentence was, "The bird that you eat on Thanksgiving".  Poor Jacob had written down "hummingbird". 

Chris took out his red correcting pen and began to write the correct answer.  He got the T-U-R in before Jacob snatched the paper from his hand, ran to the back of the classroom, and started to erase his previous answer. 

After a few minutes Jacob approached Chris with his paper.  Chris looked down at the new answer.  Jacob had gone over the red T-U-R in pencil as to appear that it hadn't been corrected at all. 

His new answer?  Turringbird

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The 포항 함.

A few weekends ago the boy, Paul, Corey and I stumbled upon the 포항 함 aka Pohang's Ship.  We didn't have any of our regular video equipment with us but we used Chris's birthday present.  A Samsung WP10.  I'm actually very impressed with the quality.  ch-ch-ch-check it out!

Watch more Pohang videos at

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Our pre-departure video.

I'm sure a good lot of you have probably seen this already (who says "good lot"?) but I noticed that I hadn't posted this video on the blog yet.  So here it is, our pre-departure Maverick Expedition video.

And can I just say that the response that we've gotten over the past three days has been so humbling.  I'm so extremely grateful for our amazing friends, family, the Tripfilms community, and everyone that has supported us thus far.  You are the bees knees.  F'real.  You make it all worth it. 

Watch more Seoul videos at

Your Daily Gem.

Well we have some exciting new developments this week.  On Monday our replacements arrived fresh from Canada.  Christie and Brad are starting their first year as ESL teachers in Korea.  w00t w00t.  Christie is joining the Langcon team while Brad will be spending his time at our Boss's other school. 

Today Christie shadowed me through all of my classes.  The students were very inquisitive and had a ton of questions for Christie.  I was a little shocked at a request that Christie and I had from two students.
 Keep in mind, two completely different students in two completely different classes asked the same thing from us. 

Both "incidents" happened in the same fashion.  I would introduce Christie teacher.  The students would then look at Christie, then back at me.  This would be repeated a few times before one would inexplicably shout...

"Tawny teacher.  Christie teacher.  You kiss.  KISS."

Erm, what?! 

Yes.  Two different students around the age of 10 requested that Christie and I kiss.  Kiss each other.  I have NO idea what that's about.  One can only assume that there's been a recent influx of girl-on-girl action on their nightly soap operas. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Steppin' Out Saturday

It's been awhile since I've done one of these. They're so much fun but I'm a little hesitant to contribute since I find it hard to remember exactly where I got my clothes from.

One of my guilty blogging pleasures is Harper's Happenings.  It's a blog that I can't really relate to (besides the fact that Mandy, the blogger-mama is from Tacoma, WA) as it revolves around her adorable little girl, thrifting, and well- style in general.  I've got no babies, little to no thrifting in the ROK, and my "style" has been all over the place since moving to Korea.  All that aside, I love her blogging style and her vlogs with little Harper have me keeled over with laughter. 

In conclusion, I love her blog and I decided it was time for another S.O.S.  So there.

Tanktop: F21, U.S.
T-shirt: H&M, Dubai
Cardigan: Style Lab, South Korea
Jeans: Random Korean Store
Scarf: Awesome scarf street vendor

Preparing to Launch.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHH!!!  (That's really the sound I'm making).  It's becoming more and more official.  Today, we unveiled our big RTW to the public.  Well, even more so than before.  This is something that's been close to our hearts for so long and we're glad that we can finally share it with everyone. 

Check us out on IndieGoGo.  We have our new promo video as well as all of the sweet perks you get with your donation.

Want to support us even further?  Head to our IndieGoGo site, grab the widget code and paste it on your blog and/or website.  The more we put ourselves out there, the better!  Thanks for coming with us on this awesome adventure!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Unicorns and Narwals for Everyone!!!

Thanks to everyone who voted for Captain and Clark for Tripfilms' annual Trippy awards!  We were shocked to even be nominated for not only one, but three categories.  To our utter shock and amazement, we walked away with two awards- the Destination Profile Award and the Getting Local Award.

While we didn't win Filmmaker of the Year (you still get your unicorn/narwhal), we learned so much from watching our awesome competition and their videos.  We now know what we need to do to improve our videos and get them to the quality and caliber that we want.  We're already getting excited for next year's awards ceremony.

Again, thank you for your support.  We'd be nowhere without YOU!

 Click here to see the full list of winners and nominees.

Well that was quick!

Two months.  Only two months separate the boy and our from our imminent departure from a country that we've called home for two years.  Am I freaking out?  No.  I'm trippin' balls.  Seriously.

We decided that we were going to be prepared in every way possible for our journey back to the States.  We picked up a few boxes the other day and packed up our books and a few clothes that we won't be needing for the 3 months it'll take to ship them home.  Our apartment already feels empty.

I've also started preparing Ares for his big trip to America.  I'm more anxious for his first plane ride than anything else.  We still haven't figured out our exact departure date and until then we won't be able to get Ares situated.  I do know that we won't be drugging him in any way and that we need to get him his last round of shots before we leave.  

I'm not going to fool myself and tell me that we still have a lot of time left.  We don't.  I know that the next two months are going to fly by and before we know it, I'll find myself bawling my eyes out as we say goodbye to Master Sim, his new family, our friends, our students, our apartment and freshly prepared kimchi.

A few days ago the boy and I decided to make a list of all the things we want to do before we leave Korea.  I'm happy to report that the list is small.  We explored so much of this country it's not even funny.  I absolutely hate the feeling of leaving a place knowing that you could have seen or accomplished more.  Granted, we didn't get to experience everything, but we definitely took advantage of our time in Korea and that it something that I'm very proud of.  

Now if only I can pull myself together enough to get through a little more packing.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Your Daily Gem.

So this week has been a very busy one for us at work.  We've gotten so many new students and it's been hectic trying to keep track of our new schedules.  I haven't had as many Daily Gems lately and I attribute it to the fact that I no longer teach Andy, Isaac, and Jenny.  Those kids gave me most of my material.  However, one of my newest students, Jackson gave me this little treat...

We were talking about fiction and non-fiction and our book asked us if "The Life and Times of Robert Kennedy" was fiction or non-fiction.  This prompted this question from Jackson.

"Teacher!  You know Obama?" -Jackson

"Yes, I do know of President Obama." -Me

"Teacher, you know Obama big erection?" -Jackson

"Um, I'm sorry.  What?!" -Me

"Obama erection, teacher.  You see the erection in America?  You vote?" -Jackson

"Ohhhhh... the election.  E-L-ECTION.  Yes." -Me

Those L's and R's sure can be tricky.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wandering Wednesdays

Ahhhh Mexico.  Besides the sun, white sands, and turquois water; I thoroughly enjoyed that every night was "Ladies Night".  Unlike ladies night in the States, in Mexico it means that drinks are free for all the lovely ladies.  Free.  No dinero. 

Add some burritos, salsa, and refried beans and you've got one happy girl. 

10 points and a unicorn if you know where I am in this picture.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday by the hour.

10 am.  The whole family woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed.  Well, Ares was at least. 

11 am.  We headed to our good friends Corey and Paul's casa (lemon poppy seed muffins in tow) to have ourselves a delicious brunch.  I've discovered while living in Korea that I really love brunching.  There's little to no breakfast food here in general, so it's always nice to have a little homemade brunch with friends.

12 pm.  Being that it was Sunday and a lazy day of rest; we let our food settle while watching The Green Mile.  I had trouble finding a matching pair of socks this morning.  I still find it strange that we were given a free pair of Obama socks when Chris bought a vest at a local store.  But hey, free socks!  Who wouldn't want free socks?

 1 pm. We headed out in search of something new.  We originally had planned to go bowling but realized it was too pretty of a day to spend indoors.  We found this big guy instead.  He is by far the biggest dog that I've seen in Korea.  Most people have a little teacup Maltese.  I prefer Chewbacca here. 

2 pm. We decided to walk around a part of town we hadn't really explored.  We kind of happened upon a docked Korean naval ship.  It just so happens that this ship is the sister ship to the Cheonan, the ship that was torpedoed last March.  46 crew members were killed.  Visitors are able to board the sister ship and take a look around at life as a Korean sailor.  There are also a few rooms dedicated to the lives that were lost when the Cheonan went down. 

3 pm. We found a nearby park and decided to take a little look around.  We ended up finding a great place for our next b.b. gun war and got a little exercise in between. 

4 pm.  Headed down to Jukdo Market to get supplies for our Sunday Roast.  I capitalize it because it's apparently very popular to have a "Sunday Roast" in England.  My family usually barbecues but I am not one to turn down a delicious Sunday Roast.  We ended up buying some fresh broccoli, strawberries, and mandarins.

4:30 pm.  Had to stop to get one of my favorite treats.  Fish shaped pastries filled with a warm cream.  Nommy nom nom.

5 pm. We headed back to Corey and Paul's only to discover that we were "knackered" (they're British).  We might've slipped into a mini-coma while Paul serenaded us with his musical talent. 

6 pm. We had a deeelicious Sunday Roast.  Corey prepared a fantastic chicken with roasted potatoes and steamed vegetables.  I don't even like steamed carrots and I gobbled mine up.  I think Sunday Roast is going to have to be a weekly thing.  Can you have a Sunday Roast any day of the week?

7 pm.  The boy and I head home after a quick stop at a local stationary store.  I pick up the newest book I've received and I cannot put it down.  You should probably go out and get it right now.  Well, after you finish the rest of this post. 

8 pm.  Love him.

9 pm.  Late night run for cat litter and Berninis. 

10 pm. Coffee, sparkling apple cider, cheesecake.

11 pm. You're looking at it ladies and gentlemen. 

Next comes sleep.  Or more of my book.  Hope everyone's Sunday was just as great!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A peek at our Saturday.

From our apartment we've always been able to see this mysterious pagoda at the top of a very steep hill (see: mountain).  After almost 2 years, we finally made it to the top.  The view did not disappoint. 

We really want to soak up as much of Korea as we can before we leave.  My current plan is to stuff my face with as much kimchi, samgyupsal, and galbi as humanely possible.  I also plan on crossing off all of the things that we've wanted to see since we've been here.  Finances permitting, we might even make our way to the annual sea parting festival.  Yes.  You heard that right.  Sea parting festival.  Not sure if Moses will be attending or not, but I'll have my camera ready just in case. 

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