Sunday, December 22, 2013

In Which I Jump Around Like a Doofus

So, we had our Jeju Branch Christmas party a couple days ago. It was pretty great. I was pressganged a while back into participating. I'm pretty sure that they figured I would participate from the beginning and they never gave me an out. I wanted out even more when I found out that the Elders Quorum's performance was going to be a Gangnam Style dance. I was there when they discussed doing some kind of thing chanting thing (which some other guys did end up doing, and it was pretty awesome) that I had no clue about, because it was in Korean and it seems the missionaries have kind of given up on translating for me, which I'm fine with. But, eventually they told me, "It's Gangnam Style, and we'll be practicing today after church." They even said there would be a snack, and I'm pretty sure they changed the schedule specifically so I could participate. I had no choice, and it turned out to be really fun. Most of our readers have probably already seen the video because I put it on Facebook, but if you haven't here it is:

You'll have to excuse the small child who keeps jumping in front of Nancy. Anyway, it was a good time. I would have preferred playing the guitar and singing or something, but this works.

The next day at church I had so many people, including a couple who I didn't know spoke English, telling me how great it was. One of the young women told me that she was super surprised about it. A member of the branch presidency said that one of the young women asked if my full name was Psy Chandler. (If you didn't know, Psy is the name of the guy who sings (and dances) Gangnam Style.) One sister in the ward said that I'm the "Dance King" which is about all the English she knows. Pretty awesome. At any rate, it was fun. It was one of those times when the language barrier has mattered less here and we could all just have fun together. It was a great party.

In other news, tomorrow (the 24th) is going to be our Christmas! We're having it a day early because we have to get up ridiculously early to catch our flight to China on Christmas morning. Have I mentioned that I'm pretty stoked to be going to China? I'm slightly apprehensive, because the Internet and the guidebook make it sound like everyone and their mother, and probably especially their grandmother, is trying to scam you over there. However, I'm going to see the Terra Cotta Warriors AND the Great Wall of China! Those are two things that, if I had a bucket list, would definitely be on it, even though before coming to Korea I never would have thought I would get to do them. That's probably the main reason I don't have a bucket list. At any rate, I think I'll make an end for this post. I don't know if our next post will be about our Christmas or if we'll jump straight to China, but either way, I'm sure it will be awesome! Merry Christmas, everyone!

This is Captain Danger out.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

In Which We Climb a Hill

You know, one of the great things about living here on Jeju is that they have a fancy name for all of their hills: oreums. You don't go out and walk up a hill. You go out and you hike up an oreum! It's enough to make climbing the neighborhood molehill sound like an adventure. Today we had just such an adventure. Generally they yield some pretty good pictures. Today was no exception.

We were hoping to go and do part of an olle trail today, as it's been quite a while and 'tis the season to get out when the woods and jungles and everything else aren't crawling with enormous spiders. However, it was pretty cold and the trail we had in mind was mostly along the coast, and Nancy has come down with a cold. I blame grubby Korean children. Curse them and their germs! So, we decided on the next best thing. Out near Ham Deok Beach is an oreum. Not a hill, mind you, an oreum. We hiked on this oreum shortly after we arrived here in Jeju when we did our first olle trail with our coworkers. The trail went on the oreum and showed us some pretty good views, but it didn't go to the summit, and that has been bothering me ever since.

Today, we went back. Ham Deok beach was almost deserted, which was pretty awesome. There was a brisk wind blowing in off the ocean, and it was kicking up some pretty good waves. The hill, excuse me, oreum, was pleasant, though a little cold, but I had my coat unzipped by the time we got to the top. The views were great, and we were even there for the beginnings (and really the best parts) of a spectacular sunset. The pictures are as follows:

Looking across the beach to the hill oreum. Notice how we had some really nice clouds today.

Looking back toward the mountain.

The cool bridge they have at Ham Deok. And waves!

Nancy on the trail.

This is the summit. I'm pretty sure the mound behind me is a grave. Who knew the summit of this oreum was a cemetery too?


Looking great.

I'm a fan of this photo. I think we look good. Also, I'd just like to make it known that I'm loving having short hair again.

One of those "through the trees" shots that I like to take, though in this case it was because I wanted to take a picture of the view and there were also trees there.


Rocking the winter clothes.

This one turned out a little better in my head. I'm pretty sure that you could see my face in my head.

This one has the moon in it.
At any rate, after the hike we got noodles (I love me some good gook-su) and then headed home. Pretty nice outing. That's all I've got. This is Captain Danger out.

Monday, December 9, 2013

In Which We Visit Some Sites

So, this last Saturday it was a beautiful day and we decided to go out and see a couple of the sights on the south side of the island we haven't been to yet. We went down to the five day market on our way to the bus terminal for a little Christmas shopping, and, of course, some hodeok. I decided to take a couple pictures of the five day market this time, which is a market held (believe it or not) every five days, where they sell everything from produce to jackets to puppies to fish to radios. Here are the crappy pictures I took:

Chickens! These were right next to the puppies. A little ways down they were selling dead chickens.

Produce, and that place on the right sells handmade knives and farm implements.

A lady selling some kind of seeds.

I don't even know if this coat is for sale, but I'm fairly certain that I must have it.
I'll have to take some more five day market pictures sometime. It really is an awesome place, we go a couple times a month.

We ended up taking a taxi down to the bus terminal because there aren't a ton of choices for buses at the five day market. Then we jumped on a bus and headed over the mountain. We saw a little bit of snow up there and then headed down to the other side of the island, where the weather was beautiful and sunny. We had a confusing moment when we got off the bus, but we eventually figured out where we were going. Our destination for the day was Saeyeongyo Bridge and Saeseom Island. They are right next door to Cheonjiyeon Falls, so we went there again, too, since it's free now that we have our foreigner cards. The bridge was pretty cool. It's this neat pedestrian bridge that I'm pretty sure was built entirely for tourists. I'm not complaining. Here are some pictures:

Looking across the bridge.

Us with the bridge.

Me on the bridge looking the other direction.

Nancy on the spiral staircase on the bridge.

View to the west from the bridge.

The island was pretty standard for the area: lava rocks with cool formations and some excellent views out over the ocean. Here are some pictures of that:

Cool overhanging formation. I'd jump off of that. I just think that the water is pretty shallow there.

I like how the color turned out on this one.

This is us totally copying a picture that our coworkers took last week. Theirs looks way better, because they're real photographers and they were patient enough to wait for sunset.

I'm pretty sure that my Hulk shirt has become my favorite shirt.

I thought this view through the trees was cool.
After that we went over and visited Cheonjiyeon Falls again. It's always a pleasant place to visit, and I got some fun pictures of the fall colors reflecting off the water in the river.

Path the the waterfall. Jeju is interesting. Some of the trees are bare, some are still changing colors, and there are still gobs of trees that still have all of their green leaves. I'm wondering if they'll ever change.

Cool reflection in the river.

Attractive wife with the river.

Cheonjiyeon Falls. There's less water this time, but it's still pretty.

A look back at the bridge as we headed out.
So, that's about all I've got for this post. It was a pleasant, laid-back outing and we both had a good time. I'll leave you with one more picture of Nancy and I.

It's not the same as the one I posted earlier. If you look closely, you'll notice some subtle differences.
This is Captain Danger out.