Sunday, February 23, 2014

In Which a Fish Tries to Eat Me

 Well, we've finally managed to get back out on the Jeju's Olle trails, and it is about time! It's been far too cold around here lately, and I have not liked it. Anyway, we had a pretty good time. This time we did trail number sixteen. True to our usual form, we only did half of it, and this half conveniently ended right at a bus stop. Also, this half was all on the coast, which I like a lot. The ocean is awesome, and I think I may have said it before, but I'll say it again, I'm going to miss it when we move back to landlocked Utah. So, there's not much else to tell about this trail that I can't say in photo captions. Here we go!

It's February, but there are still oranges on the trees.

Then Nancy made a wish on a dandelion.

Then we saw this truck that looks like it has a slightly oversized lawnmower engine.

And then the water was super blue and pretty.

And then there were these awesome cliffs that we hiked along for most of the trail.

And then there was this boat rail thing for photo ops.

Then we tried for the Titanic pose, but it didn't work that well, probably because neither of us have ever seen the movie, because it has boobs in it, and that's just inappropriate.

Then there was this really ugly duck thing.

Then we stopped for a snack.

And then a guy who was driving by on the road saw me trying to set up my camera on uneven rocks and stopped specifically to take a picture for us. People here are so nice.

Then there were these stairs going down to the ocean and a fisherman was going down
them. We thought about going down, but we wanted to make sure and finish in time
to get to the five day market.

And then this giant metal fish tried to eat me. It was unsuccessful.
At any rate, that's all the pictures I've got for that outing. It was pretty fun, and I'm looking forward to doing the second half of this trail. This is Captain Danger out.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

In Which We Eat a Keyboard

Ha! We're back! I apologize for the long hiatus. I'm afraid that after China and all the accompanying excitement, our lives have gotten a little boring. I partially blame the weather. It has sucked. I mean, I could have handled it, but most of us know how Nancy does with the cold. Plus, I'm not that excited about going out and doing things in the cold. But, last Saturday we finally got out and did something. It wasn't anything hardcore, but I thought it was pretty fun. Jeju has a lot of museums, some of which are really ridiculous. However, some of them are cool, and the one of them that is definitely the closest to our house is the Nexon Computer Museum. I've wanted to go for quite a while, and now that we have, I can say that it's definitely a fun place. It's really more of a video game museum than a computer museum, though they do have a lot of older computers on display, including one of the like five still functioning Apple 1s in the world, so that was pretty cool. However, they also have tons of classic stand-up arcade games there that, once you pay to get into the museum, you can play for free! Pretty awesome. I mean, I suppose that video games are a pretty big part of what we do with computers, and they're also where a lot of innovations are made, so I won't argue. In the basement they had a whole free arcade, including classic Pong, which I thought was pretty awesome. Also, they had a (crazily overpriced) cafe where you could buy a keyboard-shaped waffle! Did it cost about fifteen dollars? Maybe. But, when else are we going to get a chance to eat a keyboard waffle? Probably never. So, we went for it. At any rate, here are some pictures. Overall it was a fun place and I wouldn't mind going back. Ideally at a time when little kids aren't hogging all of the good games.

Keyboard waffle! How awesome is that?

I want this phone.

Old computers. These were what we once thought of as portable computers. They turn into briefcases.

The functioning Apple 1. Pretty cool-looking.

Nancy playing Space Invaders.

Nancy wearing the goggles for some kind of 3-D virtual reality thing. It was pretty cool. Once the goggles were calibrated it felt like you were actually inside of the video game, even though it didn't look real at all. It was partially because the view turned when you turned your head, and you could even see what was behind you. Also, the goggles looked pretty funny. I wish I had gotten a better picture of that.

This is a 3-D printer. I totally want one. I'm not sure what I would use it for, I just think it's so cool!
Anyway, that's that little outing. It's good to be back on the blog. I'll have another update on our trip back onto the Jeju Olle system here in a day or two. Adios.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

In Which We Watch Some Dancing

So, that title is a little deceptive. This post is about our school's kindergarten graduation, which, to put is shortly, may have been one of the cutest things we've ever seen. I wish we had recorded more of it or taken pictures or something, because it was fantastic. It's great to see kindergarteners you know dressed in ridiculous costumes up on stage singing and dancing. The highlight of the performance happened right at the beginning, when all of the boys came out wearing sparkly k-pop costumes (complete with bling) and did a dance to Justin Bieber's cover of "Love Me," and holy crap was it amazing. And by that, I mean, hilarious and ridiculously cute. I only got out the video recorder once, and I got this gem on tape:

Also, when is that phrase "got it on tape" going to die? Maybe it already has? I mean, we don't use tapes anymore. At any rate it was awesome. In that video, the four girls on the left side (when you're looking at it) are the class that Nancy and I both teach. I teach a lot more of them, but it's hard to point them out. Regardless, it's worth a watch, the video is pretty cute.

Kind of the main idea of this really extravagant performance is to advertise for the school. A lot of people are invited (though not that many came) and our director is trying to say, "Hey, check out what these kids can do after they go to our school for kindergarten! Enroll your kid, and they can do it, too!" A pretty large chunk of the parents don't speak English, but they came and listened to their kids give speeches and perform in English. At any rate, it was pretty fun. That's all I have to talk about right now. This is Captain Danger out.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

In Which We Go to Busan

So it's been a while since I last posted on the blog, I realize, and it's about time I got around to talking about our trip to Busan over Solnar, or lunar new year. It was a pretty great time. I've decided that I like Busan better than Seoul, besides the fact that there isn't a temple there, it's prettier and the shopping is better and there is awesome food. But not as much Western food, so I guess it's a trade-off, but it's still good. Anyway, here's how it went down. We were in Busan for four days. On the first day we met Nancy's friend IHaeEun at Haeundae Beach. It's a really famous beach apparently. It was pretty nice. To be truthful, the beach itself was nicer than anything we have here on Jeju. You can't beat Jeju's scenery though. At any rate, we went for a walk on the beach and saw some cool stuff. Then we went to another beach and looked at a cool bridge and got hot chocolate and walked along the ocean, which is something I won't complain about. I like the ocean. Here are some pictures from that.

Haeundae Beach!

The weather alternated between warm and cloudy and warmer and sunny. I never wore my jacket.

Wouldn't be Eastern Asia without stairs.

The sign said, "Photo opportunity! Will not want to miss!" I availed myself of the opportunity. It is pretty nice, I guess.


Nancy with a lighthouse. I'm pretty sure I've seen more lighthouses since coming to Korea
than I have the entire rest of my life.

THE OCEAN. Is right behind this fence? Not so much. It was like a 15 minute walk out.

Gwanalli Beach and the cool bridge closer up.

I think suspension bridges are cool. They had a piece of the cables on display at the beach, and it was HUGE! Like, it was seriously bigger around that me. 

I thought these buildings were pretty cool-looking.
That evening we met Nancy's friend GwakTaeSu, who was baptized while Nancy was serving in Masan. He took us out to Pizza Hut, and it was actually the first time we've eaten at an American pizza place since we moved to Korea. We have them on Jeju, we just usually go to Top Pizza (Best pizza in city!) because it's good and also really cheap. So, that was fun. He's a really nice guy and he's funny. It was great to hear how he really appreciates Nancy for introducing the gospel to him and stuff. Here's a picture from dinner.

We had the waitress take this picture. 
The next day we set out to see some temples. Now, I've mentioned a couple times before that we've gotten to the point where Buddhist temples are all starting to look the same. However, for some reason we keep going. Usually we aim for the ones that have something unique about them. On this day we went to two. One of them was not very unique, but the second one was, so it was alright. The first temple we went to was called Beomeosa. We thought it was a temple that Nancy claimed has a bigger Buddha than the one at Sanbangsan on Jeju. Turned out that we had the wrong temple. This one was in a nice setting up in the mountains, though, and if Nancy had been wearing hiking shoes and not Ugg boots we would have hiked up to the top of the hill nextdoor. As it was, there were a few picture-worthy things. Observe.

Main gate.

Cool stairs with a mini bamboo forest

Fairly large Buddha statue with a whole bunch of attending statues.

Two more big statues.

We did hike up the hill a little.

Pretty cool stone pagoda.
After that we took the subway back into town and got some lunch. We decided that we would avail ourselves of one of the opportunities of the mainland and get some Mexican food! We went to a bar called the Fuzzy Navel that the Internet said had it and we both got burritos, which were good. It's been a while since we've had burritos. Then we got on a bus and headed out to another temple called Haedong Yong Gungsa. The name is a mouthful, but it's a pretty cool place. It actually is unique, because it's built next to the ocean instead of up on a mountain. That's pretty unusual. Here are some pictures.

This was actually a pagoda to pray for traffic safety or something, as evidenced by the tire
in front of it. You definitely need all the prayers you can get in Korean traffic, that's for sure.

Cool bridge.

This is a fairly large Buddha. I think Sanbangsan still has it beat, though.

You would think that since this temple isn't on a mountain it wouldn't have very many stairs. You would think wrong. I'm pretty sure stairs are a requirement for these temples, even if they're built entirely on flat ground, they would make a hill and put stairs on it.


A place to throw coins. I tried one. I didn't make it into the cup, but I did make the fountain, so that's not bad.

Looking back at the temple.

View down the coast with me in it.
Our next stop was Gwangalli Beach to see the bridge lit up at night. Here are the pictures of that.


This is blurry. It turns out it's hard to hold still for a long shutter when you're holding someone like that.
The next day we didn't take a lot of pictures. We went to Nampo-dong, a shopping area, and I finally got to buy something that I've wanted ever since I found out that they existed: sparkly ties! Seriously, they are fantastic. They have rhinestones on them! I think they'll be perfect for weddings, and they might be a little bit gaudy for church, but I think I'm going to wear them to church anyway. I bought five. We also shopped a round a bit. It's a fun market with a lot of different things, and it was much better than Chinese markets in that you could actually browse without getting swooped down on and having numbers clicked at you with a calculator constantly. After shopping we went and met another one of Nancy's friends from her mission. His name is Darshana and we went out to lunch. We got backbone soup, which doesn't sound that good, but was awesome. It's probably one of the best soups I've had here, and I live in a country where soup is a staple, so that's saying something. Anyway, we hung out with him for a while and then he had to get to work or an appointment or something, so we took off. Here's a picture:

That night we got Mexican food again. We figured why not while we have the chance. The next day was Sunday and we went out to Jinhae for church, since that was the area where Nancy spent the most time that was in the Busan area. It was pretty fun. There were a lot of nice people there and we randomly ran into a guy from our branch on Jeju who is doing his military service at the naval base there. There was also a foreign family in the ward, so the missionaries were already great at translation and gave me a little thing to listen to, which was fun. After church some members of the ward who knew Nancy invited us over for lunch, and that was good. Then they dropped us off at a hill in downtown. We went on a monorail train up to the top of the hill and they had a tower up there to look out at the view. It was a pretty nice one. Here are some pictures.

Us in the monorail car. The guy who drives it just pushes a button and then I'm pretty sure he just takes pictures for people all day.

Proof that it was, in fact, a monorail. I can now say I've ridden a monorail train. If I were a train enthusiast, I think this would be a pretty big deal. Since I'm not a train enthusiast, I just think it's kind of cool. 

Pretty sweet view. It would have been better without the haze, but you can't have everything, especially if part of the everything you want is a haze-free Korea.

The tower. It had eight floors, I think.

Nancy thought the shrubs had tulip-heads, so we took this picture for her mom, but then we realized that they were rose heads. Oh well, it can still be for Nancy's mom if she wants it.

Train coming into the hilltop station.
Anyway, that's our trip in a nutshell! I think this was a pretty long post. That's cool. Anyway, I'll post about updates back on the island as they come. This is Captain Danger out.