Life in Korea: Kimchi Workshop

Another late posting as this happened back in November. One Saturday morning I invited over a few friends and we made kimchi from scratch – yes, we have officially done  gimjang.  Gimjang is an annual tradition for typical Korean family that seems to be dying these days like many other traditions.  Back in the days, as the air began to chill, families and neighbours would set a date to gather around and make huge batches of kimchi that would last well over winter. These days, with smaller, independent families and the convenience of store-bought kimchi, gimjang slowly becomes a thing of the past especially in urban lifestyle.

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[Hiking in Korea] Sikjangsan in Snow

Daejeon Hiking Group‘s February 2016 hiking took place in eastern part of the city.  Sikjangsan (식장산) is an easy access from public transit and has several hiking courses that are far from a challenge. Our group on Sunday had beginning hikers so it was a perfect opportunity to try out this neighborhood mountain.

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Gyeryongsan Winter Hiking

After a self-satisfying attempt at a winter hiking in Sutonggol, the hiking group’s next target was naturally the extension of our most recent achievement.  As I mentioned in previous post, Sutonggol Valley, although extremely convenient and popular hiking destination for locals, is a mere tip of a chain of peaks known as Gyeryongsan National Park.  The real deal lies farther away from the city’s boarder. The group rendezvoused early in the morning at Daejeon National Cemetery station and hopped on a busy 107 bus en route to Donghaksa loop.

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Winter Hiking in Sutonggol, Daejeon

Here’s a bit of a late posting on my recent hiking in Daejeon, South Korea. This was my first winter hiking and needless to say that I’ve enjoyed it more than the times I came to Sutonggol (수통골) in spring.  So far, the winter of 15/16 has been unusually warm and when we started out in the morning of December 20th the day was perfect for hiking.  The air was cool and moist with little to no wind.

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Following the Accident: Hospital Life in Korea

So after a car knocked me over on a busy crosswalk in Daejeon, South Korea, I was taken to nearby university hospital in Dunsan by ambulance.  As I mentioned in the previous post, I was told by the doctors that I’d be alright and walked out of the ER only to discover 9 days later that I had a crack in my spine that the X-ray failed to catch.  Bummer.

I was admitted to Daejeon Woori Hospital in Dunsan-dong, a facility specialized in spinal treatment.  I was really a fortunate case.  I didn’t know much about Korea’s insurance system and I was just about to let go of the incident and move on as I seemed fine except for the bruises and what seemed to be a pain in the muscle.  If it wasn’t for the advices I received from my parents and other locals I may have missed all the benefits and rights that I deserve.

In case you ever get involved in a car accident like I did in Korea, here’re some tips that I learned hard way.

  • Never say that you’re sorry or you’re fine at the accident scene.

Your kind remarks may work against you later on.  Also, it might not hurt at the moment but sometimes the pain emerges days later.

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Car Accident in Korea While Riding a Bike

On August 14, a day before 70th Liberation Day of Korea, I was riding my bike along Dunsandae-ro northbound towards Expo Park to meet my friends for the great fireworks when a car stuck me as I was riding the crosswalk.  I was thrown off my bike and dropped several feet over where I hit the ground on my left bottom.  The pain struck immediately and I was worried that I might have broken my pelvis or something.  There were several other people crossing the street and few of them rushed over and asked if I was alright.  I do not remember saying anything though — I guess I was traumatized or at least stunned by the whole thing.  I was just trying to figure out what the hell happened as I was sitting there in the middle of a crosswalk with bystanders gathering around in circle.

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My poor bike somehow survived the crash. Not much to fix, they said.

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Biking from Daejeon City to Daecheong-ho Lake

Back in June, I chose a Saturday which also happened to be a national holiday in Korea to ride my bike as far as Daecheong-ho Lake.  This was quite a challenge for me as it has only been about a month since I purchased my first road bike.  I am  getting myself used to riding this pretty thing all over the city but still having hard time pushing it up the stiff hills.  So I decided to test myself as I have been told that the bike path along Gapcheon River to Daecheong Lake is famous for its beautiful sceneries.

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At this time of the year, the bike path along Gapcheon stream is lined with beautiful wild flowers.  It was a little too hot to bike in the day but it still was worth the try.

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