One of the most highly anticipated events just occurred this past month and that was the grand opening of the Lotte World Mall in Jamsil, Seoul. But before going on about the mall, it is important to note that this is under the Lotte World Tower. Lotte World Tower will be the tallest skyscraper on the Korean peninsula once fully completed. It will tower over Southern Seoul because of its whopping 123 floors (for a total of 556 meters). It should be entirely built by the end of 2016 and it will be ranked the eleventh tallest building in the world. The building itself will be used as a mall, offices, residences, a luxury hotel, and finally topped off with a 3-story observation deck. Hopefully, I will be here long enough to see its completion.
Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!
Tags: Teach English in Korea, what to see in korea, movie theaters in Korea, What to do Korea, fashion in Korea, Lotte World, Teach Abroad, Teach in Asia, Lotte Tower, Lotte World Mall, Seokchon Lake, Rubber Duck Project, Activities to do in Korea, food in Korea, shopping in Korea
Living in Korea, you will never, ever need to look far for places to go shopping. Even if you aren't a shopaholic and prefer to quickly get whatever you need and get out, you'll find that this is often outrageously convenient. Areas like Myeongdong are widely talked about, as are the malls and massive department stores. One shopping spot that often gets skipped over, though, is the underground shopping centers. Believe me, it is here that you will find some serious treasures.
The fashion of Koreans is extremely versatile and different compared to other countries. For starters, sometimes you may not find a difference with men and women clothing in stores. The reason for that is because a lot of couples in Korea, not too far into their relationship together, will get couple outfits. This means that they are matching whereever they go. You would think that it would only be a matching tee shirt, but it goes as far as a whole matching wardrobe from head to toe. I mean from inner, outer to athletic wear. This may be a little too much for those who are not accustomed to the culture, especially for those who HATE matchy matchy. Quite frankly. I have a few friends who are against it, but I'm totally for it. I think it is the cutest thing ever, especially that a guy would be willing to do such a thing.
From a very young age, I've been interested in language. I studied English and journalism in college. I've written for various publications. So for me, one of the best parts of living and teaching in Korea is the inexplicablly bad English print found everywhere.
In some ways it seems like it was just yesterday I was packing to move to Korea to live and teach English. In other ways, because I have seen and done so much in the past 16 months, it seems like years ago I was crouched in my bedroom surrounded by piles of possessions. I was reminded of this packing session last week when I maneuvered my suitcases out from their hiding spots behind my washing machine and slowly began packing up my life once again. While packing I got to thinking about things I packed and hardly used or other things I brought that were completely unnecessary. If you are about to embark on a year in Korea be sure to make a thorough packing list, but also remember to forget a few things. These few things don't deserve space in your luggage. Use the room for other more important items. I know people may not share my packing opinions, but here is a list of things I think you can afford to forget. Take it from me, you can find almost anything in Korea and traveling with less rather than more makes life so much easier. Good luck and please comment with any packing questions you may have.
I wrote last week about finding a summer-ish oasis hidden on a side street in my Korean city. Writing that post made me ponder a few other remedies that have helped me cope with winter in Korea. Because, like I've said before, I'm not a fan of you, winter. I didn't even really realize I was in a winter funk until a week or so ago when I was walking to work and caught a whiff of that Spring smell. I think it's made of one part melting snow and two parts bright sunshine. Oh, and there were birds singing, I swear. Although snow did fall a few days later, this morning commute added a bounce to my step and placed not-too-distant and pleasant visions of biking along the Han River and wearing cute skirts in my head. So, if you're like me and need that final push to blast through the rest of Winter into Spring, here are 10 things I am doing or plan to do asap:
I won't lie, it is hard to be away from home for the holidays while teaching English in Korea. But, I also realize just like the Thanksgiving I spent on a beach in Kenya during my semester abroad in college, this Christmas in Korea will be one I will soon not forget. It's already been epic and it's only the middle of December. Last weekend I paraded around Seoul with a couple hundred singing Santas (I promise to blog about Santacon soon) and this week I spent the last few minutes of each class teaching my students the lyrics to their favorite Christmas songs. I really got into the spirit this weekend when I went shopping for gifts for my family and friends back home. Although I will not be there to see them open their gifts, it is almost more satisfying to imagine their reactions. Who didn't have a pair of Psy socks on their list for Santa this year? Rather than send home extravagant and expensive gifts, I am mailing packages full of small gifts that remind me of the people I love.
I don't really know since when, but I started becoming more and more interested in the fashion world. I may not come off very stylish (my wardrobe definitely doesn't), but it's been a secret hobby of mine for a while now. Since the fashion industry in America seems to be more centralized in the big cities (NY/LA), I was pretty much limited to just following fashion blogs. However, now that I am teaching English in Korea I finally have the chance to feel like Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen, wearing my big sunglasses and staring at the super tall models strutting down the catwalk.
A few close friends recently completed their year of teaching in Korea and returned home to the US. Although it was sad to see them leave, their last few months here were full of new adventures in Seoul. They made a list of things they wanted to accomplish before leaving The Land of Kimchi and I am glad they were serious in completing this to-do list. One Saturday, instead of heading into Seoul to experience the plethora of shopping and dining opportunities that we love, we ventured to a new part of the city and found our way to a traditional Korean hanok (home) where we (for less than $20) learned how to properly drink and serve tea and dressed in hanbok clothing.
Tags: fashion in Korea, dressing in Korea, a year in Korea, seoul, free time, cultural experience, cultural activities, hanbok, tea, Activities to do in Korea, Korean culture, Weekend activities in Korea
I have many friends coming to teach English in Korea this upcoming year. Whether it is to visit or to teach a year in Korea, I have made a list of essential things for them to bring: