This is one thing that can be frustrating for people trying to learn Korean (or any language for that matter). Just a simple difference in pronunciation will leave you facing dumbfounded looks from people in restaurants, taxi drivers, etc. It can be frustrating, but you get better with it as time goes on.
Pronouncing “물” has always been trouble for me. For some reason, I sound the “oo” sound too long, and yes, it does sound like a short piece of speech from a cow. Hyo is a great teacher though and hopefully I can be kind of fluent by the end of the year. I can understand about 20% of what’s being said.
But this situation happens all too often. How about you? Can anyone who is learning Korean relate to this?
호떡 (ho-ddeok) is one of my favorite Korean foods. It is especially popular in the wintertime, but can be eaten at all times of the year. It is basically a pancake with a sweet brown sugar filling inside. Hyo knew I liked it, so we decided to make it at home one day.
As the cartoon, illustrated, mine were horrible….but I was proud of them anyways haha (she had to fix most of mine because the filling was coming out) And after you start cooking, them, they all flatten out the same. They are really easy to cook and fun to make. Don’t make too much though because I think they are best eaten right after you cook them. If you try to save some for later, they won’t be as good.
So yes, these are just some of the nicknames she comes up with. The turtle one comes up often because I often seem to make a face that resembles a turtles. Most of the other ones either have something to do with my round head, or something on my face. Turtle Dom seems to stick the most though haha.
But really, it’s no big deal. I think in any relationship, both parties will come up with nicknames for each other. It’s one of those natural things for couples and I think it shows you guys are really on that level of a real relationship (just one of the ways IMO) . It’s fun.
I have some for her as well, but she comes up with them like clockwork and they are always relevant to something I did. Her nicknames are more related to her being small and cute…like a squirrel or baby hedgehog ;p
So yesterday was Sunday and it was a pretty nice day. Sun was shining, a little warmth in the air…you could feel the tinges of spring. Then evening came, and reality set back in that it’s still not quite spring time warmth yet.
Anyways, we had a nice day out in Incheon. I proposed that we go to Chinatown seeing as I had never been there before. She decided we should also check out Freedom Park which was only a stone’s throw away.
First, we went to Freedom Park. We got off of DongIncheon Station and walked about 5-10 minutes up a a hill before coming up on the park. The park itself is not huge by any means, but there is a lot of space, and a great view of Songdo, the port, Incheon Grand Bridge, and the sea. There is also a statue of General Mac Arthur, an animal pen (with tons of birds and rabbits), and some nice flowers.
Hyo hiding as usual.
Next we headed down the hill right into Chinatown. Hyo found it (by luck haha just kidding she was a great guide) and we began to walk around. Overall it was smaller than i expected, but there were lots of restaurants, many with long lines outside of them. Ultimately we choose a restaurant that wasn’t so crowded and had some 깐풍기 (Ggan-pung-i…fried pork in garlic sauce). It was my first time trying it as although I have a 24 hour Chinese food place I regularly get delivery from, 깐풍기 is not on the menu. We also ordered some fried rice.
We were stuffed afterward, but still decided to walk around a bit more before heading back home. If you want to go to Chinatown, just get off at Incheon Station (the last stop on Seoul Line 1), and you can’t miss the big gate right outside the station that leads to Chinatown. Check it out^^
So I think some explanation is needed for everyone who doesn’t live in Korea. There is a commercial for a money lending company called “Rush and Cash”. Their mascot is a Korean radish. I actually like the character and since I haven’t really done any shopping for food to cook up until this year, I really never see this radish in the store. So I just blurted it out as it was the first thing I thought of when I saw it. Hyo got a laugh out of it as well as a few Koreans nearby. Here is one of the commercials for the radish:
Korea has a lot of coastal cities to visit, and we seem to always flock towards the sea as we both love the water. Here, I’ll talk about 3 trips we took to 3 coastal cities in Korea. We highly recommend checking out these places.
Sokcho was actually our first trip together. I was on my second contract in Korea, and she was at a hagwon teaching. Our vacation dates matched up and we decided to check out Sokcho for a few days as her vacation was very short.
Big Buddha near Seoraksan
Near the sea
Located in Gangwon-do, Sokcho is a pretty popular destination to hit during the summer months and fall months. One big reason is Seoraksan which is not too far from the city center. We didn’t hike the mountain as one…we were lazy…and two, it was raining and dreary all day. We even tried to take the cable car to the top, but it was too foggy to see anything.
The city itself seemed pretty laidback and chill. We stayed at a hotel called “The Ship” which was perfect for the price, and gave a great view of the ocean and sunrise. The center center was nice with lots of shops, and of course seafood. On our last day, we went to the beach even though it seemed like it was going to rain again. It was a good close to the trip. Even though I was going through terrible insomnia at that time, it was still enjoyable.
Mokpo is underrated in my eyes. It’s way down south, and there are tons of little islands that you can go to from the city. There are lots of ferry services that will take you to these islands. Mokpo doesn’t have a lot of hotels, and if you don’t want to go the love motel route, then maybe check out the Shinhan Beach Hotel. Now the “beach” is very small, but the view of Mokpo bridge was awesome. At night, we went out to walk around and people were lighting fireworks, eating, etc. Very nice atmosphere.
Top of a small mountain
On our last day, we took a ferry to one of the islands where there was a little water park. Riding under the Mokpo Bridge was pretty cool too.
Mokpo also has a nice little city center with lots of restaurants. To get to Mokpo, you can take a bus or the KTX direct from Yongsan Station. It took us about 3 hours to get there by KTX (fast train).
Yes…everyone knows about Busan, but it is one of my favorite cities in Korea. Real laidback and lots to do. I’m not gonna go into bg detail about what to do as there is already enough on the internet. I will say check out Taejeongdae as it has spectacular views of the sea.
I would recommend going a little later in the summer season as it isn’t as crowded. Sadly, I forgot my camera on that trip and had to settle for mobile phone pics:
This summer, I hope we can check out Geoje and/or Jeju.