Our Story

My husband took a 1 year assignment in Korea (South of course). With a one year old along for the ride, this year will definitely be an adventure. In an attempt to try to document all the craziness, I decided to start this blog to record all the memories we are making.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fights on the Subway and Children's Grand Park

One of our first experiences on the subway was when we went to Children's Grand Park with Remmer.  The Park is a huge complex that includes a zoo, botanical gardens, outdoor theater, music fountain, water playground, etc.  Since we were timing it around Remmer's nap schedule, we focused on just the zoo and familiarizing ourselves with the park.  (I was just proud that we managed to get there without getting ourselves lost.)

Remmer enjoyed the zoo.  The enclosures were pretty small, which was sad for the animals, but was nice for him because he could get really close to all of them.

Remmer wanted to get as close as possible.

We all enjoyed an "Alladin" animal show.  The main draw were seals jumping through hoops, but mostly it featured domesticated animals.  You should have heard the "ohs" and "ahs" over pigs and a cat walking a high wire.

BUT the best part by far was the beer.  We bought some with our lunch and then found out we could take them into the show and around the park.  What a score!  It made a hot summer day much more enjoyable.

Dan holding our little golden egg.

Oh, and we didn't get lost on the subway, but we did witness a fight.  An old man tried to force the doors open after they had already closed, and another old man scolded him for it.  I'm guessing the first guy missed his stop.  It almost came to blows, but some of the younger men stepped in and restrained them.  One of the men was wearing a full suit and a fedora.  So funny to watch!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Our Son, the Korean Celebrity

We went to a Doosan Bears baseball game recently.  It was an amazing experience.  They have a section with table seating where the row in front of you is replaced with a bar type table, kind of like Alamo Draft House.  It was perfect for Remmer because we had space and he could sit in his booster seat for at least part of the game.  When we tried to buy the tickets, the lady looked at me like I was crazy.  I kept on saying, "3 tickets," and she kept on shaking her head and saying, "Child ticket."  She couldn't believe I wanted to spend 40,000 won on a ticket for Remmer.  Believe me, it was sooooo worth it!  I can't imagine sitting in the general admissions section with a little one.  The crowds are crazy.  The area is packed, and they cheer in unison for almost the entire game.  Here's video:

As you can see, Remmer enjoyed, and participated in, the cheering.  At some point during the game, a camera crew came into our sectioned and filmed Dan with Remmer.  We thought it was for the big screen but never saw him on there so figured they hadn't used it.  We found out later it was for tv.  One of Dan's coworkers said he saw them while watching the game.  I think his video clip has been used more than once because more recently one of the ladies that works at our local grocery store was very excited to tell me that she had seen him on tv, and someone in our neighborhood stopped to tell me the same thing and pointed him out to her children.  Maybe we should be getting him an agent... ;-)


A few weekends ago we visited Gyeongbokgung, the largest of the palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty. When we got off the subway, we were greeted by a group of middle school students offering free English tours of the palace.  We accepted and one of the boys took us on a two hour tour of the grounds.  We learned from him that they volunteer to earn hours for a service club that they are involved in.  It was a great way to get a personalized tour of the palace, and it was fun to listen to him try to explain some of the ancient cultures and traditions.  He would often end up saying, "I don't know why.  They just did."

In the subway below the palace

The royal changing of the guards ceremony

Gwanghwamun (The Main and South Gate) - Please excuse the fingers in the picture.

Heungnyemun (The Second Inner Gate)

Geunjeongjeon (The Throne Hall for the King)

Dan is doing the classic Korean picture pose.  A very nice man offered to take a picture of the 3 of us here.  He had a very fancy camera, so I assumed he knew what to do with our little one.  Apparently he didn't because there's no picture with me... =(

Some of the many royal thrones.  The first one is in the throne hall and is blurry because so many people are jostling to get a view.  You aren't allowed inside, so you have to shove your way to the doors and look in.

It was at about this time in the tour that we realized Remmer was creating quite a sensation.  While I was taking pictures of everything around us, the Koreans were all taking pictures of him.  I hadn't thought about it until then, but most of those people had probably never seen a Miguk (American) baby like him in person before.  We had several groups come up and ask if they could take a picture with him (Many more did it without asking.).  When we asked why they said, "Oh, beautiful baby!"  We should have started charging. 

Gyeonghoeru (Banquet Hall)

Gangnam Style

Gangnam is an area in Seoul just south of the Han River.  The hotel we lived in before we found our apartment was in the center of Gangnam.  Now we are in the outskirts of that area in a more residential community.  Gangnam is one of the hubs for nightlife in the city and is also known as an area where image is everything; the brands you wear, the car you drive, the places you go, etc.  I'm explaining this because a new song has become all the rage here, and is now starting to gain traction in the US.  The video is hilarious and the song itself is very addictive.  Remmer loves it.  He'll stop whatever he's doing, run to the screen, and start bouncing around like the dancers in the video.  Koreans are now using "Gangnam style" as a catch phrase, and LG put out a new commercial changing the lyrics to "U+ Style."  It's becoming such a phenomenon that my tutor even felt the need to explain the song to me at our last session. And now, thanks to writing this post, it's perpetually playing in my head... Oppa Gangnam Style!