Snapshots of spring, 2011

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Here’s some good news: I’ve definitively tackled no less than 5 items on my arbitrarily long new years resolution list. Encouraging, right? A lot of the other ongoing-type ones seem to be going well. I guess its a good indicator of spring, which seems to be nearly over here in Korea. It’s been kind of a manic season, but good manic.

My work at NEH magazine, a bilingual magazine in Seoul, continues. I’ve illustrated the advice columns for 4 issues, written one article, and written, illustrated, and designed a 4 page feature on street food in Asia. The new stuff will be blogged as soon as the issues are released! Having so much on my plate has been really tricky with a full time job and all, but it is really great to be working with a team of creative people in Seoul and making work that I’m proud of.

As I said before, I can check off 5 of my resolutions for this year. Two of them have to do with racing and 3 of them have to do with travel. The first weekend in April I spent with some of my best running ladies in beautiful Gyeongju, Korea, where I ran the half marathon in 1 hour and 47 minutes, beating my goal of under 2 hours. The next day I ran another half marathon in Hanam city in 1 hour and 49 minutes. The best part of the weekend, however, was the gorgeous cherry blossoms in full bloom everywhere and particularly in Gyeongju.

The following weekend, I traveled to Sokcho and Samcheok on the East coast of Korea with Kate and JM.  We hiked in Seoraksan National park, found waterfalls and teeny, tiny caves up in the middle of cliff faces, stayed in a castle-shaped love motel, noraebanged, got our souls cleaned by the sunrise over the East sea, rode a bus filled entirely with ROK soldiers, visited a park that has hundreds of penis sculptures the size of telephone poles, etc.

The past week was short due to Children’s Day and Buddha’s Birthday, so Kate, Sarah, and I took advantage of the extra-long weekend and went to Jeju Island, the “Hawaii of Korea.” Jeju Island is famous for many things, including producing a lot of strange citrus fruits, being largely populated with pumice stone sculptures of smug old men, also being populated by (older) women who dive for shellfish and octopus, having a giant (extinct?) volcano at its center, and being the number one vacation place for Korean families. Because most of the Korean families choose to spend their time at upscale resorts and golf courses, and we choose to stay at love motels, it felt like we were visiting sleepy old beach towns in Florida. We ate a lot of special Jeju foods, like black pork, abalone, and lots and lots of hallabongs (like an orange but better), and other citrus fruits. We climbed the volcano, Mt. Halla; we visited a crater that is mostly surrounded by the ocean; we saw diver ladies and special Jeju deer; we had drinks at the Shilla, a fancy hotel; we saw an African dance performance at the Africa museum and visited waterfalls and beaches and a cow-shaped island. If I had to choose one moment from the trip to post here, it would have to be this one:

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