I visit a few forums and a lot of times there is a debate, what is better an actual book or a eReader? I live in South Korea and while I like my house situation, it is much smaller than I am used to when I lived in the United States. I no longer own a car and so when my girlfriend suggested I buy a bookcase in an attempt to tame my ever-growing book collection I jumped at the chance to use her car and head over and pick one out. The problem is even though I bought the biggest bookcase Homeplus had to offer, it was not large enough. So, I had to head back and buy another book-case to ensure that everything I had was contained in one area. Since I made my home decor purchases I have had a goal: read all of my physical books by the end of the year. I already have the goal of reading 100 books for the year 2011 (at time of this post I have read 13 books for the year) so, why not start with what is on my shelf? Also, when it is an option I will purchase the eBook over the physical book as a new year’s resolution. This is so that my tiny living space has more room and I can reduce clutter, which makes my girlfriend happier. The bad side to this resolution is once I have finished a novel I donate it to my school’s library so there will no longer be any donations once I have read everything that I have.

It was then when my friend sent me the following jpeg:

I am told is from Amazon.com With that in mind I am still going after my goal, even though I have bought a few physical books since my goal came to fruition. However, it just comes down to personal preference. When all is said and done it is just a matter of convenience, I ride the subway and bus nearly every day, the Amazon Kindle is a light alternative to the physical book. The problem is that the majority of books remaining on my shelf are huge. Omnibuses? Omnibii? And large tomes like Peter F. Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn Trilogy where they each come at a very impressive 1,000+ pages for each installment. I have been purchasing a lot of the books currently on my shelves and converting them to eBooks when the opportunity presents itself so, that may be an option once I get to the specific book I want to read. I know that I am years away from going completely away from purchasing physical books, but I am doing my best. Regardless of which format you choose to read, it is a simply impressive that you read. I am curious as to what you prefer and why you have either held on to the belief that physical books are the only way to go? Or you have switched to the digital format and feel that physical books are no longer the way to read a novel? Let me know. Or perhaps you are where I am currently heading and think that perhaps there is a no real winner. After all the does not have to be a winner for everything.

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End of the School Year

It is hard to believe but the end of the school year is nearly upon us. Since this is my second year teaching abroad I have attempted (although it is half-assed at best) to save a little money. So, instead of heading to somewhere sunny and different I have elected/decided to just stay close to home.

My on again/off again girlfriend has planned out a trip on the KTX down to Busan for a few days. She has to work through most of the vacation days so what little time she has to get away from work will be with me. I, on the other hand will only work one week in January. The second week of the year I will return to work to teach my winter English camp and then head back on vacation. Right now my plans for vacation involve reading, playing X-Box 360, and sleeping in. Not exactly what I really want to do but it should keep me out of trouble and with any luck, keeping my money in my pocket.

I will let you know how it goes.

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Saturday Staff Outing

Anyone who knows about teaching in Korea will tell you that at the end of a semester the school gets together for a day. Usually it is some event and then has a meal together complete with drinks and then heads home.

This year we decided to go hiking. Our destination was Namhansanseong. A fairly easy hike but then Korea may be rock and full of hills but very few of them are ever very steep. The biggest concern for us was all of the snow and ice. It made for a few cautious steps. We did hike it without incident. The great thing about this particular hike was that it is full of history. The fortress was used on several occasions and lucky for us we had a history teacher or two that gave me a detailed lesson on the location. As a history buff I really enjoyed this portion of the hike. We would stop on from time to time and she would point out distinct points along the trail and give me a story. A great way to pass the time and educational.

 

Sueojangdae (Sueojangdae command post)

 

After the hike we headed down below the trails to a quaint little restaurant where I finally had an opportunity to try some duck (Ori). I have had duck before back home, but according to one of the teachers the way that they prepare the dish is to stuff the bird with rice and beans and then bury it in a fire pit and let it cook for several hours. After a while it is dug up and roasted until it is done. When it arrived on our table it looked delicious and I was overjoyed to find that it was even better than it tasted. It had a much more richer taste than turkey. The only downside to the meal was that the duck was not very big and I was left wanted more. However, this week I was able to try two dishes and fortunate enough to like both of them. As a picky eater it is good to see me branching out.

 

Seoul Panorama

One of the benefits to the hike was the amazing views of downtown Seoul and what I believe is Gangnam. Nearly every high point on the hike I was able to get a fairly decent photo of the downtown area.

 

This was one of my favorite staff outings. I even sang Sittin’ By the Dock of the Bay without complaint when we hit the noraebang (singing room). Luckily they have no idea just how tone deaf I am so my belting/destroying of the tune went unnoticed.

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Eating Eel

In an attempt to broaden my horizons and appease my on again/off again girlfriend (long story), I decided to try eel. It is one of her favorite foods and I have to admit rather tasty.

Eel

Last night my girlfriend came over and we planned to go to dinner. We had a hard time deciding what it is that we were going to go out and eat so I gave her the keys and said make a decision. She knows that I have offered to eat eel and so, with that in the back of her mind, we headed off for some seafood.

We headed out to Suji where there is a somewhat famous eel restaurant and sat down to dinner. The food was relatively inexpensive. for one is is 18,000 won, or roughly 15-16 dollars. We had two different types of eel, salted and another with a sauce on it. I preferred the salted eel. The marinated/sauced eel had a fake BBQ flavor which wasn’t bad I just did not like it as much.

Eel marinated and salted

Eel is consider a manly food in Korea. it is said that it gives your manhood extra strength and the rest of your body vitality. Korean women are not suppose to eat the very end of the eel as that is where the eel’s major muscles are and if you are looking for vitality a man should eat the tail. Needless to say I ate the tail. While I don’t have any issues with my manhood, who am I to argue with a Korean tradition.

In the end, eel tastes like any white fish. Maybe it is a little more fishy tasting, but overall it was very good and I would go again if she wanted me too. I recommend giving it a try.

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Funny Engrish II

 

cheivment

 

 

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Parking in South Korea

With nearly 30 million people in Seoul and its surrounding suburbs parking is not easy to come by. Often times you will see cars with their flashers/blinkers on double parked as they run into a convenience store to grab a bottle or two of soju or a package of ramen.

This morning was a first. Traffic was fairly light and there were plenty of spots available for any sized vehicle to park along side of the road but this guy takes the cake. I was standing there waiting for my ride for nearly ten minutes and no one came to claim this SUV.

Double Parking?

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Working in Korea

While it has not happened to me. A fairly humorous look at teaching in Korea:

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7839719/

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