Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Coffee Grown in Korea?

As a kind of follow-up to a previous post about coffee, I was recently sent an article about a Korean woman named Mrs. Roh Jin-Yi who grows coffee on a plantation on Jeju Island.

The interesting thing about that is Korea does not have an ideal climate in which to grow coffee, even in the southern parts of the country. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Despite the unfavorable conditions, even Jeju being too cold, Ms. Roh has been persistent in realizing her dream of cultivating coffee. And she has succeeded to reap enough coffee for about 10% of Jeju citizens to sample taste.

And last October, Ms. Roh even held the first Jeju Coffee Festival in her own coffee plantation. At the festival, there was coffee tasting, coffee drinking competitions, hands-on experience of roasting coffee beans and hand-dripping. 

The best part about this is that she's not doing this to make any money. In fact, if she makes money off of this, she plans on using it to open a coffee museum. All of this is based solely on her passion for coffee. I wish her the best of luck with her plantation!

The full article can be read here 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful day spent with family and friends.

Also, I just wanted to say that I SAW SANTA

He's a bit thinner than I imagined...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Coffee Anyone?

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to everybody in the US!

Ok, seeing as how I haven't posted anything in a month, I figured I should write something. School and other matters have been keeping me busy, so I haven't been able to really do anything special lately.

However, last weekend, I went to Insadong with a friend for lunch. We had some bossam and then we wandered around looking at the street vendors and shopping areas. Eventually, we decided to grab some coffee.

After wandering around for a while, we decided to just go to Starbucks because it was closest and my friend had to leave soon. Here's a picture of the place. Notice anything?

The name is written entirely in Korean. "So what?" you may ask. Well, it turns out that this is the only Starbucks in the world whose sign is written in a foreign language. Apparently in order to keep the traditional feel of the Insadong marketplace, Starbucks was required to use Hangeul in their sign.

So that's my little tidbit of information for today. To find out more about coffee in Korea, check out this video by qiranger, the expert on coffee!

Monday, October 25, 2010

There's Something Fishy in Noryangjin!

Today, I met some friends who also attended Indiana University and we had dinner at Noryangjin (노량진). I had always wanted to try sannakji (산낙지, live octopus), and tonight, I finally got the chance!

Noryangjin is the place to go if you want seafood. They have a huge fish market right next to the subway station that sells all kinds of seafood. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the market itself, because we were too busy trying to find a good place to pick out the fish we wanted to eat. I definitely plan on going back someday and looking around more!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Any Suggestions?

Every time I chat with my parents on Skype, they always ask if I've been going sightseeing. Unfortunately, the answer is usally no. The past month and a half has been filled with research, study, and administrative stuff. Of course, I have been meeting friends and I have done some cultural things, but most of my time has been wasted on school.

That's about to change!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stranded at Sadang

Seeing as how my last post was about a month ago, and some friends have been pestering me about this, I figured I should update my blog.

I guess I can tell you about the time I got stranded in a subway station!

About 2 weeks ago, I decided to go meet my friend in Myeong-dong. Before I left, I checked the weather forecast the old-fashioned way: by looking out my window. What I saw was this:

It was raining down pretty hard at the time but it didn't seem too bad. I thought to myself, "It doesn't look so bad. Hell, it'll probably stop by the time I arrive at Myeong-dong" (a 45 minute ride by subway). Little did I know I was venturing out into the worst rainstorm Seoul had seen in years.

While riding the bus from my dorm to the subway station, I had second thoughts. The streets near the station were flooded and the water at some points was up to people's waists! When I got off the bus I got soaked by the pouring rain, so to keep myself calm, I just told myself, "It's still better than Indiana's weather!"

Here is my route to get to Myeong-dong. I start at Nakseongdae station, ride the train one stop over to Sadang, where I transfer to the 4 line and ride up to Myeong-dong. Easy right?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ssireum (씨름)

Guess what I did today! If you haven't read the title, then I'll just tell you. I participated in a ssireum (씨름) match! Ssireum is a type of Korean traditional wrestling, and the goal is basically to get your opponent on the ground. Here's the wikipedia article that explains it.

It all started when I visited my friend Chris in Hongseong. We wanted to grab a bite to eat and he suggested that we check out a local festival that was occurring.

We made it to the festival, and the first thing that caught my attention was the ssireum match that they were setting up. I had always wanted to see ssireum live so we decided to watch a few rounds.