Very best photos of Korea May-Aug 2016

I’m now back in Australia, so these will be the last photos of Korea for a while.

Near Naejangsa temple, Jeolla-buk.067_img_8141Hermitage near Seonunsa, Jeolla-buk. 068_img_8186Motorways to the south of Dajeon.069_img_8393Daejeon.070_img_8466Daejeon.071_img_8527Near Mallipo beach.072_img_8884Mallipo beach, the tower of a zipline.073_img_8922In the grounds of a Roman Catholic church on Anmyeon-do. 074_img_9208Anmyeon-do.075_img_9253National cemetery, Daejeon076_20160607_165039National cemetery, Daejeon077_img_9381Daejeon Anglican cathedral.078_img_9490Suwon fortress and nearby church.079_img_9676Suwon fortress and modern suburbia.080_img_9829Suwon fortress. 081_img_9863Suwon fortress.082_img_9890Sutong-gol valley, near Daejeon.083_20160709_154807Daejeon, I assume.084_img_0252Jamsil bridge, Seoul.085_20160723_125416Lotte tower, Seoul. It is impossible to get all of the tower with nothing else.086_20160723_134016National war memorial museum, Seoul.087_20160723_181831Mangwolsa, Bukhansan national park.088_20160724_132909Uam historical park, Daejeon. Because I’d been there a number of times, I wanted to try something different, so took a batch of monochrome photos.089_20160728_183832National cemetery, Daejeon. Trains played a surprisingly important role during the Korean war. 090_20160801_110844Daecheong dam, near Daejeon.091_20160805_125135A temple somewhere near Daejeon.092_20160808_122156

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almost but not quite

A few weeks ago, I went to a national cemetery on the outskirts of the city I’m living in. At one point, I took two photos six seconds apart of (a modern reproduction of) a traditional pavillion reflected in a pond, adjusting various things in the time between. Looking at the two photos, one is ‘almost but not quite’ and the other is now in my album of ‘very best photos’ for this year. The differences are small: in the first, a few leaves on bush on the near shore are visible, along with a band of the reflected sky; in the second, I’ve zoomed slightly, framing out the bush and sky, and including less of the trees at the top. The reflection is not quite symmetrical horizontally, but the fish fills the extra space. It may not be the best photo ever, or even my best photo ever, but I unhesitatingly chose it among my ‘very best’ for this year.

20160607_165033    20160607_165039

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Best photos Jan – Apr 2016

Batch 1 (Sep – Dec 2015) Batch 3 (May – Aug 2106)

Yeongdeok, New Year’s Day. One of my wife’s sisters lives near the east coast, so we took two buses there, and another sister and her husband drove from Seoul. The stroke of midnight was underwhelming. We got up early and stood in a park overlooking the ocean. Afterwards, we had breakfast with them and other family members who’d stayed elsewhere and joined us later.

IMG_4126Seoul Anglican cathedral  INear IMG_4328Near Daejeon. I forget the name – it was a valley in the mountains and was frozen solid.IMG_4654Daejeon from a temple in Bomunsan. IMG_4765

Daejeon.IMG_4844Gyeryongsan National Park.IMG_4936One of the buildings at Donghaksa, Gyeryongsan National Park.IMG_5060Part of the Donghaksa temple complex (there isn’t much signage in English, so after two visits I still didn’t know what is which). IMG_5076A frozen creek, Gyeryongsan20160202_135252Until this point, the path followed the creek. This is the first serious climb over the mountain to Gapsa and Gongju. I walked to the top of the stairs, but the view was hindered by the low angle of the sun and lots of shadows. I want to walk through to Gapsa on some future visit.  20160202_135807Fennec fox, Daejeon aquarium (which also has a small zoo)IMG_5334Namdaemun, Seoul.IMG_5411Daejeon from Bomunsan, with the Expo tower in the distance.IMG_5442Uam historical park, Daejeon.IMG_5658Sangdangsanseong fortress, Cheongju. I take most of my photos with my camera. I took this one, showing the best overview of this portion of the wall and the main gate, with my phone. Compare this and the next one. 20160217_112517The rear portion of Sangdangsanseong fortress, Chenongju.IMG_5851In one of the buildings of my university. The two people walking past was a happy accident.IMG_5979Daejeon from Sky Park again. I walked up in the snow to take photos. IMG_6029Daejeon.IMG_6191Daejeon Anglican cathedral, Easter DayIMG_6435Spring blossoms, DaejeonIMG_6550In the church garden.IMG_6835National War Memorial, Seoul. On my first trip I took a photo of the inside, showing the stained glass visible at the bottom. I have an inkling that the equivalent statue in Pyongyang is not as conciliatory. 통일을 원한다!

IMG_7140Suburban Seoul from the Seoul city wall near Naksan Park.IMG_7282Dancers, street festival, Daejeon.IMG_7392Street performer, Daejeon.IMG_7526Artwork at a university in Wonju. IMG_7604

Best photos August-December 2015

I have just been on holidays for three weeks. One of my few accomplishments has been to select the best photos from my first four and bit months in Korea (with a side trip to Japan).

(I have been having a lot of trouble with WordPress’s photo insertion functions. Among other things, I have not been able to add captions. I know how to, but it won’t let me.) (PS preparing for our trip to Korea in Dec 2022 – Jan 2023, I am attempting to add the captions another way.)

Batch 2 (Jan – Apr 2016) Batch 3 (May – Aug 2016)

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Travelling to Korea (eventually)

If those of you who don’t know me personally have wondered about the lack of posts recently, here’s the explanation –

Today is the ninth anniversary of my first arrival in South Korea. This is not entirely coincidental; most English teachers in Korea (very much so at universities and less so at language colleges (hagwons)) start in September or March, being the start of the two academic semesters. I lived and taught English in Korea from September 2006 to February 2009 — one and a half years at a hagwon in a regional city (in order to be semi-vague in order to remain semi-anonymous, either Daegu or Daejeon) and one year at a government high school in a satellite city of Seoul, where my girlfriend>fiancée>wife lived. During this time I looked for future job opportunities, and noticed a number of advertisements for teaching staff at Korean universities. The standard requirement was a masters degree and two/three/five years teaching experience.

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Mud, mud, glorious mud

On Monday, the topic in the textbook was what it called ‘big events’, including  festivals, parades, protests, sporting matches and concerts. I mentioned the Boryeong Mud Festival in Korea, which I attended in July 2007. After class I decided to find a video on Youtube to show them. I was also looking for a way to lead into the week’s big grammar point of relative clauses, which I thought the textbook introduced rather clumsily. At home I found this video, and while watching and listening through I realised that it was full of relative clauses. I don’t think I caught them all just by listening the first time at home, or the second time in class the next day, but later I transcribed the first four and a half minutes.

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