Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die tomorrow.

James Dean

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Buddha

 Once a year it is Buddha's birthday and once a year we get a holiday from work.  The last two years I spent it away from Daejeon but this year I stayed in town.  So, I decided what better way to celebrate than to invite some of my friend's over for a potluck feast.  Since all my friends were from various countries around the world we decided that it would be an international event.  For many days leading up to the feast we all talked about and anticipated trying each other's food.

First to be invited was my good friend Tom and his beautiful Korean wife, Anna.  Tom hails from England and I was wondering what English food he would cook - afterall fish and chips and mushy peas are hard to find in Korea.  Instead he brought some homemade hummus (not exactly British) but delicious all the same.  He also brought some garlic bread which was unbelievable.  You are probably wondering why I am so excited about garlic bread but you have to understand garlic bread in Korea, that is actually garlicy and not sweet is very difficult to find.
 Next to come was my very good buddy, Cham.  He comes from Sri Lanka and his food was the most anticipated by everyone.  He made some Sri Lankan chicken curry and roti.  All I can say is - it was incredible.

Finally, the friend you have all heard much about - Andre from South Africa.  He made a traditional South African dish called bobotie and a dessert called malva pudding.  He had made both for me before and both times I loved it.  It was a joke of the night that real chefs stick their fingers in the food to test if it is really heated.  hence the finger in the above picture.

Finally, it was my turn and I thought what could I make that is Canadian - that doesn't involve maple syrup.  Then it came to me - what is more Canadian on a summer evening then hamburgers.  So I fired up the grill and we topped the evening off with a big burger.  I almost felt like I was home. 
After all this food, we were so stuffed that we decided a walk in the neighbourhood was in order.  A short distance from my home we came across one of the many outdoor exercise parks.
 We quickly descended on the equipment and worked off our food.  There was a young, Korean couple sitting on a bench near the equipment.  They looked pretty serious and it wasn't until after that we realized she was crying.  I am pretty sure he was in the middle of breaking up with her before he was interrupted by our group of loud, obnoxious foreigners - oops.
After all the exercise we headed back to my place for the last course, dessert.  We had Andre's malva pudding and some white, chocolate, cream cake.  We had a lot of laughs and it was a really wonderful way to spend the holiday.  It made me thankful for the great friends that I have here.  In fact, it was such a success that I will do it all over again for Canada's birthday.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Everyone's favourite topic ...CHERRY BLOSSOMS

Every spring I am amazed at the beauty of the cherry blossoms.  This year was no exception.  Sadly, the only last a few weeks, which means you have to be quick if you want to see them.
beautiful cherry blossoms
 This year we had one spectacular Sunday where the weather was perfect, hot and sunny and the blossoms were in full bloom.  I decided to take advantage of it with my friends Tom and Anna and Cham.  We headed to a little park on the outskirts of town, where you could climb a small hill and be surrounded by the thousands of cherry blossoms.  As well, you were given awarded a fabulous view over Daejeon.
looking over Daejeon city

 Since there are only a few weekends a year when the blossoms are in bloom, it was crowded.  However, after two years in Korea I have gotten used to the crowds.  Here it is crowded every where you go.  We didn't let the people stop us from enjoying ourselves.
My good friend Cham, showing off his strength
 We hiked around the hill for about an hour enjoying the flowers and each other's company.  We marveled at the Korean's sprawled every where and the ability they have to completely relax where ever they are.
relaxing, Korean style
 It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and of course the day was finished with a delicious meal of beer and samgypsal.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I'm back ....

It's been almost a year since I last posted on this blog.  After a lot of pressure and some complaints from various people I decided it is time to start re posting.  As I start my third year in Korea my adventures here just keep getting better.  I have come to realize that this blog is great way for me to record my memories and to share my experiences with friends, family and sometimes complete strangers.  My promise to you today is that I will post something every two weeks.  It may not be a long post, sometimes just a picture or two but I promise there will be something.  So - to all my devoted followers please check back regularly.  In the meantime here are a few photos from my last year in Korea.  A longer post will be coming this weekend.
view of Daejeon

Christmas 2011

Japan , Chusock 2011

dining on tarantula in Cambodia, August 2011