Looking back

January 2015

On the 2nd of January 2015 we arrived in Korea. The weeks leading up to that was very stressful. We were coming to a country where we didn’t speak the language. We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know if the school would like us or whether they would send us back home. When we arrived someone from the agency was supposed to bring us to Seosan ( a little rural city in Korea) but instead he met us at the airport and threw us on a bus. The bus driver didn’t speak any English so we couldn’t even ask him where we were supposed to get off. Luckily he told us once we arrived in Seosan.

Then our director was supposed to pick us up from the bus terminal but no one was waiting for us. Our phone didn’t want to make any calls and we couldn’t find a pay phone either. After about an hour a young girl came to help us and phoned our director to come and get us.


On the way to Korea

The first few months were quite terrible. It was cold. We couldn’t communicate. We got lost a LOT. And we missed home.

In addition during the first few months we got sick all the time. I had terrible breakouts on my skin and I was loosing hair. We were also living in a crappy apartment in the ‘red light district’ and people were screaming and shouting until 4 o’clock in the morning.

The first time we went to Seoul we had to research for days how to get around and where to go. We visited each area on a different visit so as to not confuse ourselves too much.

6 months later.

Six months later we have negotiated with our boss to move into a better area. My husband’s parents were coming to visit us soon and we have started collecting some things for our new home. We have also been visiting with my brother who is also living in Korea.



18 Months later I am glad to say that we are better able to navigate cities. We have even travelled to the other side of Korea with no help whatsoever. We are healthier and we can communicate with people even if we don’t speak Korean and they don’t speak English. We’ve been here for a little over  18 months and we’re planning to stay even longer. When we first left South Africa it was to create a better life for ourselves. The original plan didn’t work out as we hoped but we believe that we are here for a reason and that our path is already planned out for us.



Deoksugung Palace Part 2

Last week we visited the Deoksugung Palace in Myongdong South Korea. There are 2 main forms of architecture on the site. One Korean and on Western. Last week I featured the Korean  buildings. This week I will focus on the Western buildings.

Seokjojeon Hall is a Western-style building completed in 1910 which consists of three floors. The kitchen and storage areas are on the ground floor. The audience chamber and dining room is on the first floor and the bedrooms and private living courters of the royal family is on the second floor

The entrance hall


The Audience chamber


The dining room


Dining wear with the emperor’s seal




The palace is situated in Myongdong South Korea. It’s very close to the Myongdong Shopping  district. The Myongdong stop is on the light blue line just past Chumgmuro, if you come from the Gangnam Express bus terminal.


Next week I will share some more pictures of the second floor.





Geeky Fridays


I fell in love with on-line gaming and Player versus Player (PVP) games because of Neverwinter. Its a Dungeons and Dragons game. Its a free to play MMORPG developed by cryptic and published by Perfect world entertainment.

You can create your own character by choosing from 8 different races. You start of without any gear or weapons on a deserted beach and you have to then collect gear and fight your way to Protectors Enclave. You can level your character up to level 70. Your gear also improves as you level. I love this game because its quite competitive if you battle against other players and playing with other players can be fun too especially if you’r in a guild.

The game has however changed over the last year and it seems that some players buy better gear to become better players which is disadvantageous to those who choose not to spend hundreds of dollars a month on a game.

My favourite character is the Trickster Rogue. I am sharing this video with you because this is one of the best Trickster Rogues  I’ve come across on the net. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Video by DesoloGaming.

Living in a Shoe box (Korean Apartments)


Korea has a population of around 50 million people and a land mass of around 100,000 square meters. therefore Koreans are the king and queens of stacking stuff. They stack their houses, their dishes, everything. Everywhere in Korea you’ll see tall apartment buildings. Even in smaller cities, 4 story apartment buildings are very common. In addition these apartments are around 25 square meters. Huge upmarket apartments are more in the range of 60-80 square meters. So how do we survive living in an apartment the size of a “shoe box”

Most Koreans don’t spend a lot of time in their apartments. They don’t invite people to their homes either. Korea has an amazing night culture and whenever you walk around you will see families, couples or friends in coffee shops and restaurants. There are always people on the streets during warmer months. Social gatherings happen outside the home, therefore you do not need a huge apartment or house to entertain your friends like you do in western countries.

In conclusion living in a shoe box is not as bad as I thought, at first I thought I might get annoyed with my husband because its just the two of us in this small apartment but I enjoyed the closeness we shared. In the Winter months we stayed in bed together and watched movies until late. When it became warmer, we started playing PC games against each other. When Spring came along we spent increasingly more time outside. Walking around our city and exploring areas we didn’t know. By the time winter came along again it was fun spending time with my husband indoors.


5 Rules for Hiking in Korea.

We recently went for a hike up one of our mountains and this is what I’ve learned from the experience.

  1. Do NOT, I repeat Do NOT follow the elderly up the mountain. They are much fitter than you can ever imagine.Don’t think just because they are old that they will take the easiest route, they won’t. They take the longest and most demanding route up the mountain.20160402_121417(0)
  2. Follow the families with the kids. They take the easiest route and come back down.20160402_131202
  3. Do not follow the road less travelled by. It is less travelled for a reason. The reason being that you WILL get lost and end up hiking for 2 hours instead of you intended 1.20160402_122012 - Copy (3)
  4. Don’t follow the easiest route. Do not think that if a path looks easy that it is. A path may look like its going down hill but more often than not it will go back uphill20160402_131115
  5. Don’t be afraid to turn back. When you get lost, don’t be scared to turn back, even if the hill is really steep. If you get lost try to get back up the mountain. Most of Korea’s hiking trails are more like a big hill than a mountain. You’ll get out of there eventually.20160402_122503 - Copy (3)

Now that you know the rules. Let me tell you about our mountain in Seosan. Once you get to the top there is a picnic area where you can sit and relax with your hiking buddies you can also go up the watch tower and have a view of the whole of Seosan. There is also an old Korean style building and statues that you can look at while you hike. 100_3814 - Copy (1)Once you go down the mountain there is a coffee shop and a Pizzeria where you can end you expedition.