4. Your Favourite: 5 Blogs

 

I wouldn’t call the following blogs my “favourites” necessarily. They’re just ones I’m more familiar with than others. I’ve read countless blog posts all over the place that have resonated with me in some way or another, but to post them all here would be impossible.

So, in no particular order:

Hyperbole and a Half

Often referred to as the alot girl, Allie also wrote an excellent piece on depression (and later followed it up with part 2). And if you have a chance to read her book, you should.

#kikinitinkorea

This blog hasn’t been updated in a while, but it was a firm favourite when I first arrived in Korea. The creator moved to Korea around the same time as me, so it was a lot of fun seeing updates over the course of that year and being able to relate every single one.

pleated-jeans

This is my favourite Internet Black Hole. The Tumblr Gets Deep series is my absolute favourite, and at one stage I used to read it as soon as it was published on Fridays.

Seoul Secrets

Foreigners in Korea are fairly dependent on whatever English information is available out there, and a lot of this information focuses on the same locations, restaurants, etc. Seoul Secrets takes you off the beaten path, to parts of Seoul that foreigners probably wouldn’t think to visit because , well, we didn’t know they exist or we didn’t know what these areas have to offer.

10 won tips

I’ve found some really useful Korea-related info here.

Advertisements

3. Why do you blog?

93d57eb7a9795bb21d1bddb7a2e8d68c

Google never disappoints.

I started blogging in 2012 when I decided to move to Korea. During my research on the job and the country, I found that a lot of foreign teachers in Korea had blogs. Most of the information in Korea is in Korean and that can be intimidating for a newbie. These blogs were all in English and they had everything from reviews to suggestions to directions. From these blogs I learned what to pack, what not to pack, how much to pack… I learned about what to expect from my job, my colleagues, my co-teacher, my students… I learned where to go and how to get there… I learned that there are ups and downs to living in Korea and how to deal with culture shock (hint: HAVE A WIDE OPEN MIND when you arrive AND BE ADAPTABLE and you’ll adjust a lot faster). Basically, there’s nothing about Korea that couldn’t be found on a blog somewhere.

There were also a lot of blogs that were more just about people’s personal experiences. I found myself enjoying reading about unique perspectives and even just the menial day to day things that foreigners endure experience in this here unique country.

Because I was the first person out of everyone I knew to move to a new country, I decided to start my own blog to keep everyone up to date with my experiences. So my blog is much more of a ‘look what I did, guys!’ than a ‘you should do these things’. I blog pretty sporadically though. Shorter updates were easier to post on Facebook and I just never felt like sitting down and writing about stuff that had happened before more recent stuff that happened. New stuff was happening all the time.

Random observation: It felt like, back in 2012, just about everyone had a blog, even if they only posted once in a blue moon. These days blogging has become such a thing. I miss the days of raw, amateur blogging! Sometimes I can’t resist, and I creep back on my Paju friends’ timelines until I find a link they posted. And then I can easily lose hours reading old posts. A simpler time, indeed.

2. Meaning of your blog name?

 

When I first moved to Korea, my blog had a different name. I figured I’d be blogging mostly about Korea, so naturally ‘kimchi’ had to feature in the title. ‘Boerewors’ is a uniquely South African sausage and I used it to represent my South African roots. I knew I’d be eating all sorts of unusual foods (by my palate’s standards, that is). As a picky eater this was very significant to me, and I wanted to focus attention on it. ‘Kimchi and Boerewors: Awaken the tastebuds’ was born.

Planes, trains and chutney

When I decided to leave Korea early in 2014, I figured it was time to give my blog a more general and less Korea-centered name. I wanted it to still be about my travelling, living abroad and having new experiences, but also about something from home. ‘Planes’ and ‘trains’ represent my main mode of travel. (Can I just say, public transport is the bomb!)  ‘Chutney’ is a type of pickled relish unique to South Africa – something I miss immensely when I live away from home.

Diary of an expat, teacher, comfort-zone teacher

And because my blog has no specific purpose, I think of it as a diary (or journal) of sorts. I am an expat and a career teacher, and even though I seem to be living this adventurous life, I’m really still just looking to establish comfort zones wherever I am.

1. Intro & recent photo

If you’re reading this it’s very likely that you already know me. But let’s do this anyway.

Let me start by saying that I don’t like talking about myself. I like talking about my opinions and ideas (and criticisms!) but I don’t like talking about myself.

I live in Korea. I was pretty done with the place when I left after two years in 2014, but life took some unplanned turns and coming back eventually became my best option.

Teaching is what makes me get up in the morning. And I’m quite good at it. I take my job seriously; even though I’m ‘just an English teacher’ I still take pride in my work and I get great feedback as a result. I’m also a Maths teacher, which earns me endless street cred whenever I casually throw it into conversation.

Because I want this post to get done but I also don’t know where to go from here (and I don’t want to end up doing a boring bio), I’m going with a template of sorts, and just filling in the answers.

 

25 things you might not know about me

 

  1. I’m happiest when I feel rested.
  2. … especially if it involves being with someone I like spending time with.
  3. I’ve always wanted to be content with my own decisions.
  4. My family and I have a very unique sense of humour.
  5. I was a terrible cook, before I moved out on my own. Now I’m mediocre.
  6. My first job was recording data in wool auctions.
  7. I could probably eat peanut butter every day.
  8. I stole my boyfriend’s heart 😉
  9. I was born on the same day as the moon landing (well, 15 years later).
  10. My all-time favorite film is So I Married an Axe Murderer.
  11. I do a pretty mean resting bitch face.
  12. I’m still mad about some things that were left unsaid.
  13. I met my husband in the future 🙂
  14. I always knew I wanted to teach.
  15. I’m not afraid to break away from the crowd and do my own thing.
  16. I make the best fellow people watcher in public places. I could do it for hours.
  17. I have almost no desire to “settle down”.
  18. I always cry when. Nope, I just always cry. I don’t need a reason.
  19. I’m a good judge of character.
  20. I spent the first 27+ years of my life living with my mom until I moved to Asia. Talk about the deep end!
  21. I wish my parents could see me in my day to day life here on the other side of the world.
  22. At 5, I was deeply in love with…no idea. You’ll have to ask my mom!
  23. I believe if everyone was less self-righteous and more kind the world would be a better place.
  24. I can’t stand judgement and intolerance.
  25. Whenever Independence Day is on, I’ll watch it.

So there you have it.

And now, the recent photo. This one was taken just last weekend at the Lotus Lantern Parade in Seoul. Participants in the parade will often hand out their lanterns to spectators. Being a foreigner sure helps here – makes one more noticeable. This was my 4th parade and I received lanterns every single time.

20160507_193320

31 Day Blog Challenge

In an attempt to get writing again – because I really do enjoy it once I get started – I’ll be doing the most ambitious of challenges: a daily blog challenge.

I mean, there are dumber challenges on the internet, right? So this isn’t so bad…

I found this challenge online, the result of a groundbreaking Google search. I couldn’t find out anything about the creator though, as the accounts mentioned on the image don’t exist anymore.

Instead of trying to remember to start on the first of next month, I’m going to start right away (as in, tomorrow or the next day…). And I won’t promise to write every day, but I’ll most certainly try to write on most days until I’ve completed the challenge. Some of the posts will be shorter, some hopefully longer. Looking at the list below, some might be a little lamer than others. But I shall persevere!

See you soon!

31-days-blog-challenge

April Photo A Day Challenge

At the beginning of the month, a Facebook contact shared a photo challenge that she’d be doing. I had a look at the source, and figured it’d be a fun way to document my last full month in Korea – one random photo at a time.

You can read about the full challenge here, or cheat and just check out the daily topics in the image below:

Alrightie then, let’s do this!

photo1