Late For Dinner

"Adventures...Make you late for dinner." -- Bilbo Baggins

Featuring Thoughts and Images both Adventurous and Otherwise. Dealing mostly with those Occurences and Happenings which befall one Jordan Emmans, during his Sojourn in the Far East (South Korea, specifically). Giving no promise as to Quality or Frequency of posts. Expecting, however, great Diversity of Subject Matter. Hoping sincerely to Entertain and Enlighten those Readers who would care to glance herein. Or Something.

Location: Gwangju, South Korea

I'm a follower of Jesus and a guitarist/drummer/vocalist. I'm from Cool, CA, USA, and I've been in Korea since Jan. 27, 2006. Right now I'm giving teaching a try. Next year...who knows what I'll be doing. Life is an adventure!

Monday, March 27, 2006

My 'hood

Hello, all. Yes, I'm still alive, yes I'm doing okay. The past month has been a bit hectic, what with starting at 6:30 am and ending at 9 pm every day (with an 8-hr. break in the middle of the day). The schedule is starting to wear on me, to be quite honest. And teaching while tired is not at all ideal. But I'll be okay.

Here are a couple shots of my apartment building. I live in the bottom righthand-corner apartment:

See the trash bags? That's where the neighbors and I put our trash every week. Free recycling, but you can only put trash in special orange bags, which cost a little money to buy. You can get them at any convenience store (a little glimpse into everyday urban, Korean life):

Here are a couple more shots of my immediate 'hood:

Nice narrow streets, eh? Oh, yes, they're two-way. Yes, it's an adventure riding my bike through these. No, I'm not worried about it.

Here's Dong-Myoung Presbyterian Church, which is where I go every Sunday. The English service meets on the fourth floor of the smaller building on the left:

I have a bunch of pagoda pics; I'll try to post them later today. Peace unto you all.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Some Random Shots

Another shot of downtown:

The front door of my school; see the blue sign that advertises "TOEIC, TOEFL, TEPS"? That's BCM Language Center:

The view from Mt. Mudeung above Gwangju:

Here are a few more of my students, r-l, Will, Saera and Danny (Eric is on the far left):
(Flashing the peace sign is quite popular here, as you have no doubt observed...)

Here's James, a very funny guy and soccer fanatic:

Later That Evening...

...I had dinner with a student. Yes, one student. Yes, she is female. No, I didn't plan it that way. She was the only one of five students to show up. Anyway, it was fine, as opposed to awkward. Here she is with her friend who showed up near the end of dinner. The funny-looking one is me, Sally is my student, and her friend Lauren is wearing the blue coat:

After dinner we headed for coffee; we met up with my fellow teacher Eric, Diana (sister of one of my students) and Chong, her friend.

Sally was cracking me up. She refused to let me take her picture again:

...and again:

Diana and Yours Truly, flashing the universal sign for scissors:

Chong and Diana:

I had an interesting exchange with Diana. She found out I was a Christian and said, "Oh, I don't like Christians! They are always shouting in the subway and downtown, 'Believe in God!'" But she excepted those present from her condemnation, of course. She's a very open, talkative person, and speaks her mind freely.

Then she and Chong discovered that I'm a Republican, and started debating U.S. foreign policy with me. And I was the only one at the table who supported Bush; I was on the spot! But it was all good. I think I held my own fairly well.

Another Sunday, Another Ride to a Shrine...

...this time Chungjangsa, which is a little farther along the same road as Chungminsa (see the link in my "At Long Last" post for info). Here's the main building in the inner courtyard:

...and the door to the hillside above:

...yet closer:

...and here I am among the statues on the hill, betwixt a stone Korean warrior and a stone goat. Why a goat, I'm not sure:

More statues:

Small pillar-toting turtle:

...big pillar-toting turtle:

Saturday, March 04, 2006

My Students

Here are some of my students. From the left: April and Rena (their English nicknames; most Koreans choose an English name to make it easier on us foreigners. Korean names are hard to pronounce, and harder to remember).

(They were rather reluctant to let me take their picture...)

Here's John, an older guy who also speaks Japanese and Chinese. To the right you can see half of Eric's face. He's another American teacher at my school. He and I hang out quite a bit. Also, a typical Korean meal: tons of kim-chee, of all descriptions, and other types of pickled veggies. Can you find the spicy pork?

I'll post more pics when I can...

More to come...

Here are a couple shots of downtown Gwangju, a mere one minute walk from my school (which is a ten minute walk from my apartment). Downtown, as it is called, is a labyrinth of small streets crammed with all the shopping your heart could desire, including the ubiquitous Starbuck's, Burger King, KFC, etc. It's the place to be in the evening, especially on the weekend:

Here's the view from the top of the building in which I work (I work on the 4th floor; there are 9 floors):

I'll post more pictures, of my apartment, neighborhood and school as soon as I can.

At long last...

Hello, everyone! Now that I've finally set up my blog, I'll be able to share all my magnificent pics with the world. Above is me at Chungminsa, a shrine about 5 miles from my apartment, which is very near the edge of Gwangju. I rode my bike here, which is why my pants are pegged and I'm wearing my colors. Here is some information about the shrine (click on "Shrines of Patriotic Ancestors"):

Here are more pics from the shrine:

Here is me--and my trusty Alton mt. bike--at a smaller shrine (which was locked) just down the road from Chungminsa:

The same small shrine: