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, May 29, 2006

May 18 Memorial Cemetery

A few weeks ago I did a six-hour ride, in the course of which I visited the May 18 Memorial Cemetary outside Gwangju. It is a monument to those who gave their lives resisting the military dictatorship that was in power at that time. One of the Korean teachers I work with was a little boy when it happened (May 18, 1980). He remembers walking through the streets of Gwangju and seeing dead bodies and armed soldiers everywhere. Pretty intense stuff. It's a reminder that South Korea is still very much a new democracy, and a testament as to how far they've come in only 26 years (let alone since the Korean War, which absolutely devastated the country). South Korea is now an important player in the world economy, with peaceful, democratic elections instead of military coups.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the cemetery. This is the main monument. It's about 100 ft. tall and represents two hands holding an egg, the egg being a symbol of brand-new democracy:

These sculptures are to the left and right of the main monument:

This inscription tells you all you need to know about the following bronze sculptures:

I hope you are all doing well. I'm fine. I have a four-day vacation coming up, and I'm planning to do a little traveling. I will, of course, take many pictures. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Top of the mountain to ya!

These are pics from my Easter Sunday bike ride. Foothills of Mudoung Mt.:

And here's the view from near the top of the mountain, looking northeast, away from Gwangju:

A look downhill...

...and uphill. At the end of this dirt road is a South Korean military installation. This is actually as far as I got that day. As it was, I barely got back before dark:

See the icicle hanging by a thread of some kind? (Yes, it was pretty cold up there. I almost froze on the ride down.)

More hazy views from high above:

Gwangju from a distance:

This was my most epic ride so far. I basically climbed for three straight hours. My goal is to eventually ride to the top (or as near the top as the military will allow) in one day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Apparently not all Buddhists are peaceful. This large, bronze one sure isn't. This is at Wonhyosa, a temple about an hour's ride from Gwanju:

Just down the road is this smaller temple, whose name I don't remember:

This Buddha looks a little scarier than the others. His eyes are wide open, ready for action. Like the bronze warriors at Wonhyosa:

Up these stairs to the next level...

...where I was greeted by yet another pagoda!

A variety of Buddha statues and rock carvings:

The ubiquitous satellite dish:

Various and Sundry

Here am I with some of my students. L-R, Matthew, Cecile, and Ellen. We're at a board game room, which is just what it sounds like -- a room where you can play games and drink beverages, for fairly cheap. We played Rummy Cube and I won, which is why I look so happy and they don't:

Here's a Korean punk band that was playing in downtown Gwangju. They were pretty bad:

The setting sun:
My pastor, Dan Hornbostel, taking a picture of his wife...

...whose name I can't remember, but here she is, talking on the phone:

Here's Se Ah, who is mentally handicapped. She's in my prayer group:

Pastor Dan again. He's a former attorney from Illinois and has been in Korea for many years. He's studying to be an official pastor at a seminary in Seoul:

Geun Su, a young guy also in my prayer group:

Monday, May 08, 2006

My humble abode

Hi, I'm alive, yes I am. Allow me to apologize profusely for my long silence. My schedule is a little more sane this month, so I'm trying to catch up on my blogging. For starters, here's a peek inside the shoebox that is my aparment.

The kitchen, which is approximately 3' x 8':

My front door, closet, guitar:

Where I eat, read, and sleep:

Sometimes, when I want to waste time, I watch the black-colored contraption. Behind it you can see my clothes dryer. Behind that is the door to my utility closet:'s the bathroom. Or what I call the water closet, since it's all in one: shower, toilet, sink. It's pretty typical of Korean residential restrooms, owing to the lack of space in this country. Economy of square centimeters, don't you know:

Anyway, so that's where I live. It's actually not bad. It faces south, so I get a lot of sunshine, and the decor is very bright and cheery. And because it faces south, my cooling bill is going to be astronomical, but what are you gonna do?

I just finished two months in sleep deprivation Hades, and am slowly starting to recover. I'm back to starting at 7:30 am, instead of 6:30, (still ending at 9 pm, unfortunately) and it's amazing what that one hour will do for you. This month I only have five classes instead of six, so that's also better. And I have a lot of material ready to go, so my planning time will be reduced. All in all, things are looking more upper. Oops. Been around non-native speakers too long :-) !

I appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers, and I ask for more of them! You know the saying, "Wherever you go, there you are." Though I'm in Korea, I still struggle with the saaaame old junk that plagued me in the States. And there are new and exciting challenges, too. Right now I just want to be back to normal emotionally. I'm still in the post-vacation-mode blues, when it isn't really fun anymore, and my emotional state is a little fragile. I'm praying for a deep healing while I'm here. You know, a significant inner change. Hopefully that's in God's plan.

Well, thanks again, everybody. Don't be a stranger: leave me a comment!