Monday, June 15, 2015

Christine

*Note, unless otherwise stated, all photos were taken by Christine Skobe.

So, when I first took the job at YT I had a coworker named Mora.  She was very nice and we worked well together, but we weren't friends and only hung out once outside of work, and that was her goodbye party.  Her last day was July 4th last year.  I didn't get a new coworker until August 4th, my Canadian boss covered the other classes instead.  Those that weren't merged with mine or transferred to me.

So, on August 4th I was super excited to be getting a new coworker as, while I've made lots of good friends in Korea, most of them were still in Seoul and those that weren't had left Korea (Savannah, I'm looking at you... :P).  I'd met a few people in Daegu, like Marc and Ros, but it always takes a bit to get to know people.

Plus, I was just hoping for a super cool co-worker.

Welp, I got one.

Christine had been in Korea for several years down in Busan, but had left in the winter to backpack around Southeast Asia for a bit before flying back to Canada to visit her family.  So, she found herself in Daegu in the same situation as me.  She'd been in Korea for several years, had some great friends that had left, but those that hadn't were now in a different city.

She's done a lot of couchsurfing, both hosting and staying, so when she heard about a couchsurfing meetup in Daegu she planned to go and asked if I wanted to come along.  Since it was happening at Suseong Lake (a beautiful place) and I had nothing better to do I went along with her, though I've only couchsurfed once.  I'm super glad I went, as it was a lot of fun.  That's also where I met Amanda and Natalie, but more on them later.

Christine is also the one that instigated the revival of the Daegu Sunday Book Club with Ros and myself.  Thing is, Christine is an instigator, not a manager, so Ros and I ended up running it.  With me doing more of the work as we knew that Ros was leaving in the spring, while I was staying.  So, the book club is all thanks to Christine.

August, September and October were probably my best months at work as working with Christine was never dull.  Work is always made better when you're working with friends.

We also took a few trips together, once we went down to Busan, where we went to a very nice jjimjilbang.  and then went over to Nampo, where the Busan Film Festival is held and ate street food for dinner.

Christine and myself

Odeng and Ddukbokki
We also visiting an alley that is all little book stalls, some of them carried English books, as well as Korean.  It was just a fun day.

Just a week or so after this trip Christine got some rather crucial news.  Her mom was due to have surgery at the end of November and complications were very likely.  After a lot of thought Christine turned in her notice at work and left to go back to Canada, as she was the only one that could truly take care of her mother.
About a week before she left though, we took another trip.  This time we went to my old town, Changwon.  Where we rented bikes and visited Changwon House, City 7 and Yongji Lake.  I don't have a post about Changwon House, but I visited there on a field trip my first year in Korea.  It's an old farmhouse complex for a gentleman landowner.

She took pictures while bike riding, very brave.
The pond at Changwon House
Me, barely getting time to pose.
So gorgeous and sunny
Yongji Lake
Christine ended up flying back to Canada a week or so into November.  Her mother had surgery in January (the doctor rescheduled it) and now her mother is doing great.  Christine took a CELTA course in April and went to go teach for a month in Germany in May.  Now she's backpacking around Europe.

I don't know if she'll ever come back to Korea, or if we'll ever live near each other again.  But I do know she's one of those rare friends that lasts for years, even when life keeps you from talking for several months.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Downtown Daegu

Wow, it's been a long time.  I meant to post more over the past year, but it just didn't happen.  I suppose part of that is because I've come to view my life in Korea as normal and not worth blogging about, even when I do things that all of ya'll back in the  States might find interesting.

So, to that effect, while I currently have free time, I'll write several posts about things I did in the past year.  Then I'll schedule them to come out every week.

I never posted a video of our apartment in Daegu, but I'll try to do that when I get back to Korea, as I'm currently in NYC visiting my Dad and Linda.

Our apartment is located in a great spot.  We're only about a five minute walk from Line 2 on the subway and then about a 10-15 minute walk from the Downtown center and the river.  We're also a 15 minute car ride from MY's mom's house, which is nice.

Here are some pictures of Downtown.

A Beautiful Fall Day

A Snowy Night

Some shots of the roads downtown from Starbucks



Decorated for Christmas
It really has been a trip living so close to the center of Daegu.  It's so easy to get anywhere.  We can walk for about 20 minutes and be at Daegu Train Station, or take a short subway ride and be at the Daegu Bus Terminal and East Daegu Train Station.  It's really convenient.  I'm also a ten minute walk from a bus that takes me straight to where I play board games sometimes, but more on that in another post.