Wandering in Insadong

Yesterday, we headed out to the Insadong area, where you can purchase traditional Korean crafts. It was a cold and sunny day, and we just felt like wandering and window shopping all afternoon before going to a performance that night. [Aside: someday I should do an entire post on what my computer likes to autocorrect Korean words to; “Insadong” became “Invading,” for example.] Continue reading “Wandering in Insadong”

Change of Command

Last Wednesday, Domingos took over command of the Eighth Army Band, “Freedom’s Ambassadors.” The previous commander, CW3 Joseph Parenteau, is retiring after an illustrious career, and he has been a huge help to us in our move to Korea. We’re lucky that he’ll be in the area a while longer to help ease the transition and serve as a valuable resource. I am thrilled to have my husband back at a band making music, especially one that has such a vital mission. With the dissolution of the 2ID Band, the 8th Army Band is solely responsible for American military music for all of Korea. I’m guessing I need to take some more pictures of my husband so that I can remember what he looks like once this job starts rolling for him! I think there will be a lot of long days, nights, and weekends, but it’s absolutely worth it for this opportunity. Continue reading “Change of Command”

Odds and Ends

I realized the other day that I haven’t posted in a while. On the one hand, it’s been a (mostly) quiet week, but on the other hand, I’ve got a grab bag of pictures and experiences to share. So, while I try to work off my hangover from last night’s excursion to the British Embassy for drinks, I will write up a quick post. Continue reading “Odds and Ends”


Saturday night, we took advantage of living 2 minutes walk from the gate out to Itaewon, and went in search of a Japanese ramen place we read about on another blog. We did finally stumble upon it (it’s called Menya Sandaime, but the name isn’t anywhere on it in English) and joined the small line outside. It’s tiny, so you usually have to wait for a table, but it was totally worth the wait! When we got inside, the waiter gave us a menu, then did a double-take, took it away, and brought back one in English for us. We ordered the first ramen on the menu, with pork, along with a serving of gyoza. Continue reading “Food!”

Out of the Hotel

We got our house last Thursday, October 8. I’ve got a few pictures for you, but I’ll hold off on more until we have our household goods (HHG) and we’re more settled in. It looks pretty barren at the moment. We met the people from the housing office here at 1:00, where they took us through the paperwork and showed us around. Although the individual rooms are small, there’s plenty of storage and I think we’ll be happy here. Like any home, there are good and bad things. Most of the bad things I already knew about, like the linoleum floors over concrete and the tiny bathrooms with very little counter space (and the tiniest little medicine cabinets I’ve ever seen!). The not-so-great surprises: the crappiest parking space imaginable, in a corner of the parking lot that is a pain in the ass to maneuver out of – can’t wait for snow and ice!; compact fluorescent bulbs in every room so each room is awash in stark white intense light; the shower in the master needing an extra-long shower curtain after I’d already bought and put up a regular sized (short) one; having to buy a microwave. Continue reading “Out of the Hotel”

Itaewon & Myeongdong

First, a few housekeeping items:

  1. My book blog will be pathetically small for October, just an early warning! I’ve only read one book and it’s already the 7th. Slacker!
  2. We’re moving into our new house tomorrow. I guess our loaner furniture was being moved in today already. Luckily, internet hook-up is taking place 2 hours after we get in our new home!
  3. Even though we won’t have our household goods until the 15th or later, I’m really excited to get out of the hotel and into our house. We’ve had almost nonstop hotel stays since August 6th and it will be nice to settle in somewhere and not feel so transient.

Continue reading “Itaewon & Myeongdong”

Picking Up the Car

Yesterday was filled with a whole lot of waiting around. After breakfast, I headed over to the ACS building to take my USFK driver’s license test at 9:00. The test was fairly straightforward, though I kept looking for trick answers after my experience with the College for Financial Planning’s devious tests. I may have missed one or two questions, but overall it was fairly obvious. If you’re taking it, just make sure you read through the USFK pamphlet a few times, and take note of the differences between U.S. and Korean laws. A few key things: Continue reading “Picking Up the Car”

Day Three – We Venture Out

We woke up early on Saturday morning and had a lazy few hours before finally getting our day started. We ate breakfast in the hotel, then ventured out Gate #1, the closest one to the Dragon Hill Lodge. We turned left on the main street there and headed for the subway, passing the Korean War Memorial Center and Museum along the way. We will come back and explore it more in the future, but for now we just stopped and took in one of the large outdoor memorials, called The Statue of Brothers. Continue reading “Day Three – We Venture Out”