Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

    Helo welcom 2 my websight

Welcome to Korea

Annyeong yorobun~!

Sorry it has taken a while for me to finally sit down and let you know what’s going on in Korea.
We have been super busy the past week, and even right now it’s actually already 23:30, so I’m going to keep this post a little on the short side. Mianhae.

Anyway, I will give you a giant-ass rant about my flight from Schiphol, Amsterdam to Incheon, Seoul on my regular blog (if it EVER comes back, what the hell?) but for now this will suffice:

36 hours instead of 12.
I missed my flight because Frankfurt is retarded, so I had to SLEEP IN AN AIRPORT CHAIR to catch a flight 24 hours later ;_;

1.jpg 2.jpg
This on the left was my dinner. Seriously. Two awful buns and an overpriced beer. I have a picture of my ‘accommodation’ here somewhere, but it’s on my phone and I don’t have my transfer cable with me right now so you will get to see my agony later.
When I finally got to step in line for the Asiana flight to Seoul, I was so happy I didn’t even mind all the ajummas cutting in front of me.

Okay, so, when I arrived, I had a giant jetlag (Korea is +7 hours from Holland) plus I hadn’t slept much (I couldn’t really sleep well in the plane, and the night before I slept in the airport) plus I hadn’t showered in three days and was still wearing the same clothes I had on when I left home. And of course when I got to Incheon I didn’t have even a second to collect myself because I was already late for the IWO Orientation.

Incheon Airport is actually supposed to be one of the most beautiful and awesome airports in the world (it’s like in the top 5 of the official Best Airports list) but I could hardly see any of it since I had to catch the train to Seoul right away..
Also, LOOK AT THAT GREASY HAIR GODDAMN WHAT THE FUCK. This is why we shower, kids.

When I finally got to the IWO building in Seoul (it was not that hard to find, luckily) looking (and smelling) like a dirty bum, I met all the other volunteers. It was pretty weird to just drop in halfway through the ice breaking, so I was a bit worried, but it turned out everyone was super awesome and we had a great time even while listening to boring lectures about ‘what kind of things to expect from volunteer work’ and stuff like that.

large_SAM_0483.jpg SAM_0495.jpglarge_SAM_0491.jpg

We had a LOT of food together (Korean food is crazy; they eat a full meal 3 times a day and in between they eat lots of snacks), and obviously also a lot of alcohol since, you know, it’s Korea!
You can’t go to Korea and not have Soju and watery beer.
We kind of ended up having a bit too much of..well..all of it..but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The last night of Orientation, we decided we should go Noraebang (Karaoke) because it would be the last night with all of us together. Supposedly you’ve already seen some of the youtube videos, but in case you missed them, here’s some highlights and pictures:


By then, the maekju and soju had already been flowing quite generously, but the night was still young!

So most of us went on to go to a bar and have some more Max and Cass beer and proceeded to get crazy-ass drunk.
Actually, the main reason I got crazy-ass drunk was because of Incheol’s ‘Daegu Stylu~’. Basically, you get a shot glass and fill half of it with soju and the rest with maekju, and chug it. DAEGU STYLE, YEAH!


Incheol is my donsaeng (younger brother) so it was awesome when we were getting drunk together and he was like AHHH HYUNNGGG (older brother). It’s surprising how much Koreans loosen up when they drink a little. They get very physical too, and it’s pretty funny. Actually, with my students as well, it’s very normal for donsaengs to hug and hold their hyungs or unnis (older sister), you just won’t see a guy holding a girl very often.
This is a good example of what happens when you enjoy DAEGU STYLE a little too much:


By the time we left (which was WAY too late, because we had to get up early to leave for our projects the next morning) we were so drunk that we decided it would be good to just ask any random girls to take pictures with us on the street. And, surprisingly, there wasn’t even one who said no.

SAM_0532.jpg SAM_0533.jpgSAM_0534.jpg SAM_0537.jpg

Also, when we were bothering some staff at ‘Paris Baguette’, a very famous chain of bread and pastry stores, for some reason they gave us a free cake! Being white kicks ass!

SAM_0540.jpg SAM_0544.jpg

The night was rather uncomfortable since I drank too much and my stomach was already bothered by getting used to Korean food, and I sleeptalked like crazy as well, but in the end we all survived to get on our ways to our projects all over Korea.

DSC01372.jpg DSC01376.jpg

The trip from Seoul (almost in the utter North of Korea) to Wando (almost the most Southern point) took more than 6 hours, but it was well spent catching some well earned sleep.

When we arrived at Wando though, there were some unpleasant surprises.
First of all, it turned out IWO hadn’t been completely honest when they said the Children Center was just funded by the church and not actually religious. Because it is. Like crazy fucking indoctrinating children religious.


That also meant I couldn’t stay in the same apartment as the other volunteers (they had told us we’d just live with 2 separate bedrooms) and I had to sleep in the Moksaengnim’s (pastor’s) apartment. Sounds pretty bad, right? Actually, it’s kind of okay, to be honest. The pastor is from the Philippines and is also an English teacher, so he speaks English fluently and living separately means I don’t have to worry about my snoring and going to the toilet :3
The Religiousness of the project does have some other consequences though. For instance, we’re not really supposed to drink (although it’s not like they will constantly check our fridges or anything) and we’re forced to go to service on Sunday. Yesterday, we went to friggin’ service from 9:00 to 15:00! Supposedly, we can dodge going to service every other weekend, but it’s still quite tiring because the services are very long and very much in Korean so it’s even more boring than a regular service.

Anyway, the apartments we’re staying in are quite fancy. We have our own bathroom, kitchen, and washroom, air conditioning (but not in my bedroom, FFFFFFF) and they are very spacious, especially compared to some of the other..hallways..volunteers of other projects will have to sleep in.


The center itself is very modern and nice as well, just like the church. It’s not some run-down backwater place like we expected; it’s actually really fancy and well equipped.
The children are also much better at English than we expected. That’s actually due to Johnny Moksaengnim, the Philippine English teacher, because he has already been teaching them for over a year. The kids are also so incredibly cute. Personally, I like the older ones that are good at English because teaching them is quite easy, but the young ones oh my God they are so incredibly cute I could die!
At the same time they are little devils though, don’t get me wrong.
Some of the children are extremely shy, while others are very outgoing and wanting to know everything about us.

Teaching here is a lot harder than I wished it was, but that’s mostly due to internal problems. Moksaengnim knows well how to teach the children, but the other Moksaengnim’s wife, who runs the English program, has a very Hanglish way of teaching, which means BALLI BALLI BALLI (hurry hurry hurry) and who cares if it’s done right. The Moksaengnim’s wife actually only started to interfere with the lessons like 2 weeks ago, so Johnny is kind of venting his frustrations and we’re caught in the middle. Especially GaHui, who can speak korean and english well, is kind of suffering from this because he hopes he can make her talk to the Moksaengnim’s wife. I’m worried…


Anyway, the teaching is pretty crazy due to all of this. Kids keep walking in and out, they have to learn how to do everything in like 20 minutes (reading, writing, comprehending, pronouncing) and we don’t even have time to think while we’re doing ‘conveyor belt teaching’.
Maybe it will get better the coming few weeks, but I have a distinct feeling we should just DEALWITHIT.jpg.
At least some of the children are already very good in English, so it’s fun to talk to them.



Our island, Wando, is extremely beautiful.
When I read and heard about it, I thought it would be a tiny-ass little town, but it’s actually quite big, and it has anything you could need but a stage for Kpop singers to perform on.
The nature is also absolutely stunning. Wando is an island with a lot of height differences, so wherever you go, there’s always a lush green mountain in the background to greet you.



The people have also been very friendly so far. The island is mostly inhabited by really old and really young people, so there’s no one to hit on, unfortunately, but everyone seems genuinely happy to have us here, and the children are very impressed when we talk some Korean to them.

The culture shock is quite minimal, I think, since I already knew so much about South Korea.
Sure, sometimes I forget to take off my shoes when I go inside, and maybe I can’t eat all the food without drinking half a gallon of water, but overall I think I’m doing fairly well.

Now it’s about 1:30 at night so I’m gonna wrap it up here.
Maybe I will elaborate on this post a bit and fix my grammar (in this one week my English has already gone from pretty awesome to explaining-stuff-to-Koreans level) tomorrow, but honestly I’m already glad I could even find the time to get this much on here.

Expect many more pictures and hopefully some good news regarding the teaching situation next week!

Groetjes uit Korea~



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on 26 September 2011 by in Korea, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

For e-mail updates!

Join 70 other followers

Forgotten Tomes


  • 26,488 Minds Expanded


Korean food comes in many shapes and sizes, but one of the most famous and well liked among tourists must be the humble #Bibimbap.
Usually not much more than a bowl of rice into which you mix (bibida in Korean) various vegetables, topped off with some spicy gochujang, bibimbap is a staple food that can be found almost anywhere and at very reasonable prices.

There's also quite a few traditionally styled restaurants such as the one in the picture that serve a bit more 'up-scale' versions that resemble the food royalty used to eat many centuries ago.
#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul_Korea #SeoulKorea #Namsan #MongmyeokSanbang #Restaurant #KoreanRestaurant #Gochujang #Traditional #Food #Foodstagram #Koreanfood #Hanok
#서울 #남산 #목멱산방 #비빔밥 #고추장 #밥 #먹스타그램 #푸드그램 #전통 #한옥 #맛집 #남산맛집 You couldn't tell from this picture, but spring has suddenly been unleashed in Korea! We went from actual snow not much more than a week ago to 6° and now 22° today.

Originally, Koreans were always very proud of their '사계절' - 4 seasons. In the past few years though, fall and spring have been reduced to mere weeks as golden brown leaves freeze off the trees in 'fall' and cherry blossoms bloom in tropic temperatures in 'spring'.
#Korea #SouthKorea #Goyang #Spring #Seasons #4seasons #fall #landscape #traintracks #tracks
#4계절 #계절 #봄 #가을 #고양 #선로 대한민국 만세!
Today is a holiday in Korea; the remembrance of the March 1st movement, which marked the beginning of the Korean people standing up to their Japanese oppressors in the early 20th century.

Unfortunately, instead of celebrating this important day in Korea's history, some people use it as an excuse to push their pro-박근혜 agenda. Former president Park Geun-Hye has been incarcerated for months now while on trial on 18 charges, including bribery, coercion, abuse of power and the leakage of government secrets during her ill-fated presidency. In spite of the overwhelming evidence against her, there are still some (almost exclusively senior) citizens who believe she should be reinstated as the legal president of Korea.

In spite of the fact that I don't agree with their politics, seeing everyone singing and waving the 태극기 together did make me feel good, although being one of the only foreigners in a crowd of riled up Koreans also reminded me that I'll never truly be part of their society.
#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul_Korea #March #Demonstration #Rally #Parade #Politics #Flag #Gwanghwamun #Taegukgi #Japan #Occupation #Independence #gyeongbokgung
#Optocht #ZuidKorea #Demonstratie
#서울 #삼일 #삼일절 #광화문 #태극기 #대한민국 #만세 #대한민국만세 #삼일운동 #3월1일 #경복궁 More pictures from the Line store in Itaewon. I love it when a brand sets up something as elaborate as this; I can't stop myself from wanting to take pictures. 
These are also the first post-LASEK pictures I'm in! It is extremely strange to see myself in pictures without glasses, and I still feel kind of 'naked' when I go out without them, but it's already something I know I'll never regret!
#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul_Korea #Itaewon #Line #LineMessenger #LineStore #LineKorea #LineFriends #LineFriendsStore #LineFriendsItaewon #Store #Cute #Bear #Plush #Dollhouse #Emoticon #Emoji
#서울 #이태원 #라인 #라인프렌즈 #라인프렌즈스토어 #라인프렌즈샵 #라인프렌즈이태원 #외국인 #네덜란드 One of the many things I love about Korea is that it has way more 'themed stores' than my own country. For some reason, some companies or brands such as Ghibli, Gundam, Kakao or, as in these pictures, Line, decide to spend millions creating beautiful flagship locations that feel like a mix of an exhibition space and a regular store.

This was the first time I visited the Line store in Itaewon since I'm not very interested in either Line nor Itaewon, but it was definitely a really cute sight to behold.
#Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #Seoul_Korea #Line #Kakao #LineFriends #LineStore #Store #Shop #Shops #Stores #Brand #Messenger #LineMessenger #Itaewon #LineFriendsItaewon
#서울 #이태원 #라인 #라인프렌즈 #카카오 #가게 #스토어 #라인스토어 #브랜드 A Gangnam view from the offices of my eye clinic, which is incidentally the reason I haven't posted anything in a while; I've been "busy" recovering from LASEK!

If you're interested in the process of getting vision correction surgery in Korea, check out my latest blog post. There's a link in my bio, or you can Google 'Anonymous of Holland'.
#Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #Seoul_Korea #Gangnam #Sinnonhyeon #BGNEyeClinic #BGN #Eyeclinic #LASEK #LASIK #SMILE #Laservisioncorrection #Visioncorrection #Cityscape #City #Skyline #Simcity #visit_korea #ig_korea
#밝은눈안과 #강남 #신논현 #서울 #대한민국 #라섹 #라식 #스마일 #도시 #도시경관
%d bloggers like this: