Here now and now here or nowhere

The title of this blog comes from a play on words that "now here" is also the same letters as "nowhere" just with a space added in the middle. I am always trying to get better at being in the here and now, and I've always been a bit of a joker so that is why I chose this name.

Monday, May 31, 2010

into japan

well, I was sad to leave korea, but I have to say that being in Japan is different but nice. It's a lot more expensive for sure but I think it's going to be a very fun time.

I took a beetle ferry over from Busan to Fukouka, it's a jetfoil ride and cruises along the sea very fast but smooth. Upon landing and going through imigration I was brought into a special room and had all my stuff searched for a good 30-45 minutes. It was definitely annoying in the time wasting way but I made the most out of it and tried to not let it bother me. I think by the end the custom guys sort of liked me, what do you think?

I then hopped on a 4 hour bus ride to Hiroshima. after first getting a room for the night in Hiroshima I did a quick google to find the best ramen in the city and discovered a spot highly recommended. Ga Ba ramen.
It's my first ramen in Japan and OMG!!!! it was perfect.

clearly i liked it... :)

I can't wait to try more and more ramen shops as I visit different area's of the country.


I did a lot of wood work with Mr Kim. I've blogged about the deck before and the rabbit house and a few other small things. Mr Kim asked me what I'd want to work on and I asked to help build something on the house. His house is still a WIP and I could think of nothing better than to help add to the progress and leave something there that I was a part of. So we started on a door for his bedroom bathroom.

We didn't finish as glass was needed for the above section as well as for panels on the doors.
You may not be able to see it fully here but these are sliding doors. we built the frame and then each door separately. then we put rollers on top of the one to the left and attached it to a metal rail inlaid in the back. I learned a lot on this project, mainly that my woodworking skillz are around a beginning beginner, but I had a blast and was glad to assist in the project.

We also built a kumdo sword for me. While on Jeju I got introduced to Kumdo (in Japan it's known as Kendo). Kumdo is a fencing like martial art. I don't really know much about it but was shown an exercise to start and end your day that is part a stretching and part a breathing routine and I really enjoyed it. So Mr Kim said we'd build a sword for me to travel with.

The process was amazing to watch. He picked a piece of wood he felt had good weight and length. too me it looked like a piece of wood. he quickly chopped it down to a base size and then with a pencil sketched out where to cut with the table saw. skillfully he slowly cut and weaved around the stencil. Then there were various sandings on different machines as he worked towards the goal. IT wasn't until the very end that I could see the shape, but Mr Kim had it all in his mind the whole time. It was really awe inspiring to watch.

this is me doing a little sanding.

Mr Kim doing more sanding.

The shape is done. now covering in a water resistant coat before final sand and last artistic touches. We painted parts, wrapped the handle in rope and i asked him to sign it and instead he engraved "2010 spring U.M.W." he told me that it means. You, Me, World. It was very sweet, but then he is a very sweet man.

vietnamese-korean food

for my last night with the kims, i took them out to dinner. I had talked earlier in the week with Mr. Kim about vietnamese food and he mentioned he only had had it once. I love korean, and i love sharing and introducing things to people so this seemed perfect. gwangju has a few spots to go to so we headed into town, picked up Shan Ha (Mr Kim's son) and got some vietnamese. sort of. it was still more of korean than vietnamese, but i think they enjoyed it.

a dumpling/dim sum appetizer for us.

seafood noodle dish

the pho...

Shan Ha and I at dinner.

a day at the Boseong green tea plantation

On the day before I left, Mr Kim took me to the Boseong green tea plantation. It's one of the local area's "famous" places to visit. Most of the green tea from Korea comes from Boseong (I believe i heard the amount was around 80%) They say that the land and climate have the perfect conditions for growing green tea. The weather that day was pristinely perfect, sunny blue skies and warm but with a nice breeze.

a few from the top of the fields over looking the ocean and mountains.

a similar view but with flash so you can see how green the land is.

Mr Kim and me with some of the fields behind us.

me and sombe green tea

afterwards we drove down to the ocean and ate some fresh caught octopus. Mr Kim new how much I had hoped to try live octopus and he got the owner to do it for . I was a little scared as i heard 6 ppl die a year from having a suction cup stick to their throats and I could see that happening to me, so I over-chewed everything. But I have to say, it did taste good.

the ocean at Boseong


One of the things that Hwasun is famous for (in korea) is the Dolmen sites. Dolmens are large rocks placed on other rocks. Though not as impressively shaped or cut as the ones in stonehenge, these dolmens are somewhat fascinating. The history and reasoning behind this is explained in a rather hefty book and essentially say that they're generally graves for richer persons a long long time ago. But the interesting thing was showing how it would have set up. also you learn that the supporting stones are underground. so the bump you thought was just land with a big rock on top was actually a dug out trench with two (or more) supporting pillars placed in and then covered up with dirt and grass and then the big rock. This spot ha an extremely high number of dolmen in it. from the dolmen remains and found artifacts, much has been learned of korean history

one of the local famous dolmen.

hanging out with a large rock..

an area found with numerous closely situated dolmen.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Buddha's Birthday

Happy Birthday Buddha!

The Kim's took me to a "famous" local buddhist temple the other night for buddha's birthday celebration. We got there late so missed most of the part but we did get to walk around and see the grounds decked out. It was a beautiful and peaceful sight.

this temple had many old stone carved buddhas

a buddha in a box. there was a reason and story about this but i can't fully recall

there were also many pagodas through out the ground. rumor is that there used to be over 1000 buddhas and pagodas.

this was a very special pagoda as it has rounded towers instead of rectangular.

the lanterns lead the way to the buddha. I wish I could have captured fully how beautiful and colorful this all was.

inside buddha's room (without flash)

inside buddha's room (with flash)

a corner of the roof of the temple. the detail here is truly impressive and wonderful to look at.

Mr Kim and I, chilling at the party. we keep it real

a lazy sunday in Hwasun..

last weekend we had a beautiful sunday here at the Kim house. The day started out by lounging on the porch in the sun.

Mr Kim and I and a early afternoon / late morning beer while basking in the sun

Mr Kim, looking cooooool

Friends came over and we went out to go see a friends of theirs place. Across from the friends house was an old buddhist temple so we perused around there after.

the pagoda in the middle of the temple grounds

bamboo trees, swaying in the wind... so beautiful sounding.

painted on one of the temples. looks painful. I am to guess it is to do with lying?

Buddha in his temple. I really liked the things hanging from the ceiling. very pretty

At night we had a few of a very beautiful moon shape as well as what i was later told was venus behind if (though mr kim had trouble with the v and it sounded like he was saying penis..hehehe)

the moon and venus as night falls over the kim house

another shot, little later.

Friday, May 21, 2010

making a house for school animals

One of the jobs that Mr Kim has while I was staying with him was to construct a house for these cute little fellas

There were rabbits, ducks, chickens of various sorts, and geese.

It took a few days but here is what we made. I say "we" but really Mr Kim drafted and did most of the work. Though I did help a little, it's clear I know not much about wood work. Still, I really dig it. making things with your own hands from nothing is very satisfying.

the finished product with some rabbits

mr kim and the finished shelter

myself, the shelter, and some chickies.

making kimbap

one of the things I asked Mr Kim if we could do was to make Kimbap one day while I stayed here. well, today was that day. in college Corey and I experimented with making maki rolls so this wasn't too different but Mrs Kim also brought out the triangle roll maker, which not only had I never done but I had never seen before. I love buying the triangle rice rolls as snacks and after seeing how easy it is to make I am intrigued to experiment more with the process when I get home.

the base ingredients

Mrs Kim showing me how to spread the rice on the seaweed.

showing off one of my rolls

making a kimchi and tuna kimbap. this one was my tightest roll and many applause were given.

showing off the best roll of the day

triangle press

my rice triangle

Mr Kim and our lunch spread

plus a little wine. this wine reminds me of manischevitz, no joke.

we also unearthed the kimchi I made last week to eat with this. I thought maybe too much ginger but the family all liked.