Pepero Day, Apple Festival, Baking Class, & More!

It’s been a busy week and a half… the highlight of which was a day trip we took last Saturday to Sudeoksa Temple and Yesan Applewood Winery Apple Festival. I feel like I have seen enough temples to last me a lifetime since moving to Asia, but it’s always fun to explore and I love the colorful paintings, statues, and lanterns.

The apple festival was pretty rocking… all-you-can-eat BBQ and all-you-can-drink apple wine, beer, and makgeolli! Which made for a very drunk Jen! We took a tour of the winery, got our faces painted, made our own apple wine that should be ready in a month, enjoyed some musical and dance performances, watched an apple peeling contest, and Daniel failed miserably in the apple eating contest.

For his face paint, Daniel chose “babo” which means stupid in Korean… children were pointing and laughing at him all day and older people looked concerned and asked if he knew what it meant. It was pretty embarrassing on the subway ride home with all the staring. As if we don’t get stared at enough already.

Last Thursday was an exciting day. It was 11/11, which is Pepero Day. Daniel and I exchanged Pepero and I got lots of goodies from my students.

We also went on our monthly field trip that day, to Seoul Disaster Safety Training Center. Despite the long and boring name, it was mostly interesting and fun. First was the “smoke simulation” room. I didn’t go all the way in, but the students had to crawl through tunnels and a maze of hallways in thick smoke. It was pretty scary! Then they got to use fire hoses to put out a fake fire. Next up was a fun ride although I honestly forgot what that was even about. Last were the earthquake simulation (sitting at a table on a stage and then getting under the table when it starts shaking) and typhoon/hurricane simulation (holding onto a metal bar for dear life with strong winds blasting around you). The kids loved it! You can check out the video my coworker made as well.

And (in case you can’t tell from the apple festival photos) on Thursday night I got my hair cut, quite short and layered! It feels so much better and I am happy with the results, even though it doesn’t look quite like the celebrity photos I showed them. 😉

I started a baking class Sunday. I really enjoyed it and look forward to attending more in the future (they are every two weeks). We made brownies and coffee chocolate chip cookies. The brownies were delish but you know how I feel about coffee…

Ohee came over last night to make cream spaghetti and brownies. The spaghetti was yummy and the brownies are so cute!

Speaking of all this food… if I’ve never mentioned it before, Korea is an extremely image-obsessed country. Before I came I read all about how people would tell me I’m fat all the time and how clothes won’t fit me anywhere. Blah blah blah. It’s not nearly as bad as I feared, some students make snide comments but it’s rare and I can find shirts and dresses easily, pants not so much. Anyway… last week I was leaving my apartment to go to school and eating half a bagel on my way out the door. When I got in the elevator, this lady pointed to my bagel, and then pulled a laminated paper with before-and-after weight loss photos on it out of her purse… okay, yes I am aware that if I stop eating I will lose weight. But let me enjoy my breakfast in peace! Rude. I was telling this to my pretty skinny Korean friend who told me that she wanted to be a TV “weather girl” but failed the “camera tests” at all the networks. Camera tests are based on looks only and apparently anyone on TV here has to have plastic surgery. Crazy!!!

So… looking forward to going home for Christmas in a little over five weeks! To finally buy some new pants (ha ha). I have just seen the beginning of Christmas spirit here in Korea… music at the bank, one shopping center with decorations, but nothing extreme like at home. Hope I can find an affordable fake tree here… and a Santa suit for Bella! Having fun looking for Christmas presents as well. I love shopping! 🙂

And I started watching yet another TV show, The Walking Dead. Highly recommended!

-Jen Pace

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Pepero Day, Apple Festival, Baking Class, & More!

  1. Don

    The Walking Dead….? Maybe it will make a season or two… Then what story line will be left..?

    I think you have lost weight… your photos are always full of food and food related text, but you continue to get slimmer… must be all the running from the old Korean guy that stalks you…

    The cookies looked ssoooo good.

    Daniel never was an apple eater. Chris would do the apples, and Daniel would do the Doritos and salsa, etc.

    Apple wine… apple juice makes the very best white wine! No doubt about it.

    Nice story… enjoyed it.

    Don/Caron

  2. Mary Baumgartner

    Hi Jen, It’s wonderful that you’re getting so much of the Korean culture while there. I laughed when you mentioned what the writing on Dan’s face meant. I’m sure he was amused too. Looking forward to seeing you by Christmas. Love, Grandma

  3. Jen Pace

    thanks don and grandma 🙂 always appreciate the comments!

  4. Pingback: Top 10 <3 Korea | Kimchi Soul

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