Tag Archives: migeum

A Map for Non-Korean Bundang Residents

I started this map in early 2013. Many in the Bundang and Yongin area have contributed to it. It’s publicly editable so please feel free to add locations.

It’s also not limited to Bundang, so if you know good locations anywhere in Korea, please add them.


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More Speculation on the Sin Bungang Line

Waaaaay out in Chuncheon today (Kim Yu Jeon Station, to be exact), I found this Seoul subway map on the trail platform. It had a curious addition missing from the maps I’ve seen in Bundang. You guessed it: The Sin Bundang Line! I’m just glad the residents in the deepest reaches of Northeast Seoul will find it useful.

sin bundang line

The purple-ish line running vertically from top to bottom is the future route of the Sin Bundang Line.

It may not be fully visible to readers, but the stops along the Sin Bundang Line had yet to be numbered when it was added to the map as a “future route.” However, some of you may recall that the new station exits in Jeongja are numbered D12, while the original station currently in use is K230.

As I wrote last week, I really want to know what’s up with the new station exits — are they for an entirely new station or will Jeongja Station be expanded in the future to connect both lines?

Also on the topic, reader Faith Walpole writes:

this is the gossip I have received about the new line; it will eventually go to ori and suwon. well the ppl in migeum are pissed and have been signing petitions to get it to stop at migeum (um do we need a definition of ‘express’) there was even a petition in my building! so now there is a big fight about it which has delayed the opening!

Faith’s information is corroborated by a student of mine, who told me she has seen angry signs around Migeum station.  I’ll have more on this in the near future.

As far as I can tell through research online, there are no formally announced plans to take the Sin Bundang line through Suwon, although the Yellow Line is planned to extend there and connect to Line 4.  Either the people circulating the petitions are sorely misinformed or they know something the rest of us don’t.  Either is possible.

I did find an entertaining thread over at Dave’s ESL Cafe on the topic.  Long story short: It’s just a lot of speculation and nobody knows anything unless they can read Korean.

About the map:  Apologies for the poor photo quality. It had been posted for so long that the colors faded. I had to pull them out by dialing up the contrast and saturation.

Daniel Daugherty

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Homebrewing in Korea

July and August have been busy months for me here.  So busy, in fact, that my contact with family members is reduced to refuting various forwarded emails concerned with Barack Obama’s religious preferences and trying to set up this year’s NFL football pool ($100 buy-in, leave a comment if you’re interested).  One of the purposes of this blog is to keep friends and family up to speed on what I’m doing, so I thought I’d get around to it.

Our homebrewing mess

Our kitchen on brew day.

My biggest development lately is that I’ve started homebrewing again.  The main reason for this is that beer in South Korea is worse than Budweiser or Miller Lite.  Dogs would rather die from dehydration than risk a sip of Cass or Hite — or as I like to call them, Ass and Shite — over-processed, nutritionally deficient  macrobrews.  Having spent a large chunk of my life in western North Carolina, I’m disappointed.  The Seoul microbrewing “scene” is not adequate for a world-class metropolis.

Meanwhile, imported beers are too expensive to take home regularly, and they don’t have many styles — it’s all pilsener.  Of all places, North Korea produces a pilsener-style beer that tastes similar to many quality German brews.  The only problem is that, as far as I know, you can’t buy it outside of the DMZ gift shops.

Now, I like cheap-ass beer for tailgating and general binge drinking, but when I’m relaxing at home or hanging out with a friend, I like savoring what I eat and drink.  So I got a buddy at work who willingly overpays for decent beers to go in with me on homebrewing equipment and last weekend we cracked open our first batch of pale ale, made from a malt extract.

Grain bed

Inside our mash cooler, grains soak in hot water to stimulate enzyme activity, converting starches into sugars. The grains are kept in mesh "tea bags" for the sake of convenience.

Given our laughably simple set-up, I thought it’d turn bad for sure, especially with the high temperature I keep in the apartment — around 77F.  The temperature did me a favor, though, causing a fast fermentation that ensured there wasn’t time for nastiness to grow in our beer.  The results were encouragingly drinkable.

Extract brewing is a little too simplistic, though, and I wanted to pick up where I left off years ago, with all-grain brewing.  After finding a free cooler in my apartment building — they run upwards of $70 for even a basic model here — we were able to go all-grain with our second batch, a wheat beer which is busily bubbling away in the living room as I type this out.

Sparge bitch

Naved, the designated sparge bitch.

Our process needs refinement, but I’m confident that we’ll get it down with practice.  Our biggest problem was not having enough hot water on hand to rinse out the grains.  Our batch is a little smaller than our five-gallon target.  Live and learn, I guess.  The next step is a keg, and maybe a cheap kimchi fridge to keep it cold.

-Daniel Daugherty

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Daniel’s sweet new apartment in Bundang

Today makes 12 days  in Korea but with all the excitement of moving into and furnishing an apartment, starting a new job, and a small panic over a frozen debit card, it feels like it’s been much longer. I’ll try and get up a post about my new job – and maybe one about the debit card panic – by the end of the week, but I’d really like to show off the apartment first.  Especially since I’ve been neglecting my loyal readers and Facebook friends alike.  Yes, I know you’re basically the same people.

Let me begin by saying I didn’t expect much of a living space. I imagined a single, linoleum-floored room with a stove, cupboards and fridge in one corner and a bathroom in another corner. (Cue the Murphy bed for added effect.) Anything adding to this scene would be a welcome luxury.

I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped into a well apportioned, modern apartment that puts to shame every other dwelling of my adult life. Yes, it’s small – I don’t have a tape measure but it’s definitely less than 400 square feet – but I’d argue that American expectations of square footage are out of touch with the way most other people live. The place is designed to maximize space and doesn’t feel cramped at all. However, I’m most impressed by some of the features and gadgets that came with it.

First, there’s the door lock. I don’t need keys to enter because there’s an electronic keypad — I just enter a code to unlock the door. Inside the door is a small tiled area for people to remove their shoes. Koreans never wear shoes indoors. If I come home at night, a motion sensor above the tiled area switches on a light as I open the door.

When friends come to visit, rather than knocking or ringing a doorbell — how 20th Century — they activate a small PA system with a camera. From my armchair I can look up and see who it is on a wall-mounted screen. (I’m still trying to figure out if it will unlock the door electronically.) It seems needlessly complex, but it’s interesting to think that the technology is widespread to the point of being installed in an entire apartment building. The remote controlled A/C unit is another needlessly complex device.

Forget linoleum, the floors are hardwood throughout, except in the bathroom where both the floor and walls are tiled. I’m told this is for simple cleaning. I just have to grab the hand-held shower and spray down the entire room. All water flows down a drain under the wash basin.

As for space-saving features, the main hallway is closeted on both sides and then doubles as the kitchen while the washing machine also dries clothes. Oh, I almost forgot the giant sliding doors to the bedroom.

The apartment is located smack in the middle of everything. When I leave the building, I emerge onto a bustling city street in the Migeum district of Bundang, loaded with bars, shops and restaurants. The view at night is really cool, as all the neon signs and banners are lit up and people are out having good times. The other great thing about night time is the giant red swastika directly across from my window doesn’t light up at night.

Aside from the daily reminder of European fascism, one of the more annoying things here is the guy who drives around with loudspeakers on his car, chanting the same phrases rhythmically over and over and over. I asked someone what this was about and was told he’s probably a Christians, doing his best to guilt-trip as many people as possible into repentance. Thank God I can’t understand anything the guy says. I don’t need any guilt-trippin’ to ruin this sweet apartment.

Click the thumbnail image below to see all of my apartment pictures. I tried to be slick and embed a slideshow, but WordPress didn’t seem to like the code.


-Daniel Daugherty


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