Normal life


Life in Korea is not boring by any stretch of the imagination.  I guess we are just settling in so well that it has become quite normal.

Wednesday was our first rainy day at the apartment. Tim got soaked walking to and from the bus. Now we know what we need in order to prepare for monsoon season in a few months.

Tim suggested that I take Clarissa to the roof picnic area to see how she liked playing in the rain. It was closed. Google translate has a feature where you can take a picture of text and it will translate it for you. Apparently, it is not quite ready for Korean because of my full page of text, all it translated was “sorry for the inconvenience.” We tried the indoor playground too but it was still closed as well.

After dinner, we wanted dessert but lacked key ingredients for every cookie I make. So I was adventurous and invented honey coconut cookies. They were actually really good.

Thursday was a great day. Clarissa woke up early so we decided to check out the children’s story hour at the library on base. There were six other preschool aged children there. It was cute. They read a few books and made a craft. Clarissa actually sat pretty well was quiet enough that she wasn’t disruptive to the other children.

As the other families started to leave, I started talking to the girl in charge. I already made plans to meet Tim for lunch so I had 45 minutes to burn. They were 45 minutes well spent.

My new friend was expecting (I say was because she had her baby girl on Sunday) her first baby. Turns out, she lives in my building! And she is a Christian. She was telling me about Protestant Womens Chapel which meets on Wednesday morning. It sounds great and they have childcare. Apparently another mom from our building goes as well.

Her husband came to drive her back to the apartment. They offered Clarissa and I a ride but I told them that I had already planned to eat with Tim. So they had lunch with us. The four of us get along well. They also enjoy traveling and the husband is in IT as well so he and Tim have plenty to talk about. It will be interesting to see where this friendship goes. I am excited about it.

After lunch, Clarissa and I went to the commissary to buy groceries. I brought my huge samsonite bag and decided to be Korean and take the bus back. I am pretty sure my grocery bag weighed more than Clarissa so I was exhausted by the time I got home. The bus isn’t stroller friendly (there is a handicapped accessible one but it doesn’t come as often so it is not very convenient). Which means that I have to carry Clarissa with one arm and carry the groceries in the other. I don’t know if I will get used to it or if it is just worth the extra $5 for a taxi each week when I shop.

My new plan is to cut my trip in half and do it twice. If I want to go to bible study and story hour I will be on base twice a week anyway. I will have to see if that is easier.

On Friday morning, the indoor playground was open! Clarissa and I spent an hour there. Some of the equipment is a little big for her, but she had a blast!


Hopefully we didn’t break any of the rules…


I wish they had translated that sign like this sign that was on every single window…


We spent a great deal of time looking at books. Her favorites were the Thomas the Tank Engine books. I had fun making up stories to go with the pictures. There was one shelf of English books, but Clarissa wasn’t too interested in those.


Saturday we did our typical errand run on base. But it was a beautiful day and Clarissa really wanted to run, so we took the back way to the PX so that she could walk too.


She had a great time. I don’t think I have let her walk on base before. I usually carry her or keep her in the stroller. I think I will take the back way more often so she can walk.


Tim has been telling me about authentic Korean barbecue for years now. We wanted to find a place on our 2012 vacation but never did. There are at least three between our apartment and emart so we decided to try one for dinner on Saturday.


It was quite the spread. They brought out 600g of raw beef that Tim grilled over charcoal at the table.


There was some kind of seafood soup. Clearly I am seafood illiterate… Clam, mussel, oyster? But I am proud of myself for trying it. Didn’t taste bad.


There are several ways to eat the barbecue. One way is to use a leafy vegetable and put sauces and spices with your leaf and meat and roll it up.


This is not a good picture but it was excellent. We will definitely have to try the other two places to see which one we like the best.

I wanted to check out another church on Sunday but could not figure out how to get there. They did not have directions on the website and Google maps only gave me directions in hangul so we could not figure out how to get there by bus. We decided I should ask about churches at bible study on Wednesday.

We decided on to go back to Drury park. We went a different way and it probably took about 45 minutes to get there. Clarissa is such a character. She decided to ride with her feet up but would put them down when I tried to take a picture. I had to be sneaky to get this shot.


We passed an interesting looking temple on the way.



When we got to the park, a group of elderly ladies crowded around Clarissa in her stroller. One tried to give her an orange, but she threw it! So the lady gave it to me.

Once we were headed downhill, we let her walk. She had a blast weaving in and out of people. Thankfully most people thought she was cute and wanted to play with her. I have seriously only seen other white people on base so far so we get plenty of attention when we are in the city. I wonder what Clarissa will think when we come back to America and she is “normal” again?!

At the bottom of the hill was plenty of green space. There were families having picnics. It was beautiful. There was even classical music playing. But most of the grass was roped off. The kids played soccer on a sidewalk.


Yesterday was the first time that other kids came to the playground while we were outside. We enjoyed getting to know some of our neighbors. The kids are 21 months and three years old. I think that we will enjoy playing with them.

We bought some bubbles at the PX on Saturday. Clarissa was really excited about them because they were inside a Hello Kitty necklace. We went outside this morning to play with bubbles. We stopped playing when she tried to drink the bubbles. It was cold this morning anyway so we moved the party to the indoor playground.

After work today we went to emart. I think this was our fifth or sixth trip in two weeks! Usually we have a list of house stuff we need and Clarissa is ready to leave by the end of our list. But today we went specifically to scope out the groceries. We bought some interesting snacks to try.

At this rate, if we keep going to emart, I will be fat and poor when our time in South Korea is over!

One thought on “Normal life

  1. Marianne Sharkey

    I enjoyed the tour of Korea through your eyes. I also love the pic of Clarissa with her feet up in her stroller. She looked comfortable and happy. Enjoying every moment and taking it all in. You are a great mom and a wonderful tour guide. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


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