New home

First of all, a giant thank you to everyone who has read my blog over the past two years, especially these past six months as I’ve traveled from Salt Lake City to South Korea and shared what is undoubtedly one of my  most life-changing experiences.

Now for the news, it’s a bit of a house-warming party over at Salt City Girl. I’m cautiously launching the new site today so that’s where you will find the latest updates and changes.

As you can see, the site is in a bit of rough shape right now. I plan to continue working on the site so more changes will be coming.

Once again if you’d like to keep up with my latest stories of mischief and mayhem, please update your RSS or blogroll to

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Please don’t tell me goodbye, come say hello at my new online home.

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Lost my voice

Something strange is going on with my voice.

Or my brain, I’m not sure which.

It all started in Busan–I was out with Hostel and a nice couple from the UK. At one point, Hostel and I decided it would be hilarious to imitate their accents. (Only David’s British, one. I have no idea what he was saying when he went Scottish.) And it was amusing for a solid three hours.

But now I can’t stop.

Every time I talk to someone I automatically start imitating their accent–Korean, Australian, Canadian, American, British–I can’t stop.

I hear a different voice and my brain registers that as MY voice, somehow that is the sound I should be making when I speak. I don’t do other accents particularly well, either so most often my voice comes out in a slurred mash-up of mangled English no one is likely to understand.

It doesn’t help that other people, mostly waygookins, are starting to notice. Something is seriously wrong with the way I’m talking.

I feel like Ariel did when she lost her voice, it’s just when my voice comes out it doesn’t sound like my voice at all. Is this normal? Is this a side effect of culture shock? Where did my voice go? I miss my Utahccent.

It’s really fucking annoying listening to yourself talk and hearing someone else’s accent, especially for 7 hours a day.

I’m hoping a nice long Skype chat with my sister, my twin of sight and sound, will fix this. I just want to sound like myself again. ‘Cause right now I sound like this guy’s sister after she drank a few too many vodka jello shots.

(Anyone else think he should thank Seth McFarlane for about a quarter of those voices?)

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Vote for me!

By the by, I’ve got a post up on GoodBlogs about jogging in South Korea–I nearly killed myself, but Buddha saved me. Be a good friend, read and vote for me.

Thank you, thank you.

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Cookies in Korea

And the wonder of imported goods costing so much less when they come from Europe. Now I have a new taste for crappy cookies from Italy.

I’m sure these cookies I love to munch on between classes are giving me cavities and thick thighs, but I don’t care. They are light and flaky. Plus some of them have a delicious cream filling–vanilla, lemon and chocolate. Oh, how I love their dessert-y goodness.

As for their Korean counterparts, I just can’t quite figure out them out. They’re sweet and crispy, but missing something…I think it’s the butter. The richness of the cookies is low. And the chocolate, oh the chocolate, it’s always chalky and low quality on the sweet treats. I can’t wait for the day Korea has a food revolution and someone starts making high-quality chocolate.

Until then, it’s me and my Vicenzi.

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A Sunday kind of morning

The lovely weekend was a rush around Seoul for most of Saturday night complete with kebabs, Long Islands and salsa.

I met Jennifer and her crew in Itaewon for a lovely sushi dinner at Rollin’ Japanese. We had a lovely time talkin’ shop and discussing all the changes hagwons are constantly experiencing. I ordered a rainbow roll and California roll, more excited about seeing my two favorites on the sushi menu then really focusing on whether or not they were the kind of rolls I wanted.

In that wonderful way of being in Korea, the sushi rolls came out completely different than I expected both were stuffed with crab meat, carrots and cucumbers then topped with the ingredients that determined the rolls name. Each roll was delicious though I think they would benefit from less crab meat and mayonnaise in the future. The entire experience has me wondering what sushi is like in Japan.

After dinner we checked out Baskin Robbins for some ice cream. I ordered the caramel cheesecake on a regular cone. For my inaugural Basin Robbins visit, it was a poor choice. The caramel was much too sweet and overpowered the cheesecake ice cream. The whole thing left me wishing for real cheesecake more than appeasing my appetite for ice cream.

Next we settled on Caliente. As far as I know, the only salsa club in all of South Korea. We hung out for a round of drinks. I ordered a Long Island that came out far too strong and far too watery. It was shocking to see Korean men and women out on the dance floor showing off their best Latin-inspired moves. I was sufficiently intimidated after the first song and remained firmly in my seat until moving on to Hongdae where I met up with the Chungju EPIK gang.

I first met up with John, Hannah, Sarah and Ken in BEF–Best Friend. The bar is trendy, cool and modern. Yet another Hongdae haunt going for the industrial warehouse re-imagined vibe. The bar was nice and quiet, a great place for a second dinner of chicken and coleslaw. We played a couple of drinking games as I introduced Hannah to cojingmek which is apparently called cosomek as well.

Around 2 a.m. we made our way to a nearby club joining up with the complete EPIK posse. Even Karlie came, despite having moved to Seoul just a few days before. I helped myself to a free beer and jumped on the dance floor.

Just as I was gettin’ my groove on with Sonia I was asked, “Hangukin?” As in “Korean?” Only it wasn’t me the older Korean man was interested in. It was Sonia. I replied letting him know that we are both American, “Migukin.” He nodded, turned around and left. I had no idea it was so easy to turn men away.

Not too much later, we found ourselves catching up and winding down at another club. I have no idea what the bar was called, but it looked like the kind of place you could smoke a joint. If you could get weed in Korea.

We sat around drinking beer discussing teaching, Korea, relationships and all the usual  conversation before heading back to Chungju at 6 a.m. Just the kind of night I love that makes me never want to live in a place where bars close at 1 a.m. (Ahem. Utah!)

The super sweet bartender even let my drunk self talk to him in Korean. I’ve been needing someone to encourage my efforts at hangeukmal. He answered my questions in Korean, spoke slowly and asked me questions too. It was practically a whole conversation–short and basic, but still I’m going to hang on to that accomplishment all week.

At some point after the kebabs on the slow walk to the subway, the group shrank from everyone to just Scott and me. It was nice to reconnect with my old neighbor as we took the subway and bus home through the breaking dawn.

By the time I made it to my comfy bed at 9 a.m. I was more than happy to crash out for the next eight hours.

Just another Sunday in the ROK.

Posted in beer, cheap food, cocktails, dinner, Life, reviews, South Korea | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Everything is…protest

Nope, it’s not about Korea.

It’s not even about me.

It’s about the Middle East.

I’m completely and utterly amazed that what started in Tunisia has spread so far. CNN has a great article summarizing the different countries protest. Nick Kristof is around offering great insights into the situation though he’s currently focused on Libya after extensive coverage in Bahrain. My friend Dallin was and is now back on the ground in Egypt and has posted some incredible journal entries about his experience during Egypt’s revolution.

These protests have me hooked on CNN and the New York Times websites. I just can’t believe this is happening. Today. In the world I live in.


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To care or not to care…

It doesn’t matter anymore.


I’m feeling frustrated and annoyed with a number of things today: work and their need to create drama and problems where there is none or there would be none if people would just speak in a clear and direct way about what needs to happen and what their expectations are. Instead they spend so much time just talking about other things that aren’t really related to the problem. Nothing ever gets fixed.

I can’t fix problems at home. I want to care enough to fight with this stupid thing called “distance,” but I don’t. I suppose if I were there I would care more. (I also suspect these problems never would’ve surfaced.) That’s something I’m not sure I like not caring about anymore.

I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere between the teaching, traveling and living I became quite apathetic.

Sometimes it’s nice. Like when I’m playing a card game and lose spectacularly. Prior to Korea, I would completely lose it. I was way too competitive for playing nice with others.

My new motto is “I don’t give a shit,” or so I say.

The trouble is this seems to be affecting other parts of my life. The big important parts like my relationships with other people. It’s not that I’ve stopped caring about other people, I’ve just stopped caring about putting forth the effort it takes to maintain relationships.

My laziness has reached epic proportions.

Lately I’m awesome about getting out there and working on my writing. I’m okay with preparing for school and having lessons ready. But when it comes to non-work related things, I pretty much call it quits.

I try to tell myself it’s because I’m working so much.

But the truth is I really don’t care if the laundry piles up on the floor or the dishes fill the sink. I’d rather focus on getting a job or writing something I can sale.

Now I feel like a selfish brat for admitting that sometimes I care more about writing than I care about the people around me. Not to mention, you’re probably wondering how I live with myself in such a small apartment with such minimal cleaning.

I hope writing this post will help me start caring again. Maybe I’ll come out of my shell and start to give a damn.

It just feels like so much work to care.

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