Friday, August 14, 2009

Ahnyoungheegaeseyo: Or, the Last Hanbok in Incheon

Well, folks, it seems we've come to the end: the 333rd and final installment of School of ROK. Two years, five foster dogs, and 18 Airport Limousine rides later, we're headed to Edinburgh, Scotland. You can follow our continuing exploits at The Educated Burgher.

We'll continue to reply to questions posted in the comments threads, so feel free to ask anything you like about our archived posts.

Before we go, though, a final tale.

Now, Nana and I aren't really good at doing the must-do and seeing the must-see (for example, we never ate live octopus, and we never did drag ourselves up to the DMZ or down to Gyeongju), so it's no surprise that we found ourselves in the airport with about thirty minutes left in our Korean adventure without ever having worn hanbok.

Luckily, every concourse at Incheon International Airport features a "Korean Cultural Experience" (part, I think, of the delightfully Engrish Korea Sparkling campaign), where you can learn the Korean alphabet, ingest softcore propaganda, and yes, have your photo taken in extra-heavy polyester versions of Korean traditional garb. For free!

Seeing as we had half an hour to kill, Nana and I weren't about pass up such an opportunity. I, knowing fine fashion when I saw it, instinctively grabbed the king's royal robe, while Nana picked up a simpler, princess-on-her-day-off affair.

The "Korean Cultural Experience" wasn't complete, however, until a passing ajumma stopped by to scold the photographer (as far as I could make out) for putting our elbows in the wrong position. The photographer, being younger than our concerned passer-by, had no choice but to respect her elder's wishes. Hence the pose you see below.So in other words, we went out of Korea the same way we came in: sweaty, being hectored by ajummas, but still trying to smile.

So long, folks! See you over at the new blog!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Animal Rescue Korea Article

(Part of what we imagine may someday be a series of wind-down posts... we've departed Korea permanently but still have some old photos and friends and such to keep in touch with)

Animal Rescue Korea is a terrific organization. All five of our foster dogs (four adopted, one in current foster care) were coordinated through ARK. The Asan shelter, which they visit on weekends now, is a great no-kill shelter in a very pretty part of the Korean mountains. We took our students there for a community service day, and some of them are independently organizing an Animal Welfare club at the school to keep volunteering and fundraising (we're so proud!)

Basically, we can't say enough good things about ARK. Which is why we're turning it over to the JoongAng Daily English Edition and their article about ARK, "Finding Homes for Fido & Co."

If you're in Korea and looking for a great, meaningful way to socialize in English (whether you're a native speaker or a Korean looking to practice), ARK is a great organization. We have a permanent link to it in our sidebar, but here it is again because of the awesome:

Save the puppies! And kitties, and bunnies, and hamsters, and all the other things ARK does. Yay!