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You be the boss!

A couple days ago, a pair of BELOVED friends (Hi, Jaime and Elaine!) pitched an idea that I think is totally brilliant:

Create a scavenger hunt of activities to accomplish in Korea. They came up with some good ones: take a Segway tour of Seoul (it’s painful to even imagine what we’ll look like doing this, but I won’t say no, no matter how mortifying the task sounds); eat and photograph a Korean interpretation of some non-American food item (Korean nachos, perhaps?); locate a climbing gym and find a climbing partner.

You supply the ideas and I/we will complete them. Ever been curious about the Korean counterpart to something safely Western? Want to see us do something embarrassing (within limits, folks)? Do you have good travel tips you’d like to deliver in the form of a challenge? Credit will be given in any blog posts that result.

If you’re interested (come on, you know you wanna), leave your submissions in the comments section.

[P.S. We’re getting on the plane in 17.5 seconds. Oh my God. Here we go, kids.]

26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jim Jam to the flim flam #

    I love you and miss you already! I hope you had a safe flight. Now…find me some Korean Drag Queens, baby!

    February 15, 2012
    • Your wish is my command, JJ2FF!

      P.S. Missing you. So. Much. Wanna move to Korea?

      February 16, 2012
  2. Jim Jam to the flim flam #

    Yes I do! Well…maybe, just for a couple weeks and in ten months from now?

    February 16, 2012
  3. Wheaton True #

    I’ll totally go climbing with you in Seoul when I next come. Which is likely late March,although with my job could be next week. Who knows.

    February 16, 2012
    • That. Would. Be. Awesome. We’re both very excited for you to come visit. I’ve been hearing about you for years, so the bar is set pretty high. No pressure.

      February 16, 2012
  4. Eve #

    Climb a mountain, take your picture at the top and send it to me (preferably when it warms up a bit).

    February 17, 2012
    • I will definitely do this one, but I will take your offer of a delay. They’d find me frozen half way up the mountain.

      Thanks for taking the “help a brother out” plea literally!

      February 17, 2012
  5. Take the DMZ tour!

    February 17, 2012
    • Totally! We have the secret fantasy of going on a tour of Pyongyang, but we’ll have to work up to visiting North Korea. The DMZ will be a good starting point.

      February 17, 2012
  6. Dianna Woolsey #

    Find something that Korea has butchered in translation that is now being presented in a language OTHER than English or Korean. (Is there a universe in which clothing stores for hip Korean kids have shirts sporting Spanish words, which end up saying “Me gusto con queso” or something equally embarrassing? French seems more likely in that part of the world, but since I don’t speak it myself I couldn’t come up with an example.)

    February 17, 2012
    • Ooooh. Good one. My brain’s language center has been totally overwhelmed so I don’t actually know if other languages are represented anywhere. But I’m on it now!

      February 17, 2012
    • There’s a good deal of French around town, especially in the names of bakeries and coffee shops. And it’s a long story, but last night I attended a banquet where the president of the university, delivering a speech in Korean, had occasion to quote some Latin, which I did not completely recognize.

      February 18, 2012
  7. Shannon Panuska #

    David Byrne says in True Stories:
    I really enjoy forgetting. When I first come to a place, I notice all the little details. I notice the way the sky looks. The color of white paper. The way people walk. Doorknobs. Everything. Then I get used to the place and I don’t notice those things anymore. So only by forgetting can I see the place again as it really is.

    I want to know how the sky looks, the color of white paper, and how people walk. Are the doorknobs different?
    Can you take some pictures of door for me? Also, I want to know what the manhole covers look like and the fire hydrants. Functional city infrastructure fascinates me. Is there graffiti? (I can’t wait to visit you.)

    February 18, 2012
    • Shannon Panuska #

      “The color of white paper” seems way too poetic for an actual answer. I bet it looks white. However do they use 8.5×11 or A4? I love the A4 system and will miss it terribly when we’re back stateside.

      February 18, 2012
      • I can totally get behind this kind of assignment. Yesterday, as we rode to campus, HCB was freaking out a little, but I was perfectly content. My secret asset? My camera. I wasn’t even taking picture but just having it around my neck had me looking at the cityscape in the right way. I will most certainly turn my attention from the macroscopic scale to the not-quite-microscopic.

        February 18, 2012
  8. Katie #

    This may require some espionage, and may require that you let some distracting chickens loose in someone’s office, but I’ve always wanted to know how one goes about alphabetizing in a non-Roman alphabet. So I want photos of the interior of a Korean file cabinet.

    February 18, 2012
    • That is a really good point. In the book I have that covers basic Korean, the alphabet is separated into vowels and consonants. Is this pedagogical or standard? I’ll put the TA on chicken-procurement duty, ASAP!

      February 18, 2012
      • Katie #

        I realized, on thinking about this a bit more, that this may be a bigger deal in some non-Roman alphabets than others. Cyrillic has an ordered alphabet so it would be easy. Chinese would be a nightmare; I bet you five bucks that most corporate offices in China alphabetize their files using the Roman alphabet. So I know Korean is alphabetic/phonetic, but it’s still hard for me to picture what this looks like when you’re trying to produce an ordered list (say, a class roster) or a set of file folders in some clear order. Are the phonemes ordered? What, for that matter, does a Korean dictionary look like? (In Japanese, for example, which is primarily pictographical but ALSO uses an alphabetic system JFF, it gets weird. If you’re trying to look up a certain kanji you look it up by radical and by number of brushstrokes. My Japanese-Japanese dictionary, on the other hand, takes even the words that are supposed to be represented by kanji, transliterates them into the alphabetic system, and then alphabetizes them.) So I get that in Korean, by contrast, you’ve got one fixed alphabetic/syllabic system. What order do they go in? Etc.

        February 19, 2012
        • God, I had no idea about Japanese. That’s bonkers! I’ll either get documentation through my Korean school, or HCB will sneak a peak at the Songdo campus.

          Number of brushstrokes? Really? Holy shit. As you and HCB would say, ROTL.

          February 19, 2012
  9. Anna #

    Obviously you must attend a professional Starcraft tournament!!! And tour an animation studio that makes American cartoons.

    February 19, 2012
  10. Katie #

    Anna’s is really good; I totally second that.

    I’d also like a photo of a familiar foodstuff flavored in a way that would never occur to Americans. You know: shrimp-flavored angel food cake, or what have you.

    February 19, 2012
    • I have heard tell of sugar frosted garlic bread. For serious. Would that count?

      February 19, 2012
      • Katie #

        Yeesh. Absolutely.

        February 19, 2012

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