Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘We can do this.’

Camping On Mt. Bukhansan

Things move fast in Korea. I’ve gone from being pathetically under-occupied to being overscheduled in under a week. Not that I’m complaining, but it’s left me with little time to keep up with the blog.

My silence, due generally to the density of my days recently, has only been compounded by the fact that I’m determined to not turn this into a climbing blog. BUT IT’S BEEN SO FUN, I CAN’T HELP IT. I promise I’ll get to other topics—including, but not limited to: waffles, Mr. Pizza, being bald in Korea, strange flavor combinations, my palatial gym complex, and secret smugness—but I need to get the most recent climbing trip out of my system before I can move on. Read more


Outdoor Climbing Classes in Korea: It’s a good thing.

In keeping with the wild mood swings you’ve come to expect here at Abrupt Departure, I’m having a phenomenal day. No, I haven’t finally gone crazy, and this isn’t a manic episode. I went climbing yesterday and it was, to date, hands down, the best day I’ve had in Seoul. Read more

One Month Worth of Korea

One of the more difficult parts of immigrating to Korea has been the struggle to replace expectation with reality while maintaining the ability to leave the house. Before getting on the plane, there was really no way for the two of us to accurately picture what living in Korea would be like. The best we could do was stitch our combined life experience into a tissue of cultural quotations, a rough approximation, a roadmap missing its key. When moving, this usually gets you close enough. What I think neither of us realized is that we didn’t move to Korea. We immigrated. Read more

Drinking From The Cup of Triumph: Itaewon Edition!

Yesterday was a present wrapped up in a bow. It started out a little shaky, but by the end I was foot-weary and delighted.

When we woke up this morning, it was -4° C in Seoul. As I’ve said before, that may not be anything special for you Northern/Eastern folk, but when I see negative numbers the adventurous spirit just drains right out of me. The last couple days I’ve pushed through, but yesterday I was of the opinion that I had earned a mental health day. Having resigned myself to a day indoors, I read happily for several hours while HCB prepared syllabi and lectures. I know, I know. I’m on an amazing adventure. Be hungry for life, carpe diem, and all that. But sometimes a guy just needs to take the pressure off. Read more

Um… that was delicious!

In a previous, whiny post, I mentioned going with HCB to a Korean restaurant. In that post, I was, shall we say, less than full-throated in my endorsement. I really just didn’t want to complain any more than I already had. It wasn’t all that bad… it was just boring. The meat was admittedly delicious, but we can’t expect to survive off short ribs for the next five years. The pan chan (Korean snackies) were good enough, but the kimchee soup was just spicy, soggy cabbage. It’s one thing to find a cuisine alienating; it’s another thing to find it totally unremarkable. This meal triggered in me a creeping dread. Can I really eat this kind of food every day? There was nothing playful. Nothing surprising. Just heat and the gaminess of fermentation. Why am I revisiting this experience? More whining? Nope; there will be no apologetic postscript added to this entry. I am rehashing that anemic review because, in trying to figure out if I like Korean food, there’s new and important data that needs considering: yesterday, we had an INCREDIBLE Korean meal. Read more