Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weather in South Korea

We havn't seen winter for more than a month. It has been off/on between days of 0 degrees and balmy 50's weather. We've had snow flurries and even rain this past week. School is ever changing, with new classes and scheduling, best to keep up, be more prepared than necessary. Korean society is known to be very "BALI BALI" and it has the opposite meaning of the Indonesian island paradise. In English, it means "HURRY, HURRY" and even middle school students would describe "KOREANS ARE..." as, "VERY BUSY!" The massive development in Korea spurred following the end of Japanese colonialism after WWII and end of the Korean War. Since then, Korea has experienced a period of 50+ years of peace on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. Home to numerous US military bases with 30,000 personnel. Korea is now as dynamic/modernizing as it is ancient. Working conditions are generally acceptable for a foreigner, but you are never settled here. Most enjoy weekends, as weekdays are demanding with blocks of classes that seem, at best of times, unending. The rituals continue until the Friday 9:00 class signals that in 40 minutes, we will soon be free. Saturdays are for rest, cycling, or shopping. We walk everywhere on Saturday. Friday nights are usually reserved for dinner w/ colleagues at Puffin's, and this past weekend we spent five hours at a local Jim-Jil-Bong, or public sauna/spa. It's an enormous department store sized, two-storied complex with numerous sauna rooms, some in the shape of caves with extreme heat and flat screen TVs. Other rooms have spas, the Green Tea spa is nice. There are also wet sauna (steam rooms) and dry saunas. They sell beer and soda and water at the refreshment counters. There is also a co-ed area where men and women and children can use sauna rooms in their pajamas (provided with $8 admission fee). You sweat and it is invigorating, a must is drinking plenty of water before/during/ and the day afterwards. These saunas are everywhere in Korea, and you can spend the entire night there for $8 bucks! Canadians should think about this idea, we have nothing that really compares. Sunday is service at Dongsan Church, a good Ansan hangout, Pastor Nick delivers great services in English. The band is great, I'm the bongo player. Spring is around the corner, can't wait!!!

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About the Korean-World Author

Brian Perich was an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) lecturer for a decade, father, and adventure cyclist based in South Korea.

Previously, Brian has led Canoe adventures in Quetico Provincial Park, Atikokan, Ontario, Canada (1993/1999); led Grand American camping adventures (2000); lived at Paramahansa Yogananda's SRF Ashram for 5 months (see the film "AWAKE"), formerly worked in titanium welding at Agilent Technologies, formerly worked in Winery industry in Marin County with Kendall Jackson in California; Surfing and Meditation continued for several years in California, British Columbia, South Korea, Yoga training in California 1999-2000.

Between 1994-1998 - Brian completed his own adventures with motorcycles. His motorcycling marathons took him across the United States and central/western Canada, while traveling solo over an astounding 24,000km in 60 days! Brian endured 900 mile/1300km average days in the motorcycle saddle and apparently loved every minute of those adventures.

Today, he has given up motorcycle adventures altogether, but finds an outlet for his enthusiasm in outdoor recreation while bicycle touring and micro-blogging about those experiences on his mountain bikes.

While employed as an English teacher in South Korea, Brian has became an advocate for bicycle touring on his mountain bikes. The Korean-World blog originated from those small adventures in Korea, now expanded to cover his recent trek down the TransMongolian highway to the Gobi Desert, cycling 900km east through the Khentii grasslands and in 2012 crossing Mongolia in 45 days, 2500 kilometers 1553 miles. HimalayasX expedition Brian previously cycled across western China, the Taklamakan Desert, the northern Himalayas of East Turkestan Xinjiang/Uyghur Autonomous Region, the corrugated back roads and mountains of Kham Tibet. Brian successfully completed his 2011 mountain bike expedition with 3200 kilometers / 1988 miles unsupported, on/off road MTB adventure cycling.
Brian has completed his second mountain bike journey, MongoliaX expedition - Crossing Mongolia 2012, an unsupported mountain bike MTB expedition across 2500km of Outer Mongolia from Ulanbaatar to Altai Taven-Bogd National Park bordering China, Russia and Mongolia.

In 2013, as a sequel to a trilogy of cycle tours, Brian enjoyed a more leisure bicycle tour onboard his Koga-Miyata World Traveller seeing the northern tier of the United States and western Canada covering 3400 kilometers / 2000 miles in 30 days. This North American cycle tour was called Totherocktour. Enjoying the adventure of bicycle travel and every great conversation started while traveling on the road - has refueled his inspirations to cycle around the Earth. In 2013, while he cycled solo from the Great Lake State of Michigan, United States to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. He weaved through local communities and reconnected with friends, family and community after spending almost a decade in Asia.

Brian is now supporting several non-profit foundations through expeditions: IDEAS Foundation of Canada IDEAS is the acronym for Intestinal Disease Education and Awareness Society which supports the IBD community, those suffering from IBD-inflammatory bowel disease, also known as Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.

The second non-profit foundation is ETE.ORG - Education Through Expeditions, UK which supports educational outreach programs inside schools around the world. ETE connects explorers with students in the classroom, through an interactive online program in development (Beta).

Brian is researching support for a 18000 kilometer bicycle expedition across the Americas: North, Central and South America - ONE -Arctic to Argentina
Please contact him if you are interested in helping out.

Twitter: Cycleagain
Location: Gangneung, Gangwon-do, South Korea or southern Ontario, Canada.

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Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Brian's friends have also been...Cycling in Korea!

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

Cycling in Korea, Warning: always wear a helmet! (I gave mine to my friend)

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