An English teacher's blog about his travels and his digital art.

Month: April 2011

A Few More Spring Photos

Yesterday’s photos were all of cherry blossoms, so today I’ll put up a few different ones. Just outside the dorm my apartment is in there is a scrawny, struggling magnolia tree. It’s not very photogenic, but here are a few isolated blossoms, superimposed against the dorm wall that I thought were interesting enough to post. By the way, if any experts look at these and think they’re not magnolia blossoms, please let me know in the comment section–I don’t claim to be very knowledgeable about flora or fauna.

Yeosu is famous for its camellia trees, and there are plenty of them on campus. Here’s just a few of them.

The next one has been slightly Photoshopped. Click for the large version to see what I mean.

Here’s a tree that has shed many of its flowers. The first is a “normal” shot, but the second is a Photoshopped version that I kind of like.

Finally, here’s a view from below the dormitories of the road which runs past the soccer field where I usually jog. The road, which you can’t see, is lined by the cherry blossoms. The red bins next to the green water in the lower right hand corner are . . . hmmm, I don’t know. This is a bit of an unusual area anyway. To the right and above the bins, out of the picture, is a strange walkway that I’ve never seen anyone use. I’ll get a shot of it some day to show you what I mean.

Ok, that’s it for the spring shots around campus. Like I said, I took a long walk to the Expo 2012 area yesterday, and today I let the bicycle out for some exercise and it took me to the Soho Yacht area, so eventually (this week, I hope), I’ll get some photos up that I took on those two outings.

Yeosu University Spring Photos

Spring on campus is beautiful, and during the peak flower season quite a few locals walk or drive to the university just to stroll around the area and soak up all the color and fragrance. Those who are traveling by car or motorbike have to really watch out for pedestrians, who sometimes walk down the middle of the roads while taking photos. As a matter of fact, yours truly does the same thing, but only early in the morning when traffic is light and only after looking both ways first. 😳

So, as promised a “few” days ago, here are some spring photos of beautiful Chonnam National University (Yeosu Campus). If you’re interested, you can compare these with photos from spring of last year.

A couple enjoys a Sunday morning walk under the cherry blossoms.

Remember that I posted about having to move into a new office in another building on campus? Here’s a shot from my window in that office.

And one more, for now. I’ll put up a few more tomorrow, since I’m a bit tired tonight and ready to hit the sack. I took a very long walk to the Expo 2012 area today and snapped off a bunch of photos for a future post–hopefully I’ll get them up in a “few” days. Construction is moving along quite nicely. More later.

Another Year in Yeosu, June Vacation

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention in my previous post that I’ll be signing on for another year here. Lots of reasons for doing that–familiarity with the job, pleasant people to work with, friendliness of the students and the people of the area, the beauty of the countryside, and, the biggest reason, the upcoming 2012 Expo next year, about which I’ve posted quite a few times. (Use the search box to find the relevant posts.) So, I’m pretty stoked about being here for at least another year.

The new contract begins at the end of August, so there’s still a bit of time to go before then. In the meantime, I’m heading down to Thailand and Laos in June. I purchased my ticket from Thai Air last week–I’d been logging onto their web site for about a month, waiting for their ticket prices to drop, which they do around this time of the year. Sure enough, prices went down about $100 for a round-trip ticket in June. Sweet!

I have a ton of frequent flier miles built up on the Star Alliance frequent flier program and they expire soon, so I probably could have used those for a free flight, if I’d been lucky enough to grab a freebie at that time. I’ve read that it’s very difficult to get a seat by using miles for free flights, and a more realistic scenario would have been to get an upgrade. However, I thought that wasn’t really the best way to go. I’ve decided to use the miles for a hotel room in Patong, Phuket, Thailand for a week for my friend Nai and myself. We’ve stayed at the Thara Patong Resort before, and we really enjoyed it, so I’m going to use the miles for that. It’s an upscale hotel, right across the street from the beach in Patong, with friendly staff, a very large swimming pool, and a pretty good inclusive breakfast in one of the restaurants. (I’m the early bird breakfast zombie–Nai usually sleeps in, lazy guy. 🙂

Here’s a quick snap of the pool from our hotel room, back in 2007.

So, as of now, my tentative plans are to fly into Bangkok on June 11th, take the overnight train to Nongkhai, Thailand on the 12th, arriving the next day, then goofing around in Nongkhai and Vientiane (Laos) with Nai until the 19th. We’ll then take the train back to Bangkok and fly out of the City of Angels on the 22nd for Phuket, returning on the 29th. Back to Korea on July 1st. Too short. But, it’ll do.

So, long term–another year in Yeosu. Mid term–the trip to Thailand in June. Short term–get in beach shape. I’ve taken off 5 kilograms (about 11 pounds) since the beginning of the semester in March, and I’ve got a long ways to go. I’ve been working out at the gym on the weight machines, so I’m trying to develop the physique, along with losing the weight. This recent illness has slowed my progress, but I’ve got a couple of months to go yet, so I’m hopeful that I’ll look like this guy. More later.

Not kidding about the physique. Jack LaLanne at 95 years old. Fantastic.

Spring Fever

In more ways than one. First, I apologize to all my Loyal Readers for not posting in such a long time. I suppose it’s partly my fault for being so lazy, but the main reason is that I’ve been fighting a ferocious cold for about a week and a half now. I haven’t really felt like doing much of anything except staying in bed. There were a few days that I thought about canceling my classes, but I got through them OK. Most of the other teachers and quite a few of the students have also had the same malady, so my misery had its company.

The last few days, though, I’ve been feeling much better, and just in time, too. We’re at the mid-semester break, with a whole week off–no more classes until April 25th. Very nice. I did manage to get out last Sunday morning and snap off a few photos of the spring blossoms around campus, so I’ll get some of those posted ASAP. Hopefully, then, I’ll be adding entries to the blog at a better rate than I have in the past few weeks. Stay tuned.

Opening Day!

Now I know it’s spring–it was Opening Day of the 2011 Major League Baseball season yesterday. Fittingly (and hopefully portentous), the Yanks knocked off the Detroit Tigers 6 to 3, with ex-Tiger Curtis Granderson providing the fireworks (a 3-run homerun) and making a couple of great catches in centerfield. Most of the so-called experts seem to have written the Yankees out of the playoff and/or World Series picture, mainly due to the perceived inadequacies of the starting rotation. I have great hopes, however, that the starters, including young Mr. Super Nova, will be more than up to the task and that the team will go all the way. That’s the nature of a true baseball fan–optimism. On opening day, all teams are equal. 🙂

(And, by the way, a big CONGRATULATIONS to Ivan Nova for becoming a member of that elite five.)

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