Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Jinju Blog

Another Jinjer that I know has started a blog celebrating independence in Jinju. Check out "Indie Jinju." Mr. Lion does a good job of celebrating one of the finest bars in all of Jinju - Soundgarden. Soundgarden was named after a Seattle auditory horticulture movement that failed miserably-so everyone just decided to get drunk and listen to music. Oddly enough, I've heard that there is a band named Sound garden too.

Anyway check out "Indie Jinju." I like linking to blogs of people who I know. People generally start blogs because they don't really know anybody and grow tired of shouting their opinions at children passing on their way to school.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


I'm turning into an ajoshi. Technically I am an ajoshi. I'm married and have a kid. That makes me an ajoshi. What else makes me an ajoshi is how I spent my vacation. I had a month off last February. The family and I didn't go anywhere because my wife didn't have any vacation, so I ajoshied it up pretty hard.

How so? You ask?

I climbed some small mountains!

My dream for when I turn forty is to return to college and eventually become a dietitian/martial arts instructor. One night I was bopping around on I-tunes U and found a five part lecture on sports dietetics. The lady giving the lectures made an interesting point about how hiking burns more fat than other exercises.

That information made me want to go out into the wild green foothills of Gyeongsangnamdo.

Unfortunately, I got out of bed too late to go to many far away mountains, so I just stuck to the Jinju-Sacheon area.

Down in Samcheonpo-eub of Sacheon city; there is a glorious mountain called Wa Lyoang San. The mountain has a few rocks and peaks and it stretches a length of about 20 kilometers. I wanted to climb it because it would have some great views of the ocean from up high. I attempted 3 times and failed 3 times. Every time I tried, I left my house too late in the day and had to come back before my wife got home from work. Also the last two times I attempted, I was stymied by the fact that I was alone and there were some super steep rocks. The third time I tried, a taxi driver warned me that I might break a leg.

Despite my failures I was right in assuming that the mountain would be beautiful:

Rocks and ocean; it doesn't get much better than that. Another cool thing about Wa Ryong mountain is the fact that there is an old gem mine somewhere on it. On my third expedition I tried to find the mine, but a foot wide path next to a perilous cliff made me retreat and try what I thought would be an easier ascent up the small peak seen above in the film....I was wrong.

A more successful expedition was to my father-in-law's hometown. His hometown is in a part of Jinju called Myeong Seok. At the top of a small mountain in Myeong Seok you can find an old Korean smoke signal called a bong soo dae. Bong soo dae are chimneys where fires were built to send smoke signals. In downtown Jinju at the top of Mangjin mountain you can see one of these. The one in my father-in-law's home town has three chimneys. This bong soo dae would be lit to transmit a signal to the one in downtown Jinju, or to receive a message from the one in Jinju. Here it is:

Another cool thing about this mountain was that it had a nice view of other mountains around Jinju. Here is the second or third tallest peak in all of South Korea: Jirisan's Chun Wang peak:

It is the one furthest back. That one is a bitch to climb.

So yes, here I am walking up mountains and taking videos of them. That is indisputable evidence of my ajoshiness.