This was a very fun list to put together, bringing back a flood of memories that occasionally feel like they were yesterday. Then I realize, some of them are almost a year old. It also reminded me of all those cheapo “best of” posts Patch forced us to do instead of real news.
To celebrate my recent decision to create a Facebook page dedicated to this blog, as well as the upcoming one-year anniversary of my return to these Asian shores, and to celebrate what will hopefully be a great new job, new apartment and new adventure in Gimhae, South Korea, I wanted to share what have been my top five posts so far on JPD does ROK. Enjoy.
5. ‘Life is so Cool: All-Night Hiking on Yeong-do:” (April 27, 2013) This is the hike that introduced me not only to the excellent Busan Daytrippers group, of which now I have been organizing hikes of my own, but also to a number of excellent friends (it also introduced me to Sweetbox). Some remain in Korea, some of them have moved on–back home, onto other adventures–but, we’ll always have that sometimes strenuous, sometimes icy-cold–
Sometimes painful–often beautiful journey on Yeong-do.
4. ‘The Death of Patch and Why Coming to Korea Was Always a Good Idea:’ (January 30, 2014) Is it schadenfreude? While I feel bad for the crap my friends and fellow co-workers had to deal with after I left the Patch online news organization in February 2013, and those that have somehow not yet been laid off amid the company’s breathtaking implosion, I also feel very validated in my decision to leave what was a fairly-decent paying gig to try and get over my Korea hump, which a year later barely feels like a pebble stuck to the bottom of my shoe.
3. ‘Goodbye, Friends, Hello, Friends: The August Expat Bloodbath:’ (September 1, 2013) As we prepare for the February Expat Bloodbath, let’s take a look back at the last time teachers left en masse. Sadly, for me and others, that included a dear friend. It usually does.
2. ‘My First (and Last) Overnight at a Jimjilbang:’ (July 4, 2013) A fantastic weekend hike in Naejangsan National Park. A great meal at an expat-owned TexMex joint in downtown Gwangju. A lovely schvitz at a familiarly-named jimjilbang called… ahem… Star Box. But, is it a good place to sleep before undertaking an all-day trek in the middle of summer? There’s a reason I still think this will be my last time I attempt to sleep at a jimjilbang.
1. ‘FBB – Foreigners Behaving Badly:’ (November 20, 2013) The title says it all. Unless you’re in a place like Itaewon, there is no question there’s usually a microscope on the foreigner community. So, when someone validates a Korean’s (mostly) unfair assumptions about us, it tends to sting a bit. And, considering this was my most-read story by a good margin, I think I’m not the only one who feels this way.