Know your beef cut!

Rhea Smith:

This is a WONDERFUL blog post about the differences between Korean and US meat cuts. It has the Korean names for beef and pork cuts, and does a great job explaining how these cuts match similar US cuts. Check it out!

Originally posted on KIMCHIMARI:

I recently bought some brisket from an American grocery store. But when I brought it home and cooked it, it looked and tasted different from the Yangjimeori (양지머리 – also labeled “brisket”) that I usually buy from the Korean supermarket. And this is not the first time– it has happened to me many times before and always wondered why. I had a feeling that maybe the two cuts were not from the same part of the brisket. And so I started my quest for the truth..

I have researched for hours on end trying to figure out how Korean beef cuts and US beef cuts correspond to each other. OK, yes, they use quite different primal cuts (primal cuts are largest units of cuts that is further divided into individual retail cuts that are sold at stores) – and that’s fine. But what confused me terribly were the English cut…

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Where to Shop Online in Korea

If you’re planning to move to Korea, i’m sure you’re struggling with what you want to bring, and what you think you can get when you move here. I went through that struggle, and didn’t find a lot of information regarding what is available here and if it would be affordable. Of course, I way over-packed and brought things I didn’t need, but I also missed a few essentials that I didn’t think to buy. Rather than list what you should bring, I’ll give you a comprehensive list of what is actually available for purchase, and if it’s in the price range or availability that you might hope for when moving to a new country.

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iPhone Repair in Jeonju

If you find yourself in need of iPhone repair in Jeonju, this repair shop has be tried and tested. It is affordable, fast and the owner can speak a bit of English if you need it. I had my broken screen repaired for 80,000won in about 10 minutes. You can check out their website here. I’ve also provided pictures of their business card below and a map location of where you can find them in Jeonju. They generally stay open until 7 or 8pm, but you can give them a call to see if they have special hours for the day you need. You can take multiple buses to the 전북선거관리위원회 32001(전주) bus stop directly across the street from the shop. 

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Map to the iPhone Repair Shop in Jeonju

Winter Wellness – Getting Sick in Korea

As the cold season approached, there was almost no doubt that I would be catching a cold, the flu, or some other mild sickness. Nearly everyone in Korea gets sick around this time of year. Its inevitable, and almost impossible to avoid. On the buses and trains, at school, in the supermarket, and everywhere in-between, people are coughing, sneezing, and sniffling. This isn’t something uncommon during cold and flu season in the states, but it manifests in a much more germ-spreading frenzy in Korea. Since the population seems to be much more condensed into cities here, and the use of public transit is much more prevalent, it is so much easier to get sick here. I can see some really interesting differences between American culture and Korean culture when it comes to sickness.

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Teaching: Where I Teach

As an EPIK teacher (the English Program in Korea) there is little you can do to request where you will teach. The process of placement can be a bit frustrating and nerve-wracking. However, you are able to request a general area of the country to be placed in when you apply, though that can place you in a 2 hour + area within a large city or in an agricultural province. In my situation, I requested to be placed in a very rural province called Jeollabuk-do (nicknamed Jeonbuk). Here is a map of South Korea that shows the country’s provinces:

Full Korea Map

Jeollabuk-do is a small  province that is mainly agricultural and has small cities in comparison to the very large metropolitan cites of Seoul, Daejeon and Busan (among others). Here is a smaller map showing the province of Jeollabuk-do:

jeollabuk do map

In the province of Jeollabuk-do there are a few medium-sized cites including Jeonju, Namwon and Iksan. These cities are not huge, with the largest being the capitol city of Jeonju at about 650,000 in population. While I live in Jeonju, I often spend my free time in Imsil or in Namwon, which are much smaller cites about 30-50 minutes away by bus and about 15-30 minutes away by train. One of the most rural areas in Jeollabuk-do is Wanju county, the county that I teach in.

In Wanju county I teach at two schools: Bongseo Elementary School and Dongsang Elementary School. These schools are more different than I could have imagined.

Bongseo Elementary School is a massive school that is expanding as we speak, in order to accommodate more students for the coming year. Even with its current size, it’s host to some 1,000 elementary students k-6, making it the largest elementary school in the Jeollabuk-do province.  At Bongseo I primarily teach 6th graders, 7 separate classes worth, each with about 30 students. I also teach one 5th grade class, as well as a class devoted to teaching my fellow Korean co-workers to improve their conversation skills and confidence when speaking english. Each class is so different! My students have such wild personalities and interests. It really is an adventure teaching so many different types of students. Here are a few pictures of Bongseo Elementary School:

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Dongsang Elementary School is almost the complete opposite of Bongseo. This school is tiny. I teach grades 3 through 6 here, but all together, the total number students I teach here is less than one of my classes at Bongseo. In fact, the whole school has less than 30 students (27 to be exact). Because of the small classes, each student gets more one-on-one attention. Grade 6 has four students, grade 5 has five students, grade 4 has ten (the largest grade in the school), and grade 3 has three students. This school is so small because it is nestled away in the mountains on the edge of a lake. It is overwhelmingly beautiful and peaceful, though the journey to get there takes about 2 hours by bus from Jeonju. Here are some pictures of Dongsang:

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I love where I am teaching. My students make the long days of travel well worth the time. Though it is difficult adjusting to a new culture, language, and job, I couldn’t have chosen better schools if the choice had been mine. I am constantly thankful for the kindness my students, co-teachers, and the people I encounter on my travels through the countryside. I am looking forward to the next year ahead and what new teaching and learning experiences it will bring!

Discovering Korea: Suncheon, Jeollanam-do in Fall

While out and about on an EPIK field trip with fellow GETs (Guest English Teachers) we were allowed to explore the natural beauty of Suncheon in Jeollanam-do. Known for its ecological park and Suncheon Bay gardens, its a perfect way to spend an autumn day.

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