5 reasons to visit Jukdo Market in Pohang, SK

Jukdo market is often referred to as one of the must-do’s of Pohang, South Korea. In less than 3 hours,  I discovered parts of Korean culture I didn’t know existed before.  Jukdo market is huge and , unlike most flee markets, isn’t filled with second hand goods worthy of a side-eye.If you need more convincing, here are 5 reasons to visit Jukdo. **

One section of Jukdo Market

One section of Jukdo Market

5.  The Food

Both local and foreign foods abound here.  Dozens of streets are filled with fresh-water tanks and stands where seafood is sold and cooked right in front of you. Even if you’re not grocery shopping, it’s a place for sightseeing.  I saw a live crab almost as big as my head!

The baby crabs

The baby crabs

Fresh Fish for sale

Fresh Fish for sale

There’s also tons of cheap veggies and fruits as wells as some Korean specialties.

Veggies

Veggies

Rice cake desserts

Seaweed

Korean rice cake dessert

Korean rice cake dessert

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Red bean paste sugar donut

4. The Clothes

You can find traditional Korean clothes -like Hanboks- and Western style clothing also. Beware-like most clothes in Korea-they run small.  

Hanbok

Hanbok

3. Handmade Art 

In need of some inexpensive decorations for your new apartment? Browse through streets and streets of handmade pottery,furniture, and paintings.

Handmade pottery

Handmade pottery

2. Unique Souvenirs

There are children’s toys, stationary,plants, and shirts with “Engrish” settings. If you’re after a unique gift for someone back home, you won’t have to look too long to find one in Jukdo market.

Pretty Plants

Pretty Plants

Intresting "Booby" signs

Intresting “Booby” signs

1. The Experience

Nothing quite says “Welcome to Korea!”, than a morning here . Besides being surrounded by Korean language , cuisine, and culture on all sides, the many stares and people running up to greet you in English are sure to remind you how far away from home you are. It seemed like I was always the center of attention here, whether I was taking  a picture, attempting to explain I didn’t  speak Korean, or dodging out of the many motorcycles speeding by. Everyone was friendly, however, and seemed satisfied when I answered every question with “Miguk” (American).

**Pohang’s Jukdo Market is opened from 8 am-10 pm and closed every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. Buses 101, 103, 105,107, and 108 all make stops here.

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Bye,Philly: The Road to South Korea

My last week in Philly was supposed to be epic. I was going to do so many things and have so much material for this blog. I planned out a week that included seeing the Liberty Bell, stopping by the Edgar Allan Poe House, a photo next to the Declaration of Independence and finishing it all up with one more night on the town in South Philly.

Instead , I did a lot of cleaning, packing, and stocking up on deodorant. Then  I had family to say goodbye to, friends taking me out for farewell drinks, and on my very last day-I just wanted to sleep in my own bed one last time.

However, I did manage to fit some exciting things in my last weeks at home .

My friends took me to Korea Town in NYC to prepare. We stopped by the Mandoo Bar and I had my first taste of Korean food. It was pretty good but I must say-the food here in South Korea tastes better. Maybe it’s just the environment? 

Mandoo Bar 

2 W. 32nd St( Between 5th Ave and Broadway), NYC

Kimchi

Kimchi

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Mandoo

Miel Patisserie 

204 S. 17th St. Philadelphia, PA

Back in Philly, a high school buddy and I tried out Miel Patisserie, a bakery in the downtown area. The prices here are a bit high for the small pastries but they’re pretty rich. You can probably get a coffee drink and a sweet or two for under ten dollars. It’s a nice place to come for a quite chat or to catch up on some work alone. They also serve lunch here so that might be another option.

Macaroons and Latte

Macaroons and Latte

Vango Lounge & Skybar 

116 S. 18th St , Philadelphia, PA

Next up we stopped by Vango Bar. I was bit skeptical about this place; they have some pretty horrible reviews on Yelp.com but my friend had a Groupon special and cheap drinks are better than none. Thankfully, we were pleasantly surprised. The staff was nice and courteous, the drinks strong and generous, and the food was the best I had in a long time.We shared four small plates of spicy tuna roll, vegetable dumplings, grilled claims, and teriyaki chicken. It was delicious-especially the  sushi. The decor is pretty special too-glass bottles are actually built in to the wall and illuminated and instead of chairs, there are couches for you to recline on. If you want a party, I suggest coming during the weekend after 8pm. If you just want to relax and enjoy your company, try a weeknight or come before 7. We visited during the slow hours and found everything to be great.

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My Travel Playlist

Inspired by Travellersoul76 (Check out her amazing blog. She’s lived everywhere!) , I decided to make a list of my favorite traveling tunes. These are songs that have calmed me to sleep during flights, entertained me on long bus rides throughout Spain, and , recently, have been reminding of all the places I’ve been and where I want to go.

Click on the titles to hear the song.

1. “Good Life” by OneRepublic

Favorite Line: “Woke up in London yesterday/ found myself in the city near Picadilly.”

I found this song the summer before visiting London and now every time I hear it, I remember my favorite city. And the time that old guy attacked a car in Picadilly Circus

2.”I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash

I listened to this over and over again while packing. I haven’t been to most of the places but it’s catchy as heck. And, yes, I was a bit annoyed when no one realized Rihanna sampled it in ‘Where Have You Been”

Favorite Line: “Of travel I had my share, man/I’ve been everywhere.”

3. “Me Gustas Tu” by Manu Chao

This song was used in a grammar course to refresh us on the use of me gusta.  Translate the lyrics if you need to and you’ll find it’s both funny and useful for learning the language.

Favorite Line :“Me gustan los aviones/ me gustas tu.’

4. “Mas” by Nelly Furtado

I listened to the whole Mi Plan album constantly but this song is a bit special. I had been in Spain for a few months and had this playing one day while I was walking home. I noticed that I actually understood the lyrics and wasn’t just enjoying the beat as usual. For me , it signified that I was actually learning Spanish and not wasting time there.

Favorite Line :“No quiero perder mas todo mi tiempo/al lado de alguien quien no quiere entenderlo.”

5. “I was Here” by Beyonce

At every new experience, I keep thinking that no one would ever be able to take my memories of it away from me. Traveling felt like a dream to me, which is why I am working so hard to continue. The video also features clips of her travels around the world.

Favorite Line: “ I did, I’ve done, everything that I wanted/And it was more than I thought it would be.”

6. “Sofa” by Ed Sheeran

One day I will love a man so much that not even the prospect of travel will make me want to leave our sofa.

Favorite Line: “Say the word and I’ll take ya/ But I’d rather stay on the sofa with you.”

7. “So Good” by B.OB

The video for this song is awesome and full of places I’ve been and want to go.

Favorite Line: “ Five hour layovers from Norway to Egypt/I’m to the point like the Pyramids of Giza/ Still leaning left like the tower out in pisa.” 

I would love to know what travel songs I should add to my playlist as well as what songs are on yours.

An Evening With Ed Sheeran in Penn’s Landing

Penn's Landing

Back in Spain, I met and fell in love with the music of Ed Sheeran. After a weekend of Sangria and Tapa-tasting, I was exploring Youtube when I stumbled upon one of his videos and  have been hooked ever since. … Continue reading

Revisiting Childhood at The National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD

Growing up in Owings Mills, MD has defiantly left some impressions. For starters, I will eat anything that comes from the ocean with no opposition. Purple and black seems like the most natural color combination and , as most from the neighborhood will attest, the Inner Harbor seems more like the local playground than a tourist attraction. I grew up 30 minutes away from the harbor and the area was the setting of numerous class trips, birthday expeditions, and nights out as a teen. A few weeks ago, I got to return to the harbor. It didn’t feel like a thing changed at all and, in this case, that was a good thing.

 The Harbor

Inner Harbor

Inner Harbor with Baltimore Sky Line

Reflecting off of the Chesapeake Bay are the impressive buildings that make up Baltimore’s famous skyline. Both chain and traditional restaurants line either side of the bay. Most places have outside seating where you can enjoy your fish while, well, watching the fish.

Shopping is also plentful in this area thanks to souvenir shops and the Harbor Place mall. My favorite stop, of course, is the gigantic Barnes and Nobles that was converted from a power plant.

Barnes and Noble Power Plant

Barnes and Noble Power Plant

If you’re not keen on taking one of the many boat tours , you can view them from afar in one of the shaded seating areas . Or if you’re lucky, there might be an impromptu break dancing or  jazz performance.

The Main Attraction

The National Aquarium looks huge from the outside but can be seen in its entirety in four or five hours. If you go on an weekday during the school year, as we did, you can zip through with no problems.

Waterfall at Entrance to Museum

Waterfall at Entrance to Museum

Among my favorite exhibits was the Amazon Rain Forrest. With the humid and oppressive heat, the oversized leaves that canopy the ceiling, and wild parrots, sloths, and tarantulas, it ‘s more than easy to forget your in a building in the middle of a large city.

Rainforest Parrot

This parrot stared at me for 3 minutes straight

National Aquarium

Gator

Green & Black Poison Dart Frog

Green & Black Poison Dart Frog

Indoor Amazon Rainforest

Indoor Amazon Rainforest

The Shark exhibit winds up along several, dark floors. With the sharp- tooth sharks swimming past you as you go deeper and deeper underground, it feels like your walking through the deep , dark sea.

Diver in the Tank

Diver in the Tank

I also enjoyed  The Jellyfish Exhibit

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

JellyFish

JellyFish

 Another highlight of the day was getting to view the 4-D movie. We saw Happy Feet and for about 15 minutes we were snowed on, splashed with ice cold water, and pecked by Penguins as  they danced across the screen.

If you need one more reason to visit The National Aquarium, here it is: The people who work there not only seem to enjoy their jobs but are actually quite good at what they do. We ran into the same employees throughout the day and they would always stop, ask us how we doing, and then lead us over to wherever we were heading next. One of the people in our party had trouble walking and needed a wheelchair. The employee at the service desk not only helped her get into the chair but then got down on her knees to tie her shoe lace. It might not seem like a big deal but it unusual for me to experience customer service like that, especially at such a large attraction. Heck, it hard enough getting the cashier at CVS to make eye contact.

Coral Reef

Coral Reef

Don't know what this is , but it's pretty

Don’t know what this is , but it’s pretty

Riding Camels and Sniffing Strange Things in Morocco, Africa

Arabian Donkey

Weeks before my semester abroad ended, I went to Morocco, Africa. Feeling like a pro-traveler at this point, I decided to wait until the last minute before taking care of some essential pre-trip tasks. Mainly, ensuring I had enough Euros … Continue reading

Bullfighting in Granada,Spain

When people talk about Granada they usually mention the tapa bars and the famous Alhambra. At least, those were the aspects I heard about the most before actually arriving in Granada. So imagine my surprise when , during the first … Continue reading

Likes & Dislikes of Granada, Spain

 Likes

1) Me? Interesting?

 For the first time in my life, I was different in a good way. Because I was so obviously different from everyone else, the Spanish people and other exchange students from places like Korea, Switzerland, and Ghana were automatically interested in my life back home. They wanted to practice English, know more about American culture, and if the television descriptions were accurate. ( Most of the time they weren’t but on average , foreigners know a lot more about American culture than vice versa). I can think of two separate occasions when, after telling someone my family was from Philadelphia, they started singing the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

2) Tapa Culture

Nothing will ever compare to trying plate after plate of new dishes with a glass of genuine Sangria. Another fun fact: Granada is one of the last cities in Spain that still honors the age-old tradition of free Tapas with every drink.

3)  “Hola, Guapa!”

Who wouldn’t like being called good-looking at every greeting?

4) Not Very Similar, Not too Different

Granada ran on a different language, schedule, and culture than I was used to but there was a large population of English speakers. That came in handy when I missed the language or was in serious need of directions. Also, being able to walk everywhere reminded me of NYC.

5) Food

I talked about this in my last post but my Señora really knew how to cook! Everything (except for the pea soup) was delicious. Also, the fruit and vegetables more fresher than anything I’ve ever tasted in the U.S.  I miss biting into tomatoes like apples.

Dislikes

1) The Stares

Being obviously different meant I never exactly blended in.  While it served as a great icebreaker most of the time, there were other times with my differences got me nothing but stares. The worst was when people would actually stop in their tracks to watch me walk down the street or when looks were clearly unfriendly.

2) Lack of Personal Space

Spaniards are a bit more touchy-feely than people are in The States. Strangers are greeted with hugs and kisses on both checks. I didn’t mind that aspect. What I did have a problem with was the lack of proper lines and how you had to be pretty much knocked down on your back before the guilty person would say “Perdona”. For example, I was once shopping in a store when another shopper hooked a wire hanger through my belt loop because she was trying to get to a rack without asking or waiting for me to move.

3) Food

The majority of it was delicious but I was served things that would make most, especially someone who had just given up vegetarianism, a little queasy. Think raw meat and virtually every, and I do mean every, part of a bull.  

 

As you all can see, the likes far outweigh the little annoyances and I would return in a half a heartbeat.