Teaching in Korea: Marijuana and Sex

I was recently asked a pair of questions: 1) If you come from a part of the US where smoking marijuana is legal, what does that mean for your E2 drug test and 2) are Korean marriages asexual?

I attempt to give the latter a go, but have concrete info on the first.

Do you have a question? Ask me!

Thanks for making Asia Now and Asia News Weekly Tops

I really can’t thank you enough for all your support for the Asia News Weekly and Asia Now podcasts. Not only are they in the top 5% of shows on Stitcher Radio, but Asia Now was featured in the New and Newsworthy section on iTunes.

It really would not be possible without you. So thank you again for all your support.

To celebrate, I’ve decided to bring back the video podcast on the QiRanger channel. Look for them in coming weeks when ANW returns. For now, AN will be reigning supreme and also feature video stories.

If you know of someone interested in Asia and News, I hope you’ll take a moment to share my podcasts with them. You can find them at AsiaNewsWeekly.net, on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and TuneIn Radio.

Thank you again for everything. You are all awesome!

Korean McDonald’s Salsa Chicken Burger

Now that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is underway in Brazil (Brasil), McDonald’s Korea is finally breaking out some specialty food in celebration of the event. Today, Jo and I drop by our local fast food joint to try out one of the two specialty burgers.

What we have here is the Salsa Chicken Burger. This offering comes to W4600 for the medium sized set. The burger itself is a fried chicken breast with lettuce and tomato. It also has a slice or two of bacon on top of a fried chicken patty. It’s an interesting combo. Of course, with a name like the Salsa Chicken Burger, there’s a fair dose of salsa in lieu of ketchup or mustard.

What’s the verdict on the Korean McDonald’s Salsa Chicken Burger? Not bad. The sandwich isn’t anything special, but salsa as a condiment really won me over. I’d get it again for sure… while it lasts.

The other FIFA inspired burger is the Samba Burger. i’ll pick that up on another visit.

They’re back! Korean businesses reopen quickly.

A while back I showed you a few Korean business that had closed down (a Mister Donut, a Paris Baguette, and a Dunkin’ Donut) near me. Today, I thought I would revisit those places and see what has become of those three businesses. To date, two have already been gutted and re-purposed. The last is still undergoing renovations, but should be opened in a week or two.

Korean Trains: The Nooriro

Probably one of the best ways to travel in Korea is by train. There are several different classes of trains one can choose from, but if you’re a commuter, chances are one you might elect to ride is the Nooriro (누리로).

The Nooriro is a newer train, essentially a glorified subway. It is nicer than a subway and can travel at speeds up to 150kph. It’s also electrical rather than diesel powered.

I’ve had the opportunity to ride nooriro trains a few times and have found them a better ride then their slower counterparts.

Songdo Global University Campus Tour

Many times when we think about going to college, we dream about going to one of the best schools in the world. Each year, Times Higher Education releases a list of the world’s best universities. Slowly but surely, Asian schools have been creeping to the top of the list. It means that for American and European schools, they need to come up with a new way to attract Asian students, who want an international university experience, but might feel more at home in the Asia-Pacific Region and question the cost of moving abroad.

Songdo Global University was built with that in mind. Eventually it will host ten of the world’s best universities to bridge east and west and have an enrollment of 25,000 students. Currently it features faculty and curriculum from the following schools: University of Utah, SUNY Stony Brook, George Mason University, and Ghent University.

Today, I get a personalized tour around their campus as they get ready for summer and some hosting duties with the 2014 Asian Games and the fall semester. For more information on Songdo Global University, be sure to check out the featured story on ASIA NOW.

The Happy Han River Cafe

Jo and I have lived in the outskirts of Seoul for nearly five years. During that time, we’ve seen this one cafe pass us by as we cross the Han River while traveling over the Hannam Bridge. It took us a while, but we finally managed to get off a bus and check it out.

I will say that the views from the cafe are great, but inside, there’s no air conditioning. The day we went, it was nearly 30C (86F) outside, so indoors it was considerably hotter. With no fans or moving air, it was just too unbearable to remain there. It’s a pity, since the views were grand.

Overall, not being able to remain inside was a bit of a disappointment, but certainly has sparked my desire to return in the fall/winter.

To get there, just take any of the blue trunk buses that cross the Hannam Bridge. On the route, make sure they stop at the cafe. The bus stop ID is 23-531 (한남대교전망커페) and buses 140, 142, 144, 241, 400, 402, 407, 408, 420, 421, 470, 471, 472, and 3011 stop there.

Banpo Bridge Water Fountain

Last night, Jo and I were in Seoul enjoying a date day. Since the sun had set, we opted to make our way to the Han river and Banpo Bridge. It’s one of the more than twenty bridges that traverse the Han river and actually holds a World Record for being the longest water fountain bridge.

The water show runs for about 15 minutes every half hour or so. What makes the Banpo Bridge Water Fountain Show so great, is that so many people come out to enjoy it. There’s really a great community vibe going on there, and in the rest of the Banpo Bridge Han River Park area.

So if you’re in Seoul and looking for a fun place to relax along the banks of the Han, this is one of my personal favorite locations. It’s easy to get to from the Express Bus Terminal station and since it is so popular, you can also order some food and have it delivered there.

Experience a DMZ Tour

Greetings and salutations my excellent friends. Today on the Walk and Talk, we’re going to take a special trip. Usually I simply pick out a location, walk around, and share my thoughts in real time. However, today, I’ve decided to share with you what it’s like to go on a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) tour in Korea.

Today’s DMZ tour features an inside look at the Joint Security area and Panmunjeom. We departed from the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, then arrived near the DMZ to take a quick walk around Imjingak before entering the Civilian Controlled area. When we reached that portion of the DMZ, I had to stop filming much of the time, as security is very high.

This DMZ video takes to to Conference Row (blue buildings) in Panmunjeom and inside Building T2. If you’re thinking about signing up for a DMZ tour, today’s video will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.