Honestly, I don’t know how Yul ended up this obsessed with dinosaurs. The obsession started before we even introduced him to dinosaurs and before we bought him any. You can watch the video about buying him his first dinosaurs here. But we have no problem with it and are happy to indulge him. I think studies have shown a link between intelligence and dinosaur obsession in kids, and no wonder, as they memorize dinosaur names and scientific facts. It gets their little brains working. Yul is not even 2 years old yet and is already trying to say Triceratops. It comes out something like “too too ta” though haha.
We had already planned to take him to the Goseong Dinosaur Museum, which we have visited before we had Yul. My sister in law suggested the Goseong Dinosaur Expo instead and it ended up being a great idea as there are so many things for kids to do. Although the expo was in 2016, all the big exhibits are still there and it’s open to the public. Even on the weekend there are minimal visitors so it made for a nice day out. There are limited food options with some areas and kiosks not functioning so it’s best to bring a packed lunch. Some of the halls no longer have exhibits but there is still plenty to see and do. Also, it’s on the coast and there are nice areas to walk and see more dinosaur footprints.
We weren’t sure how Yul would handle this big day out, but he loved it so much. When some dinosaurs roared he was a little scared, but only scared enough to stand behind me and hold my hand. For everything else, he was OBSESSED. So much so that he was heart broken when we had to leave. But we will visit again and we still need to take him to the Goseong Dinosur Museum.
We went back to the countryside for Chuseok! Often called ‘Korean Thanksgiving’ it’s one of the big holidays in Korea. Last year I was too pregnant to travel for Chuseok so I missed it last year, and now this year it’s Yul’s first Chuseok! He had a great time in the countryside because he gets lots of attention.
Our friend Sara came with us, as did my sister, who is visiting Korea at the moment. We got the drone footage because Sara brought her drone with her (thanks Sara!). It was also the first time Sara had eaten that much home-cooked Korean food so she was really happy! I often forget the difference between being a foreigner living in Korea and being a foreigner but marrying into a Korean family. I’ve been eating home-cooked Korean food for years and I’m familiar with traditions like the Jesa ceremony. But many others in Korea don’t get to experience that.
It’s always nice to get out to the countryside and breathe the countryside air. However, around Chuseok almost everyone is travelling to the countryside. You have to book bus and train tickets early and the traffic can be a nightmare. We try to travel late at night to avoid the midday rush.
You can also check out Sara’s video of her giving a tour of the fruits and vegetables in the countryside with some bad dad jokes…. haha.
Yul’s first time in the countryside for Lunar New Year!
We headed back to the countryside for Lunar New Year recently. It was the time Yul had been down south to the area where Hugh’s parents live, and where we had previously lived for 2 years. Usually we would catch the bus but decided to take the fast KTX train instead as it’s more comfortable for traveling with a baby.
I also hadn’t been back in the countryside for a while as I hadn’t been able to travel when pregnant. It was great to get out of Seoul and breathe the countryside air again. It was also a lot warmer than in Seoul. Hugh’s parents had seen Yul once before but this time they got to spend a whole week with him. They were over the moon and so incredibly proud to be grandparents. Hugh’s sister and her husband live in the area as well so we got to spend some time with them too.
As you can see in the video, Yul was given lots of money! It is a tradition for children to do a big bow for relatives and are then given some money. We will probably use it to buy some things for him. We also did the Jesa ceremony in the morning which is a way to pay respects to deceased family members. And of course we ate lots of food. In future we will have a car and be able to drive down south more regularly hopefully.
We were sent some suitcases from SHAPL, which could not have come at a better time! I was dreading pulling out our old battered suitcases and had been meaning to buy some more anyway. These new ones were so smooth and nice to use and made traveling so much easier. You can check out more designs on the SHAPL website and also get these suitcases through the Kickstarter.
When Josh, Ollie and Joel needed a farm to film on, we were only too happy to volunteer. It also gave us the chance to head back to the countryside for a weekend.
The Korean Englishman channel is HUGE in Korea. It was school holidays when they visited, but I’ve been giggled to myself seeing some comments from local high school students who now realise that Josh and Ollie and Joel were right near their school but they didn’t know!
This was a very spur of the moment video. We were showing a friend around the village and started talking about ghosts so I filmed a bit with my phone. We covered only a few ghost stories in this area as there are many more. There are many falling down, creepy houses too. Although I make a webtoon that has ghosts and supernatural beings, I’m actually quite a skeptical person and take these stories with a grain of salt. (But I mean… Of course all the characters in the Nicholalala webtoon are real!!! haha).
About 2 weeks ago we traveled to the area where Hugh’s mother is from and where Hugh spend a large amount of his childhood. It has been many years since they had been back. We visited his grandparents’ burial mounds and paid respects, we also saw many elderly relatives and found the house that Hugh lived in as a small boy.
When Hugh was only about 1 year old, his father became very ill and he had to go live with his grandparents as his mother spent all her time looking after his father. It’s not unusual for children to live with grandparents in Korea, either back then or today. You still see grandparents doing a lot of the child minding in Korea and sometimes children live with their grandparents for years like Hugh did. It was very strange for him to see that area again. He was close to his grandparents and grew up thinking they were his real parents, so the transition of moving back with his parents was difficult for him. His grandfather passed away when he was quite young and his grandmother passed away while he was doing his military service.
Korea has had such rapid development in the past few decades, so it’s interesting to think about what Hugh’s childhood was like in the 1980’s and how it differed from mine in Australia.
I put Megan Bowen to the test! How much Aussie slang can she guess? I tried to pick some sentences that would actually be used, rather than the old fashioned slang that slang books are filled with, but no one uses anymore.
Megan came all the way from Seoul to visit us in the countryside and we had a great time with her. So many of our Seoul friends say they will visit… but never do… hahaha. We appreciate her coming so far to see us.
We filmed some videos for her channel which will be coming later, and Hugh also tested her on Korean dialect, so that video will be up in the coming weeks.