A bit of our neighborhood

Welcome to our neighborhood!  Mike and I have been living here for a little over a year. Back home we were a systems administrator and an ESL teacher.  Here we are both elementary EFL teachers.  We live in Mokpo, a small port city in South-Western Korea.
Remi, our 12 year old English Springer Spaniel would love to show you around the town. See if you can spot him in each photo.

 1. a post box
Not much more to say.

A postal box

2. a local store/corner shop
(its name in Korean is “Neighborhood Mart.”)  It is where we buy almost everything.  We love these guys.

The neighborhood mart

3. a manhole cover 
If you look in the middle you’ll see our city’s emblem, 1 blue and 2 green boats.

A manhole cover

4. a park/play area
A mixture of modern and postmodern.  That is actually a wedge of cement kids climb up/ scramble down. Dangerous by US standards/ Fun by Korean standards.

A playground

 5. a view of a typical street
Most people live in apartment buildings, many of them 15 story ones like ours.
(There are 4 buildings in this picture)

Cherry blossoms in our neighborhood

6. local form of transport (ferry terminal) There are 1,004 islands off the coast of Mokpo.  They have beautiful beaches and many farms. We live by the small ferry terminal used mainly by farmers to transport crops.  There are two big ferry terminals down the road, but we live by the cute North Ferry Terminal.  The terminal itself is a cute booth. We’ve only seen 5 boats at a time at here.  We’ve taken the boats here and they seem to be used mainly by island farmers. We prefer our small terminal to the big one in downtown.

The small ferry terminal

7. Mike’s school
It is a pretty average elementary school.  They have a nice turf yard.  My school covets their turf.  We have a dirt yard.

Mike’s elementary school with soccer field and track

8. fish restaurants at the port
Hungry?  Let’s stop in for the catch of the day.  Abalone, octopus, and skate are very popular in Mokpo.  Octopus is often eaten alive, or raw.  I’ve tried the raw, still moving, octopus.  Surprisingly, it is really tasty.

A fresh fish restaurant

9. a jumpy gym
These are also all over our neighborhood.  They are often with Tae-kwon-do schools.  They cost 50 cents (US) a visit and are awesome.  I really wish I could go jump too.

A bounce gym- 50 cents!

10. the beach
Remi loves to go to the beach.  We cheated, this beach is actually a little drive away.  Mokpo is a port town, there is no beach.  But the beaches in neighboring Muan are fabulous. You can see some of the Shinan islands in the distance.

Remi at the beach

11. exercise everywhere. 
This is an awesome phenomena.  Every set of apartment buildings and  every park have these great exercise machines.  They are used by people of all ages and abilities.

exercise machines in the park

12. agriculture everywhere.
This is pretty cool too.  Every open piece of land no matter how small gets turned into a garden.  Some people grow a bit for themselves, but usually they grow quick crops like lettuce and sell it on the street. It is awesome.

Urban agriculture

Thanks for stopping by.  We’ve been enjoying seeing other people’s neighborhoods as well.  We’ve done a few introductions to our new life back home.  Feel free to tour our home, or visit Mike and Akasha’s classrooms, read about school festivals, or see how school is different here.
Oh, and a big thanks to Jo for making it all happen!
Here are the other participants, and their post date:
June 25 — Japan – www.jojoebi-designs.com
26 – California, USA http://akatsukira.com/
28 –  Canary islands, jeveuxunetitesoeurfille.over-blog.com
29 – East Devon, UK, www.knittylorn.blogspot.co.uk
30 – Michigan,  U.S.A. www.godwhohasnohands.blogspot.com
July 1 – Mokpo, S0uth Korea, http://jeollanamdosalad.wordpress.com/
3 – Falkirk in Scotland,  www.kidscraftandchaos.com
4 – Washington,  U.S.A. – http://www.zonnah.com
6 – South Africa – http://www.se7en.org.za/
7 – New York City, USA – http://taliastravelblog.wordpress.com/
9 – Wellington, NZ –  http://thepukekopatch.com/
10 – Berlin, Germany – http://camidaily.tumblr.com
11 – UK (cambridge) – http://crazycambridgemum.blogspot.co.uk/
13- Morocco https://moroccoraki.wordpress.com/ A last minute add!

17 thoughts on “A bit of our neighborhood

    • Remi loves squid and octopus. A local vendor sells dried foods including squid, octopus, and pollock. We buy from her and use it as dog treats. They’re small, affordable, tasty, and don’t have any of the spine tingling reports like the current “chicken jerky” treat scare.

  1. Oh I’ve been looking forward to this post, what a lovely neighbourhood you live in!
    I laughed out loud when you described the concrete wedge – my son would love it but I can’t even imagine something like that being allowed in Sweden.
    I’ve also really enjoyed reading about the differences in schooling 🙂

    • Rachael,
      Thanks, we loved your tour. It is fun to see the similarities and differences in our daily lives.

      I love your bath buckets. As a kid I loved summer baths in the kitchen sink. I used to pester my mother for a cool bath with the sprayer even when I was to big to fit! I’m sure he’ll laugh about his bucket baths for years!

    • They are very well designed for outdoor use. We have a long monsoon season here with 90 mph winds and a deluge of rain. We have a full winter of ice and snow. They are used all year round and are not rusty. (They are provided by the tax payers, and maintained by the city.)
      Community health is very important here.

  2. I loved your neighborhood. It was awesome to visit you there. Though I admit that the Korean Dunkin Donuts are my favorite part (why no photo of Remy with tofu donuts?).
    I miss you guys. Don’t stay away for ever, okay?

    • Korean Dunkin Donuts alas did not make the cut. They are awesome though.
      Banana donut, tomato carrot basil donut, sweet potato, and of course, the iced green tea bubble latte.
      -Miss you
      p.s. you’re welcome back anytime…..

  3. Kevin says:

    Thanks for your informative blog posts. I’m moving to Muan soon and just wondering about the nightlife/culture in Mokpo, specifically music. Is there much in the way of live music there? I’m especially interested in jazz. Thank you.

    • Hey Kevin, we’ve been gone for a year, so we can’t say much about Mokpo today. But, everything that happens in Mokpo or Gwangju happens because someone was passionate about it. In the past we’ve had salsa nights, comedy nights, open mics, and holiday dinners… but only if the interested people took the time to make it happen.
      That said, there are some amazing events that happen in the region than few foreigners are aware of. The government had a free concert monthly, we figured it out by taking pictures of posters and showing it to Korean friends. Also, there are some hidden funky bars in town. One had a huge record collection and another had a stage with drums, mics, and amps.
      Hope that answers your question. Checkout the Facebook groups searching keywords like mokpo, jazz, music…
      Good luck

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