2S2 is a regular meet-up where expats, and anyone, can get together, build and strengthen connections, learn about Korea and integrate in Korean society. We hope that 2S2 will help expats in Korea participate more meaningfully in the country we share with Korean natives, and that we can have a better experience of Korea by doing so.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

2S2 Anguk: Get Your Coffee Snob On!

Hey there coffee lovers!  Hope you're well... you may have heard of this thing called 2S2 that I regularly plan -- it's a come-as-you-are expat-and-anyone-else get-together aimed at meeting and making connections.

Well, this week, I'd like to share something that's given me much joy lately: coffee!  See, lately, in the Gyeongbokgung Station area, I've been finding a whole slew of amazing coffee shops, and I'd like to share them with my readers and friends.

So if you're free this Saturday, at 2pm, I'll be on the second floor of Twosome Place, near exit 1 of Anguk station, and anybody who comes out to meet up, will be treated to a coffee shop crawl of the neighborhood west of Gyeongbok Palace.  There are a handful of places there selling a variety of great beans, and slow-drip coffee, siphon coffee, and other stuff; they are also selling top-quality beans, and if you're a Seoul-based lover of coffee, I'll level with you, and tell you that you really need to come out and find out about these places!

Show up at 2pm, and don't be late: we'll be leaving fairly promptly, because the coffee at twosome place doesn't stack up, compared to the awesome places we'll visit thereafter.

Stop having these kinds of coffee experiences: (discarded dishwater coffee handed out before a concert I attended once)

and start having experiences like this:

and this... if it were coffee, instead of ice rink:



and this... not that luwak's on the menu, but you might make the face I make when I smell, and then sip it...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

2S2 Anguk... World Cup Edition

Dear readers...

Downtown Seoul is going to be a zoo this weekend.  The Twosome Place by Anguk Station will doubtless be overrun by red-clad Chukkumaniacs, as will the rest of Jongno, so here's the plan:

skip Anguk station.  Seriously... instead of going to Anguk Station, go to Gwanghwamun Station Exit 5, and walk straight ahead.  The Korean Queer Culture Festival, including the Pride Parade will be there, and there will be tons to see, including face painting and all kinds of stuff.  Look for me.  I'll definitely be there for part of the day. 

If you head either down to City Hall Plaza, or up to Gwanghwamun Plaza, as the evening wears on, you'll want to switch your rainbow gear for a red t-shirt, to watch Korea play against Greece.

I am dead serious that some time during the world cup, it is imperative that you see a world cup game with 600 000 other people, in one of those mass gatherings Koreans do so wonderfully, chaotically, brilliantly well.  Believe me, it'll be worth it.  Gwanghwamun or City Hall will probably both be good for seeing the game, both will have stuff set up - souvenirs, flashing lights, silly hats etc., I'm sure, and you might want to bring a picnic mat, to stake out a spot on the ground from which to watch the game, and stake it out early - the game starts at 8:30, if memory serves, and people will be claiming spaces, I'm sure, three or five hours before that.  Bring water, bring a snack, bring your cheer gear, look for me at the Pride Parade, and enjoy the party!

That's where it's at for 2S2 Anguk this month.  Send me your pictures!

Monday, May 24, 2010

2S2 May: Gwangjang Market


Thanks to Amy and Chris, 2S2 May, in Anguk, was a success.  Here are some photos Amy sent me, by way of a fella named Richard.  Thanks for the photos!

Jongmyo Park: all the old guys playing games.


Gwangjang Market, a 25 minute walk from Myeongdong, one of the top brand-name shopping districts in Seoul, still evokes old - really old Korea.

Traditional dolls.
And... the amazing Kwangjang Market food...

Chapchae with a side of sundae:

Bindaeddeok - Korean savory pancakes.
This is the market as seen from outside

Gwangjang Market also has long, hollow, haunted-looking halls, lit this way, selling tons of fabrics.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

2S2 Anguk: Gwangjang Market and the World DJ Festival

Remember: 2S2 Suwon is also a go!  No word yet from Yongin and Wonju.

So Amy and Chris, minor deities in their own rights, have offered to help me out by running the upcoming 2S2 by Tag-Team, so that I can go tuxedo shopping on Saturday with my fiance, and still get married in July.  Thanks, you two.

The plan remains as stated:  Meet at 2PM on the second floor of the Twosome Place coffee shop by Anguk Station (Anguk Station exit 1, turn right).

Look for either this handsome guy (stolen without permission from Chris's Blogger Profile), who answers to the name "Chris" or "Thou Austere Keeper of the Sword That Wails, And Curator of Awkward Silences"





Or this curly-haired young lady, who radiates "awesome" (picture stolen without permission from her facebook photo album... I didn't have time to check if the picture was a good one; it's late and I wrote this in a sleepy rush.  Sorry if it's not you at your best, Amy.)




She answers to the name Amy.  I think the picture might be old; she may have changed since it was taken.

Once the crew has gathered, there are two ways to get to Gwangjang Market.  Either by following this path:

View 2S2 Saturday May 8 2010 in a larger map
(If the weather's awesome and everybody is healthy and mobile)

Or by subway, Anguk Station, transfer at Jongno 3-ga station, get off at Jongno 5-ga station, exit 8, and head for the center of the market, where all the best food awaits.

From there, on the other side of the market is the Chunggyecheon Stream, which is a nice walk, and if some of you want to go to the Seoul World DJ festival, you'll have to work that out.  The facebook page is here.  The google map is here.

If you really want to go to the DJ Festival (which is awesome, by the way, but'll cost ya), here's the map to catch the bus from World Cup Stadium Station;

View Seoul DJ Festival in a larger map

Wish I could be there, readers.  I'll post pictures of me in my tuxedo when I can.  Don't you know I look dazzling in a suit.

If I have the energy (clothing shopping tires me), and Girlfriendoseyo has the patience, and the store has one in stock, I'll be sure to get at least one picture of me in a ridiculous tuxedo for you.  If all those things occur.  Have a good time eating food and walking around a market I wish I could join you for, readers.

-Rob

2S2 Suwon: Archery!

See the facebook event here.

Here's the schedule for the Suwon 2S2 meeting:

12:00 pm: meet at Suwon station (수원역) (2d floor, bottom of escalator, near Lotteria - like last time)

12:15 pm: take a bus to Bukmun ( North Gate - 북문) / Janganmun (장안문).

12:30 pm (or soon after): sign up for, pay, and do traditional Korean archery.

2:00-3:00 pm (when finished archery): walk the fortress wall. This will take us up the hill, past the statue of king Jeongjo (정조) [the very one in the event photo to the right of this text], past the big bell (well, another big bell) that you can ring for luck (and a few thousand won), and finally through an old-fashioned Korean market.

6:00 pm: Dinner at Ban-ga (반가) IF there are not too many people. If more people come, we'll eat at a bigger place just down the road - can't miss it: 3(?) storeys high, big windows, lots of space, on the main road to Suwon station, near the first set of traffic lights on the way to Paldalmun (팔달문) / Nammun (남문 - south gate) from Suwon station.

7:00-8:00 pm: optional drinks, socialising, etc. at a place to be determined on the night.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hi Expat: Where to Volunteer

Hi Expat, a useful new site, has a list of places where you can volunteer. Hopefully, he will be adding to that list.

Go read up.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2S2 Anguk: Donating Blood and a Photo Show

OK, readers. Here's the news for our blood donation trip:

(Facebook event page here)

1. 2S2 Anguk will need to split into two groups: one group will go to donate blood, but those of us who don't meet the requirements for donation will still meet up and do something else that'll be fun: at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, there's a photo exhibit of National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry, the guy who took this photo, and a bunch of others: (more here) Admission is 8000 won for adults. (photo source)

2. But if you want to donate blood...

A wonderful lady names Ms. Ban helped me get the full information about the blood clinic situation, and I'm passing it on to you.

First of all, as mentioned earlier, there are some caveats to donating blood; if you're B- or, under specific cases (if I have this right), if you're AB-, you might have the platelets necessary to help out our man Yoo-woon. If you're not, you might still be able to donate blood, but it'll be out of your own general awesomeness, not for helping out his boy specifically, provided you pass these hurdles.

Take a look at this document. Read it carefully.
Take a look at this document. Read it carefully.

If any of the questions/explanations on those two pages preclude giving blood, sorry: you can't do it. Yep, that means our UK friends can't give blood in Korea. Enjoy the photo exhibit!

Next: if you meet those requirements, and want to donate...

First of all, the nurse we talked to wants saying that everyone at the blood clinic really appreciates our desire to contribute. Next, here are the other requirements for foreigners who want to donate blood. There isn't much information on whether Korean-Hyphenated expats will have an easier time of it than straight-up non-Korean foreigners, but this lady had no trouble.

1. you need to have been in Korea for at least a full year. The person interviewing might take that to mean continuously (without leaving) or they might take it to mean you've lived here for a year with a few excursions, as long as you haven't traveled to those malaria-risk areas mentioned in the donation interview linked above.

2. you must have an Alien Registration Card.

3. you must be able to speak enough Korean to answer the questions in a personal interview about your medical history. There aren't English speakers in the clinic who can interview you, and we tried to suggest some work-around options, but we couldn't get it done. Sorry folks, but that's just the way it is at this point. I'm sure by 2015 there'll be workarounds in place, but for now, there aren't. Sorry.

So if you're stuck at "멕주 하나도 주세요" then look forward to hanging out at the photo exhibit.

If you're confident enough in your Korean that you could still donate blood, here's the next thing.

There are several types of blood transfusions. Our man Yoo-woon needs a different type of transfusion than the regular blood donation, because of his situation. It's a bit more involved than a normal donation: it takes 1-2 hours, and it can rupture blood vessels in some donors, so if you've given blood before and had no problems, you're eligible for this one. If you haven't given blood before, even if you're B-, the nurse suggests giving a regular, 10-15 minute donation on Saturday, and getting your name on the list of people they call when they need B- platelets (there's a list that they have, kind of a volunteer group of people whom they regularly call when they need it; the nurse says the B- supply is not reaching dangerous lows, but the larger that pool of volunteer donors is, the better off everyone is).

The nurse recommends this, first to check that your blood vessels will be robust enough to handle the more involved donation, second, because the special kind of donation Yoo-woon needs is perishable, so they can't keep it in storage: collecting a week's worth of B- platelets doesn't help much when it only lasts 3 days, and third, if we have a group going, it'd be really hard to process a bunch of 1-2 hour donations at the clinic's busiest time of week (Saturday afternoons) - we don't want to overwhelm the clinic on our first try, so that they decide "Forget it. Accommodating foreign donors is too much trouble." And start rejecting us out of hand, rather than just putting us through a bit of a rigmarole. If it's a smaller group and people meet all the criteria, they might be willing to go for the long version, but if we have a big group, I think that the best thing we can do is make this a really positive experience for the clinic, so that they think, "Yeah, we really SHOULD make it easier for foreigners to donate, if they're all as nice and cooperative as that group was."

So, given that this is going to be a first-time experience for this clinic, let's make sure this is a positive experience for them, so they'll be more amenable to accepting foreign donors in the future, and will be more likely to see the value of finding workarounds for that Korean language interview that, for now, rules out a lot of healthy, eligible donors from donating: I think that kind of long view is a good one to take, because it will enable us to help out more people in the long run, than if we come on too strong this time, and cause a negative reaction.

So, on Saturday afternoon, at 2PM, meet me on the second floor of Twosome Place, to the right of Exit 1, Anguk Station. At 2:30 sharp we'll head out to our various destinations.

See you there!

2S2 Suwon Update

Greetings to all 2S2ers!

Announcement:

2S2 Suwon will kick off this Saturday. We're going to do some cultural activities near the summer palace of King Jeong Jo (정조), walk Suwon's Hwaseong Fortress wall, and then go to a restaurant for either Suwon galbi or tofu soup for vegetarians.


Lookout Tower, originally uploaded by Schplook.


Details:

1. Meet at Suwon Station at 2:00 p.m. Go to the 2nd floor near the bottom of the escalator to the third floor. It's opposite the train ticket machines. There's also a model there that shows how the wall looked when it was first built.

2. Take a bus to Paldal Mun (팔달문)/Nam Mun (남문) at about 2:15 - 2:20. We'll walk out of the station, cross the road and take a bus from the road that runs perpendicular to the subway/train lines -- not the ones on the road directly outside that runs parallel.

3. Walk from Paldal Mun to the area inside the wall near the palace by about 2:40 - 3:00.
We'll head north up the main road, and turn left into the large, open event area.

4. Do various activities.
Here are the options:
4a. Making "Royal Cookies and Sweets."
4b. Making traditional pottery.
4c. Dressing in traditional Korean costumes, or Hanbok (한복).
4d. I think it will still be possible to do the "Dragon Train" tour, but we'll have to check times and availability of seats on the day.
We'll have to buy 1-3 special coins (2,000 won each) for each activity. These events will end at between 4:00 and 4:30 - so we need to get there quickly and decide early what to do.

5. Walk the wall. After doing the various activities, we'll meet up (if we get separated) and walk the fortress wall, starting at Paldal san (팔달산).

6. We will go out for dinner. As mentioned above, we have two options - Suwon Galbi (barbecued, marinated meat), or Dubu (tofu) soup for vegetarians. It's unlikely we'll find both dishes being served in one restaurant, so we'll discuss it with everybody in attendance before making a decision.

7. Those who have time are welcome to stay on and have a few drinks. There are plenty of bars near Paldal Mun. Or we could head to Suwon station - there are a lot of inexpensive drinking places there too.

Note:

We will be outside for most of the afternoon and the weather may be quite cool. Remember to check the weather forecast (see the links) and wear suitable clothing and shoes.

Links:

The Suwon city website has some information on Hwaseong Fortress.

Suwon weather information can be found here and here.

To get updates, ask questions, or RSVP, go to Suwon 2S2's Facebook group, which can be found here -- and the event page is here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Special 2S2: Bilingual Korean/English speaker needed

Hey there.
You've probably heard about this guy: There's a Korean student, about 19 years old, who's suffering from lymphoma, a kind of blood cancer. There's a page for him on Facebook. Basically, he has B- blood, which is extremely rare in Korea, and also a bad blood type to get sick with, because it can only receive from O- (in certain cases) and other B- types. There's been a push to get some help for him, and because so few Koreans have B- blood, word has been circulating among the expat community.

Now, on Saturday, for 2S2, I'd really like to bring a group down to the blood clinic to donate blood. If you have B- blood, especially, really, seriously think about coming out and helping out, because this kid is not doing well. Even if you don't, giving blood is a cool thing, and, frankly, a powerful symbolic action that projects a really positive image at a time when English teachers in particular are taking a beating.

(Arafat giving blood after 9/11 - the picture says it all. source)
I've located a blood donation clinic in Shinchon, and I even went down there today with a good friend to talk with the people. After a bit of talk, here's the score:

They don't usually take blood donations from foreigners, because of communication problems, concerns about where we (typically well-travelled folk) have been, and maybe also other... um... less scientific reasons, that aren't the focus of this post.

Now, we might be able to go down there and give blood on Saturday, but before we do, the lady we talked to gave me her phone number, and has asked me to have a bilingual friend contact her, to make sure she can explain the process in detail, and have that information accurately relayed to any would-be expat donors. She spent a lot of time talking about the correct process for donating blood... fair enough.

So, readers, here's where you can help: I really want this to happen, and I have a phone number, but not the language skill. Is there a reader out there who's fluent in Korean, and able to talk to this lady, and then explain the "process" to me, so that I can clearly pass that on to anyone else who needs to have it explained? I'd totally owe you a beer at the microbrew of your choice.

And that's our tentative 2S2 for Saturday: Meet at Anguk station Twosome Place (same time, same place, every month), go down to the donor clinic in Sinchon, and give blood... IF we can get the communication issues cleared up. This means that if you can talk to the lady tomorrow, I need you to send me a message tonight, with your phone number, so that we can clear up her concerns about misunderstandings or improper adherence to due process.

Also, if any of my bilingual readers are free on Saturday afternoon, please accept this as a gentle nudge that your presence would help de-stress these poor, nervous nurses at the clinic. It would be hugely appreciated, even if you're not B-!

If you want to donate blood, here's the nitty gritty:
1. You need to have an Alien Registration Card. Bring it, and be ready to present it.
2. You need to have been in Korea for a year.
3. You need to be able to answer some questions about your medical history... this part was a bit murky, and this might be the deal-breaker which will decide if we can go ahead or not. The guy at the Seoul Global Center, while very helpful, was pretty sure that if you don't speak enough Korean to answer the medical history questions yourself, you wouldn't be able to donate; hopefully we'll learn a way that we still can tomorrow, even if we can't speak all the Korean. I'll keep you posted.


If this doesn't work out, we'll do something else for 2S2, probably involving really, really good food. But I hope we can make this work.

Any word from the 2S2 Chapters about this coming 2S2?

Feel free to post it here, as soon as you can!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2S2 Suwon is Rolling!

It's a happy day in the 2S2 Community:

A few fellas down in Suwon have set up their own 2S2 Chapter over in Suwon, so if you live down there, and you're not already attending the Yongin/Suji chapter, there's another one just for you.

I've met both of the guys organizing this one, and they're stand-up guys, with a lot of sources and ways to really, genuinely give back to their community in Suwon.

Here's their facebook page, and stay tuned for more information.

Good luck!

In other news, the Bundang/Yongin/Suji Chapter is talking about a trip to Everland. Learn more here!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Arbor Day Update

Same idea, new Location, new map: click on the image for the full-size view. 10:30 AM in front of Kookmin/Gookmin University. More on the event's facebook page.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Plant Trees with Us on Arbor Day!

Click on the picture for more information.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

2S2 Wonju Rides Again

Hello, all! Sorry that this is so late going up, but a new Dunkin' Donuts opened in town. So, you know, I've been quite busy stuffing my face with the Cappucino Chewisty and iced Caramel Macchiatos. But I've finally pulled it all together for this weekend.

NOTICE: Our 2S2 meeting this weekend will be on SUNDAY. Say it with me, people: SUN. DAY. Good. Okay. Don't give me any grief about it either. Because y'all, I up and planned my husband a serious surprise birthday party before I realized it was the second weekend in March and I already invited people who cleared their incredibly busy socialite schedules to come down to Wonju from Seoul. So, sorry for being such a good wife. It won't happen again. And SHHHHHHHHHHHH! The HubbO doesn't know why we're doing 2S2 on a Sunday. So hush, please, and thanks.

Now, onto the good part: (Click on the image to make it HUGE. Because we gotta get this posting space wider. You know how to do that, Rob? I don't have the authority to do it on here!)


So, to recap: Meet at Holly's and chat a bit. Move on to bowling alley. We'll have booked the lanes and probably be heading towards the bus stop around 3:00pm. And then, after that, we'll go eat somewhere good. Got it? Okay, good. Now go tell all your friends! Woot. (Sorry again for being so late!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

2S2 March, with The Ajosshi Himself

Hello All,

My name is Paul and you might recognize me (though probably not) from my blog Paul Ajosshi or from the dear not quite departed Hub of Sparkle. Roboseyo asked me to put together a little something for this Saturday, so here's the plan for this weekend's 2S2 meet:

You can check out the Facebook Event Page here... and here's the schedule:

2.00 Meet at twosome place, have a coffee, meet and greet etc...

2.30ish Head on over to the Kukje Gallery (near Seoul Selection about 10 minutes walk or so) to check out the new Louise Bourgeoise exhibition.

http://www.kukjegallery.com/index.php

3.00ish Head down to Gwanghwamun station and hop on a train to Daehangno (or take taxis depending on how people prefer to travel).

3.45ish Stop for a coffee at the Phototelling Gallery/cafe near Hyehwa station. They got a small exhibition of photos of famous Korean actors at the moment...

http://phototelling.tistory.com/entry/10-minutes짧은-순간-배우를-마주하다권영탕-이혜영-최성열-사진전시회

4.15ish Head to either the Robot Museum or the Lock Museum both just a short walk from the cafe (we'll decide on the day)...

http://www.robotmuseum.co.kr/center/view.php?code=notice&page=8&id=67

http://www.lockmuseum.org/

Then 5.30ish time for an early dinner/late afternoon snack. Two of my favourite restaurants are in Daehangno: Dwenjang Yesul where you get a bowl of thick Dwenjang chigae to mix with rice and greens. Best dwenjang in Seoul and they have delicious pancakes... Just near to there is a Chinese lamb barbeque restaurant, where you can gorge yourself on reasonably priced lamb kebabs/chops and they also have sublime soondae. We'll choose which restaurant as the hunger pangs set in.

Then after dinner off to the theatre for those who fancy it...

7.00 Sadari Movement Laboratory are putting on their version of Chekov's The Cherry Orchard with English subtitles at the Arko Theatre in Daehangno. This award winning physical theatre company always produces interesting visual work and have toured all over the world including an award winning stint at the Edinburgh festival a few years ago.

http://artstheater.arko.or.kr/eng/Program/Main_hall.asp

For those wishing to reserve tickets in advance you can get a lovely discount courtesy of Korea4expats:

http://www.korea4expats.com/events-in-korea-Cherry-Orchard-with-English-Subtitles-to-14-Mar-2010-Daehangno-Seoul-2944.html

Or you can get yours on the door for a mere 25,000 won.

I hope to see you at 2.00 on Saturday...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

First 2S2 in Bundang / Yongin Coming Up

Hello Folks! This is Joy and I live in Suji, which is in Yongin and is near Bundang. Since I don't live in Seoul I thought I'd start my own 2S2 group out here.

We are going to have our first meet up. I am really nervous because I am new to the area and don't really know people or where to go. But that is why I am starting this meeting so to get to know people out here and find cool places to visit. Please see our facebook page to join up if you live out here. The following are the details for our first meeting:

Our first 2S2 meeting~

For our first meeting it will be a basic meet and greet and then we will pick a place to eat.

At the meeting we will talk about the group and then we can do whatever...some possibilities:

- Learn a Korean game
- Play English board game
- Your idea ?:)

I have researched a Japanese restaurant nearby Ori Station that advertises itself as authentic Japanese. It is pretty popular amongst Koreans and kind of hidden from the main road so it would be a fun place to explore.

But we can go anywhere to eat, especially if someone knows of a great place.

Let's get together and have some fun!

Meeting info:
Location: Jeongja @ Mosaic Cafe / * From Jeongja Station Gate#3(Gate 4 is under construction) Turn around to the gate 4 and walk along the street. Cross the street at the corner of Paragon. There will be the Woori bank building where Mosaic Cafe is. (Hana Plaza 4th floor)
When: March 13th
Time: 2pm
Bring: some game and your ideas

For more info reply to this post. Let me know if you are coming, thanks!

A Video From the Last Few 2S2s

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2S2: More coming soon!

There's another 2S2 coming up... make sure to clear your calendar!

Rob

Images from my flickr page.

So 2S2 has been humming along. Here are some pictures from an older 2S2:
DSCN8856

DSCN8839

DSCN8849
(these are from the twosome place where we muster at first)

And here are some pictures from February's 2S2, hosted by the venerable Chris in South Korea, who wrote about the 2S2 get-together here.

These two lovely ladies joined us this time, for the swing dance lesson and the ice gallery tour.
DSCN9347
If we can get them to come to every meetup, I'm sure the male attendance would skyrocket... I'll have to look into that.

Seriously, though, we had a great time.
DSCN9344
(At the Twosome place)

It was also the long weekend of seollal, so we were worried that places would be closed, however, this lady's place was open... and wonderful. She specializes in fermented foods, which she all makes herself, and the bossam was just the beginning of the wonders. We literally ordered one of everything on the menu, to try it all, and we were not disappointed.

DSCN9349

DSCN9359

it's difficult to describe, but these little, pickled garnishes were far and away the best thing about the meal, and brought out something interesting in every combination, with every other food.
DSCN9353

then we headed up to the ice gallery, where we could pick up extra layers for the tour of a giant freezer, loaded with fantastic ice art.
DSCN9366

DSCN9372

Chris and his lady liked the ice love motel. It left me cold, though.
DSCN9377

After the tour, we carved blocks of ice into beer/orange soda mugs.
DSCN9407

It was cold, but fortunately, Jo was a willing "plan B" if you jacket didn't keep the cold out well enough.
DSCN9429

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seollal Swing with Chris in South Korea

The Seollal long Weekend is coming up, and it's also the second Saturday of February. Some of you may already have plans, and some of you may really, seriously have nothing to do. If that's the case for you (especially because traveling is so hard on holiday weekends), you might be stranded in Seoul with no one to hang out with.

Well, fret no more: 2S2 has the event for you.

Here's the plan:
We'll get started around 11:45am - I'll meet people at the top of Sinsa station, line 3, exit 8. From there we'll walk down to the dancing place. If you want to get there on your own, the directions are below.

So what are we doing? The plan is to get together around noon for an absolute beginners swing dance lesson, taught by two English-speaking teachers with years of experience. If you've never tried swing dancing before, this will be the class to take - it assumes no previous dance experience or knowledge. Bring your boyfriend, your girlfriend, or someone you like - coming by yourself is fine as well.

From there, we'll head up to the Twosome Place, hang out for a cup of coffee / tea / sa-ee-deo, and socialize with all the cool people.

Before long, we'll head out to an ice carving place, where we'll go through an ice gallery / museum, then try our own hands at carving something out of ice ourselves.

After some dinner, we'll be off to move our feet at the same place we had our lesson - since we'll get there early we'll have the floor to learn a few more moves. Depending on how the night goes we might end with a nightcap, but we'll play that by ear.

Come on out! If you have any questions, e-mail me at chrisinsouthkorea AT gmail DOT com :)

Directions to the Swing Bar:
Take line 3 of the Seoul subway system to the Sinsa station. Take exit 8 to street level, then walk straight to the J Tower - about 200 meters ahead. Take the first left after J Tower, then the 1st right to walk along a side street. Look for 'The Swing' sign and a restaurant with an outdoor awning - take the stairs down just before the awning. The basement is 'The Swing'.


See you there, readers!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hands for Haiti: another fundraiser


Hands for Haiti is another fundraiser for Haiti relief.


Friday, 12 February 2010 at 21:30

Location:
FF, DGBD & Jane's Groove in Hongdae

Let's show the people of Haiti that even here in Korea, there are people who care!

On Friday, February 12, PLUR and Green Drinks Seoul brings you Hands for Haiti, a benefit concert at 3 of the best live music venues in Hongdae!

10,000W cover will get you entrance into FF, Jane's Groove and DGBD in Hongdae. 100% of the cover charge will go to Save the Children's fund for Haiti relief. Jane's Groove, DGBD & FF have also generously offered to donate a portion of every drink sold!

HOW TO DONATE
If you can't come out but still want to donate, here are the bank account numbers for Save the Children's Haiti Relief Fund. Please note that the account names will be displayed in Korean, not English.

Hana Bank
Account number: 569-910001-21804
Account name: 세이브더칠드런 (Save the Children)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Haiti Benefits in Seoul

Here's a way to help the Haiti disaster victims, here in Seoul.

Seoul2Haiti is an event organized by expat musicians to raise funds for the Haiti earthquake. 15,000 Won gets you 5 great bands and a free drink, with 100% of your entrance fee going directly to Haiti relief. This event will be broadcast on Toronto Indie Music radio station, www.indielove.ca.

It starts at 9 on February the 5th.

Facebook page here

text stolen from the facebook page; you can also read the comments at Dave's.

Once all the donations are in, a cheque will be presented to the Canadian Ambassador in Seoul during a formal ceremony at the embassy.


Also, on Thursday the 4th, Tomatillo is donating an amazing ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of all profits to Haiti Relief. Seoul Eats has more information, and they're planning a Seoul Eats Meetup there, on that day. Come hungry, and give extra.

On February 14th, Hope For Haiti is happening in Itaewon. You can read about that one on its facebook page, too.

If you know of other events that I should be promoting, send me an e-mail at roboseyo at gmail dot com, and I'll put them up here, too.

Here is the band line-up for the Rocky Mountain Tavern Fund-raiser.

The line-up is: LASSE LINDH, WE NEED SURGERY, SOLITAIRE LOVE AFFAIR, and ROAD POP, along with Special Guests.

LASSE LINDH is a a self-professed songwriteaholic, major indie star in Sweden for many years, and has also released 3 albums in the US and other countries. But something happened in 2006: his song "C'mon Through" became a massive hit here in Korea when it was made the theme song for OST drama series "Soulmate".

Since then, he's been doing 1 show here every year and released 3 albums - the latest one in April of 2009. Last month he moved to Seoul to make an even bigger impact and work on his forthcoming album. He left his band home in the cold, though...

WE NEED SURGERY is an expat band formed in Seoul, Korea in 2007 with members from Canada and the United States. They have been playing regularly since, gaining attention from the Korean music industry and Seoul indie rock scene due to their thirst for live performance. They are currently finishing their debut album. Following its release, the band plans to relocate to Vancouver, Canada later in the year. The 'wNs' sound is of its own breed: dance, rock, electro and punk. 'wNs' will move you, whether you like it or not.

SOLITAIRE LOVE AFFAIR - the torrid love child of the ex-bands Saint John the Gambler and The Bellows, reinforced from the world beyond Seoul, fueled by one man's forgotten love for a Bond girl of yesteryear and held together with booze and cigarettes. Locked, loaded, and ready to rock.

“Sounds like trucks falling into a canyon filled with Christmas hams, fine china, and cutlery - if Tarantino directed Bladerunner, Solitaire Love Affair would be the soundtrack.”

ROAD POP - Though working separately on music projects from places as far-flung as Canada, Taiwan, Australia, and South Korea, these two long-time friends and writing partners have always managed to find time to write and perform together. Melding influences from the blues-rock of the 60s, hard rock of the 70s, retro sounds of the 80s, and alt-rock of the 90s, a set of their originals is truly eclectic.

Making Seoul their base for now, they will be entering the studio soon, and look forward to hitting a stage near you.
For those of you overseas, an account will be set up in Canada so you can donate. Please tune into the broadcast on indielove (broadcast time TBA).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Program REACH, Suwon, wants You to Help Out

I got a letter from a fella who's organizing a volunteering program for expats in Suwon.

Program REACH meets in Suwon to volunteer at an orphanage there.



and here's an explanation of the program's goals:
This program aims not only to teach conversational English but also to teach mentoring to the students. This program motivates and urges the high school students to assist the lower elementary students in academics. The program creates a sense of responsibility and community work among the high school students.

This program is all about giving something back to the community. We, the expatriates, are the part of Korean community and we want to help the community in every feasible way. The high school students are the part of Korean community and they will help the community by assisting the elementary school students. The cycle goes on. Expatriates, elementary school students, middle school students and high school students, all are involved in this program.

If you live in, or anywhere near Suwon, I strongly encourage you to get involved; you can contact Mr. Joshi at programmereach@gmail.com so... go do that.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2S2 Seoul + Seoul Eats Meetup

In 2S2 Seoul, we had a great time on Saturday. Seoul Eats teamed up with 2S2 for a tag-team day. The Seoul Eats meetup started at noon, and they had dumpling soup: an appropriately new-years-y dish for the first Seoul Eats meetup of the new year. You can read about it here. They also had hotddeok, an amazing winter treat, which I swear I've written about before, but I can't find it back, so you'll have to watch Dan's video, linked above.

Funny thing about this 2S2: after planning it, my boss came to me and asked me to do level testing on Saturday morning, so I couldn't attend the first leg of my own event.

Fair enough: hence the links to Dan's write-up of the dumpling place; however, I WAS there for the book exchange. There are some pictures of that.

A few ajosshis came... just to round out the demographics...
DSCN8849

And the lovely and wildly hilarious Jolene came: she was at the Christmas party, too, and I hope she comes to more of these things. Also pictured is Yvonne, whose face actually looks like that: it's not just the camera. Her whole family has blurry faces. I saw pictures.
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By the end of the meet&greet&book esxchange, these ladies had just about mastered Gostop.
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and Josephine brought an epic book haul: look at all those! Everybody found something in the book exchange.
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We left the Twosome Place and headed out, ending up having tea at a sweet little tea room near the other end of Anguk Station.

Sanghwacha, I believe, is the name of this one.
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I like the raspberry tea
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wonju Works It


The first meeting for 2S2Wonju was a hit! It was fun, it was adventurous (pushing yourself across hard and frozen surfaces with small monsters called children speeding past you definitely counts as adventure), and it was delicious. We met at a coffee shop, went ice skating, and then warmed up at another coffee shop. I met wonderful people and had thoughtful conversations. There was also a lot of laughing. An extra thanks to Darren, who suggested we follow Rob's lead in the first place. If you want all the lovely details, you can read about our first gathering over at Wonju Wife. If you're in the neighborhood, or heck, if you feel like a day trip to Wonju, come on down and get in on the fun! There really are lovely people everywhere waiting to be wrangled into 2S2. So get busy and get wrangling!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2S2 Wonju Style

Hello everybody! Wonju Wife here. My friend and coworker Darren sent me an inspired email about how we should start a 2S2 Community here in Wonju. And so, we did! If you're in Wonju, or even in Gangwondo, (okay, heck, if you're in Korea and feel like a trip to Wonju), why don't you join us for our first ever meet up? I couldn't think of any reasons not to, either! So, here are the details.



And a map!




And if you're not really down with whole hand-drawn-with-love thing, here's a boring Google map for you.


View Larger Map


Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Looking for more Organizers, and Ideas

I am very, very interested in getting 2S2 pockets set up in other locations, rather than just in Seoul. If you're living outside of Seoul, or even in a suburb that's pretty far from Insadong, don't complain that 2S2 is a good idea, but too far away: start your own pocket! Get in touch with me at roboseyo at gmail dot com, or send me a message on facebook, and I'll be thrilled to promote your meetup on the 2S2 community blog as well.

Also: I've heard a bunch of people say "I'd join 2S2, but I do this volunteering thing on second saturdays..."

Well please, please tell me about it: I WANT to know about the other stuff people are doing, so that we can join you! I want to hear about your club or group, so that I can spread the word about it on this blog, and elsewhere. Or if you have a really sweet apartment, and you'd like to host a movie day, let us know!

January's 2S2 Meetup: Teamup with Seoul Eats Meetup!

This post is interspersed with pictures from November's 2S2 meeting, all stolen from Foreigner Joy's blog. You can see them in their original context here.

Seoul Eats Meetup is a foodie meetup that's been going on over at Seoul Eats for a while, and 2S2 is heading for its January session, on the Second Saturday at 2pm. Here's the breakdown:

The plan for January just got sorted: the Anguk chapter of 2S2 is getting together with Seoul Eats for a teamup:



The Seoul Eats Meetup will be at noon in Insadong. There's a dumpling restaurant there with nice ddeok soup, a traditional new year's meal. Then, at 2, we'll head to twosome place to gather anybody who's there, and depending on the group size, we'll either head for a nifty tea room somewhere nearby to have some nice Korean teas, or (if the group is smaller) boot up the road to a little place with amazing warm, spiced wine.

Once there, we'll have a book exchange. Bring the books you're done with, and trade them in for ones you haven't read yet. We're not fussy about genres... but I know I plan on bringing three or four books, to give my friends a little more choice. I'm also planning on bringing my set of Gostop cards, so that we can have another session of either learning, or playing the game. Once the weather gets warmer, we'll be a little more adventurous in our activities, but just so you know, the last 2S2's have all been good times so far.



So if you're up for some good food, you're welcome to join the Seoul Eats Meetup, like I will, and if a bit of social time, a card game and a book exchange sounds fun, join in for 2S2, too. The Seoul Eats folks are invited to bring a book they're finished with, and meet the rest of the 2S2 people at 2pm. I was thinking of climbing a mountain... but it's still hella cold. I'll bring my pack of gostop cards for anyone who wants... to either play, or learn how, as well.

Please note: I'm hoping not to stay too long at Twosome place this time, and to fairly quickly
move on to the next place, so please try to be there promptly at 2. See you there!

Here's the link to the google map.

Here's the google map to find it all.

View Kung Mandu and Twosome Place: Seoul Eats and 2S2 in a larger map

Read more about 2S2 here. Or here. Or in The Korea Herald.

Thanks a million to Dan from Seoul Eats, for finding a way to get on board for a joint 2S2/Seoul Eats meetup for January. It's a great idea, and I really appreciate the support.

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