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weblog Korea Sept 05


The Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, in short DMZ always attracts tourists. The border line itself is a concrete slab of 40 centimeters, read more about trips to the DMZ in this small Korea Herald article, the article nice because it shows pictures from both sides. We have only been on the South side at Panmunjon.(posted by Jitze, 30/09/05)
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Op radio 1 werd op maandag 19 september in het programma 'de ochtenden' een reportage uitgezonden over Zuid en Noord Korea, hoe verder te gaan. Hier staat de samenvatting van de radiouitzending, klik hier om de radio uitzending te beluisteren. Als je het journaal en het begin van 'de ochtenden' wilt overslaan, ga tijdens het afspelen naar exact 10 minuten, daar begint het onderwerp. Eun-Mi Postma is trouwens een bekende van ons. (posted by Jitze, 29/09/05)
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Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing on the Iraq war. He concludes by saying, "Yesterday, three Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"Oh no!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, the President looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?" (posted by Jitze, 29/09/05)
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In the center of Seoul there were many fly-overs when we arrived in 2002. Rather ugly concrete sunblocking constructions. Some 26 months ago the center of the city turned into an even bigger mess. They were removing everything. A huge project, nearly 380 million dollars further and we now have a six kilometer artificial river (used to be a sewer). Don't be surprised by the speed of Korean projects if you are living in Seoul. Anyhow, I have to say it is a big improvement. (posted by Jitze, 28/09/05)
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What to think of this article, a hoax or true?? (posted by Jitze, 26/09/05)



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Dirk heeft zijn reisverslag al zwetend nog vlak voor zijn vertrek morgenochtend afgerond!! Misschien nog een paar typfoutjes en vreemde tekentjes, dat zal ik zsm aanpassen. Het is een nieuw snelheidsrecord voor wat betreft het aanleveren van een verhaal. We wachten ook nog vol spanning op het verhaal van Coen. :) (posted by Jitze, 25/09/05)
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America did hardly start to recover from hurricane Katrina, now Rita is becoming a category 5 hurricane in the gulf of Mexico. Every now and then we also have hurricanes over here (called typhoon in this region). In the beginning of September typhoon Nabi approached Korea and Japan but caused relatively small damage. If you want to track all the hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones in your region, check out this Tropical Storm Risk website. You can follow all present super storms. (posted by Jitze, 22/09/05)
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That 'wait and see' lasted 24 hours.
North Korea did what I predicted, thanks guys. They wrote the new chapter of the book: 'How to change an agreement when we feel like it' almost faster than it took me to write the previous log. Read this BBC headline: North Korea has said it will not scrap its nuclear programme until it is given a civilian nuclear reactor, undermining an agreement reached 24 hours earlier. (posted by Jitze, 20/09/05)
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Wait and see or a real result?
North Korea has agreed to scrap all its nuclear weapons and weapons-related programs and rejoin an international non-proliferation regime in exchange for political and economic benefits according to Yonhap News. Just a couple of months earlier we wrote in our weblog about rumours of North Korea wanting to test a Nuclear Device. Will this outcome of the 'six-party' talks be permanent? Or will it become another chapter of the book: 'How to change an agreement when we feel like it'.

This is what we posted in May, two links are dead, blame the news agency :)

At this moment 'hot' news. Will North Korea test a nuclear device?
BBC News, a little bit yes and maybe.
The Korea Herald, strongly no.
CNN news, may be preparations.
Official North Korea website, nothing ever changes on this site.
Well, we will put this sign in our garden, just to be on the safe site.
(10/05/05)

(posted by Jitze, 19/09/05)
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Yesterday evening we celebrated Christina's birthday. In Hyehwa-dong we had Korean barbecue diner. Afterwards we went to a modern Korean bar. In Seoul there are several new bars with their own brewery inside. The Micro Pub is one of them. They have tasty but a little bit light draft beer, white beer and dark beer. If you order a 'tester' you get the 3 different types in small glasses. Just try it, and of course like in most of the Korean bars they are surprised if you don't order food with your drinks. Drinking without eating is something most Koreans cannot imagine. Take Subway Line No. 4 to Hyehwa Station, exit No. 1, it's easy to find from there (third floor, big building).(posted by Jitze, 17/09/05)
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Try zofona internet radio if you want to know what we are playing right now. (posted by Jitze, 17/09/05)
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Christina just became 35 years young!!! Congratulations and a big kiss!!!!! (posted by Jitze, 16/09/05)
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Today I went to Busan by train. I returned to Seoul Station around 7 p.m. I took an underground pass to exit 6 in order to get a taxi. To my surprise that exit was almost completely blocked by approximately 150 people. It was warm and I heard loud music. When I took a closer look I discovered that they distributed food for free to homeless or poor people. Especially the amount of people waiting and eagerly digging in on the provided food struck me. Social welfare is of a low standard in Korea and these people apparently have to rely on charity (including quite annoying gospel music) in order to get a simple daily meal. Chuseok is approaching, where are the family members of these poor and homeless people? (posted by Jitze, 15/09/05)
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Who are these guys? Where are they fishing? Please help us out. (posted by Jitze, 15/09/05)

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Good news for the Korean Soccer team.
After the 2002 World Championship they became famous as 'the Reds' with some help of the Dutch coach Guus Hiddink (who by the way immediately became a legendary hero over here). They tried to repeat this succces by hiring Jo Bonfrere two years ago. He is Dutch so they probably thought that that should do the trick. It did not work out very well, Jo Bonfrere quit his job after critisism two weeks ago. But they found the solution, another famous Dutch coach, Dick Advocaat, will now try to coach the reds towards victory in Germany next year. He has around 8 months to achieve this goal. We wish him good luck, Dick, I am looking forward to see you here in Korea.
Hier een Nederlands artikel waarin het ook staat, Dick Advocaat wordt de nieuwe bondscoach van Zuid Korea. Veel geluk jongens!! (posted by Jitze, 13/09/05)
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Tommorow Dirk will arrive, he booked a flight on September 11. Probably those flights are cheap because many people want to avoid this date after 2001. Dirk will stay two weeks. He will experience how Korea deals with thanksgiving which is called Chuseok. Dirk, prepare for some extreme heavy traffic. :) (posted by Jitze, 11/09/05)
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Some sites are just fun to visit although you don't understand a thing. This SK Telecom site, the mobile museum is very nice. Just click and enjoy how they made the site. The only thing I understand is 'joboseyo'. posted by Jitze, 09/09/05)
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Cheonggyecheon walking event.
On October 3rd Seoul City and Chosun Ilbo are organizing a walking event along the recently restored Cheonggyecheon stream that runs through the city. It is a 6.5 km long walk that will take you about 3 hours to complete. For those who are interested, be quick, because only the first 15.000 people will be allowed to participate. Look here to find some more information. All participants will receive a t-shirt and a gift. For those who complete the walk there will be a certificate of completion too. Have fun!b posted by Christina, 08/09/05)
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When we have guests they always ask if they need vaccinations before going to South Korea. We advised them to check it with their family doctor. But these are apparently recommended vaccinations for South Korea. On this site you also find malaria information for Travelers to countries in East Asia. (posted by Jitze, 07/09/05)
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This morning I went with Vibeke to playgoup again. It is an International Playgroup for expat parents/carers with pre-school children. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 10.00 - 11.30am you can visit this playgroup at the Seoul International Baptist Church in Haebangchon (near Itaewon). For Vibeke it is fun to play with a lot of children of her age, they have nice toys and for the bigger children there are some activities like story-time, craft-time, snack-time and song-time. For me it is nice to have contact with other parents, drink a cup of coffee and last year I organized from time to time the craft activity. So if you are new in Seoul and you like to join look here to find some more information. (posted by Christina, 06/09/05)
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We added a restaurant review, Top Cloud restaurant. And if you don't like food, just enjoy the picture. (posted by Jitze, 05/09/05)
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Typhoon Nabi is approaching Japan but will probably also effect the South of Korea. This satellite image gives a good impression of the size of Nabi. Here you find the predicted traject of Nabi. (posted by Jitze, 05/09/05)


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Yesterday was Coen's last day in Seoul so we did something special. We went to Top Cloud, the restaurant on the top floor of the Chongro Tower (Millenium Building). We had made a reservation for a table near the window, which we got. The whole week it was hazy but yesterday evening we had a magnificient sight. We enjoyed a delicious diner with a good wine, the review will be writen next week. After diner we walked to the nearest PC Bang to play a game of Warcraft. Coen and I played together against Jitze (who always wins), because I did not play Warcraft for over a year. We kept Jitze busy for two hours but he was too strong for us (3 heroes level 10). We had an extra handicap because our games were in Korean and Jitze had an English version, but it was a nice game and its bad that we did not do this earlier. Unfortunately Coen will be leaving today, he and Jitze are already on their way to the airport, it was nice having Coen spending his holiday here with us. As a special gift we received an award from Ed Croquet which is the highest "hospitality" award ever given by Ed Croquet. Many thanks for that, we did our best to please Coen in every way.......
(posted by Christina, 04/09/05)
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Yesterday Coen and I went to the East Coast. I wanted to show him some Korean beaches close to North Korea. Christina and the children stayed in Seoul. While driving to Gangneum we had heavy rain which slowed us down. The trip took 4 hours including a stop at a gas station and a short visit to monument 'de Molen' which is dedicated to the Dutch Soldiers who fought and died during the Korean war. In Yangyang we tried to go to the beach but everything was closed because the tourist season is over. Fences, barbed wire an military installations as promised, these deserted 'military' beaches are not the tourist destinations of 'scenic beauty' they pretend to be. But it is very interesting to see how the South deals with the possibility of an invasion (or intruders) from the North. This article (1996!!) describes scenarios people thought of only 9 years ago! And if you like fresh fish, visit the fish markets over there, we found a lot of fish vendors. (posted by Jitze, 03/09/05)
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