September 2009


This weekend Korea celebrates Chuseok/추석.  It’s the equivalent of Thanksgiving plus Christmas because there is lots of eating and gifts are given to family members. Very traditional families will even dress in hanbok/한복 and bow to ancestors. Gift box sets are the rage right now and the Spam sets make me smile.

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Happy Chuseok!

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New kiosks have been popping up on the streets of Seoul.

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The modern brown box replaces the ramshackle tin can.

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Of course there is now advertising space available for purchase too.

Tuesday September 22nd is a “Day Without Cars” in the city of Seoul. There are signs everywhere to mark the day. It begins with free rides on public transportation before 9a…to encourage you to “leave your car behind.”

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A new Daiso opened in Daechi. It’s my favorite for many reasons: it’s within walking distance, it’s very well-stocked, it’s two stories big, the aisles are wide, there are cashiers at the front and back doors, plus there is even a “living display” in store.

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Daechi Daiso is not far from Hanti subway stop and Lotte Department Store.

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Daiso kitchen display in the Daechi store.

When is a barber pole not a barber pole? Oddly enough, in Korea a barber pole can signify hair cutting or erotic massage.

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Only one out of four barber poles spotted on my walk today was outside a place to get a haircut. (Clue: it’s the tiniest one pictured.)

There are new bicycle lanes on the sidewalks of Gangnam. They were installed at great expense to help “green” the city of Seoul. Rather, this legitimizes the use of the sidewalk by wheeled vehicles in the minds of Korean drivers (automobile drivers and motorcycle drivers). Pedestrians must step aside for honking drivers who now claim half of the sidewalk.

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Moped parked in the bicycle lane, cars parked on the sidewalk.

I’ve been on a crafting kick lately. After inheriting a lot of fabric and notions from a cousin who moved to Australia there was a stack of colored felt that begged to become soft baby blocks. They are not hard to make and once you get started, it’s addictive. Thus far, baby has 21 blocks. Two of which are dice made with colorful buttons sewn tight. They are much kinder to fall upon than wooden blocks for the little guy.

How To:

1. Cut squares, each block uses six.

2. Decorate some squares, try ribbon or felt cut-outs.

3. Assemble the cube using embroidery thread to whip stitch the seams.

4. Stuff insides (I used cut up foam wrapped in crunchy plastic) before complete closure.

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Soft baby blocks made using colorful felt, embroidery thread and ribbon.

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