my years of living on the floor

i'm an expat living in south korea, blogger, journalist, and traveler. i'm a lover of bicycles and a collector of maps, passport stamps, and freckles.


i blog regularly and unrelated to my personal travels at www.doubletakesblog.com


i also write for the blog of the official website of korea. my long-form posts are syndicated here as well as at blog.korea.net


all photos, unless otherwise specified, are the sole property and work of lauren kilberg.

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  1. Market. Seoul, South Korea. Market. Seoul, South Korea.
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    Market. Seoul, South Korea.

  2. Market day. Seoul, South Korea. Market day. Seoul, South Korea.
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    Market day. Seoul, South Korea.

  3. Market day. Seoul. South Korea. Market day. Seoul. South Korea.
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    Market day. Seoul. South Korea.

  4. Noksapyeong Subway Station. Seoul, South Korea. Noksapyeong Subway Station. Seoul, South Korea.
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    Noksapyeong Subway Station. Seoul, South Korea.

  5. Korean Culinary Immersion

    It is my humble opinion that there is no better way to experience a country’s culture than through its cuisine. While I highly advise eating your way through Korea, why not go a step further and take a cooking course. In learning how to prepare Korean food, you will receive an education in this country’s traditions, history, and leave with a lasting souvenir to take home and share with friends and family.

    I recently had the pleasure of taking a course through the O’ngo Food Communications culinary school in Seoul. I spent the better part of a Saturday afternoon at the school’s teaching kitchen in the historic Insadong district. The class was taught by Chef Hyejin Kim, who greeted me with a warm smile and a welcome. My classroom for the day was the school’s modern and state of the art kitchen. Although spacious and filled with rows of cooking tables, stoves and untensils, the course was intimate.  
     
    Through Chef Kim’s instruction, I learned to make Andong jjimdak (braised chicken in soy sauce) and Kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi). The class began with a detailed tutorial presented by Chef Kim. She introduced the dishes and their place in Korean culinary history, the ingredients and the steps necessary for successfully preparing the meal. After that, I was left to my devices. I began to prepare my own meal at my cooking station. I brinned radish, seared chicken and chopped everything from ginger to onion. Chef Kim observed, but did not hover. She let me do the cooking, but was there if I needed help or got lost in the steps.
     
    After everyone had prepared their dishes, we served ourselves and reconvened at a communal table in the back of the kitchen. There, we shared our meals and conversation. Chef Kim proved to be a great teacher. Everyone’s dishes turned out phenomenally.  The day ended with a private market tour lead by Chef Kim. The tour took us to a small underground traditional market packed with bins of rice, piles of fresh produce, pig heads and locals enjoying their Saturday afternoon. It was the perfect end to the course. We were shown where and what to buy so we could take what we learned in class to our home kitchens.

    O’ngo offers 3 levels of cooking programs to fit the needs of novice cookers through culinary professionals. You can learn more about their classes at www.ongofood.com.
  6. Haewoojae, also known as Mr. Toilet House.
Suwon, South Korea. Haewoojae, also known as Mr. Toilet House.
Suwon, South Korea.
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    Haewoojae, also known as Mr. Toilet House.

    Suwon, South Korea.

  7. A piece from the East Asian Exchange exhibit.
Suwon, South Korea. A piece from the East Asian Exchange exhibit.
Suwon, South Korea.
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    A piece from the East Asian Exchange exhibit.

    Suwon, South Korea.

  8. A view of North Korea from the DMZ. A view of North Korea from the DMZ.
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    A view of North Korea from the DMZ.

  9. Tourists peer into North Korea at the Dora Observatory. The North Korean city of Kaesong, as well as Kijŏng-dong (Propaganda Village) were visible. Tourists peer into North Korea at the Dora Observatory. The North Korean city of Kaesong, as well as Kijŏng-dong (Propaganda Village) were visible.
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    Tourists peer into North Korea at the Dora Observatory. The North Korean city of Kaesong, as well as Kijŏng-dong (Propaganda Village) were visible.

  10. A South Korean military police officer stands guard infront of a door leading to North Korea inside the Joint Security Area within the DMZ. A South Korean military police officer stands guard infront of a door leading to North Korea inside the Joint Security Area within the DMZ.
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    A South Korean military police officer stands guard infront of a door leading to North Korea inside the Joint Security Area within the DMZ.