My First Day at My New School in Japan

Time really does fly. I was just sitting at my desk in Korea, wasn’t I? Yet, just like that, I was sitting at my new desk in a new school preparing to teach English in Japan for a year. Kind of scary.

I didn’t actually teach any classes today, but I needed to go in to sign lots of paperwork and do some administrative tasks…like burning CD ROMs. After lunch I headed over to the university for an orientation with new teachers throughout the organization. With the exception of myself and two new foreign teachers, they were all Japanese. I’d say maybe 30-40 in total. Because of this, everything was spoken in Japanese. Believe it or not I was able to pick up a number of words from the speaker. I guess studying on your own can actually work.

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Hiroshima, Japan Neighborhood Bicycle Tour

I’m fortunate to have been able to move into my new apartment in between contracts since leaving Korea. It gave me time to settle in, depressurize, and explore my new surroundings.

My neighborhood is a bit away from the city center in Hiroshima which has both positives and negatives. The negatives being pretty obvious – I’m away from the more exciting vibe of being in the thick of the city and seeing what life is like uptown (or downtown, as they refer to it here). The positives are living in a quieter area with less hustle, and being around more pleasant surroundings, in my opinion.

I have an action cam that has really turned out to be the best tool for sharing the sights of locations I live in or vacation in. They are tiny, take videos with incredible clarity, and are so easy to just take out and shoot whenever I want to.

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35 Things To Do & Eat in Seoul, South Korea


Seoul, Korea is now one of the top 10 most visited cities in the world. And for good reason. Korea is a nation that has risen from a tumultuous, war-torn past to become an influential face on the global scene. I’ve been living in Busan for 4 ½ years and have visited Seoul on a few occasions. I thought it only appropriate that I do a “things to do travel guide” for Seoul while I’m still here. After all, I am Seoul Tee, and these are the Red Dragon Diaries. So without further ado, here are 35 great things to do and EAT in Seoul, South Korea.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Korean Names of the 12 Most Popular Judo Techniques

Special thanks to my friends over at 90 Day Korean who helped with putting this article together. They were key in helping to link up the meanings of Korean terminology and how they apply to the judo techniques.

For the Korean language learning folks out there, you may know that learning anything when in the context of something that interests you will greatly increase the likelihood of committing it to long-term memory.

For the judo fans, you may be familiar with a lot of the popular terms for judo techniques in Japanese. In fact, you SHOULD know the Japanese nomenclature if you have any kind of rank above white belt.

But did you know that there is a different set of terms to describe the same Judo (유도) techniques in Korean?

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English Class with Korean 4th Graders (English As a Second Language)

English As a Second Language, or “teaching English”, is many things to many people. It exists on many levels ranging from a travel ticket to a serious career choice. Most people look at it as a way to have an extended stay in a place they’ve always wanted to visit. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, I think it’s a valid reason, and many recruiters and schools know this. Some of them will market their positions to cater to this angle.

Others, however, have approached it much differently. They are highly qualified teachers whose plan is to be part of a bigger picture in international schools or specialized private schools. They teach in subject-specific roles. If they do teach English, they need to be English majors with experience often times. Some become department heads, others, principals. These types of roles are not for the majority of “teach English” people out there.

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McDonald’s Vs. Korean Street Food Vendor Churros

Korean street food is a blanket term for a large variety of eats. Of the sweet items that can be purchased from a street vendor is a popular choice that isn’t even Korean. It’s churros.

I see many stands selling churros and also many store fronts that sell them with different fillings like peanut butter, a general cream filling they call “milk”, and chocolate.

Here’s the thing about popular food. If it’s out there, McDonald’s is going to try and McMass produce it. So goes it with churros. There I was getting my McDs fix and a digital image of churros pops onto the screen.

I figured they probably taste pretty good, but instead of just letting the thought pass I decided to try them out. I also wanted to see how they compared to the street vendor versions of the same snack.

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