Korean Shopping and out to Eat

We are Americans who live in Korea.  Living in Korea, is not hard for Americans.  In this blog, I plan to write and put pictures so that Americans or others who are interested in Korea can see how we live.  We have been here for 12 years, so we have learned a lot that will help people who are interested in coming here.  We will take the readers with us as we move about in Korea and teach them how to do it if they want to do it.  Today, we went grocery shopping and out to eat, so I will tell you about our trip out.

To begin with, we live on the 9th floor of a very tall apartment building.  When we lived in Romania, we lived on the 9th floor for a while, and we thought we were very high up, and the building was 10 floors high, but the 9th floor is nothing here in Korea.  The first year we came here, we lived on the 24th floor of an apartment building in a small town, and we were not at the top.  Koreans build the tallest buildings in the world.  When they need a tall building in a place like Dubai, they bring Korean builders in because they know how to build tall buildings safely.  They have such tall buildings because the peninsula is small.  Everything is crowded in Korea, and the land space is limited.  All the apartment buildings have elevators, and it is common as in our building to have two elevators. One elevator only goes to the even numbered floors, and the other elevator only goes to the odd numbered floors.  As we get on the elevator on our floor, we notice a suit case sitting by the elevator we don’t use.  Someone has stored it there because no one will come out that door, and it isn’t in the way.  In America, we would never just leave a suitcase in the hallway like that, but it is okay in Korea.  No one will take it. If someone took it, they would consider it stealing. Children in America have a saying about things just left around, “Finders keepers, losers weepers,” but that is not a saying here. You just don’t mess with or touch anything that isn’t yours even if the owner is not there.

After we go down our elevator, you can see the signs by the elevators telling you which elevator to take from the bottom floor. You can also see advertisements written in Korean on those signs. Those are advertisements put there by real estate people who handle the apartments. You can see it below the signs telling which elevator to ride as well as under the mirror, two different real estate agents. You also see a sign that says CCTV. That means that you are on closed circuit TV. You are being watched.  These TVs are everywhere in Korea.  About 80% of your life in Korea is on film.  As we walk out, there is an office with windows. The man inside is a guard.  He stays there watching everyone coming and going. He knows what is going on. If you have trouble, you ask him for help. If you park your car wrong, he will call you up and tell you he doesn’t like how you parked your car, and you must come and park it again.  He also helps you with another problem in the parking lot I will discuss in the next paragraph.


If the parking lot is full when you come, but you must park, you may park your car in front of other people’s cars.  If you do this, a couple of things are required.  First, all cars in Korea must have the driver’s telephone number displayed on the dashboard for people to see. If your car is causing trouble where it is, they will call you to move your car.  You just have to be patient.  If you are in bed, you jump up, throw your clothes on, and run out and move your car. Whatever you are doing, you must move because if you don’t, they become irate and mean with you if you don’t move right away.  You have the right to expect them to move right away if they are in front of your car too. You just have to learn to have patience and do it their way.  If you park it the way it is in my picture, then, you must leave your car in neutral and leave the parking brake off. In the picture, you can see a broken brick.  In this particular apartment building, the parking lot slopes, so they will put these broken bricks under their tires to keep the cars from rolling.  If you come out and someone has parked in front of you like that, all you do is move the brick and push the car out of the way.  If it is too hard to push, this is when you can go back and ask the guard to help you push the car.


Now that we are outside, I decided to take a picture for you to show you just how big our apartment building is.  I kept backing off and backing off in the parking lot to get a good shot of it from the bottom to the top, but I just didn’t have the space to back up and get the top and bottom at the same time. This tells you these buildings are huge.  They don’t have earthquakes like in Japan. Japan doesn’t have much land space, but they can’t build buildings like this because of their earth quakes. Here in Korea, the biggest natural problem they have is the typhoon, and it is good to be in one of these buildings during a typhoon.  The wind can’t touch these buildings because they are made of concrete, and they are huge.  If it floods, and you live up on the second or higher floor, you are in business. No water will get in your house.  However, we had to learn something about living on the first floor the hard way because in the last apartment we lived in, we wanted the bottom floor.  The bottom floor is cheaper, and not many people want to live there.  When it floods, the water comes in.  When the snow begins melting, the water comes in.  When it is hot and rainy outside, the apartment on the bottom floor may start getting black mold on the walls.  The drainage system is not good in these apartments, and if you are on the bottom floor, you may have water standing in your bathroom floor. It is normal to spray the bathroom floors in Korea to clean them because they are completely tiled with a drain in the middle of the floor. In fact, if there is no bathtub, often, there is just a shower nozzle coming out of the sink for your to shower with, and you flood your bathroom when you shower.  Water in Korean bathroom floors is normal.  However, when we lived in Romania, living on the bottom floor of the apartment building was good because it meant that you would never have water problems, but here in Korea, living on the bottom floor says you will have too much water that will give you problems.

If you look at the outside of the building, you will see that every apartment has an enclosed balcony.  The balcony is not heated like the rest of the house, but it will be enclosed, and Koreans use these either to grow plants, to hang clothes to dry, or for storage.  In many apartments, they put the washing machine on the balcony.  If you also look on the outside of the building, you will see metal units attached to the outside of the balconies.  Those are air conditioners.  They don’t have central air in Korea, but they do have wall air conditioners, and in some cases, free standing air conditioners that stand in the corner of a room. They call these “air con.”  If you use the whole word, they will have no idea what you are talking about.  Many Koreans have air conditioning, but not everyone uses it because the air conditioners are electric.  If your electric bill gets too high, the electric company doubles it to discourage you from using so much electricity, so many people who have air conditioners will hardly use them even though it can get very steamy here in summer.


As we get in our car to go, you will see that I have an SM3.  An SM3 is a Renault built by Samsung. In the beginning, I didn’t drive a car.  Many Koreans and foreigners use public transportation which is really good here. Public transportation is cheap and efficient in Korea.  In America, only the poorest people ride a bus to work, but it is not that way here. Often, even people who have cars opt out to use public transportation on a daily basis and save their cars just for family outings and things like that because the public transportation here is really good.  There are buses, subways, and taxis.  They are all cheap, and I will do another blog teaching you how to use them.  I used them in the beginning, and they are healthy.  Everyone usually loses weight when they first come to Korea because they are used to going everywhere in a car, but when you are walking to the bus stop or the subway station, you lose weight.  At one point, an American called me and sold me his second hand car. I was thinking like an American back then. The car was cheap, it ran, and it would make our lives more convenient, so I bought it.

It was better to have a car, but I ran into some problems. First, Korea is complicated to get around in with a car.  When we were going with the subways and buses, it was easy to know where to go, but I was always lost with my car. I was always calling my friends, telling them where I was and asking how to get home or to where I was going.  I had to learn that everyone who drives in Korea needs a GPS, a navigation system or they will get lost.  I bought a GPS from the same guy who sold me the car that was in English. That was a mistake.  The way the Koreans spell things in English makes no sense to Americans in the beginning until we get used to it, and I was always confused about where I was with that GPS.  Finally, the transmission went out on that old car, and a Korean friend of mine decided she was going to take over and teach me how it should be done in Korea.  Koreans don’t buy second hand cars. They buy new ones. They also buy the newest technology.  Everything must be up to date in Korea. I told her I wanted something cheap, and she told me she could get me a good new car that was cheap on gas with cheap car payments. I told her I also wanted a small car because there are many very crowded roads in Korea, and a smaller car would be easier to get around in. She wouldn’t even consider showing me a car as small as I wanted because she said they were dangerous.  She took me to a new car show room and insisted I had to buy one of those cars, and she wasn’t going to help me find anything else.  She actually guided me in a good way,  I now have a car that is cheap on gas, has cheap car payments, has a good GPS, and has a backup camera.  A backup camera is a must in Korea. The parking spots are smaller in Korea than in America, and having a backup camera helps you park.  Trying to go into a parking space frontwards at times is just impossible, but you can back up into it with a back up camera easily.  With the new car, I had a special service that I could call whenever I had car trouble. I will explain the car services in another blog, but she guided me right.  Now, we head out shopping in our SM3.


The place we are going is EMart, the Korean WalMart.  It is like a super WalMart with everything available in one store. There are other stores like it in Korea, but usually EMart is the cheapest.  At times, we go to Home Plus or Lotte Mart. They are comparable to EMart, but not quite as cheap, but you can find things there that are not at EMart.  Home Plus has a lot of imports from England because it is actually owned by a British company.  WalMart was in Korea the first year we came, but EMart bought them out.  Like our apartment building, EMart is several stories high.  Instead of a big parking lot, there is a parking garage.  These stores and parking garages are not just in Seoul, but in every small town too.  We end up on the fourth floor of the parking garage because everything before that is crowded. Today is actually Saturday, so the store is more crowded. If we come through the week, there are less cars and less people because everyone is as work through the week, but today, everyone is out.

Like in our apartment building, we must start at the elevators.  I took a picture of something for you to see that is on every elevator in Korea.  They are warning signs not to touch the door of the elevator or lean on the door because you could fall and get hurt.  As we get in the elevator, you will here either nerocabnida or olacabnida in a sweet Korean lady’s voice.  “nerocabnida” means “going down,” and “olacabnida” means “going up.”  We actually begin by going down to the third floor.  There is usually a food court on the third floor of this particular EMart, but they have blocked most of it off.  This is something normal in Korea. Usually, in this food court, you get the choice of Burger King, Baskin Robbins, and any number of traditional Korean restaurants, but they have blocked the Korean restaurants off. I took a picture of the sign explaining it will be open again in June.  We are often disappointed when they do this. They just randomly close off a place you have been going for a long time and enjoying.  The business isn’t bad, but they like to upgrade everything in Korea.  As with my car, they like everything new.  Over at the mall, there was a wonderful restaurant called “Burger Hunter” where they had big luscious burgers and homemade potato chips, and we often when there with our Korean friends, but one day, they blocked it off. We had no idea what would be there or why they would block off such a popular restaurant. When they were done, they replaced it with a corn dog restaurant and a Mexican restaurant.  We go to those restaurants occasionally, but we miss our hamburger restaurant.  As for this food court, they still have Baskin Robbins because Baskin Robbins is very, very popular everywhere, all over Korea. It is is every little town, and sometimes on every street corner.  Koreans love ice cream. We also find Burger King.  Burger King and McDonalds both are popular in Korea.

We decided to eat at Burger King.  When you order at Burger King or McDonalds, you have a choice of how to order now.  You can either talk to the person at the cash register who speaks just enough English to take your order if you can’t speak Korean (However, we have been here for 12 years, so we speak to them in Korean), or you can use one of the new machines. I took a picture of the ordering machines for you, but I haven’t messed with them and never use them to order although many people do.  After you have ordered, they give you a piece of paper with a number, and they have a board where you wait for your number to come up, and then your order is ready.


After you eat, you are expected to recycle.  There is a trash can, but there are also places to dump your ice, put your cups, and put your lids and straws.  Recycling in a really big thing in Korea. This culture thinks that if you are a good person, you will recycle.  My son in law recycles in front of our apartment building once a week. I did it in the beginning when we first came because they encouraged me to do it, bu my son in law has taken over, and I let him. In one of my blogs, I will show you the way they recycle at the apartment buildings.


As we leave the food court, we pass an Italian restaurant.  It has a display case with models of the food. This is normal both in Korea and Japan. When the food court was open, they had models of the food with prices.  You chose which one you wanted, then went to the lady and told her which one you wanted. You paid for it, then she gave you a number, and you sat down and waited, looking at all the Korean restaurants knowing your number would come up on the sign board on top of one of them, and then when your number came up, you would go to that restaurant to get your food. It works the same in all the food courts here, but if there is Burger King, McDonalds, Baskin Robbins, or something like that, they are separate even though they are part of the food court.

We keep walking and go past clothing and jewelry.  As I said, this place is like a super WalMart and has everything. To get to the food because we are grocery shopping, we must go to another floor, so we take a moving sidewalk down.  At the bottom, we see the pharmacy, the “yakgook.” Yakgooks are everywhere, and it is very convenient to get Tylenol, band aids, etc., and to fill prescriptions in Korea. Next to the Yakgook, you also see a place where you can buy glasses, like a super WalMart. However, there is something I took a picture of for you that you can find here that you can’t find in American WalMarts that is very convenient.  If you lose weight or someone gives you clothes that just don’t fit, or just whatever reason, your clothes don’t fit, you can bring them to a place like this. They are all over the place.  They fix your clothes for you, and it is cheaper than buying new clothes.

We go on toward the place where the food is with our shopping cart on the next moving sidewalk.  There are many, many things available.  I took a picture of the candy isle. There is also soda pop. There is a bakery where you can buy all kinds of nice bread, cakes, pizza, muffins, bagels, croissants, etc.  We continue. You can buy already cooked, dried rice in small plastic bowls. When you take these home, all you have to do is open them up, add a few drops of water, cover them again, and put them in the microwave for a little, and you will have a nice hot bowl of rice.  My son in law says he doesn’t even add water to his.  To go along with these, there are several other things that you could just heat and eat to make your busy life easier.  These are just many packages of different dishes. My son especially liked me to buy the curry rice packages for him when he was here. My son in law likes the meat ball packages, the steak packages, etc.  On the opposite side from all this, there is cereal, all kinds like in America. We also recently got toaster pop ups, and that makes my daughter happy.

We go on through the store. We go past the coffee and tea isle where they have all kinds.  We come to the isle where they sell peanut butter, jelly, and even marshmallow cream.  On this isle, we can usually find imported canned goods of all kinds like canned fruit or pinto beans.  We can also find lots and lots of cans of tuna.  We don’t continue to the next isles because we really don’t need what is there, but in case you are wondering, there is sugar, flour, mayonnaise, ketchup, pancake syrup, cooking oil, etc. There is no shortening, but if we want solid shortening, we use butter.  We are headed for the butter and cheese isle where there are all kinds of cheeses from all over the world as well as all kinds of butter.  Next, we pick up milk, and you can get low fat milk. You don’t have to drink it with the fat in it if you don’t want to.

We continue on and see all kinds of exotic things. They have meat prepared for you to buy and cook yourself, but I have no idea what it is. When we get to the regular meat isle, we always look for chicken, pork, and hamburger. These are always much cheaper at EMart than in a place like Home Plus. Chicken is always there. Pork is always there, but hamburger is not always there. Even if hamburger is there, it may be so expensive that we won’t touch it.  If it is Korean beef, they price it off the charts crazy.  If they import it from Australia, it is half the price of Korean beef.  We never buy the Korean beef, but always the Australian beef.  At times, the beef is so expensive, but we still want the kinds of dishes that take ground meat. I have used ground pork in those circumstances. When you make spaghetti and meatballs for example, you really can’t tell a big difference between beef or pork because you have put your condiments, bread crumbs, and eggs in the meatballs and then covered them with spaghetti sauce.  The taste isn’t so different that it isn’t doable.  By the way, you can buy already made spaghetti sauce in jars.  We have tried the Korean brands as well as the imported brands, and we like the imported brands best, but we can’t get them in EMart. We have to go to Home Plus to get them. You can also use the ground pork for taco meat.  You can buy tortillas here as well as long horn or cheddar cheese which means you can make tacos, but usually, they will have to be made with flour tortillas instead of corn because corn tortillas are only found in import shops here, but you can find flour tortillas in EMart and Home Plus. Sometimes at Home Plus, you can buy packages of spices already mixed together for tacos or fajitas. If you want refried beans in your fajitas, you will have to learn to make them from scratch before you come.

After we leave the meat isle, we go on and see all kids of exotic things the Koreans eat.  We took some pictures for you to see.  We don’t know how to fix any of this stuff.  We go on to the vegetable and fruits.  There are all kinds of things to see here.  There are things we would consider normal, and some you may have never seen.  My daughter begins snapping pictures.  In one of the pictures, you can see plantains, cooking bananas.  When we lived in Nigeria, we used to buy these.  You slice them up and fry them in butter and put salt on them, and they are a great snack.  She also takes a picture of chamwee, or as some Koreans say chamway.  These are just two pronunciations we have heard for the same thing. They are small yellow melons.  I have never seen them in any other country, but they are good.  There is also a picture here of the Korean pears. They are big and round unlike American pears. They also keep for weeks on end in the fridge like apples unlike American pears.  They don’t bruise or go bad and soft quickly like American pears, and they are delicious.  There is also a shot of what Americans would call tangerines, but the Koreans call them kyul.  They are extremely popular here. They come from Jeju Island, the Korean Hawaii, an island to the complete south of the peninsula.  Many Koreans go there on vacation, and they bring these back with them.  These little tangerines are everywhere. Everyone has them. Everyone eats them.  When I get on a bus with other professors or with students to go somewhere, someone is always passing out kyul, their small tangerines. After class, often, students bring me a kyul as a gift like they bring apples to American teachers.  Kyul are just extremely, extremely popular in Korea.


Across from the fruits and vegetables, there is a special section.  These are supposed to be fruits and vegetables grown in a healthier way than the regular fruits and vegetables, organic, and they are more expensive.

After we leave the fruits and vegetables, we go past some more Korean delicacies. There is a picture here of ginseng. Koreans love ginseng.  They even put it in candy.  You can get on a bus and smell ginseng products around you, especially if there are old people.  Korea is the ginseng capital of the world.  They believe it is extremely healthy.  They were pushing it on me so much when I first got here, that I looked it up on the internet, and it doesn’t have as many special things about it that the Koreans think it does according to what I read, but it doesn’t stop them from propagating it, believing in it, and using a lot of it.  There are also pictures here of dried fish.  From what I understand,  you are supposed fry these, but I haven’t ever seen it done or know how to do it myself.


We also go past the paper products and the soap isles. We stop and take a picture of the soft plastic bag like laundry soap containers.  You can buy the regular packages here like in the States, but they also make these packages for you to use as refills for your heavy plastic bottle of detergent to make it cheaper.

Next, we head back upstairs on the moving sidewalk.  We check out at the checkout stand.  The store is crowded, so many people are checking out.  At the checkout stand, the woman will say to you “punktul dirilkayo?”  She is asking if you want a shopping bag.  You can answer in English if you say, “yeah” because that means “yes” in Korean.  If you want more than one, you will have to tell her, but she won’t speak English at all, so this is the first place you will probably have no choice but learn the Korean numbers.  In many situations, you won’t need Korean, but to check out, it is much easier if you learn just a little.  As for us, on this day, we don’t need shopping bags because we bought some with us. We have to pay for shopping bags in Korea.  I took a picture of our shopping bags.  The strawberry has a shopping bag inside, and many people carry these with them.  If you look at the blue ones, there are pictures on them.  They show you can shop and use them for trash bags.  You can only buy trash bags at the cash registers in Korea.  They have separate trash bags also that can’t be used as shopping bags, but they can’t be bought at EMart. You can buy bigger trash bags if you go to a local “super” which is what they call a small shop close to your house, but you will have to know how to ask for them.  You say “tsuregi punctul juseyo” which means please give me a trash bag.  They come in all different sizes, and you can either buy one or a package, and in the beginning, you will think they are expensive.  However, you won’t have to pay for a trash service. We actually use our bags that double as shopping bags for our trash bags. You have to buy the bags in your neighborhood or they won’t like it.  Every apartment building has a place where you deposit your trash in these special bags, and it is picked up once a week like the recycling.

Now, we are back in our car and leaving the parking garage. There are so many cars, there is a traffic jam coming out of the parking garage, and we just have to be patient. We are all waiting perched on a slope. It is hard to perch your car on a slope during a traffic jam. One false move, and you have hit another car.  Finally, we get to the bottom, and there is a little booth.  Luckily, at EMart, they don’t charge you to park, although, when they first put these booths in, they did, but now, they just count how long you were there and how many cars have been in the parking lot. However, if you go to a big fancy department store like Hyundai Department Store in Mokdong, you will have to collect every receipt you receive.  You must prove to them you have been shopping and not just using their parking garage for something else because parking can become a really big deal in Korea. If you have bought enough, you will not have to pay to get out of the parking garage at Hyundai Department Store, but if you have not bought enough for the amount of time you have been inside, then you must pay to get out.  I have actually found a way around all this nonsense.  When we go over there, the first temptation is to park on the pink floor of the parking garage because it has flowers, statues, etc., and everything is painted in pink for women to park there, but I don’t.  I go all the way to the bottom of the parking garage, in the deepest basement.  Very few cars go down there, so when it is time to leave, they may not have posted anyone at the gate and won’t have anyone there to charge you anything as you go out if you are lucky.

Our shopping trip is finished, and we head back for our apartment building.  When I get home, I plan on blogging before I forget what we did. On the way home, we talk about all the other things we do or can do in Korea that foreigners will enjoy reading about, so this isn’t the end of my blogging, just one blog.










Beginning to Speak Romanian, Part 5

I began going through the Reading books with you yesterday, and today, I will continue. I almost finished the first book, but the blog seemed to be getting long, and I didn’t want to overwhelm anyone, so I cut it short and didn’t finish the book. Today, I will finish the book. This is the end of the first book and the beginning of the next book. The next book has exercises, so let’s see how much you can remember.

Vocabulary: aceasta = this, un= “a,” masculine, copac = tree, sunt = am, are, în = in, Mingele = the balls, cutie= box, the box, copacul = the tree,

Aceasta este un copac. = This is a tree. (pronunciation: ahche-ahstah yesteh un cohpahc, “aceasta” is a feminine form of “this.” “Un copac” is a masculine noun and article.)

Aceasta este o minge. = This is a ball.

Aceasta este o cutie. = This is a box. (pronuncation of “cutie”: kootee-ay)

Photo by Pixabay on

Mingele sunt în cutie. = The balls are in the box.

Petru este în copac. = Peter is in the tree.

Aici este Petru în copacul. = Here is Peter in the tree. (pronuncation of aici: ah-eech)

Exercises from the next book:

Directions: Fill in the blanks.

(The answers are at the bottom.)

Photo by Thgusstavo Santana on
  1. Aici este Petru. Îmi __________ Petru.
Photo by nappy on

2. ____________este Iuanna. Îmi place Iuanna.

3. Aici este câinele. Îmi place _____________.

4. Aici este magazinul. Îmi place __________________.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on

5. Aici este o minge. Îmi place ________________.

Photo by Pixabay on

6. Aici este un copac. Îmi place __________________.

7. Aici este o jucărie. Îmi place _______________.

Photo by @thiszun (follow me on IG, FB) on

8. Magazinul este ____________.

Photo by Pixabay on

9. Copacul este _____________.

Photo by Helena Lopes on

10. ________________este aici.



  1. place
  2. aici
  3. câinele
  4. magazinul
  5. mingea
  6. copacul
  7. jucăria
  8. aici
  9. aici
  10. câinele

What Are We Celebrating When We Celebrate Halloween?

Most people only know about the candy, the costumes, the Jack-o-lanterns, and other things that go bump in the night. They don’t want to skip Halloween because it is so much fun for the kids. When I was in Romania, there were people who questioned whether I should be celebrating Halloween because they saw people dressed as devils, as ghosts, as skeletons, etc. They wondered if it was a holiday that Christians should celebrate. When I was teaching at Ohio University, I had a student who thought she was a witch, and she wrote an essay about Halloween being a special holiday for witches when they set a place at the table for their dead relatives, and only on that night, their dead relatives could join them. She didn’t realize it, but she was referring to Samhain, a Druid holiday that happened several times a year in old England before Christianity came to England. However, Halloween is only one time a year, not four times a year. If we want to understand what Halloween is, we need to go to the meaning of the name. The old name for Halloween is “All Halo’s Eve.”

We all know from “Christmas Eve” that “Eve” means the day before. This means that “All Halo’s Eve” is the day before a very holy day. That very holy day is October first. If you are in England, you will know that October first is considered “All Saints’ Day.” All Saints’ Day is the day that the English celebrate the fact that Christianity came to England and they all became Christians. If you read the Bible, a saint is a Christian. If you are a saint, it means that you have been set aside for God. If you read the book of Philippians in the Bible, it is addressed to “all the saints” in Philippi which means all the Christians in Philippi. A saint in the Bible is not a dead person like the Catholic and Orthodox churches teach, but a Christian. When the British celebrate “All Saints’ Day,” they are celebrating that the are all Christians. When they used to celebrate “All Halo’s Eve,” they were celebrating the day before “All Saints’ Day.”

We have to wonder where all the ghosts and goblins come come into a holiday when they are celebrating that they all became Christians. The British love theater. When I was a little girl in England, they put me in a crepe paper dress and put me on the stage at the community center and had me singing. Theater is a big English tradition. They used to dress in costumes and go from house to house putting on plays. It was called Mummer’s theater. Halloween was one of those times they went from house to house in costumes putting on plays. Why did they choose the particular scary costumes that they chose?

The ghosts, goblins, witches, etc. are part of the old Druid religion, the religion of England before Christianity came. The witches were old women who sat around big bonfires telling stories on Halloween. The witches did voodoo. When I read the novel “Return of the Native” by Thomas Hardy, the setting was old England. There were witches in his novel who were making voodoo dolls trying to control people and also sitting around the big bonfires telling stories. The Jack-o-lantern was one of the stories they told. A man named Jack offended the devil, so he was condemned to walking the earth every October 31st for eternity. Probably, Jack became a Christian, so he began celebrating All Halo’s Eve. That would offend the devil. They didn’t use pumpkins to make the Jack-o-lantern in the beginning, but a large turnip. The Druid priest used to tell scary stories to try to control the people with fear. They told stories like “the Three Billy Goats Gruff.” There was a troll under the bridge that kept everyone in fear. If you think about a lot of the very old English stories, they may be called “fairy tales,” but are usually downright scary. That is how the Druids controlled the people.

If you read the original tales of King Arthur, the Druids were the bad guys. There is one particular one about a Druid breaking into the castle at night and stabbing one of King Arthur’s servants who slept in the castle that night because the next day King Arthur and his servant were going out looking for the Holy Grail. Many people think that the Holy Grail was the cup that Christ drank from. The cup that Christ drank from is a life dedicated to God, a life of sacrifice and love of others, a life of Christianity. The Druids were trying to stop Christianity from getting into the palace. The Druid priests were the bad guys. They ruled the people with fear, and they weren’t ready to give up their place in society when Christianity came in.

On All Halo’s Eve, the people were celebrating that they didn’t have to be scared of the Druids and all their crazy stories any more because Christianity had come. Since they liked costumes so much, they dressed up as the crazy things from the old Druid religion and went around joking and seeing if they could scare one another. All the costumes and scaring one another was just them playing with one another. When the people from the Mummer’s theater went from house to house, they people gave them good food like cakes and fruit as a reward for their plays. Halloween was just a big game the English played. On All Halo’s Eve, they played the games, and on All Saints’ Day, the next day, all the costumes were put away. All was right with the world because God was in control, not the Druids. They were ruled by love and not by fear. That is truly something to celebrate.

They were completely serious about being happy that the Druids were gone because the Druids had them so scared that expressions like “scared to death” came into being because people were actually scared so hard that it stopped their hearts. It was a time of fear and superstition. I have seen that kind of fear when I lived in Nigeria because they still have Juju men, men who are supposed to do magic just like the witches did. The Juju men rule people just like the Druids did. At the market place one day, I saw a Juju man. He was barely dressed. He had on a crazy wig and just a lion cloth. He was throwing something that caused puffs of smoke and scaring the people. They were all around him watching him. They were scared to death if he pointed in their direction, and the crowd would back up when he pointed in fear. I have a missionary friend who said he actually saw a Juju man point at a man on a Friday, and by Monday, the man was dead. The doctor’s diagnosis was that he was literally “scared to death.” This is how hard of a hold the Druids had over the English people. They really had something to celebrate when Christianity came. Those Juju men, witches, and Druids only have the power that we give them. If we don’t believe in them, they can’t scare us to death. When Christianity came, the people believed in God, the God of love, not of fear.

The English also always had a bonfire the evening of All Halo’s Eve. A bonfire is a huge, huge fire where everyone gathers. The British still do the bonfires. When they came to America, they were still doing the bonfires, but they weren’t using the costumes anymore. After they got to America, they figured out the pumpkins worked better than the turnips as Jack-o-lanterns because they were bigger. After a while, they stopped doing the bonfires in America. The Irish were still using the costumes on All Halo’s Eve. When the Irish came to America, they brought their costumes with them, and the Americans loved the costumes, so they began using them too. The Americans have no idea what they are doing when they dawn those costumes except that they are having a good time. They don’t know the origin of the holiday or what they are celebrating at all. They just think they are having a big party that is fun, and they would never not celebrate because they want the kids to have the fun of dressing up and eating candy.


Korean Lesson 51, Animals and More (동물과 더많은 것)

I am almost out of picture cards to talk about, but I think that we have come a long way by talking about these pictures on the my cards. I have a few more, so lets talk a bit more about them.

Vocabulary and Grammar: (단어 와 문법): 고릴라 (gohreelrah) = gorilla, 원숭이 (wonsooghee) = monkey, 가장 커요 (kahjahng kyeoyo) = is, am, are the biggest (superlative verb), 가장 큰 (kahjahng kun = biggest (superlative adjective), 보다 (bohdah) = than, and if it is a verb, it means “look” or “see,” 더 커요 (deo kyeoyo) = is, am, are bigger (comparative verb). 더 큰 (deo kun) = bigger (comparative adjective), 과일 (kwah-eel) = fruit, 잎 (eep) = leaf, leaves, 뿌리(bbooree) = root, roots, 주황 색 (joowhahng sek) = orange (the color), 오렌지 (ohrehngee) = orange (the fruit), 따뜻한 (ddahdduthan) = warm, 날씨 (nalshee) = weather, 캐리포니아 (kehreepohnee-ah) = California, 프로리다 (purohreedah) = Florida, 제주 도 (jehjoo doh) = Jeju Island, the state of Jeju, 한국 (hangook) = Korea, 한국인 (hangook een) = a Korean person, 한국인들 (hangook een dul) = Koreans, 사랑 해요 (sahrang heyo) = love, loves, 항상 (hangsang) = always, 산물 (sonmool) = gift, 선물 로 (sonmool roh) = as a gift, 줘요 (johyo) = give, gives. 오때 (ohddeh) = how, 오때요? (dhddehyo) = how are they, how is it. 맛 (mash) = taste (noun), 마시사요 (masheesahyo) = it tastes good (a verb), 좋아요 (joh-ahyo) = is, are, am good, (a verb), 좋은 (joh-un) = good (adjective), 건강 해요 (konkang heyo) = is, am, are healthy (a verb).

이것은 뭐처요? (What is this?/What are these?)

이것은 고릴라 이예요. (This is a gorilla./ These are gorillas.)

고릴라는 어디에 살아요? (Where do gorillas live?)

고릴라는 아프리카에 살아요. (Gorillas live in Africa.)

고릴라 나 원숭이 는 가장 켜요? (Is the gorilla or the monkey the biggest?)

고릴라는 원숭이 보다 더 커요. (The gorilla is bigger than the monkey.)

두 번째 사지의 고릴라는 어디 있어요? (Where is the gorilla in the second picture?)

두 번째 사지의 고릴라는 숲에 있어요. (The gorilla in the second picture is in the forest.)

고릴라는 무순 색 이예요? (What color is the gorilla?)

고릴라는 금색 이예요? (Gorillas are black.)

고릴라는 무슨것을 먹어요? (What do gorillas eat?)

고릴라는 과일 과 나무의 잎과 뿌리를 먹어요. (Gorillas eat fruit or leaves and roots from trees.)

이것은 뭐예요? (What is this?/What are these?)

이것은 오렌지 있어요. (This is an orange./ These are oranges.)

오렌지는 무슨색 이예요? (What color are oranges?)

오렌지는 주환 색 이예요. (Oranges are orange.)

첫 번째 색에 오렌지는 몇 개 있어요? (How many oranges are in the first picture?)

첫 번째 사진에 오렌지는 한 개 있어요. (There is one orange in the first picture.

두번째 사진에 오렌지는 몇 개 있어요? (How many oranges are in the second picture?)

두 번째 사진에 오렌지는 세 개 있어요. (There are three oranges in the second picture.)

세 번째 사진에 오렌지는 몇 개 있어요? (How many oranges are in the third picture?)

세 번째 사진에 오렌지는 세 개 있어요. (There are two oranges in the third picture.)

오렌지는 어디에 자라요? (Where do oranges grow?)

오렌진는 나무에 자라요. (Oranges grow on trees.)

오렌지는 따뜻한 날씨에 자라요. (Oranges grow in warm weather.)

오렌지는 아프리카에 자라요. (Oranges grow in Africa.)

오렌지는 캘리포니아에 자라요. (Oranges grow in California.)

오렌지는 프로리다 에 자라요. (Oranges grow in Florida.)

오렌지는 제주 도에 한국애 자라요. (Oranges grow on Jeju Island in Korea.)

한국인들이 오랜지를 사랑 해요. (Koreans love oranges.)

한국인들이 항상 선물로 오렌지를 줘요. (Koreans always give oranges as gifts.)

오렌진는 어대요? (How are oranges?)

오렌지는 맛이 좋아요. (Oranges taste good.)

오렌지는 좋은 과일 이예요 (Oranges are a good fruit.)

오랜지는 건강해요 (Oranges are healthy.)


Romanian Lesson 106, Boaz Establishes His Right to Marry Ruth (Limbă Română, Lecție 106, Boaz Își Stabilește Dreptul de a se Căsători cu Rut)

There was a custom in the Old Testament among the Jews that we don’t have today. (Era un obicei în Vechiul Testamentul printre everi pe care nu avem astăzi.) If a man dies, his brother or close relative has the right to marry his widow, and any children they may have will be considered the children of the dead man. (Daca un bărbat moare, frate lui sau o rude aproape are dreptul să casatorește cu vaduvă lui, și orice copii ei poate să aibă va fi considerat copii de bărbatul pe care omorit.) Boaz wanted to marry Ruth, but there was one many who was a closer relative to Ruth’s dead husband than he was. (Boaz a vrut să casatorește cu Rut, dar era un bărbat pe care era o rude mai aproape la soțul mort a lui Rut.) Boaz wanted to marry Ruth, so he had to make sure the other man didn’t have intentions to do so first. (Boaz a vrut să casatorește cu Rut, așa el a trebuit să fi sigur ca celealte bărbat nu a avut intenții să o faca în primul rând.)

Boaz asked the man to meet him. (Boaz a cerut bărbatul să întâlnește cu el.) Boaz took ten Jewish elders as witnesses. (Boaz a luat zece bătrâni everei ca martorii.) He said to the man, “Naomi has a piece of land she wants to sell. Since we are the closest relatives, before I buy it, I thought I would ask you first if you want it.” (El a zis la bărbatul: ,,Naomi are niște pământ pe care ea vrea să vinde. Din cauză ca noi sintem cel mai aproape rudele ei, înainte îl cumpăr, am crezut să te întreb în primul rând daca vrei să o cupărați.) The man said he wanted to buy it. (Bărbatul a zis ca el a vrut să o cupără.) Boaz said, “If you buy it, you know that means that you get everything else that goes with the land, including Ruth, the Moabites, the widow that was married to Naomi’s son.” (Boaz a zis: ,,Daca îl cumpărați, asta e inseamnă cu tu primit tot cele alte pe care merge cu pământul, inclus Rut, moabită, vaduva pe care era casatorit cu fiul lui Naomi.)

The man replied, “I can’t buy it. I might endanger my own estate. You buy it because I can’t.” (Bărbatul a răspuns: ,,Nu pot să o cumpără. Poate eu fac moșia mea în pericol. Tu îl cupărați pentru ca nu pot.”) When he said this, he removed his sandal and gave it to Boaz. (El a scos sandala lui și a dat o lui Boaz.) In that time, when they removed their sandal and gave it to the other man, it meant the deal was legalized. (În timpul acea, când ei au scos sandalele or și a dat o la celelate bărbat, era inseamnă cu afacera era legalizat.)

Ruth now belonged to Boaz.

Then Boaz said to the man and the elders, “Now, you have witnessed that I have bought everything that belonged to Naomi, her late husband and her late sons. I have also acquired Ruth as my wife. Her late husband, Mahlon’s name, will be in all the records.” (Atunci Boaz a zis la bărbatul și bătrânii: ,,Acum ați martorit ca am cumpărat tot pe care era Naomi lui, și de soțul mort ți fii morții. Și am primit Rut ca soția mea. Numele de Mahlon, soțul mort ei, va fi în tot dosalrele.”) The elders confirmed that everything he said was true and the Ruth was his wife. (Bătrânii au confirmat ca tot pe care el a zis era adevărat și ca Rut era soția lui.) They congratulated him and wished him to be the father of many children. (L-au felicitat și a dorit pentru el să fi tatăl de mult copii.)

Ruth and Boaz were very happy, and they married. (Rut și Boaz erau foarte fericit și a casatorit.) Not long after that, Ruth had a baby. (Nu prea mult după aceea, Rut a avut un copil.) Naomi was overjoyed to be a grandmother. (Noami era foarte bucuros să fi o bunică.) Noami finally had joy in her old age. (Noami în sfârșit a avut bucurie când ea era bătrână.) She spent a lot of time with the baby. (Ea a cheltuit mult timp cu copilul.) The name of the child was Obed. (Numele de copilul era Obed.) Obed was the grandfather of King David. (Obed era Bunicul de rege David.) These were the relatives of Jesus. (Asta erau rudele de Iesu.)

Photo by DreamLens Production on

A Very Unusual Ice Storm in Oklahoma

I knew already that it freezes in Oklahoma, and I have been around the world and back several times in my life, but the weather today in Oklahoma is downright strange. It is only fall here, not winter. We have checked into a hotel because we have no electricity because of the ice, and the girl at the front desk of the hotel says she has never seen anything like what is happening right now in Oklahoma City either.

There was no snow, just everything was covered with ice.

When I woke up this morning, we had electricity. However, as I began to go about my day, I kept hearing strange noises, but I didn’t know what they were. I ascertained that the noises weren’t coming from inside the house. They were like swishing sounds. When I looked out the front door, I could see that it was really cold out there. The cars were completely encased in ice, the grass was covered with ice, and there were icicles hanging from the trees. The weather had been so warm up until yesterday that you could almost go around without even a sweater, but it rained Sunday evening. After that, yesterday, there was rain, snow, and ice all in the same day. It had gotten cold really fast! As I looked into my yard, I noticed that there were small tree limbs laying on the lawn. I figured the wind must have blown really hard for those limbs to be down, and strong wind is not unusual in Oklahoma. However, at the moment, the wind wasn’t blowing.

I thought we could heat like this, but the stove wasn’t working.

I got my breakfast and turned the TV on. My daughter was home from work because the day before her boss had suggested that she may want to work from home today because the roads would be icy. I sat and ate my oatmeal and tried to find something good to watch on TV. My daughter was in her room with her computer working. About the time I finished my oatmeal, the electricity just clicked off! The alarm for the front door beeped a couple of times and went off. The TV was off, and most importantly, the heater was off. Every few minutes, it was like there was a flicker of hope because the front door alarm would beep and the heater would begin, but they clicked on, then off, and then there was nothing. I thought, “Wow! We don’t have electricity. We won’t have heat, and I can’t blog.” I went to turn the gas oven on to use as a heater, but it must have had an electrical component or perhaps the gas is out too because even the gas oven didn’t work.

My daughter kept calling people, but she couldn’t get through to anyone.

My daughter had come into the living room by this point. We were discussing what we needed to do. Should we just wait? I told her we needed to call someone, and since she works at OG&E, she called her boss to let him know that she had no internet, so she couldn’t work, but he didn’t answer. She left him a text message. I told her that we needed to call someone to get the electricity back on, and she had the number, but she got a list of choices, and she didn’t know which button to press because we didn’t know anything about the cause for the outage. I was wishing we had a neighbor’s phone number to call them to see if they had electricity. I suggested we call the manager’s office of our neighborhood, but all she got was a list of options and a tape recording. No one was answering their phone anywhere.

We had just been enjoying the change of the autumn leaves, and there were leaves all over the ground as well as tree limbs that were frozen. Even the leaves on the trees were frozen.

Just then, there was a huge “BOOM!” right outside the window I was sitting close to. We ran to the front door and looked out. It wasn’t just a small tree limb this time, but a big thick branch had fallen off one of the trees in our yard, and I could see that it could have come right through the window, and we were lucky it didn’t. The tree branch had completely frozen through, and that was the noises I was hearing in the morning. Everything was freezing, and the tree branches were falling off because they were frozen. I had never seen anything like it! I said I needed to get dress and go talk to one of the neighbors, but my daughter said she would go.

The woman in the truck said they had gotten through to OG& E, and they were working on the electricty.

She put on her coat and ran outside. There were tree branches down in everyone’s yards and more falling. There was a man outside screaming curse words because of the situation. A woman drove by in a truck, and my daughter flagged her down. She rolled her window down, and the woman told her that the people in the neighborhood had already called OG&E and they were fixing the downed power lines, but it was going to be a while before they got them fixed. She came back in the house and told me what happened.

We were both wrapped in blankets, and you can be sure our feet weren’t bare. It was too cold.

I told her that we needed to have an alternative source of heat because heat seemed to be the immediate problem, but we didn’t have one. She said she was planning on buying a house, and when she did, she was going to make sure it had a fire place. We weren’t even equipped with candles. The house was beginning to get cold, and I went to my bedroom and got the blanket off my bed and put it over me. I told my daughter that I had seen on Facebook where someone was without electricity for several days last year during an ice storm in Oklahoma, so we really needed to figure out what we were going to do. I knew we could go and buy a kerosene stove, but unfortunately, I am allergic to kerosene. When we used it before, it made my face swell up and get really red. I wasn’t ready for that. I suggested that we check into the hotel where she used to work, but she didn’t jump on the idea right away. I think she figured we were out of options, so she finally called the hotel and made a reservation.

As we were packing our suitcases, I kept reaching for a light switch forgetting there was no electricity to turn the light on. I think we are conditioned by those light switches to switch them on we are so used to them.

We got dressed and packed our bags to leave for the hotel. We could hear tree branches still falling off the trees outside. We left our water dripping so the water wouldn’t freeze in the pipes and burst when it thawed out. My daughter cleared the fridge out and put the food in the trunk of the car to keep it cold. The cold had come so suddenly that I was worried about the antifreeze in the car because every fall, I take my car to the mechanic so they can make sure it is ready for winter, but I hadn’t done it this year yet. We figured the white car was probably okay because we had antifreeze put in it last year, but the blue car probably wasn’t because we hadn’t had it long enough to know where there was antifreeze in it or not, so we would take the white car. I suggested to my daughter that we should turn the car on and let it warm up before we drove it, and she went out and turned the engine on.

As we headed for the hotel, there were trees laying all over the road, and my daughter had to drive around them.

We packed the car with our suitcases, but my daughter’s phone rang, and it was OG&E. They needed her to check something on her computer, so she went back into the house. I scrapped all the ice off the car windows, and then I got into the car. I wanted to drive because I am experienced in driving in ice and snow, but I knew my daughter wouldn’t go for it. She is a new driver, and I didn’t want to hit a patch of ice and her not know how to handle it. I turned the heater on in the car and sat and waited for her to come. When she came, I suggested that I drive, and I got a complete and utter negative response. She told me I didn’t trust her driving. I asked her if she she knew to do when there was ice on the road, and she said, “Yes, just go slow.” That was the wrong answer, but she just wanted to shut me up. I couldn’t get the right answer out of her, so I ended up telling her what to do in case she encountered ice on the road, and it just made her mad. However, our situation stopped her from being too mad, and I shut up hoping not to get any more anger from her. She had to concentrate on driving because there were obstacles everywhere.

The people fixing the power lines are leaning all over my daughter today for information, and she is afraid she may be working overtime.

As we drove out of our neighborhood, there were downed trees everywhere. There were big tree branches all over the road. When I lived in Oklahoma before, we lived in the woods, and even when it froze, the tree branches never came down like these tree branches were coming down. It was amazing! We drove on to the hotel. My daughter said her boss was happy that she was checking into a hotel because she couldn’t work without electricity, and she happens to be one of the necessary people today because the people from OG&E keep calling her for information so they can do their jobs and get everyone’s electricity back on. She says she is not the most important person today, but she is a kind of support for the people at OG&E. Her phone kept ringing as we drove down the road toward the hotel.

We are blessed because there is electricity at the hotel. God takes care of us.

When we got to the hotel, the sidewalk around the hotel was covered with ice, so I walked in the road. When we checked into the hotel, the television was on in the lobby. It was talking about Red Cross and triple A, a car rescue place, rescuing people because of the ice. There were school closings posted at the bottom of the TV. The girl at the front desk said she was amazed because she had never seen anything like this. Well, I have been around the world and back several times, and I have never seen ice to what it is doing today in Oklahoma. The girl at the front desk said the hotel was booked up because of the ice, and we were lucky that we called when we did because there wouldn’t have been a room otherwise. She also said she wasn’t going to go home when her shift was over because she was afraid of the ice, so she was going to stay in the hotel too.