Hannah and Je together

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Lexus ES 350

It’s late night but I cannot get asleep.  I still cannot believe what happened today.  Pastor’s secretary asked me to come to church because the pastor wants to see me.  So I went to church.  We had a little chat, and he wanted to walk outside.  And there was red Lexus ES 350 with ribbons!

지금 꽤 밤이 늦었는데, 잠이 오질 않는다.  아직까지도 오늘 일어난 일이 믿기지 않는다.  목사님 비서가 연락이 와서 목사님이 날 보고 싶어 한다고 해서 교회에 갔다.  잠시 몇가지 얘기를 나눈 뒤에 밖에좀 나가자고 해서 갔더니, 빨간색 렉서스 ES 350이 리본이 달려 있는 것이었다!

This is the best Christmas gift that I’ve ever had in my entire life!  I am so thankful and tearful!  Thanks to the Lord, and to my pastor as well as my church family.

내 평생 받아본 것 중에 가장 최고의 선물이다!  너무 감사하고 기뻐서 눈물이 난다.  주님께 감사하고, 목사님께 감사하고, 모든 교회 식구들에게 감사한다.

I’ve been driving my car for long time, and three years ago, the heater stopped working.  I wanted to fix it, but I was told that it would cost $800 at a garage.  I googled and did some research about it and found that it would cost $800 to $1,000 to fix it because the problem is the heat core which is on the innermost part of the car.

내 차를 꽤 오래 탔는데, 약 3년 전에 히터가 고장이 났다.  고치려고 했는데, 정비소에서 800불이 든다고 한다.  구글 검색하고 좀 찾아보니 인터넷에서도 800불에서 천불 사이로 수리비용이 나온다고 한다.  이는 문제가 히트 코어라고 하는 부분에서 발생했기 때문인데, 차에서 가장 안쪽에 들어있는 부품이다.

I badly wanted to fix it — I am in Chicago area.  But my car is old and rusty and thought it would not be wise to spend that much money on this car which I bought long time ago with just three grand.  Then I decided to buy my wife a good jacket because she cannot bear the cold even a bit.  So we bought a Canada Goose which costed almost the same.

난 정말 정말 고치고 싶었다.  시카고 지역에 살기 때문이다 (시카고 지역은 꽤 춥다).  하지만 낡고 녹슨 차에 그 많은 돈을 들이는 게 현명하다고 생각되지 않았다.  내 차는 한참 전에 샀는데, 3천불 정도만 주고 산 것이다.  아내는 조그만 추위도 못 견디는데, 그래서 차라리 아내에게 좋은 코트를 사주자고 생각했고, 거의 같은 가격의 캐나다 구스를 사줬다.

Thankfully she was warm in the coat, but we were still freezing in the car for three winters in Chicago.  And recently some of the people in my church found that out, and they told the pastors (we have two senior co-pastors).  Then the pastors asked people if anyone would be willing to donate any car with heater.  And the result was Lexus ES 350!

감사하게도 아내는 그 코트를 입고 따뜻하게 지낼 수 있었지만, 우리는 시카고 지역에서 세 번의 겨울을 덜덜 떨며 얼어붙는 차 안에서 지내야 했다.  그런데 최근에 교인 몇몇이 그걸 알게 되었고, 이를 목사님에게 (우리 교회는 담임 목사님이 두분이다) 알렸다.  목사님이 수소문을 해서 혹시 히터가 나오는 아무 차라도 기증할 사람이 있는지 알아봤고, 교인이 렉서스 ES 350을 기증했다.

It has almost full option with luxury and shining things, and the mileage is quite low.  The overall condition is really good.

거의 완전 풀 옵션에다가 꽤 고급이고 반짝반짝 빛난다.  마일리지도 꽤 낮은 편이고, 전반적 상태가 완전 좋다.

Wow!  I don’t know what to say.  Lexus is very high end brand and I have never imagine myself buying or driving one, even for used one.  THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER!

와!  뭐라고 말을 해야 할지 모르겠다.  렉서스는 꽤 비싼 고급 브랜드로 단 한 번도 렉서스를 사거나 몰 생각을 해 보지도 못했다.  심지어 중고도 말이다.  역대 최고의 성탄절 선물임이 틀림없다!

 

Friday, 18 November 2016

Public Library

When people ask me what I am doing these day, I tell them that I spend most of the time at public libraries, and that is true.  After I finished school, I moved into my wife’s parents’ house temporarily (hopefully).  And they do not have internet home.  That is why I began public library tour.

사람들이 요즘 뭐하냐고 물으면 대부분의 시간을 공립 도서관에서 보낸다고 대답한다.  그게 사실이니까. 졸업하고 나서 처가집으로 임시 (제발!) 이사를 갔다.  그런데 집에 인터넷이 없어서 공립 도서관에 가기 시작했다.

I’ve been to many public libraries around Chicago suburbs including Naperville, Aurora, Darien, Bolingbrook, and couple more.  All public libraries have free wi-fi, free A/C and heater (according to season), free books, free CD, free DVD.  They also rent game consoles such as X-Box and PlayStation, game titles, laptops (both PC and Mac), hoopla, netflix and other devices.  At Naperville libraries, the survey is going on what people want to check-out: Google Chromecast, iPad, Go Pro Cam, and couple more cool gadgets.

시카고 교외지역의 여러 공립 도서관에 다녀봤다.  네이퍼빌, 오로라, 대리언, 볼링브룩을 비롯한 여러 도시들인데, 모든 도서관에는 와이파이가 공짜, 냉난방(계절에 따라)이 공짜, 책이 공짜, 음악 씨디가 공짜, 영화 디비디가 공짜다.  또한 엑박이나 플스와 같은 게임기를 대여해 주고, 게임 타이틀도 수천개 빌릴 수 있고, 랩탑 (피씨와 맥 모두)도 빌려주고, 후플라와 넷플릭스 같은 장비도 대여해 준다.  네이퍼빌 도서관에서는 현재 어떤 장비를 추가로 대여하고 싶은지 설문조사 중인데, 장비에는 구글 크롬캐스트, 아이패드, 고프로 캠 등을 비롯한 최신 장비들이 가득 예시되어 있다.

All these are free.  And I wish they would have free coffee as well.  But as Christine, the head librarian at JKM Library (for both McCormick Theological Seminary and Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago), pointed out, these are not free.  The library is run by the taxes we pay.  And for that reason, I am so proud that I am paying tax.  And I am so happy that my tax is used for the public library.

이 모든 게 공짜다!  커피도 좀 공짜로 줬으면 좋겠는데… 하지만 JKM 도서관(맥코믹 신학교와 루터교 신학교의 도서관) 관장인 크리스틴이 지적한 것 처럼 이들은 공짜가 아니다.  도서관은 우리가 내는 세금으로 운영된다.  그런 이유로 나는 내가 세금을 낸다는 사실이 자랑스럽고, 또 그 세금이 이런 공립 도서관에 쓰인다는 게 너무 기쁘다.

When I moved to Canada from Korea, I was so surprised at Toronto Public Libraries.  They are so awesome and great.  I’ve never seen such library in Korea.  I guess Korea also has similar ones but they are not accessible.  I usually went to big book stores to read (for free) such as Kyobo and Chongro.  But these libraries in Toronto and also in Winnipeg are so easily accessible and has a lot of books (even Korean books!) and provide various services to the public.  There are giant libraries in downtown area, but there are also small libraries in residential areas.  If the book you want is not available at your next door library, you can ask for it, then they will bring it so that you can pick it up at your own next door library.

한국에서 캐나다로 처음 왔을 때, 토론토 공립 도서관을 보고 너무 놀랐다.  이렇게 좋고 훌륭할 수가!  이런 건 한국에서 본 적이 없었다.  물론 한국에도 이런게 있겠지만 잘 알려지지도 쉽게 갈 수도 없었다.  한국에서는 주로 교보문고나 종로서적과 같은 대형 책방에 가서 책을 공짜로 읽었다.  토론토와 위니펙의 도서관들은 쉽게 찾아갈 수가 있는데다 책도 많았다.  (한국책도 있었다!)  또한 대중에게 여러 다양한 서비스를 해준다.  다운타운 지역에는 거대한 도서관이 있지만, 주거지역에도 도서관들이 많이 있다.  집 근처 도서관에 원하는 책이 없어서 신청을 하면, 그 책을 다른 도서관에서 운반해 줘서 집 옆 도서관에서 찾아갈 수도 있다.

These library system is so cool and awesome.  This is the ONE thing that I love the most in Canada and in America.  God bless the public libraries!

이런 도서관 시스템은 너무 훌륭하고 좋다.  캐나다와 미국에서 내가 제일 좋아하는 것이 바로 이런 도서관 시스템이다.  도서관 만세!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Voting Experiences

I have voted just once in America, but I experienced it twice.  Because I went with my wife for the primary.  Interestingly enough, I have experienced two different places.

투표를 사실은 한 번 처음 해봤지만, 두 번 경험했다고 할 수 있는데, 경선에 마님을 모시고 갔기 때문이다.  꽤 흥미롭게도 두번의 경험은 전혀 다른 곳이었다.

The first was at Chicago south, which is black neighbourhood.  And the second was at Chicago Suburb which is white neighbourhood.

첫번째는 시카고 남부였는데, 흑인 밀집 지역이다.  그리고 두번째는 시카고 교회지역으로 백인들이 사는 곳이다.

At Chicago south, we waited for two hours to vote.  It was very long line and there was not even chairs to sit and wait.  And some (actually many) people left while waiting.  There were so many people but voting machines were just a few.

시카고 남부에서는 투표하기 위해 두 시간을 기다렸다.  줄은 엄청 길고, 심지어 앉아 기다릴 수 있는 의자도 없었다.  그리고 몇몇은 (사실 꽤 많은 사람들이) 기다리다가 그냥 가버렸다.  사람들은 엄청 많은데 투표하는 기계는 단 몇대 뿐이었다.

At Chicago suburb, I did not wait at all.  It was very pleasant.  There were so many voting machines.

시카고 교외지역에서는 전혀 기다리지 않았다.  꽤 쾌적했고, 투표 기계도 굉장히 많이 구비되어 있었다.

I am not saying anything.  I am just describing what I have experienced.

뭐 별다른 주장을 하려는 건 아니고,그냥  경험을 말하는 것 뿐이다.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Cocoa Beach 1

It was Sunday when we went to Cocoa Beach, and I looked up the PCUSA website for a Presbyterian church nearby.

코코 해변에 도착했을 때는 주일이어서 미국장로교 홈페이지에 가서 근처 장로교 교회를 검색했다.

1.Riverside Presbyterian Church07.resized

The Riverside Presbyterian Church in Cocoa Beach, FL has very beautiful church building.  The main (or sanctuary) building has tree theme.  As seen above, it is like a big tree spreading its branches everywhere and the main trunk is on the stage.

플로리다주의 코코 해변에 있는 강변 (또는 리버사이드) 장로교회는 정말 아름다운 건물들을 갖고 있다.  본관 또는 예배당은 거대한 나무 테마로 지어진 듯 하다.  위에서 보듯이 몸통은 무대 위에 있고 가지가 사방으로 뻗어 나가는 모양이다.

1.Riverside Presbyterian Church12.resized

The church has a few separate building and their garden is so beautiful.  There is one interesting thing, that the church parking is actually on a lawn.  It is really nice that the grass does not heat up the car as much as the paved lot.  It is interesting to me because I remember the Presbyterian church in Naples, FL (where I went last year) also made their parking space on a lawn.

교회에는 건물이 몇 채 있고 정원도 정말 아름다웠다.  한가지 흥미로운 점은 교회 주차장이 잔디라는 것이다.  이게 꽤 좋은게, 잔디는 포장된 주차장 만큼 차를 덥히지 않기 때문이다.  내가 흥미롭다고 느낀 이유는 내가 작년에 방문한 플로리다 주의 네이플스에 있는 장로교회도 주차장을 잔디고 만들었기 떄문이다.

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We googled for Korean grocery store nearby and found one.  It is much smaller than those in Chicagoland but I should not compare because Chicago has third largest Korean community in America, following Los Angeles and New York.  The reason we went to the Korean grocery store is to buy rice and kimchi.  I can live without rice and kimchi, but not my aunt.  She must, I mean, MUST eat rice and kimchi everyday.

한국 식료품점이 근처에 있나 구글에서 찾아 봤는데, 하나 있었다.  시카고 지역에 있는 것보다 엄청 작지만, 비교할 순 없는게, 시카고는 미국에서 나성과 뉴욕 다음으로 한국인들이 많은 곳이기 때문이다.  한국 식료품점에 간 이유는 쌀과 김치를 사기 위해서였다.  나는 밥과 김치 없이도 살 수 있는데, 이모님은 밥과 김치를 좀 드셔야 하기 때문이다.

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Then we went to Hightower Beach.  And it was windier than Miami or Naples.  But the wind itself was nice and pleasant.  The wave also was higher which I thought nicer.  But when my mother tried the tube, she flipped over at the first try.  She hurt herself but not badly.  She sat on the lawn chair and rested.  A young lady (probably in her 30s or early 40s) next to us was worried about my mother and came over to see her.  Then she gave my mother a bottle of cold water.  I really felt so thankful about her, and may God bless her richly!

그 후에는 하이타워 해변에 갔다.  마이애미나 네이플스에 있을 때 보다는 바람이 좀 더 있었는데, 바람 자체는 꽤 기분 좋게 만드는 시원한 바람이었다.  파도도 조금 더 셌는데, 놀기 좋다고 생각을 했었다.  그런데, 어머니가 튜브를 타려고 하셨을 때 처음에 바로 뒤집어 지셨다.  좀 다치셨는데, 심하지는 않았다.  우리 옆에 있던 여성분이 (30대 또는 40대 초?) 걱정이 되셨는지 우리 쪽으로 오셔서 어머니를 좀 살폈다.  그리고는 차가운 물 한병을 주셨다.  굉장히 고맙게 느꼈다.  하나님이 그분을 풍성히 축복하시길!

We stayed at Days Inn again, which is not next to Cocoa Beach Pier, but 20 minutes away from the Beach.  Why?  Because it is cheaper and I thought it would provide breakfast.  And I was wrong again that they did not give free breakfast.  But the room was not dirty at least.  They gave us half price coupon for breakfast which we did not use.

이번에도 데이즈 인에 묵었는데, 코코 해변 피어 옆에 있는 거 말고 해변에서 20분 가량 떨어져 있는 곳이었다.  왜냐면… 쌌으니까.  그리고 아침을 줄 거라 생각했으니까.  이번에도 틀렸다.  아침을 안 준다.  하지만 적어도 방이 더럽진 않았다.  하침 반값 쿠폰을 줬지만, 결국은 쓰지 않았다.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Chicago Downtown

We went to Chicago downtown, and because it is downtown, I used uber instead of driving and parking there.  I reserved the uber and for some reason the pick-up location was set like four blocks away from my home.  I could not change the pick-up location, so I called the driver to come to my location.  Then the driver just cancelled my reservation, and uber charged $5 for the cancellation which I did not but the driver did.  I had to make another reservation, and this time, I made sure about the pick-up location.  It was still wrong place and I changed it manually.  Bad Uber experience.

오늘은 시카고 다운타운에 갔는데, 다운타운이기 때문에 운전해서 주차하기 보다는 우버를 이용했다.  우버를 예약했는데, 어떤 이유에선지 탑승 위치가 집에서 네 블럭이나 떨어진 곳으로 잡혔다.  그래서 운전자에게 연락해서 우리 집에 와 달라고 부탁했는데, 알았다고 하더니 그냥 예약을 취소해 버렸고, 우버는 취소 비용을 5불 가져갔다.  내가 취소한 것도 아닌데.  나쁜 우버.  그래서 예약을 다시 했는데, 이번에도 탑승 위치가 엉뚱한 곳으로 되어 있어서 수동으로 바꿨다.

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We went to Willis Tower’s Sky Deck which is the highest place in Chicago.  That glass platform is very scary.  My brain knows that it should be safe but my body was trembling.  Interestingly my mother and Aunt looked OK.

먼저 윌리스타워의 스카이 데크라는 관망대에 갔는데, 시카고에서 가장 높은 곳이다.  유리 플랫폼은 머리로는 안전한 걸 알지만, 몸은 부들부들 떨게 되었다.  그런데 어머니랑 이모님은 괜찮으신 듯 했다.

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Then we went to the Harold Washington Library.  They were amazed at the size and the quality of the library.  They liked the fact that the library has rooms for music practice which are equipped with Pianos.

그 후에는 해롤드 워싱턴 도서관에 갔다.  규모의 웅장함과 도서관의 품질이 대단했다.  특히 피아노가 갖춰진 음악 연습실이 인상적이었다.

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We walked through the Magnificent Miles of Michigan Avenue, and the lion was in front of the Art Institute.

웅장한 거리라는 미시간 길을 걸어다녔는데, 위 사진은 미술관 앞이다.

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This is one of the MUST-GO places at Chicago, the Millennium Park.  The big tower of the water fall has face pictures on the other side and it spits water sometimes.

여기는 시카고에서 반드시 가야 하는 곳 중 하나로 밀레니엄 공원이다.  물이 떨어지는 저 건물은 뒷쪽에 사람 얼굴이 있는데, 가끔씩 물을 뱉는다.

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This is the BEAN or the Cloud Gate.  We cannot see the entire shape of it, but it is very cool art.

여기는 빈 또는 구름 문이라고 불리는 것으로, 위 사진으로는 전체 형상을 볼 순 없지만, 매우 쿨한 예술품이다.

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Then we went to Wildberry next to the Aon Centre.  When I tried there last time (it was Saturday), I was informed that I had to wait two and half hours, but this time, we waited just ten minutes.  That was pretty awesome – the good thing of weekday tour, not weekend.  Even at the Sky Deck, we did not wait at all which is not the case for the weekend tour.

그 후에는 에이온 센터 옆에 있는 와일드베리에 가서 점심을 했다.  지난 번에 시도했을 때는 (토요일이었다) 두시간 반을 기다려야 한다고 했는데, 이번에는 그냥 10분 정도 기다렸다.  이게 바로 주말이 아닌 주중 여행의 장점이 아닌가 싶다.  아침의 스카이 데크에서도 전혀 기다리지 않았는데, 주말에는 사람들이 미어터진다.

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Then we went to the Chicago Cultural Centre which used to be the library before the Harold Washington Library.  The building is very cool and they always change their exhibition.

그 후에는 시카고 문화 센터에 갔는데, 해롤드 워싱턴 도서관이 생기기 전에는 이 곳이 도서관이었다.  이 건물도 매우 멋지지만 전시가 늘 바뀌기 때문에 종종 가기 참 좋다.

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Next and final destination at Chicago downtown was the Meggie Daley Playground.  It is one of the best playground for kids and it is free.  This is MUST-GO place if you are with kids.  My sister and aunt rode one of the slides.

다음 그리고 시카고 다운타운에서 마지막 목적지는 메기 데일리 놀이터였다.  이 곳은 정말 좋은 놀이터인데 공짜다.  아이가 있다면 반드시 가야 할 곳이다.  누나와 이모는 미끄럼틀도 하나 타보셨다.

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We came back home by bus.  We were in line and when the bus came, a lady in her late 30s cut in front of me and separated me from my family.  I told her that I had to pay for them as well and she replied, “That’s FINE!!!”  I don’t understand what was fine.  I don’t understand why she was annoyed when she cut in.  After three of my family got on the bus, I yelled at the driver that I would pay for them as well.

집에는 버스 타고 왔는데, 줄을 서 있었다.  버스가 오니까 어떤 30대 후반의 흑인 아줌마가 내 앞에 껴들어서 우리 식구들과 내 사이에 새치기를 했다.  그래서 그 아줌마에게 우리 식구들 버스비를 내가 내야 한다니까 “아 쫌 괜찮아!!!”라고 대답을 했다.  도대체 뭐가 괜찮다는 건지.  왜 지가 새치기 하고 지가 화를 내는 건지 모르겠다.  어머니랑 모두 탄 뒤에 버스 운전자에게 그 사람들 버스비를 내가 낼 거라고 외쳤다.

We rested about 45 minutes and we drove to school to join the Year-End celebration.  My family met many of my friends and professors there.

약 45분 정도 쉰 뒤에 학년말 축하 파티에 참석하기 위해서 학교에 운전해 갔다.  어머니가 내 친구들이랑 교수님들을 여럿 만났다.

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And at night, Hannah put some manicure on my mother’s and aunt’s finger nails.  My mother’s colour does not really show the difference.  Maybe she can try real colour next time.

밤에는 한나가 어머니랑 이모 손톱에 매니큐어를 발라드렸다.  어머니 손톱은 별 차이가 안 보이는데, 다음에는 진짜 예쁜 색을 써 봐야겠다.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

University of Chicago

We walked around  the University of Chicago campus.  Unlike yesterday, it was quite windy, cloudy and cold.  The campus would have been so beautiful with shining sun, but it was a bit gloomy.

시카고 대학 캠퍼스를 걸어다녔는데, 어제와 달리 오늘은 바람 세고, 구름 끼고 추웠다.  여기 캠퍼스가 해가 쨍쨍 뜨면 되게 예쁜데, 오늘은 완전 우울 모드였다.1.UC Library2.JPG

This is the University of Chicago Library.  It’s design is quite unique.

여기는 시카고 대학교 도서관인데, 디자인이 꽤 독특하다.

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This is the gate to the main campus at the opposite side of the library.

여기는 도서관 맞은 편에 있는 메인 캠퍼스 정문.

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After we walked around the campus, we went to the Oriental Institute Museum at 10 sharp, the time they open the museum.  And we saw a lot of interesting and amazing things there.  This oriental institute Museum is amazing and free.  So it is the MUST-GO in Chicago.

캠퍼스를 걸어다닌 뒤에는 오리엔탈 박물관에 개장시간인 10시 정각에 갔다.  꽤 흥미롭고 대단한 물건들을 많이 봤다.  오리엔탈 박물관은 정말 대단하면서도 무료다.  그러니 시카고에서는 반드시 가야하는 곳이다.

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After that, we went to Medici to have Garbage Pizza.  I like it, but not other people with me.  My mother was quite upset that the pizza was too salty.  Well, we’ll try another pizza next time at another place.

그 뒤에는 메디치라는 식당에 가서 ‘명물’ 쓰레기 피자를 먹었다.  나는 좋아하는데, 다른 사람들은 아니었던 것 같다.  특히 어머니는 피자가 너무 짜서 화를 내셨다.  쩝.  다음 번엔 다른 곳에서 다른 피자를 시켜드려봐야겠다.

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Our original plan for today was going to a zoo in the afternoon, but I thought it would be too cold and that would not be a good idea.  So I changed it and we went to the Woodfield Shopping Mall, which is the biggest shopping mall in Chicago area.  We did not buy any but we saw a lot of stores and goods.

원래 계획은 오후에 동물원에 가는 거였는데, 너무 춥고 그래서 별로 좋은 생각이 아니라고 판단이 되어서 일정을 바꿔서 시카고 인근 최대 쇼핑몰인 우드필드 쇼핑몰로 갔다.  산 건 없지만 많이 봤다.

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We came back home and ate the dinner.  And we went to Walmart to buy some groceries and other stuff.  My mother loves to push the shopping cart.  Aunt did not come with us to the Walmart.  We had interesting conversation in the car on the way back.

돌아와서 저녁을 먹은 뒤에는 음식이랑 다른 것 몇 가지 사러 월마트에 갔다.  어머니는 쇼핑 카트 끄는 걸 좋아하신다.  이모님은 월마트에 같이 안오셨다.  차에서 돌아오는 길에 흥미로운 대화를 나눴다.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Chicago Hyde Park

In the morning, we walked along Hannah to her work.  And we went to the Lake Michigan through the Museum of Science and Industry.

아침에는 한나를 일터에 배웅해 주고 과학 박물관을 거쳐서 미시간 호수에 갔다.

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Lake Michigan is one of the Great Lakes and it is really big.  But the biggest is Lake Superior.

미시간 호수는 미국 오대호 가운데 하나로 정말 크다.  하지만 제일 큰 호수는 수페리어 호수로 이름 자체가 우월…

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Because we could not find a rest room along the shore, we walked back home.  After we rested a while, we went to McCormick Theological Seminary where I studied.

해변에서 화장실을 찾을 수가 없어서 집에 일단 돌아갔다.  약간 쉰 다음에 내가 공부했던 맥코믹 신학교에 갔다.

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There are a lot of beautiful trees full of flowers.  We met some of the professors and staff members.  They were all thrilled (at least they looked like) at meeting my family.  Especially Carol ran down to the first floor from upstairs just because she heard that my mother came.  Carol is one of the sweetest lady, and it is so sad that she is retiring.

꽃이 만개한 예쁜 나무가 많이 있었다.  학교에서는 교수님들과 직원들을 좀 만났는데, 우리 식구들을 만난걸 너무 기뻐했다.  적어도 그렇게 보였다.  특히 캐롤은 우리 식구가 왔다는 소식을 듣고 윗층에서 1층에 뛰어 내려왔다.  캐롤은 정말 좋은 분인데 이번에 은퇴한다는 게 참 아쉽다.

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We went to Valois, so-called Obama’s favourite restaurant.  We’ve got one of the Obama’s Favourite menu.  Valois is cheap with a lot of food, and tasting not bad.  The only down side is that they accept cash only.

그 뒤에는 오바마가 자주 갔었다는 발로이스 식당에 갔다.  발로이스에서 오바마가 즐겨 먹었다는 걸 시켰다.  발로이스는 값도 싼 편이고, 음식도 많이 주고, 맛도 나쁘지 않다.  단점이라면 현금만 받는 다는 거.

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This is on 53rd street, commemorating that Obama’s first kiss with Michelle after they had ice cream at BR.

여기는 53번가에 있는데, 오바마가 영부인 미셸과 첫 키스를 한 장소를 기념하는 곳이다.  근처에 있는 배스킨 라빈스에서 아이스크림을 먹고 여기서 뽀뽀를 했다고 한다.

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Chicago Hyde Park is now full of flowers everywhere.  The weather was super good while it was so horrible until last week with cold temperature, rain and all clouds.  I am glad that God permits us the good weather.

요즘 시카고 하이드 파크에는 어디에나 꽃이 가득하다.  지난주까지는 춥고 비도 오고 날씨가 완전 개판이었는데, 지금은 날씨가 너무 좋다.  하나님께서 좋은 날씨를 허락해 주셔서 너무 기쁘고 감사하다.

My mother arrived in Chicago

As I am graduating this coming Saturday, my mother came to Chicago to celebrate it all the way from Korea.  One of my sisters and my aunt also came together.

The scheduled arrival was 7:05PM and it changed to 7:58PM, and the actual arrival was 8:15PM.

It was so good to see my mother in four years.

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이번주 토요일에 졸업하기 때문에 어머니께서 졸업식에 참석하시기 위해 시카고에 오셨다.  어머니와 함께 누나와 이모도 오셨다.

원래 비행기 도착 시간은 7시 5분이었는데, 스케쥴이 나중에 7시 58분으로 바뀌더니 실제 도착은 8시 15분이었다.

4년만에 어머니를 뵈니 정말 좋다.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Delta Airline

I had a church related conference at Atlanta, GA this week, and I flew there from Chicago last Sunday.  I had one bag which I did not check it because I had to pay $25.  Delta has no free check-in baggage.  While boarding, a Delta employee told me “You have to check in the baggage.”  It was because they did not enough room in the cabin.  Her word hurt my feeling.  Can’t she say it nicer?  Such as “Sir, we are suffering from lack of storage room in the cabin.  Could you please check your baggage in?  We’ll do that free for you.”  She said it like ordering and used “HAVE TO.”  Flight itself was OK.  The flight attendants were not mean and not kind, just normal.

I was supposed to fly back on Wednesday afternoon, and I’ve got a message that my flight to Midway was cancelled.  It was because of the Chicago weather which is NOT their responsibility.

But I went to the airport two hours earlier than my original flight (which is normal) and asked the ticketing desk to get me another flight.  At the very moment I told the lady that my flight was cancelled, her countenance and face changed badly as if she stepped on a shit.  She was very rude.  Even though I understand that she had hundreds of customers asking the same thing, she should not be like that.  She is paid to deal with the unhappy customers, so she must be professional.

She told me there is nothing she can do, so I just have to go.  I explained to her why I should go back to Chicago that same day.  While I was speaking, she cut me and said that she would call the police if I continue saying it.  I was stunned because I was NOT yelling or anything like that.  I was just asking and explaining (well, I was not smiling nor happy).  Eventually I’ve got another ticket to Chicago O’Hare because all the flight to Chicago Midway were cancelled.

As the response to her threat to me of calling the police and her extreme rudeness and unkindness, I sarcastically said to her that Delta’s customer service was awesome.  And she said the last word at the back of my head, “Don’t fly with Delta then.”

I could not even believe my ears and what I just heard.  Maybe she just thinks I am nothing but one of many customers having no power.  She is right.  I am just one of many customers.  She may feel that Delta is so great and powerful.  She might have felt that way working at Atlanta airport, the home of Delta.  There is nothing I can do but to complaining on my blog.

After the security check, I wanted to complain about my experience being so angry.  I asked some of the Delta employees how to complain.  They were all directing me, “I don’t know.  You may go that place and ask there.”  I was directed like five times.  And finally I went to a huge booth with a lot of phones, maybe customer service place.  I asked a gentleman standing in front of that place how I could complain.  He answered me I cannot.  I asked him again if I could complain over one of the phones there.  He said those phones are directly connected to reservation and booking department and said, “We do not take complaints.”  I thought again that Delta is so amazing.

The replaced flight was also significantly delayed, and I was just told that there is nothing I can do but to wait.  I was also told that even that delayed flight had 50% chance to be cancelled and they suggested me to go to hotel and rest the day, and fly the next day.  I asked them if they would pay the hotel, and they said no.  According to the schedule of the delayed flight, I would arrive at Chicago O’Hare after midnight when the public transportation is not available, which means taxi would be the only option for me.  I asked them if Delta would pay for the taxi because it is the extra cost caused by delay of the flight, and they said no.

So I waited nine hours and forty minutes.  Eventually the plane came at 11:40pm.  Before the boarding, Delta provided us some snacks, which was actually nice and that eased my anger a bit.  The flight attendants were very kind this time.  A lady told me that they were off that day but came to work because of us, “I feel so sorry for y’all.”  Actually that is the way should be.  The other Delta employees at Atlanta airport should have even pretend that they are sorry even though they were not actually and were just sick and tired of damn customers.

One of the Delta employee told me not to fly with Delta, so I will take her advice.  It was my first Delta experience and was so bad.  I usually fly with United.  United is not bad and not good, they are just average, but at least I do not have any horrible experience with them (yet).

The best air lines which I ever experienced was West Jet.  Even once when I was feeling shitty, I felt much better after flying with West Jet.

So, all my friends, which air lines should you avoid?  Delta, it is.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Cash Only

Last January while I was attending APCE conference in downtown Chicago, I was on my way from the hotel to nearby shopping mall food court for lunch because hotel restaurant is expensive.  And a guy asked me for help.  So I told him back what I could do for him.  He said he was hungry.  I said to him,

“Oh good timing.  I am on my way to eat lunch.  Please come with me, I’ll buy you a lunch.”

“No, that’s OK.  Can you just give me cash?”

“Well, sorry.  I do not carry cash.  I use only credit card.  But I can definitely buy you a lunch.”

And he finally told me: “There’s ATM right next building.  You can get some cash for me.”

I was so shocked about what he said, and of course I refused: “Sorry.  That’s too much.”

When I was in Canada, I used to spare some coins or gave some money on the streets to the pan-handlers, and I saw couple times that they were buying alcohols and tobaccos with “MY” money.  Since then, I made it my rule not to give cash even when they want “CASH ONLY.”

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Fifty Eighth Day – Flight Back

After I arrived at the airport Terminal 3, I waited several hours because they allow only three hours prior to the flight.  I went through the initial security check at 2am (my flight was 5am).  They just x-rayed my check-in baggage and asked just a few questions such as if anyone gave me anything, if I have a weapon or something sharp.  That was it.  It was very easy.  Then I checked in my baggage, and I went through the second security check.  The line was not too long at that time of day, but it moved slow.  A guy in front of me complained that it is too slow.  The guy looked like from East India but I cannot be sure.  The young lady staff set him aside, and eventually he got the security check after me.  She said to the guy quietly but firmly, “BEHAVE YOURSELF!”  The security check was very easy, they were all smiling at me, and I was joking with them too.  They had a strange thing, a light blue stick.  They rubbed the tip of the stick on all my belongings such as backpack and laptop which are pretty much all I had then.  And they put the stick onto a machine to analyse.  I asked the lady what that was, and she waved her index finger, smiling and said “secret.” Oh, the guy who was not behaving eventually went to a separate room, and I saw him two hours later at the gate. It looked like he was just released right before the flight.

It is always good to see the windows error message in public

It is always good to see the windows error message in public

McCormick group flew with Lufthansa, and we know that only Lufthansa uses terminal 1 while all other international flights use terminal 3.  Ben Gurion Airport gave the German airline its own terminal.  The security check at terminal 3 was normal, almost same as in America.  That of terminal 1 which is for Lufthansa was extremely terrible.  It looks like that Israel gives German airline very hard and difficult security check only for them.  So, my advice is not to use Lufthansa when you go to Israel.

What other airport has this easy chairs?

What other airport has this easy chairs?

When I went to my gate, I could not believe my eyes – the easy chairs.  So I rested two hours on one of the chairs.

Playground at Ben Gurion Airport

Playground at Ben Gurion Airport

Ben Gurion Airport has very good facilities including this bigger playground for kids.  The picture above is only part of it.

I flew to Zürich airport, and there I transferred to the airplane to Chicago.  As I had the emergency exit seat on the way to Israel, I also got that seat on my way back home.  It was very pleasant flight.  The best thing of flying with SWISS air was that they gave us ice cream as dessert.

One thing Chicago Airport does not have

One thing Chicago Airport does not have

It was not too difficult to find a power outlet in Ben Gurion Airport, and it was very easy in Zürich airport.  The power outlet is one thing almost impossible to find in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

The immigration line at Chicago Airport was a bit different from last time which is January 2014.  If I remember correctly, there were three different lines – for US citizens, for US green card holders, and for anyone else (in other words visitors).  But this time, they had three lines, but the first line was different.  It was for the citizens of US and Canada.  Why American immigration treats Canadian citizens as their own?  Are the two countries going to do M&A?

It was very good to be home, and I realised why everybody says “Home Home Sweet Home.”  It is because there is my sweet honey.

Another story. Egypt Story

When I planned to go to Egypt first time, I booked at a travel agency in Israel.  Not like the trips within Israel, the agency requires at least two or three people to do the trip to Egypt.  And because of war between Israel and Gaza, all other people cancelled the trip, and I alone left which resulted in the automatic cancellation of the trip itself.  Of course I got refunded.

I was digging at Megiddo at that time. I had no idea how and what to do.  Then my co-volunteers told me that we had a guy from Egypt.  His name is Remon Nabil Samuel, and he was actually a square supervisor, and I talked to him about it, and he was kind to help me.  He talked to several of his friends back in Egypt, and one of them was willing to help me.  Her name is Dina Jacob.

She told me to just come and she would guide me all about Cairo for a week.  And of course I trusted her.  We talked through the Facebook messenger, and she also gave me her cellphone number so that I can call her once I got to Cairo.  At that time, I had no idea to visit Luxor.  But two days before my departure, Shirly Ben Dor Evian, the supervisor of my area and squares, strongly suggested me to see Luxor.  So I booked a day trip to Luxor from Cairo for the first day.  Because Dina Jacob, the friend of Remon in Cairo, told me that she would be flexible, so I thought I would see her from the second day.

I went to Cairo from Israel’s Taba border by two buses.  First night I messaged Dina Jacob with Facebook messenger, but my messages did not go through.  And I realised that she blocked me on Facebook!  So I called her by the number she gave me, and nobody answered.  I felt like I was lost in the space, but soon I realised that I had a day of buffer or cushion because the first day was already booked for Luxor trip.  For that night and next day, I googled crazy, called many places crazy.  So I successfully managed all of my days in Egypt – some I used travel agency and some I travelled by myself.

If I did not booked Luxor trip in advance, I would have spoiled and wasted most days in Egypt.  I have no idea what is wrong with Dina Jacob, but I did not complain to Remon.  Knowing everything, God let my supervisor suggest me Luxor, I believe.  Thanks be to God, and also I personally thank Shirly, my area supervisor and the mother of two beautiful girls.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Sixth Day – Golan Heights

For the first time in this trip, I used tour service.  Until now, I just walked around by myself in Jerusalem, but today, I went to Golan Heights Day Trip.

Jerusalem trip this time was a little bit different because I did not use any modern transportation except to the Museums.  Through the last January McCormick trip, I realised that the Old City Jerusalem is very small, along with other friends in the travel group.  But this time, I am surprised that Old City Jerusalem is way smaller than that I realised before.  Last time, we walked in part here and there, but we used bus to travel between the sites, for example, we were on the bus from Gethsemane to the City of David.  So the parts of walking experience, which is Jerusalem geographical knowledge, were not connected each other but scattered in my brain.  But this time, I walked any and everywhere.  I now have complete Jerusalem knowledge in my brain.  I walked and circled Jerusalem a few time on the wall, along the wall.  I walked inside the Old City, I walked outside the Old City.  Circling the Old City took less than four hours including stopping and resting and everything, but if the people in the past (or even I now) hurried and ran in an emergency, circling Old City Jerusalem, I bet, would take less than two hours.

And the city which David built, and it not included current Old City Jerusalem, is very small and possibly one tenth or one eighth of Jerusalem size.  Now I realised that when we think and talk about the city in the old day, we should not think about modern-day cities such as Seoul or Chicago.  In the ancient days, even a modern block or two could make a city.

I am sorry to say that but it was possible because I was alone.  I am not talking about my wife but any one.  If I had any company, even a strong guy, I could have not walk this much.  I used to walk two hours everyday for six years to and from school for Middle and High school.  I think during this trip I walked the most except the military marching training.  Until now, I walked from 7am until 6pm except for lunch.

Baptismal Site

Baptismal Site

So I went to Golan Height by Bein Harim Tourism Services.  They picked me up at David Citadel Hotel which is around 8 minutes walking.  They were supposed to pick me up at 5:50 but they came 20 minutes later, which is typical here.

Then the bus went to Tel Aviv where the people from everywhere were reorganised by their trip destination.

My group was small of six, or seven including the guide/driver.  The guide is Jewish guy, but the strange thing is all other tourists are Jewish except me.  Some are Jews from America (New Jersey), some are Jews from Iran (but good English-speaking), and some are from other part of the world.

And I realised that most Israelis does not like President Obama.  The guide who claimed himself as centre right told me that he was almost fighting with “his” tour group from Chicago.  But this kind of composition gave me the opportunity to listen to whole new perspective.  The Palestinians tend to think about the relationship between Jews and them, but the Jews (right-wing or centre right Jews) think more about the neighbouring countries, Palestinian problem is not the big thing to them.

Fish in the Baptismal site

Fish in the Baptismal site

Our first destination was the Baptismal site on Jordan river, right south of the Sea of Galilee.  Speaking of Galilee, the Lake Superior is a lake in modern term, but the Sea of Galilee is a sea in ancient term which we can guess about their term of city.  The tradition says that John the Baptist baptised Jesus here, but many scholars do not agree now.  But it is true that somewhere on Jordan river.  It is very beautiful place, and there are lots of small fish.  When I put my feet, they came and kissed and tickled me.  Actually they tried to eat me, but it is just that I am too big and they are too small.

Three countries in one sight

Three countries in one sight

Then we went to some place on the way to the Golan Heights where we can see three countries of Israel, Jordan, and Syria.  On this picture above, we are standing on Israel land, the other side of the valley is Jordan, and the mountain area in the far back is Syria.  Golan Heights are right above the Galilee, and Syrians used to fire rockets to Israeli Galilee from the Golan Heights using the escalated heights when they had this land.  According to the guide, Israel government suggested the peace agreement offering the Golan Heights, but Syria refused.

Scribe in Qazrin

Scribe in Qazrin

Then we went to Qazrin, the Talmudic village which is after the Biblical periods.  Israeli archaeological scholars found and excavated this village after they annexed Golan Heights.  This is the scribe’s room attached to the synagogue.  He is real scribe whose main job is copying the Torah and side job is writing the blessings for the tourists.  But it looks like his main and side job switched.  It was fun watching him writing some Hebrew words.

Olive Oil Lab

Olive Oil Lab

This is the lab of Olea Olive Oil Factory.  They grow their own olive trees, use only their own olives to make their products.  They showed us a short film about them, and I liked the demonstrations.  Their olive oils are so tasty, but I did not buy.  They also make many different skincare products from the residue of olive, and I bought two for my wife.

View from Golan Heights

View from Golan Heights

Then we went a few more places to see the scenery.  This is the place adjacent to Syria.  But the road up there was so steep, and I was worried if the van full of bags and people can climb up that steep hill.  And the bad feelings always come true.  The engine stopped when the guide tried to shift from the second gear to the first (yes, the van is standard shift).  The guide tried to start the van like ten times, but failed because it was too steep.  There was almost no traffic which was good for us, not blocking any traffic.  But almost all cars stopped and ask if we are OK.  Even a car before us came back to see if we are OK.  The Jewish guide became so happy and said, “This is typical Israelis.  We care each other, we love each other.”  Finally the guide reversed the van and went to a less steep runway in the corner, and the van began to move in the first gear.  We stayed in the first gear until we climbed all the way.

It was nice because the Golan Heights was not covered in the last McCormick trip.

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