Photography by Jeanette Kramer

Photography Blog

Cider in Seoul: Thank you, Big Rock.

As I spend so much time away from home, it always gives me a warm & fuzzy feeling to find something heartily Canadian while abroad. This doesn’t happen often but it did when I stumbled upon (and eventually out of) the Big Rock Brewery pub in Seoul. In Gangnam, to be exact. Being a big, big fan of cider in general, I was ridiculously happy to put back a few pints of Rock Creek when on a long business trip last fall.

The Big Rock brand of beer originates in Calgary and the brewery is super proud of it’s carefully crafted premium Alberta beers (and cider!) and cool company culture. So why Seoul? The Big Rock blog tells that a few Koreans had a successful trade mission a while back when they toured the brewery and later opened the Big Rock pub in Seoul.

So if you’re in Seoul and craving something Canadian or just want a stellar craft beer, you’ll find the Big Rock pub by following these directions (as posted on the pub’s facebook fan page).

Gangnam Station (line 2), Exit #7. Turn right immediately (down a small alleyway leading to a backstreet). Continue going straight up the hill. If you look back, VIPS and Starbucks should be at your back. Big Rock will be on your left. If you see a park on the left, you’ve gone too far.

I’m sure the Canadian teachers in Seoul looooove this place! ♥ Big Rock.

Required: Live-in Teacher in Istanbul

Au Pair with TESL certification required in Istanbul! Not your average au pair job! This position requires an au pair with a TESL certification and some university and/or teaching experience to live in and teach English to a family of 4 in Istanbul. The home is lovely and centrally located along the Bosphorus, close to all transportation. A second family home is located outside the city. The family consists of 2 children: 10 year old girl & 13 year old boy plus mom & dad. The children have some basic English skills whereas the parents have none. The job posted below is perfect for someone who likes children, has lived overseas before and has some previous teaching experience!

Job Details
Contract: 3 months – 1 year
Hours: full-time – 5 – 6 days / week approximately 7 – 8 hours / day of teaching, planning and spending time with the family
Students: Family (2 parents + 10 & 13 year old children)
Salary: app. $1200 USD / month + room & board
Housing: private bedroom in family home
Required: TESL + some university and/or teaching experience
Duties: Spend time with the children in English, lesson planning for family & individual needs, provide structured and non-structured English learning opportunities for the family.
Start: As soon as possible

The family employs a housekeeper and the teacher is not expected to do any housework or cooking. The teacher is welcome to eat with the family or cook for herself. Candidates should keep in mind that this is a flexible, cultural experience and meant to be an opportunity to develop curriculum and experience while learning about Turkish life and culture!

The ideal candidate should be 25 – 30 years old, friendly, have previous teaching experience plus a TESL certification. The family prefers a female teacher.

Additional benefits include paid accommodation & medical insurance & Turkish lessons.

Interested candidates should forward their CV and letter of motivation to info[at]

Spicy! (Istanbul)

The Spice Market

Home Away From Home: More Serviced Apartments

In my travels, I’ve had the opportunity to stay in various furnished apartments and serviced residences here and there. Nothing quite compares to the Oakwood Shinjuku in it’s ultra-modern, Japanese glory but there are a couple of other places that deserve mention. Since the former Oakwood Shinjuku no longer takes short-term rentals, I was referred to the Citadines Shinjuku a close comparison. Both apartments offer sleek, fully furnished units in high-end buildings in super central locations. You won’t go wrong here.

In comparison, and a relatively good option on the other side of the world, is the Filyos Residence in Istanbul. This 19th century renovated building is set along the Golden Horn, an historic inlet of the Bosphorus. Offering beautiful views from the balconies and walking distance to places such as the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar and Kadir Has University, Filyos Residence is the right place to stay for weeks or months. Rooms are perfectly furnished including everything you need to get started on your adventure in Istanbul (wi-fi, hairdryer and other essentials).

I previously told you about the M Chereville residences in Seoul and by comparison, the Filyos & Citadines apartments are far cleaner, classier and comparative in price at approximately $60 – $130 CAD / night depending on the suite.
Thinking about getting out of Canada?

Honey Orange Latte, I ♥ you.

I was secretly hoping I would find this Starbucks special somewhere in Taiwan, where I’ve been working the last week, but I guess not. The Honey Orange Latte was released by Starbucks Korea in January as part of a “year of the Tiger” promotion. Sadly, It’s appearance was too brief. Until next time, Honey Orange Latte, I ♥ you.

Vancouver, I ♥ you.

Oh Vancouver, I ♥ you. Watch this amazing video and you will ♥ Vancouver, too! Welcome, world! You’re gonna love it!

Thank you, InnerLife Project, for this amazing track!

Hurshimchung: scrubbed, salted, scalded and steamed

~photography not permitted beyond this point~

Having been to Korea dozens of times for business, I was beginning to get bored with the country when a friend of mine encouraged me to see Korea with different eyes and to do something that I hadn’t done before.

A day after arriving in Busan, jet-lagged and tired from a full day’s work I was craving a massage. I googled around and came across Hurshimchung (허심청), Asia’s largest natural hot spring spa at the Nongshim Hotel. Wow. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard about this sooner. I instantly knew that this is what I needed to relieve my fatigue and give me that chance to check out something new in Korea.

I promptly headed to the spaland and prepared to bare it all for the other women of Korea. Hurshimchung is a gender-segregated water park with indoor and outdoor tubs as hot as 56 degree celsius, some scented with herbs and fruit, including waterfalls, caves, saunas and swimming pools. Over the course of a couple of hours, I was scrubbed, salted, scalded and steamed. Clothing not permitted, I definitely saw Korea with new eyes and Korea definitely saw me like never before.

Hurshimchung can accommodate up to 3000 bathers in it’s 4300 square metre complex and is renowned in Asia as the largest natural hot spring spa and a top tourist attraction. That being said, I was very obviously the only tourist there. Nevermind. It was a fabulous, cost-conscious experience at only 8000 (or approximately $8.00 CAD) for entry and another ₩40,000 (or $40 CAD) for the facial, full-body exfoliation and massage. Not exactly for the prudish but certainly a therapeutic and relaxing experience, it is one of my new top recommendations for Korea.

I’ll be back.

Feel-good photos from Seoul & Tokyo

Welcome to 2010!

For the first post of the year, I thought I would share just a couple of feel-good photos I found on my phone recently.

Love your life

Love your dream
I see this building each time I go to Incheon Airport.
It’s a good reminder.

The days sparkle during sakura season at
Inokashira Park,
Kichijoji, Tokyo.

Photo of the Day!

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Latitude Photography
Burnaby, BC Canada
Phone: +(1) 604-376-0450
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