Tag Archive: stories


Shake, Shake!

Last week in science class with my GS students we didn’t have an assigned project.  Usually we do these silly little prepackaged projects from these books.  Some of them are fun and some of them are just ridiculously pointless. Anyway, last week I suppose they didn’t come in on time because we were told it would be a “review week”.  These aren’t really things you can review because these poor kids don’t even get half the things you say to them most days.

So I decided to do something fun and make a project to keep them busy and to let them have fun.  I finally settled on the idea of making ice cream in baggies.  The kids had a great time.  It was a little more messy than I would have hoped, and I probably should have had them work in teams instead of individually, but hey I know better for next time I suppose.

I looked up a basic how-to guide on-line just to get some accurate measurements and tested it at home the night before just to make sure it would work. It was really easy and I used chocolate milk just to skip a lot of extra steps.

Meet GS4A. From the left row front to back and the right row back to front  Sally, Daniel, Christal, Julia, Tom, Steve, and James.  They are a handful.  The boys in this class are hardcore.  They talk 100 miles and hour and they love to destroy…everything.

Daniel is a weird child.  I teach his sister Bella, too and  I would love to meet their parents.  They are very strange kids.  Definitely marching to a way off beat drum.  Daniel kept wanting to lick the salt.  It was gross and unsanitary and I just couldn’t reason with him.  I am sure his sodium levels were spiked for days.

James and Julia shaking away.  The bags got really cold, of course, so I had brought some hand towels to class for them to use when they needed them.

Stillll Shaking!

Poor Sally, she is one of my favorites. She was so excited about her awesome looking ice cream, but some how some of the salt got mixed in with her milk, and she had some terrible tasting ice cream.  I did give her a new chocolate milk to make up for it though.  Other than her mishap and a few not quite frozen situations everyone’s turned out great.

맛있는!  (delicious!)

It’s a little blurry because Daniel wouldn’t hold the cup still, but yay! icecream!

And it was during their last class of the day, so I sugared them up and then put them on the bus home.  ^_^

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Interview with the Boyfriend

Andy isn’t the best person to make video blogs with buuuut he will get better…maybe. He just really likes to talk and tell lengthy stories.  The first video we tried to make was 12 minutes long…I talked for maybe 30 seconds….soooo after a couple of takes this was the shortest we got.

Tomorrow I will try and get blogs up about our weekend adventures to Yeouido and the Korean War Memorial.

Samcheok Part 2

On our second day in Samcheok we woke up to a little sun.  Hopeful about the situation we decided to head over to the bus terminal and buy our tickets for the bus to take us to the Hwanseon Cave.  It is the largest limestone cave in Korea, and one of the largest in Asia.

When we first got there it was just breath taking.  Everything was lush and the darkest greens.  The clouds were all low hanging and misty.

On the way up I was being quite whiny.  It is a really super steep 1.5km hike to the entrance of the cave.  I had hurt my knee the day before on our impromptu hike in the city, and this hike was not helping how it felt at all.

Along the way up we saw some gorgeous scenery and a waterfall that gave some relief in the heat and thick humidity that was hanging about.

This was a water weight situation.

There were river ways and little rapids everywhere.

The Fairy Waterfall.

Then we got to the top.


Inside the air was thick and misty.  The whole set up is made of these metal walkways that flow through the cave.  We just kept moving slowly through the caves.  There were so many shapes and textures inside.  I just kept wanting to touch everything to see how it felt, but only got up the courage to do it a few times.

The air was so misty, and because I didn’t want to wake any bats just in case they were lurking about I didn’t use my flash for 99% of the photos I took which was a serious challenge.

These formations that look like the nests made by a certain type of bee were my favorites.

The inside really was huge.  It took us over an hour to walk all the way through the tour.

The ceiling was full of huge holes and tunnels.  Some of them dripped water others were just being used by the bats as a shelter away from all of the people and lights.

There was a sign explaining how some formations were named after shapes people saw.  This one is supposed to be naturally carved into a heart cut out.

No really it was huge. So much so we spent much longer than intended inside and missed the bus that we wanted to take back down to the city.  At first, I was really bummed, but as the afternoon went on I was really glad we were forced to stay a bit longer.

The reason I had wanted to get back to the city was because I had ridiculous hope that the sun would last all day and I would be able to sit on the beach.  Instead at the bottom of the hill we enjoyed this sunflower patch and lunch.  We went to this Korean place right at the entrance of the park.  We were the only foreigners and I did pretty well with reading the menu.  Andy liked everything I picked.  We shared a Korean pancake and some bibimbap.  A really nice little family next to us gave Andy some makkali and cornbread.  It was all really good.

Once we got back to the city we had about an hour before we had to catch a bus home.  So we took a cab to the beach and sat for about half an hour.  The water was cold and it was completely overcast so I was glad that we had been able to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery instead.


All of the Koreans looking like New Englanders in the ridiculously cold water.  I immediately told Andy it was freezing and then when we felt it himself he said it was fine.  I prefer my warm southern water any day of the week for sure.

And of course like every post so far this one will include a cute picture of us at the beach. I keep forgetting that finally there is someone taller than me in the pictures.  I keep cutting off Andy’s head on accident. oops.

The bus ride home was only supposed to take about 3.5 hours but due to rain, traffic, and finally a detour we didn’t arrive home until 5 hours later.  We were both comatose sitting on the subway ride home from the bus station.  We definitely fell into bed and slept like rocks.  Our two day trip felt like it had been four.  All in all, it was definitely an adventure and I learned a lot about planning and researching, and not leaving it all up to fate.  And even with the ridiculous weather we definitely made the best of it.

 

Samcheok Part 1

Andy (The Boyfriend) and I had planned to take a trip with my friend Eileen and her boyfriend, Matt to Samcheok because we had a work holiday during the first part of this week.

We woke up at 5am on Saturday morning and started our adventure eastward.  We had a basic plan and itinerary. Though I must admit it was the most I had ever  been unprepared for a trip and already I can say lesson learned.  I am just not the type of person who can buy a ticket and it all magically work out for me when I get there.  No, life is not as awesome as it is in the movies when people travel on a whim, or at least it definitely wasn’t this time.

We were waiting at the station and Eileen calls me.  Apparently Matt is really sick and they won’t be making our bus, but will try and get on the next one…she calls me a few hours later to tell me that they won’t be coming at all.  Also, all week she had assured me that the weather was supposed to be wonderful and we were looking forward to some sun…it rained the entire trip there.

Finally after hours of being on the bus it stopped to unload. We got off the bus and started walking…only after wandering around for an hour Andy informs me that the station we got off at said Donghae and not Samcheok…why didn’t he say something earlier? Who knows Korea is a funny little place you never know what the buildings will say…so we are definitely not even in the right city.  We go inside where a guy tries to tell us we need a new ticket and a woman directs us to another guy who is the manager and we are put on the next bus headed the 25 minutes it takes to actually get to Samcheok.

It is still raining.

I had read on blogs about places to stay, only once we got there I couldn’t find any of the places.  I was getting so frustrated at myself, and our situation.  All of the hotels in the area were so expensive and just not what we had really budgeted for, because I had read that in places things would be cheaper.  It is stilllll raining at this point.  Finally we settle on a place and just give up the search.  I have a small break down about the rain and just really wanting it to be a good time and all it had been was a disaster up until this point.

Can’t cry over spoiled milk though, so we dropped off all of our things and headed out in the rain.  We walked in the direction that we thought was the beach…and we did find the coast, but it was the port and not so much the beach.  However, along the way we saw a sign and took a chance and went on a really nice small hike in the rain.  It was beautiful and had a park at the top of this little mountain. Andy  I ended up with a handful of mosquito bites, and I had almost convinced Andy that he totally should have gotten a Malaria vaccine, but really it’s not even an issue here. It was pretty funny at the time. So here are so pictures from our hike:

There was this really cute little bridge that we got to walk across.  Koreans really love putting stairs in places that people usually hike up.

After our hike we kept on heading toward “the beach”. We saw parts of the little city and some of it was so impoverished.  There are homes here that do not have showers.  There are public showers they can use if their homes don’t have them.

Houses up on the hills.

So many low hanging, looming clouds.

I found this little lonely sunflower. Then we found a park that was on the coast.

There was a big green soccer field.

This wooden thundercat character.

This really colorful walk-way.

There were ocean liners and stuff. oh yeah and us…all damp and tired.

Then we got to the port which was not the beach…but still it was neat to walk around.

Then we walked all the way back, ordered a seafood pizza, and watched the Harry Potter marathon on the Korean channel OCN.

oh and it was still raining.

Monsoon season

I haven’t posted in forever. I suppose I haven’t really done anything new or exciting.  I haven’t even been cooking.  I am blaming monsoon season,  what literally has been weeks of rain with only a few scattered days of clouds or sunshine. I don’t mind rain.  It’s nice and cools everything off, but after days of endless rain it really starts to wear on a person.

I feel like pretty soon if Chanticleer doesn’t come back well…we all might just drown…or get eaten by owls or something.  and I feel like that’s totally a reference only my mom will get.

I started a new set of classes at work.  So far they are going pretty well.  They will all change again in about 2 weeks, but that’s okay with me.

And speaking of two weeks, today marks the official 2 week countdown start until The Boyfriend arrives.  In 14 little days I can take the forever long train ride to the airport to pick him up.  It is strange in how it seems like it was just a couple of weeks ago that we were even buying his ticket, and now he is almost here! Also, my boss had this weird day where she gave me all of the vacation time I asked for all those months ago, meaning I will get to spend 5 whole days not working while he is here and a 3 day vacation the whole company gets. Assah!

Of course though his arrival comes with the departure of Rachel and Sara.  They are currently traveling around Vietnam.  I am totally jealous.  They had a going away party a couple of weekends ago.  Our Korean friend Ken was there and brought all kinds of cameras with him.  One of them happened to be a fujifilm instax.  He let us take as many pictures as we wanted.  I took pictures of the pictures even though someone had put their grimy thumbprints on them which made me sad.

I also am looking to buy the instax 210, or maybe a different model I haven’t decided yet, for myself in the next couple of weeks.  They are a lot of fun and a good way to get some instant memories.

So, here are some of the pictures we took.  They also aren’t that great because the lighting inside Met is pretty low and using a flash was too reflective. annnd of course it was raining and I had forgotten my umbrella for the 5000000 time since monsoon season started so I had to pin back my bangs which made me sad.

The last one I got to keep for myself, and it sits in a little holder on my desk at work.

It was a good night. Lots of fun, laughs, darts, tears, and ‘hey remember that time….”

I should be posting more often after the next week or so.  I have mudfest coming up, and then all of the adventures to be had with The Boyfriend including our trip to Samcheok and a national park on top of all the awesome sightseeing to be had in Seoul

 

Grandma turns 90…

Well not one of my grandmas, but Eileen’s did. I hope all of my grandmothers make it to 90, though there is something different about the Korean lifestyle for sure.  I mean they eat their fair share of ridiculously fried foods but all of the other ways they take care of themselves more than make up for it.

Eileen’s grandma’s party was the first Korean birthday party I have attended where things were done in a really traditional manner.  Firstly, in my opinion the woman didn’t look a day over 75 in American years but alas she turned 90 last weekend.  She spent a decade of her life pregnant and birthed 11 children that all survived.  She never lost one. I think that makes her a strong woman for sure, especially considering only 2 of the 11 are boys.  I would pretty much runaway if I had to live with 8 teenage girls. No thank you.

So anyway I think 7 of her children were at the party and some of their families.  It was hosted by one of Eileen’s cousins.  He runs a Tae Kwon Do school outside of Seoul and so there was plenty of space.  It was a lot of fun.

Of course there was a demonstration done by his students.  There was kicks and music and board breaking and flips and it was impressive considering the oldest kid there was probably 15.

Grandma put on a hanbok a traditional Korean dress for the occasion.  It is also tradition that no one eats or drinks until the oldest person does so the party starts with a toast to Grandma and she drinks and the party starts.  Then there is a cake with a sword knife. no joke.

Then little Grandma used that huge sword knife to cut the cake. This all happened at the beginning before the meal or anything.

Then there was the gift giving.  The children line up and place the gifts in front of Grandma on the table.  Then they bow.  They had to bow twice though because the first time there was no food on the table because it was across the room.  In Korea the only time you bow without food is if the person has died and Grandma was very much alive and kicking.  So, there was food and a rebow.  The daughters went first, then sons and son in law, then daughter in laws, grandchildren, and finally great grandchildren.

Of course the tiny kids were the cutest.

Then we got to eat! The food was SOOOOO good. I ate so much raw salmon I thought I might just fall over dead from happiness.  It’s hard to find sushi as we think of it in America, and salmon in general is a really expensive fish here, sadly.

and that was just round one. I was so full and it was all so delicious.

After food and the older family members had drank a little soju and beer they started up the karaoke.  It was all in Korean and went on for a couple of hours but it was fun.  Everyone, including Grandma was singing and dancing and having fun.  There were also some of the cutest kids there and I wanted to snatch them soooo badly. Instead I just paprazzied them with my camera.

Eileen and her mom singing and dancing.

Grandma dancing.  The man in this photo was kind of running the entertainment part. He kept telling everyone where to sit and when to clap or dance and when he talked I felt like he was preaching to me, but Eileen says he is a professional announcer.  I could totally tell. It was funny.

Grandma belted out a few tunes and at one point they were dancing around her in a circle.  I have no idea why, but it obstructed her view of reading the lyrics and so it was funny.  She is a tiny woman the top of her head only came to my chest.

He was such a sweet baby, and check out that tiiiiny little tie he was wearing. So adorable.

I took about 30,000 photos of this little girl.  Her mom is a beautiful Japanese girl.  So her being half Japanese and half Korean is definitely working in her favor.  She was sooo adorable and she will definitely be breaking hearts when she is older. We played with balloons together for like half an hour.  I wanted to bring her home with me.

A picture of Eileen and Grandma in their hanboks.

Me and my lovely Eileen…at first…then towards the end of the party she got really hot in her hanbok.  She didn’t think to bring an extra set of clothes soooo I offered to trade with her. hahaha needless to say everyone laughed at us for sure. For one we are no where near the same size in any way at all.  So her hanbok was short on me and difficult to tie because I am so broad in the shoulders.  And she was swimming in my dress so we had to use bobby pins to keep the straps shorter.

Once the party was over her aunt and uncle drove us home.  We slept most of the hour long trip home because we were just exhausted.  I had so much fun though and I was really glad she had invited me along to be able to celebrated such a milestone with her family.

Saturday morning Eileen and I planned to go for a hike on the local mountain.  One of the neat things about Seoul is that even though it is the ridiculously bustling city that keeps weird hours and is always moving it is still dotted and surrounded by really accessible mountains.  Koreans love to hike. Seriously they all wear matching gear and its just a little almost kiiind of crazy in my book.

Anyway, so I wore my gym shorts, tshirt, zip up, and sneakers so automatically I get looks from people. They wear full body cover suits that I would sweat to death in so I just deal with the weird looks. end tangent and back to the point.  I meet up with Eileen and we are off.

She makes a note that she wants to take an easy path because its her first hike of the season.  I am fine with that I didn’t get much sleep for a variety of reasons and was in no mood to take a very long hike.  I am terrible with directions. that should also be noted, but I do know where I am at.  Then we reach this point where the path splits.  I want to go one way but Eileen thinks we should go another.  Shes Korean and I don’t always trust my directional instinct so we follow her choice.

Then I literally recognize nothing.  I know there are tons of paths all over this mountain and it is really well hiked but we are walking through these wooded areas and climbing up rocks and its proving much more difficult than the usual walking trail we take up.

the easier part.

Spring! It’s here!

someone clearly forgot where they put their mug for safe keeping.

This rock had a face.  I was hoping he would talk to me like the giant rock statue from Legends of the Hidden Temple cause I kiiind felt like I was on that show and just missing my Blue Barracudas shirt or something. Alas, he was just a funny looking non talking rock and had no wise stories or directions to give us.

We found this nice little rock overlook and sat for a few minutes to take a rest and some pictures.  We also had a very interesting discussion about the air. I made a comment about it being so smoggy and she quickly informed me that it wasn’t smog.  No it was moisture because junggye is in a valley basin point geographically so that’s why you can’t see very far.  right….or it’s smog and air pollution. but of course she was taught from a book so I just didn’t argue with her. Plus what do I know about basins and air anyway? not much at all. really.

I am glad I had my camera though because as I realized we really were kiiiind of lost we made the most of it.  We were fine until we decided to take an easier way down.  We just had to find it. We asked a Korean. fail. of course we were told just go up a little further and across then we will see the path to go down. awesome.

sooo we climb up more. Literally up the rock face kiiind of really climbing hoping the trees I’m using for support don’t break so I don’t die kind of climbing. Then we reach a point and there are three paths we can take.  Logically we take the one that looks like it is going to go down.  Logic fails. paths lie. I still think the mountain was trying to eat me because I’m a foreigner…or it just hated me because I wasn’t wearing pants like everyone else.  The jury is still out on that one.  The point is I was seriously starting to think I would not make it home unless I just laid down and rolled straight down hoping not to die or hit anything to sharp on the way down.

So we realize thanks to Koreans around us that we are actually climbing up. Then there is a sign informing us that we are actually only a kilometer away from the very top. We had already made it all that way, even if by accident.  Might as well just keep going, right? soooo we keep on trekking upward.  I am trying not to get to grumpy but I hadn’t eaten and I was seriously exhausted and hiking to the top was not in my plans for the day.  However, that is where I found myself.  One of the things about Korean mountains is that they have a ton of sheer rock face.  I know there are mountains of course like that in the States, but I don’t feel like its all that common in the Appalachian/Blue Ridge areas that I am most familiar with. So, thanks to all the rock the last leg of the trip is up a set of stairs.

Not only am I terrible with directions, I hate heights.  I get so completely wigged out at the idea of falling.  My brain runs a million different terrible scenarios about what could happen because I feel suddenly like I have no control over my own safety and I am leaving it all up to this man made structure that has a gazillion forces working against it. Yes. I have these thoughts. Yes I know they are kind of crazy.

I was fine though until I stepped on a slightly wobbly stair and then the panic hit me right in my stomach and I had to stop to stand on a rock point just to be on something resembling real land.  I keep going up and up and up and finally successfully reach the top where the platform is vibrating with the weight of constantly moving people so I prefer to stand on the mountain whenever possible.

Eileen and I were taking pictures and enjoying our accomplishment when this older man thinks it would be funny if he came up behind me and pushed me just a little in the way you do to scare someone from behind.  Only I had so much anxiety built up inside that when he did this thinking I would find it funny I didn’t.  Instead it scared the breath out of me.  I could not catch my breath to save my life.  I of course cried because I couldn’t breath and all I could see was me slipping in the gravel and sliding right down the ledge and well…dying. I felt so awful and stupid and I knew Eileen felt bad.  I felt worse for making her feel bad and getting upset over something so stupid, but I just couldn’t get air back into my lungs and that was uber scary for me.

Eileen being the amazing friend that she is points out that there is a man selling ice cream from a cart and I was very distracted by trying to figure out how in the world he got the cart up there in the first place.  Then she buys us each an ice cream and I feel a lot better.  I usually don’t eat before a hike because it never takes more than an hour and a half and I hate feeling so full while trying to move around, but after two and a half hours my sugar was dropping and the ice cream was just what I needed.

View from the top

If you look riiiight at the trunk of the tree you can see the bottom half of a guy and his yellow ice cream cart. He just yelling ‘icey cake’ which made me laugh a lot.

 

We found the path down and started towards home.  I slipped on a wet rock and cut my hand on the way down.  I feel like I always slip on something on the way down, but so it goes. We ended up on a paved road at the bottom and Eileen decided she was just too lazy to go any further so she laid down to roll in the same manner I wanted to use earlier to get off the mountain.  It was pretty humorous and she is pretty awesome.

Then we discovered we had walked 15 minutes away from where we started when we got to the bottom. We started by our house and ended up in Sanggye.  We decided to take the bus home which was silly but nice since it had been 3 hours since we started once we reached the bottom.

I am really glad we made it to the top even though it was a difficult trek.  I had a lot of fun and it was soooo nice to see some plants in bloom.  Spring is arriving finally! The Cherry blossom festival will be before the month is out which is early this year.  So excited!

oooooh children…

Many times my kids say some really funny things, or write them in their journals and I always mean to share them on here but then I forget, which I hate buuuut yeah.

h’okay so. Today’s episode was just too funny not to share. I warn you it might be slightly offensive?

I was teaching GS 3 science today.  The class is composed of 2 girls and 3 boys.  The boys are silly and are always talk, talk, talking.  Today’s unit involved making shapes out of tangrams.  We went over the usual square, triangle, lozenge and then put together numbers, cats, foxes, people, and so on.  Once we were done and had time to kill I let them create their own shapes.  I made a butterfly at one point and then moved on to the next shape when one of the boys was like look teacher I made a butterfly with a 고추=gochu I was like hochu? pepper? a butterfly with a pepper? Then I realized that I had just had a conversation with my friends about how the word pepper and penis were ridiculously similar in Korean to the point that foreigners often say it wrong.

So I have this kid pointing to this blue lozenge telling me its a butterfly penis. Really kid? I was like ummm what?! the other kids were giggling and I was kind of in shock.  I quickly tried to explain how that was really inappropriate and make him stand with his hands up, which he refused to do after telling me no and got in bigger trouble for, but anyway it was ridiculous.  He is this little, whacky, 7 year old kid telling me he made a butterfly to top mine because his had a penis. Kids these days I tell ya.

on a side note the word for vagina and tuna are also a very similar sound annnd I think I have been saying the wrong version while ordering my kimbap.  No wonder the woman always looks at me a little funny. sheesh.

And, tomorrow we are supposed to be getting radioactive rain. Awesome.  They are saying only trace amounts, but I am kind of hoping for some Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs kind of action. ^_^

The Angel House

I realized pretty early on into my time here that I missed being in a role of service.  I really do enjoy being a part of a community and working to better it and continually build it up.  This city is huge and their are a ton of people in need, but the Korean attitude makes it difficult for them to always be well taken care of.

Here homeless people, and most people with disabilities are shunned from society. Not all, but most.  I asked my kids about homeless people and there was no compassion in their response.  They are taught they are dirty people that should be given no attention.  Now I recognize that there would probably be a similar response in America, but here I feel like it is rare to find a Korean that has that drive to help others.  I only know of a handful really.

Anyway, so my uber humanitarian Korean friend Eileen and I have done a lot of talking about what organizations are good and what we want to do with our lives and pretty much we want to go spend some times in India at orphanages and in Africa educating people on health and hygiene and just really make a difference and I love talking to her and really finding someone who understands how my heart and mind work in the realm of service and humanitarian work. So we decided to join a group that goes on the first Saturday of every month to this place called the Angel House.

Originally, we were told this facility was an orphanage, and it is kind of. However, I found it mainly to be a place where Koreans take  physically and mentally disabled people of all ages that they no longer want to care for, or maybe can’t care for.  Mind you the amount of federal funds that goes to facilities like this one is quite minimal. They run mostly on private donations and support from people like our group.

This is the first thing we saw after arriving:

The facility:

We took a large group to volunteer which was super encouraging.  We were split up between helping in the kitchen, cleaning, and laundry.  I was on laundry duty with Eileen and a friend we know named Anthony, and then new friends we made.  Another plus was getting to meet new people! We washed the clothes by hand on some old wooden wash boards and with bars of soap.  rinsed them in big buckets and wrung them out by hand.  It was for sure a different experience, but one I actually really enjoyed.

our little set up:

the water in that bucket he is in is freezing. Trust me I know I stood in it for a while. there was still snow on the ground outside too. Totally worth it.

Elieen looking like an ajumma (old lady)

My little workstation:

old wooden washers:

This guy was so sweet. He can’t walk. He sleeps in a baby crib. He loves to smile and drool, but hes soooo funny and just climbs person to person back and forth.

Then we helped a bit in the kitchen. we really had a delicious dinner.

Of course there was a couple of kids I wanted to take home with me.  This little girl, Esther was awesome! I am pretty sure she has Alcohol Fetal Syndrome but she was soooo funny and loved take pictures and showing us around.  Then there was a little boy, Ben with Downs that I thought was just awesome. He had a backpack full of who knows what and he just carried it around everywhere.

 

Then we played some games, had snacks, and enjoyed their company.

Overall I really enjoyed the experience and I am very much looking forward to my next visit in early March.

2 months down and 10 to go.

This morning I have my Korean language book and a fresh cup of tea next to me and something I think might be resembling the beginnings of a respiratory infection inside of me. I have had a weird swollen throat for a couple of days and this morning congestion made my breathing wheezy and not in the I sound like a rapper kind of way.  My lungs were squeaking and my head was throbbing this will not be pleasant and I am hoping that like my last head cold situation it will dissolve itself in a weeks time…and not turn into pneumonia. My parents would say ‘Allison Nicole go to the doctor’ well yeah maybe if it gets worse, no need to be all hypochondriac for the moment. I am going to let this one play out and hope I don’t die. 🙂

The point is it makes sense that everyone gets sick in Korea. The number one thing you notice, or that I have noticed in my first 2 months here is that Koreans think it is rude to not cover your mouth when you yawn, however! they never cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. They just release those germs in the subway full of stale germy air or in your small classroom, again full of stale germy air. Getting sick here is unavoidable. Of this I am completely sure. My students have literally coughed on me while I have been collecting homework before. Nothing I can do besides whip out my hand sanitizer and pray that my immune system can handle the germs.

So yes. 2 months now I have been in this fair land. I have already learned a lot. I am working on my Korean language skills, and food skills too! I can officially count to 10..well in regular numbers. Koreans have 2 number systems. 1 for counting, money, and stuff. The second for counting items and objects. For instance if I want two thousand won I will say “ee” chun won, but if I want 1 bi bim bap I would say “han-ah” bi bim bap.   im not sure how the number translations are actually spelled, but that is how it sounds.

We have had a bit of snow, but more than anything Korea is just cold. I mean to the bone chilled kind of cold. It drives me crazy. Why I keep picking places with cold winters is beyond me. I am headed towards the equator next time I travel outside of the US for a longer period of time. I know some of you pretend that Korea is my last hoorah but let’s be honest, that just isn’t possible. Already being here for two months has me itching to travel somewhere else like China, Malaysia, Australia. It just isn’t in me to stay still. I have been reading Eat, Pray, Love though and it’s nice not to be alone in that need to travel and roam a lot. There is a ton of time for reading in Korea which is nice. And a huge bookstore in Itaewon that sells new and used English books. My friends and I all have nice little sets of books that we swap around.

This month has been really interesting and I wish I could have seen something historical and Korean, but once winter rolls in I roll up and hibernate. My sightseeing days have been put on hold for a bit, which is fine. There is still a lot to do in my own area. For instance, Harry Potter is opening this week finally in Korea and a whole ton of us are going after work Wednesday night. I’m looking forward to it.

Thanksgiving was this month which was lovely, and Christmas is coming up soon. There have been lots of name drawings for swaps and gifts and dinner preparations made. I think it will be a warm December in terms of being with people and celebrating being together when we can’t be with our own families. I am looking forward to ringing in the new year here, and what it brings with it.

So, here’s to month 3. I hope it will be full of great stories to keep sharing with you all.