Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two Busy Weeks! (Happy Holidays!)

Oh my, its been a while.

The last two weeks have just been absolutely crazy, but I wouldn't trade them obviously!

Randy got here the very same evening of my last blog post and we've been tearing up Seoul (and its outlying areas) and/or working for the past two weeks.

Christmas was fabulous and we both had a really great time. Randy came over, we went to Christmas morning brunch at Lindsay's house (one of the girls that works with me) and did a Yankee gift exchange with the girls I work with. We exchanged presents and guess what?

Randy bought me a turtle!

I have always wanted a pet, but alas haven't had one since a certain fish that I caught in early elementary school that 'died mysteriously' one day while I was at school. I am soo excited about the turtle. Its so much better than a fish, you can feed it, and play with it, take it out of the tank! It still has no name however... I have received many suggestions, but have yet to decide on anything certain. He's pretty awesome though, so I think its normal to give proper time for careful consideration.

For the past three days Randy and I have been skiing at a resort with my co-workers from SLP. We had the most amazing time, and took a bunch of pictures which I will post tomorrow when I upload them from my camera. We just got back around hours ago, and as much as I really enjoyed all the company, I am also enjoying being alone in my apartment with no expectations and peace and quiet. I'll post more details when I wake up, but for now I think I'm planning on curling up with a good book, and catching some early Zzzzz's. My muscles are not sore or achy yet from the skiing, but my whole body is pretty tired.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Busy Twilight Hours

The Christmas preparation continues, and lately I feel like I am always cleaning. You would be surprised at how much dirt can build up in such a tiny apartment! Or maybe you wouldn't be, and I am just naïve... although to my credit the girls I work with have said that these apartments that we live in are like nothing they've ever seen when it comes to accumulating dirt and grim. I think its due in large part to the fact that the air is not very clean here and it brings dust and grim with it where ever it goes. I was beginning to think that I was getting close... soon I may throw in the towel! lol

I do love having my own place though, and the cleaning is not really as bad as I make it out to be. As I accumulate more stuff here and there as the weeks go on, its starting to feel more and more like a home, and less and less like a forgotten dorm room. :D I'll have to take some more pictures over the next few days and share them with all of you, so you see what I am talking about. It looks much nicer now than the day I first moved in and posted the not-yet-unpacked pictures!

Aside from all the cleaning and decorating this week is the last full week of school before Christmas holidays! Fabulous! A bunch of us are going skiing over the break, which I am very excited for, and I don't have to go back to school until Jan. 5th! Hopefully this will involve lots of exploring etc. that I haven't had the chance to do up until now!

The weekend went by without too much hassle. The other girls had various reasons they couldn't make it to Korean class on Saturday, so I was the only student! A two hour private lesson for $1! I thought it was a great bargain. Then on Sunday I talked to my family for a while and went to see Twilight with the girls from work. The movie was absolutely terrible, and I loved every minute of it! If there is one thing I am full aware that I have terrible taste in, its movies. Not that I dislike good movies, I love them too... I just have a special place in my heart for the sappiest chick-flick movies of all time. If there's a PG rated love story and a happy ending, chances are that I'm a happy camper. I know that this makes me a little pathetic, but I don't mind. :)

Last, but certainly not least, my Best Friend from home arrives in Seoul this evening at 5 pm! Eeeek! Me= one very excited lady!

Halloween 2006

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas!

The last few days I have spent getting ready for Christmas, cleaning, decorating and recovering from the cold that's been dogging me for a few days now. Classes are going well and I can't wait for Christmas to get here! :D Here are a few pictures of decorations I have up around my place for your viewing pleasure!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Weekend (Dec 6 & 7)

I promised that I would come back and finish telling you all about my adventures last week, so here I am!

I left off on Wednesday when we went cellphone shopping and bought my new (to me! ) cell phone. Here is a picture of it, for those of you who are curious as to what it looks like.

Its a pretty great phone for $45 as for as I can tell, so I'm pretty happy with it. After the phone buying and the food eating Amanda and Kelly and I wandered around for a little while, and then went home. A very successful day!

Here are Kelly and Amanda standing on the steps in front of Yongsan Station, as well as a picture of the area around the station entrance, it was quite festive!

The rest of the week passed by without much incident, except Friday when I got my bank account. Naturally I took a picture of my bank card for you to see as well.

I'm not so into identify theft, so I took out most of the good bits, but you can get the picture. I was very happy to open a bank account as we had been paid on the last day of November, and as cool as it is to hold a million won in your hand, its even cooler to know that its in the bank... and that you can't lose it! I was sick and had a fever Friday night, so nothing of interest to report.

For those of you who know me the best, this will come as a bit of a shock, but the majority of my weekend was spent shopping! I got up at the crack of dawn on Saturday (aka: 10 am) and hopped on the bus to go to an outdoor shopping extravaganza in Edae. We shopped until mid-afternoon, and then I went to my second Korean class. It was fabulous! We had a new teacher this week, and she didn't really know what she was up to, which was great because we did so much more stuff than last week. I was in love! We finished up around 5 after which I went home to continue to recuperate from the cold I've been fending off. Sunday was more of the same, but Church replaced the Korean lesson and was followed by a quick game of pool before again calling it an early night. That brings us up to this week, which is so far going pretty well, but is quite busy. I'm still trying to fend off that cold, and I miss you all, but except for that life is peachy keen!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oddities! :)

Time for more new and exciting pictures! Now that the details of settling in are calming down, I thought I would share with you some of the neat and interesting things I am seeing here in Korea. I bring my camera with me everywhere, so I've got a few interesting pictures for you all to see! My personal favourite from this post is... soap on a stick! My jury is still out on whether I think its unsanitary, or ingenious! These pictures are just a few of the many reasons I am enjoying my time in Korea so much :)

Toilet paper outside the bathroom stalls!

A view of the Alps?

Soap on a stick!

Close up :)

The sign says 'Toast'... I'm not convinced!

Cute doggies :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Busy Busy

The rest of last week was just one crazy busy time of in class monitoring, shopping, alien registration cards, delicious food, skype calls, bank accounts, hilarity.... and I had a fabulous but busy time!

Tuesday when I had arrived at school they had received my alien card = very exciting! Its good because it means that now I can get a bank account, a cell phone etc. and health insurance, which is always a good thing! So because I was free Wednesday evening, Kelly, Amanda and I made our way to Yongsan to pick me up a cell phone! We had a very interesting journey but made it there without incident to find that the stores were closing as we were walking past them! ( Oh no! ) We kept on going though until we got to the cell phone section where fortunately they were just a few minutes behind everyone else and were still willing to serve us. After a fair bit of haggling and other shenanigans I managed to get myself a used phone in great condition for just $45! Only the beginning of my amazing bargains for the week!

Once again, in the interest of time I had left teaching to go directly to another location, and so by the time we were finished finding the cell phone and setting up the contract etc I was famished and we set out to find something to eat. We went to the I-mall in Yongsan and there were just about a million different restaurants there offering all sorts of different foods,

but we settled on a little Italian place called Amigos (Amigos? Italian? Hmm.... ). I ordered some sort of chicken spaghetti au gratin and it was just about the most delicious thing I have ever put in my mouth! Yum Yum Yumm! I felt a little guilty, because I really want to learn to appreciate Korean food, but it was just so delicious, I just pushed the guilt right out of my mind! lol

Wed and Thursday I had achievement tests with most of my students and was being monitored by parents in my other two classes so it was an interesting few days. I have to go to school now, but I'll come back and tell about the rest of the week this evening when I get home.

I miss you all! --Me

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Galbi Salsa

The week is going well so far, and it seems like time is just flying by here in Korea! I am really settling into my classes and finally figuring out how some of my kids tick. I hope I figure it out for Thursday and Friday as I have one parent coming in each day to see what the new teacher is like, in two of my most difficult classes! There are also achievement tests for the majority of my classes on Thursday and Friday, but I don't really know what I have to do for them so I'm pretty unsure about what the rest of my week will bring.

This is one of my preschool project writing classes. They are writing about astronauts this week and they are super cute!

For the first two weeks of December middle school students don't attend SLP and instead stay home to prepare for their final exams here. Middle school is a big deal here, I think the marks you get on your exams influence what highschool you go to, which influences where you attend university which affects the rest of your life... so in short, my middle school kids were all pretty stressed out last week.

The middle school kids not coming meant that today I finished work at 7 instead of 8! Fabulous! This was all exciting enough until I found out that one of the other teachers at the school was looking for someone to go to a salsa dancing class with him, because the other teacher at the school that normally goes was busy. Of course I was up for a random salsa class, so off we went! There was more men than women at the salsa class, but the partners were shuffled every 5 minutes or so, so no one was really left out. I danced with John, the guy from school for approx 4 mins at the very beginning (which was fortunate, because he needed to show me the basic steps) and then didn't really see him until we left! John has told me before we left SLP (the school) that the class was going to be a little challenging, so of course I couldn't resist, but I didn't quite realise what I was getting myself into!

It was fun though, and I met some really interesting people, so all in all I enjoyed myself very much!

We had both gone straight from teaching to the dance class so on the way home we were both pretty hungry, and upon John's discovery that I hadn't yet tried galbi -- traditional Korean BBQ-- we stopped at a place along the way home and had some, and it was fabulous! I am still unfortunately at the point where I am tolerating most of the traditional Korean food that I eat, but this was just absolutely delicious from the first bite to the last. I'll post some pictures for you all another time, but for now its time for me to sign out and get some shut-eye. Goodnight!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh Turkey!

So, the church I've attended for the past few weeks here in Seoul had a turkey dinner to celebrate American Thanksgiving at the army base which is not too far away from the church. Kristine Teacher from SLP and I went together and...

Needless to say, it was fabulous!

The food was delicious, the people were great and they even had entertainment for us! It was held at a hotel on base, and there were alot of foods that I didn't think I would ever see until I got back to Canada!

Mmmmmm..... Need I say more?

The hotel was also decorated for the Christmas season in that over-the-top way that we North Americans are known for, so I took some pictures to share with you guys!

Free Hit Counter