Spring is in the air...

...everywhere I look around...turn around...I'm not sure.

Anyway, the first signs of real spring!! It's a beautiful sunny day today. I went for a walk and stopped to smell the flowers.


1 down...

...2 to go.

I just have to write and say HOW EXCITED I AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I literally just pushed the submit button paying off my first (of three) student loans. This is a great feeling. A large part of me being here this year is to make some money to chip away at my debts and 5.5 months after arriving I am getting the ball rolling. Yee freaking ha!!

that's all.

tummy's growling.

day's done.

bikes waiting.



Another Friday...


This week has been a short one due to the holiday, but for some reason it seemed to drag on...

One of my students told me I had bad skin (while pointing to my face), this might be due to the big goiter trying to pop out of my chin, but none the less...thanks a lot. So, I told her she smelled like soju (Korean alcoholic beverage that smells like rubbing alcohol) and that she didn't have any friends. As you can tell, I really promote positive teacher/student relationships. It's all in good fun though, she really is a gem of a girl.


Climb Every Mountain....

...Search high and low....follow every byway, every path you know....dum dee dum.

This past holiday weekend was busy busy yet I was able to rest up and relax all the same. The Koreans rang in the Lunar New Years which basically means I had an extra day off work - YAY!! My director so kindly gave me a gift set of instant coffee - 10 boxes worth with about 20 packets inside each box. I love coffee, but I hate instant coffee, especially when half of it is sugar, so I ended up passing some on to a co-worker and trading the rest for a big box of seaweed. Haha, that probably doesn't sound too appetizing either, but to be honest, I kind of love the stuff.

Anyway, Friday night was fairly typical. Lauren spent her last night in Gimhae passing off things she couldn't fit in her suitcases (I scored some spices and a shirt) and I left at a relatively decent time...I will miss her though...
Monday a bunch of Gimhaens decided to go hiking in Liz's neighborhood...Here we have (L to R) Me, Andu Mandu, Emma & Liz, Joe so kindly took the picture. It was a beautiful sunny day and we all agreed the fresh air was a huge welcome to our otherwise polluted lungs...
I was so excited to use my new hiking boots. We had an auction at Christmas where all the students brought in things to be auctioned off and one student brought in a brand new pair of boots. They fit my little toes like a glove and I was happy that no one bid on them. Well, some way up the mountain we took a short sit and I looked down at my shoes to find this....

My shoes are now in the garbage. Both soles peeled right off leaving me with a small sole and little grip. They weren't uncomfortable though and still functioned decently for the trek down. It was quite funny. At the top we stopped for a rest and here's a picture overlooking part of Gimhae...there are two temples nestled in their too...And here is the other side where you can see part of Busan.

Overall it was a great weekend spent with friends and nature...lucky for us there are so many places to do day hikes here so we'll have to make it a weekly tradition...hooray.


Male stamina & smelly Koreans...

...straight from the horses mouth

One thing I thouroughly enjoy about teaching in Korea is hearing Korean's opinions on why things are the way they are. Let me explain. Yesterday, I taught my new adult class for the first time. Because it was my first class we chatted about basic things like family, Valentine's Day and food. Two of my students said their favorite Korean food was dog soup and snake soup. Neither of these sound apetizing to me in any capacity and the one time I actually ate rattle snake I threw up...so, I asked why is it so wonderful? Is it the taste or is it medicinial or what exactly? Well, Eric told me that it is both and helps for the sake of "male strength", and Sean said, yes, for "male stamina".

From talking with other foreign teachers, it seems that there is an infinite list of ingestibale things that enhance male stamina, and by stamina, I don't think they mean exactly how many pushups, situps and pullups one can do... So I asked my students, what about female stamina? What about the other half of the human race? Well, they basically said, Kroean women are born strong and don't need food for their stamina and that men are born weak and need to eat certain foods for their stamina. I was apprehensive to continue with the conversation but decided to forge on ...I asked, "so if Korean men need to eat certain foods for their stamina, does that mean Korean men have a history problems in this particular department". The guys laughed, the women blushed and one guy said, "yes sometimes at night I have some problems with my stamina" and another guy said, "I'm not sure about my stamina, I am not married".

This is one example of many awkward and funny conversations I have with my students. Today, my middle school class was writing letters to imaginary penpals about their families, their cities and Korean in general. All six of them didn't write positive things about Korea, they all wrote about how it's dirty and how Koreans stink like garlic, onions and kimchi. I had a chuckle since I've almost bit it on the treadmill numerous times due to someone's awful oder on the machine next to mine.

Ahh, the innocent honesty of my students whether their 14 or 29...gotta love it sometimes.


Oh Day of Love...

...and lots of chocolate.

Just call me little piggers today. I've never been a huge fan of Valentine's, but when my sweet little kiddos rush up to me and throw chocolate in my face, I rather rejoice in all the glory of it's wonderful tastiness...and in turn, have a very sore belly.

very, very sore.

Happy Happy Happy Day of Love to all!


5 months past...

...7 to go.

Nah, I'm not counting down the days to go home at all. The time is flying by so quickly I'll be sad to leave once September comes around! It's just one of those weeks - where things at work aren't going very smoothly and I'm just too tired/don't even really care enough to fix them. Well, that's a lie, I do care, I'm just too damn stubborn to be the first to speak...

Usually, when one part of my life is causing me to stress out( in this case, work) I can go home, think about it, discuss it with someone, reasses my actions etc. but here I go home and because I live by myself I end up driving myself mad with internal discussion. When I left work last night I decided to stop by BnG because there is usually someone there having an after work drink. Thankfully, some of my closest friends were there and I was able to sit down, relax and complain to them. I guess when things aren't so rosy and wonderful it's easy to think of the little things at home that I miss. Then I think, "buck up you little booger butt, you're in Korea and you've met awesome people and you shouldn't let the ridiculousness and stupidity of things at work consume the awesomeness of the rest of your experiences". So yeah, on a definitely more positive note I don't have to work until 5:15 on Wednesdays for the rest of this month and that's really good news.



...new technology.

So today I was trying to upload my pictures from my new nifty camera and since everything is in Korean I just randomly push buttons, fingers crossed & hoping for the best, when little grey boxes blip up with lots of foreign-ness on them...


In the future, should remember to have Korean teachers translate into English what exactly I am pushing. Turns out, I deleted most (say 200+) new pictures from my camera. Damn. damn. damn.

Oh well. The world is filled with too many images anyway, what's 200 less. There are many more days and many more pictures to be taken...:(

So I leave you with a look of this deliciousness...for some reason, about 15 pictures were saved and this picture was one of them. Sausage crusted pizza from Pizza Hut...what will they think of next ?? (gag)


Seeing Cyndi in Seoul...

...was sooooooooooo awesome!! Here's a quick look at our whirlwind weekend...

Liz & I hopped the KTX Friday after work highly anticipating the promised rapid speed of 300kph. Well, it reached that point for literally .5 seconds. We were happy though and I had a great time learning how to play gin while we vegged out on junk food...
Liz, Cyndi and I explored Seoul mostly by subway and walking

Cyndi & I in Insadong. It's one of, in not my favorite area of Seoul. Lots of art shops, people, shopping, and it has such a nice feel about it. We were pretending to be engaged in deep conversation.

A typical shop in Insadong with lots of touristy Korean things.

Metal disks that were displayed at the Andy Warhol exhibit/shopping area. Not sure what it actually was, but it was really cool...

The Andy Warhol exhibit thingy...

Cyndi & I and the strange pixilated display.

Kim & Liz share a moment at dinner. We ate Sam Gyup Sal in Hapjeong.

Norebang! Norebang! Norebang!
We were singing our guts out if you can't tell. This is actually our third singing room. The lines were far too long at the luxury norebang and we were kicked out of the second one for trying to sneak in our own drinks...woops:)

Hanging out with Danny boy in Seoul. Haven't really hung out with him for a couple of years so it was definitely cool to catch up.

This is in Dongdaemun...great shopping area.
Eating bulgogi in Dongdaemun

Dongdaemun subway station...there were lots of these cat mosaics doing different sports...probably from the Olympics.

Cyndi rocker and I had a photo shoot...this was her best shot...she is still in the running for America's Next Top Model.

Cyn Cyn and I were vegging out during our "photo shoot" and if you look closely, there's totally a hair in the package...I just think this is funny...that's all.

Overall, our trip to Seoul was filled with lots of shopping, miles of walking, delicious food & best of all wonderful company.