5.28.2007

It's been a busy busy busy past few days...

...so here it is in pictures...feast. your. eyes.

We started out Wednesday night celebrating Abbey's birthday with tacos and wine

In keeping with tradition, I made a pinata which she so comically destroyed (after many failed attempts:)

This then led to Norebang (singing room) where we sang "our (2) songs": Heart of Glass & Sk8r Boi

Thursday was Buddha's Birthday so we went to the temple to have a look. Oh, and Zac had arrived at this point...

Friday Zac & I went to Busan to eat tacos and hang out. We ended up at the Aquarium.

and then met up with Aaron in Nampodong (another area of Busan where he lives/works).

Saturday a group of Gimhae people went to Pohang to see some of our friends play hockey. We visited the orphanage first and the kiddos were particularly interested in the size of Zac's nose.

Some of the girls who were there a few years back when I lived there for the summer. The middle one, Saw Hyun was my favorite little girl there...

Blair & Jason between quarters...ahh, I mean periods:)

Mindy, me & Ruby at Mindy's Bar. They both used to work at the Hess a few years back. It's always great to meet up with them.

Grad pictures...
On Monday, Zac and I decided to have a "valid cultural experience" in Gimhae so we went to King Suro's Tomb. It was slightly unimpressive, but we enjoyed the walk around the grounds.

Smile!

So yes, this is what's been happening these past few days. We're off to Seoul this weekend to meet up with friends from home. Then Zac heads home:(

5.23.2007

It's Wednesday...

...but for me it's Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesdays are one of the best days of the week for me. My first class doesn't start until 5:15 which gives me a full day to be productive and get things done. Unfortunately, I usually end up farting around b/c in all honesty, I don't have much to do during the day. Such is life, haha, my life here anyway...But(!) today is different! Zac has probably just landed as I write this and in preparing for his arrival I've been busy busy getting things ready for the next 2 weeks. Of course I could have done some of these things earlier, but I sometimes tend to procrastinate, get distracted, or as my dear darling soon to be birthday girl would say "Gemini myself".

Tomorrow is Buddha's birthday (and above mentioned dear darling soon to be birthday girl's ). Because it's a National Holiday I don't have to work AND I've taken Friday off to enjoy some sight seeing/relaxing over an uninterrupted long weekend...asahh...

So yes, today is "Friday" for me and I'm feeling the itch to get out of work and enjoy the weekend...even though I just got in and haven't actually taught a class yet. Yes, in comparison to most, if not all the other foreign teachers in Gimhae, I've lucked out with an awesome schedule...

TGIF!!!!!!!!!!

5.18.2007

Dear 'Korean Girls All Dress Alike"

...(which by the way is so true...and awesome haha).

1. Zac flies into Seoul Wednesday, May 23rd around 3 or 4. He's hopefully coming straight here Wed. night or Thursday morning since I don't have to work Thursday or Friday.

2. We're heading to Pohang Sat-Sun.

3. Zac's probably going to Seoul sometime early the next week since I have to work and he obviously wants to see other people (although you and I are probably the coolest ones he knows here...prolly cooler than Brett even).

4. Aaron and I (do you know him??) are heading to Seoul Friday June 1st to partayyyyyy that weekend.

5. If you come down sometime that would be awesomness x 100.

6. If you don't come down, I will be sad. BUT. will see you the following weekend.

Love,
Kimbirdy

5.16.2007

The world as we know it...

I just tracked my order for my new computer to see where it is and found out that it's already had quite a little trek around the world!!

It was shipped from Shanghi -> Anchorage -> Indianapolis -> Grand Rapids -> Kentwood -> Zac's condo (3x) -> Kentwood FedEx facility where it is resting now. All in the span of 5 days!!

Wow. Ordering online. Amazing.

5.14.2007

2 things I really enjoy about my job...

...1. My Monday night adult class, & 2. reading and correcting students English diaries.

Tonight in my adult class we discussed family. Tom, one of the tallest and broadest Korean's I've ever met, made attempts to explain how his father had two fathers and one was an uncle. This sounded a bit incestual to me, but the Korean family system is so different than ours that I figured there was a logical explanation. From what I understood, I learned that in Korea (or at least traditionally and in the past) the first born son was so important because he was able to continue the family line through his genes and blood and blah blah blah, but if the eldest son (and wife) were for some reason unable to pro-create, they would at times take one of their younger brothers sons into their home and raise it as their own so that they continued the bloodline through the eldest brother. This happened in Tom's father's case, he was taken in by his Uncle to continue the bloodline therefore making his father also his uncle. And did I mention he was 11 when this happened? I tried to put myself in this situation and it seemed very strange.

Okay, so I'm not sure if I am explaining this well, or if it's accurate, or if it even make sense...but that's kind of how I'm digesting it all in my head right now and I'm a bit confused. I often learn so much from my adult class but because their English isn't fluent we encounter the overused phrase (but great movie) lost in translation. I feel that now. I only understand slivers of a concept or a part of Korean culture that they try to explain. Language barriers can be such a pain in the ass.

Anyway, after class I was grading an English diary and the topic was, "Today was my sex-linkage time". Ann continued to explain how her parents had "lost their minds with her". I was very confused about what "sex-linkage time" was so I asked my Korean co-teacher Jenny. Jenny explained that in Korean, the word has two meanings and when Ann typed it into her little dictionary the word "sex-linkage" popped up as the first answer, rather then "self-examination" which would have been the correct choice. This too could have been a very awkward diary entry to be given to and graded by the foreign teacher, "Today was my self-examination time". Haha, anyway, even though it didn't make the sentence correct, I understood she was going through more of a self-assesment b/c she had pissed off her parents and felt guilty.

Ahh, teaching.

5.11.2007

Change is good right??...

...yes, change is sometimes very good.

I thought it was about time to change the layout of this little blog...I feel like my general mood of being here has shifted, almost changed, due to the fact that only 4 months remain before I jump ship (plane) and head home.

The two semesters I've done abroad were both approximately 4 months long. That's 16 weekends. 3 or 4 of those weekends were filled with planned excursions included in the cost of the semester which left 12 to play around with. We always tried to plan to stay in the capital cities we were studying in at least 4 weekends to have a chance to Lewis & Clarke our ways around and experience the nightlife. That left us 8 weekends in which to travel around as it provided leeway for us to enjoy and experience a place away from home.

With only "a semester" remaining I am starting to feel the pressure of my time here dwindling down. It's going by so quickly and with each passing month I find myself wondering where I want to venture within or out of Korea - who knows when I'll be back to this side of the world again, if ever (although I'm pretty sure I will) - but of course, with any travels, money is factored in and a large purpose of me being here is to make money and to save it.

We'll see!!!!!!!! It's Friday though and I'm anticipating a restful yet productive weekend...here's hoping...

5.07.2007

lolly pops and ice cream...

...oh how I crave a bombpop.
Remember bomb pops? They will forever remind me of my dear Allison Schemper and oh what I would give to eat one right now with her... Korea has quite a variety of ice cream delights, but nothing quite compares to the ever festive bomb pop...
So, it's been one of those days where I woke up not feeling particularly refreshed from the weekend, but willing to face the day b/c the sun was shining and there were hints of blue skies. I relaxed for a bit - had a coffee, ate some breakfast and watched some TV before venturing out for a little fresh air. It's beautiful today, around 70 degrees but it feels much warmer...and it's about 10 degrees hotter in each classroom which makes me want to do nothing but color..haha... This is only the brink of what's to come this summer I suppose.
This weekend I met up with Aaron (a friend from home) on Friday which was great. He's been here for about 2 months and this is only the 2nd time we've seen each other.
Saturday and Sunday were nice, a group of people played soccer both days. It's always nice to get out and kick a ball around, plus it's more entertaining that running at the gym.
On a side note, I pretty much can't wait for Zac to visit. I probably annoy my Gimhae friends with my rants about how excited I am, but I just am. They'll probably meet him and think he's not nearly as cool as I've made him out to be what with his contrived personality and all...;)
That's all really, and...
I can't believe it's May.

5.01.2007

"All women, men and children in America...

...carry guns."

This is what one of my adult students is convinced of. He's not actually an adult adult but he's 18 and has a slight impairment that I'm unable to completely figure out. Today, he was the only student of 8 who showed up for this class and we ended up chatting for 50 minutes about who knows what. In fact, he talked and talked and talked and I had no idea what he was talking about. Before I realised it, my mind began wondering and I started thinking about what I want to do for my summer vacation (which by the way is only 5 days...hmf). When I snapped back to reality I couldn't figure out what he was saying so I continued to look interested and responded with different tones of mmm, ooh, really?, wow, uhh. I don't think he noticed. I remember him saying something about being in a bus accident in Korea and the drivers of the involved vehicles were all yelling at each other. This doesn't surprise me at all since Koreans can be very vocal and aggressive in these types of situations. I then told him about the bus accident I was in in Japan and how the drivers just bowed and calmly spoke to one another before the police and tow trucks came. Joe said he hated it when Koreans fight and yell so I said maybe he would like the calmer attitudes and approaches of the Japanese and asked him if he's ever been. He replied and said, "no, I've never been to another country". I then asked him if he could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Joe said he wants to go to America but is very scared. He's scared because "everyone carries guns in their pockets". I explained that this obviously isn't true in which he replied, "no teacher, I am scared because all women, men and children in America have guns." I think I need to stop teaching English and start teaching American culture.