Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update: 3 Months

...Exactly! I've been working at Feinschule for exactly three months today. I just now realized that. Cool, but weird. It's weird cos sometimes I forget where I am and then, randomly, remember that I live in Korea and I have a slight panic attack that lasts, mmmm, 30 seconds max, then I'm okay cos I remember that it's pretty cool here. Also weird, because I've been doing the same ish for three months and still have 9 more months of the same ish. Fun.

Anywhos, this week. It's only Tuesday, but yesterday and today I've been sick. No big deal, though. This week is already wayyyy better than last week and last week I wasn't sick! Weird.

Last week consisted of the teachers putting together progress reports for both the kinders and elementary kids and trying to finish everything we were behind on for the kinders. It was insane. We were yelled at a couple of times because there wasn't enough of that or of this, or because the art books didn't have enough color. Needless to say, last week was quite hectic and I am oh so glad it is oh so over.

Progress reports: somewhat pointless. It might have grades of the spelling tests and monthly tests (elementary) but other than that, it's like lying nicely to the parents. Instead of saying "So-and-so will not stop talking or yelling in class, and so they distract the other students." We have to say something like "So-and-so loves talking." Hmp. Lame. I tried to be as honest as I could in the nicest way possible, but it got a bit difficult at times. Whatevs.

This past weekend was excellent because I didn't do practically anything. Just stayed at home most of the time, relaxing. It was excellent. Last Sunday the 22nd, I went white water rafting, this past Sunday, the 29th, I watched a movie and went to Korean class. Yes, starting that up again. Hopefully it'll last longer than one class. Ha.

This week has been good so far. I'm enjoying it. Sorry this post is so incredibly dull, it's just been, like, 2.5 weeks since I've last updated. Truth be told, there's really not a whole helluva lot to say. We did go on a field trip, but that was sorta boring. The kids made alien thingamabobs, it was cute. Here's a picture:

Oh, hey! There's me, too. Lucky you. So, yup. Like I said, nothing special. My apologies.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Tribute of Sorts


August 14th is a big and important day for mi familia for 3 reasons.

1. It's my mommy's birthday! What a special lady this one is. She's the greatest. My bffl. Haha. I am so proud of her for so many things. When she was tired of being at home with Sarah and I all. the. time, she decided that it was time to go back to school. She graduated with her masters in education and has been hollerin' at kids since then. Super cool. Also, she is just super duper cool. Like, seriously. ALSO, she and mi padre are moving to Kuwait at the end of August. She has never lived outside the US and she is doing this huge move now. I admire her to pieces (well, both the rents) for just peacin' out of the States (copycats). So yep, it's my madre's birthday! Spectacular woman.

2. It's the anniversary of my cousin's death. This kid was awesome. Whenever we went over to Pakistan to visit la familia, he was always around and willing to take little trips to the mountains with us (note: this is in plural, but we only did this once, BUT it was so awesome that it seems like it deserves the plural tense). He was awesome. Always in my heart, Momo Bhai.

3. On another happy note, it's Pakistan's independence day from India! WOOT! Go Pakistan! 1947-2010, baby. Rockstars. Get it. Work it. Get it [and keep it] together, so it can be a couple more decades, eh?

So, yup! Exciting stuff. Woot, August 14th. Also! I've been in Korea for, like, practically two and a half months already. Time flies!!!

Peace & love.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kodak Moment

...Without the camera. Ha. I don't carry my camera around with me everywhere, so I painted a pretty picture depicting this story:

Ahem, last week (Thursday, to be exact) I received a package in the mail. It was sitting at school just WAITING for me (how kind)! Everyday we stop on the second floor to pick up the kids and our lesson plans and say hello to the other teachers and on this particular day, I got to pick up my package as well. We rode up the elevator and hopped off at the fourth floor and Stella and I went into the classroom and I put the package down and it roared. Yes, roared. Awesome.
Stella got super excited and was bugging me to open it, but I didn't. Blah blah blah, the other kids came in and Stella told them about the box and so I went around the room banging the box on their desk and holding it up to their ear, trying to get them to guess what was in the box. Then they all bugged me about the box til lunchtime.
Finally, I gave in and opened it as soon as everyone was finished. The roaring sound: dragons. :) Then Sarah saw bubblewrap. She stopped talking for a hot second, looked up at me with her mouth open and said, "Teacher, pop?"
Of course I was like, "Um, no. This is my bubblewrap."
Sarah: "TEACH-UH!"
Me: "It's mine!"
Sarah: "BUT TEACH-UH, it fun!" and looked at me with puppy dog eyes.
Me (caving over those eyes): "True...... FINE!"
So, I rolled the bubblewrap out and we started jumping up and down on it giggling like I was the same age as her. Then I hear a bunch of little feet pattering into the classroom, look up and almost all of King and Robot class had come in. I said SURE, and then they all joined in. Kodak moment. No camera. Oh well. Here's my beautiful picture:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Jeju-do & Busan AKA Summer Vacation 2010

What up!?

I hope everyone is doing well! I decided that I should update this here blog before I forgot everything about our summer vacation! As I have said before, we decided to stay in the country because our vacation was from Thursday-Wednesday. Unfortunate, but oh well, we had a good time nonetheless!
Our trip

Anyways, we left early from work on Wednesday the 28th (4pm) and headed straight to the bus stop. Caught the bus up to Gimpo Airport. Pretty sweet. We all slept most of the time. Got there, got our tickets and seats (all together, aww). The plane ride was pretty short, so that's good. The landing was horrible, though. Super rough. Oh wells. So, we jumped onto the bus to take us straight across the island to Seogwipo which is where our hotel was located. Once we got off the bus, though, we had no idea how to find out hotel. Luckily Katie is smart and looked up and bam! our hotel was right there! Amazing. Got in, got settle for five minutes and headed out to see what was going on at 10 o'clock at night. We ended up finding a great little bridge with amazing rocks that we just sat on and watched the HUGE waves come crashing in. It was fun. Then we went home and crashed.

The next day (the 29th) we got up early-ish and took a taxi to Jungmun beach. It's supposed to be a really popular beach, but when we got there at 10 am there wasn't that many people. The waves were HUGE though! And the current and riptide were ridiculous, so sometimes the lifeguards wouldn't let anyone into the water. After lunchtime the beach got super crowded. People put up umbrellas and tables and we were soon toe-to-toe to all the people in South Korea... It was greeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaatt. Jason made some friends with a guy and his girlfriend and we hung out with them til dinner time. We heard/saw that there was a seafood buffet up the hill so we trudged on up the hill and sat down for a delicious buffet filled with sushi, crab legs, mussels, and everything you could think of! Well, maybe not everything, but SO much! :) Then we went back to the hotel and crashed for the night. Super exhausted after a day of doing nothing on the beach. Excellent.
Jungmun Beach

On the 30th (Friday) J, K, and I went to climb Hallasan (san is mountain in Korean, so to you folk, it'd be Mt. Halla). Anyways, it was rough but great. It started off pretty mellow and a nice incline then all of a sudden it went straight up. Maybe not completely straight up, but might as well have been. It was intense! We got to the "top" and had lunch and we were about to keep going to the tip top, but then realized that it was restricted. A bit disappointed, but it was nice making it as far as we did. Amazing. Anyways, headed back down and the hike took about 4 ish hours. Not too shabby. Hopped the bus back down and decided that since we were super close to some waterfalls, we'd go there. Walked on over and they were pretty sweet. We were pretty exhausted. So we pretty much ended up going back to the hotel, found a galbi spot, munched on some food and crashed for the night. Good day.
Natural Mountain Water!

On Saturday, we woke around 10ish and caught a bus up to Jeju City to see something that I wanted to see. A big rock made from lava that looks like a dragon head. The story goes something like the dragon wanted to learn how to fly but when he got out of the water/lava he froze... or something like that. Pretty cool. At first it took a bit to figure out which end was the dragon's head, but I think I figured it out. Jason and Katie still didn't really know what was going on. Oh wells. They still came with me! :) Then we had heard about another beach that was popular, and so we headed there. It was super duper crowded. No waves, though. It was pretty chill just hanging out in the water for the rest of the evening. Then, after that we went back and ordered some pizza and chilled out for the rest of the night.
Dragon's head
Another beach

Sunday, the first of August, we woke up super early and headed to the airport to catch our plane to Busan to meet up with Sara for the second half of our vacation! We got to Busan and sat around the hotel for a minute or 50 deciding what to do with our day. Surprise! We picked the beach. So we hopped the metro up to Haendae beach and almost died from shock. SO MANY PEOPLE. EVERYWHERE. Insane. You could barely see the sand there were so many umbrellas, and where there wasn't umbrellas, there were people. We found a spot and camped out. We tried going into the water but it was freezing. After a bit, though, I got super hot so Katie and I went in. It was really really nice until we kept getting beat up by all the Asians on their stupid inner tubes. Geez. After a bit of that crazy nonsense, we decided that we should go visit Jagalchi market, but on our way back to the metro we passed a place called FN Tacos (Fuzzy Navel). We had been CRAVING Mexican food, so we stopped in for some snacks and a couple drinks... Which turned into us meeting new people, going to TGIFriday's afterwards, and then playing on the beach til 2 am. Sweet.

Haendae Beach

Here comes Monday. We hopped across the street to Jagalchi market, aka Busan's fish market. It was so cool. Fish everywhere. Fish and mudfish and eels and mussels and sharp pokey things and round slimey things. Awesomeness. I almost kept falling because the floor was super slippery and my shoes are super stupid (thanks, Old Navy). So we walked around there a bit. A thing (eel?) got loose from the tank at one point and Jason squealed like a little child when the fishman picked it up to put it back and decided it'd be funny to "throw" it at Jason. Fishman was right, it was funny. After the market, we chilled out on the Harbor for a hot second taking in the scenery then we found a bus to take us back to the same beach we went to the day before. We ended up at Busan Aquarium! LOVE ME SOME AQUARIUMS, y'all! :) Super fun. Then we thought that going back to the beach would be a good idea. We stayed for maybe an hour and peaced out back to Jagalchi mkt for some food. We had raw fish. Delicious. Raw snails, raw octopus, everything raw. Oh em gee, people. SO GOOD. After the yummyness that is raw seafood, we went back to the hotel, showered and got ready to go out. We walked around Busan Film Festival (or Nampodong Market) for awhile. A bunch of little alleyways filled with stuff to buy. :) Found a place called Big Sugar thanks again to Jason's great people skills (coughcoughawesometattoocoughcough) and chilled out there for a wee bit. Realizing that we were way more pooped than we had originally thought, we headed back to the hotel.

Jagalchi Market
Hey oh, I'm underwater!

The last day (Tuesday the 3rd) we woke up, checked out, and left our bags at the hotel. We went back through Nampodong market where I bought a super cute little bag. Sort of like my Lucky Brand bag, except it's, like, baby sister. :) YAY! Then we went to a beach that is near our hotel. It was a nice beach until Katie and Jason went for a walk and Sara and I were on the beach and two creepstar Russians came up and wouldn't leave us alone. When I say "didn't leave us alone" I really mean, they sat down and tried to talk to us. Ew. So we left as soon as Katie and Jason came back and went back through the market looking for galbi, but decided we were too hot and chose Pizza Hut then Coldstone instead. :) After lunch, we walked 3 metro stops up to Busan Station, grabbed our tickets and chilled outside until 15 minutes til our train was to leave. Hopped the train and came back to Seoul. As soon as we got off the train at Seoul Station, we were running it seems like. Jason was leading and Katie and I were going slow cos we were tired, but we had to run everywhere with our backpacks on because (first time) the green man was about to stop walking across the road, so we ran to get there before he turned red. The second time equals same same. But the third time! Our bus back to Miguem (aka the city right next to Ori aka our place) passed us and so we had to SPRINT to the bus. Got there right before it left and chilled out. THEN we got off that bus and saw the bus to Ori right in front of the bus from Seoul so we had to run to that bus! Oof. Exhausted. Got home, showered, bed.

That is our trip. On Wednesday (our last day of vacation) we each just hung out at home, did laundry and whatnot. I had so much fun. My coworkers are awesome and we're thinking about going to Japan for our September break. :) STOKED!

The End.