Recently I have been settling into this new life… Maybe I haven’t written because I’ve been busy or not to say on a day-to-day basis. Some days are better than others, but it’s nice to leave this for a bit and come back when I know I can write something with a positive outlook.
Things that have happened lately…
– became a member of the iPhone fAmily, go me! Thanks my nice and dear coworker Hyun, by far the nicest person I work with. Her husband is Canadian and they were just living in Vancouver for the past 8 years And just moved to Seoul. She is very sweet, helpful and understanding of my situation, settling in issues etc. we had a nice chat after the phone deal and now I feel much better about school.
– the phone has been so helpful, feels good to be back on the smartphone train. Feels good to not only feel connected all the time, but have access to useful things while I’m on the go. Subway/bus maps and schedules.
Also helping with a school. Last week my elementary class got to watch scenes from the movie, ‘Annie’ and some rockos modern life and ren & stimpy. May not have been allowed to do that, but when they treat us all with Ice cream As class begins its hard to give them a lesson so we had fun. As I write the draft of this post, my after school group is watching power rangers. Just translated it to Korean on my app and you tubed some episodes of pawa rangas or 파워 레인저. That kept them occupied for an hour, and peaceful for me. Totally worth sacrificing my phone for the quiet time.
– found a local dive bar near my place which is usually hoping with foreigners (non-Koreans) but 1am. Free cheese balls and $3 JackCoke, $2 tequila shots, closes at like 5am, but never seen those hours there as my partying days are fading. Partially becuase now I have Korean class Saturday mornings at 10am-12 and it is about 25 minutes away by subway so that calls for an early night Fridays. And every other Sunday, I teach at a Buddhist temple at 10am for an hour and a half. That is an interesting experience to say the least, I’ll elaborate on that later. I teach 25 minutes with 3-5 year olds (colors, numbers, head & shoulders) and 50 minutes with three 13 year-old boys.. two of which are twins.
– Got a bike. The lady I bought it from took me to a bike shop to hook it all up. Got a new rear brake, a lock, a basket, and a light for $55. Riding to school has been a nice break from the bus or subway madness in the morning. It’s very refreshing and when I get to school the teacher said ‘whats wrong with your face, why is it all red?’ from riding my bike of course, but really it doesn’t phase me cause I work with babies, and really who cares. It goes away in minutes, but its only a 15-20 minute ride on one road, past Olympic Park and such, it’s a nice ride and lots of bike paths and lanes everywhere.
-Had a day off this past Wednesday for election day. Had my first jjimjilbang experience. Here’s the link so you can see for yourself:
It is the biggest one in Seoul. Best day ever. I loved it. Saunas of all different temperatures, hot tubs of various shapes, sizes, and ingredients all for $10, and got my eyebrows threaded (which I hated when I got in Vietnam and was bleeding), but it was way more professional not on some alley market street for just $10. Very big place with lots of families people of all ages and sizes, maybe we saw 15 foreigners in the whole place for the few hours we spent there. Clothed part is where the saunas, massage chairs, ice rooms, sleeping sauna rooms are, and then you venture to another floor which is not co-ed and has hot tubs, showers, baths, all kinds of stuff to swim in where everyone is naked. Yup, everyone. Not nearly as awkward as I had imagined, but boy was it an experience. The first few shocking moments faded quickly and I just embraced the whole ‘culture’ aspect and enjoyed it. Very relaxing. Had a nice shower afterwards, with a mud mask, then got ready at their huge vanity stocked with blow dryers and all sorts of lotion, qtips, all the shower essentials. Very nice. then we went to the big shopping district, myeongdong and had some dinner. We had planned to see Titanic in 4d, but that didn’t happen.
-Have plans to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival this weekend in Yeoido : http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_2_2.jsp?cate=&area=1&dateStart=04-12-2012&startDate=20120412&dateEnd=&endDate=&keyword=&category=&areaCode=1&gotoPage=&stype=1&cid=700464&out_service=
looks awesome, and I’ve been waiting the entire time since I got to Seoul to see this! I will have my first Korean class in the morning and head over there to check it out.
Sunday I have my buddhist teaching in the morning then off to the Korean Food and Tourism Expo:
I will feel very cultured by the end of this weekend with all of the events I’ll be attending. I cannot wait to get my bike out and check out more of the local sites in the next few weeks. It’s nice to ride to and from school and it’s a nice time to take it all in. I often pinch myself and remind myself that I am still here, still alive and functioning in Korea.. The first few weeks weren’t my favorite, but I guess I wasn’t expecting a red carpet and city full of friends/welcoming people when I arrived. It is a nice change in lifestyle and work ethic so I will continue to embrace the experience and live it to it’s fullest.
I am expecting a nice package from my lovely mother soon so that will be nice 🙂 Anyone else want to send some goodies/lovin’ my way all is welcome. (ahem).
Enjoy the Phillies’ games, hot dogs, soft pretzels, BREAD (it’s just not the same), and cheap clothes (that fit!). It’s one way to cure my shopping addiction just don’t fit into nearly anything, especially shoes!
Love and miss you all, but I am happy and safe and sound here.