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Been too long….

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Well Well… I guess we could say that I’ve been well… busy.
Since the move, into ‘Korea’ haha in March, things have taken a huge turn… for the better! Wahoo!

I basically feel like I moved into a new country. New school. New friends. New beginnings.
It has been an unbelievable ride from the day I left Haba Hell. I cannot believe that my experience in Korea has changed so drastically. I have partied harder than I did in University, and worked a lot less than I did last year… and by that I mean I haven’t worked a Saturday. And work 6 less hours a week. That is a pretty biggg deal considering the hell I put up with last year.

Anywhoozle, what prompted this random update was a conversation with Christina, a good friend at home whom I’ve known since.. like 8th grade. She recommended that I keep a diary and that she regretted not doing so when she traveled. I know I know she is the 101st person to tell me that I think. I keep a little hand written diary of my daily events cause well incase I need to refer back to my super awesome life happenings… HA!

I think that the main reason why I find it so hard to write to myself, to leave for later reading.. is because I feel like everytime I go back and read something that I have written, I sound like such a bimbo and get so uninterested I just stop reading. I know give it 10 years or so and read the shit that I got myself into now, I’m sure will last a century of laughs.

Since April I cannot really sum up what I’ve been doing. I can target some things though.
Fortunately, my crazy awesome family decided to take the Davis family vacation of the decade… and come to visit. We spent one week in Seoul together, and another week in Bangkok and Railay Beach. It was incredible. They are awesome. I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. I love them more and miss them more than I ever have before. It was out of this world.

Aside from the monsoons that we dealt with and a little food sickness here and there, all in all was the best time I could have ever asked for and I’m sure they would say the same.

I went to World DJ Festival again, was on the bucket list from last year. Also UMF, was incredible and loved it, but missed my sidekick, Lauren, from last year….

I have been saying there are so many things I ‘need/want’ to accomplish in Korea/Seoul before I leave. I will do them. Along with saving monies for the big post work trip. We will see how it all pans out. For now I hope to:
go to the DMZ
do a temple stay
ride by bike
run a 5k (I know, I’m crazy)

I feel like there is just so much I need to write about, I don’t know where to start.

Korea is amazing. I have enjoyed my time here to no end. I think though, for my sake, there are reasons I came, and they have been fulfilled. I came to Korea to step outside of my comfort zone, and dive into something completely unknown. That was accomplished by hoping on the plane and landing here, in one piece. Maybe the first year wasn’t the best experience, but I can honestly say looking back, I am thankful that I toughed it out. And I knew that each day I was ready to run home pack my bags and board the next flight out of Seoul, that I would regret ‘giving up.’ I tell my story randomly to people that are friends, wanting to come to Korea, etc. and they cannot believe that I put up with the bullshit for an entire year. Me either, really. I guess it was the light (money) at the end of the tunnel that I was waiting for. It was worth it. I have enjoyed my second year here much much more, but I find myself feeling way too comfortable. I have a good group of friends. A stable job that I enjoy coming to each day (I don’t know if I’ve ever been so confident to admit that in the past), and I am happy on a day-to-day basis with where I am at. I meet people that have been here for many years, and are little sucked in and find it hard to leave. I know that my time is up here. I am wayyy too comfortable and ready to step outside of my comfort zone again.

I know I am young, so that is the point, for me. I know I should go back to school, get a degree, but what’s another piece of paper and another fat stack of loans under my name. I am not completely convinced that is what I am ready for…. yet. Some days I go to bed thinking about moving home and establishing myself, and 99% of the time, I remind myself what it is like and realize how much I regretted that when I stayed home for 7 months. Everyone is off doing their own thing, established, and settled. And if they aren’t quite there yet, they’re living in a lull just as I left it almost 2 years ago. It feels like I just put everything on hold and will be back soon. I do miss home. Recently more than ever. I know my mom misses me, and I want to be back to make her happy. But she knows that is not for me and now that we have come to that agreement, we can both happily live in our separate continents and communicate via internets and stuffs.

Speaking of, I lost my phone. It has made the past few weeks living abroad maybe put the homesickness thing a little more in my head. It isn’t always easy to access wifi, or ask a friend to turn on a hotspot without feeling embarassed. I am not 100% sure how it was lost, but I am almost positive that it was taken from my bag.

All in all, this is my catch up for now on my super short breaks at work.
Life is grand. 26 and counting.

Lots of love.

“Love many, trust few, but always paddle your own canoe”

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To Whom It May Concern:

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I am writing this as a message to those of you who tune in every once in a blue moon. It’s been over 2 months since my last post.

In spite of recent news stories you may have seen online, there is absolutely nothing that will happen over here. After much reassurance by a close friend of mine who is much more well intuned with politics, news, life happenings, the chance of a war is ‘impossible.’

The recent news from CNN encouraging foreigners to leave South Korea by Wednesday is basically to scare the shit (which it did for -.3 seconds) out of us. There are sooo many foreigners (not sure the exact head count), but theres tousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands serving in the military. I can safely say that nothing will happen. I have a few friends in the military, co-workers with boyfriends in the Korean and US army, and other close friends that know much more aobut what is going on than I.

In other news, I meant to write a post about my new life, which feels like in a new country, with new people, new job, and new everything. It makes me very happy to see the brighter side of Korea, and look forward to coming to work each day. I love my job, and I have found a new love and appreciation for this country.

WIll write more soon.

Much love xoxox Miss and love you all

February 1st….

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Today is the first of February, just in case you didn’t know…
Korea is still Korea, crazy, beautiful, and weird all in the same exhale. I cannot quite explain this weird conglomeration of feelings, but it happens, every day, hour, minute of my life here.

Today is also Friday. Thank God! It has been a long week, sandwiched between two awesome weekends, or so I hope.

Last weekend, spent with Seoul Hiking Group, traveling North Eastward to Taebaksan. This san, or mountain, is also home to a few of the future 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics going to take place here in Korea. Lucky us! We left early early Saturday morning to go to the infamous Snow Festival in Taebaksan which was pretty fun. On the way up they told us at the top of the mountain (of the hike we opted out of), was going to be -40 with wind chill. Oh Joy! I love cold, and just when you didn’t think it could get colder, it did… Gotta love freezing, drinking, sledding, and having an awesome time. There were ton of snow sculptures, Psy, Shrek, Smurf house, Hello Kitty, to name a few. We took part in some alcoholic consumption to warm the freezing toes, and went sledding. It was more of an icy hill, but still amazing after I experienced my first bail out on the way down, I managed to stay upright and cheerful on the new few rounds. Go me!

We went to some rock museum to defrost, took touristy photos with some snow sculptures, and got interviewed by some stalkerish camera man (usual thing to experience on a day out in Korea).

Went back to the pension, which was conveniently located on the resort. We got to eat dinner and watch some night skiers fly down the mountain.

Off to teach my only class of the day, with a 2 minutes notice of course. JOY!

Garden 5 seoul jangi yuk

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There is some significance of posting this blog, which may be boring to some, but I hope informative to most. There is a huge mall, supposedly twice the size of Mall of America, located just a short ride from my house, in Songpa-gu and Jangi Station. This place is called Garden 5. Approximately 8 months after living in this ‘gu’ or district whatever you want to call it, I went with my school on a field trip to see Cats. It was in the movie theatre located on the 12th floor of the Garden5 Living Tower.

This place has everything you can imagine and more. Comparing it to it’s close neighbor, Coex mall, this place blows it out of the water.

There are 5 towers (hence the Garden 5 name) and they are all connected. It is tough to get a view of this. but it is basically a big star shape and up top they are all connected to walk from each tower. There is living, fashion, young, techno, and one more I cannot recall the name of.

They have a website, but the English part doesn’t work. Story of our lives in Korea.

We went primarily to go ice skating, but also hit up this amazing sale at a department store and scored a new winter coat after fatally losing mine NYE in Hongdae.

Here are some photos from our trip.

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Father and son duo waiting to get back on the ice.

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Being tourists that we are. Helmets and all. We also got in trouble by the ice police to put our gloves back on.

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Girl brushing some ice and snow off her friends bum, busted!

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Next Kim Yuna’s sporting matching jackets.

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Not only couples wear matching clothes in Korea, brother sister striped duo hand in hand. Precious.

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As we left at night it was all lit up in flashy colors. Really pretty.

20130121-123318.jpg Mom helping her daughter knee pads check, elbow pads check.

Garden 5 is located at Jangi Station on line 8, or the pink line. Garden 5 can be accessed from exit 3 and 4.

Garden 5 has a huge food court with western, japanese, chinese, korean, etc. There are many restaurants, shops, empty shops waiting to be filled. This place took over $1 billion to build and was originally supposed to open in 2008, but the opening got delayed 3 times due to lack of interest, shops, etc. I think it has potential as Coex, the next closest ‘mall’ type place, is always packed and has a fraction of the stores as Garden 5.

Yesterday is dead….

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Yesterday is dead. Tomorrow is a dream. Today – each today – is where the action is – where all of life occurs. Today IS your life – your only life. Life today to the fullest.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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How can you not love a face like this… when a 2 year old discovers what he looks like and how to use a camera, funny faces were made and continued for hourssss.

Just got notified from WordPress I have achieved my ‘5 followers’ award. How exciting. Thanks to those of you that stick through the long boring ramblings to get to the fun stuff.

Can you believe it is already 2013? I can’t.

Many times living abroad, I have to remind myself to take a step back and realize how thankful and lucky I am to be able to live the life I am living. I could not have done it without the most important people in my life, Pats. Mumsy and Daddy have become such an important role in my life as I am getting older. They are always supportive, no matter if I want to move to some foreign country across the world, or work a dead-end job at home to get me here. I know my mom is probably crying by now reading this, (I’m holding em back too ma, it’s okay), but I do not get enough chances in life to express my thanks. So usually around the New Year is when people take some time to reflect on the past year and yadda yadda. So with this blog, and my free time at work, I am taking this opportunity to reach out the longest arms in the world and hug my parents. There is not enough ways to say that I am so grateful each day that I have two loving parents, together, and healthy. Meeting people from all walks of life abroad, makes you realize that this is a rare occurance as we hit a year. So here it is, Pat and Pat you are my world, my light and my guides and guardians, thank you.

March 1st 2012.
Let’s recap on some posts from last year when I first landed in Korea.
I think my posts were more of a sugar-coated top layer of my experience in Korea. It’s hard to write a blog while at school, hating on school. I am currently counting down the next 37 working days with my other 9 co-workers that are also going to run out of these doors and not turn back on February 28th.
My first month was a shocking experience, settling in, figuring out what the hell I was doing here, why I brought this upon myself, etc.. Oh and how on Earth I was going to survive an entire year.
Here I am January 2013 with a positive attitude, and about to start a new contract and extend my Korean life for another year.

I would say until about month 6, I didn’t know I had such a strong love for Korea. It has it’s ups and downs. Most of the downs involve school, work, co-workers, boss, the bullshit that comes with most jobs, plus a massively gigantic language barrier working at a Korean school.
The ups mostly involve meeting some awesome friends, other expats, Koreans, etc. Exploring Korea, going to festivals, trips, Japan, Philippines, and getting out of the concrete jungle of Seoul we like to call ‘home.’ I cannot express enough how much I love living in Korea. Since it is my first city experience, I think it was a good choice. It is cheap, unlike most major cities, and easy to get around. The English help is average until you look around and speak up, you can get help at every corner and corner store you could dream of… for the most part.

As I’ve written before, I work at a Korean hag won or play school. It is about playing and it is all in Korean. I teach English to all classes for 30-60 minutes each day.
Next year, the school I have signed up for is an English Kindergarten with 16 foreign teachers and Koreans as helpers. Thank the lord. There is a god. I also have two friends that I will be working with and have met most of the other co-workers who are awesome.

I guess I should note that I just returned from a fabulous tropical island vacation in the Philippines. 9 days of sun, summer, mango shakes, and scuba diving was just what I needed to spend Christmas on the beach.

20130108-150116.jpgTaking a motorbike to the north of Malapascua to see some deserted beaches and spend day with two beaches and just us 3.

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Just after returning from a 4am Thresher Shark dive. saw 8 sharks. Definitely one of my diving highlights, life highlights, 2012 highlights, etc. AMAZINGGGG.

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Leaving Malapascua 5am. Last mango for god knows how long I’ll enjoy one of those in a tropical remote island like Malapascua. Paradise.

We returned to Seoul to ring in the New Year around 10pm and got here safe and sound just in time to be atthe bar by midnight. Phew. That was a close call.

Side notes/life reminders:
-boss (will probably never know her real name, that is what she is and forever will be known as to me) paid us 6 days late in December and returned 5 days after Christmas break was over for the rest of us. My smart coworkers put it together before she returned, plastic surgery. And indeed she returned, new face, new nose, botox, lips, the whole 9. Classic Korean move.

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One of my lovely elementary students. She is the brightest I have. And even got a name change, Kaylee. Love her still.

-my friend Geoff comes tonight for about a month or so. Who knows. But I am very off the walls excited to have a familiar face around. It is going to be so surreal to meet him later and have him stay with me!
-This is coldest winter in a long time Korea has witnessed. Today was a mild 12 on my way to work this morning and will go up to 28 today. Lucky me.

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Wasn’t joking about that… This was forecast for the week I returned from the Philippines. Yes this is Fahrenheit. Woot.

-Jen, Jenna and I will be living together come mid-feb and we are currently house hunting. It is quite complicated/backwards like most things in Korea, and we are told to only return to the Realtors two weeks before we want to move in and find a place. Go figure. Since our new school will pay for everyyyythinngggg It is not much worry for us, except to find our ideal dream home.

Signing off for now, I will try and make it my new years resolution to write again.

As I posted last March on my very first post in this blog:

“You’re on your own. and you know what you know. and you are the one who’ll decide where to go…” Dr. Seuss.

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Philadelphia Cream Cheese ad in Costco. Represent!

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Goodnight from the 5 year old Mond class. I told them to go to sleep. They listened. First time for everything.

Interesting View

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Today I am here to share with you a few things about a waygook perspective on weird shit in Korea. Excuse my french, but you can’t get much weirder than this place. So if the world does decide to collapse next week the day before my tropical Christmas vacation, what better place to be than Korea.

I know that I often resort back to ‘work weirdness’ when writing this blog, probably because, I am here, at work, ‘deskwarming.’ I always think of about 5-20 things per night after work however that I could write a blog, or even a book about, and just ask why Korea, or my trademark phrase ‘ohhh koreaaaa…’

It took about 4 months to accept the fact that I will never understand Koreans. This culture is beyond me and I think coming to terms with it is the best thing I could do in my two year stay here. Only being 10 months in however, each day, I discover something new; sometimes exciting, sometimes disturbing, but for the most part intriguing.

I love Korea. I love the weirdness. I’ve always called myself weird, so I think I fit in just right…. Okay I lied, I don’t fit it, and never will. I’d have to be about 80 pounds and shorter than 5’5, wear six 6 shoe, and have black hair and black eyes. I’d probably be wearing florescent sneakers with leggings attached to a skirt, some oversized sweater, some trendy jacket and lots of B.B. cream with lots of whitening enhancements.

One realization that I had after going to Japan for 5 days was that, Japan is different. I know I was ignorant and having never been, just assumed that they were quite similar. I was wrong! If you took Seoul and Osaka landscape and subtracted all the people, maybe the buildings look alike. They’re some crazy Asian language blinking and flashing everywhere, store fronts selling majority women’s clothes and accessories and tons of restaurants and bars, everywhere, open all the time.   It was nice to see a change of scenery, different crazy Asian language everywhere and people speaking differently, but most of all the people were different. Koreans all look alike. They do! They all shop at the same stores and wear the same clothes, to a T. There is a few neighborhoods that go ‘off the beaten path’ and dare to be different, and maybe I am unaware, but for the most part, these are university parts of Seoul.

Sinsa, is a main shopping district. For the majority, they are fancy boutiques, Forever 21 mixed in there somehow, and random expensive shoppes everywhere. This is a big target for where Japanese people come to shop. It is all the rage these days, to look like a K-pop star, and for starters, dress like them and change your hairstyle. You’re pretty much there.

Hongdae, a university district and very popular among artists and anyone starting to find themselves, or daring to be different. It’s a nice breath of fresh air to go there and see these people and eclectic vibe or something of the sort.

There are tons of up and coming neighborhoods in Seoul, but these two are that I have experienced to be different and quite refereshing.

Gangdong, is quite a  nook of Seoul. It is the far East side ‘south of the river.’ Most areas  in Seoul are referred to if you are north or south of the river. Not quite sure the meaning of these labels, but I know it means something. Gangnam is south of the river and just a hop skip and a jump or an hour bus ride or a 40 minute subway away. In general, I live about 40 minutes by subway to pretty much everywhere. I cannot complain, but in March I will live even closer to everything!

Gangdong is a typical Seoul outskirt neighborhood. It is very close to Cheonho dong, which is more hustle and bustle than Gangdong. Which I referred to earlier about most people dressing and looking alike, is what I see on a daily basis. I usually have to escape my area most nights of the week, if I stay in more than 2 nights during the week I feel a slight form of cabin fever creeping up on me. It is nice to feel comfortable in my surroundings, but I also like to explore new places.

The past 2 weeks have been unbearably. cold.

Ffffffffreeezing

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its cold

This is why.how/because