Monday, December 8, 2008

Snow in Jeonju!

Talor's Kids (From Left to Right) Chan Hee, Ji Soo, Eun Ji, Do Yeon, Eu Gene, Tae Jun (Min Ji and Ji Ho are missing)

The view from school, Friday December 5

Ben's kids (from left to right) Myung Hoon (Leo), Ji Oun, Seung Min, Seo Yeon (Lucy), Jun Seo (Eun Sung is missing)

Talor's Class


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Chelsea Adams!!

Just wanted to wish my best buddy a very happy birthday! I miss you very much and hope that your day was a special one! I wish I was there to celebrate with you....but I will be there next year to spoil you! xoxox
- New blog to come very soon everyone :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Finally...A NEW post!!!

I know, I know...It's been quite a while since our last post! Sorry about that, but we're keeping ourselves pretty busy these days. :) Last weekend I planned on posting a new blog, but ended up getting really sick on Saturday and didn't feel myself until about mid-week. I had a bad fever for a couple of days and the worst headaches for about four days!! It was pretty miserable especially when I had to go to work and be around loud, crazy kids all day. I'm so glad that's over!

Anyway, a lot has happened and I don't know how great my memory will be, but I'll try to catch you up on some things...
Ben and I have been spending quite a bit of time with Bryce and Sandie. We go out to eat with them a couple times a week and usually end up going to a DVD Bhang. A DVD Bhang (translated to a DVD room) is just that...A room where four people can comfortably fit and watch a movie on a large movie screen. You can bring your own snacks and drinks (at least we assume so and haven't been told otherwise yet) and sit back for a few hours to view a movie of your choosing. I even got some complementary ice cream the last time we went. They have quite a selection of movies and it's a good (cheap) way to kill some time after dinner.

The other week we also went with Bryce and Sandie to a local park by the university where hundreds and hundreds of lillys bloom in the lake. Unfortunately all the flowers weren't in bloom, but it was still so beautiful! We also got to witness some traditional Korean performances where people of all ages were singing and/or dancing. Most of them were pretty amazing. One, which wasn't so amazing, was this lady dressed in traditional Korean dress singing some crap Korean pop. Ben and Bryce start making fun and dancing a bit and this Korean guy (who is loving the music and believes Ben and Bryce are too) comes running up from nowhere and proceeds to dance with Ben, then Bryce, then pulls me in to dance. These are the moments that I wished I had a video camera, because there is no way to explain how ridiculous and uncomfortable, yet hilarious these things are! The guy ended up trying to follow us everywhere until we finally made it clear we wanted him to go away!
That night we also had fried kimchi for the first time. I think Ben and I are both getting pretty tired of the whole kimchi thing, but fried kimchi is a totally different story! It's very delicious! It's not like breaded and's just kimchi with a bit of other things added, like some tiny bits of beef, and some onion and it's fried in a pan. They serve it with some tofu, also something that isn't a favorite of ours (especially not Ben), but combined with the spicy and extremely flavorful kimchi it is delicious! One of my new favorites!

Last Friday we were treated to dinner with the entire school staff- the English teachers, the Korean teachers, one of our school cooks, our manager (Mr. Na) and our director Helena all came. One of mine and Ben's afternoon student's (a little girl named Hee Won) father paid for the meal. He's a rich dentist and such a nice man! He kept telling us that the Little River Day School had the best and smartest English teachers in Jeon Ju. He really liked Ben and I...perhaps because we told him good things about his daughter :). After dinner he and Mr. Na took the English teachers out to the Nori Bhang. It was a pretty amazing time as are most Nori Bhang experiences! It was pretty weird partying with one of my student's dads, but no one made an ass of themselves. He wants to take us all out again to show us some of the culture of Jeon Ju, I can't wait. After the Nori Bhang the teachers went out to Deep In for more drinks and fun. It was a late night and the next morning I woke up with a bad hangover and a fever to top it off!!
Saturday night was Erich's (the other little river teacher) birthday party. Since I was feeling a tad bit better and it was just down the street, Ben and I went. The party was on the roof of his girlfriends building and was pretty fun. It would have been better if I hadn't started feeling really sick again. So we ended up calling it an early night.

By Tuesday night I was finally feeling back to my old self and we went out for dinner with Bryce and Sandra. We broke down and went to TGI Fridays so we could get some good ol' American food. Other than McDonalds it's the only other option. It was extremely pricey, but so worth it! I don't think we would ever choose to go there in the States, but it's amazing how good a burger or a chicken sandwhich is after a month and a half without it!!
The next day we went bowling with Bryce, Sandra, Erich and Mr. Na. I kicked everyone's butt! The first game I bowled an alright 112 but the second game I bowled a 145. It was a good time and afterwards Bryce, Sandie, Ben and I went out for beer and fried chicken. I think this past week we have just been craving American food :).
On Friday we went out again with Bryce and Sandra and two of their Korean friends to play badminton (well I didn't play, anything that involves a racket I can't do, but had a good time watching) and again went out for fried chicken afterwards. Needless to say I've had my filll of fried chicken and I don't want chicken for the next few weeks! We went home early since Ben and I were leaving early the next morning to go to the beach with Bryce and Sandie.

The beach turned out to be amazing!! We went to Daechon Beach in Boryeong.It was absolutely beautiful...the weather was perfect, the water was the perfect temperature and the beach was clean and NOT crowded! I think that's mainly because we went a little off season, as it will start to get cooler in the coming month. We actually planned on just making it a day trip and coming back to Jeon Ju on Saturday night for trivia at one of the bars. But we just couldn't take ourselves away! We ended up just getting a couple of hotel rooms so we could stay the night and enjoy the beach again today. I didn't even mind not having a proper change of clothes or a brush or any other amenities. However, the hotel ended up providing us with everything we needed which was not expected including toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrushes, face wash, toner, hairspray, cologne and perfume. There was even a little "ladies kit" that had cotton swabs, Q-tips, and a hair tie. The room and bathroom were nice, big and clean.
It really was such a great time! On the beach at night everyone does fireworks so we too indulged and set off roman candles and played with sparklers all night. It felt like we were celebrating some special holiday. In fact the whole weekend felt like I was on some kind of holiday vacation...tomorrow work sure is going to suck ;)!!!

I also got to experience some of the best sashimi (called hwe in Korean) I've ever had...what am I writing!!?? I mean the absolute best shasimi I've ever had!! Near the beach all the Korean restaurants have tanks outside with a variety of, shark, eel, clams, oysters, all sorts of various shellfish actually, prawns, crabs and other things that I don't even know. This is because all of the seafood you eat is killed minutes before you eat it! So the shashimi is absolutely delicious and ridiculously fresh! We watched the guy net our fish, fillet it and bring it to our table. With Korean-style sashimi you are supposed to wrap it in a lettuce leaf with raw garlic, sliced chiles and bean paste, but it was so delicious to just to dip a piece in some wasabi and soy sauce. The only downfall is that it is quite expensive...well at least for the the Korean standard of expensive, but definitely worth it!
Another thing I learned is that Koreans love their corn dogs. The Koreans do them a bit differently though...they always have at least two kinds. One has a kind of regular sweet coconut batter and the other is covered in the regular batter and then a second coat of potatoes (think french fries) is added. They then squeeze some honey mustard and ketchup and you have yourself a delectable heart attack on a stick!!

So needless to say we've had a pretty good last couple of weeks (minus my bout of sickness)! Work is long and hard during the week days, but the weekends and our evenings out more than make up for all the hard work we do. I really do miss everyone, but I am still enjoying discovering and seeing new things everyday. We will write soon(er than before at least)! :)


Sunday, August 17, 2008

A disclaimer + weekend in Seoul

well, after uploading those photos I realized that there was something I wanted to say in regards to all those photos of us doing peace signs or whatever, its a Korean thing and we're doing it in jest, Koreans think its cool to do a peace sign at the camera and say "kimchi!" en lieu of "cheese!".....super don't judge me bitch

Anyways, had a bit of bad news last weekend we went bowling with Bryce and Sandra and my digital camera got knocked off the table and broke! So we have no camera until we get paid so you won't see any photos for a little while....lmao. I bought a disposable camera, I just hope that we'll be able to get the photos digitally.

We had a short week this week because Friday was Korean Independence Day which was nice. Add the fact that Thursday we went on a field trip so it was an easier week. We went to "cookieland," which was an exhibit where there were depictions of fairy tales (sleeping beauty, snow white etc.._) history and some art all made of cookies, cakes, candies and other was pretty ridiculous. The kids did some cookie making and cake decorating. They also showed us this 20 minute cartoon also called Cookieland which was completely absurd. It involved two people being turned into cookies and they followed a "delicious feces-dropping bird" to a land made of cookies, chocolate and candy where they're love of all things sweet brings about the demise of cookieland to some fungus monsters. Quite strange.

So we decided to take advantage of the 3 day weekend and head up to Seoul on Friday to hang out with Sam and his friends. Needless to say, the weekend was a blast and a blur, we went to Hongdae Friday night and hit up a bunch of bars. We ended up at a bar chain called "Ho Bar" at like 4 where we bought a bottle of Jim Bean and Sam did his Mick Jagger dance to booming Korean-techno-pop to the absolute delight of the entire place. Seriously, they loved it. We were hung over as shit all day Saturday, we went for some pretty awesome duk galbi and then slept the rest of the afternoon. After waking up we went out for some sushi and then we went to Itaewon for some beers and the first premier league games of the season (soccer). Itaewon is an extremely international area and when we got off the subway I didn't see any Koreans for a while. We went to the Wolf's head pub and had ourselves a time, it felt just like home actually, the bar was packed with Brits, Americans and Canadians. There were also lots of US soldiers there, it was the fist time I'd seen any here and they were really cool, I think Talor and I each had at least 4 drinks bought for us. We also met Sam's friends Dave and Ciaran who were really cool. Talor had an old Korean guy dance with her, to Elvis I think, it was really funny, he bought her some flowers afterwards also and gave his name card (business card, its a big deal for Koreans). He was a character. We were at the Wolf's Head till about 2:30 then we went for a drink at the hard rock cafe actually. It was a good time and Sam was very hospitable to Talor and I, shacking us up in his apartment. We'll definitely be making many more trips to Seoul, we'll actually do some sightseeing in the future rather than just drink the whole weekend....well I'm sure we'll still drink the whole weekend.

We laughed about this all weekend.