Thursday, October 31, 2013

At work yesterday...

When I got to work yesterday the boss lady and some kids were standing in the hallway because the door was broken. We could unlock it but not open it. The top corner somehow got jammed overnight so we were stuck outside. The kids thought it was hilarious of course. Boss lady did not find it hilarious, and she went to find a locksmith and I stayed behind with the children. My coworker James showed up and wondered why we were all waiting around out in the hallway. I told him what the problem was and he yanked that door right open. For a second we were excited, then pretty immediately we regretted it. We decided next time to just leave the door closed and go home - good excuse to not work right?

In between the first and second classes a spontaneous game of "What time is it Mr. Fox" broke out. It was seriously so cute and heartwarming to see all the kids actually playing nicely together. There were first graders and fifth graders and boys and girls, and everybody was happy. I loved it!

In one of my highest classes we were working on writing, and in the spirit of Halloween I gave them words like ghost and zombie and monster to make sentences with. I told them to write a sentence with blood and one boy wrote this: I killed my sister and her blood was red. Ahhh, sibling love. 

I finished out the day by teaching Lightning Thief to my middle school class. I read that book in a young adult lit class and loved it, and now I'm having so much fun teaching it! I'm thrilled to have students that not only understand what they're reading, but enjoy it too. One girl laughs out loud a lot...its so cute. I have a good time just watching her read and giggle at the funny parts.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A million dollar purse?

I went to the department store yesterday morning, and while I was riding the escalator I looked down and saw this:

They set up a structure, a large structure, to showcase 4 purses. They put those purses in glass boxes and had men in suits escort potential customers around while other men in suits offered them champagne and kept regular people out of the structure. 

What? Really? Why?! At first I was intrigued, because for somebody to go through all that effort this must be a big deal. Except it wasn't, it was 4 purses. Then I was disgusted, because I'm all for pretty things but you cannot convince me that anything is worth this. This bag is not going to cure cancer, some rich lady is maybe going to buy it and put her mascara and tissues in it. Then I was curious, because what in the world could possibly be so special about these bags? Did the leather come from rare cows? Is there a golden egg inside? With your purchase do you also get one of the men in suits to always follow you around offering you champagne?

And then I thought about how much one of these probably costs and how much money I have in my bank account and I got a little sad and bought a $2 notebook and left. The end. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Home Sweet Home

I paid rent yesterday, which means I've been living in my apartment for a month! It feels like it's been about a week. It's starting to feel very cozy and comfortable around here. I've bought bedding, a mirror, a lamp, pots and pans...the more I bring home the happier it feels. It's fun making this place mine. 

I made a nice video tour for you but it was being difficult and I got tired of trying to get it to upload, so these pictures will have to do. 

 Bathroom. Self-explanatory. 

 Kitchen. I still need to get a table - I've got this nice wooden white one in my head and now I just have to find it in real life. I tried to hang some pictures the other night and I learned that my walls are made of cement. I tried 3 times and bent 3 nails. The first time I thought I did something wrong, the second time I thought maybe it was because my hammer has flowers on it, and the third time I concluded it was the wall's fault. So, the pictures sit on the floor. 

 Bedroom. My window looks out at another building and I realize this may not sound appealing to you, but it blocks the sun in the morning and that is very appealing to me. The kitchen is on the other side of the wall on the left, and I like the separation. My apartment is technically a one-room but because of the wall it doesn't feel like it.

Bedroom part 2. TV, closet, storage, and friends. 

And there you have it! My home sweet home. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

As of lately...

I came home to this the other night...a stray cat chillin on a car. From the sounds of it, an entire herd of them lives somewhere near my bedroom window and they all love to fight with each other. This guy stared me down as I walked to the elevator and I was a little nervous he was going to pounce on me. Cats are the worst. 

Saturday morning I went bike riding with this pretty girl and a few others. It was really refreshing to get out and do something a little different - I feel like I've been going to the same places over and over for a while now. The weather was good and we followed a path next to a river with lots of wildflowers. 

After our bike ride we had some lunch and sat on the beach for a little bit. It never gets old for me. 

Today I got my first real mail in my new apartment! It was from my friend Alissa - we lived in Ulsan together. It included this beautiful lion piece that she made herself. I am blown away! I have the most talented friends. I'm not artistic at all, but most of my besties studied art/make art/are very creative. I'm buying a frame for this beauty first thing tomorrow. 

And last but not least, Uncle Si. I get the history channel - random I know. So I've been watching shows like Swamp People and Kings of Restoration, and of course Duck Dynasty. I would give anything to know how they translate his ramblings. Korean doesn't have the vocabulary for crazy redneck uncle...what do they think he's saying?! 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy Chuseok!

A few weeks ago it was Chuseok - Korea's version of Thanksgiving. Most people get 3 days off but my work is awesome and I got the whole week! I spent Monday and Tuesday moving and unpacking and organizing and making multiple trips to the store to buy plates and bowls and cleaning supplies and other necessities. I learned a little something during my first trip to Home Plus: the good thing about needing everything is not having to think - you just put it in the basket. The bad thing is the check out counter. Ouch. 

Thursday was beach day! I've been going to the beach all summer and this was by far the best day. The water was warm, the waves were big and fun, and it wasn't crowded at all because everybody was off celebrating with their grandmas. The only Korean person on the beach was InAi. It was actually weird to see so many foreigners at the same time. 

And then it was time to go to Seoul. Oh Seoul. I've expressed my love for that city before; I think the thing that makes me the happiest is that I can just blend in. Most of the time I feel like a foreigner first and person second, and its nice to get away from that once in a while. I almost always end up feeling a little homesick there - probably because everything around me feels more like America so I think about the people and places I'm missing. Sarah and Jillian I thought about you a lot while I was shopping. You would have laughed at the same weird outfits as me and helped me spend my money. 

We didn't really do anything out of the ordinary - I've been there so many times that I've seen and done all the touristy stuff. We explored the market, ate delish Mexican (and a lot of other) food, spent hours shopping, drank coffee, got a little lost. Twas a wonderful weekend! 

Julie and I wore matching gray and white stripes. Great minds think alike! 

Paper choices favorite area


City nature

Julie talked me into taking sticker pictures, and it ended up being so fun! We look super authentic and traditional I'm sure. 

We stumbled upon this fun fountain show on our way back to the subway one night. I enjoyed taking pictures of it as much as the kids enjoyed playing in it. 

Until next time, Seoul.