Monday, September 22, 2014

Spying on my neighbors

Summer is winding down in Busan- the humidity has died down so you don't sweat walking everywhere, most days I'm wearing jeans instead of shorts, and I can turn off the air conditioning and leave my windows open. So can all my neighbors, and guess what? I'm learning quite a bit about them all! I must live in a building full of night owls because I don't hear anything in the morning/early afternoon before I go to work, and even when I get home it's pretty quiet. But around 11 the party gets started.

There's a family lives below me that sounds like a grandma, mom, dad, and pretty young baby - I'd guess around 1 or 2 years old. The baby cries a lot, probably because grandma and mom yell at the poor little one. I'm glad I don't understand what they're saying because it sounds very harsh and I think I would cry too. It makes me crazy listening to them because they're just making it worse. No child will be calmed by an adult yelling at them. I thought that was common sense? Dad, on the other hand, is very soothing. I hear him singing and the baby giggling a lot, and it's so cute. I hope mom and grandma catch on soon.

Another guy gets home around midnight and he always brings a group of friends with him. There are usually 3 or 4 voices and lots of laughing and glasses clinking. The other night there was a pretty big crash and it sounded like he broke all his dishes. Bear started barking and growling when he heard it, it was pretty funny. The guys upstairs were't too pleased either. This one has the potential to be very annoying, but usually I can tell they're having a good time and it makes me smile.

By far the weirdest is hearing my fellow English speaker. I've met him in the elevator a few times so he's not a stranger, but I wouldn't call him a friend either. With everybody else it's pretty much white noise - I hear but I don't comprehend so I can just keep doing what I'm doing. But the English speaker I can't tune out. Sometimes I feel so uncomfortable I get up and close the window. He doesn't say anything bad, but it's like I'm eavesdropping from within my own home. It freaks Bear out too. Unless there's a loud noise he just sleeps or plays with his toys, but when he hears this guy his ears perk up and he'll go over by the window to try to find where the sound is coming from. I think it's funny that he can distinguish English from Korean. Good job Bear!

And of course I have to assume that if I can hear them, they can hear me. They've probably heard me laughing during my shows, and they might have listened in on a skype call or two. They've definitely heard a lot of conversations with Bear. I don't really speak out loud in my apartment unless I'm talking to him, so if they can understand at all they must think I'm crazy.

In a few more weeks fall will arrive and we'll all close our windows, but until then I'll just keep spying on my neighbors.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Happy Korean thanksgiving

This past week was Chuseok - Korean thanksgiving. It's really pretty similar to ours - everybody goes to their grandma's house and they eat fried fish and rice cakes, and we don't have school! It was so so so nice having a 4 day weekend. It's always refreshing to have a break in routine and a few days off from the kiddos. Saturday I didn't leave the house (minus waking Bear) until I met a friend for dinner and then we met more friends for a movie. Snowpiercer, have you seen it? It was good but we watched some of it from behind pillows and were very bloody. There were hatchets :/

My stay-at-home buddy

Sunday was the usual church activities, group dinner, and cafe. It was so nice knowing there was no work Monday. Everybody stayed and chatted because no one had anywhere else to be. We sat on the balcony of a cafe overlooking the beach and a full was beautiful, and a little chilly but the view made up for the temperature. 

Monday was my favorite - beach day! Hands down the best thing about living in Busan is having 3 really nice, close beaches to choose from. We got ourselves some Starbucks and snacks and spent the day laying in the sand. There were other people there but it definitely wasn't crowded, the sun was out, and there was a little breeze so we weren't sweaty all day. Perfection.

Tuesday I met a friend for lunch, watched Friends at her house all afternoon, then got pizza for dinner. To sum up, Chuseok for me = eating, laziness, friends, and sun. Not bad :)

Wednesday I had to go to work, and I was pretty much the only one. Public school and universities had the day off, but us hagwons didn't. I knew it was coming and I wasn't bothered until I woke up that morning knowing everybody else was sleeping in. It turned out pretty good though, we had less than half of our kids and therefore watched movies and ate ice cream that my boss bought because she felt bad for us. I only has to teach one class, and nobody showed up for my last class of the day so I got to go home early! I basically had a 2 1/2 day work week. Happy thanksgiving to me!