Monday, October 31, 2005

merry christmas to me!

ok, so i take back what i said in the last post about not being able to post pictures, because i ended up celebrating christmas a little early this year! my parents decided they'd get me my christmas present here, which was (trumpet fanfare, chuseyo)... a digital camera! the met me this morning and said we could go shopping for one and that way they wouldn't have to mail me my christmas present, works out well for everyone.

anyway, we went to donghak-sa (the temple for buddhist nuns in gyeryong-san national park). my parents enjoyed the scenery, and it was a beautiful day for being in the mountains. boy we beat the crowd, though. we got there and it was just a few hikers here and there, then around 11 or so, the tour buses started pulling in so people were coming in droves. we came back, gave kimchi his lunch, then went to carrefour to do some camera shopping. i'm quite happy with the results- a 5.2 megapixel fuji camera that was only about $18 more than the camera i lost. and the camera i lost wasn't anywhere near as nice- it didn't have a lens cover or anything. pretty nice, thanks mom and dad!

kind of sucked that i had that "too bad i have to work today" feeling, especially because i don't teach until 5:30 on mondays but since they added the daily 3-3:30 meetings with 1 or 2 korean co-teachers, i had to go in even earlier and then knew i'd end up with some time to kill. would have been nice if i had remembered to tell the korean co-teacher last friday that i wouldn't be able to make the meeting today, then it sucked even more when i got there and she asked if we really needed the meeting because really weekly meetings are a bit too much. so, i did some quick planning and went back to my parents motel room and relaxed until i had to teach.

after teaching we went out for dinner- ssamgyeopsal- yum! i was actually surprised that my mom ended up liking the bibimbap we had for dinner last night more than this, because i really thought this was going to be a meal she was going to rave over. she liked it, just didn't get the raving i was hoping for. still, i left with my own stomach extremely content.

ok enough blabbing, i'm getting really tired and it's time to post pictures, per my mom's request:

my mom and kimchi

my mom playing tug of war with the toy she got kimchi- it's almost as big as he is

my dad making his best "blue steel"

Sunday, October 30, 2005

fooled you!

so, i'm sure some of the people reading this post right now are the good ol' folks that work with my mom at dr. gleason's office. from what i hear, she pretty much forced you poor people to check my blog while they are visiting to see all of their misadventures in pictures-on-blog form. what you don't realize was that they failed to communicate with each other properly and ventured all the way to camera minus one camera usb cable. what is this, a center for dopes? how do you expect them to see the pictures when they can't even fit on the computer? we tried using my useless cable, but apparently samsung and canon aren't quite compatible. so there will be no pictures until they return home. hey, at least they remembered their camera!

i tried suggesting they buy me a new digital camera so we could keep the blog picture updates going, but i'm not so sure they were willing to throw down 2-4 hundred dollars just for instant gratification. shame on them for shattering your korean-whereabouts-knowledge dreams... and denying me a free digital camera.

so what about their punishment? we didn't go out to j-rock for the halloween party until about 12:30 am... and didn't leave the second bar (watermelon sugar) to head back until about 4 am. i just really wanted to make them feel young at heart. it worked, they did have a good time. and my mother even yelled at the guy who thought i was a whore.

today we went shopping in old-downtown, where they experienced sensory overload- lots of people, loud music in stores, mass amounts of shops/goods, and some really hot gojuchang in the bibimbap we ate to boot.

that is it for now, thank you and have a nice day.

Friday, October 28, 2005

cure for the common boredom

well it's almost 1 am and i'm taking it easy tonight because i've got my alarm set for 6 am tomorrow so i can take the ktx to seoul to meet my parents! their flight got in at 9 tonight and because i had to work until 8:30 i decided to wait until tomorrow to meet them. but it's gonna be a short day there- maybe we'll do a tiny bit of shopping, definitely grab some lunch, then take the train back because my parents have to check out of the hotel by noon, and sight-seeing would be a pain lugging suitcases around. so to sort of unwind i decided to kill some time filling out some random surveys that make me think about being 16 again- the good old days when we'd email every single survey we got to each other- and there were a lot of surveys at that time. oh man i still have that uber-long survey that amy and i made up. seriously, i should post that one sometime. it was quite ridiculous. i really don't expect anyone to read this, but who knows, maybe you'll learn a little more about me if you do. enter at your own risk.

Your Name- Tanya
Nicknames- Tanie, Tanyarr, Yarr, Tess
Birthday- 12/31/82

~*HAVE YOU??*~
Been kissed? Yes
Eaten an entire box of Oreos? No, not Oreos, but I've definitely eaten whole boxes of other cookies in one sitting.
Been on stage? Yes
Gotten in a car accident? Yes
Death Valley on horseback? That's not even a sentence
Stayed home? From what?
Made homemade fudge? Yes
Seen the Eiffel tower? Yes

Shampoo: I love anything they use on me at salons, my hair always feels so much better then
Soap: Don't have a favorite
Color: Blue
Day: Saturday
Night: Friday
Band: Simon and Garfunkel
Season: Fall or Spring
Commercial: There's this random Korean commercial, maybe for cell phones, with these two guys with chubby faces (though not fat) making scream faces with a soprano opera singer holding a note so it looks like they're singing... it makes me laugh every time.

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? No
Do you have a crush on someone: Maybe... I just think some guys around here are really cute
Do you have a best friend? More than one
Do you rank your speed dial in order of favorite friends? I don't have speed dial (at least as far as i can see)
Who's your funniest friend? all of my friends are funny, guess I'm pretty lucky
Who do you go to the mall with the most? Here it's Alisun and Melissa, back home it's Jeni and Jude
Who do you e-mail the most? my parents, Celeste, and Diane (they get a collective email)
Who have you known the longest of your friends? Jeni
Who's the loudest? Arthur
Who's the shyest? mmm I'm thinking Jeni isn't shy but she can just be quiet sometimes and Kate can be surprisingly shy with some people, even though she's definitely a runner-up for my loudest friend
Whose parents do you know the best? Jude's
Who do you go to for advice? depends on what the advice is for- usually my parents, Celeste, Jeni, or Jude
Who knows all your secrets? mwahaha no one knows them ALL
Who do you get the most surveys from? i just got an ass-load of them from some CUA people, Debbie was the culprit of that one
Who are you jealous of? all of my friends have qualities I admire (I sound like a freakin beauty contestant in an interview segment)
Who do you cry with? I usually cry alone
What is your usual quote? according to Alisun, it's "Is anybody else hungry?"

Cried? no
Eaten fluf? no, and Fluff has 2 f's
Helped someone? I helped some Korean children learn English
Bought something? paper towels, 2 triangle kimbap, yogurt, and some water
Dissected something? no
Cut your hair? no
Worn a skirt? no
Worn a tie? no
Been mean? probably
Been sarcastic? yes
Gone for a run? i wish
Gone for a walk? yes
Gone to the movies? no
Gone out for dinner? no
Been kissed? no
Felt stupid? yes
Said "I love you"? yes
Written a letter? no
Written a paper? no
Taken a test? no
Met someone new? yes
Moved on? from what?
Written in a journal? yes
Watched your favorite movie? no
Talked to someone you have a crush on? maybe
Given someone a present? i tried giving a kid some candy wrapper saying "present!" but he didn't fall for it
Missed someone? yes
Hugged someone? my dog
Had a nightmare? I had a dream that my dad was yelling at me about how much money I was (or wasn't, rather) sending home
Fought with your parents? no
Fought with a friend? no
Been Scared? no

Showered? this morning, maybe 10 am?
Ate a meal? I had a pizza bagel about an hour ago
What are you wearing right now? my really comfy grey pants and 2 tank tops (why 2? I can never seem to wear just one, I like layering)
Are you tired? Yeah, it hit me about 10 minutes ago
Are you lonely? No, but I want tomorrow morning to come so I can see my parents! More like antsy, I suppose
Are you happy? Yes
Are you wearing pajamas? Yes
Are you hungry? No
Are you eating? No
Are you talking to someone online? No
Are you ready for this survey to end? Yes
How long did this survey take you? about a half hour, I'm watching tv at the same time
*Do you want all your friends to do this and send back? Not really



Type of sandwich: I love the good sandwiches on good harder breads like artisan bread or something from natural food stores or Au Bon Pain with goat cheese and pesto and tomatoes and other random veggies mmm I miss goat cheese
Coffee or hot chocolate? coffeeeemmmmm
Cold or hot weather? hot, although I do enjoy cold weather when I can bundle up inside and get warm
Big or little? what?
Lace or satin? neither
Red or blue? Blue
New or old? Old?
Here or there? Here?


1. Pierce your nose or tongue? well i think we all know i chose the nose
2. Be serious or be funny? funny
3. Boxers or briefs? boxers
4. Whole or skim milk? skim
5. Single or Taken? single
6. Simple or complicated? a little of both (does that make me complicated?)
7. Law or anarchy? gotta go with the law- protection is good
8. Flowers or angels? for what? i'd definitely feel good knowing there were more angels than flowers in the world
9. Grey or gray? i like grey
10. Read or write? write
11. Color or black-and-white photos? black and white
12. Sunrise or sunset? depends on how much sleep i get... i really like both, and lately i've seen quite a few sunrises
13. M&M's or Skittles? m&m's
14. Rap or rock? rock
15. Stay up late or wake up late? stay up late
16. TV or Radio? tv
17. Is it POP or SODA? soda
18. X or O in Tic-tac-toe? x
20. Eat an apple or an orange? oranges are way more refreshing
21. What came first the chicken or the egg? i'm gonna go with the chicken
22. Hot or Cold? hot
24. Tall members of the opposite sex or short? depends on the person- i don't like tall and lanky but taller is nice
25. Sun or moon? moon
26. Emerald or ruby? ruby
28. Left or right? right
29. 10 acquaintances or 1 best friend? 1 best friend
30. Vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream? chocolate
31. High or Drunk? what an inappropriate question
32. Green beans or carrots? carrots, as long as they're raw
33. Low fat or fat free? fat free so long as doesn't taste horrible
34. What is your biggest fear in the world? right now it's getting hit by a car! these korean drivers are crazy
36. Kids or no kids? definitely kids
37. Cat or dog? dog
38. Half empty or half full? half full (or, if you just drank half, it's half-empty. if you just poured half it's half-full)
39. Mustard or ketchup? ketchup
40. Hard cover books or soft cover books? hard cover
41. Newspaper or magazine? magazine
42. Sandals or sneakers? sandals
43. Wonder or amazement? amazement (what an odd question)
44. Red car or white car? red
45. Happy and poor or sad and rich? happy and poor hands down
46. Singing or dancing? oh it's so hard for me to do one and not the other
47. Hugging or Kissing? hugging
48. Corduroy or plaid? depends on the article of clothing
49. Happy or sad? seriously, who would choose sad?
50. Purple or green? purple
51. A year of hot sex or a lifetime of friendship? friendship

Monday, October 24, 2005


had a pretty fun time friday night. took some great pictures to prove it. got home. wait, didn't i have a camera? oh that's right, it must be somewhere in the city of daejeon. the only place i could guess to look at was this random asian club we went to, because that's the last place we actually took pictures. so saturday afternoon i went back with alisun and melissa to look for it- nope, wasn't there. and the guy working there remembered us from the night before and figured the most likely thing that happened was somebody found it and ran away with it. sucks that my first "major" investment here is now lost. the good thing is, the camera wasn't incredibly expensive and i wasn't too fond of it anyway and was thinking about upgrading it. guess i'll have to do it even sooner than planned. so i won't have my camera for when my parents visit (this friday!) but at least they'll bring their camera so i can download them onto my computer.

in other news, did a whole lot of nothing the rest of the weekend. spent way too much time at starbucks and e-mart on saturday when we were really planning on going to a mountain, but we were so slow in getting ready that by the time we got together there were probably only a good 2-3 hours of sunlight left.

sunday i spent the whole day at the jjimjilbang and ate the worst meal i've had by far. it was just me alisun and melissa, and our favorite ajumma sat us down for a meal and we had wonderful sidedishes including a great tofu dish. then she set down the plate of meat that we couldn't quite identify- after we made her draw a picture of the animal, it turned out to be pork. ok, coming from the girl who was a vegetarian for 7 years before coming to korea, i'm pretty proud of how well i handled eating this meat. i kid you not, all it was was bone and fat- maybe a random piece of meat here and there. i ate a few pieces- squishy is really the only word i can use to describe the flavor. i got full rather quickly and couldn't eat anything else- i always feel like a failure when i can't even finish my rice, but i just think my body would have objected majorly if i put anything else into it. alisun handled a few pieces, but played the "mix it around in my rice bowl with a few veggies" card, so i think i ate the most meat out of the three of us (melissa's a veggie who can only handle eating fish right now). at least it wasn't dog, although we were really scared for a moment when alisun tried telling her i got a puppy named kimchi and she started pointing to the meat. it was then that we made her draw the animal just to make sure she didn't just serve us a cuddly canine. i don't think we have to worry about that though- we just figured she misunderstood what we were saying, because dog meat isn't something you're just randomly served here, and when she found out that's what we thought she was saying the meat was she started cracking up then saying she'd never serve that... well, gesturing more than verbalizing it considering she doesn't speak english.

oh and i had by far the cutest moment in teaching to date last thursday. well, let's back up a little bit. first of all, about 2 weeks ago i had sent an email to my family mentioning my favorite student, martin, who is just so cute and incredibly smart. he's really funny and can act up every now and then, which i almost prefer in a kid- i'd take one of the kids who are smart with a little "bite" in their personality any day over the ones who are quiet and always do as they're told. anyway, the very same day i sent the email we were reading a story in class. the story happened to be about gloria, who happened to be african-american. martin, out of nowhere, goes "black people are stupid and poor and crazy." whoa, there. let's simmer a little bit. he didn't say it maliciously, he actually had his trademark "look at me i'm so cute" martin face. so, not wanting to make a big deal out of it in front of the other students (it's a small class of 5) so they wouldn't catch on to the message, i quickly said that wasn't true and he wasn't to say that again or there'd be hell to pay. well, i didn't really say that last part, but i'm quite sure my tone implied it.

anyways, after that, my view of martin was a bit different. it made me wonder how racist of a country korea actually is, because frankly the vast majority of the country is made up of koreans, with races of african descent being few and far between. that's not just a thought that a 10 year old boy comes up with on his own, i'm thinking maybe his family or some other type of media had an influence on him. ok, so you're probably wanting me to get to the good story now. martin totally redeemed himself last thursday when they were working in their workbooks and i was going around checking them. martin asked "teacher, is this ok?" so i went to check it out. they were combining sentences and the answer was supposed to be, "she isn't very athletic and i'm not, either." but martin had, "she isn't very athletic and i ain't, either." i kind of laughed and said no, it wasn't gramatically correct. then i started to wonder where he heard the word "ain't." i mean, it's just not a word they're taught in english class. so, i asked what made him want to say it and he said "well, i thought, 'ain't no mountain high enough'..." that just took me by total surprise and i started cracking up. oh martin, you're so cute, even when you're racist.

and with that, i will leave you with an inspirational thought brought to you (capital letters and all) by my bag of Foodream brand sugar:

"Our dream is to bring you the most satisfaction and Beyond Happiness." how kind of them.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

vin et fromage

last night i was the hostess of our first official wine and cheese night. most of us had been saying how it would be nice to get together on a weeknight for that, so i decided to take the bull by the balls and spread the word- my place, wednesday night, 9ish. i knew people liked the idea and they asked what they could bring, but i wasn't expecting too much because cheese is an essential part of holding a wine and cheese night and is quite expensive and not too easy to find here, aside from american cheese, camembert, brie, mozzarella, and philly cream cheese. in other words, the extra-processed, soft stuff.

so i had some brie and laughing cow that i ended up picking up from a wine and cheese shop behind my school last night (side note: they have blocks of pepper jack and cheddar and swiss cheese slices there!) plus i had a bottle of merlot and riesling. then i was inspired by some tomatoes i found at 7-11 and decided to make bruschetta. mmm.

but man i was surprised by how people came through for this! they showed up with bags full of food and wine. on the menu we had assorted crackers, 3 baguettes, bruschetta, cheddar cheese (first time i had it in 3 months- soooo good), feta (also soooo good), brie, a creamy chive cheese, laughing cow (also mini squares in assorted flavors), babybel, green california grapes, lindor balls, and dark chocolate. plus, i'm sure there's probably one or two things i can't remember. as for wine, melissa and i randomly had the same bottle of merlot (but it was actually really good so that worked out well), bordeaux, cabernet, shiraz, and of course we can't forget the jug of carlo rossi white wine that tom and rika brought. that jug definitely felt like home, but i was sad to hear it cost about $20 here at costco... whereas you could easily get it for $6 back home.

and i can't forget to mention those in attendence- in alphabetical order: alisun, jay, melissa, pat, rika, and sean aka tom cruise.

rika and tom got so into the idea of wine and cheese that they dressed up for the occasion:

we just had to take a picture... tell me it doesn't scream "homecoming..." well, except for the jug of wine that tom is holding.

of course we also had the automatic timer to take a group shot. you may look at the picture and say "tanya why do you look like a moron?"- it's only because tom was trying to feed me a hunk of cheddar cheese off of a knife. of course, i'm going to ignore the fact that you're probably now thinking "but tanya, you always look like a moron!"

and i'm sorry but this picture is too awesome to not put up- i'd just love to know what pat was thinking at that moment:

Sunday, October 16, 2005

forever purple...

so this has turned out to be a very fun, refreshing weekend. friday night i went to j-rock. nothing too exciting happened but it was still fun nonetheless. melissa, alisun's best friend from home, just got into korea this week for the year. turns out she lives right down the road from me so we're both happy to have someone to travel with when meeting people. kind of sucked before because i lived in a different part of town from everyone else so had to taxi it alone when we were going out. i find it very funny that she looks A LOT like lesley... even her clothes and jewelry are the same. she's just a bit taller.

so saturday i went downtown with alisun and melissa. we spent more time than we should have at the second floor counter/window in starbucks, engrossed in watching a street dance group. it was by far the most entertaining couple of hours i've had so far here not because the group was particularly good, 2 of them were really good and the rest were decent, but there were a few that looked like they just decided to join today- one we called harry potter because he seriously looked like harry's korean twin. he had a flannel shirt and could bust some killer "moves," it was pretty hilarious. we did some shopping, and ended up at the dollar store where i got some stuff i'd never gotten around to getting, like a wine glass (alisun thought it was funny that i only bought one), some tape, extra hangers, two really cool belts, and a sewing kit. now i can finally fix the hem on my black pants and wear them. that will be a nice addition to my school clothes. saturday night i went to the movies with alisun, melissa, jay, and pat. we saw four brothers. in case you were thinking of going to see it, don't waste your money. we were pretty much the only ones in the theater because i think it was around 12:30 am... and we were definitely laughing at some parts you probably aren't supposed to laugh at. sorry, i just can't take the "ghost mom memory" appearances all that seriously... especially when the last two lines of the movie are "oh, mom..." meanwhile the rest of the movie is just bloodshed left and right.

today i went with alisun, pat, and melissa to the daejeon citizen's soccer game at the world cup stadium. it was a lot of fun. pat and i got scarves- i'm going to hang mine as a banner. they also gave us free flags that doubled as horns. awesome. the motto of the team must be "forever purple" because it was written on both the scarves and the flags. although the scarves and flags were pink (see picture). and the team was wearing pink shirts. so why it's "forever purple" is beyond me. just must be one of those colors lost in translation. we saw some foreigners we knew, kind of funny how you can randomly run into just about anyone in korea. no one won the game- score was 0-0, but it was still nice to get out and see a sports event. plus, on the way out they were giving everyone free 360 ml bottles of soju. are you kidding me?! no way could you get away with handing out free bottles of liquor in america to whoever passes through the gate. and it's a pretty good-sized bottle. in case you were wondering, there are no laws about drinking alcohol in public, so you can really sit anywhere you please and drink. see a cop? odds are you probably won't because they don't exactly have a huge presence here, but in case you do, just offer him a swig from your bottle. they also have tables outside of convenience stores where you can just sit and drink beer or soju or whatever you want, really. we thought it was pretty funny to be walking around the streets each with our own bottle of soju in tow, although we weren't drinking it.

after the game we went for some bbq. it was nice and relaxing, and we spent a good amount of the time laughing at just really stupid stuff that at any other time wouldn't be all that funny... like the wayne's world quote "if benjamin were an ice cream flavor... he'd be pralines... and dick" and the fact that pat had 50 million id/membership cards and he looks like a completely different person in each picture... i'm not kidding you, it's bourne identity-style, like he's running from the law. it was just one of those slap-happy weekends where everything just seemed especially funny even without the presence of alcohol. good times had by all.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

long overdue

well i haven't been too good lately with the updates. in my defense, i wrote the worlds biggest blog entry last week and then my computer froze right when i was about to post it. made me so frustrated that i took a bit of a break from the blog world. had no desire to try and remember everything and make a new entry.

so, what to write what to write. my parents are visiting in two weeks! so exciting! really, korea isn't much of a tourist attraction, and considering i have to work while they're here, i'm not sure how they'll be entertained during the week. although they will be here for halloween. good times.

kimchi update: he is doing well now, but he had his ups and downs last week- long story short, took him next door to the vet (turns out he speaks english, very cool) because i suspected worms. i was right, it was coccidia, normal puppy stuff, fully expecting that, but i also wanted his hacking checked out, the vet told me it was pneumonia and suggested that because it's such a big thing in an animal that young and small that i would be best off returning him for either a refund or another puppy. wasn't expecting that, but i figured he was right and couldn't bear the thought of getting another puppy from there, so he called the shop for me to ask about a refund (i hate that word, makes it sound so cold, considering this is a living animal that i had gotten quite attached to). the pet shop said to bring him in and they'd take care of him- thought that was sketchy at first, but it turned out they meant they'd take him to the vet next door and take care of the cost for me. luckily, the pneumonia (if that's even what it was) must have been caught very early because i was able to bring him home with me. he got a shot and some syrup i had to give him for 4 days, and he started getting better right away. i had to bring him back again for a checkup, and then we got the normal puppy checkup done- for anyone considering getting a dog here and worrying about the vet costs- he got the normal puppy shots/ear cleaning/nail trimming and it was surprisingly cheap- came to 27,000 won. i had no idea how korea would price these things so i was pleasantly surprised. so kimchi is doing quite well- now that he has no ailments he's quite the handful. still not a terrible puppy, but has a LOT more energy now, always wants to play. he's doing very well with the sit and come commands.

ok what else is new. not much. having a dog makes my downtime so much more enjoyable. i've been watching a lot of movies on my computer lately, i download one, come home from work, watch it, delete it, download another. pretty good system. i currently have monster-in-law waiting for me. i've also gotten into watching my name is earl and the office. everyone raves about how funny steve carell is. yeah he's funny, but i think the rest of the cast is ten times funnier because they're so normal but just come up with the funniest things you wouldn't expect. i'm now a big fan of john krasinski, i think he's great... but is anyone else confused with b.j. novak's character? he's a regular cast member, but hasn't done much yet- coming from the punk'd background, i thought he'd have a better storyline and be a lot funnier. kind of disappointing that so far the only humor with him comes from the fact that the boss treats him like an intern, and that's the situation that's funny, not the actual character.

ok gotta stop being a critic and get ready. gonna go shopping today downtown, pretty exciting.

Monday, October 03, 2005

kimchi and me

well, i'm sure that by now you're asking "well, tanya, what have you done with the rest of your three-day weekend?"

i shall tell you!

i purchased a dog. a chihuahua, to be exact. and his name is kimchi. this is something i've been considering doing even before i left for korea- i really think this is the best time for me to get a puppy because my schedule is so great for it- i mean my longest day is 4.5 hours- it'll be so much easier to raise a puppy here so it's grown by the time i get home and it won't be as hard for it to be alone during the day because i'm sure whatever job i get when i go home will be full-time hours. my main concern, of course, was bringing him back home with me- obviously i wouldn't get a dog before being certain that i could bring him home, and i'd heard a lot of stories about quarantine. but i checked out different sites, heard stories from other people who have brought dogs back to the states, and everything seems to be not so bad, unless the dog is sick or doesn't have the rabies vaccine. if you have further questions you can check out

i've also located an english-speaking vet, and there is also a vet's office right next to me for emergencies (they also sell a good amount of supplies and accessories) and found volunteers for pet-sitting in case i wanted to do overnight traveling (but chihuahuas are extremely travel-friendly). but last week was when i started getting vocal about it and realized i was really ready for a pet. i also didn't want to make a rash decision- after one of my runs i was so tempted to go up to this mother cat and two kittens that were on the sidewalk to see if they were friendly, and the thought of bringing one of the kittens home with me did cross my mind- of course i wasn't stupid enough to try and pet them because who knows what diseases they could have. and i didn't really want a cat, either... it was just wishful thinking of having a furry friend.

so i emailed good ol' celeste, resident dog expert, to make sure i had thought of everything (and the dog trainer in her did make sure i was considering everything, but she agreed i was ready). so, then i wanted to track down a small, not yappy apartment dog. the main breeds i was considering were the chinese crested or french bulldog, but i know they're rare over here. so i figured it would really come down to a chihuahua, pug, or yorkie.

so yesterday alisun and i set out on our dog hunt. i was a bit cautious to buy a dog from a pet store (puppy mills run rampant over here), so we went to A LOT of stores. some of them we ran out of the second we entered (one worker was walking around with a syringe in his mouth... no thank you, although you do have very cute bull terriers)... the first place we went to was actually near alisun's apartment, and it was owned by a nice family- that's where kimchi was, for 300,000 won. he passed all the puppy tests, and stuck in my mind as we went downtown to "dog street," which is where the sketchy shops were. i saw another healthy adult chihuahua, but the man said it was 1,200,000 won... roughly $1200. is he crazy? he was trying to tell me he's special because he's grown, but puppies are $600- as he told me when he held up a dachsund and a shar pei. yeah, they're exactly the same breed as a chihuahua. no thank you.

so, rika met us downtown and we went back to get little kimchi, and he's the cutest dog ever. the people gave me some food and chew toys (we had already gotten a leash, collar, food dish, and chew toys downtown). i'm glad they're feeding him proplan, because that'll be easy to keep up back in the states. it was quite the ordeal understanding their instructions, but i was relieved to hear that they were concerned about the home he was going to. their instructions were exactly what i was expecting- 3 small meals a day, mix the food with warm water and rice (easier to digest). they also recommended a different vet, but i think i'm gonna stick with the english-speaking one, because that's the place a girl i talked to swears by.

so kimchi has the most awesome personality ever. like i keep telling people, he's not an annoying puppy- i'm not much of a puppy person (yeah they're a pain) but i wanted to get a puppy to make sure it grows up right and well-socialized (and chihuahuas can get nasty if they're spoiled). but he's a lot of fun. he likes to sleep a lot, which is good. that's what the pet owners said, too... he eats and he sleeps, then he'll play, then he'll sleep some more. they told me this through hand motions, thought it was pretty funny. so yeah he came home and he wasn't at all stressed and wanted to explore. right away he went under the bed to look around, and i got really worried about the dust bunnies under there so now i have boxes going all around my bed. he's got such a small throat that i'm afraid he'll choke on one- and i think he did eat one because he keeps trying to cough up the hairball. i swear he's more like a kitten than a puppy, he even looks like a kitten from the profile. at the moment he is curled up on my big black bag. i think he was interested in it at first because it probably still smells like my dogs from back home, but he's really taken a liking to it, he actually chooses it over the blanket i had on the floor for him. this week i'm going shopping for fun dog accessories- a real dog bed and a carrier being at the top of my list, though i wouldn't be surprised if this bag became his permanent bed of choice.

alisun, rika, and kelley came over last night to watch a movie/play with the dog, and they all kept saying he's the cutest dog ever. and i don't want to brag, but... i think he's definitely a contender.

so he'll sleep, then i'll move around or get a phone call and he'll wake up and give me a look like "oh yeah, you're fun! let's play!" and his tail wags a million miles a minute. he'll play for 10 or 15 minutes then he'll nap again. he was pretty hungry last night so when i fed him he wanted to devour his food and i had to take his food away to make sure he didn't bloat or choke or make himself sick. but this morning he had more control and even left a few pieces of kibble in the bowl.

he's already good at responding to me, and we're working on basic commands: "come," "sit," "leave it," no bite," and hi-five" (the last one is my favorite because he's pretty good at it and it's so cute.)

disclaimer: for a while i hated chihuahuas because of what a trend they've become with the paris hilton types. i always roll my eyes when i see the typical blonde girl wearing a pink jumpsuit, walking around with a little chihuahua in tow- and most of the time these dogs aren't brought up properly and are snappy, nasty little things. this is not MY intent on purchasing a chihuahua. i am simply a dog person, a responsible pet owner, and this is a dog and pet to me. it is not an accessory.

that being said, alisun spotted the cutest red adidas jacket for him, we definitely want to get it for him. they get cold easily, so i definitely intend on dressing him up, and why not make him cute in the process? he'll even match with my red adidas sneakers, which he happens to be sitting in in one of the picture below:

you can't possibly tell me he's not the cutest dog. and he really is pretty awesome. i'm obviously more of a big dog person (miss my scottish deerhounds back home tons), but a dog is a dog and he's a pretty cool dog. plus, i've always wanted to own a huge dog and a small dog, and when i'm ready and back in the states (won't be for a while, i'll definitely need a house for this) i'm definitely going to get a huge dog of my own, most likely a deerhound. it'll be funny to see a chihuahua next to a deerhound. that's actually what my mom said, too. she's very excited to have a grand-dog (which is a relief because i was worried that she'd be worried about this. but i forgot she's a crazy dog person.) kimchi's gonna have to watch out when he meets his aunt hetty and uncle judd, because they really could squash him into kimchi (ba-dum-chhh i'm so funny).

ok today is definitely a lazy day for me, i'm gonna stay in, play with the new dog, and watch the new episodes of the o.c. (i downloaded them! i'm so excited i can actually watch new tv shows and don't have to wait till i get home- i already watched the first few episodes of america's next top model) yeah those are my two guilty pleasure shows, and i'm not afraid to admit it.

ok peace out.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

tanya the russian prostitute

welcome to this edition of tanya's sometimes incoherent ramblings.

last night i went to "cool bar" for the drink special- 20,000 won all you can drink ANYTHING. i'd die if i heard that special back home, but i've come to realize that here drinks are cheap anyway, so i don't think i saved an extraordinary amount of money, although i'm pretty sure i got my $20 worth.

so i was having a good time, made friends with charles, who is either the bartender or owner, i'm not sure, but we thought it would be fun to write an email to karla, who lived here before me and was in a band that always played there.

then we decided to go to jrock, which is where the prostitution part comes in. i was talking to 3 guys- 2 of them seemed pretty cool and another was a drunken mess- it was his birthday. these two guys were trying to pawn me off onto the birthday guy, and i kept saying i wasn't interested. i managed to get away and was dancing with alisun and rika when these Russian girls came up to me, and one said to me "you are so pretty! you are russian?" and i said no... i don't know why she came up to me really, but later on my contact fell out and i went to the bathroom with rika and alisun to put it back in. of course, with no contact solution my eye started burning like crazy and watering and turned very red. the same russian girl happened to be in the bathroom and took it upon herself to start "wiping my tears away"- i think this has been the most bizarre moment in korea to date. meanwhile, alisun and rika were standing behind her making "why is she doing that?" faces. whatever, i guess she was trying to help her fellow "russian" out.

i would like to take this moment to clear up the meaning of "russian." although these girls were russian by nationality, it is still unclear whether or not they were prostitutes, but the terms "russian" and "prostitute" usually go hand-in-hand here in korea. usually when people ask if you're russian (i hear it's common that tall light-haired blue-eyed female foreigners are asked this, and they usually they take offense to this because usually there's a hint of "are you a prostitute?" in the question)

back in the us, a lot of people asked if i was russian while i was working at borders. i had a lot of russian customers who came in and ordered espresso- usually they were gruff old men who looked at my name tag and said "tanya is russian name- are you russian?" back home i didn't take it so much as an insult. last night was the first time i was asked this here, though.

so then it was back to the three stooges, but this time it was just one guy who wanted to talk to me. i told him i didn't want to be pawned off onto his friend, even if it was his birthday. at this point he said something like "well i want to go home with you tonight." well, sign me up man!! i thought you'd never ask! and i thought koreans were blunt. well turns out, after rika came in to kind of "save me" we discovered that they thought i was a whore. awesome. apparently they had me "mistaken for someone else." a russian prostitute perhaps?

and now you may be thinking "what were you wearing to make these people think you were a prostitute?" just a normal shirt- albeit sleeveless, but not anything too revealing, paired with some normal jeans, not even tight. then again, the russian girls weren't dressed like whores either. perhaps it was the giant pricetag on my back.

so, prostitution aside, it was a fun night, resulting in me not leaving jrock until 5 am. tonight's actually 80s night at jrock, but i'm skipping out on that, don't really feel like going out tonight, although the 10,000 won cover is hard to resist- all you can drink draft beer plus one shot. so tonight i have a hot date with the tv- american idol is right now, and bo bice is singing as i type. it's the semi-finals, week 2, and he just sang an awesome version of whipping post. seriously man, that guy has talent.