Thursday, November 24, 2005

tanya's thanksgiving list

ok, even though it's friday and technically no longer thanksgiving in korea (duh, it's an american holiday), i still have about 15 minutes to make this post and have it up in time going by the time back home before thanksgiving is officially over. well, i guess it doesn't matter anyway, because i'm celebrating thanksgiving with my friends tomorrow. i was feeling a bit down just because i knew that basically my whole family was together and i was on the other side of the world- a little bit of homesickness, yes, but not so bad that i hated it here and wanted to go home. plus, a year away from holiday routines will make them that much more appreciated when i'm back home. i'm still really excited to spend thanksgiving with my friends tomorrow and i thought i'd be corny and put into words everything i'm really thankful to have:

-my parents and the fact that i couldn't have asked for 2 better ones!
-my sisters and the fact that it's awesome that they're also my best friends (and the fact that celeste admitted she was weepy off and on today because i wasn't there)
-the friends i've made here- i'd read so much that it's hard to make "real" friends here because most people are only here for a year and they're only in it for themselves and they're really just drinking buddies and blah blah blah... but it's amazing that not only did i make "real" friends, but they are so much like my friends back home
-naturally, this follows with my college friends: especially the ryan hall people and the trailer broads
-of course friends back home (stand by me, anyone?)
-my dogs back home
-my dog here!
-no more college stress
-the feeling of ultimate freedom
-the non-existent need to set my alarm in the mornings
-an opportunity to save up money for evil college loans for an entire year
-carrefour and e-mart and their magnificant prices and the fact that they have just about everything i need and haven't yet had to make a trip to walmart or costco (that'll end tomorrow when we go thanksgiving shopping)
-food is so cheap here
-"there are no christmas decorations here" is a blatant lie- the department stores are pretty good about that
-the fact that i chose daejeon and not seoul or some other city- seoul is just too dirty and too crowded
-ondol heating (kimchi, if he could write, would also want this to be on the list- see picture below)
-internet in my apartment
-torrents and the opportunity to catch up on my favorite current shows
-ajumas who will feed you at the jjimjilbang
-clothes that fit here (everyone said i'd have such a hard time finding pants and shoes and jackets if you're a certain height or shoe size... i've had no problems thus far)
-and most importantly, my coffee maker- i couldn't have done this without you.

and there it is, tanya's little thanksgiving. i'm sure i've left off a lot of things, but that's all i can think of for now.

and now, a picture of kimchi sprawled out on the floor enjoying the ondol heating- when the heat goes on, there he is, arms and legs stretched out as far as possible, belly on the floor:

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

southern dogs

the reason why westminster winners aren't from the south:

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

fun korean games

so i think i've found my new favorite game to play here in korea. i think i'll call it the "answer your handuh-pone" game. it's simple to play: when your cell rings and you don't recognize the number, answer it. nine times out of ten it'll be the wrong number. if that's the case, the caller is most likely korean and can't speak a lick of english. when the caller responds with "yeoboseyo?" say "hello" again. count how many times this goes back and forth, and try to beat your previous record- you'll be shocked with the results! bonus points if you hear a "ney?" at one time or another.

in other news, i have a few more pictures to put up. last night we got together for pizza, beer, and movies. the movie part didn't happen because there was a lot of talking going on, and we ended up taking our business to the noraebang behind my apartment, which i suspect might also be a brothel of some sort because when alisun went to buy some more time, one of the girls thought she was trying to buy her. it was downstairs and kind of shady and one of the rooms had pictures of naked girls. strange. oh but one thing that's funny about us is the fact that we can't do anything normally. oh no, we have to go all out and get dressed up. tom put on one of my cloth belts, looking a bit like the karate kid, and then put his bike hemet on over that (remember kids, we were within walking distance of this noraebang.) alisun put a skirt on and looked like a school girl with her knee socks and blazer. aaron was sporting a bandana, gangsta style, and melissa had one of my weird crocheted hats. and i ended up feeling like a 2 year old girl who always has to get her way so her parents let her wear whatever she wants, because i think i was wearing every article of clothing i owned. hard to see in the pictures, but i was wearing my chihuahua socks, which peeked out of my sequined shoes, jeans with a white peasant skirt over that, a long-sleeved shirt with my new sweater shirt over that, and my purple velvet blazer over that. and a black hat to boot. seriously koreans must think foreigners are the weirdest people ever.

as i'm sitting here typing, i'm enjoying some wonderful western-style food. my parents brought some maple syrup with them, and i finally got all of the pancake making ingredients. whipped them up this morning and they're like HEAVEN. seriously, not to toot my own horn, but i'm gonna anyway, i don't think i've ever made better pancakes. the added banana was a nice touch, also. it's a nice treat seeing how i was really looking forward to getting som pancakes last week when we had the breakfast buffet at the marriott, but i was seriously disappointed with the pancakes... tasted too much like pancake mix, and not even a good mix at that. oddly enough i ended up having a korean/japanese breakfast of rice, raw salmon, and bulgogi. funny how things like that work. i also picked up some nestle quick and added that to my coffee this morning so i also have a nice chocolate-y coffee going on.

it's funny how the western thing is going though. i am eating a lot of normal foods, as well as korean meals, but the "normal" foods i'm eating are pretty limited. i do enjoy a good subway sandwich once in a while, make pasta here and there. most of the time it's me and triangle kimbap. i actually went to the outback right next door to me the other night... only took me over three months to get there... but it was nice because i was actually having a craving for a pina colada the other day and lo and behold they had that on the menu. i had to order "two pina coladas... one for each hand. let's set sail with captain morgan oh we'll never leave dry land" sorry i always do that. anyway, i did have to order two because the first one was so good i downed it within like 1 minute- i don't think the waiter even left the table because he was sticking around for food orders and so i got to order another before he left. anyway, i also ordered some cheese fries, which i couldn't really do. i'm not that big on fried foods anyway, but now that it's pretty much completely out of my diet, it's only a matter of seconds after eating it that i feel like i'll throw up if i eat any more. same thing happened with the pizza last night, it was actually good pizza, but everytime i picked up a piece to eat it i'd get that same "i might throw this up later" feeling. nice, huh?

ok well here are some pictures from last night.

darth tom ordering an hour at the desk

alisun and melissa rockin' out, don't remember the song though

aaron's born in the usa (or canada)

smells like teen spirit

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sunday, November 06, 2005


ok, here are some pictures my parents just sent me that were taken on their camera. enjoy!

i have exorcised the demons

the weekend has been nice and refreshing- i was mega-tired on friday when my parents left, which i think turned out for the best because i was too tired to really let it sink in that i wouldn't see them for another nine months or to really miss them. their visit took a lot out of me because i'd have to get up in the morning, do stuff with them, go teach, come home, do more stuff, get a little bit of sleep, get up and do it all over again. i think i was averaging 5-6 hours/night. but it was A LOT of fun- my friends are now in love with my parents, and i'm glad my parents got to see everyday life over here. we did some nice relaxing stuff- dinner at an italian restaurant that actually has decent food, lazy starbucks breakfasts, a night at the german beer garden, halloween at j-rock, plus some fun korean stuff- quite a few korean meals, a morning at gyeryong mountain, and the NORAEBANG which was by far one the most fun nights here so far. it was actually my first noraebang experience as well (don't know why it took so long to get there) but it was such a great release (for those of you that don't know, the noraebang is like private karaoke rooms, you pay by the hour and the room is all yours). there was some major couch dancing going on, i felt like i was right back in trailer 13.

thursday night i went to seoul with my parents to spend the night so they could fly out the next morning. we had a major griswold moment on the train. picture us looking at the tickets, thinking it said car 4, so we get in and realize we're supposed to be in car 14... meanwhile my parents look like they have enough suitcases to last a couple of years in korea, so we have to drag all of our luggage through 10 cars on a moving train. three tall whities moving through packed cars of stone-faced korean buinessmen... and it wasn't good news that my mom was leading us, because she is notorious for losing it at unfortunate times and crumpling to the floor in tears and giggles. there were a couple of close calls, but she kept moving and finally we made it to our table where she collapsed in a laughing fit. quite an achievement for her, i must say.

that night i had even better italian food than i had earlier in the week, we ate at the italian place in the marriott and had some awesome pasta and pizza with artichoke and mushrooms. ARTICHOKES- the same stuff they sell for $30 in a jar here. it was heaven. i didn't get much sleep that night, either, and passed out on the train going back to daejeon the next morning, then was very happy to realize when i got home that i had 2 hours to nap before i had to go teach. i fell in a DEEP sleep and felt like i was supposed to be getting an entire night's-worth when my alarm woke me up, and grudgingly i went into work after a cup of coffee and an americano.

anyway, onto the weekend... we all stayed in friday night where i got some much needed sleep, and yesterday alisun, melissa, and i went to gyeryong mountain to see donghak temple. they really appreciated it, especially melissa who hadn't seen anything outside of the city yet. then we went to a traditional dance that rika had tickets to at the performance hall, which was awesome to see. i thought it was mainly going to be dancing but there was a lot of drumming which i was really into. they also had 2 small bands at the bottom of either side of the stage, one consisting of traditional drums and the other consisting of a flute/horn sounding thing and some sort of string thing. i really enjoyed it because i hadn't seen any traditional dancing or anything here yet. after that we got some food from a restaurant, not really sure what the name of it was, but they cook rice noodles, chicken, cabbage, sweet potatoes, garlic, and lots of hot sauce in the middle and you wrap it up in a leaf of lettuce and eat it. it was pretty good. we called it a night- most of us were done in from the weekend and going out with my parents.

today turned out very nicely though. i thought it was gonna be crappy because it was kind of rainy and cloudy, and the plans originally were to play ultimate frisbee with alisun and then go to the citizen's league soccer game. i was surprised that alisun called to ask if i still wanted to play frisbee because i thought it would be rained out, but it wasn't. and we all decided not to go to the soccer game, which meant i didn't have to leave ultimate early, and we played 2 games. so i've never played ultimate before, and i know it's not brain surgery, but the rules are gonna take some getting used to- i think i played decently, made some good catches but basically just tried running around to look like i was playing. i enjoy running so that worked out well. seriously, though, it was nice because while we were playing with guys none of them were overly competitive and they gave me a chance to make a few catches. anyway, the people are all very nice, i'd met some of them before on random nights out but got to meet even more which was cool. and i got to show off my killer bruises from my night at the noraebang. i was a serious tambourine player that night and as a result i have a series of bruises that run up each thigh. they look pretty bad because my family bruises very easily. people couldn't get over them. secretly i like to pretend i got them from being a competitive ultimate player.

after that, i went with alisun and this girl grace to get some bibimbap, and then we couldn't hold it in any longer and had to get some noraebang action. it was a lot of fun (again). grace had to leave a little early, so then it was just me and alisun, but we sang it up like we were in front of thousands. good times. then i still had pent up energy so i ran home. and i feel like i could run some more (it's been a few weeks, no wonder i have all this energy now). but instead i have to do some laundry. and watch the latest episodes of the o.c. and the office.