Tuesday, January 31, 2006

free at last! free at last!

or... free in another three days. and by free i mean i'll be able to sleep in on the weekdays again because it'll be the END OF INTENSIVES. i know i shouldn't be complaining because i have friends whose schedules are far worse, but still, i have the right to celebrate the fact that i'll soon be snoozing well past the 7 o'clock hour i'd been getting up at for the past month.

i'm hoping this week will fly by because it's only a four day week, and tomorrow's already wednesday. today became extra-special because fred came in right before my two hour middle school class started and asked me if today would be the last day we saw our middle schoolers. i hadn't heard anything about it, so he checked with the korean co-teacher and confirmed that it was in fact our last day with these classes. not that they were a particularly horrible class, but they definitely weren't my favorite in terms of conversation, interest, and overall cuteness (really, how cute can a class of middle schoolers be?) they were a class made up of maybe 11 boys and 5 girls, and you know how 14 year old boys can be. so farewell students, especially troll and ogre, you won't be missed too much.

no other major reporting to do. this weekend wasn't particularly noteworthy, despite the fact i had three days off. i only went out one night (friday) which i think was a good choice on my part because the rest of the nights allowed for a decent night's sleep (none of this get in at 6 or 7 am crap). friday i discovered the wonder that is yogurt soju. we went to a soju tent next to bubi bubi, our favorite club, and threw back a couple bottles. don't let the yogurt part fool you- it wasn't weird or thick or dairy-ish, it tasted just like candy. oh and as it turns out, apparently you can't drink in the 7-11 because we went there for a soju break (post-soju tent, pre-bubi bubi) and although we'd been there many times before for the same reason, the guy actually asked us to drink outside this time. lesson learned.

Monday, January 23, 2006

baby tomato starts lagging behind...

"so there's papa tomato,momma tomato and baby tomato walking along the street. baby tomato starts lagging behind, and papa tomato starts getting really angry. so, he turns around and squishes baby tomato and says, 'ketchup.' (catch up) "

yeah. ketchup is what i need to do.

my internet has been out off and on for the past week, which was getting really annoying. i called the internet company one day about two weeks ago and someone was supposed to come fix it when i got home from work, but then i got home and it was working again. well then last weekend it was out again so someone finally came today and changed the cable connector, apparently that's where the problem was. so, there you go, internet problem is fixed.

but because of that i didn't have much time to post anything. i shall try to ketchup now.

nothing too exciting has happened, can you tell?

i did have an amusing moment last week, apparently worthy of a standing ovation, because that's what i got. so this is what happened: last week i decided my hair was too long to do anything with except for get in my eyes and be annoying, so i decided to get a haircut. no big deal, right? i'd already gotten my hair trimmed once here, at a hole-in-the-wall place for just $5, but i wanted to do something a bit different and went to mod's hair paris near timeworld. i always see the place and thought it'd probably be a fun trendy place to go. so i brought with me a few pictures i printed out of winona ryder and jean seberg, wanting to go pretty short and pixie-ish. i walked in, the only megook in the place, and showed them the picture when they sat me down. now, koreans just don't really get the idea of short hair on younger girls, so the woman actually kind of laughed when i showed her the picture of winona ryder. i didn't really care though. anyway, there was only one english-speaking person in the place, and her english was a bit shaky anyway (well i didn't think so, but she was kind of shy in using it) but they stationed her right next to me to brush the hair off while the woman cut it. anyway, long story short, as they were cutting, stylists kept passing by and saying beautiful, and then by the end of the cut, they were all standing around me and when they took the cape off everyone started clapping. classic korea moment... getting a standing ovation for a haircut. and the best part? it was only $10, pretty good because it was a nice place and i would have easily spent $40 or so in dc for that.

here's another funny korea thing: it's a huge compliment for koreans to tell each other their faces look small (or their heads for that matter). apparently having a small face is a beauty ideal or something. it's actually quite amusing- in the past when i've taken pictures with koreans they'll demand to retake it because "their head is too big." when my kids want to butter me up and get me to play a game, they'll say "oh teacher, you are so beautiful. your face is so small and eyes are so big." little suck-ups.

in other news, i've joined the gym in my school's building. it's really nice- all of the treadmills have tvs attached to them so you're not at the mercy of other people and get to watch what you want to watch. and if you're stuck running indoors, the time goes by much quicker when you have a tv to watch. i really like this gym though because they give you a shirt and shorts to wear so you don't have to worry about laundry, and i also rented a locker to keep my shoes and shower stuff in so i don't have to lug it back and forth all the time. god bless korean efficiency.

three days off this coming weekend! finally! i was beginning to feel a little bit of burnout working the intensives schedule (we've had no holidays off since september i think). still sucks though that every holiday this year seems to fall on the weekend. this weekend is lunar new year, the biggest holiday in korea, and we only get one day off because new year's day falls on sunday, and i've heard that if it just happens to be on the right day you could get as much as 5 days off. what a lousy year for vacation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

whew, you went over the line with this one, guy

ok so i have this theory about the countless konglish sayings i encounter on a daily basis here in korea. everywhere i go, from pencil cases to t-shirts to food products, i discover yet another english sentence that doesn't make sense in the slightest. i swear there must be some pot-bellied middle-aged waygookin that sits at a computer all day chain-smoking cigarettes who was hired to create "english" slogans for all companies korean. little do these companies know that their "trusty" native-english speaker is getting a good laugh with everything he gets away with.

but i thought i'd share this picture with you, which proves this guy has gone a step too far with his jokes. it has been stirring up a bit of interest in the news lately (and passed around and chuckled at quite a bit by the foreigners here):

as it turns out, if you do an image search on google , this is the first picture that comes up. so rumor has it that some schmo working for naver, a very popular korean newssource (think yahoo equivalent) put this picture up along with a news article (i presume about krispy kreme, but it's in korean)- maybe they just did a web search for a krispy kreme logo and this is the first thing they found and didn't know what it was, seeing how they speak korean and not english. i would link you to the original picture and article, but someone finally caught the mistake and replaced with a g-rated krispy kreme picture. but i still count my lucky stars that i got to see this picture when it was actually on the site. anyway, this is the revised article, and a little less shocking than the original:


with that, i'm out. maybe i'll go get a krispy kreme.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


many of you have asked me, via emails and ims, what "ahsahh" means. honestly, i have no idea how to spell it, but thought i'd clear the meaning up on here. basically, it's the korean way to say "all right!" or maybe "awesome"- not sure exactly what it translates into, but it's what my kids say everytime they get to put a chip down in bingo, or really anytime they're really excited. expect me to say it a lot when i return home, because it's a majorly overused phrase over here.

anyway, i thought the subject was appropriate because, even though this day got off to a rocky start, it finished quite nicely. we're doing winter intensives right now, which means kids are on vacation from public school so they go to hagwon earlier which means we have a change in schedule for about 6 weeks. so basically i have to get up at 7 am every day but thursday, when i don't have to get up till 9:30. i was in the mindset that i had to be at school at 8:30, and usually there are teachers there when i get in, but today i was the only one there besides the vice-principal and head teacher. and it became by far the most AWKWARD moment at school to date when they had a full-out screaming match. i didn't know what to do, so i kept sitting at my desk, just staring at the paper i had in front of me. i didn't even want to move. when that was over, the head teacher left and slammed the door- meanwhile the kimbap delivery man had come in (mid-fight) to drop the morning kimbap off, so the vice-principal brought a kimbap over to me saying "tanyaaa... i am sorry." i just forced a smile and accepted the kimbap. then the teacher came back in and was slamming her books around and slamming her desk drawers and they started the fight all over again- when the teacher was slamming her books i seriously thought she was packing up her stuff and quitting, but i didn't dare look. i have absolutely no clue what they were fighting about, but they sounded pretty worked up over it.

anyway, i also had a two hour class today with middle-schoolers, which is a LONG time when the class is extremely boring because it's a toefl prep writing class. anyway, long story short, i ended up having lunch with kelley and tom, who work next door, so it was just a really nice break during the day to speak with friends and vent about the long intensive hours. i also finally got the ok from dr. and mrs. kim and GOT THE WEEK OFF THAT CELESTE IS VISITING! i'm so excited that not only is she visiting, but i actually have a week-long vacation to enjoy it with her. i really want to do some traveling- like busan, gyeonju, seoul, and a ferry ride to fukuoka, japan. we've got the seoul part in the bag because aaron found out oasis is playing the tuesday night of the week celeste is here, so we all got tickets to see them. celeste put it best when she said "i'm an american girl traveling to korea to see an english band and play with a mexican dog and stay with another american girl." sounds pretty good to me. regardless to say, i'm soooooooo excited for that week (she's getting in on saturday, february 18th and leaving sunday, february 26).

speaking of mexican dogs, kimchi had his first vacation last weekend. i took him to busan with me since i didn't really have anyone to watch him and figured "it's about time i get him used to traveling because he's got a looonnnnggg day ahead of him come august." so busan was tons of fun- kimchi did very well and rather enjoyed the circular bed at the love motel. it was awesome to spend new year's on a beach- it wasn't exactly warm weather, but it was quite a mild weekend- warm enough to get away without needing a scarf, hat, or gloves and enjoy a beer on the beach at night. we went to haeundae beach and just wandered around the streets. we wanted to make it to see the sunrise on the beach, which is a tradition there, but i think we passed out around 2:30. busan is an awesome city and it was such a nice change of pace from the korea that i got used to. it was well worth it, even though we missed our 3:30 bus that we had reserved tickets for by 2 minutes and everything else going to daejeon was sold out so we had to take a 6 pm bus to cheongju and then grab another bus there to daejeon. i ended up getting home at 11 pm, which sucked seeing how i had to get up at 7 in the morning and was still recuperating from the weekend. oh but we were those obnoxious foreigners running around the city saturday night that i hate when i see them. but really, who cares, it was my birthday and we were in busan.

speaking of birthdays, it was a nice one- melissa and aaron ran out to buy me a cake and put those crazy mushroom cookie/snack things on it, along with a bunch of candles and some cookie cigarettes (don't know what that was about, guess they thought it needed a little extra flair). all in all a good weekend enjoyed by all, and here are some pictures to prove it (seriously, if you look at my pictures on shutterfly, it was just a night of random events, and the blurriness of the pictures only adds to the proof).

kimchi channel surfing and enjoying the circular bed at the love motel

blowing out the candles on my birthday cake

aaron, melissa, kate, and tom with the random guy we met who stalked us the rest of the night. all we know is he does lighting for movies and he had to shoot one the next morning. we concluded that could quite possibly be the only thing he knew how to say in english. but we won't complain, he gave us beer and tangerines. quite a funny picture, all i can think of when i see it is "he's gonna blow!"

happy new year, all.