You can't really tell, but this was some rice drink we got at Korean class. It tasted bad and had rice floating in it!!!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
You can't really tell, but this was some rice drink we got at Korean class. It tasted bad and had rice floating in it!!!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Thursday night was Susie's going away gathering, so we all met at Fish 'N Grill for drinks to say goodbye to Susie, although we will see her when she comes back from her trip to Japan next week. It was her last night in her apartment, so it was a good night to all get together as a group one last time! On Thursday we got talking about a place called a Booking Club, or what a Korean calls a Night Club. It's a place that men go to to pick up women.(You may be thinking, what bar isn't like this? but this kind of bar is a bit special.) So men buy tables and when they see a girl they are interested in, they call over their waiter, and he goes and gets the girl and brings her to the man's table. He buys her drinks and chats her up, and if they get along they exchange numbers. The girls are not allowed to go up to anyone's table, they have to be invited by the waiter. We were going to go, but decided against it. I do want to go sometime though, just to see what it's like. Some of the girls have been before, and they have always been booked.
On Friday night, after work, I went to meet people from work at Pizza Maru, for our ritual of pizza after work. I wasn't planning on getting a pizza because I don't like the leftovers sitting in my fridge all weekend, and Friday nights I get so tempted to come home and eat the whole thing when I come home from the bar. I changed my mind when I got there, and got a pizza, but I am proud to say that the leftovers are still in the fridge and I will be throwing them out tonight!!!
So Friday night everyone was being pretty lame, because all of the preschool teachers had to go into work on Saturday morning and do something with preschool. So Jenn met Jon(From SLP) and me in Hungdea, and we went to a bar, drank and played Tiger(the Korean version of Jenga) and then met up with Adam(from SLP). It turned into a pretty rowdy night that ended with Jon, Adam and myself in a crazy cab ride home.
This was the end of the crazy cab ride home, while wasted Jon was trying to count money, and wasted Adam thought it would be a good time to jump in the front seat with Jon. The cab driver hated all three of us that night....
Jenn had to rock the cash box before we went out, so what a better time to buy a can of beer than when we are in Family Mart waiting to use the ATM???
At the bar the beer comes this this little napkin folded into a hat. I'm not sure why they do it, but I like it. Cafri is the beer that is like Corona.
Saturday morning I did my normal hung over Saturday morning thing, which includes wishing I had someone to whine to and tell how I feel crappy. I went to Korean class and learned more of the alphabet. Janique and Tara have joined the group in going to class. It's fun to have so many friends in the class. After Korean class I went to use the bathroom and saw it had a squatter toilet, and I am happy to say that I used it successfully!!! when looking at it, it looks like it would be easy to pee on yourself, and I thought I'd have to take off one leg of my pants, but if you squat low enough it is fine.
This is the squatter that I actually used, but the picture was not taken as I was using it, obviously. Check out my new Korean sneakers. Again, they are something I would never wear at home, but when in Korea.........
On the way home from Korean class I decided to suggest that we all wear dresses and go Vegas style (Thanks Patrick for giving a name to the act of everyone wearing fancy outfits out!) and everyone agreed. Amanda and Laura came up to my apartment to shop through my dresses and found some they liked. In Korea everyone wears tights, something I would never ever do back home, but when in Korea! So we went to Homever and I bought some crazy black and purple tights.... Totally not my style, but I fit right in in Korea! We went to Alisha's apartment and met everyone from SLP and a few people from other schools, to pregame. We all got into a bunch of cabs and went to Hungdea, and after meeting in one bar, we kind of split up, because there was about 20 people in the group by the time we got to Hungdea and we could not agree on one place. I went with Tara, Janique, Hojin, and Jess to a bar called Tinpan that I have been to a million times. On the walk there Jess tripped and busted her face up on the sidewalk. I actually saw her fall in slow motion and I had flashbacks of a similar fall, and I was shocked she had all of her teeth in her mouth when she stood up. I saw her on Sunday and her face is all bruised and cut. She was shitfaced and ready to go home anyway, and then she busted her face so Janique and Jess went home very shortly after getting to Tinpan. The bar was crazy packed, apparently there are no fire codes in Korea because literally you could not move. Tara and I were loving it but it really was way too packed. We got home around 5:30 and it was overall a great night. Sunday was another hungover morning. Jenn stopped over and we filled each other in on what we missed from the other bar, and then met up with Alisha, her boyfriend Jimno, and Jess and ate shamu shamu, which translates into swish swish. It consists of a pot of soup that you put meat and vegetables into and let cook. It was pretty tasty. Jenn and I went back to my house to watch a movie, but I fell asleep about 2 minutes into the movie. We were supposed to meet the boys to go bowling, which is why Jenn hung out around here all day, but when we woke up it was the time we were supposed to go bowling, and I was sooo tired that we canceled. Hopefully we will be able to go next week. The weekend was very fun, although by Sunday night I was sooo tired.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of when my mom and dad started dating. They met at McDonalds when they were in high school, so my mom thought I should write about McDonalds in Korea this week. So mom and dad, here's to you!
There is a McDonalds across the street from where I work, but I have only been there twice since I've been in Korea because honestly I like Kimbop better than McDonalds. The menu is different than America. They do have a cheese burger and big mac and chicken nuggets. But they also have a shrimp burger, a spicy burger, and a burger called bulgolgi burger, which is delicious. It is a hamburger patty that has been soaked in a kind of soy sauce, and it is sweet. I like my meat sweet, but not off the street.KKKKK (That is Korean laughing.) They do have french fries. They also have corn salad which is mayo, corn, and I think crab meat. It is not very good. When you order you have to ask for a set, otherwise you only get the sandwich. Also, at lunch time there are a few sets that are really cheap, but if you order them for dinner they are more expensive. The bulgolgiburger is $3 at lunch I think for the set. That is cheaper than at home.
On Sunday Jenn and I knocked on my next door neighbor's door because I know that it is a kid that doesn't work at SLP, but he is an American from another school. I have never seen him in the elevator or outside or anything, but I see him out at the bar a lot. Anyway, we knocked on his door and went in, and he had a couch-chair in his doorway that as we were leaving he mentioned he needed to get rid of. I asked if I could have it and he said yes! So now I have two couch-chairs in my room. My apartment gets homier and homier every day! It is bright orange, but its ok... It is in good shape so I like it.
This is Bocumbop, or Korea's version of fried rice. It is not fried and has no soy sauce. It is very good. They put ketchup on it, which is actually very good.
Friday, November 14, 2008
In the alley behind my apartment building(when I say alley it's not what you are probably thinking, it's more of a dead end road with restaurants, a hospital, a church, and some other things on it.) there is this old man who stands outside one of the restaurants handing out fliers. I always shake my head no, and he makes this huge grunting noise and gets mad. He does it every single time anyone refuses his fliers.
In all the subway stops they have bootlegged movies for sale that are 2 for $5. They are new movies, usually still movies out in theater, so it's a good deal. They have Korean subtitles, but that doesn't even really bother me anymore! The one we were at on Saturday had Max Payne, which I wanted to see, but they were sold out of the other two movies I would have chosen as my second choice. If you only buy one movie it's usually $3, but since they were out of the only other two movies I liked, I told him I'd give him $2 for Max Payne. At first he said no, but then I just kept pointing to the one they were out of, and then I gave him $2 and he gave me Max Payne. I was in a real bargaining mood and I wasn't going to pay more for one movie just because they were sold out of the other two movies! I was getting so good at bargaining on Saturday that when Amanda and I bought mittens at a legit store, I was thinking about haggling with the clerk to see if I could get a discount!!!
This is the famous Suin du boo! The big bowl of soup is on the left, and I spoon the tofu and soup over the rice. Most of those sides I do not eat, but the side that looks like noodles is actually some kind of vegetable that I do like, but it is a little spicy. I put a fried egg in the soup too, but that's not in the picture. You can see the tiny tin cup in the picture too. I get all of this for $4. It's very delicious!!
I finally found a famous squatter! I never need to use a bathroom in public, so I have never seen one, but when we were in the subway I wanted to take a picture of one so I went to the bathroom. I'm still not sure how to use it without taking your pants all the way off, or peeing on your pants... When I need to use one I will let you know how it goes....
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Today was Pepero Day in Korea!!!! On 11/11, kids bring in Peperos for their teachers, and they exchange them between friends. Peperos are a cookie type stick. They are long and thin, and come in three varieties. There is the green box, which is the cookie stick with almonds and chocolate on it, the red box is just the cookie stick covered in chocolate, and the tan box, my personal favorite, is a cookie stick with chocolate inside. It tasted VERY much like a chocolate covered pretzel! MMMMMmmmm delish! It is definitely a holiday created by a company, since Peperos are a name brand, and it is celebrated on 11/11 because all of the 1s and the / looks like Peperos. Many of you may be getting Peperos for Christmas this year!!!
The reason I decided to write a blog this late, was because I was inspired by a dear aunt of mine! I have been trying to hang up the calendar that Katie made for me before I left alllll month, but it will stay up for a few days, and then fall. I decided I should just crazy glue the hook to the wall so it can't fall, because even three hooks are too weak to hold it up! I bought this weird crazy glue tube, but I couldn't get it open, so I went to use my mouth, and thought, oh wait, this is NOT a good idea. Then I thought back to the days when I was a small child, and the thought of crazy glue in someones mouth made me laugh. So aunt, you will go unnamed, but you know who you are!!! I will never forget the days of crazy glue! By the way, I still can't open the crazy glue, and I know there are directions on the package, so I will bring it to work tomorrow and have someone translate for me!
Amanda and I ate at a very special restaurant for dinner tonight, and I'm excited to tell you about it, but at the moment I am way too tired, and I have some good pictures, so I will perhaps devote an entire blog to it!
I almost forgot to tell you about the highlight of my day(Besides getting a shot in the butt)!!!
After the doctor I was able to talk to my mom on the phone for the first time in a month!!! She later compared it to getting a call from heaven, which was lovely! I talked to her before the doctors appointment on the computer, and after the appointment I had some time before work started, and was at work so I was near a pay phone, and I called her with my phone card! She didn't answer the first time, but I know how easily the phone gets lost in the Campbell house, and I know that my mom and dad usually waste 2 rings on deciding who the call is for(meaning who should get up to answer it), so I tried back right away and sure enough she couldn't find the phone the first time. I was glad I called back a second time because I was able to talk to her for quite awhile. This is something I have forgotten to mention, and my mom got to witness on the phone today. In Korea, they love to use loud speakers and megaphones. They announce sales with them, tell people where to park with them, and all kinds of other weird things. Even when you walk into Homever, there is a girl standing with a microphone and she says something(Probably welcome to Homever, enjoy your shopping) and then does this magical jazz fingers thing with her hands, and bows, all while on a mini loudspeaker. She does this for everyone who walks in the store......... When I hear a megaphone, I always think of movies about the Holocaust, when the Nazi soldiers would drive around and order all the Jews out of their houses and onto trucks. Sometimes trucks drive by with a man talking on the megaphone, and I wonder if he is demanding that all American English teachers get on his truck...... But anyway, the phone booth was near a "big" sale, so sure enough there was someone standing outside with a megaphone yelling, and my mom could hear it. Oddly enough, she said the same thing about the Holocaust thing, so I guess we are cut from the same cloth!!! Talking to my mom on the phone was very very nice.
So I had a pretty exciting day, between talking to my mom, Pepero Day, my first Korea doctor, and the super dinner I had(that I will talk about later). I am exhausted and ready for bed! Goodnight, and Happy Pepero Day!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
One really exciting thing that happened this week, was that I bought a fish!!! It is a Japanese fighting fish, and his name is Mool Kawgee, but is pronounced Mool Golgi. The name means fish in Korea, but is literally translated to “water meat.” The picture I have of Mool Golgi aren't great, so this week I'll take some more.
Later in the week I also bought a little table to put my computer on next to my bed. I had been using my computer at the table in my room, but then I started using it in my bed, and when I wasn’t using it I was keeping it on the chair from my room. The table is much nicer!
Wednesday was Guy Fawkes day, and I’m still not sure who he is or what he did, but I believe he was from England and did something for Canada, because the kids from Canada were all about celebrating it! We went up to the roof top and set off fireworks. The fireworks ended up only being streamers/confetti, but it was still a lot of fun! Before we went to the roof, some of the girls went to a restaurant called Fish and Grill for some drinks. They brought over chips, salsa, peanuts, pickles, full cloves of garlic, and some kind of wilted green leaves. It was great. The beer there is only $2 each, and they are big mugs of beer.
These were all the snacks that the waiter brought over to us!
After the roof party we went back to Fish an Grill, but everyone from the roof party was there, so we took up almost all of the restaurant. We played cards until late. One of the girls I work with brought her Korean friend, who’s name is Hojin. It’s funny that his name is Hojin, because in our Reach Out books that we use with our older kids, one of the characters in the book (It’s a work book, but there are characters that are in different lessons..) is named Hojin, and he is in a lot of the activities that we do. So I soon as I was introduced I was thinking about all the stuff I have been teaching my kids, and when I was alone with the girl I work with, I said It’s Hojin, like from our books! And she said that was exactly what she told him when they first met! I know all about Hojin’s hobbies and about his family tree! So anyway, Hojin was making these shots, where he put a shot glass in a beer cup, filled it half way with Pepsi, then put another shot glass stacked on that one and filled it with Soju, which is the Korean version of vodka, and then he filled the rest of the cup with beer. I didn’t do one, because of my inability to take shots, but it looked like a lot of fun!!!
Tara taking the soju, pepsi, and beer shot!
Jenn, Amanda, Lindsey, and Janique on the roof for Guy Fawkes Day.
Tara, Amanda, Janique, and me on the roof on Guy Fawkes Day.
I also would like to mention that they don’t sell cases of beer, or even 12 packs or 6 packs. They only sell single cans, 20 oz. and 40 oz. bottles. I have gotten very used to it, but at first I thought it was strange walking around with a big huge bottle of beer. There are no liquor stores, and you can buy booze 24 hours a day at any Family Mart on any corner.
This week in preschool I had to teach my kids about the continents. In there book was a picture of the world, but it was missing Antarctica! Unless I missed something, Antarctica is definitely a continent! When I was in 3rd grade I had a great teacher, Mr. Parker, who taught me the continents by having us point to them on the huge pull down map in the class room, and say them in order until we memorized them. He also taught us to say Antarctica in a low, deep voice and hold our hands like we were holding up Antarctica. I don’t know why he did that, but it worked because to this day I have the continents memorized and I always say Antarctica in a booming voice and move my hands in the order that they are. So all this week, I have been drilling it into my kids. I have them all stand up at the board and play teacher one at a time, and say the names of the continents and have the class repeat after them. They loved going to the board and playing teacher, and I could tell who knew them and who needed practice. It’s hard to tell when one person is saying something wrong or not saying it at all when you have 9 other kids screaming. One little boy was saying “It is Arctica” instead of Antarctica. Another cute thing about the preschool kids is that they LOVE the teachers. In these two weeks, I heard how pretty and nice I am more than in my whole life! Sometimes they would just come up and hug me and tell me how much they like me. It was a definite self esteem booster! They also do strange things, like when I am standing behind them and pointing to something in their books, they will just start rubbing my arms like they have never seen an arm before. It’s the cutest thing. It can also be really annoying when I’m just walking in the hallway past a class lined up in the hall, and there are 10 kids clinging to me as I’m trying to walk.
This is one of the preschool classes that I taught the continents to. Annie, Aladdin, James, Sally, Audrey, Ricky, Rachael, Kevin, Tommy, and Michael.
Annie playing teacher and naming the continents. You can see my awesome drawing of the world on the white board....
I asked James to show my his best Antarctica face, and this is what I got...
Another lesson we did this week, was “Where are you from?” And they were asking where all the teachers were from, and the weird thing was, that the kids couldn’t tell who the Korean teachers were and who the foreign teachers were! They would say things like, ‘Cathy teacher from Canada?’ when Cathy is clearly Korean! I wanted to ask them if they noticed that the foreign teachers looked different, but I didn’t. The only reason I can think that they can’t tel the difference, is there is an American girl, Susie, who’s parents are Korean, so she looks Asian, but has lived in the US her whole life. Maybe that is what confuses the kids….
I started writing this blog before the weekend, but I have been very sick this weekend, and have been sleeping on and off. I have a wicked bad sore throat, and it hurts to swallow. I haven’t eaten anything since Friday, and I have only been drinking small sips of OJ throughout the day. If I don’t feel better by tomorrow I am going to have to go to the doctor because I am starting to get hungry!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
This was the HUGE fancy Forever 21. It was 3 floors, and had 2 bouncers out front! After I took the picture one of them came over and told me I wasn't allowed to take a picture of the building. I'm not sure why but now the picture seems way more special!
This is in front of my apartment. It is the SBS studio where musicians come for radio interviews. These young girls camp out the night before and wait around ALL day just to see them pull away in their cars. They scream a lot and are VERY annoying.
This is the shortest escalator in the world.
I saw this snack in Family Mart (Like 7-11). It had dried fishies, peanuts, dried squid, and some other things that I did not recognize...
This is one of the MANY street vendors who sell vegetables on the street. There are lots of people selling lots of weird things. We passed an old woman who was sitting on a blanket selling Q tips and sponges and some other weird household things. I don't know where she would have gotten those things from, it is very strange.
Besides vegetable and Q-tip stands, there are also SO many street meat stands! They sell the weirdest street meat. This man was selling fried shrimp.
I finally bought a cell phone!!! we went to the electronic district(I can't remember the name of it) and every floor was selling a different thing. One whole floor of lap tops, another floor of cameras, a floor of ipods and fauxpods, etc. The cell phones were on the 8th floor. There were a ton of booths celling phones. We just went from booth to booth until I found the phone I loved.
This is me buying my new phone!!!!
Some more street meat. These were silkworm larvae. They smelled SO gross.
On Saturday Amanda, John, and I went to Korean classes at a college nearby. We thought the class was starting over this weekend, but it turns out that they were on week 4, so Amanda and I were SO lost. We are going to go back in two weeks, when it actually does start over. On the walk to get a cab, I found this HUGE leaf. It was bigger than Amanda's head! The Korean classes cost $1 every week, and $1 for the book. They ran out of books, so we had to share someone else's, so we couldn't write in the book. In two weeks we will have to get there early so we get a book! The language is very hard to pronounce! We were reading the letters, and she was saying two different letters that sounded exactly the same to me. I know I will have to take level one over several times. Especially only going once a week, it will be tough to learn. I almost wish it was more phrases instead of the alphabet, but everyone says its easy to learn the letters and useful.
More Street meat.
These are fish patties. They are like fish pancakes on a stick that are in the shape of a fish. I haven't had one, but that's what I've heard!
On Halloween we started out at Susie's apartment and then went to Hungdae to several bars. I lost my witch hat, but I was a witch. After I lost my hat I was just a girl in a black dress.
At Susie's apartment.
This is one of my classes. They are 8 and 9 years old, so really they are 7 and 8 years old. Since they are not preschoolers, they weren't allowed to dress up. Only the morning preschoolers wore costumes.The boy all the way to the left with only half of his face showing is Kyle, the boy who pulled out his penis on the first day I observed the class. He hasn't done it since. I got mad at him the other day and made him write his name on the board(So I know not to give him a stamp at the end of class(it scares them to death as well), and he wrote Kai on the board, and after yelling at him for not spelling his name right, he informed me that his name is actually not Kyle, it is Kai, like the Hawaiian name. I found out that his English name is really Kyle, but his mom complained about it and wanted him to be called Kai. I don't know if it is part of his Korean name, or if his mom just liked it. I am going to continue to call him Kyle. There are actually 10 kids in the class, but some of them didn't want their picture taken.
This is Chon-Bin, one of the preschoolers that I've been teaching all week. He is the cutest Korean kid I've seen since I've gotten here, but he is a naughty boy! He talks allllllll of the time and never shuts up! He also tells me that he is from Philadelphia, and he tells me stories about when he lived in Philadelphia, but Amanda and I are pretty sure he isn't from there, but maybe just visited. He insists that he just moved to Korea Philadelphia....
This is the whole class. The bumble bee in the middle is Min, the worst boy in the school. He kicks kids all the time and doesn't ever pay attention. This is the pumpkin we carved in class.
We were about to go Trick-or-treating. The kids are: Olivia, Sophia, Min, Chon-Bin, Lucy, Justin, Sue, Amy, and Tony.
Alisha, Tara, and Janique in the office before class started.
Jamie in our office.
Riding the bus on the way to school because it was raining on Halloween morning.
For my preschool classes, I had to come up with two activities to do. The first activity was the classic tissue over a lollipop so it looks like a ghost. The second activity I thought was absolutely awesome, and I think I invented it. It's called Bat Bowling. I painted 20 oz. coke bottles black, and glued black bat wings to the backs of them. I glued a face to an orange ball so it looked like a jack-o-lantern. I thought it would be a huge hit, but it turns out that the kids didn't like to wait their turn or wait for me to set the pins up. Oh well. I still thought it was an awesome activity.
On Friday at work, I saw our SLP couches that used to be in the lobby of the school stacked up downstairs, and we had new couches in the lobby. I asked Danny if I could have a section of it(it was a sectional) and he said yes! So I tried to get a cabbie to put it in his trunk, but he wouldn't, so I had to carry it home. At first I thought it would be no problem, but about 5 minutes into the walk I could not feel my hands. It seemed like it got heavier as I walked! It took me about an hour to walk home, and it normally takes about 15/20 minutes. The part of my arm between my wrist and elbow still hurts, and I can't make a fist. It was well worth it cause the couch looks great in my apartment!
Here is what the Korean money looks like. The top is a $10 bill, the bottom is $1. The left card is my bank card, and the right is my alien card. They also have a $5 bill that is pink. The $10 is the highest bill they have, so when you get money out of the ATM, you get a stack of 10 dollar bills!