Sunday, February 1, 2009

I'm alive and well!!!!!

I'm sorry it has taken so long for me to update my blog. Once I was a week behind, I knew it would take extra long to write, and I kept putting it off. I realize now it's been almost two months. I apologize to my loyal fans... So I will start back from January.....

I bought a Nintendo WII in January which was pretty exciting!!! My apartment has become the newest pregaming apartment on the weekends. I don't mind, because it forces me to keep my apartment clean because people are always coming over. The WII is in Korean, but the man selling it told me if I bought this special chip, I would be able to play English games on it. The chip was an extra $80, but I thought it would be better if I could play English games on it. I assumed the chip would also change the menu options to English, but it didn't. So all of the Menes are in Korean. It took a little figuring out, and a little help from my Korean friend, Hojin, but I can use it pretty well...

One day on the way home from school I was taking the bus, and a taxi crashed into the side of the bus. It was pretty exciting. I got off the bus because I was close to home, but some people stayed on the bus. I'm not sure how long they waited around for.

I was in Insadong, a place known for touristy stuff, and there was this bathroom in the middle of the sidewalk. It's called an automatic toilet. You put in 100 won(10 cents) and the door opens, and then locks behind you. The time limit is 10 minutes,and after 10 minutes whether you are done or not, the door opens up. After you leave, the door closes and locks, and then the entire thing is sanitized and sprayed down. It's supposed to be the cleanest bathroom ever. If you are inside when it sanitizes you will die. I went in just to check it out, and once the door locks a woman's voice comes on and talks to you in Korean. It was really scary. You can open the door before 10 minutes, but if you are still in there after 10 minutes, the door opens and everyone can see you!

I joined a gym with Tara. It is inside the Homeplus that is about 8 minutes from our apartment. It was $400 for a year, so I will definitely be going regularly! Tara was a trainer at her college's gym, so she has be on a fitness schedule. One day we did a spinning class, and the girl was yelling at us in Korean to do all these different things. Luckily we were in the back row so we could follow what everyone else was doing, because we obviously couldn't understand what the instructor was saying.

In Korea, they have many many places called gim jil bangs. They are public bath houses where families go and take bathes. They have saunas and hot tubs and all kinds of strange things. I think normal gim jil bangs require you to be naked, so I never felt comfortable going, but we heard of one in Yongsan that lets you keep clothes on! Amanda and I went last Sunday and it was fantastic! When you get there you get a key with a number, a small towel, shorts, and a t-shirt. You first go to this little room where you put your shoes in a locker, so the rest of the time you walk around barefoot. We didn't know what we were doing at first, so we hung around until we saw people who were just getting there and we followed them. There is a woman's locker room filled with naked Korean women. Since I joined the gym I have noticed how they love to be naked. They just walk around completely naked, no towel or anything. I always see people blow drying their hair and putting on makeup in the mirror completely naked. So we went to our lockers and put on the shorts and t shirt(we were part of a VERY small group of people wearing the shorts and t shirts. We had on bathing suites under, but other people were naked under the clothes. Most people were just straight up naked. There was a woman's spa downstairs from the locker room, but you had to be naked to go into that part. We didn't go down there. But there was a sauna that was unlike any sauna I have ever been in. The door to get in was VERY small, so we had to duck to get in, and then we had to walk through this dark tunnel where we couldn't stand up. We got to this huge room that was made of bricks and had straw mats covering the ground. There was one single dim light bulb lighting the whole huge room, so it was SO dark and creepy. It was of course painfully hot inside. There were many old women in there kind of meditating or praying or something. But it was silent and hot and dark and creepy! After about 15 minutes we were sweating so bad we couldn't take the heat anymore, so we went to the heated outdoor pool which was amazing! In Korea, any public pool requires people to wear bathing caps. We obviously didn't have one, and no one said anything to us, but we were the only people in the pool without bathing caps. Oh well, we were also the only white people in the pool so we already stuck out!

In Korea, there are three Valentine's Days. The first is Feb. 14th, when the girl gets her boyfriend a present. Then there is White Day on Mar. 14th, where a boy buys a present for his girlfriend, and the last is April 14th, when all of the single people eat this black noodle dish, and it is supposed to bring good luck in the next year. I wonder if I will be eating black noodles next month???

I am now a full time preschool teacher, so I have the same children every day all morning. THey are 7 years old but don't speak any English. It is tough but it will be very rewarding to watch them learn soo much in the next year.

Since I am teaching preschool, I had to extend my contract until next March. So I will not be coming home in October like I originally planned. I also may extend it even past next March, because if I sign up for another whole year, I will get paid a lot more money, and get an extra bonus and an extra flight home.... I haven't decided if I want to stay until October 2010, but I think I probably will. So that means hold off on those wedding plans everyone, remember, no getting married while I'm in Korea!!! Congo Lines are not the same without me!!!!

I know some of my friends and family have been concerned because I haven't been writing updates to the blog. When I went to summer camp I didn't call home for the whole week, and my mom was nervous that something was wrong, but someone told her she should be happy that I wasn't calling home, because it meant I was having too much fun to be homesick!!! I promise I am having a blast here, and nothing is wrong! If something was wrong I would tell all of you!!! I am alive and well!!!

I miss you all!!!! I will try and be better about updating the blog!!!