Saturday, May 23, 2009

I almost saw my first dead body last night

Last night I was supposed to go to this part of Seoul that has night shopping. There is this huge mall with many many floors, and it doesn't open until like 11pm and stays open all night. Malls in Korea are NOT like malls in America. There are no stores, there are just little booths with a bunch of clothes from a certain brand crammed in. You can't try anything on. It's a lot different from malls back in America. Anyway, this isn't really a mall like other malls, because the booths have clothes in bulk, and buyers from department stores and real malls come at night and buy clothes in bulk to sell in their stores. Well I haven't been there so this is all what I've heard. Since the clothes meant to be sold to stores, you can buy a single item for fairly cheap. But I heard that sometimes the people at the stores can be very rude because they are looking to sell in bulk, so when people like us come and are picky and want to look for just one size and buy only one thing, they aren't really happy. But people say you can haggle(My favorite thing to do!) and get some cheap things. We were planning on meeting at 10pm to go, but then when we all got together, we quickly decided not to go shopping and to go out to Hongdae instead.
We went to o Bar first, like always. Liz, Jamie and her boyfriend Colin, Anna, and Megan came out. We normally get all dressed up to go to Hongdae even though it's not necessary, but because we only decided to go out drinking at the last minute, we were all in our shopping clothes. A famous quote of the night was when I screamed over the loud music, "I'VE NEVER WORN PANTS TO HONGDAE BEFORE!!!!" We played some darts, drank a lot, and then decided to head over to a bar called Jane's Groove. I've been once before with Liz who loves the place, and when we got there we were the only people there, and she promised it was never like that and it is so much fun. So we gave it a shot again last night, and sure enough it was very busy. They play a lot of old fun dancing music. Oh on the walk to Jane's Groove we saw a HUGE pile of garbage on the sidewalk, so Liz ran up to it pretending to jump into it, and she slipped and actually fell into it. It was hilarious and disgusting.
There were mostly foreigners at Jane's Groove. It is a great place, everyone was dancing and having a good time, and then right behind us a fight broke out. It hardly ever happens, and when it does happen it's always foreigners, never Koreans. So these two big white boys where fighting, we didn't really pay much attention to it, and then Jamie said, "Oh shit, that guy just stomped on that other guys head!" And we looked over and one of the guys was just laying on the floor not moving. The other guy ran out of the bar. Everyone around him just kind of looked at the guy on the floor, and he was not moving at all. I thought for sure I was looking a dead body for the first time in my life. It was so scary. Then he started making these weird convulsions, so a few people turned him on his side, and Liz told the bar tender to call and ambulance. After a few minutes of him shacking on the floor, he opened his eyes a little but still didn't move. His friends, or maybe just some guys who were at the bar, picked him up and carried him outside. He wasn't dead because I saw his feet moving as they dragged him out. It was very very scary because we honestly thought he was dead right there on the bar floor.
Anyway, besides that fight the night was awesome. My oppa came with some of his Korean friends and it was just a great night. We ended up staying until about 5am. When we came out of the bar the sun was up and it was super bright out. We all at the same time said, "Wow, it's morning!"

I'd like to share that I have given up drinking soda!!! I was drinking about 3 cans of Coke per day between work and home, and I quit cold turkey about two weeks ago. Well I saw cold turkey, because I didn't try to cut back and drink less, I just stopped drinking it. I did slip up a few times. Once my oppa brought me a Dr. Pepper because he didn't know I gave it up, and I drank it anyway. Another time I ate at KFC and I had one soda with my sandwich(no refill though). And the other day at work we had pizza day and I had one half of a small bathroom cup of Coke. I'm pretty proud of myself for making it this long(Unlike the time I tried to give up drinking for two weeks and only made it 3 days!). At first I got sooo tired at work. I barely made it through my classes and by the end of the day I had to come home and nap! But I think my body has adjusted to the lack of caffeine I was ingesting throughout the day. I don't know if this is a long term split between Coke and me, but for now I think I'll keep my distance for as long as I can.

Some pictures from Jane's Groove will come soon!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Happy Mother's Day!!! Well I wouldn't be my mother's daughter if I didn't procrastinate! So there is no Mother's Day card in the mail to USA, but as a Mother's Day gift I'm updating my blog for my dear old mother. Happy Mother's Day mom!!!

This weekend was DJ Fest. People had been talking it up for months, and we even bought tickets in advance weeks ago. It was on the Han River in a park, and it was set up pretty well. We got there around 3:30 on Saturday afternoon, and there were lots of booths set up and things to do. We were drinking, of course, and so around 12pm, after drinking pretty heavily all day, I was ready to go home. It was a fun day. We did some body painting(Which after two showers still hasn't come off!), made a T-shirt, listened to some live music, and overall had a great day!

Amanda and I spent about 20 minutes picking out shirts that were written in Korean. We had to have the guys translate each shirt. The "man" to the left of me was dressed in drag. He gave us his business card in case we ever need to hire a cross dresser I guess.....
Somehow during the afternoon I picked up that construction hat. It's unclear how I ended up with it, but I woke up this morning and the hat is in my apartment so I guess I kept it on all day.

We made some silk screen T shirts. We were the first customers so we got a discount. Nice-uh!!! This is Janique making her shirt.

DJ Fest

Children didn't really seem to get many fun toys for Christmas, but I recently found out that many children get tons of toys on Children's Day. We even had the day off from school in honor of Children's Day! I was walking through Home Plus and I came across this toy. In America little girls get Easy Bake Ovens, but in Korea little girls get Kimbop makers!!!!

A few weeks ago we went on a field trip in Preschool to the Olympic Park. We had kind of a field day, and also each class went on an Easter Egg Hunt. It was a fun day, and I was able to see a different side to a lot of my students. One boy specifically shocked me. He is always a brat in class: he never sits in his chair, he annoys other kids, and he never listens. But on the field trip he didn't have to really follow rules and he was allowed to run around, and he was one of the most fun kids on the field trip. He is a sweet boy, and I guess he just doesn't like to sit and do work. I thought he was just a brat of a kid, but after spending time with him, I realized he isn't so bad when he isn't in class.

Both of the classes I teach were on the same bus with my Korean teaching partner, Julia Teacher. Here are some Pineapple and Apple students on the bus!

In April we went to the Cherry Blossom Festival. It was held on an island in Seoul. When we first got there we followed a group of people into a park, and after not seeing any cherry blossoms, we realized we weren't actually in the festival. We finished our walk through the park, and then found the festival.

There was a man selling some paintings at the festival, and I spotted this painting of Big Head. He is a Korean comedian who used to be a famous wrestler. He does commercials and advertising for Home Plus, and he has a few shows on TV. We see him fairly often at Fish and Grill, because it is right across from SBS, and him and his friends eat at F and G after they film the shows at SBS. He waved at our table one time.

There was a long sidewalk that has cherry blossoms covering it. It was so beautiful to walk under!!!

This was a huge statue in the park. It is of the guy who invented Hangul(the Korean alphabet).

One night in Hongdae we went to a Hookah Bar. It was awesome inside, it had this plaster all over the walls and floor that made it look like a cave. There were little nooks all over the place with pillows on the floor to sit on.

One Saturday we went on a walking tour of Seoul. Part of the tour was to stop by a former president's home. This is the bed that the Korean president and his wife slept in. I thought it was a little creepy that they turned the house into a museum and left everything how it was, but it was kind of neat to see.

A view from the park we hiked to.

This was our silly tour guide for the walking tour. He is talking about kimchi.

The tour guide took us to this home, but apparently there was a motion alarm around the house that he didn't know about, because as soon as we stepped up on the porch the alarm went off. He was not concerned at all about it, and no one came to see what we were doing there.

We went to a Korean soccer match one night after school. It was North Korea vs. South Korea. There were tons of people there and we had decent seats to watch the game from. In this picture you can see the tiny group of people wearing blue jackets. We think that was the only group of North Korean fans at the game.

There are some of my students that I started teaching in March. They are in first grade and come to SLP after they go to elementary school. I teach another set of twin girls. There names are Jan and Julia.

Our preschool birthday party. It's so set up, the kids get pushed into a room to take the picture, they blow out the candles, and the kids go back to class. We have a birthday party once per month with all the kids in the class with a birthday that month.

Some of my preschool kids eating lunch.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers reading my blog!!!