Tuesday, April 23, 2013

“Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.”

Wow lot's to update! I'll keep this one brief and post another one as soon as I can!
Busy, busy, busy! But the good kind of busy. The days and weeks are literally flying by. I don't know where the time goes.

Anyway, I'll share a few memorable experiences I've had in the past month or so.

I ate 1 silkworm just to try it
One afternoon in the city a friend and I were walking through the Hanok village (the traditional house village I went on the field trip to and walk around often) and we were just strolling down the sidewalk on the main street. A couple of older men were sitting at a small table drinking makgeolli and eating.
pajeon (Korean style pancake)
He invites us to sit and drink with him. We sit for a few minutes and then he breaks out into song. He sang for a bit. I managed to capture a few seconds of his greatness. Then the next time he jumps up and stands on the chair and sings "The Star-Spangled Banner" as loudly as possible pulling me up there with him. We all sang together in front of the very crowded street and sidewalk. It was such a ridiculous moment. We continued on eating and drinking for a couple hours as various people came and went stopping to chat for a bit. We were joined by a fellow teacher from Whales who stayed the duration with us. This kid kinda looked like Harry Potter which caused the Korean man to yell "HARRY POTTER" to passersby repeatedly and even convinced several people. They got really excited and snapped photos. It was hilarious. Overall, it was such a cultural, random, and completely wonderful experience that I will never forget. Sitting in the middle of this traditional village, eating and drinking on the sidewalk, meeting new people, and chillin with old Korean guys and new friends. Priceless...

Once a week or so I have dinner with my fellow teacher friends in my town. This particular night after a delicious meal we decided to go to a Norebang afterward. A Norebang is Korean karaoke. It literally means song room. This is not your typical karaoke though. You get your own private room, with cool lights, microphones, a big screen TV that displays lyrics and strange videos, a tambourine, and a giant book of songs, you can have drinks and snacks as well.  I had heard about this before but had no idea what it was really like inside! It was so fun, and they had an amazing song collection. Like seriously almost every song from my ipod! I didn't get to sing my favorites, as we were only there for an hour, but I hope to go again soon!

My first "night on the town" in Korea.
A teacher from the next town had a going away party in the main big city, Jeonju. We started the night eating dak galbi, a spicy chicken dish with cabbage, onion, other vegetables, but most importantly CHEESE! I've been wanting to try this ever since I heard about it my first week here. It was amazing. Next we went to a makgeolli place. There were lots of flavors such as kiwi, yogurt, strawberry, orange, and they bring out side dishes and snacks with each new bowl. It was fun to try try so many different flavors and a nice chance to meet some new people. We ended the night with some drinks and dancing! It was exciting to experience night life for the first time here!

Oh! So I got a bike! I found this whole situation quite amusing. The bus driver and I tried for about 10 minutes to get the bike into the compartment under the bus. With no luck, I was still determined to get this bike home. I mean I had to! So as he was about to just drive away and leave me there in the city I walked on carrying it and gestured to take the bike on the bus. We carried it above all the seats together to the very back where I sat with it. I just had to document this moment as I laughed to myself about the whole situation. 

 In other news, school is going well. A couple fun non-teaching moments that stick out in my mind are these: One for example is with my kindergarteners after our lessons sometimes. They are sooo little and just crazy sometimes! We have such a blast as I run around chasing them, tickling them, making silly funny faces and crazy noises. We run around screaming and it's just so spastic and wonderful, and just the break I need sometimes in the day.  Another great moment was at the end of one of my 5th grade classes. We have giant foam dice which we use for games. With these we ended up playing dodgeball for about 10 minutes or so. It was just so nice to let loose and be my goofy self with them. Some good bonding times with these classes.
Work at the education center is going pretty good, it's somewhat difficult at times, but a good challenge and learning experience for sure. I'm really enjoying the teachers' classes so far, which I was most stressed about!
The weather is warming up, although it's snowed twice in April (yikes! the never-ending winter!), the trees are blossoming, flowers blooming, and green is appearing everywhere! I love always beginning my time in new countries in the winter and experiencing it completely transform when springtime comes. It always looks like a totally different country. It's really magical.
I've been enjoying hanging out with my friends here with dinners and movie nights during the week. Every weekend for the past month , I've been traveling seeing incredible and beautiful new places, and enjoying fun spring festivals! Will update about those in the next post! :)


  1. Sounds very exciting and delicious!

  2. That food looks AMAZING! Glad you are enjoying yourself :)