Monday, May 31, 2010

it's something you read about

...but you never really see it.

So before I came to Korea, I did all this research and one of the funny things they said was that people who are sitting will grab the bag of someone standing up and hold it on their lap.

Well, I've only ever seen this once in my three months of living here. But today as I was coming home from shopping today a man just grabbed it out of my hands and held it. And I was just like... *0.o*

Oh, I wish I could speak more Korean! All I said was 'Kamsahmnida' and when it was my turn to get off I honestly had no clue what the protocol was for getting it back. Just awkwardly looked at him... soo.... yaaaaahhhhhhh. Haha, awesome times.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

moments of calm in a sea of dread

I got rushed to the doctor's right in the middle of class today. I was in a lot of pain and thought it may have been my appendix.

I am alright, still hurts quite a bit. I'm not sure what's going on.

But I returned to class to finish up my lessons, a little girl came up to me and placed a band-aid on my arm and said, "Teacher.... okay?"

If only that could heal everything. <3

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the truth is

No matter what the circumstances were for my being here, I have never felt more grateful to them than I have today. Because if things had not gone the way they did, I would not be here. And these kids would not be in my life.

Today was the best day I've ever had with them. And no matter what's happening to me, they've really helped me. And I hope will continue to help me. Because even if I'm their teacher, I have so much to learn in life.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

adventure ho!

Well, today I have an easy day at work and tomorrow is Buddha's Birthday. I have yet to decide where I'm going, it's a toss up between Byeonsan or Tongyeong. Waterfalls or islands? I only hope that I'll be able to find a place to spend the night.

Anyway, my favourite movie is on TV right (subtitled in Korean naturally) but they just ran a commercial featuring the Indiana Jones theme song for action night on the channel, which seems like they will be playing Indy, Tomb Raider, and National Treasure.

The timing just seems right to make this post. Here is what I want my wardrobe to look like now. It's adventure inspired!

I've really gotten into British Colonial inspired clothing. 'She' by H. Rider Haggard is my favourite book. Oh, to be a 19th century explorer!

Of course, most of the adventures seem to take place in Africa, so I chose that as my inspiration. I actually know some people from Africa, they might laugh and tell me no one actually dresses like that anymore. Yeah, I know, and not all Americans dress like cowboys. Hoo hah.

I'm in love with khaki now. Especially rolled up, cuffed pants. I may own a few pairs already. Now to find me some linen blazers, a white fedora, and I'm so set to be off exploring!

What my perfect outfit would look like:

can i tell you a secret?

You know what I just realized tonight?

I am happy.

There have been a lot of sad times lately, and yes, I have been sad. And I've grieved.

But I just realized that my life right now is great. So much better than before. I have a job I like, people that make me laugh are around me, I'm pursuing a dream I've always had and as long as I keep my focus, I can attain it. I'm in a position a hell of a lot better than many other people that I know. There is nothing more that I want right now.

There is nothing better than this. And times will probably get rough again, but I've realized something else.

I accept that I can't stop feeling some things. But what I can do is let it go. Just let things go.

I may not be deliriously and utterly happy, but I am happy. And content.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

they don't write books on how to be less awkward

In college Ja Ha once said to me, "T. you make things unnecessarily awkward." And to make matters worse, when I relayed this to my roommate, he concurred.

But it's true. You can't hide what's on the inside!

Unfortunately, moving overseas really exaggerates this characteristic in me. There have been plenty of moments where the air is just thick with an atmosphere where you really just want to squirm away from. This language barrier... Guh, let me tell you. I mean, really, when I tell you I don't speak any Korean, why do you go on for ten minutes in nothing but Korean???!?! AWKWARD.

Monday, May 17, 2010

can't put my finger on it

I have been feeling weird all day.

I go through moods here. Sometimes I get really sad and need to withdraw, but other times I find that I am struck by this great moment of clarity and become very serene. Luckily the sad times are becoming less and less and I'm becoming more peaceful.

But today... I don't know. I can't explain it. I'm sort of anxious and there's an odd feeling in my head and gut I can't comprehend.

And you know what else makes me feel weird?

I teach this book to my kids.

And I can remember when I was their age I had to read and learn this book.

This book is older than I am. I remember the cassette tape being played with it (although now it's on CD) and the illustrations and the plot. Memories just come tumbling back.

I never thought that I would be a teacher.

And here I am.

Friday, May 14, 2010

teacher's day is awesome day

Wow. I actually got gifts today. And they are really nice! I received Dior lip gloss. I love Dior make-up. I swear by their foundation.

Plus I got lipsticks and powders from Este Lauder and Lancome. Oh my goodness.

More traditional gifts were boxes of Ginseng tonic and homemade style cookies. I've never had ginseng before so we'll see if I can get it down. A bit of a strange one was a toothbrush UV light sterilizer. Hm. What will they think of next.

I go by my first name at work, and some students and mothers tried their best to spell my name. (It is an unusal name, to be fair.) This was my favourite effort.

So now we have Spoon Teacher.

Some mothers wrote me letters and they are the best gift of all. I think this one is going to pull me through the really hard times here:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

wow, what just happened

Going to school is San Francisco really exposed me to some... ah, unique characters, but I never really even got around to blogging about any of them. I think I might have even become inundated by off-the-wall experiences, which I've actually grown to miss.

But now I'm living overseas for the first time in my life, and I have had such an experience that is really up there on my list of "Really Weird Awkward Encounters" today.

I live in a little section of the city called Dadaepo, which is an inconvenient and out-of-the-way place to live compared to other areas of town, but it has its charm. And also, it's on the beach. So I'm quite content living here. It feels more like a town than a city, which is more my style. I always feel safe here, if not a little stifled.

Anyway, my foreign coworkers and I usually head out to the kimbap nara for lunch everyday. They are a lovely couple from England. I suppose we stick out like sore thumbs in our town, but usually we don't get that much attention.

Today however, a man starts to follow us as we are heading back to work. He reeks of alcohol (sad, isn't it because it is 1:00) and he starts by talking to P~ and me about how he wants to learn English. He's a very effeminate man, and his English is okay, but his mannerisms are just... wow. He tells me I'm very beautiful and Asian looking with large eyes. Huh. Hitting on me? Or wants to look like me? I'm still not sure.

So he follows us to our building and starts telling us how he's 47 and a songwriter and he's writing a song which he proceeds to sing for us. My female coworker very wisely decided to book it to the corner shop, leaving me and P~ to fend for ourselves. It was very awkward, yet slightly hilarious, let me tell you. We clap several times hoping he'd take the hint and stop, but he continues to sing while the clock is ticking and we need to get to work. So we kinda stand there like this

And we cannot get rid of him. He even follows us to the elevator which is really scary, but then he finally leaves when we get off.


Anyway, on a different note, it is Teacher's Day Saturday. I do love this country and the amount of public holidays they have.

Apparently parents go all out and buy things for teachers. P~ received some cologne and lotion and G~ got some really nice lip gloss. I'm not really expecting anything because I'm so new and I'm not sure the parents like me, but today I got some nice gifts.

I got some bottled juice, I think? I'm a bit sad it's not alcohol... And some soap roses and bits of candy and...

A FUCKING MIXED CD!!! AWESOME!!!! I mean, I've gotten mixed CDs before, but this is from a second grade student of mine, and the fact that it is Korean pop music really makes me happy. I love this gift most of all because it's all songs I hear all over the place, and years from now when I remember living in Korea I can play it and it'll take me back. Best. Gift. Ever!

Also, I'm amused that 'Tik Tok' by Ke$ha is on here. So many questions... Why that song? Does the mother know what it's about? Ohohohohohohoh......

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I can't control how others treat me, I can only control how I let it affect me.

Although, I like Sarah's advice:

Yah go psycho
you wont see those people again for the rest of ur life!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

what do you want

Sometimes I wish that I could be seen.

(But then again, sometimes I don't want it at all.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

things get better

It's the first day since I moved here that I didn't wear a jacket.

The ajoshi that comes into our kimpap nara regularly for lunch bought me an ice cream today. So sweet.