Tuesday, August 31, 2010

miryang from dee's camera

Waiting to jump.

Aaah, nothing like drunk Korean men.

Hahahaha! Look at their faces!

How could you not be happy in a place like this?

Also, my new coworkers are super awesome!

Monday, August 30, 2010

halfway there

In a few days it will be 6 months since I moved to South Korea.

Ladies and gentlemen, I couldn't imagine this day. And I couldn't even imagine half of the shit that I've been through since I moved here.

You know, I will admit this now, that I had a big... I guess the term is hang up (though I am sick of seeing it) about Korea. After I learned what my ex did, I hurt so badly that for a short period I used this culture as a scape goat for my pain. I wanted nothing to do with it, or it's people (or women, but turns out I was misinformed about that).

You know what saved me? My kids. My kids saved my life. And that sounds so melodramatic, but those days I found it hard to find a reason to stay here, to wake up even, I had them. And they've put me through so much stress and frustration, but then I find despite that it has all been worth it.

I had the proudest moment of my life today. We had the August class party for the kids, and for the first time my little preschool class got up and said their speeches. (They are about 3-4 years old) And 6 months ago they didn't know any English whatsoever. I'm just.... Wow.. Wow! It's indescribable, this feeling! They can say sentences now! This is what I want to take away from my time in Korea.

Here are some videos from today. The singing of songs was a bit chaotic, but chuckle-worthy.

And also, I have to thank the people in my neighborhood. It's harder living in a somewhat of a boondock area. Nobody really speaks any English here. But the businesses behind my apartment; the post office, the beauty supply store, the chicken joint... they've all made me feel so welcome in Korea. Ajumma at the beauty store gives me a ton of freebies whenever I buy a nail polish, and the ajumma at Mom's Touch always slips me a large coke when I order chicken. Everyone at the post office is super nice to me, and they've given me free pens and post-it notes.

Today I finally mailed the postcards I bought in Bali (ehehehe...) and the ajosshi came up to look at them. He said Bali and asked (in Korean) if I could speak Korean. I replied 'Only a little.' I could tell he had a lot of questions about the place. He saw the one of the Balinese dancers and 'Dan-suh?' and gave an impression of a Balinese dance. It was so funny; everyone in the post office cracked up.

Because of the kindness of these people, I love my life here. And for them I want to learn more of the language and more about them. They'll probably never know how much I'm grateful to them.

6 months.

I've got a new attitude and I think it's just in time.

I promise not to regret you either, Korea.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

my first belly laugh in korea

Today I went on a group excursion to the waterfall in Miryang. It's about an hour outside of Busan, past Ulsan.

I'm so glad I went. It was organized by the group I joined on meetup. At first I had no idea it would be such a big event; 48 foreigners. And as with other large group outings I've been on in Korea, it was a bit hectic and poorly planned. (Cue the griping and moaning. BLAH!)

But it was such a great experience. I never would have known about this place on my own. There is an area called the Freezing Place, and it's a pile of rocks that are about as cold as an air conditioner EVEN IN SUMMER. Then we went to the waterfall and natural rock slides.

Silly Korea-- you can't swim where it's deeper than your head. Some foreigners tried but they have a guy with an annoying hand alarm that he'll blast until you stop.
The slides were amazing, albeit terrifying. And I did some rock jumping. In the picture it doesn't look so intimidating. I have definitely jumped off of taller cliffs before. (And once I get everything in my flickr account you'll see!) But I've developed huge hang-ups in Korea and just getting over the initial fear and jumping from up high (and not climbing down lower like a sissy) made me feel freer than I have in a long time.

Also, the rocks were slick with rain and moss. 2 of my coworkers were also on the trip. So at one point Gia slipped on some rock and started sliding down towards us. Rick (my other coworker) nice guy that he is, tried to stop her..... but she had so much momentum going than she knocked him off his feet and they both kept on sliding down the hill until they ended up in a pool. Rick's girlfriend and I just could not stop laughing-- so thus I had my first deep, gut-busting laugh in Korea.

And as I sat in that valley surrounded by so many people, Korean and Westerners alike, just friendly people wanting to have a good time, I was struck by a near state of bliss. It happens, rarely, but still it happens to me. I was so happy to be in Korea today. It's been a while.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

fair-weather loyalty

Thursday, August 19, 2010

why i havent updated

I'm so sorry for the delay... I wish I could be like those fabulous girls' blogs I read, working full time and still having time and energy to be creative and take artistic photos and.. and.. and

I'm working on it. My job is exhaustive, and they've been... well, a bit more stressful lately with the politics of the workplace. And that is all I'll say. (But it is South Korea, so...)

Plus with most of my friends leaving this month, having couch surfers over, trying to enjoy the last bit of summer, BLAH! What I need is the ability to control time.

Soon! I promise.

Friday, August 6, 2010

spoon teacher is really gonna miss you

G~and P~

It's just not the same. :(

But my kids were bummed out too so we all kinda huddled around and colored together.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

boy's night out

It is extremely difficult being the only female on a boy's night out. I am completely unaccustomed to such crassness. Ugh, sometimes I wish they'd remember was a girl and treat me like it, but I came along of my own free will! So if I hated it I could have left.

But I think it's worth getting out of my comfort zone and doing some male bonding (within reason). I've got a new perspective and understanding on the male species.

J.J*.... you are a huge asshole. And you totally admit it. But I like your honesty. It's brutal. And it's coming from a scumbag, yet I still respect it. Your ex advice was really sound. Thanks man. I never looked at things the way J.J. did.

And thanks P. and Hat. I'm really sad you're leaving P. P gave me a great pep talk. Also, he offered to punch someone's face in. You're aces, kid. The best Brit I've met, nay, will ever meet. You guys were worth the slight hangover at work today.

*names have been changed, like always

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

ho, i'm alive

No worries. I came back in one piece... but a little bit banged up from my crash.

Yeah... photos soon.