Sunday, October 31, 2010

princess peach, halloween kids, and outback

Happy Halloween!

I've got a few posts ready for the occasion. I was really worried this year wouldn't compare to last. Well, Halloween in Korea totally rocked. Huzzah!

First, my apartment...

I like that it says, Hello Halloween instead of Happy Halloween.

And we had two days of celebrating and parties at school. The first one we went to Outback (odd, yes) and had a Halloween parade.

My coworker made her outfit. Hint: it is a cosplay outfit. Can you guess which one? And I was Princess Peach minus the blonde wig.

Happy Birthday June!

Wow, Robert's mom went all out for that pirate costume. Just.. wow. Wow.

We are off to Outback, sir! Prince Eric...

Face painting.

Ohhhhh that dreaded hand pose....

We had a mini Halloween parade here. Sigh... I don't live in these apartments. :C

Next post! Awesome night out at Kyungsung!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

gwangalli fireworks failed to impress

But in all fairness, I didn't give it a chance. I'd like to see photos from this year, because I became so irritated I left right before the show began.

It was a snowball of negativity for me... I got to Gwangalli at 2 to save a spot on the beach for me and my friends. And I played the waiting game. I didn't really mind. But as time creeps on more and more people showed up. And then a family parks themselves nearly on top of me (calling me a waygook too, which really ticked me off more than anything...)

And so as I'm sitting there, I am stewing. I don't know why I let it get to me so badly today. It's something I usually brush off. But as I scan the crowd for any sign of my friends, I notice that when I spot a foreigner (yes, a waygook) they are always a couple. Or in a large group. And so I think the root of this all is I felt lonely.
Yes, I chose to head out by myself to claim a spot. But the few people I know were going later to the show and I did not want to risk not getting a good spot. Even my old coworkers told me, "You've gotta see the Gwangalli fireworks. It's amazing. But get there really early to get a spot."

I just feel like... I'm such a freak. All I saw were couples. If you don't come here with someone then you are a guy and guys hook up with Korean girls almost immediately. And I'm a single American female. The odds are stacked against me.
Why should it matter? It doesn't usually. I'm more than ready to get back out there, but at the same time I don't think this is the time or the place. And its not so much a relationship I wanted today, but just someone to be with. Like a good friendship. Moving here altered all the ones I forged in San Francisco and it took a toll on me. And when I tried making new ones here, most ended in failure or didn't have enough time to really make a connection.

I digress.
But low, I wait for hours and by 5pm when two of my friends show up the cops will not let them on the beach. I am very irritated now. I have spent hours waiting for what? I get to sit by myself.

Oh! But no. At 6 an ajumma and ajoshi barge right on next to make and start setting up a mat right on top of mine and the people around me. But lo, was this the worst thing? No.
The old woman LITERALLY, and I mean LITERALLY sits on me while she's throwing her mat down. I am sitting on the ground and she plops down on top of my shoulder.

And when I yell at her to get off, SHE yells at ME. WTF! I'm sorry, am I in backwards land? Has anyone ever been sat upon by a total stranger? Do you not feel that I was within my rights to tell the old bitch to get the hell off of me? And she gets aggressive with me? Alas, who will win the fight? The local or the foreigner? In a sea of Koreans, I had no chance by making a scene.

It was shockingly rude, even by my Korean standards, and so I had enough. They pushed me into the corner of my mat, (Nobody puts Baby in the corner!) so I walked off. I left my mat, which sucks because I hang that on my wall for decoration. And it was a nightmare leaving, just hordes of shoving, impatient people and it was definitely not my scene.

I have counted how many times I wanted to get the hell out of Korea. It is now 4. Tonight was one of them.

Don't get me wrong. I have had plenty of positive experiences in Korea. Tonight doesn't make me hate the country. Yeah. I got sat upon. But for every bad encounter I have met many wonderful Koreans that more than make up for it. Example, today the family next to me had two little girls that, when they saw me, spoke to each other only in English. They were fluent too.
"Excuse me Minjee," said one, "but may I have my shovel please? I want to make a lemonade stand."

But I want to belong somewhere. And I really wanted to leave tonight. The problem is... I don't know where to go. The place where I was born is the last place I want to go now. I've decided to never live there again. And the city where I blossomed is now a place that I feel is no longer suited for me.

If you don't belong to a place, you belong to a person.

I have neither.

So I just want to go. Go and search.

But for tonight I will geek out and play games. Here's hoping for a better tomorrow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

sunny the future korean bellydancer

This is Sunny from my Seed class (they are 4 years-old.) Her names suits her perfectly. She's always been the bubbliest and most willing to speak English.

For months she's been telling me "belly dancing" at odd occasions. And at first I always assumed she was mispronouncing "ballet" or "ballerina" because, let's face it, most little girls want to be ballerinas.

But today I go and find her drawing a picture on the white board after class and I ask her what it is. And she tells me belly dancing. So I go, "Oh Sunny, are you going to be a ballerina for the Halloween party next week?" And she goes "belly dancing" again. I say, "Belly dancing?"

At that moment Sunny spreads out her arms, waves them around and starts shimmying her hips side to side and sings, "Bellllllyyyyyyy daaaaancing!"

I just about died laughing. I relay this to my co-teacher and she tells me, "Yeah.... Sunny tells me she wants to be a bellydancer when she grows up." XD

Saturday, October 16, 2010

for those looking for a Halloween store in Busan

Found one in Nampodong! It's right off of Art Street near the end of the road.

It had decorations and a small amount of costumes for adults and kids. Oh, I got so giddy when I went inside. Last year I worked in a Halloween store and that was the best job I've ever had. I've finished my costume but I picked up some things to decorate my apartment with.


Monday, October 4, 2010

breathe in breath out

There will be other falls. Trees will still lose their leaves next year. There will be new places to explore. There will be other seasons too; better summers and better winters. But Fall is always my special time. I want to fall in love, smell the autumn air, discover new places now. I have always loved you Fall. I need to remember that.

There will be more people. Different people. Better people. (Maybe worse! But I've learned what to do in those cases now, right?)

Sometimes I forget. It seems like time here is both interminable and yet it is also flying by. At the moment I feel like this is all there is and will be. Sometimes I want my time here to be over, and sometimes I don't want to leave.

7 months in Korea.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

so... no one thought to run this by an english speaker?

Yeah, my company has just made me proud... see them on FAIL blog.