After working hard for the past seven months, my first (and only) vacation is finally here. I'm packed and ready for bed, but all of the excitement is keeping me up. Tomorrow we're catching the subway at 7 a.m. and then taking the KTX from Daejeon to Busan. Our first flight is from Busan to Beijing, we have a five hour layover in Beijing, and then we'll finally arrive in Bangkok late Saturday night. The plan is to stay in Bangkok for three days and then go to the islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. I'll be internet-less and going through total Twitter and Facebook withdrawal over the next week, but I'll catch up with everyone when I'm back. Peace.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I forgot to mention another thing I saw at MudFest. When we were swimming in the sea (under the sea, dodododooo), I noticed a Korean man floating next to me wearing a bright yellow poncho. I mean, is that really going to keep you dry in the water?! I don't think so.
Today in one of my upper level classes we started talking about the upcoming break. A boy (actually the only student in that class ha) asked me what I was doing for my vacation. I told him I was going to Thailand and I was really looking forward to it. He has been to Thailand before and had some good suggestions for me.
The best one, happened to be about Thai food. I crave 'Sy Thai' on a daily basis (best chicken pad thai ever!) and I'm assuming authentic chicken pad thai is even better. However, he told me that Thailand had the worst food. He was so worried about me not liking the food there, so he told me to pack some ramen and just add hot water to it. I'm not planning on following his advice, so hopefully I won't regret it once I'm there.
So last weekend was a huge tourist trap that I obviously got sucked into. There were all of these carnival games set up and the most important part of the games are clearly the prizes. There was this one game where you had to throw a baseball at four wooden blocks and if you knocked them all down in one shot, you won the.best.prize.ever.
*A life sized, crushed velvet, baby pink dolphin!*
It had my name written all over it, so I attempted, not once, not twice, but well, I forget how many times I tried, but I lost every time. I tried to bribe people on the street to throw the ball for me and I even offered the man money just for the dolphin, but no luck. I just wanted a pink dolphin, but instead I ended up with a small blue one. Oh well, maybe next time, actually I'm still not over it.
Day 2: Right after being painted.
Classic jumping pose.
Right after, Gretchen and I went down the slide.
Best hats ever. They were actually really heavy. I stole them off of some guys who were passing out flyers.
Boryeong beach had the best places for photo ops. Love it.
Boryeong Mud Festival is something I've been looking forward to since before I got to Korea. I finally went to the long awaited festival last weekend and it was everything I hoped it was going to be.
There was a big group of us going so we all met at the bus station bright and early Saturday morning. On the way there it was pouring rain, but luckily after the 2.5 hour bus ride the weather cleared up. MudFest is exactly what you'd think it would be. Tons of therapeutic mud is brought to Boryeong and there are blow up slides, obstacle courses, wrestling rings, and even stations to get painted in colored mud. There were so many foreigners and I even ran into a bunch of people I knew.
Thankfully, one of my Korean friends booked a pension (like a hotel, but you sleep on the floor) for everyone so we had a place to stay the night. We had a huge cook out and slept great after a long day of running around covered in mud.
The second day of MudFest, the weather was perfect! I went to the beach and laid out for the first time all summer (paid for it later). We had to take advantage of MUDFEST so we got painted in mud by some guys from the military. One was from Huntsville, Alabama and the other one was from Iowa and was a huge Tom Izzo fan. It's always fun meeting new people, especially Izzo fans!
After the mud dried and some photo shoots (there were tons of paparazzi, literally) we washed off in the Yellow Sea and headed to the train station. We got there just in time because tickets were selling out fast. I ended up on a non-direct train back to Daejeon. The first train was 7 minutes delayed which worried me because I only had 11 minutes in between that train and catching the KTX back to Daejeon. I had another 'Amazing Race' experience running from the first train to the KTX. Thankfully I made it just in time.
It wasn't until later that night after being on the beach all day that I realized exactly how much sun I had gotten. I bought some aloe and some other lotion from the pharmacy and since then, it has turned into a nice base tan for Thailand. When I left MudFest I said that I'd stay in Korea another year, just so I could go again next summer.
Who's having the Best Week Ever, VH1 style?! ME!
1.) My Tuesday/Thursday intensive class got cancelled so instead of starting work at 9 a.m., I don't start until 11 a.m.
2.) I just got tickets to the "Summer Week & T" music festival on Naksan Beach, headlining Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco! (I'll have to put the TSwift incident aside.)
3.) I also just booked 3rd row center "Phantom of the Opera" tickets in Seoul.
4.) I leave for Thailand in t-minus 2 days.
5.) I like lists in 5's.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Thailand Countdown: 4 days!
As I'm anxiously awaiting my one and only vacation this year, many students are already on theirs. Today I had two out of five classes cancelled because no students showed up! Intensives start tomorrow, but they aren't as intense as they may sound. Basically, my late classes get switched to the morning and I have to teach an additional class every day, so for the next month I'll be working a regular 9-5 job. I'm definitely not looking forward to waking up early, but it will be nice to go to bed at a decent hour and eat dinner before 9 p.m. Level up tests are on Thursday and Friday which will be an easy last two days before my week off and we have a work dinner on Friday to kick off summer vacation! Eeek. I'm so excited for Thailand!
In my infamous Seed 1 class with Lion and Hedgehog, there's a new student named Eddy. He's missing his two front teeth and suffers from ADHD. Today I noticed him following something around on his book with his pencil. As I walked over to his desk I realized that it was a little bug. I mean it was probably about the size of a gnat and it looked like it had wings (too small to tell), but it wasn't going anywhere. I grabbed a tissue off my desk and was about to smush it and throw it away, but then little Eddy told me not to kill it. Before I could say anything, he picked up the little bug and gently placed it inside his pencil case. I just about died from holding in my laughter.
I let it go and continued on with class. About 30 minutes later, I saw Eddy open up his pencil case and whisper, "Where are you, bug? Bug, where are you?". He looked a little upset when he couldn't find it amongst the broken pencils and eraser shavings in his pouch, but then his toothless smile spread across his face and sure enough, the bug was still there. I just hope the bug survived the bus ride home.
Monday, July 19, 2010
For those of you who have been losing sleep over the fact that the overhead lights in my apartment might still broken, well sleep tight tonight because they finally work! I waited until the next day hoping they'd magically turn on in the morning, but unfortunately they didn't. I noticed there was a restart button so I pressed it, but that did nothing. Then I found and checked my circuit box. All of the switches were flipped to on, so that wasn't the problem either. Luckily, Mr. Zin (our go-to guy at work) can do anything and so he replaced the fuse and wah-la... there was light.
I was only in the dark for less than 48 hours, but then... my hot water went out. Every so often, the PA in my apartment goes off and a man speaks super fast in Korean. Not that the speed of his voice matters since I can't understand him anyways, but I feel like sometimes what he has to say is important. Past announcements have been about broken elevators and other various maintenance issues, but what if he says something about the Itel being on fire or a deadly monsoon outside?! I'd have no idea. Anyways, (I guess) his past announcement was about the hot water being turned off for A FEW DAYS. I think they check it and clean the pipes or something, but because of it I had to take cold showers. Luckily, by the time I got back from MudFest, it was turned back on.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I don't think I ever fell for the "Did you know that gullible was taken out of the dictionary?" or "Did you know that gullible is written on the ceiling?" jokes growing up (well, maybe the second one), but I did believe this ridiculous story a student told me on Monday during break. It went a little something like this:
W: "Teacher, teacher, did you hear what happened to Noah?*"
M: "No, what happened?"
W: "He was walking to school (insert walking motion here) and a car hit him!"
W: "Yeah, he was walking to school and a car hit him (insert car hitting motion)!"
M: "Oh my god, is he ok? Did he break anything?"
W: "I think he's ok. He's at the hospital. I saw everything happen."
M: "Oh my god, we should all make cards for him. I hope he's ok."
W: :::bursts out laughing:::
*Noah was absent Monday for an unidentified reason.
**I was not surprised that he "was hit by a car." Right outside April, there's an intersection AKA a four way stop, however, there aren't any stop signs. Cars are always speeding right through the intersection and crosswalk without slowing down. And that's my justification for believing his story. The end.
So, I just had a nice catch up sesh with my mom via Skype and I told her I had to go paint my nails. Being the mother of well, me, she understood and let me go. I was on my second coat of yellow nail polish and jamming out to Mamma Mia! when all of a sudden I heard a loud pop in the corner and the lights went out.
At the time a few things went through my head (listed in chronological order):
1.) Really?! I only have two nails left to paint.
2.) At least my computer still works.
3.) It's dark.
I'm currently sitting in the dark still unsure of what to do. My AC, TV, computer, and bathroom lights still work, so I guess I'll just wait until the morning to figure it out. Hopefully it's nothing major.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Today my little Seed 1 class (with Hedgehog) was all about junk food. The lesson talked about burgers and fries and how they were bad for you. Anyways, I asked Hedgehog to repeat a line and instead of saying french fries, he said, "french fires." So adorable.
Today was also an acting day so the class was able to recite and record the news report we've been practicing all week. Hedgehog is quite the trend setter because the whole class now sticks their erasers on top of their pencils and uses them as microphones. However, he's still the only one who has the finger-waving-divo thing going on.
With a few extra minutes in class, what better way to spend the time than singing and dancing?! Since today's lesson was on junk food, the infamous fast food song popped into my head. I basically taught them the whole junior year field day march complete with chicken wings and m's with a lean to the side for McDonald's. I can now check "teach kids the fast food song dance" off my list.
P.S. Incase you don't know what song I'm talking about check out this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCPSh47gHz8
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Whenever I go on work sponsored events I always feel like I'm at summer camp and rafting last weekend was no exception. We took the oh-so-classy ChungDahm buses to the same area we went skiing about two hours (including the rest-stop) away.
While preparing for the trip, an email warned us to wear clothes we'd be ok with getting wet. I figured there would be a little splash here or there or an occasional water fight might break out, but the first thing we had to do was get completely wet. At this point I was just thankful I wore a bathing suit and brought an extra change of clothes and a towel. After "Rafting 101," we were off.
When I first heard about rafting I was picturing huge white rapids, dangerous rocks, and potential head injuries, however, that wasn't the case. It was more among the lines of canoeing in a huge blow up raft and I kept thinking that I should be singing, "Just Around the River Bend" from Pocahontas. About midway through our journey, everyone in my boat had to switch to another boat so that my boat was empty. It was straight out of the Titanic when they were filling up the lifeboats with as many people as possible. Once a few other boats were empty, the guides stacked them on top of each other and we used it as a platform to jump off of. It was fun, except for the fact that my lifejacket was 100 times too big on me and I think I had my helmet on backwards so when I was in the water it restrained my sight a bit (picture a little kid with a helmet on that's too big and covers their eyes). We ended up playing some more games that involved a lot of falling into the water and before I knew it, we were back at the base.
After rafting, we had the opportunity to go ATVing in which I got extremely muddy, got cleaned up, and headed to dinner. Korean dinners always involve a lot of soju and mechju (beer), games, dancing, and fun. It wouldn't be a hwa sik (work party) without ending the night with norebang (karaoke).
Half of Group 5, obvs the best.
Korea's version of a drinking game: pour every kind of alcohol into a metal bowl and make people drink it. P.S. That's my boss slash fellow Twihard.
Future doppelganger?! I'm on the left (duh) dancing to T-ara's "Bo-Peep" song. Check out my perfect hand placement.
I finally saw The Twilight Saga: Eclipse last night and I absolutely loved it. My only complaints are that Kristen Stewart's hair was too long and there should've been more scenes with Taylor Lautner and Kellen Lutz's shirts off. Other then that, I thought Bryce Dallas Howard was a good replacement for Victoria and I'm already pee-my-pants excited for the final (sigh) two movies. Go Team Jacob.
In other entertainment news, Lindsay Lohan is a train wreck and Emmy nominations just came out! I'm rooting for all things Glee (especially Kristin Chenoweth and Chris Colfer), Modern Family is a close second, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, The Amazing Race, and Jeff Probst.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. My past few fourth's have been spent at Camp Curtis with family and friends, ridiculous amounts of food, the beach, boat rides (ha), fireworks, bonfires, Lake Michigan sunsets, and plenty of s'mores. Despite missing Camp C and all of the festivities that go along with it, I managed to have a fabulous weekend even though it definitely wasn't the same. I hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday and hopefully someone enjoyed an extra burger for me. Peace.