Posts tagged ‘Korea’

January 8, 2012

2 Months, 2 Homes: Life. Is. Good.

Exactly 2 months ago today, I arrived in Daegu, South Korea.

I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting from this place. All I knew was that it was going to be new and exciting. And that’s usually enough to sell me on something.

And boy, what a ride it has been. From climbing mountains to my first Korean wedding to CSI Korea: the burgled apartment edition to Hello Kitty Cafe to becoming! a! blogger! to this-is-my-42nd-post!!! to making best friends to Pepero day to the most adorable children ever to eating lots of kimchi… And I could go on forever…

But if you’ve been reading my blog (or receiving annoying panic-y calls) not all of it has been so peachy.

I had my first I’m so done with this place and I need to bounce asap moment a couple of days ago.

I had just gotten back from a week in sunny Sri Lanka and Singapore with family and friends to cold, freezing Korea. And everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong in the span of 2 days.

Anyway, as I write this, I’m happy. I’m sitting in my warm, clean new apartment that has more or less consistent hot water (still not perfect but I can manage). NO balcony. Or windows big enough for any human being to climb through. I really can’t complain.

Life. Is. Good.

P.S. My new apartment has a shoe closet even bigger than the last one. I think the universe is trying to speak to me.

P.P.S. So Mr. Burglar guy took my little pouch of sd cards. And the sd to usb convertor thing I had in it. I have a mac which does not have a sd slot. So I kinda can’t upload pics from Sri Lanka until I get another one. I will get on it as soon as I do!

December 9, 2011

Baby Blankets: the edible kind & the wearable kind

Our director is all about stocking up the teacher’s kitchen with lots of goodies. Like the other day, we had these bun things stuffed with vegetables. No I’m not the kind of girl who gets excited about buns. Or vegetables. And this stuff doesn’t even look appetizing.
But what I ALL ABOUT about is microwaveable stuff. Especially yummy microwaveable stuff. This bun Is the mostest softest thing you’ll ever eat. Its like an edible baby blanket.  I know that probably created some weird imagery in your mind. But I don’t know how else to describe it. If you haven’t realized already, my vocabulary isn’t that extensive. Or scholar-like. My point is, this stuff is delicious. Which brings me to my next point…

I feel like family here. So our director used to get pork/beef stuff for the other teachers… until they realized they clearly picked the fussiest eater on earth to add to the team (i.e me). So the logical thing to do would be to buy meat stuff for the other teachers… and vege stuff for me, right? Wrong. The other teachers eat vege too. (like with that bun stuffed with vegetables instance)

Just when I thought it was just my director being all accommodating, Kayla has also jumped on the bandwagon. Pretty much everything we have during school hours is Tia-atarian. And I feel bad. And I’m sure there will come a point where they’ll be like forget Tia and her fussiness. But until then? Until then, I’m gonna bask in all this LOVE.

Speaking of love, Kayla told us about this really fuzzy and soft cardigan that she had found.  That was a Saturday. Tuesday most of the teachers had one, each in a different colour. And last week? Last week I got mine. It actually does feel like a baby blanket… and its SO warm. and SO soft.
I feel like they’ve officially initiated me into their inner circle. That’s riiiiiiiiight guys. I’m one of them now. OFFICIALLY.
Do the happy dance.
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November 20, 2011

Reasons Korea and I were meant to be… Part 2

1. I only believe in well behaved obedient children. Those are the only kind that seem to exist in Korea. They call you teacher, bow to greet, and never speak back to you. The fact that they’re also ridiculously adorable never hurts either.

2. 24 hours everything. Moving from Toronto to London was painful. I mean don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with London. But that’s another story for another day. The ONE thing that upset me about the city, though, is that nothing is open past 8. Oxford st shuts down at 8. How random is that!? It’s like oh hey we’re gonna tease you be all cool and stay open past 6 but not 9. Oh no. That would be ridiculous!

And if you wanted food in the middle of the night, you had to go to tinseltown. Again, LOVE the place but it’s not everyday that you want a thick chocolate-y milkshake. Wait. Did I just say that. All this kimchi must be getting to my head. But the point is, Korea is my seoulsister when it comes to this. (clever word play, no? I’m going to pretend I made that up and take credit for it.)

24 hours is how life should be lived. And sleep is so overrated. Especially when you get this sudden urge to clean at 3am and you’re out of cleaning supplies.

3. They pick up garbage everyday. No waiting for your weekly neighbourhood garbage pick up day while upping the funk smell factor in your garage. How AWESOME is that!?

4. In Korea, I’m a millionaire. Sure, a bottle of water costs 1250 won. But my bank account? In the millions, baby.

November 14, 2011

Solo Teaching, Polyps and Polka Dots

Yesterday was my first full day of solo teaching, sans Korean teacher. (I thought the sans would be appropriate since the Korean are obsessed with their French pastries and it makes me sound so sophisticated… you know, now that I’m an English Teacher.)

Ok, who am I kidding. I’m not. I have no experience teaching bar the few kids I tutored during high school and my short stint at chuck e cheese. I mean, sure, I love kids and I played school all.the.time as a little girl. I remember the first teacher I fell in love with. Her name was Miss. Wolf and she was beautiful in every sense of the word. She had these perfect french manicured nails that I’d admire while she turned the pages during story time. And she wore these beautiful polka dot blouses. I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. And here’s me making that dream a reality: I got a shellac french manicure the day before my flight and made sure to pack all my polka dot stuff.

But… I’m slowly realizing that it’s going to take a lot more than a manicure and polka dots to really make this dream a reality… the one of not just looking like a teacher but of actually being a good one.

One of my classes (the TOEFL level) has just one kid in it. This kid is smart. And knows more English than I do. I know this is the public domain and at the risk of thoroughly embarrassing myself (after that Clorox story, I figure anything goes here) I’m going to admit that I had no idea what polyps was. While preparing for this particular class, I freaked out and had to plug in my headsets in the teacher’s lounge (for obvious reasons: not to oust my stupidity in real life too) to hear how the word is properly pronounced. Just in case I had to correct him during reading. And this kid? He just breezed through it. Even knew what it meant. DO YOU KNOW WHAT POLYPS MEANS!? 

Anyway, he’s smart. Can read. and knows the meaning of words like polyps for god’s sake! But he refuses to speak to me. The only words that come out of his mouth are… words on the page. And answers. The correct ones. But conversation with Tia? Nope. He wasn’t having any of it. So I did what any sensible teacher would do.

Googled child psychology. English teacher tips. How to teach English abroad without pulling your hair out.

So that’s my story. BUT I’M NO GIVER UPPER! I’ll be back for more. And I’m going to make this kid talk. If my life depends on it.  Yes, I’m kinda dramatic like that. In the meantime, if you have any tips on how to make a 15 year old shy Korean boy talk, please send them my way.

And because every post is better with a picture… or two…

Wanna know what the BEST part about living in a country where you don’t understand the language and therefore the signs is? You can amuse yourself to no end making up sign meanings … I think this one says “DON’T TAKE PICTURES IF YOU’RE WEARING STRIPES AND POLKA DOTS… AT THE SAME TIME.”

Oh and Mom, this picture is for you… LOOOOOOOOVE ME

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