top (1): the goodies I contributed to the Christmas party- YUM!
2: the Kinderloca Christmas pageant
3: haha... please read the story then come look at this again (cab driver eating chicken)
4: What's going on here.. looks like a marriage- proceed to read!
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Mine was…. I guess you could say, jolly… the best part, of course was seeing my family on Christmas morning (USA-Christmas eve). We all enjoyed each others virtual company (Skype is an excellent invention) while opening presents. I sent home a box FULL of Korean goodies for everyone in the family. They really got a kick out of some of the things I sent home… the dried squid snack, the canned silk worm pupa (jokes). I got some lovely presents as well… speaking of, i'm enjoying one of them right now!! Maybe you guessed what it was that I'm drooling over…. yes, I'm currently biting into a buttery, chocolatey, crunchy butterfinger. Ohhh man, no candy beats a butterfinger- thanks mom. If I spoke to any of you, you saw that I was quite the emotional sap this Christmas… the no family thing REALLY got to me. I spent my Christmas with Laura, shopping for our "Drifters Christmas Party". It was a gorgeous day and people were everywhere… I am so used to stores being closed and people being inside, not out and about shopping. Every store in town was open… as you can see, Christmas is not that big of deal here. Laura and I searched far and wide for Christmas decor… or at least some red and green plates, cups, etc. HA… that was a joke, the closest thing we found was a lime green tray and some poinsettias (another plant for Clarence… maybe I'll have better luke with this one). A touch of snow fell from the sky that busy Christmas day… it was so beautiful and yet oh so sad, I felt like I was in a movie haha…just picture it- sunny skies with the faint midst of snow slowly falling… so beautiful as the sun touches it, it looks like glitter… Laura and I painfully walking down the street.. stares from all directions (the stares will never stop on this continent)… boxes, bags, and purses at hand… there I am on a street corner.. kids laughing speaking what sounds like "mskfkjsghsg glgkdhgdghnvnjh dfgkdhg" at me.. I'm trying like hell to hail a cab.. I wave my large lime green tray with hopes that a taxi will come my way! 20 minutes later, backs aching… we are saved! For the rest of the day, I cleaned, I chopped, I boiled, I fried, I sauteed… no baking though (can you tell, I really miss my oven). I made some very delicious goodies for the party: fried/sauteed mini pork burgers with sliced onion, sprouts, velveeta cheese and balsamic mayonnaise- they were a hit! I also made a very savory macaroni salad (mom's recipe). We had all kinds of snacks… it was kind of like a Christmas barbecue. I must say, for all the people who said they were coming and didn't show… you really missed out! We were expecting 15 or so and 6 (including myself) were there. Oh well, the decorations (oh yea, we borrowed a Christmas tree from work) were great, the food was delicious and the company was wonderful… and snow falling all night long was indeed the cherry on top!
Let me back track… I'm good at that! The work week couldn't go by fast enough… a break is much needed among the TNE staff UGH! It didn't help to know that all my friends in America and in Korea were off work for most of the week or at least on Christmas eve. After a chaotic week, I decided to treat myself a little early and head downtown with some friends for Thursday night QUIZ/Trivia. Do you remember me telling you about this before? Well, a foreign bar downtown called Speak Easy holds something called QUIZ every other Thursday evening at 10 pm. Each team puts in $5 and has a sheet of paper where they record answers for every themed round- there are 6 rounds, 10 questions in each. This weeks trivia was themed around Christmas. It was so much fun…everyone was out because most people didn't work the next day. There was so much Christmas spirit… or maybe that was just the alcohol but either way, it was a good time. Out of 11 teams, our team got 2nd place… I was so proud!! The 2nd place prize is that you get your entry money back. The night didn't stop there, we went to celebrate our win at Bubble bar where we enjoyed some Long Island Iced Teas and the company of some very attractive military men. This night was so out of the blue random and crazy… I only wish I could relive it sober! Let me just throw out some fun details…. AJ, one of the military guys told us he was an ordained minister.. so what did he do, he married Laura and Ryan. I was happy to be her bridesmaid that snowy Christmas eve in Korea, wow… she will never forget that! I made best friends with these military cuties (in fact, I'm making my way to the Gunsan military base in a few weeks to visit). Ryan is obsessed with the chicken at the mini mart (I don't even know if it's really chicken) so we went there after Bubble and he bought all they had. Our cab driver couldn't stop talking about the haunting chicken aroma… he couldn't stand it so half way through our ride home, he stole some chicken from Laura and devoured it- so hilarious I almost peed my pants!!!- you know I got a picture!! 5 am we made it home safely and bed time it was. It's not too bad going to bed at 5: 30 am every now and then… especially since I don't have to be at work till 1…. or so I thought!!!!!!
11 am… I'm rolling around in my warm bed, thanking God that I have at most another 1 1/2 hours to sleep until I get a loud, abrupt knock on the door, "EMILIE, WHERE ARE YOU, OPEN UP, LET'S GO, COME ON, EMILIE, EMILIE!" I look at my phone to make sure I'm not late (I'm the most punctual person I know, of course I'm not late)… I ignore the knocks and the pounds and the rings for 5 minutes until I can't take it… did someone die!!!??? I finally yell out, "I'M SLEEPING, GO AWAY"! "EMILIE, IT'S MICHAEL (you know him, my hall mate, the middle man boss, my liaison).. YOU HAVE TO COME TO WORK NOW, WE NEED YOU AT THE KINDERGARDEN CHRISTMAS PAGEANT". No one told me I had to be there so I simply tell him no thanks, I'll see you at 1:00 sharp when work starts… good bye! More pounds, more knocks… Oh my GOSH! REALLY!? "EMILIE, IT DOESN'T MATTER, YOU HAVE TO COME, WE REALLY NEED YOU THERE… THIS IS JUST SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO DO." I dragged my tired ass out of bed, threw on some clothes, smacked on some makeup and headed down to the Christmas pageant. I was not happy and I made sure Michael knew it. Do you know that I was NOT needed at this pageant. The only reason they wanted me there was to show me off. All the KIndergarden parents were watching… no one looked twice at me.. they were watching their kids- DUH! Okay, okay… the pageant was adorable but I was still pissed off. I mean really, how freaking rude…. the downfall of living in the TNE building! Let me just say, it's a good thing I lock my door because Michael has no problem just barging in (one time he walked in on two of my co-workers in bed together)… that man has got to learn some manners!
I was exhausted that entire day but half of my students didn't come since it was Christmas eve. I didn't have to teach my entire Giza 1 class because no one showed. My night class (5:45- 7:05), 3 out of 7 kids came. It blew my mind that kids were coming to class at all…it's dinner time on Christmas eve (like I said… Christmas just isn't the same here). The most touching part of my day was when I showed "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" to all my students…. maybe that was a "no,no" but oh well! None of them have ever heard of Dr. Seuss and no one knew what a "Grinch" was. I explained in detail and proceeded with the original, Dr. Seuss, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". I have never seen a child so in love with a movie in my life. They had smiles bigger than you could imagine.. even my older students (11, 12, 13) were wide eyed with excitement! Even Terry… one of my new students who is a complete punk/bully… he wouldn't smile if you let him spend a week at Disney Land… the kid shows no emotion, until he watched the Grinch! He was laughing and smiling… I was beside myself. Shit, I don't even care if they get mad at me for taking 25 minutes to show a movie instead of teach… I made that kid smile and that made his day and mine!
Well, back to the grind tomorrow morning… our official vacation starts on Wednesday where I will wake up at 5 am to meet the skii crew!! I am soooo nervous to skii/snowboard.. I've got to try it though. My next blog should be interesting!
Korean Facts/ Randomness:
-The Christmas slogan around these parts is: "Merry Icemas"… wonder why? The big thing for Christmas is cakes. Everyone and their dog buys a cake. Baskin Robbins came up with, "Merry Icemas" for their Christmas cake slogan. When I was out shopping Friday and Saturday of this week, everyone had a big cake box at hand… I don't get it.
-Kids call Santa, Grandfather or Grandfather Santa (they think it's so funny that he never ages… he's always a grandfather)- they are very logical… well at times, listen to this…..
-This blows my mind… okay so first, you know that when your born in Korea, your automatically 1 year old, well…. for every new year, you turn another year old. This means that, on January 1st, I will be 25. In America I am 23 but when I came here they add on that extra year (24)… now, all the sudden i'm another year older in a week (25). My friend Soo Yeoung is a aunt as of Friday. That baby is born 1 year old… next week he will be 2 years old. WHAT THE HELL… IS THIS SERIOUS? Your telling me that a baby who was born 1 week ago is 2 years old. Crazy!