Top: A lovely crew of ladies
Bottom: My pre-K cuties (Jenny and Jen)
Those of you who look forward to reading my blog on Sunday... my deepest apologies for not being prompt...(typically, punctual is my middle name but Korea has changed my ways ever so slightly). The weekend is so short and I have to make sure I fill it up with loads of fun! I was sure I would get my blog up by Monday evening but Monday took a turn for the worse. Out of nowhere I found myself extremely sick late Monday afternoon. I won't go into any great detail but just imagine all the symptoms of a stomach flu. My liaison taught my last class of the day (Monday) so I could go upstairs and take care of myself. As nice as he is, he took care of my throughout the evening but then made me go to work the following morning. Feeling like shit… still having all the same symptoms, I unhappily went to work. I went to the hospital (you know in Korea…. the hospital is just like going to the doctor… hearing that probably makes it sound like i'm deathly ill- I'm not). Sure enough, the stomach flu is what I've got…. it's going around in Korea right now. I am sure 10 more people will have it by next week cause I know I spread my germs all over school today.
Work has been going swimmingly! I am so happy to report that my Pre- K class is progressing at such a rapid speed. The moms are out of the room, even out of the building. I am pretty sure they sit downstairs in Emma's Cafe and watch me teach on the big screen. At the beginning of last week, The Korean teacher sat in the room for some time and then I had her leave to see how Jen and Jenny would react. These little girls are way smarter then any 3 or 4 year old I've ever met. When the Korean teacher left the room, it was nothing but screams and tears. I tried to entice them with any and every fun thing in the room but they knew they could out smart me (not for long though). "Ajasheeeee", they would scream (this means, "I have to go to the bathroom"). The second I opened the door they ran out to find the Korean teacher... hmmm, I could tell where this was leading. A few flushes later, never anything to actually flush…we were back in the classroom, the screaming continued. I wanted to wait it out and show them that crying and screaming gets you nowhere (don't worry ya'll, I'm a nice teacher... they are just so unfamiliar with my non-Korean face). "Dong, teacher, Dongggg" (can you guess what this means... poop). Okay, so I let them out to poop but this time, here's what I did. I poked my head out the door and told all the Korean teachers to hide. I walked out with the girls and they ran through the halls, tears running down their sweet little faces, screaming for the Korean teachers who they could not find. Once they realized they weren't in sight we went back into the classroom because of course... no one really had to shee shee or dong. I was amazed at how well this little trick worked... they didn't outsmart me for long.. muahahaha (evil laugh). I guess hanging out with Emilie teacher is better than no teacher at all. Each day has gotten a little better. They are becoming more and more comfortable with me and I just can't cant enough of them. A picture says a thousand words and you know the one above is so precious. Like i've said before, their attention span does not last for very long. I am lucky to get them concentrating on something for four or five minutes. Now that they are getting more comfortable, they sit in class and talk up a storm, ahhh... they are so freaking cute I only wish I knew what they were saying. They still don't understand that I don't understand anything coming out of their mouths. I know pee and poop but that's the extent of it. I just nod my head and smile because you know how little kids are. I'm pretty sure they are just blabbing...smacking their lips with random nonsense (my mom has a blue car and we ate chicken for dinner last night... I fell down yesterday and pooped four time... haha, you get the idea). They have learned so much in the last week, it's incredible how quick they catch on. Other than the structured curriculum, they have memorized the clean-up song ("Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere, clean-up, clean-up everybody do your share"), "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes", "If You're Happy and You Know It" and Old McDonald Had a Farm (mostly, they just know the "ei, ei, o" part and the animal noises). As much as I like to plan, I love how unpredictable teaching can sometimes be. No day is ever the same... I look forward to this week's chaos.
The gym was intense this past week. I got to know the trainer who works there.. only a little bit though because his English is minimal. He's got me on a strict work out plan. He cracks me up because he is constantly making reference to the calendar on the wall (Janurary's picture is a sexy, toned, tan, blonde, white girl with abbs or steel). He is pretty sure he can get me looking like her before I leave... I just laugh and say okay. Lukcily, I have a little more time before bathing suit weather because Taiwan is a no go.
No Taiwan... so sad! My friends and I are just so damn indecisive. Last week, my friend Molly and I decided we were not going to wait around anymore for our friends to make up their minds. We looked into doing Hong Kong for the Lunar New Year/Chinese New Year- how fun, right!? Well, it's actually going to happen. We booked our flights last week. Molly (Minesota), Felicity (England) and I will be leaving February 2 at 3 am... we will catch a bus to Seoul for our flight out to Shanghai... change plans and head to Hong Kong till the 6th. It's a given that my blog will be very late that week. Felicity has been to Hong Kong twice before so she knows all the hot spots. We will be very lucky to have her with us. Did I mention the weather in Hong Kong is going to be gorgeous... highs in the 70's- PERFECT! I am so ready to be out of the snow... it's freaking frigid here.
This weekend I went out with a big group of girls... it reminded me of college all over again. What a great bunch we had... some Canadians, a few Americans and of course the lovely Felicity from England. They are all older than me (25-27)... I'm the baby in the group, fine by me though and they don't seem to mind- it's all relative. I had every intention of just doing dinner and a few drinks with them but the evening was so much fun, the rest of the night just couldn't be wasted. After dinner at a tasty Mexican restaurant (actually… the same one from last weekend). I tell ya, this place just can't get it together. Last weekend, right when we got there, the gas broke. All they were serving was nachos. This weekend, the gas was working but the heat wasn't… it was quite chilly in there. We left the college campus and headed downtown where we went to the usual three foreigner bars. We thought we'd mix it up and head to a Korean night club… wow, what a scene. This place looked like something out of a movie…. three levels of stages, bars, dancing and many, many Koreans. From what I could see, my girlfriends and I were the only white girls in the whole place. The best part of the evening was when my friend Vinita and I wondered off in search of a bathroom, stubbled onto a big stage with black lights and strobe lights… what else do you do when this happens, you dance. I don't know if it was the alcohol or the lights but I don't think I've ever had so much fun dancing… so much for finding the bathroom, haha. My group of friends slowly whittled away as the night went on. 10 to 8… 8 to 6…6 to 4… 4 to 2 and then the sun came up… time to go home! What a great night…
On Sunday, I slept in which was so nice because I rarely do it anymore (I prefer it this way). I had one of my friends over for dinner that evening. Her birthday is coming up so I thought I would make her an early birthday dinner. Mmmmm.. we had pasta in a white wine, butter cream sauce with fresh broccoli, mushrooms and chicken. It was so nice cooking/entertaining for somewhere (that's one of the only things I miss about having a boyfriend haha). As sweet as Dominique is, she brought dessert… home made whip cream and strawberries- delicious! After Dom went home, I knew I was never going to sleep… definitely the worst thing about sleeping in on Sundays (why do I continue to do this to myself). I went to see a movie with some coworkers. We saw "Love and Other Drugs" which came out in Novemeber in America but here, I've said this before… movies are 2 months late. I guess they have to get the subtitles going. I am just glad it's in English and I don't have to read the subtitles. When you buy a ticket…you pay, then pick which seats in the theater you want to sit it (similar to how you would buy tickets on a plane- there's a big electronic chart that you select from). Anyway, this movie was great!! I definitely recommend it, if your in the mood for a good, romantic comedy. I saw it with two guys and they really liked it so it can't be too girly!
*cross your fingers that I am all better by Saturday. A big group of us are going sledding at Family Land for Dominique's birthday. I don't want to miss out! :)
Korean Facts/ Randomness:
- So much for hot, delicious, buttered popcorn at the movies, bring on the hot, buttered squid.
-Being that it's so cold out, restaurants don't bother serving chilled water. They think that since it's cold outside, they need to serve warm or even hot water. Maybe it's just me but warm/hot water doesn't really quench my thirst.
-The nurses at hospitals don't get to wear cute scrubs like American nurses do... they all have to wear the exact same little outfit (the ones I saw were wearing tight white pants- scrub pants, a pale pink button up with a white color and a mint green cardigan)- so cute in their pastels
-The more friends I make, the more friends I see leave. It's really hard to watch your friends go home. Most people have one
year contracts so people I met when I first got here are leaving soon. Luckily, the new people I have met just got here within the last few months so they will have to watch me leave. It's a weird, sad concept.