A Travellerspoint blog

wait, so now it's an imaginary sock puppet?

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my new apartment

umm whatever...the people i hang out with...*explicit content warning*

yoyo

on the bus singing a really stupid song...*explicit content warning*

gracey's konglish

and fireworks...*explicit language warning*

Posted by flaminko 15:34 Archived in South Korea Comments (2)

i'm so exciting, and i'm just not hiding...

ahhhhhh...korea. i wish i could explain korea to you all. i can't. you're thinking: kelsi, you were an english major, you should be able to explain things... and to that i say, there are just some things you can't explain...and korea is one of those things. i'm pretty sure everyone i've met here considers themselves my mom. hoon told me today that it will be raining the rest of the week so i need to remember my umbrella. thank you. in addition to remembering my umbrella, i'm supposed to remember to eat fruits and vegetables and things that are 'good for health.' as if that weren't bad enough, i think koreans like to play matchmaker (but one person is not the matchmaker, it's a community thing...and in my case, heyoung has taken it upon herself to get all of my coworkers involved in the search. awkward). and kids are funny. according to one of my students, i'm secretly 33 years old, i'm in love with hoon, and i'm going to marry steve...hmm...i'll let you know how that turns out. a common game to play here is 'who looks younger?' i staunchly refuse to play this game because i can't win. i suddenly understand how guys feel. guys: you can't win with girls; you're always going to be wrong.

i also don't understand the metric system. why, america, are we the only people in the world who don't use the metric system? this makes it very difficult to measure things. for example, i wanted to make pancakes the other day. i have a liquid measuring cup in my apartment that the guy before me left. so, i went to lotte mart and bought some mix and some eggs, and then i went to make the pancakes and finally noticed that this stupid measuring cup is, of course, not metric. awesome. so, after finding out how much 200 cc of water is, i was forced to figure out something in grams. this proves quite difficult to do with a measuring cup that deals in volume. but, thanks to random sites on the internet, i found out how much 100 grams of sifted flour is in cups, and assumed it would be about the same for pancake mix. amazing how i had no problem reading the directions in korea, all of my troubles were in actually measuring the ingredients! when all was said and done, i had made the best pancakes in the world. we all know how horrible i am at cooking, but they turned out really well!! i even cooked them all the way through =) for those of you who have never eaten pancakes with me, i like to only cook them a little bit and leave uncooked batter on the inside of the pancake. delish. the syrup isn't quite right though..it's ok...but i think i'll try a different brand next time...maybe something not made in korea.

the new teacher came last week...she's really cool!! luckily i had looked her up on facebook and given her my phone number in case she got to the airport and no one was there. she called. no one was there to pick her and her husband up. eventually they got to suji and moved in to their apartment. wednesday after work is kim's going away party, thursday is her last day, and friday we're having a sleepover, and she leaves for new york saturday morning. it's crazy...in a few days, she'll be gone. i hate change!

i finally transfered some money home the other day...damn, i got ripped off. i sent home 1 million won, which is something like $1,000. however...the korean bank took 22000 won as a transfer fee, and my bank took $18, and the rest of the money i lost was due to the stupid exchange rate. how much did i end up with? about $920. lame sauce. while i was at the bank the exchange rate changed a couple times. why is this? is the won losing its worth, or is the dollar gaining worth? it doesn't make sense that the won is losing its worth, and i'm still not convinced that giving every american $600 is enough to move the entire economy. either way, it sucks now. two months ago, i would have made money sending money home...even after the bank fees, if i would have sent 1 million won home, i would have ended up with over a grand in my stateside bank account. LAME!!!!!

brendan will be here the 11th of august...and there is a music festival a few days before he gets here called 썸머브리즈 (summer breeze)...i fully intend on going because NEW FOUND GLORY WILL BE THERE!!!! AHHH!!! since i couldn't figure out how to make it work when i lived in the states, i'm gonna make it work in korea. they were always in kansas, and something always came up...plus, it was like a six hour drive. here, it's only like an hour bus ride...i can handle that!! lost prophets, one republic, the prodigy, panic! at the disco, simple plan, and many other awesome bands are going to be there...it's gonna be greeeeeeeeeeeat!! it'll be hotter than hades, but 100% worth it...i can't wait!! i was going to go to japan in august to see nfg, but seoul is so much closer =)

on that note...i think i'm gonna hit the hay. catch ya on the flip side.

k

*a little something i found...i deleted some of them bc they were lame*

You know you've been in Korea too long when...

1. You are immune to the smell of "kimchi breath"
3. You can pick up a single strand of noodles with chopsticks.
4. You enjoy slurping your noodles as loudly as you can.
6. You walk down the street holding hands with your buddy.
7. You can eat barefooted in a restaurant with your foot in your lap.
8. You can cut in at the front of the line of waiting people with the best of them.
10. You can fall asleep on the subway or bus and wake up at your stop.
12. You can convert any US unit measurements into metric measurements in your head. *i still can't do this though*
16. People ask if you want to go by car and you respond, "No, I'm in a hurry."
17. You wear white socks with dark pants.
18. You can use a squatting toilet and not be weirded out by it.
20. You crawl back into your house to get your coat, rather than take your shoes off or walk on floor with shoes on.
21. You bow at inanimate objects. *totally*
22. Someone says breakfast and you think fish, soup and seaweed.
24. You start believing you can blend into a large crowd of Koreans. so true!!!
26. You answer the phone by saying, "yabasayo?" *guilty*
27. You mutter "chuuh" when you're cold. *yup*
30. You answer "nay" even when speaking English to non-Korean friends. *absolutely*
33. You like Cass or Hite better than Bud or Miller.
34. It seems completely normal to stay out all night.

Posted by flaminko 11:27 Comments (1)

suffrize!

my kids wrote me a song so i'd give them a detention pass =) they also promised to bring me the moon!

k

Posted by flaminko 09:56 Comments (1)

we were in nigeria for a minute..and back in korea...

i love ə

i'm starting to be that girl who really sucks at updating her blog and calling her parents...

it was truly hell week here at school...not because anything too awful happened, but being head teacher is lotsa work! nothin i can't handle though...there have been a few problems with the old head teacher giving me some attitude, but i think we've got it squared away now. i love my new position! i get to be in control =) and i get to organize everything...and we all know how much i love to organize and be in control. we just started a new semester last week and i really enjoy the kids in my classes...i don't think my intensive writing class likes me very much because i make them do hard work...i gave them a worksheet yesterday and asked them to find out what was wrong with the sentences...unfortunately for them, it wasn't easy. there were problems with logic and repetition and some other things they aren't used to looking for. i wanted them to notice problems with writing that i have to see over and over again. i think they got the point when it took them five minutes to figure out they were looking at a run-on sentence. they started out looking at very specific things, but after a while began to look at the big picture.

kim's birthday was last monday, so we went out in seoul on saturday and had a bbq on sunday. hoon and new ta came out for a bit and joined all the foreigners. turns out new ta's english teacher is keri! small world... saturday was a pretty fun night...despite the fact that it took us three hours to get to seoul....we ate at dos tacos, then went bar hopping...it was really freaked out by how many foreigners were around...i actually just wanted to go back to suji and be around korean people. how strange is that? anyway, we hitched a ride to itaewon with a guy from dubai...spent the rest of the night chillin and then came home about 3. i think kim had a pretty good birthday! she leaves in like two and a half weeks!!!

i also found out that i have to move in july. boo hiss. the guy who owns my apartment is selling it and therefore can't renew my contract, so i have to move to a different apartment in charmont. grrrrrrrrrr. when that guy told me, i definitely didn't hold the look of anger from my face...he said he'd be there helping, or someone else would. i told heyoung and she offered to help too. i think i'll mostly just need boxes. this is going to be a lot easier than moving from iowa city to des moines, or vice versa. it's still gonna suck though because i already have acquired lots of crap...you know how i do.

steve and heeju's last day was last friday, so the kids threw them a party, then we all went out for a while...good times, good times...i saw steve a couple times over the week, so it's not so bad...but i miss having him at work =(

the new girl comes on wednesday and i have to prepare a bunch of materials for her to understand avalon and their ways and what's expected, etc. in addition to this, i still have to prepare my lesson plans, grade online homework, grade in class homework, and take care of lots of little stuff that requires my attention...oh yeah, and i have to teach 12-70 minute classes a week. ashhhhh (that's korean for 'argh')

oh yeah, i rocked another korean test.

i had a nice ending to a long week last night though. me, kim, and grace went to the OK mart and got a beer and sat outside for a while talking...then hoon invited me to a restaurant for skinny ta's going away party...it was a ton of fun...i'm teaching the tas useful english phrases =) at like 5am we decided to go to noraybong, but it was closed, so we all stood on the street corner talking for a while and then decided to actually go home...i really love the weekends! we were supposed to go to the dmz today, but waited to long to book the tour...brendan is for sure coming in august, so i might just go with him then...i can't wait to see him!!

i need to be gettin some stuff done around here...so i suppose i should get back at it...sorry for the constant delays in blogging...i feel like at some point in every day at least 15 people want my attention. i'm enjoying not doing anything except my stuff today. *relaxing*

anyong,
<3 k

Posted by flaminko 02:12 Comments (0)

Do you want some silkworms? -GOD NO! But thanks for offering

It's been one helluva week! Basically, I have big news. I am now the foreign head teacher. Why? Because I do the head foreign teacher job better than the guy who currently holds the position. He's been here over a year, resigned and has been teaching ESL for like a gazillion years. Too bad for him, I just have a social grace he lacks, and the Korean teachers love. I am to be the liaison between Korean and foreign teachers, make sure we get done what needs to get done, and pretty much be awesome. With this new position comes a raise and a stroke to my ego. =) *cloud 9* After I was informed of this change, one of the Korean teachers told me that I might have to be stern sometimes...I told her I have no problem being a b*tch when stuff needs to get done. And how true that is...

Friday night we went to Monkey Beach, had a few drinks, came home...Saturday, Avalon took us to the musical JUMP. It was so amazing, if the tickets weren't so expensive, I'd go again in a heartbeat! It's a comical musical involving martial arts...more specifically, taekwondo and taekkyeon. https://www.hijump.co.kr/index.asp Watch this movie! It's only a clip, but you kinda get the point. It took three years and seven months to prepare. It was absolutely incredible and if it comes to a town near you...GO SEE IT!!! After the musical, we all went out to supper in Seoul, and headed back to Suji to pay a visit to Exit Bar. I'd never been there before, but it was pretty chill. This bar is where all the foreigners hang out...there were hardly any people there last night, so the pool table was free and it had decent music...no creepy people...

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday...I spent a lot of time traveling today. Actually, a total of a little more than four hours. It took me about an hour by bus to get to Suwon, then I took the train to Songtan Station. However, on the train ride to Songtan Station, the train only went to every other stop. So, once I reached the stop AFTER the one I needed to be at, I had to find another train going back the way I just came. Lucky for me, I think they only came twice an hour and I had just missed the last one. Either way, I waited about 20 minutes and finally got on the train to Songtan Station. And there I met Nathan. He had some stuff from my parents for me. This was a really nice day to be traveling...and you can't tell, but I'm being very sarcastic right now. It poured ALL DAY LONG. No joke. I woke up at 10 this morning, it was raining....I got home at 10 tonight...it was still raining. By the time I got to the train station, the bottoms of my pants were soaked. But by the time I walked another 20 minutes to Nathan's place, every item of clothing I had on was soaked. The first thing he did when I got there was bring out to hangers with some pants and a shirt on them and asked if I wanted something else to change in to. How sweet! My parents sent me some clothes, so I didn't have to worry about wearing his (although I did steal his sweatshirt when I left because my jacket was still dripping). He called me a cab later on to go back to the train station, but it was a Base Cab. Meaning, it came from Osan. It was a lot cheaper, but here's the kicker: they don't take Won, they take Dollars!!! So before I left Nathan made sure I had some American currency to pay with. I switched him 10000 Won for ten bucks, and then asked him how much money I just made off him...apparently, I made out like a bandit! Long story short, I traveled another two hours home. I went and hung out with Grace and Kim and we had girl talk and ordered pizza and watched Sex in the City. Even though Nathan and I have somewhat of an interesting past, and sometimes he frustrates me, it was REALLY nice to see someone from home. In person. REALLY NICE. It wasn't just someone from home, it was someone who has known me for 12 years and someone who knows all of my quirks and stupid things. I know of six people from home who are here: Nathan, Becca and Naomi (I went to Prague with them in 2003), John, Seewoo (I met him at Iowa), and Erin (I worked with her at Parking). I have only seen Nathan. I've talked to the other people, but haven't had a chance to meet up with them yet. Crazy schedules, different cities...it gets complicated!

I'm so happy to have some more clothes! And Easter Candy! And Jiffy Pop! And to know that John is coming to Korea with more stuff from my parents!! And there's another box on its way...soon!! I don't think I mentioned this yet, but I bought a keyboard last weekend! Hopefully I'll have time to play it soon. I really wish I had a maid though. And I also wish that someone could learn Korean for me and I could just know it. That would be stellar.

At any rate, I should probably hit the hay. All that sitting on buses and trains and walking in the rain, I'm tired!! I wish you all a great week!

k

Posted by flaminko 08:51 Comments (0)

-haha, your shirt says no smoking! -i'm being irony!!!

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i'll write more later...but basically kim is back from china, i went to a soccer game (videos underneath), i bought a keyboard, i tried korean bbq, i aced my korean test (highest score in the class), the kids are better this week, i inherited a guitar and dining room set from di...i'll make an updated video of my apartment soon...this week some time. i told steve that 'gullible' isn't in the dictionary...he reached for the dictionary...and then when he got the joke he tried to beat me with it...sooooo worth it...aw my 오빠. i'm buying one of my classes pizza this week because i'm so nice...actually it's because they did a really awesome job in speaking class last week...amazing how bribery works =) ok, enough for now...안녕!!

k

Posted by flaminko 19:30 Comments (0)

you mean to tell me you DON'T have trance music on cassette?

57 °F

hello people!

nothing too new here...just work, work, work...last week and this week is holding period, which means minimal kids last week, and NONE this week! woohoo! they have tests in their regular schools, so we give them a break and let them study more than usual. the only drawback to holding period is the immense amount of work the teachers have to do. BOO. last week i taught three classes (instead of 10), some correcting, and created a set of TOEFL questions for the online homework next semester or so. that included 8 different questions, some with lectures and reading, all with answers. this week i have to finish correcting all of my online homework, plus prepare two mock teaching classes, and a teaching manual for two types of speaking questions. i only have 40 hours to do all this...i don't think so...i'll be going in early a few days and bringing some stuff home.

last week was my birthday, and it was lotsa fun!! we all met down in the courtyard for a while and listened to music, drank some beer, talked, ate cake, etc., then we went to bundang to lose control til like 4am. i got a bottle of wine and two cakes for my birthday...yay! thanks to all of you who sent me birthday cards/wishes!

i also got a cell phone last week! my number is: 010.4528.9008...if you call me on skype you can just dial that number, but if you call me from a land line, then you have to dial: 011.82.010.4528.9008...i would love to randomly get a call from the united states...hint hint hint...

IMGP4908.jpg

friday night we worked from 1100-1800, so i went to bundang to play pool with steve and a few of his friends...one of the guys is a korean from LA who actually knew quite a bit about iowa! i was mucho impressed! i was also excited that i finally met the other conservative foreigner in all of korea haha!! we went to some chinese restaurant and had supper, then went to play more pool, then hit up some low key place around the corner. one of the students texted steve and said hi, so i swiped the phone and wrote him back a few times...later he asked steve what were doing, so i told him to respond with: basket weaving =)

on saturday, kim and i went to seoul to meet jen at the dragon hill spa...i think i'll be going back there next month! it's 10 bucks to get in, then they give you some awesome 'spa clothes' and a key to put around your wrist. at all the different places in the spa, you just swipe your bracelet across a scanner and it charges your account. these spa clothes were one-size fits all heavy cotton khaki shorts and shirt with lime green. sexy. i can't say those outfits are anything i'd wear on a regular basis. but anyway, we got some threading done, then hung out in the sauna, then went to the cooling room, and repeated that for a few hours. the cooling room was sooooo sweet!! it was like a freezer and had a couple snowmen to hug to cool you off. =) we were supposed to go to the soccer game in suwon, but it took too much time getting to the spa (two freaking hours to get from suji to seoul...normally takes about 40 minutes) so we hopefully will get to another game in a couple weeks. after the spa we went to the mall and had sushi and ice cream, and took some pictures, then kim and i came home. i had this rice drink that looked absolutely disgusting, but was surprisingly good...it looked like dirty water with rice floating in it...but it was very sweet and delicious!

IMGP4876.jpg

my dinner...in the top left corner is cabbage with 'yogurt sauce,' next to it is radish (standard with EVERY meal), kimchi, wasabi, seaweed with radish and caviar and rice and green stuff, california rolls, porridge-type thing served with the meal to prepare your pallet for food, and last but not least, soup! the cali rolls had breaded shrimp and crab wrapped in seaweed, rice on the outside, topped in caviar and pretty yellow and pink sauce!

IMGP4880.jpg
this was kim's food...dragon roll...

IMGP4898.jpg

this is my new favorite picture. i call it 'the exact same double life.' this guy is wearing red converse shoes and jeans, plus carrying a pair of the same shoes and colored jeans in his hand...it was amusing.

today is sunday and we were planning on going to lotte world. it's an amusement park with fun roller coasters and whatnot...BUT, of course it was raining most of the morning and somehow between last night and this morning, i got sick. instead of going to lotte world, i did some laundry, went to the atm, got some ramen at ok mart, and slept. real productive. i'm going to get my hair cut again tomorrow...it'll be shorter this time and hopefully a little less straight and flat. i'm actually really worried about my hair....like REALLY worried. i'm worried about it falling out (oh the irony). a lot of foreign people come here and because of the excessive bleach in the water (quoi??), it makes women's hair fall out...er, something. it happened to grace and now she has to take some amazing amount of vitamins to grow her hair back...i hope this doesn't happen to me!!!

kim is going to china for ten days next weekend...and she's leaving for home in like two months. i can't believe i've almost been HERE two months. it just doesn't seem real. if the next ten months go by this quickly, i don't know what i'll do! before kim leaves we are taking a trip to the east coast, going to the dmz, lotte world, climb some mountain, everland, and some other stuff....i'm also going camping and at some point i'm going bungee jumping with mau and some of his friends!! i can't waaaaaaitttttttt!!! oohh...and we are surprising kim for her birthday and going to see 'cats' (the musical by my all time favorite composer andrew lloyd webber!!!!!!)...awesome

i got a call from seewoo yesterday and we're making plans for him to come up here to visit some weekend. he told me he is going back to iowa as a transfer student..i had no idea he liked iowa so much!

ok, enough rambling...have a great week everyone!

<3 k

Posted by flaminko 03:00 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

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