A Travellerspoint blog


confucius say...

20 °F

lotsa new pics: http://flaminko.myphotoalbum.com/


june, eleanor and i went on a boat ride in seoul today on the han river...it was coolllddd outside...but it was fun! it was about an hour and a half, and we got had a live concert! it was actually just this guy singing who had a microphone and a guitar...he kept trying to talk to these businessmen, but he didn't know they were chinese, so he thought they were snubbing him...haha...then one of them said, "CHINA!" and dude caught on...after the boat thingy we went and had galbi...for those of you who don't know what it is...it's this:


then you cook it:


then you eat it! there's a special way to eat it though...you take some meat, dip it in the sauce, put some veggies or garlic and rice with it, and wrap it all in a leaf of lettuce...then you shove it all in your mouth!! amazing and 맛있다...


keri is gone =( i helped her get her stuff to the airport bus stop on thursday...it was sad...but she'll be back in january...

wednesday night we were hanging out and finally at like 4 june showed up drunk...he's so out in left field when he drinks...

i got a cyworld account a while back and some of my students are my friends ^^ so anyway, one of my students wrote on my cyworld and i went to her page to write back...and i found this:

외국인 친구?

this is a message from my student's friend, and she's pointing to a message i had left before her...in korean, it says, "foreigner friend?" and my student responded with:

아발론 쌤ㅋㅋ

which means, "avalon teacher." well, i wrote on my student's wall after her friend and wrote this:

안녕!! 나 아직 보고싶지않아?

밖게 너무 춥다!!!!


which means, "hi! miss me yet? it's cold outside!" and the best part..."school friend??" hahaha...my student will LOVE that...i can't wait to see what she writes ^^

i was walking down the street a few weeks ago, and there were these two elementary school kids...one of the boys inhaled loudly and exclaimed, "외국인!!!!" (which means "foreigner") as he pointed right at me...so i inhaled loudly and pointed at him and exclaimed, "한국인!!!!!" (which means korean person")....alright, no, i didn't actually do that..but i wanted to...i just said, "hi" to them...and they said hi back in perfect english ^^ every time a kid sees a foreigner, they point and stare and ramble like they don't actually believe white people exist...but there's one standing right in front of them!! it's sorta amusing...but sometimes i don't want to be stared at...

here's a funny comedy show i recorded off the tv:

the thing that the guys keep repeating is 그래서...which in this context would mean something like "then?" there's a story going on that one guy out of the three keeps telling...basically they're making jokes that they're supposed to be performing in front of a bunch of really pretty women...and someone was like 'here they are,' and one of the guys was like, 'where are the pretty women?' and then basically they were so ugly that it made them cry ^^

so i totally forgot that most people couldn't read the funny test from my student that i have a picture of in my last blog entry...here it is in writing:

1. as usual, kelsi made me go to detention

2. i made up my mind and decided to escape from detention even if kelsi told me to stay

3. ipod is the product of the company apple

4. kelsi is mean, on the other hand, leslie is nice

5. kelsi occasionally shouts at me for no reason

6. it has been customary for me to talk to myself

7. by definition, avalon is a name of a castle

8. i spoke korean when E.O.P was written on the board, as a consequence, i had detention

9. generally speaking, nobody likes detention

10. kelsi is mean. in other words, she is EVIL!!

warning: this is a joke, so don't give me detention for writing these sentences


Posted by flaminko 08:47 Archived in South Korea Comments (1)

watch out..they spit!!

i just got punk'd by corky!!!!!

0 °F

yikes i'm getting really bad at writing here!! it's become so normal to live here, i really feel like i'm not across the world from everyone so it's not so high on my priority list to write a blog. umm..what's new...i always have a gazillion things to say, but then when i actually sit down here, i've got nothing!

so, here's a funny test my student did:

and here's an awesome not we got from the people at charmant:

here's my favorite commercial in korea...

something about a delicious banana and getting spanked and red bottoms like baboons...weird...

ok, i'll tell you about my heater. i'm cold. like..really super duper cold. and i can't figure out my heater. well, it's not that i can't figure it out (because i know how to work it), it's like i can't figure out what else i need to do to keep the damn thing on! the light keeps going off, which means the heat is off, but at my old place it turned off automatically when the room temperature reached what the thermostat says. i'm no rocket scientist, but i'm pretty sure that my apartment is not at 25 degrees (77 degrees fahrenheit). i would believe that my apartment is about 19 degrees (66 degrees celsius) which makes for a long and cold night. at one point, i just turned my heat up to like 28 and got back in bed...and a couple minutes later i heard this really loud, high pitched sound coming from somewhere in my apartment, so i jetted out to the main area and turned the heat down and about 5 seconds later, the loud noise slowly died..i have no clue what it was..my heat is special though..it makes my feet warm. it's cold in here again..i think i need to get some plastic wrap for my windows.

i don't know if i told you that we got a new teacher...his name is sam..he's from philly...and he's kyopo (korean-american) and he speaks fluent korean. he's pretty cool. he went with us to gangnam last weekend and went out with us on halloween..the kids seem to like him, but i think it's because he's korean...we told them all he was japanese...hahaha...it's fun to mess with their heads ^^ he likes to make fun of me because i eat one thing at a time...for example, if i have jajang and mandu, i will eat all of my jajang before i touch the mandu. in korea, there are like 10 side dishes on the table at any given time, so the method of eating one thing at a time is completely foreign to them...basically, you can't eat one thing at a time because if you wait, everything will be gone!!


halloween was cool...me and keri went as twins...we had purple and black striped socks and the moccasins those GIs bought us...plus, dark jeans, black shirts, matching wigs, and best of all...i had a halo and she had devil horns. my kids laughed at me when i showed up at school wearing a halo...i know that they were jealous...


sometimes i talk about things in korea that are really tacky, and that are there for no good reason..below is a perfect example:

we now have toilet cushions on our toilets at work. notice how the regular seat cover is still under there...


and notice how when you can't slide the cushion on the regular toilet set, you should just tape it on.



not only is it tacky, stupid, stupid, stupid, pointless, and stupid, it's unsanitary!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!

here is another fun bathroom photo:


i have decorated my apartment for christmas ^^ i'm not finished yet, but here's the start:


and here's a picture of my desk at work:


this is the best canadian impression i've ever seen in my life:

keri goes home next week for like 6 weeks...she'll be back at the beginning of january...i need to take a vacation...i'm open to any ideas...


Posted by flaminko 20:56 Comments (0)

chris is american people

55 °F

so..i pretty much had the best weekend ever! thursday, after work, me, keri, chris, josh, and some other people went to have a beer....and i was talking to this girl diana...she works with keri and them and is from oregon...but anyway, we were talking and she said she knew some people from iowa, so i asked her who...she named a few people, and then she named one of my best friends emily!!! i couldn't believe it! apparently they were in guam together doing camp adventure. what a crazy small world!! and there's another kelsey in town!! AH! that's MY name!!! she's alright..kinda cool...but i'm still the best kelsi ^^

friday was kind of a crappy day at work, but friday night, keri, roger, me and eleanor went to meet jay, grace, larry and sara at the noraybong..then after an hour there, we went to exit and danced our asses off!

saturday i putzed around all day, and then me, eleanor, june, chris, and some other people went to exit...and HOON CAME OUT!! it's been so long since i've gotten to hang out with hoon because his dad has been sick for quite a few months. his dad had a stroke and has required lots of attention, but he's doing much better and hoon has been able to have a life again. after that we went to noraybong for TWO HOURS!! it was fantastic! we sang songs in japanese, korean, spanish, english...i love my group of friends here! it was really great to see hoon and i'm basically on cloud nine because of it...i missed him a lot..he was one of my first friends when i got to korea and we hung out like every weekend, sometimes during the week...i just really missed it. and he missed me too ^^ i met one of korean buddies who told me that hoon talks about me all the time and us so thankful that we're friends...awwww


sunday was hyeyoung's wedding...it was absolutely gorgeous! super elegant and beautiful in every single way. hyeyoung looked absolutely incredible! she's like me..t-shirt and jeans kind of girl...so it was a huge change to see her all dolled up in full make up and a wedding dress! the food was pretty decent too...check out my photo site for pics (http://flaminko.myphotoalbum.com/albums.php) all the flowers that were lining the hall were from hyeyoung's parents' friends...they also extended outside and lined the entire balcony..wow!


so after the wedding, i came home and hung out with eleanor and keri...we had a pizza party, watched csi, and painted our nails...we have found the best pizza place in town...amazing.

and about my chairs...so when i moved into this apartment, i was putting things outside my door that i didn't want so the people at my school could take them away...well, they left this chair...so when people would come over, we'd hang out outside and there was only one chair...so i brought out a second chair...well anyway, i came out of my apartment this morning and found they were gone! me and eleanor went and talked to the adjashi downstairs and he said that the lady in 533 got pissed and told him to take the chairs and throw them out because we spend too much time by the chairs! they threw my damn chairs away!!! AH! MY CHAIRS!! all of you who know me, KNOW that i HATE it when people touch MY stuff!! we tried to find them in the trash, but they weren't there...i'm not actually sure what they did with the chairs, but they're gone. i mean..whatever...it's not my fault my place is the cool place to be. we're still gonna hang out in front of my apartment whether there are chairs there or not...yeah, they basically just wasted two chairs.

hoon speaks japanese better than english, eleanor's major was japanese...they both speak korean...keri speaks french, chris speaks spanish, i speak german, josh is filipino (but he doesn't speak any languages spoken in the philippines)...but basically we're all so different and wordly...and we're so eclectic...and yeah! i don't know where i'm going with this..i just had a great weekend!!

me and eleanor are going as white trash for halloween..haha..if you haven't seen the latest snl skit with palin...you have to watch it immediately...we are going to the dmz toward the end of the month...we have plans to go to japan the month before i leave...but i really kind of want to go to vietnam...i don't know which one to go to...jihae says that she heard the pho in vietnam is actually gross!! i need to go there to see for myself! either way...japan would be cool because of the culture and eleanor could translate for me...and i think hoon wants to go too...but i would really love to go to vietnam because we all know how much of a history freak i am...and the vietnam war is one of my favorite ones (sick, right? i have a favorite war...all history buffs do!) but...japan is also a place where history freaks could go if they're interested in past wars...hmmm..suggestions are welcome...

news from the states: my new niece or nephew will be born on my birthday ^^ i'm really excited to have a new baby in the family...and especially for it to be born on my birthday. apparently that means i get to buy it a baby ring...i can't wait to pick it out!!


Posted by flaminko 10:40 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

for example, please sit down.

are you wearing leg warmers? i forgot mine at home.

sunny 16 °F

hmm...lots of stories today! i'm just always so amused by my students.

one of my students brought his baby hamster to school. he was soooooooooo cuttttteeeeeeeeee!!! it was the size of a mouse (and yes i'm sure it wasn't actually a mouse...because i believed this 14 year old when he told me it wasn't actually a mouse...) but anyway, leslie came and told us that paul had his hamster in his backpack (sam later told me he brought it with him because it was sick...oh, logic...not important) so me and jihae scurried to the classroom to look at it. i stole the hamster. when the bell rang, i tried to give it back to paul because i had class...hyeyoung wouldn't let me give it back. so, i hamster-sat, and taught a class. so talented teacher. whenever i say "so ___ teacher," it's because the kids say it all the time. it's usually " so mean teacher." i have yet to figure out exactly what they're trying to say. i don't know if they mean "you're such a mean teacher," or if they mean "you're so mean, teacher." not like it's really important because it's way more fun to just say "so ____ teacher." ok, nevermind.

sam told me the other day that one of paul's hamsters died. sam said that paul put one of his hamsters in the cage with another one and it ripped its head off. disturbing. then sam proceeded to tell me about the time his dog got hit by a car and his eye popped out. i asked sam why he felt like telling me that story...he said he didn't know...then ryan chimed in and told me horrifying animal death stories. we were supposed to be writing essays, but somehow we got started talking about korean fashion, and it led to animal death. anyway, ryan was like...i had this teacher at international school...and she told me that, in america, if you hit a dog, you're supposed to go find the owner and like call the cops and stuff...but if you hit a cat, you can just leave it. i told him that teacher was crazy and that it doesn't matter what you hit...dog, cat, person...you need to find the owner! i told him he wouldn't have much luck finding the owner of a squirrel or something...but the other three he should at least try. sam told him to forget everything he learned at international school in china...hahahaha...sam is the son of a diplomat and surprisingly modest. he often underestimates himself, but he's a good kid...when he "tries"...he tells you he tries...and you look at him and say, 'i know you didn't try..i can tell when you try...did you actually try?' and he says...no...funny kid. he's lived in georgia, the states, and like three other places...he has fun stories.

i found a frog on the way home from work the other day. it was a tiny lil thing! i picked him up and he stayed in my hand for a good quarter mile...but then he jumped out of my hand. so i picked him up again...and a few feet later he jumped out again. i let him be. i just want a pet!! leslie was shocked i just picked up the frog..i explained to her i used to have pet frogs...and then told her about that cricket thing that my parents do to torment and disturb me. don't worry mommy and daddy...leslie found it just as funny as the rest of the family does. you're all sick sick sick people. one day when kim was still here there was a huge toad...she wouldn't let me pick it up though. i wanted that toad too. he was so cute!!! leslie also told me that one of the other guys that lives at charmant has a pet...that he keeps in his bathroom...it's a praying mantis. what? i know. he keeps this praying mantis that he found in his bathroom and feeds it tuna. yes, i know. to each their own...

i got cyworld! cyworld is basically like a korean facebook or myspace. i have like 10 friends already!! they are all korean....i think five are my students, one is the korean teacher i sit next to at work, and the other four are tas. woohoo!! in the "about me" section i wrote: my name is kelsi. i work in a button factory. one of my students wrote that she didn't know i worked in button factory...hahaha...

more tas left =( so, we have three new tas. again. they're pretty cool...i got into a political debate with one of them...yeah, his english is that good. he's part of a group that gets together and debates stuff in english...cool, eh? we were talking about the english immersion policy in korea. he told me he'd never quite met anyone like me because most foreigners he meets are not interested in the korean language, let alone able to speak/write it, and they are definitely not interested in korean politics. i don't know what kind of foreigners he's been meeting, but almost every single one of my friends can read korean, knows what's going on in korea, and can speak enough to get by. *proud*

speaking of proud...my friend brenda is running the chicago marathon in a few weeks. she told me yesterday that she hit 20.5 miles the other day...awesome!!! i remember in high school i'd be at her house before a track meet and she'd be icing her shins and her dad would make her eat bananas; she hates bananas. but she always did very well at the meets ^^

it's holding period right now, and we just had a parent orientation. we all went in and said hello, and were asked questions. i said: 어머니, 안녕하세요, kelsi입니다, 반갑습니다. which sounds something like: ah-money, anyong haseyo, kelsi eeb nee da, pan gab suhp nee da, which means: mother, hello, i'm kelsi (very formally), it's nice to meet you. hyeyoung told me to say more, but i told her that was all i knew how to say...the mothers laughed and actually applauded very loudly ^^ we met a few of them after the orientation, but some of them didn't really speak much english...we recruited a student to interpret haha...hyeyoung asked me to stay. i hate making decisions. what's at home? jobs? really? i don't know.

sara leaves wednesday, grace leaves next saturday. boo. they'll be back...but in seoul...that's far from the charmant.

i was sick last week and eleanor and keri came over one night....eleanor dyed my hair, and keri painted my nails and made me tea ^^ awesomeness.

fun stories from the bar. it's normal to see people passed out at the bar. in america, this wouldn't fly...you'd be hauled outta there and told never to come back again. now, from the beginning...brad, keri, eleanor, and i got to monkey beach and met sara, josh, diana, and some other dude. there was this korean dude talking to them when we got there...he was amusing. he kept getting up and moving chairs around, and then kept asking eleanor to translate stuff and tell it to sara. then, he crouched on his chair and started unbuttoning his shirt. what? he had a long sleeved shirt underneath it...but he took off his button up shirt, and for some odd reason, put a bucket on his head. that was about the point where we decided to leave. so we went to lose control...where there were more strangely behaved koreans. awesome! this other korean guy started talking to keri and soon found himself amidst a bunch of foreigners...shaking everyone's hand...asking where we were from...repeatedly...asking our names...and shaking our hands again. ok. this woulda been cool had he not been one over the eight. long story short, he passed out. all the while his friend is passed out in the booth seat. of course keri and i love to have fun with drunk people. we proceeded to take off his friend's shoes, and throw peanuts at him. he never woke up. i never saw his face...he was sleeping when we got there and sleeping when we left. he did move once though, and spooned with his left shoe. after a while, the other two friends that were with the two passed out guys decided they wanted to go. much to their surprise, however, they could not wake the two up. they punched them, slapped them, put ice cubes down their shirts-nothing worked. one of them was the designated make-sure-this-guy-doesn't-fall-off-his-chair-guy, and the other was devoted to assaulting the guy passed out in the booth trying to wake him up. the designated make-sure-this-guy-doesn't-fall-off-his-chair-guy did an awful job. i saw hand-shaking guy on the ground a few times. either way, we left at four, and the poor friends were still trying to wake the passed out friends up...and they were pissed...

harassing people passed out is a pastime of keri's and has recently become one of the highlights in my week. when we went to hongdae a few weeks back there was a guy passed out with his head down on the bar. i have a picture of keri hugging the guy. good times.

i walked out my door the other day to go to work...and there was a note. it was a note sort of written in english..i thought it was interesting that they finally put a note on my door in english..so i looked around the charmant and saw that this note was on all of the foreigner's doors...haha...it said:

you are prohibited from making a noise at midnight. many people live here and also this studio apartment is used for office spaces. some of the residents drink and talk in a loud voice at late night. due to drinking disturbances, many people are inconvenient and make some complaints. you are refrain from drinking and talking in a loud noise in the corridor, on the roof, in the room and on the second floor lobby at night (approximately 10:00pm) as of today, we will report the police if the above the same action takes place repeatedly.

excellent. later me and eleanor went and talked to the adjashi (security guard) downstairs and he told us that there is one lady who constantly complains about the foreigners. he said that he told her it was her versus the foreigners, and if she has a problem...then she can get the hell out of charmant!! hahaha....one night we were down in the gazebo and one of the adjashis came and told us to SHUT MOUTH. GO HOME. YOU ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. he's so funny...he's just so grumpy and adorable!! i was walking out the front door the other day to go to work and i had my headphones on and all of a sudden i heard a whistle...so i looked over, and that adjashi just wanted my attention to bow. it was cute. speaking of which...one day i was at the bus stop kind of spacing out...i was just staring at the road and not paying attention to the fact that there was a bus there...the bus honked and i looked up and the bus driver was looking at me like, well, are you going to get on or what?! i was thankful that he knew me ^^ the adjashis here are so adorable...one of them gives out kiwis, one gives cookies and milk, one always tells keri to go home when he sees her at my place (he points at her, and then points at her door...haha)and asks about her boyfriend, and one told the lady in 812 to get out. rock.

i've decided i'm very embarrassed for palin. her speech at the rnc was awesome. that interview with katie couric where she said something about russia being her neighbor...was just terrible. the vice presidential debates start in an hour and i'm stoked to watch them. i hope she does better...she's going to need it. as for the financial state of america...it's sad. but again, most of you know this...i completely blame the media. never mind bush and his idiotic policies, and never mind stupid congress...it's the media's fault. there are currently one and a half million homes in foreclosure. this is a small number compared to how many people live in america. if i didn't know that number, i would have guessed like 10 million people had this problem because of how the media portrays the crisis. ok, so why are these people having this problem? it would seem as though when they bought their house they had an awesome interest rate and could finally afford their dream house. however, interest rates rose, and all of a sudden these idiots who bought a house they couldn't afford can't afford their house anymore. problem. foreclosure. media: the sky is falling. investors run the other way because the media scared them into thinking the world is going to end and all housing markets (and apparently all markets) will fail soon. mission accomplished. scared investors don't invest; non-investing investors mean a non-productive economy. well, while i'm at it, i'll blame the bush tax cuts. i'm starting to think the trickle-down effect is a myth...i haven't seen it work once yet. mind you, i wasn't really into politics when reagan was president.

funny shirts on kids at school:
angry chicks do it better
blondes tease, brunettes please

funny things kids say:
same!! (my favorite number is 3...one of my student's favorite numbers is 3...same...)
the best way to cram a test is...


EDIT: so i just heard yelling outside and lots of honking...i checked it out...and there were two cars stopped in the middle of the road and two 아저씨s (old men...literally uncles) yelling at each other...i couldn't make out what they were saying, but i heard a lot of 씨발s (f word) in there...an 아주머 (old woman...literally aunt)...got out of the car and went to retrieve her husband from the confrontation...she slapped the other guy!!!! then he pushed her!!!!! holy crap...it didn't get any worse than that, the husband pushed her towards the car...then they drove away, only to be stuck in traffic next to each other. haha. the end.

Posted by flaminko 15:55 Archived in South Korea Comments (3)

it's a computer cooling system that wards off tigers too

i definitely didn't see any tigers in kelsi's apartment


heeelllllllooooooo...i guess it's been a while since i've written..umm..what's new? well, i have under six months left in korea...i'm excited to go home, but i will definitely miss korea. not all of it, but a lot of it...i've decided not to stay...the only reason i want to stay is because i make good money and i want to learn the culture/language...not very practical...and i want to go home because i should start to get my life in order, i should be closer to my family, and i miss my cat, friends and having a car...there are some things about korea that just make me want to pull my hair out...granted, there are some things about america that makes me want to pull my hair out too...but, unfortunately, i'm american, and that's where i belong...it's fun to travel and make good money and hang out with the people i've met, but there's more to life than having fun...i guess.

last weekend was 추석 (chusok, korean thanksgiving) so the foreigners all had our own 추석. we met at my place around two and all brought food to make breakfast. keri cooked some mean omelets and french toast. then we all went home and took naps =) we met up later and had friend tofu and soy and went to the roof with a bunch of other foreigners....the four day weekend was pretty sweet overall. we got 추석 gifts at work..it was this nice set of dove stuff...like soap, lotion, etc...our office smelled really nice that day. most people get spam and tuna...we got dove =) i know, you're thinking..SPAM WTF?? but it's apparently expensive and delicious here. i don't know. over the four day weekend, we also went to seoul to go to dr fish...then to itaewon for indian food and some foreigner shopping. we went to what the book and i finally found this book i've been looking for. it's called falling leaves by adeline yen mah. i read her other book chinese cinderella and it was amazing...anyway, we also went to the foreigner grocery store. there was poptarts and cereal galore! and then there was monster. i have not had an energy drink for six months.and that's rough because we know that's all i lived on my last semester at school...monster is heaven on earth...so i bought two at 4.50 a pop. i miss them already. back to dr fish. basically, you go to a place, put your feet in this water, and little fish come and eat the dead skin off of them. it was an odd sensation...i hate fish anyway, but them nibbling on my feet just made me hate them even more. it was cool.

video of dr fish:

we finally got our new foreign teacher. he's kyopo, born in korea, lived here til he was 12, moved to canada, and has been teaching in korea for six years. he refuses to speak korean, but he understands it all. he sat in our classes on thursday and friday and i knew the kids would wonder who he was, but we didn't want to tell them yet that he's the new teacher. so he sat in on my writing class, and after a while, i was like...hey guys, do you know aig? and they're like yeah..blah blah blah..and i was like, well...the guy in the back of the classroom is from aig, because you know they invested a lot of money into avalon...and they were amazed and one asked me if he was korean...and i asked her if he looked korean...so they tried to figure it out...but then i made them go back to work...and like 30 seconds later, i was like...no guys, i'm just kidding...he's not from aig...hahahaha so mean teacher! and then we got on the topic of coffee and pineapple...and i said something about coffee bean trees and pineapple trees...and one girl told me they had those in japan...i was like, really?? and she nodded yes...and then in half korean half english asked if pineapples grow on trees...we all just laughed hysterically at her...after class i went and printed her a picture of a big tree that looks like a pineapple and gave it to her...she was amazed...i told her that they cut pineapple out of this tree and send it to the grocery store...she was like, really?! and i was like...no. and then she started whining and all the kids started discussing where pineapple comes from and they kept asking me...i told them to go home and ask their moms =)

leslie left for the states yesterday...her and her husband are going to her brother's wedding in colorado...she was nice enough to take some stuff with her that i wanted to send my parents and she is going to send it for me...and bring me back spaghettios!! woohoooooo...she'll be back next thursday

below are some videos of k pop songs, commercials, and koreans dancing....

this is my favorite commercial...just because the adjashis are chillin while this dude is doin tecktonik in the background...it's for lotteria's (fast food) shake shake chicken...at the end is total konglish. this is in tapgol park, if you look at some of my pics you can see this place..it's in seoul near insadong

i heart mc mong...he's funky...kinda hot...and just weird enough to be cool. this is the first song of his that i heard...it's called circus...

i never get tired of watching korean people dance. this video makes my day...the korean guys actually can dance really well...the korean girls...not so much.

this is mc mong's other video that i like..it's called ice cream...

big bang...lies

wonder girls- i'm so hot

jewelry-one more time


and of course i couldn't get thru this without talking about stuff happening in the united states. 1. the people in texas who refused to leave do not deserve to be rescued in any way by the federal government and american taxpayers. they say, oh, i didn't know it was gonna be this bad. well, i live in korea and i knew it was going to be that bad. it's not that difficult to turn on the news, read the newspaper, etc. 2. mccain made a good choice by choosing palin, but i'm still not going to vote. that snl skit was hilarious though. 3. everything america does affects the rest of the world. i wish i knew what america will do next so i'd when to send money home and get the best exchange rate.

Posted by flaminko 20:30 Archived in South Korea Comments (1)

-Did you get that from burnt? -Yes.

Kelsi: The worst part about that is it totally made sense to me and I didn't even realize it was wrong. Sara: I can't believe that came out of my mouth. Kelsi: We've been in Korea too long.

77 °F

Here’s some stuff written by my kids at work. This is one of the best essays I’ve received since I’ve worked there. I don’t agree with a lot of what she says, but her writing is incredible.

Most teenagers think that volunteer work is just a waste of time because they do not get anything in return, and does not have any benefits for themselves. Including this cognition, teenagers being too busy, plus the disabled people’s unkindness, these are the reasons why teenagers hesitate to volunteer to help their community.

The primary reason why young people nowaday do not give enough time to help their community is because they are too busy studying. These days, even elementary students go to academies after school. Situations like this do not make time for teenagers to help their community. It is just the adults’ greed, expecting young people to study hard and volunteer.

In addition, why would someone spend their precious time helping others without getting anything? Adolescence is a very important part of people’s lives, hence, they should spend every minute of time wisely. However, if teenagers think of their lives in a long term, helping their community do not benefit them much. It may be a chance for them to learn responsibility, cooperation or being grateful. Yet, these can be fulfilled from other activities, such as babysitting or helping their own grandparents.

Sometimes, the disable people’s attitudes also contribute to one of the reasons why teenagers do not volunteer enough. Some of those disable people do not even thank teenagers for helping, and also say that they do not need help. For example, I once went to a place where disable elderly people stayed. I wanted to be nice and slowly pushed the wheelchair for one of the elders. Suddenly, he turned back and shouted at me. He said he could wheelchair by himself.

I agree that young people nowadays do not give enough time to help their community. On the other hand, there are reasons why they do not. First, it is the teenagers’ bad cognition, but this can be fixed if Korean education lets the young people to have more time to spend other than studying. Lastly, sometimes the disabled people’s unkind attitudes make the young people not want to help them.

  • **

This is one of the worst essays I’ve received. It’s not actually that bad, but the kid who wrote it in class never tries:

Young people now days are very diffrent than young people at the past. Of course, how they think on their community is also diffrent than the past ones.

Some old people nowdays are thinking that young people nowdays are not giving enough time to help their community. However, that is wrong.

People have changed alot from the past. The culture and the way they think have also changed when people changed. However, the old people doesn’t relize that.

Old people think young people aren’t giving enough time on their community. However, that isn’t true. Young people are giving enough time in their culture. Some young people nowdays spend lots of time on their job but the olders doesn’t seem to know that.

It matters on how old people thinks, but the young people are giving enough time on their community.

  • **

14 out of the 17 kids in my speaking class got a detention from me today for continually speaking when they were not supposed to. I gave them three questions to write about while they were in detention and to turn in to me after detention was over. Here’s what some of them wrote:

I think everyone should change thinking that speak in small voice is ok. And I think we should stop talking when you are talking and do not talk in Korean. Also if we talk when others are speaking that will be very noisy and we cannot evaluate their speaking like today’s class. I think every one talking is bad but we are so talkative. There are so much topics that make us exciting. I will be quiet and more participate your class. And I did listened to the tapes in class. Sorry for make you annoying and will change. Sorry teacher!

Do you remember when you give me some advice? Your advice was very helpful and now I have motivation to study and it was impressive that you knew my problem well and understand. Thank you!

I know our class is too big to controll all over the students and I know we should be quiet and participate in class but some students are not. I understand you are angry and annoying. However most of student like your teaching method like tape recorder and listen-then correct it.

But some students don’t like it and they start talking. Why don’t you make seat arrangement chart? I think it makes students quiet and good for you. For example, noisy student seat in front of you and intimage friend seat far from him or her.

I want to keep good relationship with you and also other student! Sorry teacher...

  • **

Since it was our tape that we heard in class, I felt so nervous that other friends would laugh at me. That’s the reason I kept talking when hearing the recordings. but I shouldn’t have, because, it might disrupt other people from concentrating on their work. Also, I talked with my friends during the recording. I heard one person’s answer was totally ruined because of the noise. Because this is a real practice of TOEFL iBT, I shouldn’t have talked, causing troubles.

I tried to listen to the tape, but I noticed who’s voice it is and couldn’t accurately say out loud. So I talked with my friend next to me. However, I should have listened to the tape because that is one good way to improve my speaking skill. I will not talk or disturb other people in my speaking class again. I should try to hear every recordings and should find out defects. I’m sorry that I disturbed every other’s speaking class and made teacher angry.

  • **

From next time, I will not talk as I am not supposed to. Also, I will not hinder other students when they record. I believe other students would feel same as me, and they and I will behave better at next time. In addition, I will try to listen to the tape carefully and find what is not appropriate. Kelsi, I am sorry, Kelsi, I am sorry. *repeat five more times* I apologize to you. I make an apology for talking when I am not supposed to. I will not talk in the class when I am not supposed to. I will not disturb other people. I will listen very carefully to the tapes in class.

  • **

I’m so sorry. I don’t really now why I spoke when I was not supposed to speak. I think I didn’t know I’m not supposed to talk. But I listened to the record. I’m sorry. I will always do my best to concentrate and take your class more seriously. I think your class is great. I’m sorry I talked during your class and I think it was a mistake. I will be careful. I can’t explain why I spoke at the time but I know that I was not allowed to speak and I feel very sorry about disrupting your class. Your speaking class is very good and it is being a lot of help to me improving my speaking skills. Thank you. And again I’m sorry.

  • **

In other news, we went to the beach over the weekend. I'm pretty burnt. The burn on my face is turning into a pretty nice tan tho. My legs, however, are a different story. My left leg is still pretty swollen and still pretty red. Today was the first day I woke up and could actually move my knees and it was amazing!

Michael will be leaving at the end of the semester.

ESL class is getting better. I kind of just changed how I ran the class. I made everything ridiculously easy so they have no excuse not to talk. So once they start talking, then I can ask them more complicated questions and we can discuss more difficult concepts. It's working pretty well! A few of the kids don't like me too much because I gave them detention for not doing what they were supposed to be doing in class. They have a hard time reading their book for homework, so at the end of class I've started giving them like 10 minutes to at least start the pages they're supposed to read for next time. Some of them just sit there and stare at the wall, or color on their paper. They are shocked as hell when I tell them at the end of class to go to detention. Hoon told me some of the kids from my speaking class were confused because they didn't know exactly what they did (because apparently telling kids not to talk, and having them do it anyway is not obvious enough) and were sad about being in detention. I told him I didn't want to be mean but there are too many kids in that class for them to all be talking. He reminded me that I'm head teacher and it's my job to be mean =) Apparently the meaner you are, the more the kids respect you. What? I'm going to go paint my nails and take more medicine so I don't have to hurt every time I move.


Posted by flaminko 05:50 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

-i saw your boyfriend today. -which one?

-what are you doing sunday at 6? i want you to take me to a movie and dinner. *laughter from peanut gallery* -which movie? -actually i was just wondering if you wanted to come to my housewarming party.

rain 0 °F

last friday started out as another ordinary day. i left for work at 215, got there a little after 230, worked, and wound up staying until 3am. but that's not even why it wasn't an ordinary day. the weirdest thing happened to me. i woke up, and i understood korean. now, before then i could understand some and communicate a little bit, but nothing like what it is now. i can eavesdrop! even if i can't fully understand what they're saying, i can look at them like i do. it freaks them out. i stayed at work with three of the korean teachers and they were discussing various things in korean and every once in a while i'd chime in...you should have seen the looks on their faces. they were so very confused about how i could possibly understand what they were saying. i can't tell them what i think in korean because i think my pronunciation is awful and i'm still working on the grammar thing...so when i talk to them, it's still usually in english...which i think throws them off even more. pretend it were you: speaking korean with friend, white girl living in korea 4.5 months suddenly understands what you and friends talk about, lets you know she knows what you're talking about by conversing with you in english. what? it's sweet.

ok, so...in the last month quite a bit has happened. i moved into my new place. actually, it's kim's old place. i don't like it. it's ok, there's nothing wrong with it, i just liked my place more. the view was better and i had curtains. the morning i moved, the moving "team" showed up...by "team," i mean one adjashi (old man). of course, when we start moving all of my stuff, they finally are just starting to clean kim's apartment. three weeks after she left. i was very annoyed, to say the least. i knew that kim's air con didn't work, so i made it a point to let someone know a week in advance that it didn't work. if you haven't yet heard me complain about the humidity here, i'm about to. take the worst humidity you've ever felt in your life...multiply it by three...you've got korea in the summer. walk outside and within minutes you're drenched. it's not sweat, it's just humidity. it's awful. anyhoo, i asked them to fix the air con before i moved in. no. of course they didn't. so for a few days i had no air con...it was unbearable. i do believe i was grouchier than usual. there's just something uncomfortable about being soaking wet for no reason at all. the air con not working wasn't even the best part about my move. the adjumma (old woman) who was cleaning my place, and did a terrible job, stole from me!! it's not like a juice box or bandages are really that important to me, but it's a matter of principle. the adjashi made me go downstairs and help him with something, and while i was gone she helped herself to another juice box, but didn't finish the one i gave her in the first place. she hid the juice box in her stuff. wench. she just kept following me around asking me for my stuff. i even gave her a box of tissues because i had like four. i felt sorry for her, but not sorry enough to be ok with her taking my stuff. she just kept telling me that because she is adjumma i should give her stuff and that her back hurts, blah blah blah. she even asked how much money i made!! and she told me i looked 30! i pretended i didn't understand most of what she said, but the fact is, i did understand...and i wanted her to leave immediately. but i couldn't remember how to say "go away" in korean. she stuck around to help me unpack some of my stuff, and she completely rearranged my room. i understand the hierarchy in korea and biting my tongue was all i could do to not go off on her. as i was waiting for her to leave, i started opening boxes and moving stuff around, she opened a box too and decided that since there were bandages on top and she was adjumma, she deserved to have some. she didn't see me watching her, but i was. i watched her greedily take them and rush over to her bag of tricks and throw them in. hmmf.

so, to "celebrate" my new apartment i had a housewarming party. a potluck with foreign food! hooray! it was me, mau, grace, keri, patrick, mike, lukas, josh, and maybe a couple other people. patrick made some amazing pasta salad. he let me keep the leftovers =) it was a fun night that ended in fireworks and sparklers down by the river. we were celebrating four days after canada day, the fourth of july, and my new apartment. fun and festivities all around.

i also went to a book store called kyobo in bundang. no joke, i was in heaven. HEAVEN. it also had an art box. what more could i ask for? tons of books and office supplies. if you know me, you know i love my office supplies. there's something refreshing about a new box of paper clips or another notebook. ah, it was great, i need to return soon. i bought a couple books and a time magazine (i won't bore you with what i bought at artbox). i've been reading like a madman lately and trading books with the other foreigners. it's nice to be in company of intellectual people who enjoy reading and discussing books and current events. it's also nice because they don't make fun of me for wanting to spend a couple hours after work on a friday reading before i do anything else. an interesting change from home.

a few weeks ago i went to seoul with steve. he was my designated tour guide. we went to gyeongbokgung palace, but unfortunately it was closed by the time we got there. so we took pictures in front of it and went and hung out in insadong. he kept questioning my sense of direction. ha. silly boy. i knew how to get there, but he didn't think i did...even by the time we were 20 feet from where we needed to be, he was still questioning whether or not i knew where i was going. it's ok though, i got to rub it in his face when he asked some guy and he told him the exact same thing i did. but anyway, we saw a buddhist temple, walked around and looked at cool stuff, i bought a t-shirt that makes me look like a tourist, and a few other random things. i suggested to steve a game we should play...it was called, "i don't speak korean." we talked to people in english (even though steve is korean). it was hilarious...you shoulda seen the looks on people's faces when steve started speaking english to them and not korean. we couldn't figure out how to get out of the parking lot (we're not dumb, they lowered the gate arm and you actually had to ask them to raise it for you..but they were on the opposite side of the lot than where the gate arm was). steve asked the attendant in english. poor guy about had a heart attack. i was amused though. we laughed about the look on his face the whole way home. when you look at my photo site and see the pictures of the palace, you can find certain pictures that have me telling you what the different things are. =) neato.

things have been a little crazy at work. we just started a new semester. hoon's dad had a stroke and is paralyzed on one side of his body, so hoon has been scarce and a little moody. but things are finally getting back to normal. his dad is doing fine and is back at home. however, that upsets hoon because he thinks his dad should be in the hospital. we wrote a book during holding period for fall semester. and by "we," i mean all of the foreign teachers. it should be a decent book. we started summer intensives on wednesday (yes, on a wednesday) and things are still a little disorganized. i agreed to teach an esl class in ivy (they share our building, but i work at nokjiwon...which has the really smart kids), and i have never been so happy to leave a class in my life. i love my nokjiwon students. a lot. i don't dislike the ivy students because they can't understand what i say, i dislike them because the air con in the room doesn't work and they're brats. unfortunately i can't always understand what they say in korean, so when they talk i just glare at them and act like i know they just insulted me. one kid played with his phone and kept turning around and talking to his friends. so i beat him. ruthlessly. ok, i didn't beat him...but i made it very clear he shouldn't do that anymore because i'm a mean teacher. none of them have english names either...so i had to call attendance for 17 korean kids. ash.

i finished the newspapers for my journalism class, so as soon as i figure out how to get them on here, i'll do it. the korean teachers loved them! the tas are on the front of one, leslie is on the front of the other, and so hyun and heyoung want to send them home to parents, plus have them hanging up at school and on the tables for parents to look at while they are registering their kids or something like that. one of my kids wrote a huge article on black holes..he's impressive. he looks like he just stepped out of the 70s. but he's really really really REALLY quiet, and has the most adorable smile in the world! dimples!!! he's gonna be a heartbreaker! i listened to his speaking the other day and he talked so much!! i don't think i've heard him say that many words in korean, let alone english! i helped another student prepare for a writing competition, and i've been helping another one with his speaking. busy busy busy.

in addition to the craziness at work, we have revamped our teaching style. you can't make the parents happy. ever. and they're going to drive all of the korean teachers crazy by complaining so much, and drive us crazy because every time they complain we have to change something!! 9 times out of 10 their complaints are unfounded. they take pure advantage of the fact that our school is actually a business and the teachers will jump through hoops to make them happy. anyway, no more fun classes. only toefl. write an essay, correct it in front of the class, assign homework. the kids don't bring their binders or books, and the parents complain we aren't using the books or binders enough. the kids don't pay attention in class, and it's our fault they don't learn anything. they kids don't improve on the toefl, and it's our fault. they don't study, it's our fault. how exactly? i haven't quite figured it out yet...unless...IT'S NOT OUR FAULT! argh!! they say they want their kids to improve in more areas than toefl, so we get to work on the root of their writing/speaking problems, but then the parents say that their kid's score didn't improve, so we shouldn't focus on anything besides toefl. this last statement lacks serious logic. because their kid didn't improve (don't worry that they never did their homework or show up to class), we must not worry about fixing the roots of their problems, just make a temporary fix so they can get a good score on the toefl. the principle kind of echoes an economic stimulus package i heard of once...

my solace about work comes from a few places. 1. most of the kids are really awesome and they laugh at my jokes and some of them try really really hard...even better, they like me too! 2. it sucks for everyone, not just me. 3. the more i work, the faster august will go, the sooner summer intensives and summer itself will be over. 4. i get paid more. 5. brendan is coming soon. 6. i bought my ticket to the summer breeze music festival and am dying to see new found glory. 7. i'm just excited that summer is almost over. one month of this awful weather left. 8. shaun might come visit. 9. i want to go back to school. 10. i have books to read and notebooks to write in. some of the koreans believe that 26 degrees celsius (78 degrees fahrenheit) is air conditioning. sometimes it's miserable in my office because it's so hot. sometimes my kids sit in the direct path of the air con and tell me they're cold. i tell them to bring more clothes, and don't sit in front of the air con, because i'm not turning it off. it is, no joke, 10 degrees hotter in the front of the room than it is in the middle, or even in the back. i keep telling myself i'll get used to it...and maybe i'm not getting used to it, but i'm able to tolerate it...it's also been raining for about a week straight. i'm glad i have a huge umbrella and a pair of rain boots.

anyway, that about wraps it up from this side of the world. mau's sister is in town and me and grace are taking her to the express bus terminal today to go shopping. woot. and, the guy who moved out of the apartment above mine this morning has finally stopped trying to hammer nails into cement on a saturday morning. now he just walks like he's wearing thick, loud heels. i can hear it echo. goodness. i love you, shopping.


Posted by flaminko 06:47 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

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