Friday, September 30, 2011

i have been remiss...

I'm afraid I haven't posted anything in awhile....

And that's because not a lot has happened here in Korea. Lazy weekends (one hike with bad pictures) and busy work days (phone calls to my students!) leave me with little to write about.

However, I'm about to head off to Muuido, an "island" off of Incheon for a 3 day weekend. This was only made possible by NOT being able to see my brother and sister-in-law on their way to the Philippines. I'm bummed about that, but excited to possibly camp out on a beach. If it gets too cold, we'll stay in a tiny little "hut."

Pictures will be taken! Fun will be had! Excitement will come back to this website! :)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Leaves are a changin'

The cool breeze of autumn is starting to blow and I've been reflecting on where I was, both physically and mentally, a year ago.

Working at Chundahm. Unhappy with work. Living in Yeongtong. Unhappy with my relationship (largely in part due to my location). I was feeling the cold wind and wanting to jump free of all that was holding me in a place that felt unkind.

Fast forward 12 months and here I am in Jangan working for Avalon. The job is a huge step up and my relationship is also light years better.

I'm still feeling that autumn whisper tugging at my soul. Only this time, it's not asking me to leave. It's not asking me to break ties. It's whispering that things can only continue to get better. To stay right here.

So, as the temps take a 10-20 degree jump downwards, I'm bracing and feeling prepared for what this (typically difficult, yet favorite) season has in store.

I'm hoping it's filled with cozy snuggle-downs, warm drinks, and crispy leaves to crunch.

Come and get me, cold wind. I'm ready.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Let's all take a deeeep breath...

And relax.

And enjoy a slow, quiet Saturday.

Much like my day, today.

After my long weekend last week, all I wanted to do today (clean my apartment, wash my sheets and towels) has been completed. Well, the towels are up next. Otherwise, though, I'm making the most of my easy Saturday. And what better to do quietly than to update the blog with pictures from Ulleungdo?

SO. I'll preface it all with mentioning that it was not the best weather. Our first day it rained. A lot. The other two days were overcast and humid and hot. But at least it wasn't all rain. We got a chance to take a bus tour the first day and explore on our own the other two.

Ulleungdo is a BEAUTIFUL island in the East Sea. A lot of Koreans don't even get a chance to travel there because (a) it's far away and (b) the weather often causes the ferries to be cancelled. I feel extremely fortunate to have had the time to visit and good luck with the ferry!

Here are a few of the pictures. To see the rest, click HERE. I definitely recommend clicking, but be prepared for a looooot of pictures of water and greenery. :)

The morning after our night bus ride and
before hopping on the ferry...we tried to watch
the sunrise but it was too cloudy.

Squid boat! See the lamps they use to attract the squid?!
 
A quick stop on the bus tour. This is the female rock.


 


The second day! Hiking and exploring...


 We stayed in this part of the island.

We didn't go on the Dokdo ferry (and I'm happy with this decision because apparently the sea was pretty rough and most people were throwing up) BUT, we were able to see it after taking a cable car high up on Ulleungdo. For those who don't know, Dokdo is an island that Japan and Korea disagree on. Both countries claim ownership of the territory.

The view from the cable car, looking down on a temple.

Two cute girls in their Hanboks, or traditional Korean clothing.
Ready to celebrate Chuseok!

 The last day we took a hike along the coast. Favorite.

We went down those stairs. They were a littttttle scary.

Can you spot Justin?!

A few of the many squid fishing boats

The island is known for its squid and pumpkin candy. 
Justin was brave enough to eat a dried squid. Yuuuuuuck.

Happy Travelers!

Those are all the pictures I'll post on here--too many, really--so check out the link above if you want to see more.

Happy relaxing! I hope your day is as lovely as mine has been....

Friday, September 9, 2011

HAPPY 추석 (Chuseok)!!!

It's Friday, 1:46pm, and I'm not at work! Yahoo! I'm on a short vacation to celebrate Chuseok, or Thanksgiving, here in Korea. Tonight, Justin and I are heading off on an adventure to Ulleungdo, an island in the East Sea (aka Sea of Japan). The weather forecast isn't looking too beautiful, but I'm still hoping for a little bit of breathtaking scenery and lots of water. You know I love my water.

Anyhow, the past week and a half or so have been good. Last week, we had Wednesday off for a semester break. Justin and I took the day to head to Seoul, do a little shopping, and go to my first Korean baseball game. The game was really fun and like no other bball game that I've been to. We were fortunate enough to get seats in the cheering section, so were surrounded by singing and cheering Koreans. There were even cheerleaders. Pretty entertaining.

  Doosan Bears. I think they are last or almost last in the league, 
but they still put on a good game!

You know, just hanging out with some grassy baseball players.
 
 Happy to have a TICKET!

Oh yeah, did I mention you can take any food or 
beverage into the game that you want? Mmm. Pizza. 

Kind of quiet at a Wednesday game between t
he two worst teams in the league...

 But the fans were still pretty into it!
video


Then, last weekend, I went to my first Korean wedding! A coworker (actually, the head foreign teacher), married her professional dart-thrower partner. Needless to say, the ceremony was a bit different than what I'm used to. The most interesting part was that people held full-on conversation throughout the entire thing. I don't even think they listened to the officiator. SO, that was different. Then, there was a buffet (what I'm told most people go to weddings for). Anna (the bride) was kind enough to let Justin and myself watch the traditional Korean ceremony, too. I liked that the most. We forgot the memory card for Justin's camera...so, once again, had to resort to the ipod. Not the best pictures, but you get the idea:

Where the "western" ceremony took place. 

 CUTE kiddos.

The moms receiving instructions. 
I don't believe they do a rehearsal before the actual day.

Almost ready to head down the aisle!



Traditional Ceremony.

They bowed to their parents and gave them tea. 

 

 This was really fun. He walked her around the table.
 Cute!

I apologize for the poor quality photos....but, like I said, you get the idea. :)

Well, I'd better finish packing and then maybe take a little rest before the big trip tonight. It's another one of the "bus all night, wake up to sunrise, catch a ferry early in the morning" kind of trips. Should be FUN! Expect pictures...and Happy Chuseok!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

hrmph.

I have a problem.

I'm sitting here tonight, gorging myself on my favorite (no, not really.....but it's close enough) comfort food in Korea--cheese ramen--and questioning my teaching methods, effectiveness, etc. All because one class had about half of the students not complete homework.

I take it personally when they don't do homework. Especially when a LOT of themdon't do it. Why, I ask you, should I care? Why? It's not any skin off my back--except that it makes class go THAT much slower--and ends up giving THEM more homework in the end....and THEY don't learn vocabulary...

But it really beats me up, you know? I feel like I've failed them or something. I find myself thinking, "If they liked me, they would do their homework," or, "was I not encouraging enough in the first class?"

I don't know.

Anyhow, I'm a disgruntled EFL teacher tonight. That's my news.