Saturday, April 30, 2011

Korean Night Out

As I’ve said before, Korea is like college.  Well, college with a paycheck.  As part of her trip, Allison needed to experience this so on Friday we took her out for a night on the town.

At 10:30 we met up for a dak galbi dinner.  It’s totally Korean and absolutely delicious. There ended up being twelve of us at dinner, but we failed to take any group photos.  Sorry.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Allison & Amy Day One

Today was pretty quiet for us since she is still adjusting to the time change and we have plans to go out this evening. This blog will be pretty short as we really didn’t do anything of merit today. We went to the bank to exchange currency, walked around town, grabbed lunch and a cupcake.


First stop… Starbucks.  You buy a cake pop, you get a gift box!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Allison's in Korea!

Every day that I'm in Korea I like it a little more.  It's an amazingly welcoming and well-organized, albeit a bit quirky, little country.  And now Allison is here for one week to live it and love it with me.  Wahoo!

After a few minor flight delays she is here safe and sound.  We are back in Daejeon, had a late pizza dinner for her first Korean meal, and we are both about to pass out from sheer exhaustion. Stayed tuned in the coming days to follow the Allison & Amy Adventures in Korea.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Learning the Language - Take 2

I got a private tutor.  His name is Troy.  He's a rockstar.  It's actually more a language exchange - he helps me, I help someone else, that person helps another person, and the circle of life continues.  It's a rockin good time. (and for those concerned about my visa - no money is exchanged for any of these lessons.)

We meet twice a week for an hour each time.  The book already seems to be far more beneficial than the book from the other class I took. (Well, tried to take.) The basis that I have from Rosetta Stone and my previous class that I bombed out of have been hugely beneficial. I already know how to read Korean and how to construct sentences, I just don't know enough verbs to make sentences. With Troy, I teach myself the vocabulary then he works with me on pronounciation.  It's just like any other language - just because you know how the characters sound individually, you still have to learn how they work together, how to know when a letter is silent, when syllables merge into one sound, and how on earth do you pronounce those double vowels?

The Proposal

There's this student...he's taller than most other students, lanky, and a bit awkward in his walk.  He also has this fantastic poof of brown hair that almost has to be chemically altered. He's new (ish) to our hagwon and is in my lower level 8th grade class.  Comprehension, vocabulary, speaking-everything-is very low for his age but he is intent on being a great student. For that reason alone, I adore him. He is willing to study as long as I am willing to teach.  The student every teacher wants. I know you aren't supposed to have favorite students, but he's mine.

My Laptop Died...

It was more of a coma then an actual death, but it was non-functioning for well over a week. My director helped revive it (which is awesome!) but now it speaks Korean instead of English (which is entertaining).

Anyway, I lost e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  No bueno.  Here is to starting over, and to being so incredibly thankful that I have kept up with my blog for the first six months of my tour in Korea.

I will have a new laptop on Thursday.  And a guest blogger all the way from Chicago!!!  yay!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Please stay tuned...

My (new) computer is dead.  In approximately ten days you will be returned to your regularly scheduled blogs... Until then, just re-read the old ones. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Korean Baby


I made a new friend on the way home from the Strawberry Festival.  He was adorable and it was love at first sight for both of us.  I would have taken him home if his mom would have let me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Little A.D.D. Child

I’ve grown quite the affection for this child.  We battled weekly in the beginning. And by battled, I mean he would usually spend our 80 minutes together climbing under the desks, sleeping, reading comic books or running laps around the 5th floor.  I never won. Now, however, we have a great relationship.  We talk, we laugh, and we respect each other.   It helps that now the class is only him and I so he has my undivided attention, but we have loads of fun together. 

For anyone who lacks a belief in A.D.D. and similar behavior disorders, 5 minutes spent with this child will change your belief in that forever.  It’s truly like every 60 seconds his brain resets and decides he’s bored.  It’s fascinating, yet a little frightening to observe.  And he is SO smart.  Awesome smart.

Somehow this week we started talking about Mickey Mouse.  (I swear I was not the one that brought it up!)  I asked him if he liked Mickey and he responded with a determined “No!”  Then he ran to the desk to help them get the English translation for the words he was looking for.  Here is the result…

Monday, April 4, 2011

Trisha’s Birthday Picnic & My Weird Dog

Today we had a picnic for Trisha’s birthday since the weather has been getting much warmer.  Spring is still playing hide-and-seek, but she’s been a little less anti-social lately.  Here are some pictures from the day.


Gwangju, Kate, & Shabu Shabu

My friend Kate arrived in Korea this past week.  She is in Gwangju, which is a little over two hours south of Daejeon.  I went to visit her on Saturday and make sure she was getting settled in all right.  She really lucked out, I think.  Kind of like I did.  Great apartment (who couldn’t love sparkly cabinets!), a seemingly well-organized school, and a rockin’ cool co-teacher who took us out for the day.   

I took a 12:40 train so I got there around 2:30.  Her co-teacher’s husband text me our meeting location in Korean so I would have that to show the cab driver once I arrived.  (It’s always handy to have a Korean nearby!) We met at the YMCA (yes, they have those here, too) and began our day.  We spent a lot of time just hanging out at her apartment educating her on the little things that make Korea, Korea.  The things that you won’t read about on my blog. (i.e. public urination.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Finally with almost (but not quite) six months in Korea I made it to my first yoga class.  And I loved it! despite the fact that 10 hours after the class I still felt like my rib cage was going to collapse at any moment. 

I found a gym just a few blocks away that has yoga classes Monday-Wednesday-Friday at 11. Perfect!  I can still sleep in, it’s already a nice set schedule, and I’ll be out in plenty of time to still loiter around town before work. Sold.  Karissa and I went on Wednesday for what was the first experience with yoga for both of us and it was, well, entertaining. 

We arrived at the class right on time and we were joined by a strikingly beautiful instructor, and four fabulous ajummas that clapped and cheered for us.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term ajumma, Wikipedia defines it as this…

The stereotypical 'ajumma' image is that of a short, stocky, tough old woman who wears purple pants, has permed hair, and sharp elbows on the subway.