Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Have I really been here a month?

I almost want to think a Cape Bretoner with a thick accent made this box.

Best part of the night: we found this cute little guy passed out on the sidewalk, so we woke him up and tried to put him in a cab. Instead though, he took a liking to our Liz (and her, ahem, ample bosom!).

True Love?

He started making tiger noises at this point- he sounded more like a kitten. Gad love this kid.

Not sure why the oldie was at the club, he looked like he was about to have a heart attack. And he was creepy.

Kim and Anna, being le tired.

This is how we originally found Liz's little friend.

Chris and Kerri at the dance club in Itaewon

Various dancers of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels.

This guy was amazing. He was dancing with three girls at once!

This guy was even better, for obvious reasons.

Breaking out the sexy kitty poses!

Gay Bar prior to crazy dance partay.

Interesting play on words...

We went to a gay bar in Itaewon called "Queens". Andddd I believe that is Miss Kerri and Miss Helena dancing on the table in the middle of the bar. Yeeeeup, it's them.

The ladies at Gecko's in Itaewon

Kerri is starting the evening with vigour

Sexy Kitties (this picture is for Mr. Osborne)

I looked at the calandar today and realized I've been here a month already. It definitely feels more like two weeks, at the most! Honestly, if the whole year goes by as quickly as this first month then I'll be home in no time! I have taken the liberty of compiling a "things I've learned in my first month" list.

1. Apartment, in Korean, is "apartuh". And no matter how many times you say it, cab drivers will not understand you until you say "apartuhhhhhhhhhhhhh". It doesn't matter how phoenetically close the two words are. This also goes for the store Hi Mart, or "Hi Martuh" and Family Mart, or "Family Martuh".

2. Korean busses do not stop at bus stops unless someone wants to get out. Having never really used the public transportation system in Canada, I'm not sure if this is exclusively Korean or not, but it took me a long time to figure out I had to press the button on the wall before I was allowed to get out on my stop.

3. While chopsticks, in general, are hard for me to use, Korean chopsticks have been the hardest for me by far! Instead of wood, the ones for everyday use are made out of stainless steel and just TRY eating slippery noodles with them. I dare you. However, I feel like I've made amazing progress in my chopstick abilities since coming here. Still a few problems with, say, scrambled eggs and rice, but I'm getting there.

4. Probably the number one thing I've wanted to learn most about Korea is the Korean feminist movement, and I still can't say I've found out much. Koreans seem to keep everything hushed up! The little tidbits I've read about in the paper or heard about from other people seems a little odd to me too, for instance there's a huge debate going on at the moment about whether women known as "Miss Moms" (single women who have had children by artifical insemination) are moral. It seems the feminists have a long way to go. Or I could be mistaken. One thing is for sure, I am confused.

5. A building that would takes months to build in Canada, or even years, takes little more than a month to build in Korea. I'm not exaggerating. When I got here there was a dump on one side of my street and a garden on another side, and now two new apartment buildings are half-done. Apparently there are a lot of work-related deaths among the construction workers and I can see why- the other day I walked by a man cutting a metal pipe in half with absolutely nothing protecting his eyes- there were huge sparks everywhere!

6. When I first got here I said that Koreans were the kindest people I've ever met. It's true, the vast majority are extremely kind and funny, but I think Scout got it right when she said there were only one kind of folks- just folks.

So there you have it! Now that I've probably bored you all to tears, please enjoy some scandalous pictures from my crazy weekend in Seoul with the lady teachers. Next post will be all about Japan!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

My Hood

View of my neighbourhood from the pizza place- welcome to Gokbangjong-dong!

My Favourite part of my apartment so far- pictures from home on my fridge!
View from my bed. My kitechenette is through the sliding doors.

My front door, with all my shoes in their proper place!

My little kitchen.

Well, I promised my Mom that I'd post some pictures of my apartment and my neighbourhood, and however boring it may be I have to listen to my Mom! So, just a quick post today and some pictures of Gokbangjong-dong, my neighbourhood, and my tiny, tiny apartment so she (and you!) can see how and where I'm living.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Lazy Sundays

Last Sunday, after hearing about some kind of celebration going on at Hwaseong Fortress, Charlene and I decided to go see some Korean culture. However, once we got to the fortress we were overcome by the heat and I reeeeally didn't feel like climbing the mountain, and then after talking to a tourist information attendant and realizing the celebrations were all over the fortress (five miles in diametre) and didn't start til 8PM, we decided to give it up and went to the nearby Paladmum Market for some kicks. This is what our journey looked like:

A fancy drum at Hwaseong Fortress

Whoever says Koreans lack a sense of humour is so, so wrong.

Dragon fish! Hwaseong Fortress

Bus stop at Hwaseong Fortress

The product practically sells itself!

Countless shoes for sale in Paladmum Market.

Mmmmm delicious grubs in old clay pots- a favourite snack for many Koreans.

After deciding that the heat was too much for us, Charlene and I made our way downtown to Ingaedong (sp?), where we wanted to find a place to sit and have coffee. After getting frustrated with the buses around Hwaseong Fortress we finally just got on whichever one was emptiest (we had to escape the heat! A Cape Bretoner and a Newfoundlander are apparently useless at times of great humidity) and went to Suwon Station, where we hopped another bus which took us to Ingaedong. We stopped at a cafe that had outdoor seating and people-watched for awhile (Charlene watched, I invaded people's privacy by taking pictures).

Enjoying a well-earned smoothie. I have such a tough life.

Charlene, looking happy to be sitting in a breezy area!

Scuba Steve?
The pretty sqaure in the middle of Ingaedong, where all the children come to swim. I really wish I had the guts to join them- I miss the river!

Zooming between children playing in the fountain in Ingaedong

Cellulite, spandex, and high heels- a dangerous mix.

Thus ends my Sunday on the town. I'm glad I found a decent (albeit, expensive) cafe to lounge around now that I'm having serious Just Us! withdrawl.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

An Evening Stroll in Suwon

The rice fields/view from my neighbourhood
A very big bug caught in the (invisible) web of a very big spider...
View from my bus stop. Haze or smog? Either way it reminds me of Cape Breton.

Walk to school: corn fields and high rises.
.... and emus?
View from the "walking overpass" (for lack of a better term).

Friday, August 17, 2007

School Pics

Someone's got a case of the sillies (Paul).
Jason and Jina.
Guess who? Paul, Jina, Sue, et moi.

Sandy: Pre lunch camera shyness
Sue: Pre lunch meditation
Why so glum, Jina?

Brian, always talking!
Jason: pre-lunch meditation (they do it all on their own!)
Paul: pre-lunch meditation

Puzzle Friday!
They looooove puzzles

Miss Helen, excellent TA
Jason the Charmer

Crazy kids