Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summers are meant for BBQ's

I haven't posted in about a week, huh.

Sorry! Actually I haven't been able to take many pictures because I got sand in my camera at Muuido... and I'm a little lazy about getting it cleaned. Before it's last gasp, though, I managed to get some shots (and some interesting videos...) at a BBQ last week that my friend Aidan hosted in Byeomjeom, which is just the next populated place- I'm going to refrain from using the term "city"- over from Suwon and, actually, it's really close to my neighbourhood since I live in the squalor-ridden southernmost point of the city. It has it's perks!

There was lots of food, drink (the main drink of choice being a concoction in a bucket comprised mostly, I believe, of soju and melted popsicles) and even more people. Now Bar was probably pretty empty that night (sorry Mrs. C). Here are just a few of the pictures from the night, before things got too messy and the cops showed up- which, by the way, was hilarious. Here's a tidbit of what they said:

Cops: "I think maybe you're neighbours might be a little disturbed by your loud music."

Aidan: "Oh, OK, sorry. We'll try to keep it down."

Cops: "OK, thank you for your consideration."

Then the cops left and the party continued much as it had before: loudly.

Lindsay and Rachael enjoying some cass-uh.

You can buy "pitchers" of beer at any convenience store in Korea for under $5.00, just like the one I am holding in my hand! Molly is apparently more of a hite-uh fan.

Grace and Jeremy in a room together= comic gold.

Someone brought chicken feet, a traditional Korean snack, to the BBQ but I'm still not sure if it was jokingly or serious. Ciara and Kim had some fun with them anyway (see: chicken foot in Ciara's hand).

I'm beginning to wonder if any party in Korea can occur without a game of Kings.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Afternoon Stroll in Paldalmun

This big, gothic church really sticks out in the middle of Suwon, huh? It's actually a good reference point to use because it's so massive. "Meet you two streets over from the massive, gothic church", and so on. Actually, I never go to that part of town so I've never used it as a reference point, but don't you think it would make a good one anyway?

We got off the fortress trail and walked along the food market street. It smelled so delicious, like ginseng and garlic and sandalwood...

Back home people are used to sanitized, grocery store produce that generally tastes bland and looks dull. I have never enjoyed grapes, oranges, persimmons or tomatoes as much as I have enjoyed them in Korea. They're so sweet and just ripe enough and so, so fresh. Just pick 'em right from the ground!

The zucchinis here look different from the ones at home, but they actually taste the same. They're just a little brighter in hue.

Mom is afraid to go across the stepping stones, but now she has to in order to save face. Come on, if your kids can do it, you can do it.

Typical, run down but extremely interesting street in Paldalmun. This is the old part of Suwon, surrounded by the fortress walls. I have heard a rumour that the government is going to eventually make all of the buildings exact replicas of how they were in the 1700's when the fortress was built. That would be difficult, I think, since Koreans generally build up these days (ie: high rise housing, businesses not always on ground level, etc.). How would they accomodate everyone?

I like to think that the owner is a fan... but what kind of fan mispells the name of the band. Really.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

There's Stuff Growing in my Classroom

The unit this month is about beans, but my bosses brought me lettuce seeds instead.

"This way the plant will grow much faster... and we can eat your lettuce at lunchtime..."

David (my boss) is such a funny man.

So we (Jessica and I) got some plastic cups and put our kid's names on them, and then we had a seed planting day last Friday. My boss was right, the lettuce was already sprouting when we got back to school on Monday! I'm thinking about throwing in the ol' teaching towel and becoming an organic vegetable farmer... but then, on second thought, the "teacher seeds" that Jessica and I planted aren't sprouting as well as our kid's so maybe that's a poor career option for me.

Bright gets so excited every day when he sees his lettuce has grown just a little bit more. He's a gem.

Soo ah and Lisa in my afternoon kindergarten class.

Robin, showing off his great gardening skills. He is also in my afternoon class.

Alex never shows his excitement outright.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Touch Rugby: I Don't Get It

I always knew the boys from Now Bar (and some of the girls) were slightly rugby obsessed. Ok, slghtly is an understatement. For me, I find sports really easy to ignore for the most part. If there's a game on in a bar, I just fall asleep or something until it's over. I don't mean to sound like such a girl, but I really have no desire to even try to understand most sports. Anyway, I do have a point to this post.

There's a touch rugby organization for expats in Korea, and the rugby obsessed ladies and gents of Now Bar have come up with a team- aptly named the Suwon Stormers. They participated in their first tournament last weekend at Yeouido Park in Seoul, and some of us came along to support and cheer on our people.

I learned some stuff: they can only throw backwards, and when someone gets touched they need to drop the ball so someone else from their team can pick it up and run until he/she gets touched, and so on. I'm not sure about anything else... I know you need to run to your end of the field (but I guess that's a given). Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is, I learned some stuff and I didn't die of boredom and I got a really great tan. And it was nice to see the guys play their little hearts out.

Here are the boys (none of the girl team members participated this time) playing against a Korean team. The teams were pretty diverse- there was one comprised entirely of pre-pubescent French boys, another from New Zealand (the good team), a Korean team, an all-girls team. Our guys beat the little boys from France and the girls, BUT they didn't have very much practise time before the tournie (in their defense).

It was perfect weather for sunning. We should have taken a BBQ.

I was told touch rugby would be less dangerous, but during just this one tournament Patrick sprained his wrist and Andrew (picture above), like, broke one of his toes and had a major slice taken out of another one. Danger!

Rugby team or Burlesque troupe? I like think a little of column A, a little of column B.

I would hate to be likened to a cheerleader, especially a cheerleader who doesn't really understand sports to begin with. Grace; however, knows everything there is to know about rugby and had some pretty kick ass cheers from her Laurier days. She is also a good "rugby rules" teacher.

Our favourite French kid. I think their team was called the "Royal Frogs" or something hilarious and slightly racist like that. Anyway, in his short shorts and with his wavy locks, we're sure he'll end up a snooty French male model someday.

This kid was not playing any games. Just look at that face!

The girls didn't get to play, but we definitely stepped up to the plate to help the guys drink their tournament beer. It was warm, but plentiful.

Disclaimer: I am really not an airhead. Just more artsy than sportsy.