Saturday, November 23, 2013

Your random Kpop Update

So I am in the mood to post a few more kpop videos in light of the fact that I just went to my first kpop concert!

The group I saw was MBLAQ, so here are a couple of videos from them!

This is Mona Lisa, one of my favorites!

This is War. This is a sad one. WAE (why) JOON, WAE?!?!?!?
 But man, do they rock the guyliner like nobody's business.

There's a serious "Wanted" vibe in this video. Pretty cool stuff

Ok this one proves that MBLAQ is one of the most boyband-y boybands out there, but I LOVE this song. Though I'm sure this is one of the songs where the guys are like 'WHY IS THIS OUR CHOREOGRAPHY!?!?" Embrace it boys, you are awesome, jazz hands and all.

I could post like 6 more MBLAQ songs that I really like, but I'll refrain from doing that.

Last is one of my new favorite songs, Ringa Linga, by Taeyang from Big Bang! Dang, it's so catchy. I also probably like it because G Dragon wrote it but whatever

Kpop. Listen it it. Love it.

Fun stuff and MBLAQ

Best care package ever!! Thanks Grandpa!!

When you buy fast food here and get it to go,
they give you a bag for the drink!

Thanks Aunt Monica, Uncle Jeff and Tessa!
Cheering you on from Seoul!
So last weekend, when I didn't have heat, I went to Sarah's apartment and we watched a movie. My friend Lauren needed to make a video for her English class (since the textbook videos are AWFUL) so I got to help out, hence the next picture, where I had to be sad.

This is how Koreans express sadness or tears.
in chatspeak it looks like ㅠㅠ

On Monday, Seoul saw the first snow of the season- it didn't last long and didn't stick, but everyone freaked out. Apparently it is rare to see snow in November here.

So all the teachers started taking pictures

Often at school, everyone gets up and leaves, leaving me alone in the office. Most of the time it's for meetings that I don't have to go to, since I can't understand most of it. So Wednesday I had some time in the office to myself, so I decided to finally take pictures of it.

The Subject Teachers Office

Seating chart- can you spot my name?
 It's 크리스티나

We hang out here and eat food a lot

My desk- I brought in a blanket cause they
only use like 1 hour of heat a day. It's COLD

But these flowers are still hanging on

I spent most of Wednesday cutting out dollars
for our shopping lesson. 6 classes worth. Oof. 
Then I got presents from my 3rd graders!

A hand warmer and a pencil from my 3rd graders

vitamin C from my 4th graders


This weekend has been pretty busy. I finally went out clubbing in Seoul on Friday, which was actually really fun. Especially when they play some of my favorite kpop songs, like Fantastic Baby, Crooked and Ringa Linga. It was a good time, though I really don't care to do it super often. 1.) It's crowded and 2.) people can smoke openly in lots of the clubs, which isn't super fun for those of us that don't want to inhale secondhand smoke. Still a good time, tho.

Saturday, Sarah, Anna, Gabby and I headed out to see an MBLAQ concert, my first official Kpop concert!

Lightsticks are popular at kpop concerts

a sign we all held up at the end. Not sure what it means haha

Anna, Sarah and me!

I took some videos of the concert (just short clips) so at the beginning you can see people rushing to get to the front of the standing section (we sat, not gonna deal with the fangirls), and at about 2:20 you can see another awesome MBLAQ dance move that I'm sure they question every time! I thought it was funny.  Also, check out 3:30 for the best thing you might ever see. Because it wouldn't be a kpop concert without some cross dressing!

Sorry about the sound quality!

And now here are some still pictures of the concert!

This is Joon. He is my bias from MBLAQ
(Bias = favorite member)

And then my bias dressed up as a girl

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Good things and bad things. But the good is REALLY GOOD.

Well everyone, I'm three months in to my adventure here in the Republic of Korea. What a whirlwind it has been! This weekend included a lot of ups and downs. Well really, one big up and one big down.

Saturday morning I was hanging out, Skyping Andrea, Liz and Casey, and we had a great time. I was so happy to see them and chat, even though it made me miss home and everyone a bit. I was cozy and warm, with my ondol heating the floor nicely. I turned it off for a bit because I was toasty. Fast forward about an hour or so, when I want to take a shower. I hit the button for the water heater and proceed to the bathroom like normal. But then I notice that the water is not getting warm. In fact, it's ICE COLD. So I go look at the heater panel and lo and behold, a yellow light is flashing.

After lots of pressing buttons, googling and messing around with the boiler, I succeeded only in making myself super frustrated and nothing else. Since I was going out in the afternoon, I took an ice shower (fastest shower ever) and huddled under the blankets till it was time to go. Lauren and I went to a short film festival in one of the richer areas of town and had an excellent time. Though the American film was by far the worst. WAMP.

So I returned home to my frigid apartment, hoping it would all be a dream. NOPE. No heat, no hot water. I bundled up and went to bed. The next day, I fared no better. I made progress in problem solving, but alas, the problem was not solved. So thankfully Sarah lives close, so Lauren (who was planning to come to my apartment to watch the Hunger Games) and I went over to Sarah's instead, where we spent the evening making stupid remarks and jokes, eating pizza, watching a movie, making movies for Lauren's English class, and just having a great time.

It was really helpful to me because I have been struggling a little with personal life stuff while here. My work life is great and my social life is great, I'm seeing awesome, amazing things I would never have thought I would see in my life. But at home, things keep going wrong. My phone, my internet, now my heat just as we are hitting winter. I had trouble with my heat in the beginning of the year, but when it was 90 degrees anyway, an ice bath was welcome. In November, when the lows are starting to get pretty low, it's not quite as fun. it's just like, as soon as one things gets fixed, the next thing goes wrong. I'm waiting for all my lights to burn out or something next.  I actually had to boil water yesterday and mix it with some cold to get a good water temperature so I could wash my hair.  I've dealt with this exact problem before (see February in London, but it's harder to deal with it on my own, especially when there are instructions on how to fix it on the boiler. Which I can't read. Don't worry though, I have plenty of people at school to help and great friends who will invite me over the second they hear I'm having trouble, so I'm really thankful for that.

But the good news outweighs it all! Maybe the universe didn't want me to be TOO happy! Late Saturday night, I found out some amazing news. I was surfing the net when I saw someone post something about a cast change in the Phantom of the Opera World Tour (which I was disappointed to remember came through Seoul in 2012), and they mentioned Daegu. My eyes reread it a couple of times, and my brain said "Daegu.... Daegu... THAT'S IN KOREA!" Which it totally is. The Phantom of the Opera World Tour is coming to South Korea!!!!

Actually, earlier that morning I had been thinking about how much I wanted to see it again. So, it starts February 27th in Daegu, and I will definitely be going! Even more exciting is the fact that the man who is playing the Phantom is Brad Little, the SAME man who was playing the title character when I saw it for the first time in Buffalo, back in 2003. If THAT isn't the universe telling me to go, I don't know what is!!

So basically, even though my apartment is cold right now and I'm a bit miffed that another device has betrayed me, I have good friends to help me through and an amazing show to see in a few months. It's definitely not the worst that could happen!

Also, I heard the Bills finally won and the Sabres are looking a little better, so huzzah to that! I hope everyone is staying warm (unlike me!) and that things are going well for you all! Ciao for now!

EDIT: Heat and hot water got fixed last night. I came home to my landlady and a repairman trying to dry up a bunch of water in my kitchen, so I think something legit was messed up with it. Oh well. Doesn't matter. Fixed now and I had a hot shower and a warm apartment yesterday, so I AM HAPPY. EXTRA HAPPY.

Seoul Lantern Festival, Hiking and Fall

Found an old London friend in Itaewon1
Last week I went on a hike!

And to a traditional hanock village

Sarah displaying how big the leaves are here

Monday was Pepero day, where you give pepero to
 your friends and family. It's cute! I got a homemade
one from one of my third graders
Pepero day was actually kind of banned in school because of money and self esteem issues, but if the students made their own, they were allowed to hand them out.

And then we went to the Seoul Lantern Festival!
my favorite snack!
Oh and we found cupcakes there.