Sunday, April 27, 2014

Payday Treats, Sewol Sorrows.

Here's another weekly update from over here in Seoul. I am quite busy these days (I have lots to do for applying for renewal for next year) and I haven't been overwhelmingly happy, mostly because of the Sewol incident, so this week was a little subdued

I found cheese sticks at the store!!

Koreans are very affectionate with their
friends. My kids hold hands all the time
My life: Part English teacher, part craft maker

Wednesday lunch special: Porridge, pineapple, a dinner roll
with a hot dog stuffed inside, and DDEOKBOKKI!!

And then we went to our favorite Mexican
restaurant for pre- Korean class margaritas.
And burritos. I swear, the margaritas make my Korean

Thursday was payday, which means we finally had the money to spend guiltless-ly at the new Godiva store in Hongdae! 

This is like $100. Still too expensive
for my salary... somedaaaaay

Cool boxes. I should hint that whoever sent me
my mystery birthday chocolates should consider
sending me some godiva next

But seriously, I STILL don't know who sent me that box of chocolates on my bday. IF YOU'RE OUT THERE, TELL ME WHO YOU ARE. SERIOUSLY. OR SEND ME A CLUE. PLEASE. THANKS.

Got a milkshake instead of an expensive box.

DELICIOUS. They live up to their name,
"Chocolate decadence." 

It was also Thursday that the "Yellow Ribbons of Hope" campaign made it's appearance in Hongdae, so I will address it now.

As you know, the situation has turned quite a lot more solemn in Korea in regards to the ferry. Last week, when I posted, there were still glimmers of hope. But, with nobody rescued since the day the ship sank, with the misinformation and the time that has passed, it is with great sadness that the operations switch over from rescue of survivors to the recovery of the dead. The death count is officially at 187 (tho they cannot access a room where they know around 50 bodies are).

If you want to break your heart, you can read this beautifully written article by a professor from Seoul National University, "To young students under the sea"

I don't agree with his point about cancelling trips- it is not the students' fault this happened, and cancelling the trips won't solve anything. Regulations need to be updated and enforced so this doesn't happen again, but cancelling the trips isn't the answer. That just means that the practices can continue until another tragedy happens. Korea needs to wake up and make sure that it is doing everything it can for their youth and citizens, which includes proper training, up to date inspections and tougher safety regulations.

My heart is broken and angry. There are reports of heroism in the tragedy, but there is also heartbreak. Students are being recovered with broken fingers, showing their desperation to fight to get out of the ferry. A pair was discovered with their lifejackets tied together, apparently in the hope that they would not have to face death alone. Many of the bodies have been found desperately clutching ID cards, probably in the ope that, knowing they were doomed to die, that their bodies could be identified, so their parents would have someone to mourn. 115 are still missing. Some of those bodies that were pulled out were only hours, minutes dead. The rescue was mismanaged, miscommunicated and mishandled, and as such, so many young lives were lost, the incredibly poor judgement of the captain notwithstanding. By the time evacuation was ordered, for many, escape was impossible. Many of the navigation crew now face criminal charges, but that won't bring the children back. Messages of hope have been posted on classroom doors, chalkboards, and around Danwon high school. Even in Seoul, messages of support have sprung up, like this week, near Hongdae.

Prayers and messages of hope

Yellow ribbons of hope

It hurts that so many lives were so carelessly handled and then abandoned. I can only hope that South Korea, and the rest of the world, grows from this tragedy. And I hope that the students trapped under the cold sea can find peace among the stars.

I've been pretty upset about the whole incident, but life has to go on, especially when I am not directly involved. Not wanting to be alone on Friday, I met up with Lauren for dinner.

BBQ with lauren

then we stopped to share dessert

 I also got a random towel at school on Friday?
Apparently the Aramdan (scouts) had extra towels, so I got one?

On Saturday, Sarah, Lauren and I hit up Myeongdong to prepare for the nicer spring weather. This also meant that we ate a lot of street food

ddeokbokki and mandu

lemonade bag!

Cat cafe mascot just, chilling?

We took a break for some Caramel Ribbon Crunch
frappucinos. YUM

something bright catches my eye. then i look closer

looks kinda like someone had too much fun
in the craft store. Oh, Korea.

Cute notebooks to motivate me to study
more Korean ^^

And now, some education on what the air quality looks like in Seoul on various types of days.
This is a "the air quality is normal/good" day
in Seoul. A mask is not necessary, and it's fine
to be outdoors.

This is a "the air quality is poor" day, where
you shouldn't really go outside unless you
have to. A mask is a good idea now.

This is what the yellow dust looks like
when the levels are unsafe, and outdoor
activity should be avoided, especially
for children and the elderly. This doesn't
happen suuuuper often, but it is annoying.
You definitely should wear a mask if you
go outside.

This is an old video I forgot to upload waaaay back when I went to the fish cafe in Myeongdong. Lauren thinks it's weird, and Sarah says "this might be a once every 5 years kind of a thing" haha.

To keep my spirits up, and to keep my Kpop of the week going, I present to you the awesome Super Junior with "Sexy, Free and Single." Why does this amuse me so much? Just listen. I defy you to tell me that you don't hear "Sexy, free and single, I'm ready to bingo!"

That aside, it's a pretty good hair era for them, and damn do they rock that guyliner.

In all seriousness though, please continue to keep the families of the Sewol tragedy in your hearts. It's an incredibly tough time for them, and the revelations are only getting worse. Hopefully Korea will become a stronger, safer place because of this tragedy.

Also, less important, but wish me luck on my renewal process in the next few weeks. I'd love to stay here another year. Good vibes to you all.


  1. I didn't know it was such a mystery.

    Clue #1, I'm not in Korea.

    1. Sorry, I don't recognize your name... Do I know you??

  2. No, you don't know me. And, I didn't mean "I didn't know it was such a mystery" to mean you should've known. I just figured you would ask the usual suspects if they sent it and when those didn't pan out, you would just forget about it.