Sunday, May 4, 2014

New Korean Obsessions and Sports Day

I'm going to have to split this week into 2 posts, the week and the weekend, because there's a lot to upload and talk about. So for now, I'll go over the week, and hopefully, if I'm up for it, I can update you all about the awesome weekend I am having (I actually have a 4 day weekend, huzzah!), but I'll try and update about Saturday and Sunday.  

Skip to the pictures if you're tired of hearing about the South Korean Ferry Crash. I still have lots to say on the matter.

In Sewol news, more and more is coming out about the accident, from information about the mishandling of the cargo (the ship was carrying 3x as much as it should have been, and it wasn't secured properly- it was tied down with rope instead of steel cables), to the botched and delayed rescue operations, to videos released of the students on the ship.

 2 students whose bodies were recovered from the ferry apparently recorded some video on their cell phones during the sinking of the Sewol.  The videos show some lightheartedness (Are we like Titanic? *sings My heart will go on* We're gonna be on the news!  can't wait to put this on Facebook after) to some panic (Mom, dad, I love you! I think this is the end of me. Won't they save us? Is our teacher ok? What is the captain doing? Am I going to die?). Ironically, the captain was making his escape, along with many of the crew, while the children sat in their bunks, listening to announcements to stay put. Eventually, you can see them put on life jackets, but they lament that there are not enough. The video shoes the pretty extreme angle of the vessel at the time, and the whole thing is very frustrating to watch. 

You can find a clip in this news article, along with a transcript of the whole video, and the entire video in Korean.

What we can tell from the video is that the ship was already severely tilted when the kids were filming around 9, as they discuss the difficulty moving in the video. There also weren't enough life jackets to go around. It's likely, given the commentary, that the kids didn't realize the gravity of the situation (how could they have, when the crew was telling them to stay put while simultaneously abandoning them- with the exception of some very brave, loyal crew members), and that they had faith they would be helped. Some people are calling it tasteless to release these videos, but the parents of the students sent them in, with hopes that something can be learned from them. At the very least, it is an opportunity for loved ones to hear their children's voices one more time, as, sadly, it is assumed that many, if not all of the voices we hear on the video, belong to those of the deceased.  The death toll is up to 248 officially, with 54 or so still missing.

If that weren't enough, on Friday, one of Seoul's busiest subway lines, line 2, had a major collision. 170+ people were injured (no fatalities, as far as I've heard), and supposedly many were injured because they ignored the safety announcements in the aftermath, citing the Sewol incident as reason to distrust what they were hearing. I think Sewol will scar South Korea for an extended period of time, but hopefully, many lessons will be learned from it and things will change around here. 

Sorry to keep mentioning it. Actually, I'm not. It hit close to my heart and I'm angry on behalf of the students whose lives were so carelessly lost in a preventable accident. Again, I very much hope that things will change for the better here. 

Anyway, here's what I've been up to.

I recreated the Denny's Fried Cheese melt
for dinner

Cute message and jeju chocolates from a student.
brightening my day!

Apple juice pouch. Like capri sun, WITHOUT

apple beverage at school. spoiler. It was apple

It's been rainy, but it's made the world
very full and green!

yes, yes I can

It doesn't have a label for it's smell. "What
does it smell like?" Sarah: "FREEDOM"

bread bowls and strawberry tarts. OM NOM

Obsessions I've developed in Korea that I indulged in this week:

Bubble tea. I wasn't on board in America. And
then, I met Gong Cha... the rest is history

Indian curry. YUM. OMG YUM.

Green Tea Lattes. I think the barista was

Other fun things

The Japanese guy in my Korean class
wore the BEST SHIRT EVER to class
on Thursday. OOMGGGG 

I had the day off Thursday (Thank you, Labor Day) and on Friday, it was Sports Day! It was much more toned down than it was meant to be, because of the Sewol incident. But I think the kids still had fun. I had fun watching! Though I still cause a disturbance wherever I go, 8.5 months in. Especially with the little kids. It seems like every 4th grader MUST SAY HELLO AND BE ACKNOWLEDGED when they do so. I still find it adorable and awesome. Not sure how the homeroom teachers feel, haha.

1st, 3rd and 5th stretching

5 graders playing a pass the ball relay thing

3rd maybe? They had to pick up the
bean bags and throw them in the baskets,
 much to the enjoyment of the teachers
 holding the baskets, I'm sure.

6th grade game

jump over the stick

then ring the gong

4th grade running

2nd grade push the ball race

6th grade races

4th grade tug-o-war

Here's a video compilation of Sport's Day! (just some clips of some of the events)

And then we had a 'bread party' for the sports
teacher, since he was in an accident a couple
weeks ago and returned to school recently.
and yes, bread party actually means cakes and
sweets. They just call everything bread. idk guys

So that's my week through Friday. I did some awesome stuff on Saturday and Sunday that I will put in a separate post. Maybe separate posts because it's a lot of stuff to write about.

This week's Kpop is arguably one of the most well known, memorable kpop songs in Korea. Here it is, Super Junior's "Sorry, Sorry."

I'm not sorry.

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