Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Happy Chuseok! And Observations

Sorry that I keep missing my normal blog day, arg. Honestly, not a ton happened last week anyway, up until the long weekend. I am, however, quite sick (I've had the inkling of a cold for a while now, and it decided to go full out Wednesday morning), so this post may not be totally coherent, as I'm having trouble concentrating on anything that isn't sleeping right now... sigh.

So get ready for lots of pictures and not many stories. 

the view from Cesca's apartment 

School was normal this wee, though my schedule is getting changed a bit so the kids can practice for sports day. It actually means that I have only 20 hours a week for the next month, which is pretty exciting. Lunch was normal too.

oh hey, little guy

We got lots of treats in the office this week, because 2 of my co workers got large insurance claims (one got hit by a car, not too badly, and I think another one had a small flood in her house, so they both got lots of money haha), so they decided to treat us to smoothies and ddeokbokki, among other fruit sharing and things. I will never be underfed here in Korea, it seems.

I was on my way home a few weeks back when
I finally noticed this on the roof. Not sure
how long they've been there haha

One of my students stopped me in the hallway to give me
this candy that turns your tongue blue. Cute!

Our school library got remodeled, so the
hallway near my English classroom
looks cool!

Before I talk about how Chuseok went, I just wanted to muse on the fact that my second year has started here and has been going well. It's actually quite interesting to have my sister here starting her journey, because it really gives me general idea of the timeline and mindset that I was in last year. I do remember struggling with so many of the things she and her friends are worrying about now, but it's nice to just be able to sit back, relax, and know that it will all work out, and that this year will be comparatively much easier than the last. And now I can help her out! So that makes me feel better and it makes life somewhat easier for her.

Crazy what a difference a year makes.

On to Chuseok! 

I wanted snacks, but I couldn't decide which ones...

We hung out with Lauren for a bit this weekend
and the view from her apartment is
yes, by all means, please put your box
of fruit in the middle of the escalator

I spent a lot of time with Cesca this weekend. First, I went and helped her unpack some of the stuff I ordered for her, and then we set out to organize her clothes!

so many hangers

Organizing stuff

Of course, disaster struck! Cesca has a really great apartment, so something must be wrong. We were sitting on the bed watching TV, as we had been for an hour or so, when suddenly, WHAM, the BEDFRAME BROKE.

Honestly, it's just really funny. Hopefully her school will help her fix it.

her trash bags look like bunny faces

This is why I love Chuseok. NO TRAFFIC. NO CROWDS

During Chuseok, lots of places have foreigner discounts, so on Monday, Cesca and I headed to Everland and got in for like, half price!

we have our own ticket office!

They're getting ready for Halloween

The one ride is supposed to be train themed
and in Switzerland. Hence the languages

This is how you should stretch before you ride this ride

This was the world's steepest wooden rollercoaster. It was awesome and terrifying haha.

getting halloween themed food ready

It's supposed to be a mummy

European Adventure section!

Everland has an awesome Rose Garden, so we spent a ton of time there

pink and purple, perfect for Cesca and me!

SO big!!!

obviously they had drink stations for us
thirsty tourists haha

In the love tunnel

"Let's go on the Merry Go Round and wave like princesses!"

they made everyone wear their seatbelts...

being cute

We ate so much ice cream

Everland also has a small zoo in it. The Seoul Zoo is better, but whatevs.

and saw the sea lion show

we found the jackass penguins. I cannot believe that
is seriously their name


Supposed to be Venice

We had such a fun day!

We were quite worried that the park would be uber crowded, but for Korea, it was not packed at all. There were lots of tourists, and by the late afternoon, the waits for rides were long, but no longer than one would expect at a standard amusement park, especially because Everland is a lot smaller than the parks I'm used to, so they didn't have as many rides. Cesca and I made the most of our day and had a wonderful time.

The next day, we rallied so that we could check out Gyeongbokgung, which is normally closed on Tuesdays, but it had special Chuseok hours. So we headed over to Gwanghwamun to check it out. I haven't been back inside since last year, so it was nice to see it all again when I had more knowledge of the history and such.

there are still lots of protests about the Sewol

Ces finally got to see the famous statues here
of Lee Sun Shin

And King Sejong

You all remember him, right?

Loving the view

Look mom, I showed here where the American
Embassy is!

The main part of the palace, where the king met up
with people

the foreigner party part of the palace

I like the color scheme in the back of the

We also checked out the National Folk
Museum of Korea

Old school outfits, 3 kingdoms era

Farmer music band, you can see some Jangus and other
instruments that Young Ah has showed me

KIMCHI. Yes, there are many different types

Lunar new year outfit

old school Korean style hearse 

We had a great time checking out these sites
We also got to see lots of people in hanboks for various reasons, which was really cool. Some of them are so fancy! It's fun to see them out an about amid the tourists.

Afterwards, we were super tired and hungry, so I took cesca for 2 of my favorite things: the meat buffet and bingsu. She really enjoyed both.

'How is this the serving for 1 person??'

happy to try it

Very eager!

Despite the fact that I woke up feeling crappy today, Cesca and I ventured across town to get some pizza with her friends from orientation. We went to Brick Oven Pizza, which serves, you guessed it, brick oven pizza. I seriously haven't had pizza this good in over a year. It tasted like the old place we used to go in Lockport (Gino's, YUM), and it made me sentimental. It was a tiny bit pricey, but TOTALLY WORTH IT. I will definitely have to trek out there again. 

A decent amount for 4 people. YUM

I was pretty unsuccessful in getting some errands done today, mostly cause of this cold. Lesson learned. If you start feeling the inklings of a cold, you probably should relax instead of gallivanting around the country. Oops.

Nothing crazy exciting in Kpop this week for me, but Cesca and I have been watching a drama called Trot Lovers, which is hilarious and infuriating at the same time. Trot is an older style of music here in Korea, and the drama is about a girl who is a talented trot singer. She teams up with a formerly popular pop singer to try and get her to rise to the top! It's a cute rom com drama and I love the main actors, so it's a win win. And the songs are so fun!

Sorry it's a lot of pictures and such, I'm feeling pretty sick tonight. Hopefully I'll have better news and more interesting things to say for my next update. Ciao for now!

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