Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cell Phones, Haircuts and the End of Vacation

Ah the bittersweet end (ish) of vacation. I actually had to go back to school on Friday, so I had 4 days of relaxation this week before I headed back. Now it's back for 3 weeks of waking up way too early and trying to corral the kiddies into learning just a few more phrases before they head off to February break. The school year is almost over here, which is weird to think about. My sixth graders are graduating the 13th. Aaaaah weird.

So anyway, after the TOPIK on Sunday, I decided Monday would be a "take a break from Korean day." I met up with Sarah and Lauren in Hongdae for lunch (they were both on vacation too!) and we checked out the sale at Forever 21, where I only bought 1 sweater for $5. Go me. 

I headed to the licensed Apple repair shop in Hongdae to try and get my stupid phone fixed. 

classy and empty

I found out that they apparently only service your phone in the country you bought it in. Thanks Apple. Ugh. I was quite disappointed. How was I going to get this fixed?

We headed to Forever 21 while I googled options.

found this at Forever 21. Should I troll
my students??

While shopping, I happened to find an iphone repair shop close to Hapjeong, so after we all finished paying, I headed out there armed only with a crappy google map, as my attempted phone call was fruitless. 

After finding the place, I walked in nervously. I told the guy my camera had a problem, and I hoped to the high heavens that it wasn't going to be expensive. My heart dropped when I heard him say, "You need a new camera." That meant the crack was on the inside, on the actual camera. Crap. 

And then he turned and said "It's 20,000 won. Would you like me to fix it?"

Hellz yeah! I thought the price would be way higher! I was so elated and it only took about 5 or 10 minutes of sitting in the shop for the whole transaction to be completed! And it was all in Korean! Granted, neither of us said much, but a year ago, I wouldn't have thought to set foot in a Korean store without help. Progress AND a fixed camera! What a great Monday!!

I spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday doing a modified version of my normal schedule, which instead of teaching included sleeping and a little bit more studying. I'm going to try and be better at concurrently using my grammar book and textbook together during this learning process. 

I found cadbury before class on Tuesday
and my heart stopped I was so happy. They
didn't have plain though. Just this and almond

double wrapping why...?

I rarely ever indulge, but vacation calls for after class ramyun,
which was delicious as always. 

My roots were starting to show and bug me a lot, so on Thursday, my last day of break, I actually got up at a reasonable morning time (I mean, before 10 am is pretty reasonable for me on vacation), and I headed over to Lucy Hair to get my highlights redone.

I'll never get used to seeing plastic surgery ads on the buses

I am obviously at my most attractive while getting dozens of foils put on my frizzy head! Of course I needed to document the process, just to remind you all of how much work it takes to get that fabulous hair that I love. 

and they don't use heat lamps here, so the
highlights take an EXTRA long time to
fully come in! Woooo

SO of course I had to take some selcas

Just so you can see how many foils just the
top of my head takes

Along with the vacuum bag moisturizer, which
is a part of the visit I've now come to enjoy

Instead of plain straight, I decided to go loose wavy for my style. I never get the chance to try really anything between straight and curly, so I thought, why not?

I feel like a different person

Sadly, I learned that, while my hair does curl, out of it's natural state, it doesn't actually hold artificial curls that well, and by the time I headed out to Korean class a few hours after my haircut, my hair had pretty much gone flat. Now I know how my straight, can't hold a curl, haired friends feel!

It didn't hold the waaaaaves

On Friday, I headed back to school where I did approximately nothing besides edit a powerpoint or two for Monday for sixth grade and enjoyed catching up with the few English speaking teachers in the office. Not sure why we had to start Friday, but whatever. Just 3 weeks of classes left, and I'm sure I won't be teaching much. Thus it's review and fun English game time, so English Trivia and Speed English will be making their appearances. 

Also on Friday and Saturday, I got to hang out with a bunch of Cesca's friends for a change. I have met them occasionally, but not really this many all at once.

On Friday, I met a few of them for dinner, and of course got to go through the 'OMG YOU GUYS REALLY DO LOOK THE SAME' reactions from at least 7 new people. It's always fun. And entertaining to see reactions of shock and surprise. 

We got Italian food, which I love. 

The food also came with pickles. Which I hate.

I got the bread bowl and it's sooooo good

After dinner, we headed to Cesca's friend Christian's apartment. He, coincidentally, lives below me, so it was pretty much like going home haha. We played card games, Jenga and Cards Against Humanity, and we ate a bunch of snacks. It was fun!!

We ended the evening super safely with sparklers. No fires were caused in the making of this merriment. 

don't worry, they do it in Kdramas all the time

Cesca's was the fastest to burn out haha

On Saturday, we went out shopping for a bit, and stopped at Taco Bell for a snack at Cesca's request.

I happened upon the wonkiest, most useless
spork ever

After completing our shopping quest, we headed out to Gangnam for dinner with her friends again, and then we headed to her friend Maria's apartment for an international snack party! Cesca and I did the american thing and didn't bring anything special. We volunteered to bring the cups and plates. Which are super necessary so there.

We had a mix of Canadian chips (Ketchup and All Dressing), American treats like M&Ms, brownies and donuts, and the Australian favorites of Tim Tams and Vegemite. 

The Tim Tams were delicious and the
Vegemite didn't make me want to die,
so that's good.

Cesca trying vegemite for the first time.
not as bad as everyone made it seem, but
I wouldn't buy it again for myself

cute donut from dunkin donuts

It was so much fun and so refreshing to hang out with Cesca's friends, just for a change of pace from my normal life. It's interesting because my friends and I have all been here for more than a year, so it's always kind of fun for me to see where the first years are, so I can gauge where I was then and where I am know. The things they're worried about or experiencing are often what I had gone through, and it's nice to be able to give advice or a new perspective on things, as well as to just hear stories from a variety of new places and experiences. I had a great time, and it made me realize I need to put more effort into seeing people farther out in the city, and probably meeting new people and making new friends.

Cute notebooks to motivate my Korean studying!
I need one for just grammar, my hagwon class,
my language exchange and maybe just
an extra? Or vocab? I haven't decided yet

On Sunday, I had just planned on lounging around and studying, cleaning up and whatever, but Sarah has been having a rough time lately, so I ended up meeting her for lunch to take her mind of off things with some errand running and talking about everything from kdramas to careers. We got delicious Thai food (me, her and Cesca), shopped around a bit, and then Sarah and I went to a dessert cafe and indulged to give us strength for the 3 weeks ahead. 

Thankfully, I did my dishes before I left (the only major cleaning I had left to do this weekend, score!), and I did my homework/studying and workout after I got home. I could have gotten more done around the house, but sometimes you need to put that aside for a good meal and quality time with friends who need it. 

The rules are so cute

Sarah got a chocolate cake, I got cheesecake and
we both of course got coffee. The cafe is cute
and it's either a British chain or it's
just British themed, I can't remember 

From my experience back at school Friday, it's exhausting getting back into the Korean all day every day world of school when I use exclusively English at home and with my friends, so I think we both needed the friend time, fighting! boost that the afternoon together gave us. It's certainly getting easier the more I study Korean, but I'm still lost and confused in complex conversations in the office. Sometimes I can't remember what it's like to be surrounded by signs, posters, computers and people all using my own language... The day I took the TOPIK was actually my 17 month anniversary in Korea, which is kind of crazy. It's been going by so fast!

I also wonder what it will be like when I go home and don't see random English on shirts, like this gem:

Why his shirt had the Miranda rights on the back,
I will never know.

So, not the most exciting week, but when you're an expat in a strange land, you have to give yourself a lot of credit for accomplishing seemingly monumental tasks, like getting your hair done, getting your phone fixed, and just existing in an unfamiliar workplace environment with an unfamiliar language. So in that respect, it was a great week. 

I'm excited to see my kids tomorrow, even though I'm sure English will be super not fun for them, since they haven't used it in a month and I'm sure they didn't study hard over break. I'm keeping it simple with them this week, and probably for the next 3 weeks for that matter. As long as they're speaking to me, I'm happy. I'm nervous about the coming school year and the changes it might bring, but if Korea has taught me how to do anything, it's to always expect strange surprises and to just roll with the punches. 

It's nice and warm over here, and my Buffalo blood is definitely thawing out. WNY winters are gonna be super rough when I return stateside (someday...). Stay warm and safe with all the snow and ice, if the winter is hitting you that way! I wish you all were having the nice, 40-50 degree weather we're getting over here MUAHAHA. 

As always, thanks for sticking with me and have a lovely week! Wish me luck and give me strength for these next 3 weeks before I find out my TOPIK score and head off to Japaaaaaaaan!

Ciao for now!!!

Because my studying was more laid back, I had time to listen to more music this week. My favorites of the week are here

A new solo album from Young Hwa of the super awesome CNBlue was released recently, and I find this song to be just wonderfully done. The video is adorable in the beginning (I love that fist pump) and of course bittersweet at the end. Young Hwa is super adorable and handsome, and I loooove his voice. I'm definitely going to be listening to this album on repeat this week!

The song is about Young Hwa remembering a wonderful, perfect day with the girl he loved, and how sad it is that he can't go back to that one fine day. 

This is just a cute collab between Suju and SNSD, and it showcases some awesome stuff in Seoul

I've also been revisiting some old songs I really fell in love with, namely 2 from the sub group Trouble Maker, made up of Beast's Hyunseung and 4Minute's Hyuna. These two are electric together and make awesome songs, so I've had these two on repeat all week.

The title song with an entertaining video where the two spy on each other but end up 
falling for each other. Or do they...?

The Korean title of this song means "There's no tomorrow" or "we have no tomorrow"
and it's all about how they don't the other one to push away and they want the other one
to say their feelings now. Kind like, don't push me away, time is running out, it's the end 
but I don't wanna go, don't hesitate and tell me how you feel before today disappears. 

The videos are pretty adult by Korean standards, and the choreography was considered pretty intimate and provocative, so they had to tone it down a bit for music shows and live performances.
This was one of their promos. yeah. It's a little too hot for some public broadcasting standards, I think.... Hyuna usually does sexy concepts tho.

 But I think it was well done and I dig both of the songs a lot. I hope this duo will join forces again in the future. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Well, I took the TOPIK...

Waaaaaah I worked really hard this week on my Korean, which means I didn't really do much else Wamp.

Seriously, I slept in every day, woke up, bummed around, studied and intermixed some Korean TV for "listening practice" and then went to my Korean classes. What can I say? I'm dedicated.

Only cause I had to take the TOPIK this morning, but I'll get to that later.

TOPIK, if I haven't said somewhere else already, means Test of Proficiency in Korean, and is used to gauge your Korean level by testing your reading, listening and writing (level 3 and over), and it's essentially the Korean TOEIC exam (Test of English for International Communication) slash the harder TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).

I've never taken either of those tests, so I don't know which one it is more similar to, but I've heard TOEFL is harder. I think TOEFL is more for academics and TOEIC is more for general workforce stuff? Maybe? I don't know. Anyway. More on tests later.

By Thursday I was going a little stir crazy, having only been out of my apartment to grocery shop on Monday and to go straight to and from Korean class. Wamp. So on Thursday, when Lauren asked if anyone wanted to meet for dinner, I gladly obliged.

It was happy hour, so we got margaritas.
My Korean obviously gets better when
controlled amounts of tequila are involved

Mom, don't read that last caption.

I met up again with my friends on Friday night, but I felt justified in doing this because I aced a practice test (actually it was the previous TOPIK exam), so I thought I could treat myself. 

And on Saturday, while Cesca was hanging in my apartment reading my books and enjoying my electric blanket, I studied some more and did another previous TOPIK exam. I would have easily passed that one too, so I felt pretty decent.

In the midst of studying, I got
a really encouraging text message
from my awesome and supportive

She learned how to use stickers and it's adorable

I usually have pre test nerves, so I couldn't sleep well despite feeling relatively prepared for the test. Thankfully, I wasn't so nervous that I couldn't eat (unlike my pre departure to Korea, where I was so nervous I was throwing up for 2 or 3 days before left and a few days into my arrival... wamp), so I stopped for breakfast on the way, because nothing says test day like McDonald's. Man, I'd kill for a McGriddle though... they haven't brought that one over here yet...

I thought this turn was funny, because actually at dinner on Friday, my friends and I had discussed our arrivals. I barely remember my departure from the airport. I was shaking from nerves, lack of sleep and probably hunger, given that I barely ate before I left. I'm sure we all cried. 

Lauren had happened to be my roommate at orientation by reasoning of we kind of just ended up near each other while avoiding other people on the bus, and I think I was also feeling quite sick by the end of the bus ride, and needed some air, so I was late getting into the building. Anyway, we ended up as roommates and decided at around 7:30 that it was time for bed. We have had a comfortable relationship since haha. 

Lauren, during our discussion, remembered that I was barely eating for the first few days of orientation, to which Sarah interjected that, since it was known we knew each other before, people kept asking her if I was alright because I pretty much ate rice and an egg for the first 3 days of orientation. Sarah has known me since college, and knew it was a phase I generally go through, especially when jetlag is involved. 

I remember in London, about 4 years ago (yikes), that I had felt terrible and had called my mom the first night and asked her why I had done this to myself... Welp, nothing ventured, nothing gained, I guess?

I digress. These were the thoughts I had walking to the bus stop in the cold, dark morning. Good news is that, despite this test being a big deal, I was able to eat breakfast no problem.

Early bus rides mean NO PEOPLE YAY

Room assignments. I only took TOPIK I, which
covers levels 1 and 2. TOPIK II, which covers
3-6, is clearly more popular. I'll be venturing
to take that probably in fall or winter of this year

I'd liiiiiike to achieve TOPIK 4 before I leave Korea, but we will see. The TOPIK II is a notoriously difficult test now, because the test includes questions from all levels. Which means that even though I'm only trying to pass intermediate level, the advanced level questions are on the test, too. Talk about making me nervous!! The questions start out at the lowest level and then get progressively harder, but what if I'm taking the test and the first question feels too advanced?!? AAaaah I'm definitely going to have to work harder to prep for TOPIK II...

TOPIK II also has a writing section, which TOPIK I didn't have The only thing I'm happy about is that TOPIK II doesn't start early in the morning, so I won't have to get up at 7 AM during my vacation to go take the test across town... because no universities on this side of the city seem to offer the damn test. Whyyy??

Thankfully, the directions to the university were FINALLY decent (Korean directions usually SUCK. Go out exit 5 and walk. You'll see it. OKKKKK), and with a few decently placed signs and a few wandering waygookin to follow, I easily found the test building.

Look at me being all official

The test is serious business They give you a specific TOPIK marker pen thing to use, and they take your cell phone away during the test. If you have it on you or think you can leave it in your purse and they catch you, you are immediately ejected from the test. If you have to use the bathroom, you must be escorted. Only white out tape is allowed. No white out pens or anything else pen like.

The test setup is a little dumb. They gave us information and collected phones starting at around 9:20, we filled out our important info starting at 9:30, and entry was forbidden after 9:40. But the test didn't start until 10... So after we did all the legal mumbo jumbo, we had to just. sit. 

So, despite my weeks of preparation and practice, I'm still, of course, nervous about the result, which I won't know until February 13th. I most certainly passed TOPIK level 1, because out of the 200 points on the test, you can get the 70 needed to pass level 1 on just the listening portion of the test, if you're good enough. Which I think I was, because I felt like the listening went well. If I didn't manage to score 70 points on the listening, I certainly gained enough with the first few reading questions.

The reading section, when practicing, wasn't that bad, but I don't know if I psyched myself out or what, but it was a lot harder on the actual exam day. That, or they decided the previous 2 TOPIKs that I practiced with were too easy, and they upped the difficulty. Eh. I dunno. Just cross your fingers and hope that I scrounged up the 140 needed to pass TOPIK level 2!

I'm glad I took the test, just to see where my level is (I could probably attempt and fail 3, as I'm not quite there yet, given my lack of confidence about TOPIK I). But now I know the format of the test (at least, 2/3 sections of the next level...), and I know how hard I needed to prepare for this test, and how much harder TOPIK II will be.

Like I said, my plan is to be more serious and consistent about studying in my downtime, so that if I can renew my contract and stay for another year, I can attempt to take the test again in the October, November or January of next year. 

I also know that this test is also not a good representation of my spoken Korean, but oh well. It's nice to have something to work towards, and I certainly pushed myself to learn more than I would have just studying with no goal. 

After being bummed about my less than confident answers to the end of the reading section, I decided that being alone was silly and that I should accept Cesca's invitation to come spend the day with her.

These are packs of  김 (Kim), which is
just seaweed they use to make kimbap
This lady obviously needed A LOT

We spent the day watching I Hear Your Voice, and relaxing and eating good food. It was nice to spend the day with Cesca, since I have no more responsibilities until Friday, when I have to return to school. Waaaaaah, vacation is too short. 

Don't worry, it's only for 3 weeks, then it's vacation time again!!! I only have 1 week off in February, and I'll be spending it in Japan. Wooooohoooo!!!!

After lounging around all day, it was a bit of a surprise to walk outside to see this:


Lots of snow

Some of it was pretty, but it was mostly
the big, wet, slushie snow that I really hate

This is seriously like the most snow we've had all winter and the least snow I've ever seen in my life for an ENTIRE winter, probably because I come from the land of the lake effect...

The power went out here. Just this signal light.

Keep your fingers crossed that I passed TOPIK level 2 and can continue with my studies!!! I hope I can keep up with my studies and continue to improve!!!

Also keep your fingers crossed that I can get my phone fixed for not too much money this week...

Because I was busy studying/being cooped up in my apartment this week, I didn't listen to a lot, but a new song from SHINee's Jonghyun caught my attention.  When I first saw the title, I was afraid it was another catastrophic English mistake by SM, since Korean doesn't have a 'V' so it's often romanized as B, but it turns out, if you listen to the song, they did it on purpose. Supposedly. Phew.

He says something about it feeling like deja vu and then calling the girl "My Deja Boo" Parents, young people nowadays often call their significant other 'boo' as a term of endearment, just FYI. 

I like it. It's a chill song. I haven't checked out the rest of the album, but now that I can relax a little, I may look into it. I'll try not to relax too much, but I'm at least giving myself tomorrow off from the intensive studying. 

Enjoy the week everyone! Hope it gets warmer and the snow either stays away or doesn't turn gross and slushie! Stay safe and warm!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

지금 이 순간 (This is the Moment)

I was sick all week. My colds in Korea have decided that slow and steady wins the race, so my cold slowly progressed from a sore throat and headache on Monday to a terrible cough on Tuesday and Wednesday, to a full blown runny nose, can't breathe Thursday and Friday. The ENTIRE week of camp. Ugh 

Thankfully, I had good students this week, and they were kind and understanding. I had to stay all day after camp this year, so I kind of just bummed around and slept in the office. I tried not to be awkward, but I think I sometimes make whimpering noises when I'm sick and falling asleep. I hope I didn't freak out the sports teacher too much. 

These are in the candy section here.
If you want them at a pharmacy, you ask for
"Throat Candy"

I did brave the pharmacy and get cough syrup and my mom had sent me some cold meds previously, so even though I was sick all week, I was able to endure it. It did cut into my TOPIK study time, but I'm off this week so I can concentrate. 

The head teacher came in for like 20 minutes
and gave me these...?

Aaaah I love Korea and it's random free stuff

Camp was not as horrible as I imagined it would be. I had a small class of six students, and we read a story called Amrita and the Trees, which is about a girl who saves her village trees from being chopped down. It's a cute story that doesn't really have a happy ending... In real life, when she hugged the tree to prevent the king's men from chopping it down, they, er, chopped off her head first. And then chopped the tree down. 

Kind of a downer story, so the kid version gives Amrita the win...

We did a role play at the end. My students
had to be trees

clearly thrilled about this

they're clinging to the tree during a flood

"We must plant new trees! Grow quickly, trees!"

Because the camp was story based, I made a lot of games to play with them to supplement the book. I had to use my arsenal of teacher games and creative reading activities, but the camp went well and I even heard two of my cute girls saying they wanted it to be longer. Aaaaw thanks, but no can do. It's vacation time!

I do have to repeat the camp in February after my trip to Japan because of scheduling issues, but that's ok. It went well this time, so I'm hoping that I'm not sick for round 2, and that I get another nice group of kids. 

Because I was sick, I pretty much went straight to and from my obligatory things this week, like school and class, and I couldn't concentrate much while I was hacking up a lung and a river of unending snot was pouring from my nose. So I rested after school Friday, and went to bed early all week. 

On Saturday, my friends and I decided to meet up because we haven't seen enough of the museums that Seoul has to offer. We headed down near the river to the National Museum of Korea. It was huge!!!

I got there early and the weather was nice, so I strolled around a bit

kids exploring the ice pond. I was so nervous!!!

I want to come back to this special exhibition!

The museum is crazy huge, and in about 2.5 hours, we had only covered about 1/3 of it. I'll have to go back a few times. We explored early Korean history. My knowledge only extends to the names of the famous 3 Kingdoms in Korea- Silla, Baekje and Goguryeo up through Goryeo, Joseon and modern times, so it was interesting to start at the beginning. Our societies are so different know, but at the beginning, we started out with very similar ideas and inventions. 

these were coins!

cesca wants the shoes

Depictions of foreigners form places like
Prussia an Afghanastan

People casually wore crowns in Korea 

Reconstruction of horse stuff

This crown is famous
from the Silla dynasty

It's like an ancient charm bracelet in girdle form...

Old government inspection records were
kept on stones

After tiring of history (we only got up to pre-Goryeo stuff), we decided we'd see the rest next time, because we wanted to see the calligraphy section

Some different calligraphy scripts

The calligraphy section kind of faded into a full on art section, which was really amazing to see. 

minerals and rocks used for paintings

they used those minerals to create these vibrant colors

the texture is just amazing


These all represented something. The cat
represented a 70 year old man

Tigers are often strangely depicted in Korean
art, cause they had to rely on word of mouth
descriptions, since there aren't any here

Assembly at the palace

This is one of the panel things the king would sit in front of
when he was having a counseling session

We then moved into Buddhist art, a special exhibit at the museum.

look how tiny the writing desk was!!!

Mom, you ave a jewelry box with a lock like this, right?

I will definitely have to make at least 2 more trips to that museum to get the full effect, but, like lots of museums here, it's free, so I can go as many times as I want. I like seeing Eastern art and history, and the museum also has a Hangeul museum attached as well. Looks like I have something to do when I don't have other plans!

I easily get tired at museums, and everyone else seemed to be as well. Cesca and I had to leave anyway, as we had another exciting engagement for the evening. 

We met up with my musical loving friend Janelle and headed over to the theater. 

It's musical time!!!

Yeaaaah Jekyll & Hyde at the Blue Square in Seoul!
Well, Jee-Keel Aen Ha-ee-deu if you read the Korean

This is the 3rd show I've seen at the Blue Square here, and thus far I have not been disappointed in the shows, but only the merchandise. I REALLY like programs from shows, but Les Mis didn't have one, they were sold out at Cats and again at this evening's show of J&H. Whhyyyyy. 

The show was so good that I'm considering another trip, but if not, this theater isn't too far, so I might pop back in and get a program some other time. 

Korea often double or triple casts the main actors,
so it's sometimes hard to see the actor you want.
I really wanted to see this Park Eun Tae in the
role, which now has 4 men rotating 

This show is super popular in Korea, and has been performed
very often in the last 10 years. This is like the 7th production since

They had a model of Jekyll's lab

I love Victorian and Edwardian era clothing, and so Jekyll & Hyde takes place at the perfect time for me. Bustle gowns galore!!! The show has been here a lot and has remained largely unchanged, so they had some costumes from previous productions on display. SO COOL!

Emma, Jeykll's fiance 

J man


Lucy, the prostitute Jekyll befriends

AArg the show was just awesome. Of course, we got some crazy looks for being 3 of maybe 4 foreigners in the audience, but I don't mind. We get enough odd stares anyway, and I wouldn't let that stop me from seeing something I love. 

Koreans always ask me if I understand the show when I see it in Korean, and the answer is, of course, no. I don't know enough Korean to know the lyric changes or the absolute meaning of the song. But I also can't understand lots of lyrics in Italian opera, and I still enjoy that. Because this was, like many others, a Broadway show first, and one I love at that, I'm very familiar with the story of Jekyll and Hyde, as well as the music. So, I know that the lyrics might not be exactly the same, but they tend to keep the heart of the song the same. 

For example, the end of Confrontation in English goes:

Jekyll:  God damn you Hyde, take all your evil deeds and rot in Hell!

Hyde: I'll see you there, Jekyll.
Jekyll: Never!

While the Korean is something along the lines of:

Jekyll:  For Christssake Hyde, take all of your vices and rot at Hell's doorl!
Hyde: Then, let's meet in Hell, Jekyll...
Jekyll: Noooo!

So, you know, they keep the original intent pretty well, which means I'm not seeing an entirely different show when it's translated. Just because I didn't know exactly what the words meant in the theater (some of the songs are fast, so I had to look up the lyrics later), I know the meaning of the song and therefore the gist of the piece. And I definitely caught more this time than I have before, since my Korean is getting marginally better!

Our J&H, Park Eun Tae, was super awesome and changing his voice, and on the last note of Confrontation, went from the scary, maniacal Hyde to the fearful, desperate Jeykll, all on the word, well, "Ah-ni-YAAAAAAAAA" which is NO in Korean. SO GOOD.

You can watch the awesome scene here. It's not the actor we saw yesterday, but still. It was definitely one of the highlights of the show.

Jeykll & Hyde is another musical that, plot wise, doesn't totally have enough to keep it going, so the first act drags a bit, although it works infinitely better than Frank Wildhorn's other (recently performed here) musical, Dracula. The second act of J&H is jam packed with awesome songs. In the first act, when they're establishing the conflict between Jekyll's work and home life, it takes one or two too many songs to do so. But they're all wonderfully written songs, and damn did the Korean version hit them spot on. It was even pretty sexy, something I have learned happens here more than I would have expected. 

Not from the show, but this was our Lucy 

Ugh. It was just so good. I'm a big Park Eun Tae fan, and if he's in anymore musicals while I'm here, I will definitely be checking them out. I'm also sorely, sorely tempted to get a cheap seat to see this show again. I guess I'll have to see how much I spend in Japan haha. This is always my problem with musicals. They're awesome and I always want to see them more than once. We'll see...

On Sunday, I met up with Lauren and Cesca for some lunch, errand running and coffee. It was a nice, relaxing Sunday with friends. Cesca and I then went to our apartments and proceeded to watch our current drama, Birth of a Beauty, while texting each other our reactions the whole time. The show is ending this weekend, so it's a little sad, but it's been a hilarious, crazy ride.

Feeling much better now, so hopefully I can concentrate and study a lot this week! I have the TOPIK next Sunday, and although I'm confident, I'm still going to buckle down and review a lot this week. Wish me luck! Fighting!! To all those at home, be careful in the snow! I hope it warms up for you soon!!! 

I posted a different video early, but because I love the song and singer, here's another version of "This is the Moment" from this fantastic musical and this fantastic singer!