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!

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