Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Awesome Care Packages, SM Town and Spam!

A welcome back sign at my school.
Waaaah I love my kids but I also love not
waking up before the sun...

Yep, it was officially back to school time, and my slow day Friday did not get me back in toe zone for teaching all day again. I have 2 weeks of classes left, but I've basically finished with 4th grade, which means this week I'll only be teaching about 13 lessons instead of my normal 22, which will be nice. I'd like to think I'll be productive with my time, but I still feel awkward studying Korean in the office... Gotta get over that, I guess. 

On Monday, Cesca and I made an impromptu trip to Costco for bagels and mouthwash... and some other things I can't remember...? I get bagels there because I can get like 12 for less than $7, and since Cesca has a freezer, she stores half for me until I need them. It's a great system.

Costco is always funny to us because, while it's American, it has adopted some Korean flare. 

For instance, the Lunar New Year (Seolla) is coming up, and since it's a big family holiday, some big family gifts are coming out. (Also PS, I'm 25 here in Korea, woohoo?) 

Enjoy a nice rib set for your family

It has it's own bag!

All different kinds of meat gift sets. Yum.
My favorites are the tuna and/or SPAM sets. SO MUCH SPAM.

do people seriously need this much?

After enjoying a relatively painless trip to Costco, since it wasn't a weekend, I headed home to see a majestic sight at my front door:

I dare you to find a better care package sender than my mother. She (with some help from my dad, don't lie daddy, I know you add stuff) sends me things I need like once a month, and takes great liberties with my requests. I'd be lying if I said I hated it. I LOVE opening the packages (even tho it takes me ages to tear through the 17 layers of tape my mother carefully applies) because I never know what to expect. I usually ask for a chocolate bar or two, and some candy like M&Ms or something, because they are better than Korean candy. And sometimes I need things like real cold medicine (Korean stuff is a little weak) or my dairy pills, but mom goes above and beyond.

I can't believe my dad parted with a pack
of his favorite Chips Ahoy cookies haha


So, after sorting through everything, as I get everything sent to my apartment and must distribute it to my sister, (my mail is more reliable and faster) I popped open a bag of mini eggs and tried not to eat them all in one sitting. I had to put the bag out of sight to get myself to stop. Oops.

This week at school, we are just kind of reviewing and coasting till the end of the year. My 4th graders reviewed the past tense. 

I'm rather impressed with this kid's vocab,
and that his spelling was pretty decent
for a 4th grade, EFL student.

I also found fun things with cesca while at Daiso. Apparently this is a thing for campers, but I've never heard of it before. Considering the state of some public bathrooms in Korea, I definitely should carry like 10 of these in my purse at all time. Same goes for rest stop bathrooms back home. 


Apparently it's rice cake season at work.
3 rice cakes this week. I just can't eat it all

On Friday, I met up with Cesca for dinner, and I finally got to meet her adorable and awesome co teachers! I've been hearing about them for months, and they're just as sweet and fun as Cesca had been telling me. Their English is awesome, and their shock at seeing us together was hilarious. They even remarked on how we have the same gestures and facial expressions, which I usually forget about. I hope we can hang out with them more!

On Saturday, I met up with some different friends early in the morning to head out to a free tour my friend Annie heard about. I hate getting up early on weekends, but it'll be better for my sleep schedule, I suppose. 

I got to ride a Larva train filled with
characters from the cartoon

We got to see the new SM center at
the big Coex mall. 

It's pretty nice, actually

kinda crazy design, but I managed to find
Suju in there
The tour was offered to foreigners to preview SM's new hologram concert and hologram musical, so they could get our feedback on it. I've been to a hologram concert here before, and honestly, the KLIVE one was better. This SM one tried to have some weird, time consuming story in it. Dudes, we just wanna see our favorite idols dance and sing in hologram form. I don't need a story behind it. 

And the hologram musical was weird. It was some weird adaptation of Wizard of Oz, which involved dance fighting dragons. And apparently the price is pretty steep. But we did have fun taking pictures and dancing along. Our tour guide seemed irritated by us (I'll be honest, I was worried we were probably like the obnoxious foreigners who talked to loud and such), but it turns out she's had to do this tour and watch the show 7 times this week. So she's a bit over it. She actually thought our enthusiasm and energy was fun, because apparently lots of reserved Japanese people take the tour, which is a lot less fun. So I was happy she wasn't weirded out by us dancing and laughing at the absurdity of some of the effects. 

I'll have to go back and check out the building more, as I didn't have a ton of time to do it Saturday. It looked cool, and the store looked great, but I don't really want to support SM financially, since they're a pretty terrible company in terms of their treatment of artists, and even their fans. 

A showcase of music awards their artists have
They must have spent a ton on the building, but it looks great, with pictures of the artists lining the walls. 

Our bus for the day

Before the show, we had a ton of fun taking stupid, SUPER realistic pictures with our favorite SM stars.

You got to pick a group you wanted to get a photo with, and then it would randomly choose 2 members from the group for you to take a picture with.

Not gonna lie, I was super excited
when I got the Kyuhyun one

Cesca would be jealous that Jessica and I got
Dongdae. Annie's post in the back is the
really gem of this 
The tour also included a trip up to Namsan Tower in the cable car, which I haven't been on in a year. I love Namsan. This was my 4th or 5th visit, and I just love looking over the city.

I got to see the traditional music performance from the front this time, as well as the martial arts demo. 

It was a beautiful day

This time, I got to see their winter outfits!

You can see a palace from here!

It was a great day. After Namsan, I met up with Cesca. We grabbed ddeokbokki in Hongdae and headed back to my place to relax. I get super exhausted hanging out with my friends all day, and I had to wake up early. But it was great to see them, since they live across town and we don't hang out much.

Sunday was, of course, casual. Cesca helped me throw my laundry in, we did our Korean homework, and we even watched Music and Lyrics, which I know my dad loves haha. It was so funny, and I forgot how witty the lines were. Now I'm just relaxing and getting ready for another week of school. There's not much pressure this week, and the kids aren't super into school right now. Most of the teachers are more worried about what their assignment will be for next year, so the atmosphere at work is a little hectic (well, for everyone else...)

Here's to hoping I hear good news about my co teachers, and that this week isn't to crazy!


I've had 2 songs in particular stuck in my head this week. I'm trying to prepare one for noraebang, in case we end up going out after our staff dinner next week, so I've been listening to it a lot. It's an older Girl's Generation song (SNSD) called Gee, and it's famously popular in the kpop world for being everything you'd expect from kpop if you didn't know anything about kpop (meaning bubble gum pop sweet, bright colors, big groups, catchy beat and words)

While it's fast, the song is cute, catchy, and repeats the refrain a lot, so if I practice a lot this week, maybe I can do it. Or maybe they won't ask me to sing haha.

The other one is another girl group, Girl's Day.  I heard this song a while ago in Taco Bell and it's been stuck in my head on and off ever since. This is a smaller group, and they tend to go more on the sexy side of kpop. Even this catchy, cute song, Darling, has quite an interesting video. It involves lots of short shorts and butt shaking, but also a cute, catchy, upbeat and adorable song.

Hey, when you got it, flaunt it right? This video is fun and bubbly, and I love the song. 
Though, if you check out their other videos (especially songs like Something or Expect), you may, like me, be a little horrified to find out that my young students listen to and watch the videos. 

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