Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring is in the air! And so is the dust...

What a week!!!

Monday was my birthday. Some of my students remembered, which was super sweet. Some of them brought me notes and even few presents!

Thanks my adorable babies

Young Ah got this card for me. It's the
Koreanized way to spell "Thank you!"
(DDang Kyu)

She also remembered that I said I liked
this passport case when we were out
shopping. So sweet that she got it for me!

Some students stopped by with notes in
intricately folded 'envelopes' haha

Serah, my American student, wrote me a long, adorable note where she asked
me the "is your refrigerator running" joke and told me that she looks up to me
like an 'unnie,' which is Korean for older sister or a term of endearment for
a girl that is older than you that isn't related to you. She's awesome and I love
chatting with her.

one of them went wild in the stationery story for me

Their notes were very cute. SOMEDAY I'll get them to remember that we only say "Nice to meet you!" the FIRST time we meet someone haha. They always forget because the phrase in Korean is the same as simply "Nice to see you." Someday.

I love "I'll do my best!"

hahaha cute

Monday also happened to be national defense drill day, which is the day where the nation stops at 2 pm in order to practice what we'd do if war breaks out again between North and South Korea. Nobody takes it super seriously, but traffic stops and we have to take the kids down to the basement and chill for a bit while sirens wail and announcements are blasted. 

It's a bit unnerving to live in a place where such drills exist, but knowing they're only drills makes me feel a lot better than if I lived somewhere where you couldn't tell.

we even had traffic directing batons. 

After that thrilling day, Cesca and I met up to spend our birthday evening together!!!

We got italian food. YUM

Excited to be together!

We got BOGO cherry blossom white chocolate
things yum.

sometimes these face masks look creeeeeepy

Woke up Tuesday to discover that
the dust levels were high and
the air sucked. Oh joy.

yeah the sky is supposed to be blue ...

My new co was doing this between classes

special lunch day was not particularly filling. Bibimbap and
scrambled egg soup. And yogurt. I was hungry by 230 haha.

also it's warm enough for me to switch back to
these shoes, not my fur slippers. Yay!

I had a good teaching week this week. I taught my sixth graders the basics of romanization, so hopefully spelling their names and reading English versions of famous names will be easier. I think it's important that they be able to go back and forth. I'm actually better at going back and forth between Korean and English spelling than they are, like if I see samgyeopsal, I can quickly change it to Korean. My kids have a lot of trouble with it, so I thought practicing would be good.

In 3rd grade, my kids are just learning the alphabet and phonics, so we got to do some fun chants with them!

B for bus, so they're driving a bus


Third grade is hard because they really don't know much English, but they have such energy for like, any activity. And they're tiny and adorable. I love them to pieces. 

After school on Friday, I headed out to Cesca's area to meet all of her co workers, which was overwhelming but fun. It was fun to meet the people she's always talking about, and they wre excited to meet me too!

I got to get some Korean speaking and listening practice in, so that's always a plus. 

They surprised us with a delicious cake! And they sang
Happy Birthday in Engilsh, which was fine until the
"Happy Birthday Christina and Francesca" part, which
is way too long for the song ahah
I hung out with Cesca after that because I didn't feel like going home. We opened our cards from our mom and dad (thanks for making me cry parents. You're too sweet) and we watched some TV. 

In the morning, I headed home leisurely and proceeded to suffer most of the day because the stupid pollution levels were high again. Ugh. I don't remember it affecting me this badly last year, so either this year is a lot worse, I'm more sensitive, or I was suffering last year and didn't notice. Idk. But I even bought a higher quality yellow dust mask. Here's to hoping I don't have to use it often.

I cleaned up my apartment a little before heading out to meet a bunch of my friends for a makgeolli tasting. There's a group of foreigners who are really interested in makgeolli. They teach classes and have tasting meetings around Seoul. We ended up in a restaurant in Hyehwa, which is another college town ish area. The restaurant seemed super popular, and it was known for makgeolli slushies (which were meh) and a few other things. Most notably, the lamb!

this is literally the only picture I took all night
because I was too busy actually enjoying myself

Young Ah even met up with us later at the tasting, and we (me, Sarah, Lauren, Young Ah, Ga Hyeon, Ga Hyeon's friend) had a great time with the other makgeolli tasters. 

Unfortunately, makgeolli and pollution don't mix well, and admittedly, I probably had a bit too much fun, so Sunday was spent lazily resting (which I normally do anyway haha). I laid around in bed to catch up on some sleep (I haven't been sleeping well cause I've had a cough again this week, which keeps waking me up in the wee hours of the morning, hacking my lungs out. After I roused myself, I did manage to clean my apartment (resulting in a sneezing fit from THE STUPID DUST THAT GETS IN EVEN WITH MY WINDOWS CLOSED), I did some pilates, watched a bootleg of Big Hero Six, did my Korean homework, and called Cesca to chat, since I hadn't seen her in 24 hours haha (she skipped the makgeolli meeting to meet her co teacher's family. Aaaaw). 

Now I'm face masking and blogging, preparing myself for the week and drinking tons of water in the hopes that it will prevent the stupid dust from coating my throat. I didn't remember it was this bad, and it's seriously making me reconsider how long I want to actually deal with it. WAMP.

That being said, I"m feeling pretty decent now, since the air pollution level is down to just moderate levels of around 100. If it gets too bad, I'll suffer taking the bus to school, but hopefully in the morning, the weather will be clear. It's warm here now, so it would be great if I could actually enjoy that.

It's hard to believe that March is nearly over and that another birthday has come and gone (with an awesome birthday package from mom haha). 24, whatcha got in store for me?


Nothing caught my eye (or ear, I guess) this week, so I've been listening to some oldies but goodies. And not just kpop.

A few weeks ago, I watched The Last 5 Years online, and I've had the music stuck in my head. Especially cause I love Anna Kendrick.

I also like this song, even though I don't love Into the Woods all that much.

And my go to kpop these days when I'm not in the mood for anything is Suju's Mamacita/This is Love repackage album. Even if I'm not in the mood for anything, I'm in the mood for Mamacita!

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