Sunday, June 7, 2015

MERS and Music Videos

Uh, so it's been a crazy week. Woke up to find out there is finally a Triple Crown winner, so my 12 year old, horse loving Christina dreams finally came true! Seriously, I remember sobbing on the couch years ago when Smarty Jones lost the Belmont, and getting pretty upset almost every year when someone didn't win. It wasn't as exciting to wake up and watch a replay instead of seeing it live at home with my family, but I guess that's just how it goes sometimes.

Aside from that, uh, MERS is the buzzword over here. Masks abound, panic has set in, and really, nothing in my life has really changed, aside from the fact that I now have way more classes than I was supposed to because field trips got cancelled. Waaah. 

I'll talk more about the MERS scare later. 

Here's my week in pictures. 
Test doodles! So cute. I'm adorable in doodle form

hahaha i just loved this one

New mural near my school! So bright and welcoming!

Have I discussed the lack of trash cans in Korea? I freaking hate it, and I also hate the nonchalance at throwing away things here. Seriously. On my walk to work, there's a nice new park that they built. Very green, stone walkways, it's lovely. Why it has these big basins? I don't know, but I'm 97% sure they're not to be used for random trash... Why don't they put trash bins in to avoid this unsightliness? 



After a trip to Costco on Monday with Cesca and Lauren, where I bought too much probably, I wanted to try out my favorite purchase. Brownie mix. I wanted to bring something to the office to celebrate my staying one more year, so Tuesday night, after Korean class, I set out to make them (after consulting my mom for a few tips, since I haven't baked in about, oh, the whole time I was here). 

started out looking good


My toaster oven is dumb, so they ended up a little
burnt on top. Scraped a bit off and took them to
work. THEY WERE A HIT! Wooohoooo!

Had a moment of terror where I thought Taco Bell
was closed and I considered moving home.
Apparently, it just moved.

I had a bit of a snafu on Friday. The school nutritionist messaged the teachers to ask what we wanted on the menu for July and August, which was super nice. The office was furiously discussing things, and messaging her back. I too, wanted to join in, and so I wanted to message back that I wanted meat and ddeokbokki,which I really like. The lunches have been awesome since March, when this new nutritionist came, so I didn't really care much, but ddeokbokki is awesome. I hit send on my message and immediately realized that, yep, I had hit REPLY ALL. The WHOLE office got my message (to my relief, I discovered later, it wasn't the ENTIRE SCHOOL). 

The office laughed and said it was cute, but I was mortified. I wanted to cry. It wasn't anything super embarrassing, but I felt so stupid. I couldn't concentrate on anything and I almst went to the bathroom to cry, but I knew my puffy eyes would betray me. 

Then, later, during snack time, they brought it up again, to my dismay. But, in fact, they didn't care that I had sent it to everyone. They laughed at how good the Korean was, and they were more impressed than concerned, because I had spelled the apparently difficult word ddeokbokki correctly. 

It first segued into a conversation about how stupid the messanger was, and I think they could tell I was down, because they assured me that they all did it and had made stupid mistakes with it too, and that I probably didn't realize the different labels because they're in Korean and aren't casual language. So they really tried to make me feel better, and my spirits lifted when the conversation turned to how well I had apparently answered the phone the other day, because the music teacher had called and I was alone in the office. She said the accent was so good when she picked up the phone that she didn't realize it was me until she asked "Who is this?" because she didn't recognize my voice. 

They said wanted me to start answering the phone if the head teacher is getting too many phone calls haha, so that I can answer and then when the other teachers hear it's me, they'll still hang up. I was still really embarrassed by the message, but I'm going to turn it around.  I moped about it at work Friday, and even on the way home, I was really frustrated. I couldn't shake it, but I woke up Saturday and tried to put it aside. After getting some compliments on my Korean from people at the dance studio more on that later), I woke up Sunday feeling refreshed about it. If anyone makes fun of it, hey, this isn't my language. I'm still learning, and I tried. I typed in Korean, that's cool, and you know what? It wasn't an awkward message. It wasn't gossip, it was about spicy ricecakes haha. 

So, when those things come out on our lunch menu, I'm gonna laugh at this silly mistake with the rest of the teachers. No need to let it make me feel bad, or like it was a huge setback. I messed up, it was funny, it entertained the office, and they know I'm trying hard.  I'll be able to use the messenger better in the future. And, of course, some of my favorite foods will be on the menu, so I think I'm the real winner here.

I'm trying to think of the positive encounters I've had with Korean at the office anyway, like the phone call or other little things. In the office, whenever they talk about me, they always use the word "uri" with my name, like 'Uri Christina." Uri means "our," so every time someone says it, they're saying "Our Christina" and I know that's just part of the language but it makes me feel so included and happy! Silly mistakes be damned, I like it in the office.

Also, one of my 3rd grade babies gave me a little
paper ring. D'aaaw

On Saturday, I spent the day at the dance studio, which I haven't done in years, since high school. Our group was filming our Miss A dance as a part of a music video for the studio, so I hope it turns out well! It was so much fun to hang out with new people and our dance teachers. We had such a great time!

Am I gonna be a star? Haha probably not

Our group. We laughed cause Grace is Korean
American, so we kept calling our group
Grace and the 3 foreigners. 

Getting ready for our shoot

having a blast

Annie is soooo tall haha

we looked soooo good haha. It was so much fun!

We also got to have a party after with all the other participants! It, of course, included dancing. They even whipped out the fog machine!

That's our teacher in the yellow. She's amazing and
her class is crazy hard but so fun. 

Good friends, delicious food, dancing, and lots of fun. 

They posted a picture of us filming our dance. I can't wait to see
the final product, even though it felt SUPER WEIRD to
be filming a dance MV haha

I headed home, exhausted and happy, looking forward to Sunday. It did not disappoint. I met up with Ces, Janell, Sarah, Lauren and Ga Hyeon to go to our favorite brunch place, where we were shocked to see the menu, in light of the whole MERS thing.

What made Sarah panic so?


Turns out it was awesome anyway. No MERS detected (I promise I'm taking this seriously, but it's not spread to my area, and they finally released the names of the hospitals where patients are and where quarantined people are, and they're not close to me. Phew).

Anyway, yes, brunch. SO MUCH FOOD. All of this was about $10 each, which is pretty decent, brunch price wise, in Korea. Pancakes Original Story. Yuuuum. 

That thing on the end was an omelette 

Apple Cinnamon Banana pancakes AKA

Class starts later from this week on, which is nice for the morning but also means I get home later. But at least it's still making sundays fun and not just a sitting around day. This weekend was dance filled and I feel good. I may still be eating like crap sometimes, but at least I'm exercising more now, and more enthusiastically than when I was just doing it alone in my apartment, because now I have something more fun and energetic to do than planks. 

I'm still melting at school, but thankfully, thanks to MERS, my kids are actually washing their hands and coughing into their elbows (WHO in the world taught them that covering with their hands, or worse, not covering at all, was OK!?!?!). I'm serious. While this is a scary thing, my friends and I agree that maybe it's a much needed wake up call for lots of practices in Korea, mostly hygienic but for other things as well, like information disclosure...

The virus doesn't seem to be spreading much outside of hospitals or close relations, despite the fear, so, while I do wear a mask on the subway, I'm not panicking, and you shouldn't either! The school closings are merely parents freaking out and demanding actions because they mistrust the admittedly botched government handling of the situation. My school isn't closed though, so I'm still not worried.

MERS, music videos, accidental office wide messages... it's been a crazy week. I kinda hope this week will be calmer. Keep your fingers crossed for me!


The song we learned was crazy hard today, cause it was BEAST. 

You could say it was a beast. The chorus is really fun though. 

I'm also OBSESSED with the new BIGBANG song, BANG BANG BANG. The video is crazy, in true BB style, the song is catchy and it makes me want to go clubbing now. I don't even like clubbing.

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