Sunday, March 27, 2016

Bang Bang There Goes Your Heart

The weather is slightly warmer and spring is kind of in the air. I felt pretty good about the week up through Thursday, but for some reason Friday took a toll. Thankfully, an awesome weekend saved it all!

Young Ah gave me these life saving soothing
patches for my bday. They're like
herb rubbed hot packs and they really help sore

I still have a substitute for my classes since Hyun Jung is still sick, but the sub is nice and complimented my materials, so I felt pretty good.

Seon Kyung surprised me with a Starbucks
coffee in the morning. Definitely made the
day less painful

Wednesday marked 13 years of Phantom love!

Cats on the way to school!!!

I had even had a relatively good Thursday, which is a kind of rare because I have 5 classes, and 6th and 3rd grade. Plus Korean class. All things went well, but 3rd grade tires me out, as we have some problems students and special ed ones as well. I felt good about Korean class, because I actually understood the grammar and felt like I was making progress again, finally.

I don't know why, but Friday just wore me out. 3rd grade all day, whining students and one that was wailing in the back of the room for a good 5-10 minutes... Wamp. All because his partner won the game twice and he only won once, resulting in hysterics. 

That plus a teacher that constantly makes phone calls loudly on speakerphone in the afternoon. Common courtesy is a big deal for me, and the relatively constant disregard for others (by my Western definition, I know, not bad just different la la cultural difference) in Korea sometimes grates on my nerves more than it should. But this week, I'd had enough of the bus pushing and bumping and whining from my students and speakerphone calls that I just felt tired and blah by Friday afternoon. 

Young Ah noticed that some stuff was bugging me but even I couldn't really place WHY I felt that way, and so she suggested I get some rest this weekend. Welp, that wasn't in the plan, and I had to stick to that. 

We'd made plans to go out with Shannon and Bri from dance class, along with a few other friends. They'd found this app that gets you free entrance into some clubs, and since I just turned 25, I figured I should go clubbing like once or so for the experience. Fill my quota for the next, oh, 6 months.

We stopped for dinner first and got delicious ramen
We got into the club for free with our passes, which is super awesome cause one of my biggest annoyances about clubbing is that it costs so much! But with the entrance fee out of the way and free drink coupons given to boot, that annoyance was gone. 

Shannon somehow found glow sticks haha

at one point there was confetti

People also inexplicably throw napkins from the

Overall, it was a fun night, since I went with people who know what they're doing and also didn't spend a fortune, or much more than I would have on dinner and drinks with friends on a typical Friday.  I'm not big on EDM so dancing to that for 3+ hours finally got me kinda bored, plus you can smoke freely in clubs here which is gross and seems dangerous. 

I will never make this a habit, but it was a fun girls night out.

They were also having a special event at the club where you could try this new lip tint and they gave you one for free, so that was pretty awesome. A quick internet search once we got home revealed that it is like $18, so not only did we get in for free, but we got free makeup too! Nice!

I went for classic red and really like the look

Ces showing off her pink

Ces and I had slept in quite late Saturday (another downside of clubbing is the late night and late start the next day), but thankfully our plans weren't till mid afternoon. We traversed across town to the theater so we could go and see Swan Lake, my favorite ballet. I'd seen it before with Sarah and Lauren, but I'm always down to see it again, especially if there's a discount for foreigners. 

Ces has never seen it live so it was exciting!

The cast was awesome! I don't know who they
are, but the show was fabulous

noesbleed seats haha. thankfully the theater
is small so there really aren't bad seats

We rented opera glasses to be cool and
so we could see the footwork and poses close up

Odette and Siegfried did a fansign after but
we didn't stay

They were so good!

The show was lovely, even though some of the audience members couldn't resist checking their phones multiple times. Seriously, it's like, a 1.5 hour stretch before intermission. If your message is that important, don't come to a show... Ugh. 

The staging was great and they kept a happy ending, which I always like. Odette even helped fight Rothbart and defeat him, then she and the prince lived happily. I loved it. Costumes were great too. Odile's tutu is normally black, but this one had this awesome red underskirt that gave a really nice, sinister sexy vibe to her. 10/10 would recommend. 

We headed out to Hyehwa to meet Lauren after. We originally wanted to bring Ga Hyeon to Mix & Malt because Lauren knew he'd like the drinks, but he suddenly had to cover for someone at work :(

Oh well, that left us with time for girl talk and time to try new drinks. They have so many here that we promised we each would get a different one, so we could work our way through the menu.

We got chicken wings, chili mac & cheese and bangers and mash with beans, cause why not. All of it was delicious, and I haven't had a drink there that wasn't beautiful and delicious.

We spent 3 hours eating and talking, and, after a great night Friday and a beautiful ballet, spending time with Lauren really sealed the deal and I felt really refreshed and revitalized about my time here. It's easy to let myself get frustrated and forget that, like most things, life here is cyclical and I won't be thrilled 100% of the time. But I have great co workers and great friends to keep my going when things get tough.

 Now that I've 90% decided to leave, I've found it's definitely easier to get frustrated with things and to wish I could be home right now, but I have to take time to enjoy what time I have left here. Trying to live it up and remember that I've got a good thing going here, and I'll miss it when I leave. I am impatient to see and hug my family and cats again, but I need to really enjoy what I love about Korea before I go. One step at a time. 

I also was told I should download this Cat Collector (Neko Atsume) app, and it is most enjoyable. Basically, it is what it says. You put toys and food out and see what cats come to your yard. It's awesome. 

They all have names and personalities 

Um, adorable right???

Cesca and I had another chance to sleep in today (so I guess I got to rest a little bit, right??) and then we headed out to dance class. We learned a dance this popular TV show, Produce 101, a reality competition show about 101 girl trainees that get whittled down to 11 to make a new kpop group. 

I honestly hate the show (having only watched 1 ep and followed along via the news or what Ces tells me), but the dancing on it is great and the girls are awesome, the setup just sucks. Anyway, one challenge was for one group to choreograph to Jessi J's Bang Bang. The dance was fast, fun and fierce. We were soooo tired after (I have my special warming patches on cause I'm already sore), but it was SO fun and I loved it. 

It was quite a workout but I actually felt good that we learned the whole thing. If we worked on it more we could totally be pros, right??

So I'm feeling happier and more optimistic about my time here, thanks to a weekend filled with friends and fun. Reminded me of what I'm working for, trying to explore the world and have fun with great people.

Hopefully I can carry this into this week. Happy Easter and happy spring! Happy Birthday Ronnie~~

Here's my other newest jam from Mamamoo. Looove it.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Call Me Your Darling (yay 25!)

The weather is getting warmer, the dust levels are high, the clocks sprang forward in America, it's basically spring!!

The biggest event this week was my birthday, which was on Wednesday. I treated myself to a real coffee in the morning, and was treated with a surprise!
Look at the book in the shop! ooooh!

I went to school and was greeted with a present from Young Ah

She knows I like masks! She got some cute animal
ones and ones that are for when you wanna say
sorry for drinking too much beer and coffee, skin
She also surprised me in class with a cake and
got my kids to sing to me... so lucky

My students were adorable and some remembered my birthday (with help from Young Ah, I suspect). It was great and made the day go well.

Just prepping for class for 3rd grade. We're
practicing introductions

After a relatively easy and happy day, I met up with Cesca, Lauren and Grace in Hyehwa, a trendy college area in Seoul, for some great food and fun!

We went to a place that had fancy drinks.

Mix & Malt has delicious food and drinks. 

Next, we went to a raccoon cafe, which is exactly like a dog or cat cafe, except the animals are grabbier and commonly thought of as pests. Not in Korea, I guess. The cafe was pretty crowded for a Wednesday, and the raccoons were very active and just ran around a lot and tried to grab your drink when you weren't looking. They would also jump on you if you were standing too still sometimes?

They also liked to paw at the ceiling, causing showers
of white

this fatty got stuck a lot 

he kinda gave up trying for a bit

always gotta try and get the selfies

On Thursday, it was annoyingly another workday, so we had to go back to reality after a really fun birthday night (rude).

My office got partition divider things for our desks, except apparently they didn't measure correctly and the principal thinks they're too tall so now we can't see each other... 

Wait, isn't that the point??? Oh school...

Me hard at work while the dude spent 2 hours
installing them. JK, I planned my lessons through
Tuesday so I had lots of downtime.

Friday was Young Ah's birthday, so I bought her a yankee candle (she likes candles and has trouble sleeping, so I bought a lavender vanilla one) and I tried to write a nice card.
I tried to say "In this big world I was able to meet
to meet you so I am very happy. Because of you,
I am living enjoyably in Korea. I think of you
as family. Let's do everything beautifully together!
Love you!"

They wrapped it so nice!!!

After school Friday, Cesca was feeling nervous about her exam, so I went over to cheer her up, but mostly I wanted fried chicken from the place near her house.

We stopped and got macaroons on the way home, since we hadn't eaten cake together on our birthday.

Ces lighting a candle the safest way possible

They were delicious. We had strawberry,
pistachio, mocha, rose, chocolate and oreo

Sun Kyung also got me face masks for my
birthday. These ones feature ingredients from
around the world (supposedly ahah)

She also gave me coffee, pocky and this strawberry
alcoholic soda thing. It was pretty delicious. She said
it was her last precious can and she gave it to me
because I'm precious, so I'm not crying or anything.

After hanging out with Cesca Saturday, I left because she had to study. I got home and ended up watching a documentary about the Sewol ferry, the anniversary of which is coming up. Sad. But very interesting and frustrating. 

Then I continued watching the drama I'm currently marathoning, Signal. It's about a detective who finds a walkie talkie that lets him talk to a detective in the past, and with each other's help, they solve cold cases that couldn't be solved and also prevent the cases from becoming unsolvable. 

Image result for kdrama signal

It's so compelling and good. Crime thriller dramas sometimes falter, but this one had me hooked right away and kept up the awesome, even if it did have me crying my eyes out every so often. Damn emotional stuff.

On Sunday, I met up with Cesca after her test. We shopped around a bit and headed to dance class to learn the adorable Girl's Day song Darling, which was one of my spring/summer favorites 2 years ago. It's so catchy and adorable!

Sadly, after a relaxing and fun weekend, I'm off to school again. My newest co teacher is having some health issues and so I have a substitute this week. I'm selfishly thinking  "ugh whyyyy??" but I also am worried and I hope she is okay.. Send some good vibes for her~

The weather is warming up, so at least I can finally stop wearing 3 layers of clothes all the time! Here's to hoping the first real week of spring brings good things! 25 started off well, I hope it continues that way!