Sunday, April 24, 2016

So Shake It, Let's Dance!

It was another week at school. Haha, not much to say, as the routines have settled and life is in it's groove here again. Just a few small surprises, like Hyun Jung being sick Monday and having to teach alone, but I'm a pro by now, so it's all good. 

On Mondays, Young Ah has started to teach me jangu, the traditional hourglass shaped drum. I think the sports teacher originally wanted to learn, and then they asked me if I wanted to join. I'm pretty caught up with lesson planning these days, so I said why not and joined them. There are a lot of things to remember while playing the drum, like finger placement, posture, rhythm and more. It's difficult but fun, and Young Ah says that, compared to her students, we are much better at remembering how to play things!

I finally got these two fancy cats
to visit me on neko atsume, a highlight of my week

ordered lip stuff, got free samples. Yay!

trying out new lip tints because they were on sale

Trying to add some spring in to my step

Since I don't have Korean class anymore, I've either been spending more time during the week at home, trying to reorganize my closet since winter is kiiinda over, and spending time with friends. I went out with Young Ah Friday for thai noodles because she's been feeling down this week, and I think school is stressing her out. She teaches 3 different subjects this year, so she's a little frazzled. Plus, there's an awkward teacher in the office who makes calls on speakerphone and is kind of spacey, causing lots of disgruntlement in the office. So I treated her to cheer her up, since she's always there for me. 

On Saturday, the dust levels were crazy bad, so I stayed in all day and caught up on a mediocre kdrama, and writing notes to my neighbors to stop being so vocal when they... uh, get intimate. Fun times.

I will not super miss this about Korea...
Seoul was 221 yesterday, but it got to
350+ at its worst. Buffalo's level was

By evening, the levels of pollution weren't quite so toxic, so I met up with Lauren, Cesca and Gahyeon in Hyehwa to go to mix and malt again, since Gahyeon was finally free. He loved it and we of course loved it, so it was a great night. 

On Sunday, Cesca got to hear my lovely neighbors being... intimate... loudly... so obviously my note did not work. Sigh. 

We caught up on The 100 and Hell's Kitchen before heading to dance class to Shake It with Sistar.

Ready to learn Sistar's Shake it!

Here's me killing the dance. So fun!

We went out for tacos at a different taco place after, where I had one of my first real, out and about, authentic celeb sightings in Korea. 

He's not from a group I pay attention to, but Katie was excited. We tried to subtely get him in the background of our pictures and this is the one Cesca got... sigh... 
We also wanted a picture of my awesome
margarita that I ordered not realizing there'd
be a Corona in there... because i didn't
know what Margarita Diving meant...

Katie asked him for an actual picture but he said no because he didn't have makeup on. Oh well. Katie was bummed.

We drowned our sorrows in cupcakes. This is becoming a habit. In our defense, we shook our butts off during class. So. Well deserved. 

I spent some of my free time this week marathoning a drama to give myself a break from studying after my test. It's called Descendants of the Sun and, despite sky high ratings in Korea, I thought it was just ok. After Signal, none of the typical dramas have been impressing me lately. Have I finally hit my limits of predictable plots and implausible situations? Maybe. 

I'm glad the weather is getting warmer, but I also found a mosquito in my apartment, so I'd like that to not be happening. The pollution was a big bummer this weekend, so I'm hoping that it doesn't stick around. Apparently this has only been getting worse recently, so I'm trying not to get my hopes up. I just haaaate wearing those masks... 

All in all, it was a pretty good week. It went fast, payday was on Friday and I ended up eating good food with great people most nights of the week, so it definitely could have been worse. Hoping for another fast week, as I'm looking forward to next weekend already!

Time to avoid social media for the next day, since the new season of Game of Thrones starts tomorrow and I'll be teaching when it's on. Gonna have to watch after school and it will be a big task avoiding the spoilers... Can't wait to see what season 6 has in store! 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Slightly Eventful but Pretty Boring Week


Sorry everyone, I had, honestly, a super boring week, and I'm feeling lazy right now so I'm gonna just run through the highlights:

We had Wednesday off, which was amazing. I spent most of the day in bed or studying, which is also what I did all week (except Tuesday, when I met Lauren and Cesca for wing night). Ces and Lauren were sick so we didn't do much besides eat and chat.

I was studying all week (and for the past couple) because I took the TOPIK again today (sunday) to see if and how much I've improved since January. I think it's cool that I got level 3 in less than 3 years here, but wouldn't 4 be SO MUCH COOLER? The test today felt easier than last time, so even if I don't pass 4 now, I know I've improved, so I'm happy with that. 

Last fun thing, I had to call the police on my neighbors because they fight all the time and the BF decided that 3 am was a great time to POUND ON THE DOOR AND YELL AND RING THE DOORBELL.  Thank god Cesca happened to be staying over when this happened, or it would have been 7 times more terrifying.

Seriously, I thought they broke like 2 or 3 weeks ago, the last time the police were called. Nope. I hope it's for real this time, because I'm sick of hearing them fighting. Not healthy. 

In school news, classes are going well, but the bathroom has become the bane of my existence because SOMEONE decided that this was the best way to fix the stupid lock on the western stall door near my office. 


Sigh. Therefore, I cannot close it. Now, I am ok with using a squat toilet, to an extent. But some days, I just don't feel like it, you know??? Well now I have to wander around school to find a bathroom that has the combo of 1.) TP, 2.) A western stall that works and 3.) Minimal students cause I hate running into them in the bathroom.

This is what rain and humidity does to my hair

After my test Sunday, I met up with Cesca after dance class. Helen had been in the area for a wedding, so she joined too! We got tacos and then cupcakes because why not.


Thanks to my Korean class also getting cancelled (they needed my teacher for another class, so my options were to spend $200 a month slowly reviewing,or just save the money and review myself. So, after 2 years, I had to stop going. Felt weird, but had to be done.) and the test being done, I have some free time now, at work and at home. My plan is to marathon a few dramas and tv shows I skipped out on for a week or two, and then try and get back into studying so that I can pass level 4 later if I don't pass it this time.

Off to enjoying some free time after my classes are finished for the day~

Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring trips and fun!

Cherry blossoms on my way home

That's me winning our march madness group by chance. too bad we
didn't bet any money.

strange wedge potatoes at lunch... the orange
stuff is like cheese sauce?

Young Ah and I went out to dinner Saturday to belatedly
celebrate our birthdays~

On Saturday, Cesca and I started out early because we were going on another weekend trip. This one ended up being more successful. Our first stop was Jindo, to see the Miracle Sea Road or the Sea Parting Festival.  

Legend has it that a grandma was separated from her family because they moved to an island and she was left behind. She prayed and prayed for a road to open so she could be reunited with her family. A rainbow appeared and a path opened. They were reunited but the grandma also died (in true Korean story fashion) because it was her last wish to see her family. 

The scientific reason is because of extreme differences in the tides. Once in a great while, just a few days every year, the tides match up so well that this sea road appears. Cool stuff. 

SO here's the photo rundown of the day:

we bought these awesome boots for the

laughing cause people kept getting in our pics

we were pretty far out and the water really does
recede like all the way


the path was still open when we left, but
we didn't want to get caught out there

lemonade from the America booth

No idea why these people were performing

car rollover seatbelt demo

they had global entertainment 

And korean wrestling 

They let foreigners try

This ahjumma would not stop chasing this poor
girl around to shower her with affection

people come and bring bags to gather seaweed and any food they
find on the walk. We saw lots of people digging for
clams and some lady even picked up an octopus

preparing for the crossing

enjoying our boots

we were amazed that the water really does go away! It really
made a path!

can't avoid the photo bombers

using their minds to part the sea

Katie and Cesca being explorers 

Finished the night with cotton candy 

Fun fact, Jindo is also the place where Admiral Yi Sun Shin defeated the much larger Japanese armada or navy or whatever in a great sea battle. Pretty cool stuff. 

the best part was meeting this
Jindo puppy. The dog breed is
also from this island and it's adorable

We got on the bus for another 2 hour ride (the ride to Jindo was 6 hours. Wheeeeee) and we arrived at our hotel in Boseong late at night. We rested up as best we could on floor mats, and then in the morning, headed out to the green tea fields. 

I've been here before, but the viewing time was quite short and it was a little rushed. This time, we had most of the day, so we got to leisurely stroll around the bamboo forest and tea fields, while trying all the green tea foods. 

we loved our hotel name~ Da Beach

we even had time to hike to the top of the fields.
it was a gorgeous day!

Green Tea naeng myeon.. Nothing special
but the theme was fun

we also got to participate in a tea
ceremony which had a lot of steps to
drinking tea 

Pandas, where u at?

getting good angles

abusing nature, clearly

the churros, ice cream and ddeokbokki were the best

We climbed all the way to the top!

After a 6 hour bus ride and another hour on the subway, I was finally home just after 11. Exhausted but internally energized by the great weekend. Neither place was too crowded (despite how crowded the Jindo pics seem, that was a decently roomy festival) and there wasn't anything to frustrating about this weekend, which made it feel amazing. I got to see some beautiful things and enjoy some great weather outside of Seoul, plus I spent a lot of time in good company. 

Hoping to fill my last few months in Korea with many more adventures :D