Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

This week was so much nicer than last week and it was Christmas too!
Christmas this year was on a Tuesday but I still had to work on Monday....Christmas Eve. I was however invited over by my french Friend, Veronique, and her family after work. It was like a pajama Party! We watched A Christmas Story, which I found highly entertaining but my friends were a little confused by it. I forgot how American it was. So for christmas I drew them a picture of her kids.

It was in the form of a Christmas card, but I thought it turned out pretty good and it was fun to see their faces when they opened it. After the movie, my friends husband had fallen asleep and she and I stayed up talking until 4 in the morning. It was so fun, but I had to get up early the next day to head to Jinju. In Jinju, I met up with my good friend Jackie, we went to a Christmas party where I go to eat a bunch of awesome food and meet a bunch of amazing foreign people.  We had people from the UK, from south Africa, and of course America. And we all were brought together because of Christmas!
After the first party we went to another Christmas party, I don't know where we got the room but we stuffed the food in because it was amazing! This dinner was at a Korean's families place (Jinju Ward's Bishop), where we ate Gam shi tong, which is like a potatoe soup that only has one potato in it. Strange but delicious. Check out the pic from above to get an idea.
After dinner, we thanked the family, and headed out to town where Jackie took me to an actual tea house. It was so awesome. I tried this plum tea that was so sweet and tasty I just wanted to stay there the whole evening. It was actually good that we just relaxed a bit because of all the food that day and my friend was actually just getting over food poisoning. (Don't ever eat eel, nasty)

 After the tea, we headed to the only Christmas-y thing in Jinju, where Jackie surprised me with cracklers  and we celebrated Christmas together infront of a big christmas light tree.
We were only there for a few minutes though, cause it was freezing. And the cab driver who we got to wait for us was laughing at the insane Americans. But whatever we're happy!
So that was Christmas in Korea, it was exciting and fun but I think next year I'll try to be home for it. This next weekend is New Years and a much bigger holiday here, so we shall see about the festivities next time.

Adventure is out there!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wo_oW Week of Craziness

Okay Really this week was the most hectic that I've had here in Korea, normally I would have at least one down day or something but no it just kept coming and coming and when I thought I could deal with one stressful thing, someone would pop out of nowhere and tell me that I had something else to do or get done immediately.
 But before I start ranting here is some fun Korean-English mess up.
 This post was brought to you by Oranges, the makers of Apples.
(read the label)

Sunday: Church was normal except we had a new president of the Young Women's called and she had only been a member for about a year and so knew practically nothing about Young Womens and her english is very much borderline. Thankfully the second councilor called is my friend, Veronique. (She is the french one). After church we thought we would have a short meeting to teach her about Young Womens and hopefully help her that way. Well that meeting turned into a three hour meeting and even then it didn't accomplish much.

Monday: We had an early meeting for work where we were told that my boss decided that it would be a great idea to invite the parents of the students to watch some of our classes. ( I guess I should mention here that parents are my enemies and that I have never had any good experiences with them). These classes would happen at this thursday and friday. We are expected to have the children ready to present their best perforance and that we needed to prepare a nice typed lesson plan by the next day. Meanwhile I have six classes to teach and Also they wanted us to start calling the students and 'counseling' them. (When I say counsel I mean just have a conversation with the students on the phone to give the appearance that we care.... biggest waste of our time). Then, on top of that we were told that we, the foreign teachers, have a mandatory meeting tomorrow.... at 9am.... that would probably last until we were expected to be at another meeting where we would be expected to demonstrate what we should present at the Open Classes (where the parents would join the class). Yeah, that was a fun day.

Tuesday: I woke up early and went to that redundant useless foreigner's meeting. In all actuality it would have been a very useful meeting had it happened within a month of me arriving in Korea. They talked about Korean and what to expect from the students and even how to gain an E-2 visa which we all already had for the fact that we were in Korea. I slept through the first hour and spaced out through the next. Then halfway through the meeting they had a presentation of Belly dancing. Random as ever and it wasn't really introduced so people were really confused. I snapped a pic because random things make me laugh and at that point I needed a good laugh. I felt bad for the dancers because people were still walking around from the break.
Anyways, we finish the meeting and get driven back to Masan and we all decided that we had enough time to go to lunch together. Which turned out to be really nice but made us late for our work meeting...darn. So, we get to the meeting and the Koreans had just finished their presentations about what they would do for their classes and the head teacher turns to us and asks if we were ready. I could care less at that point and so I volunteered to go first and got it out of the way. Then after everyone went, we were informed that they wanted print outs of all our lesson plans for the classes. Oh whatever. Yet another thing I am not sure we are actually going to use. I am a good employee and so I did the useless task.

Wednesday: This day was actually election day so we had this day off from work which was a curse and a blessing. It was a curse because that meant less time to prep our classes for the upcoming Open Classes. (which might I add had driven the Korean teachers to the extreme where one has given her two week notice). But it was a bless that we had a day off. I made the most of it and went to Busan and visited the temple by the sea.
( You should rub the Buddha belly and nose, just in case you want a son.)

I went shopping before and tried to time it to get there at sunset, well I got there alright and it was sunset and then I realized the sun was setting on the other side of the bay. At least I had enough time to take some fun pics before the light went out on me. It was a fun experience, mainly because after I took all those photos I went out on the rocky beach and ate my dinner next to the ocean watching the light fade away. Just over the crash of the waves you could just barely hear the monks chanting.

Thursday: I had lunch with my hopkido instructor and a few of the other students because the next day we were getting tested for our black belts. It was a fun lunch but in truth I don't really talk that much to these people because half the time we are just punch at each other or throwing each other around. Not much time for conversation. So it was interesting to talk with them. Then I had to run to work; where today was the beginning of the dreaded Open Classes. You could tell everyone was on edge and even a couple of teachers were sick because of the added stress. This was also the day where I had most of my students sign up to get calls. So all my free time I was calling students and it turns out one of the little brats had gone through on the sign up sheet and changed some of the numbers. So I was getting wrong numbers. Annoyances! The open classes went well enough and the parents seemed to enjoy it. Then I realized that next week was our first mid-term test and so I had to print that out and start preparing the students for that. It just wont end!

Friday: Today was the black belt test. I think I did okay but I am not sure if that is true. At one point I was supposed to stab my partner and instead the knife got caught on their uniform and it flipped out of my hand and flew across the dojo. I started laughing at that point and couldn't stop the rest of the time. So basically it was over after that, too much stress and I just have to laugh. We see if the board or Black belt judges will find it in their heart to pity the stupid foreigner and give her the belt and certificate. Then at school, it was a continuation of pointless calls and open class. The open class went better then I thought because when I left that last one, they applauded me out. Like I performed or something. It was nice to be done with that and I went to the store after work and splurged on chocolate.

Saturday: I went to a basketball game with my friend, Carter. He got free tickets and invited me along, normally I hate basketball but thought it would be fun to experience it. And in truth it was super fun watching the crowd and kids jumping up and down. I felt like I was back at rubber chicken but everything was in Korean. They had a cheer section where you would be recorded if you cheered hard enough. ( I safely stayed sitting down and hiding myself when I felt the lens of a camera.) I am pretty sure the only other foreigners their were the ones playing on the teams. And they towered over the Koreans too. Funny as ever, also the announcer was dressed in a Harry Potter costume and when I asked my friend why he was all dressed up, my friend replied it is because it is Christmas. Yeah, that didn't make much sense to me either but next Christmas I want to be Harry Potter, too.

Which brings us back around to sunday. I wont say much more other than the fact that I got super annoyed that at Church there was no Christmas special presentation, none of the talks were about Christmas or the original nativity story. All the talks were on was judgement and how our religion was so great. Then we had a combined meeting and that was about the ward's and church's history in Korea. What a Freaking let down! I am already Christmas deprived by being here and then my own church skips out on the whole holiday! Well, we are going to have a Christmas activity tomorrow... while I'm at work. Ugh, this is that last Christmas I am spending away from home willingly. Christmas isn't that big of a holiday here in Korea and that just makes me sad.

Found this tree at the mall, at least I know that commercially, Christmas isn't dead
Well, I just want to you all to have a great Christmas and to know how much of a blessing it is to be with family and friends during such a wonderful holiday. We celebrate the birth of our Savior and that is truly a blessing. Happy Holidays everyone, and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The road goes ever on and on...

So this last Saturday and weekend I did a ton of traveling. It started on Saturday morning not-so bright but early.

It was the second Saturday of the month and I had signed up to go to the temple. I previously missed the past four months of trips the last four months because .... things kept happening.

In anycase, I arrived at the meeting point at 5:30am, that is in the morning! That was early, and it is no longer summer. It was dark and cold and windy and I was alone standing waiting for the bus because everyone else had a car and stayed there, because duh it's cold.

I got on the bus and quickly found a seat so that I could sleep for the next five hours, roughly the amount of time it will take to get to Seoul. It was a long trip, but I did fall asleep for a while and when I woke up I looked out the window at this:


And it was covering everything! It was so beautiful and happy and and and cold.

My friend from the ward was with me and she had not dressed expecting snow. She had a nice coal and a scarf and gloves but her shoes were high heels and no traction whatsoever. She held on to me the whole time. I had slip-ons that were only slightly better than hers. Actually she did fall once but I was able to catch her, mostly.

We went through the temple two times and it felt so great to find a peaceful place to pray and feel the spirit. One session I did in english and the second I did it in french. Very fun.

Afterward we got back into the bus and headed home. Another five hour ride home. But worth it.
That was Saturday, then on Sunday there was a Young Single Adult activities in Busan. My friend offered to drive and normally I wouldn't go to activities like these just because no one speaks english and I don't want to inconvenience anyone. Well, this time I relented and said I would go. Probably one of my bad decisions. My friend who was driving did not turn on his heating the whole way and he took some back way to avoid the toll-booths that took twice as long. Then he started berating me with inappropriate discussions, asking questions where I felt harassed. We picked someone up along the way who thankfully distracted him enough to leave me alone. The activity I thought was us watching The Christmas Devotional but the guys internet wasn't working and it didn't matter because everything was in Korean. Then at the end, I had to get back into that freezing car and he dropped me off last which meant more harassing. I tried my hardest to be nice and not sarcastic or vicious which I really wanted to be but I refrained. Just barely.

Well that was the big adventures this weekend, I am about to go watch the Hobbit. Hopefully it is as good as I expect.

  Aren't my students Awesome!

Funny Story about those kids. I was in class explaining how to respond to a question then I hear a scream and everone started laughing. I turn around and asked what happened and one of the girls said to wait as she started to unzip her coat. Then she pulls out an eraser which the girl behind her was flipping up into the air. I don't know how but the one girl had flipped the eraser in a way to go down the front of the other girls coat. I just started laughing, it was awesome.

Adventure is out there!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fond Goodbyes...And new beginnings

It was the last week for my Co-Workers, David and Jinny. We had a few parties and even had a group cake eating with chopsticks. Now that David and Jinny left, I am officially the Senior teacher in the school, there isn't another teacher that has been here as long as me. And now they are all looking to me for my helpful wisdom and experience.... wow, we are in for it.

Actually things are looking up, because one of the new foreign teachers here speaks both Korean and english, he was elected to be the middle man between us and the director. Which means no more meetings with her, things are definitely looking up. 

The replacement teacher is from New York, and his name is Yares, pronounced Jadai. He is really green and seems to think to make up for his lack of experience that he should talk.... all.... the....  time....
As much as I understand that he is new and that he is nervous and is trying to establish himself, sometimes I just wish he would shut up.... I'm probably being mean right now. okay, sorry.

In any case, this last weekend I went to Busan to meet up with a friend and her friend who was visiting Korea for a few weeks. We walked around and went to a couple of restaurants and then went to see Rise of the Gaurdians. Amazing film and I watched it in 3D, which made it more amazing!

That was about it for that weekend, what is really cool that happened this week is the snow. When I first got here I was told that it never snows here and that I should not look forward to it. And then on friday morning it started snowing! I was walking back from Hopkido when it started and I just started to smile like an idiot in wonder. A couple of Ajima's passed me and started to laugh which was a little strange because normally I am laughing at them but yeah there you go. Yeah snow!

Okay honestly I had this post done by friday but forgot to post it so sorry for the delay.

Adventure is out there!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Korean Wedding


So this last weekend, my Hopkido instructor was the Honored speaker (like a conductor/ director/priest)  at a former hopkido student's wedding and he invited us to go with him to experience what a Korean wedding was like. And all I can say is that is was interesting.

All the older people were dressed in their traditional handbock, which was cool. I got a good shot of one with an awesome furry vest:

 Here is my instructor, as he is announcing the couple and directing what will happen next.

 The room was cool and beautifully decorated but when the wedding started it turned into what I felt like was a runway show. The lights started changing colors and there was music that was more fit in a dance hall not a wedding. The whole thing was very scripted and their was constantly a person telling them where to sit or stand and when to bow. Then there was this part where they brought out a cake for the bride and groom to cut (mind you they used a gigantic cleaver instead of a normal knife) the lights started to strobe and light them up like a rock concert, along with music. I was fighting back laughing so bad. After they cut the cake they just pushed it off to the side as though it was just a normal part of the ceremony.
Another point in the wedding, the groom started doing push-ups and with each one he would shout how much he loved his new bride. Odd, but cute in a military way. Oh also when the groom was asked if he would marry the bride, he shouted like answering a drill sargent that he would and 'THANK YOU'. It was to say the least intense.
And with all good weddings we had a great buffet afterward, filled with food I had never seen before in my life and a sushi bar which was great. I am starting to warm up to sushi. Not as bad as I thought it would be.

Actually a week before we had another wedding happen with a couple that I train with. The couple are both foreigner, one from America and the other from Scottland. They met while teaching here and to avoid a big ceramony they signed the legal documents here in Korea. Of course my instructor would not allow them to get away without a ceremony. Sabunim, my instuctor, set up everything and so it was at the Dojang (Dojo). He made a huge banner and we had a good little reception ceremony there for them. I thought it was cool because it really was a mix of cultures. Andy, the scottish groom, played the bagpipes and we toasted them with wine (cola for me).
They were fun and definitely unique experiences.

That's all for now,  adventure is out there :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

An adventurous week with Darlea

Hey, Darlea survived a week in Korea and I'm proud to say I didn't lose her. :)

When she first flew in I wasn't sure how we would find each other because our originally designated spot to meet was in an area that I couldn't get to. Apparently, you are supposed to pick up your luggage before you leave the gate. But we were both intelligent adults and found each other in the end even if we were both in a panic before we saw the other person.

Darlea had previously requested to do a Temple Stay in Korea and so right from the airport I took her to Gyeonju City to the Golguksa Temple where we would get the true Korean experience and spend the night in a Temple. It turns out that there are not that many visitors at this time of year and because of this we had our own room and most of the activities were focused on us. There was only two other girls doing the temple stay as well. It was great but there was a slight problem. This temple had a focus on martial arts and as much exercise Darlea gets at her desk job, it was not enough for her not to be hurting after the first day. The next day we did 108 bows and went on a short hike and I think I might have abused her a little bit by forcing her on all those activities... hehe. It was fun though and it might have been her just being polite (no, she would have told me she didn't like it) but she said she had a good time there.

After the temple stay we got back into town and went to the Bulguksa Temple, which is a historical temple in Korea for the fact that it is huge and beautifully painted. The fall colors were out and we even had some time to feed the Koi. I also was able to do some christmas shopping :)

We left early enough to get home and get a quick dinner and to watch a movie. This was a much needed rest for the both of us. Since we had to drag the luggage the whole time we were out and about. Again poor Darlea. :(

The next day we explored Busan, the second largest city in South Korea and we did a lot of walking. We first went to an outdoor market and even checked out the Busan fish market. We had lunch there and it was super tasty too. They fried up at least four different kinds of fish for us and threw in some free soup to wash it down. That was delicious and different. We also went over to Centum City,  which is the largest Department Store in the South. Bought a few trinkets and then headed to the Busan Aquarium. It really was a fishy day. The Aquarium was fun because we went on our own personal boat ride onto a shark infested tank and got to feed the sharks as well. The tour guide did her best to speak english but overall not a bad job. We spent a lot of time walking around and in the end even had to be escorted out because we took too long looking at the fish. It was fun and the security guard spoke good english and was cute, so who cares. We caught the last bus back to Masan and again fell asleep to a movie. We also ate Korean Barbeque to finish off the day.

I was only allowed two days off of work this week, so the next day my time was up. It was actually really nice, cause Darlea needed a day where she could relax and one of my friends came from another city to go out to dinner with her. They went to a fried chicken place and they checked out the baskin robins here to see all the 31 flavors of Asialand. They are different. That and some Korean guys hit on the girls too which was flattering I'm sure ;)

The next day, Darlea followed me to school and watched me teach. Before that we had a really good lunch which was called shabu shabu. This had to be the best meal because it was so involved.  First you boil raw meat in a broth along with mushrooms and bean sprouts. Then when it is cooked you wrap the meat and mushrooms in a noodle like tortilla shaped thing along with veggies of your choice. Once you had your fill of the wraps, you pour noodles into the mushroom meat broth and cook them up. Making a really good soup to enjoy. After eating that for a while, the hostess comes over and removes most of the broth and all of the meat and mushrooms then pours in a pretty good amount of rice and a little egg with a squash. She mixes this up to create a sweet rice dish that is oh so tasty. It was an amazing lunch, and helped get us both through the day of crazy students.
After the day of teaching we went to try eel with my coworkers. That was a lot of fun but the eel wasn't that amazing. Shabu shabu was a whole lot better. We finished the day with that and then realized it was Thanksgiving..... whoops.

This adventure had to come to an end though and so we packed everything up and on friday we took a bus to busan where I said bye to Darlea. Sad day.

It was so great to have her here and I guess since this is Thanksgiving week, I can say that I am grateful for great friends like her.

Till the next adventure ^^

Friday, November 16, 2012

Daegu Day

Honestly I didn't think I would get up to Daegu. I looked into visiting the city and all the activities mentioned didn't interest me at all. But I had a friend invite me to go with her and a few of her own friends and as hermitish as I am I decided to try out a weekend at Daegu. Yeah for saturday adventures!

The city has a pretty good foreigner community, it is after all the third largest city in South Korea. So the first thing we did was go to a American themed restaurant. I thought it hilarious that in one of their showcases it showed American products which included Quaker oats and chunky soup. The lunch was good, but the activity that I was looking forward to was zip-lining. The city has a corps course and that included a zip-line. We first had to find a love motel so the girls had a place to sleep tonight, they were going to go clubbing that night and it is easier finding a place to sleep while you're your still sober. I was just in for the ride though and was planning on returning to Masan that night so I could go to church in the morning.

Anyways, after finding a suitable place to stay we headed towards the corps course. Well we got lost a couple of times and even had a bus driver wave us away because he had already pulled out into traffic... all two feet of it and was stopped for a light. (Jerk, I hate bus drivers now). We even ran into another foreigner who proceeded to flirt like crazy with me, we all laughed at that later.
After waiting for a second bus, we finally got to the area where the course was and found out that the place closed an hour before we got there. Oh well, such is life in a foreign land. So we went back to the bus stop and got on the same bus that brought us there. When the bus driver saw his group of loud obnoxious American girls he just shook his head and smiled at our pitiful state. I thought it was funny!

One thing Daegu is famous for is their alcoholic drinks in a bag and of course all the girls wanted to try it. I wanted to have some fun too, >:) no worries I made sure that there was no alcohol in it at all but it was still fun to drink from a bag that looked like it should hold medicine.

Funny Story!
We were all really hungry too, well I was actually okay because of work I have become accustomed to eating a big lunch and not feeling hungry again until way midnight. So I just wanted a salad. And amongst the ten dollar meals there was a three dollar salad. Yes, victory! I ordered that and was excited for something light and small. In Korea they don't wait to bring all the meals out at once so you can easily get your food far before your friends. I assumed I would be getting my salad first, because salads don't take that much time. So when they brought out a small plate filled with sweet pickled carrots, cucumbers, and peppers. I was about to die, they put the small plate in front of me and I just looked down at it, in disbelief. Jackie got her speghetti and Carolyn got her lasagna. And we all just started busting up laughing at the whole thing. That measly salad was more like a side dish and the pickled veggies made me want to puke. Here is a good picture:

 Thankfully, after a while they brought out my real salad and everything was all good, but for a while there I was about to murder some koreans for what they called a salad.

After the dinner I ditched my friends and headed home. Fun evening and it was great to meet new people. :)

Funny Story of the week:
I was teaching my middle school students and in the middle of a lesson one of my girl students rose her hand and asked to go to the bathroom. The girls had been fairly obnoxious up to this point talking and laughing during the lesson and I wasn't about to let her out when she could wait twenty minutes for the bell to ring, when her friend got up and ran to the front to whisper something in my ear. 'teacher, her bra back is open.' I couldn't take it, I just started to laugh. and I nodded to her to go. But I couldn't stop laughing, then the guys in the class really wanted to know why I was laughing and that just made me laugh more. I finally got control of myself again and then the girl came back into the class and I just started laughing again. She hit her friend and the boys just sat there in confusion. Oh I am still laughing now. I guess it isn't that funny but this week had been stressful because I lost my voice and still had to somehow do my work. But, oh, that was funny.

Well this week is going to be great cause my friend Darlea is coming and we are going to have a blast! So until next time :)

And happy Pepero Day :)
Adventure is out there!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ninja Destruction

One of my favorite games is Ninja Destruction that I learned being a EFY counselor. I wasn't sure that I would be able to teach any of my students here because you don't really talk during the game at all. Then on the weekend, I was suddenly put in charge of my young women without any idea of what to do with them. So, I taught them ninja destruction. Before I knew it, the young men came into the classroom and they got really into it. To the point that they went out and recruited other kids until the room was filled. I just thought it was funny because they would all scream 'ninja estruction' and then follow up with 'Jinja'. Then they all strike their best ninja pose and the game begins. I loved it, mainly because to watch how serious the kids were getting.

That is all I really did this weekend, no high adventure. But this next week I am going to Seoul for the temple.

Sorry this post is short this week but here is a video of the craziest little girl in my ward. She likes to run around and literally run into people and hit them. So I started calling her crazy and she just keeps saying the same thing in Korean to me. I got one of my young women to hold her down long enough to record her craziness.
I really am grateful for the ward here. They have taken good care of me and have been really patient with the lack of communication. And I love how most of them consider me on the same level as a missionary. :) I get fed all the time!

Till next week, Adventure is out there!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Because Fireworks are cool...and I have a sword

So I'll start this post off with some flower power. In my town of Masan we had a flower festival, celebrating the Chrysanthemum. An ugly little flower that to me looks like a clumped dandelion. It was fun to walk around the festival and see all the cool flower arangements... well bunches. I honestly don't see the big deal.

Let's jump to the exciting part. The Busan Fireworks festival, Amazing. But we need some build-up.

Originally the festival was planned for saturday and so I went up with a couple of my Korean friends on Friday to get past all the traffic. We had fun walking around the beach side and had a good meal there too. Then Saturday rolled around, I had to go to a useless meeting for work in the middle of the day, but it started raining. And I don't mean sprinkling, I mean raining. Like wind and fat drops of liquid death.... and it would not let up. SO the fireworks were canceled and rescheduled for the following day. Dejectedly, I went home because I had church in the morning. (It is important for my state of mind)

Half-way through the Sunday day I got a call from Jackie (my only other Mormon friend in the country of Korea) and she said she had a friend who can get us on the rooftop of a motel right next to the beach where they are going to shoot off the fireworks. NO WaY! The obstacle was just to get there. Luck was with me that day, I was able to catch a bus and make all the transit jumps without too many hitches.... true traffic was a killer but with your scriptures on your phone time flew (along with a nap). But I was able to find Jackie and together we made it to the motel just after the first few fiery explosions of happiness started going off.

The show was about an hour long and they were the second coolest fireworks I have ever seen (you can't top Disney World's 4th of July though). The whole sky lit up with the finally and my favorite fireworks by far were these ones that were attached to a miniature airplane so when it went off it looked like a phoenix was flying around. Super cool. There were words in the sky and they even lit the bridge on fire.. well it had a curtain of firework happiness spewing over it's sides. Absolutely amazing. Sadly my camera's batery went dead half-way through but here is a video I took :)

The firework show was amazing and surprisingly I was able to get home at a reasonable time. But that is not all that was so amazing this last week. Today or yesterday in Hopkido, our instructor started teaching us how to use swords. I'm going to be a korean ninja samurai by the time I leave here. BOO-YAH!
Yeah! Well it is almost the weekend and I haven't planned anything yet except a couple of meetings and my first french club meeting. That will be fun! But yeah, I'll have a new adventure for you all very soon.

Adventure is out there ;)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The China Dilemma

There is still such thing as prejudices towards Americans, I knew this already but this week has yet been another reminder for that fact.

Originally when I was looking to teach english in Asia, my goal was China. But I soon realized that Korea was safer and paid more, even though the contracts were longer. After accepting a job in Korea, I told myself that I was close to Japan and China; so I would be able to easily go to either country.

Well, this week my dreams of China were dashed. I went to a travel agency to apply for a Chinese visa, so I could start planning my trip with my sister at the end of my contract in five months. Well, the travel agent told me 'no, it is not possible.' Well actually he said '불가능 없음' but thankfully I had a friend there to translate. He explained that I had to have at least six months left on my Alien card in order to apply and even if I did get my visa it would only be good for about three months. So there wouldn't have been any way for my to visit China with my sister at the end of my contract. I had a small tantrum and I even learned that me being an American, if I applied to get a visa I would pay 160 dollars more for my visa than would a Canadian or Englishmen. Shenanigans!!!

Oh, I was fuming at that point. Smile and all, I was angry. So now the only way I'm getting to China is I would have to go to Hong Kong and apply there for a Chinese Visa, pay a ton of money and wait two or three days to get it. And that isn't even for sertain, either. This is just rumors and hear-say. The other option is to go with the original plan of going to teach in China. If that happened, I can only sign on to a six month contract, because I think I might kill some kids if I have to deal with any more. 

For a positive note, I got my camera back and it is as good as new and I didn't have to pay a dime. :)

This week we are having presentations at school. Which means easy days and this weekend there is a firework festival in Busan. So I will have pictures next week, none this week, sorry.

Funny story for the week. I was in the middle of a lesson when there was a huge explosion followed promptly by other smaller explosions. One of my students shouted the North was invading (as a joke) and I realized that it was fireworks. Sadly we were on the wrong side of the building, so we couldn't watch them but the explosions continued for about half the class. With that kind of distraction it was hard to do work. So we just had a class discussion on how good pizza was.
Turns out that the fireworks were for the Chrysanthemum festival going on. Why on earth would you want to celebrate that ugly little flower that I've only seen used in funerals, I have no idea.

Everyone have a great week, and Adventure is out there! 
Sometimes all we need is socks :)