Thursday, April 26, 2012

April Showers

So it is spring here, the flowers are out and it is raining constantly. But that is okay because I have an umbrella and for the most part I enjoy flowers. Overall it is warm here and it is nice to stick the winter coat into the closet. Okay, first things first: my calling. I am called to be the 1st councilor in the Young Womens. Crazy, really. I don't know how I am going to be able to fulfill this calling but I'll do my best. The first Sunday I just focused on learning everyone's name. Don't ask, I can't remember one of them, and they all look the same because for most schools they require the girls to have the same haircut and their all Asian. I can't tell the difference between any of them and three of them are sisters. Oh well, all I can do is try my best. One crazy but fun thing I started this week was Hopkido. This is the more graceful style of Korean Kung fu. I'm excited, it will be nice to take something away from living in Korea that is traditional. That and now I can say I know martial arts. They cycle through the belt fairly fast here so I could get a black belt in like nine months. This isn't going to happen because I have no coordination and at the moment I am totally out of shape. But I am going three times a week, in the morning. At the moment, I hurt so much. Yesterday we learned how to properly fall down and doing that for about twenty minute definitely left some damage. I'm hobbling again, but at least I am actually working out. I get a uniform and a belt and everything. It is awesome! This weekend, it rained the whole time so all I did was catch up on laundry and drawing. Not bad but not exciting. Truly the most exciting thing I did was burning my popcorn and holding the smoldering bag outside the window to reduce the smoke in the apartment. The second bag I got right so whatever. Anyways, I am going to the Avengers tonight. It is cheaper on weekdays, only 6 bucks. Nice!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Busan or Bust

Sorry if I'm a day late but things happen or I'm just lazy, sometimes.
So my big adventure this last weekend or week was Busan. Originally I was not planning on going but it just turned out that way and I'm kinda happy about it.

At first my plan was to go to this Fortress with James (another English buddy) but he told me to meet him at the bus terminal. I thought he meant the big bus stop down another street so I went there. Yeah it wasn't the right spot; I kept walking around Dekkori (main bus stop/ city area) but I could not find the bus terminal. I did find an art store on the way and figuring I missed the bus already I did some quick shopping. I went back home at that point and found his number on facebook and called him. Of course he already left, so I figured I would just paint the rest of the day.
I got a call from another friend about an hour later and he invited me to go with the group to Busan. Well why not, it was a beautiful day and what else did I HAVE to do. So I met the David on the corner(we call it the corner because it is the middle point between our apartment buildings). And He showed me where the bus terminal was, I had gone the opposite direction during the morning.
Busan is about an hour away by bus and the whole way the boys were playing with their new iphones. They said that their plan was going to go to a baseball game and getting drunk. My two most favorite things in the world. I passed and I went to the largest Department Store in Korea instead. It is called Sengetsa Department Store and it was huge.
Joel also opted out of the game and came with me to the store. The metro took us directly underneath Sengetsa, and the first sight you saw when you got off is a big fountain with Greek statues and everything.

This is where Joel and I messed up. Their were two entryways one to Sengetsa and the other was another department store called Lottemart. We went to the wrong one thinking it was Sengetsa. It was big but we were not impressed because we expected more. When we finally explored the store for a while we went outside to see what was around it. That is when we discovered the entryway to Sengetsa and we were like 'Oh, that is it'.
The place was huge, it was like a mall but with ten floors and hallways galore. It wasn't a mall though, it was a department store and it was gigantic. It even had a ice rink on one of the floors. My favorite part was the 7th floor was like a geeks paradise. It had some pretty good electronics but then it had a whole wall of just Studio Ghibli stuff. I was so happy and I finally splurged on something. I was so happy, and thankfully Joel knew Studio Ghibli so he understood my obsession and he also bought a couple things.

We also snuck up to the roof and discovered a gigantic grass field and a gorgeous view. I took lots of pics of that and I even just laid down on the grass. I miss grass. It was awesome.

Around nine we called it good and went back home to Masan. It is nice now I know how to get to Busan I can go anytime I want.

Another good news and something that makes me a little nervous, on Sunday the Bishop asked me to meet him in his office. You guessed it I got a calling. He first asked me what I thought I would be able to do, I didn't know what to say to that. I told him some of my former callings and I'm not sure he understood any of them. Then he told me the calling he wanted me to be in and I was like sure of course and inside all I could think was 'how'. Well I haven't been called yet so you have to wait till next week to find out what it is :)
Okay Love you all ~ Have a good weekend

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cherry Blossoms!!!

This last weekend I went to Jinhae, where the cherry blossom Festival was going on. I actually went twice, once on Saturday with a group of friends and then on Sunday (this week we were watching Conference in Church which I already watched) with a coworker. The first day, Saturday, I went with my friends Joel (my fellow English teacher), James(the guy with whom I hiked mulhaksan), Carter (He teaches me Korean), and Jeonmin (a friend from church who took me to Geonju) and Jeonmin's brother. Pretty big group and we left in the afternoon so we could spend some time during the day and night.

When we arrived there we started to take pictures and James realized he had forgotten to put his SD card in his camera. So he turns to me and says 'Cyndil, my camera is better then yours, let me use your SD card.' No 'please' or some kind of offer of kind picture taking in return. But heck I am a nice person and kinda of a lone shark so I let him take the my card for the day. Requiring him to take good pictures, well it turned out that how he takes picture isn't compatible with my computer and so I couldn't get more than half the pictures. Annoyances.
The rest of the day was great though, without a camera I got to really enjoy the festival. The first thing we did was sit down and eat. We had barbecue pig, where the whole pig was being barbequed and I had whale for the first time, tasted kinda gamy and oily and weird. Not my favorite, but at least I tried it. We also shared this dish of cuttlefish which is a lot like calamari. I thought that was really good, what was bad about it was that they didn't tell us the price until we got to the register. That was a bit of a problem because the bill turned out to be 120,000 won which is equivalent to 110 dollars (give or take a few). At least we were splitting it between six people. It was still good food though :)
After we ate we climbed a small hill and a tower so we were able to see all of Jinhae and the festival. That was one of my favorite parts. I'll add what photos I have of that below:

After the tower we went to the main strip where all the cherry blossoms were lit up. By then it was night time and with the different lights and the lazer shows it was really cool looking. There was a big crowd though and it was difficult to navigate. Around nine we all decided we had enough and went to catch a bus back to Masan. At twenty minutes to eleven we forced our way onto a bus with a hundred other people. We were like sardines, most of the buses were so packed that many of them wouldn't stop at our bus stop. That is why it took so long to get on a bus. Thankfully the crowd thinned out after the first half hour of the trip. It was about an hour ride back to home. I had to follow James home so that he could give me his SD card. More annoyances. And when he was done, he didn't even walk me to his door or to the street or anything. Man, I miss gentlemen!

The next day was actually way better compared to Saturday, even though it was on a Sunday. I met up with Molly, she is like the secretary/owner of the school, she also doesn't speak English that well or at all. We left around 11 and got their around noon. We first went to a strip right next to a river/ brook where all the cherry blossoms were hanging over the sides. Oh it was beautiful, and I had plenty of chances to take pictures. We started walking into more of the town area and Molly bought me some traditional Korean candy which was super nice. We then headed over to a long strip along the side of a naval base. After about a half a mile we came to a place where their was a live band playing all in Naval uniforms and we sat and watched them for a few hours. It was so nice to just sit and not feel like you had to make conversation because Molly wouldn't understand even if I tried.
Here is a funny story for you all. So as we were sitting and listening to the music after the song stopped and the conductor started to address the crowd. After he spoke for a while people started to shout and Molly was loudest of all. She grabbed my hand and started saying 'American' 'American' (she actually said 'migookin' but that to my Korean lessons I understood that much) and the conductor pointed at me. Then Molly grabbed my arm harder and yanked me up in front of the considerable crowd to stand next to the conductor. Two others stood up too, but at least they had voluntarily stood up and had some idea of what was going on. All I could do is smile, and the conductor said something to me in Korean, everyone made their murmurings in the crowd. And the conductor hands me an Ocarina. I graciously accept, thankfully it was handed to me in a bag or I would have thought I was suppose to play it or something. In any case, I got my own Ocarina (this is kinda like a larger version of a doodle flute) for free from a cute conductor in a Naval Uniform. Not too shabby. Awkward confusing and very rewarding, awesome event.

The last thing we did that day was go to see the turtle ship. Which was what the Koreans used in war to protect their land and people in ancient times. The ship was obviously a replica but it was really cool because we got to go into it and explore for a bit. Pictures are below.

Ultimately, the weekend was awesome, and that is where I am going to leave you. There is more to come but I'm tired.
For more picture check out my facebook account. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Month and a half already!

Whelp, things are still confusing here and life is getting in order though there is still chaos. But I am still enjoying myself especially since all I do is laugh when there are more problems then solutions. Or when there is no solution, you just got to continue forward.
Well I hope everyone enjoyed Conference! Last weekend, I had normal church because the Koreans wait a week so that they session can be translated and they can watch it at normal times. I think the Sunday session aired at like midnight or one o'clock in the morning. Well I wasn't going to wait a week so I watched it on the internet but now I don't think I am going to church to watch it because I've already seen it. Oh well I will have my own Easter egg hunt and eat chocolate too. Anyways I love conference and it was nice watching it at home.
This last Saturday I went on a gigantic hike up a mountain. This hike was equivalent to a 'Stan hike'. I didn't know what I was getting myself into either. I thought it would be like the other hike I went on. Nope, The first mile was climbing rocks and at a definite slant, then the next mile was stairs, but it leveled out at the top. I had to stop a couple times and catch my breath. The guy I was with just made fun of me the whole way and gave me a hard time. I guess that was good because it in a way encouraged me to keep going and I did end up making it to the top. The way down was a lot easier and a little fun. I felt like I was a mountain goat jumping from rock to rock. The rest of the day, I had dinner and went to a movie without thinking of the consequences of my actions going up the mountain. Yeah I was hurting but I thought it would be gone by the next day., I woke up the next day with the feeling as though I had just had two charlie horses in my calves and my ankles refused to move and if I did move them they gave me enough pain to communicate their hatred of me. I tried to talk myself up, saying that maybe if I relaxed that day it would be better the next. No that feeling of cramped and stressed muscles lasted the next four days. And I still limp as I get out of bed in the morning. Wow I am out of shape. I can't wait to take some friends on that hike :) Here are some Pictures:

Anyways, here is something for you all to look forward to: There is a big cherry blossom festival this weekend and I'm going to it. So yeah, be jeolous and look forward to a lot of pics. Speaking of pictures, I want to share with you my funny story of the week. It has been massively windy here in Masan, like the equivalent to Rexburg. Not fun, but I can deal. Well on the way to school I always cut through a parking lot and normally this parking lot has a big sign at one of the corners of it. Well the wind was strong enough to blow that sign over and some unfortunate person was unlucky enough to park their car in the wrong spot. Naturally I took a picture.

I enjoyed sharing that story with my students. :)

So I hope you all are doing well and I will see you all next week.