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 ;)