Wednesday, February 28, 2007

PEOPLE PEOPLE AND MORE PEOPLE.........

Here is a video clip from another blogger who teaches in Korea. Since I haven't figured out the video option on Sung Hyuns camera, I thought I would just show you this video. This is what I am up against almost EVERYTIME I ride the subway.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

GRADUATION!!!!!

Well I was a little worried about my kindy kids graduation which happened only 2 days ago, mostly because I prepared the whole thing in 1 month, when all the other classes had been practicing for about 3. Yah long story, but the previous teacher left me with a half-assed song and NO dance. So I took the bull by the horns and revamped the entire thing into a 15 minute presentation about the ocean. We even got to sing silly ocean songs from Finding Nemo.







These are the pictures from presentation practice. They never talked loud enough, or stood up on cue, so I was definately nervous about the big day.



But they pulled it together for the actual presentation and they made my heart melt. I was so proud of them.















Here is one of my cute kindies that I taught last year. Unfortunately he is leaving to a different school so this was the last day that I got to see him. He was definately my favorite.
And after the big day we all headed out to dinner at a local galbi (meat) restaurant.






And this is how them Koreans do it. No matter your age, you still sit cross-legged on a single cusion. At least that floor is heated. My body is definately not made to stay like this for a full meal, but it appears that my yoga classes have been paying off.
After the day I was exhasted but luckly this week we don't have to be in to work until 2pm and I get to leave just shortly after 4pm. Plus I have Thursday off. With all this time on my hands, I am still as unproductive as ever and find myself sleeping till noon. I can't wait till things get back to normal.

So you think I'm weird.....

I've been tagged by a fellow blogger and as a result I must reveal 5 weird things about me --

So after some careful consideration I have concluded that I am not really that weird. Really I had to think long and hard for this list and it's really not the creative.

So here goes --

1. I can only eat bacon with syrup!!!! Yup that's right my greasy salty fatty bacon must be drenched in sweet maple syrup...........yummm I want some right now. Sound gross??? Try it!!!

2. Sometimes I have the sudden urge to do something daring. For example, when I lean over a bridge or balcony I am very tempted to jump. When the subway rushes by I sometimes want to stick out my hand to see what would happen. Yah really I don't wanna kill myself I am just fascinated with tempting fate.

3. I love bugs. As I a young girl I was known best in the neighbourhood as 'that bug girl'. I used to collect bugs. Mostly I would torture them, by ripping off their wings, legs, heads etc. Then I would shake them viguroulsly in a jar and when they were dead I would eat them!!!!!!! Grasshoppers were a personal favorite.

4. I miss university. I miss the pressure and stress -- essays, tests, you name it. I live and breath for that kinda stuff. No such thing as the easy way out for this girl. Maybe this is not so weird, just crazy!!!!

5. I would eat pizza for every meal of the day, everyday, for the rest of my life if I could!!!! Right now I eat it only once a week (at least)

Now, I am sure there are more weird things about me. So those of you who know me, feel free to add to my list.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

wazzzzzzzzzzzzz uppppppppppp!!!!!



Okay Sarah, I am trying my hardest to get Sung Hyun to give you the wazzzz uppp. I think he did a good job, how about you? Soon this is how all Koreans will pose.........keke!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

FRESH FRUIT


I'm in love with Asian pears. They are so big, juicy and crispy that I could eat one everyday. The only problem is that they are about $2 a piece, which is just too much for my pocket book.
BUT.......since meeting Sung Hyuns mom on Sunday, she has already sent 4 over to my house...........score!!!!! She must think that all I have at my place is rotten fruit.......afterall if I am willing to give it away as a gift I might as well eat it myself............kekeke

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I am such an idiot..........

I can't laugh about it now................but hopefully some day I can!!!!!!!

I have the worst luck for giving gifts to Sung Hyun's mom. This past winter when I shipped a box of goodies from Canada, I included a nice little surprise for Sung Hyun's mom. I had bought her one of those incent candle thingy's (you know where you put the candle on the bottom and the top melts and makes your house smell nice). Well it was a nice surprise and she was happy to receive a gift from me, but the surprise came when she opened the box and the insent candle holder was broken into tiny peices.................ahhhhh, I felt awful.

And because that gift wasn't disappointing enough I thought I would try to top it off last night when I visited by presenting them a box of ROTTEN expensive dried fruit. Little did I know that this stuff had to be refrigerated. I had purcased it on Thursday and it sat out on my table for the whole weekend. So when they opened my gift in front of me, they were as shocked as I was. I don't recall the fresh stuff having little mold pores on them, but maybe this batch was different (I was hoping it was). Anyways, last night when Sung Hyun eventually made it over to my place after the party had died down, he confirmed to me that 'yup that stuff was definately rotten and should have been kept in the fridge'

WOW, WHAT AN IMPRESSION I AM LEAVING ON THIS FAMILY...........

Do you think they will ever trust me with their son?

MEET THE FAMILY ........

............. THE WHOLE FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today was the day to meet Sung Hyuns family. And when I am talking family, I mean 4 or his sisters and their husbands along with all the kids. There were about 20 of us packed like sardines into a room that was designed for two. It was totally Korean style -- no beds, no table and I loved it.

Surprisingly I was greeted by his mom at the front door with the biggest hug ever. I saw her hustle across the room pushing everyone out of the way just so she could be the first person to greet me. I had played this scene in my head several times and that is totally not how I thought it would happen. I even had a great opening speech planned for what I was going to say to his mom when I first met her. Yah that totally went out the window when I got trampled at the front door.

The first feelings were intense but right from the start I felt very welcome. Sung Hyun's neice spoke a lot of English so she was able to translate for me. Everyone wanted to hear me speak Korean, so I wipped out the few lines that I had polished and they were totally impressed. Unfortunately that was all I had to say for the whole night because I exhasted my limited Korean vocabulary right off the bat.

So I figured that we would be served dinner right away since I got there at about 6:30 and everyone else was already there. But the actual rice with duck soup and side dishes didn't get served until 9 pm. First we did some traditional bow and recieved some money from his mom. Meanwhile we sat around eating snacks (which I just assumed was the meal).............and what was it that I ate you ask................

............CHICKEN FEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yup, I ate chicken feet........and not just one foot but probably the feet of 10 little chickens.........skin and all!!! I was so shocked but they just kept handing me peices so I couldn't reject them. And really they aren't anything special. I thought they would be deep friend and crunchy, but they were chewy and gristly. I just had to keep telling myself that I eat chicken so I might as well eat the feet...............kekeke

After the snacks the questions came pooring my way. And since Sung Hyun doesn't have a father the pressure was off. The fact that Sung Hyun doesn't have a father probably is the reason why he is allowed to date a Westerner, since he is the ONLY son in the family, he has a huge responsibility to look after his mom.

So just when I thought I was free and clear, Sung Hyun's oldest sisters husband (do you follow?) jumped in the role of DAD and just drilled me with questions: What does my family do? Do I have siblings? What is my brothers job? Do you think it is a good idea to send Korean children away from their familys to study English abroad? Why did I come to Korea? What are my hobbies? ahhhhhhhhhhhh and I can't remember half of what I said. I felt so bombarded and as if I was being tested (kinda like at prom, when the dad asks question to her daughters to see if he's good enough).

I am not sure how I did............I guess I will find out when I ask Sung Hyun (although I doubt he would tell me what they honestly said about me when I left). After dinner, I thought I should head home, despite Sung Hyun's attempts to get me to stay and play GO STOP with his family. I figured I had accomplished what I needed to and I didn't want to over stay my visit.

Overall it was great to feel so welcome by people who don't know much about me. The fact that they were so open to letting me into their home and so welcoming made me feel special........MY HOME AWAY FROM HOME!!!!!!!!!

I can't wait to bring Sung Hyun to my house in Canada this summer. I hope he feels just as welcome as I did.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

CHINESE NEW YEAR


Because of the holiday that is celebrated here in Korea, I get an extra long weekend because I don't have to work on Monday. I will be meeting with Sung Hyuns family either today or tomorrow and I am super nervous about that because I don't speak much (any?) Korean. This is the first time Sung Hyun has brought a girlfriend to his mom's house. From what people are telling me, this only occurs if you are very serious with your partner. I am sure the reason I am going over is more as a result of curiosity. They all wanna meet the 'white' girl. I sure hope I feel like I am not on display and actually enjoy my time there. Either way this will be a good peak into Korean culture and family life, which is very rare for a foreigner to experience.
WISH ME LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I THINK he liked it............I KNOW he liked it!!!

So Valentine's Day in Canada was never too exciting for me; gifts from my boyfriend (of four years) consisted of 50% off stuffed teddy's that were purchased the day after Valentine's Day, because that special someone always forgot. But that is neither her nor there, so I figured this year I was gonna to do something kick-ass for Sung Hyun. I started planning and here is what I ended up with.....................

...................First off, I love surprising people. The anticipation and the excitement I get from their reaction is like a drug for me. Anyways, here in Korea (if you read my last post) Valentine's Day is heavily instigated by the woman. So I played off Valentine's Day like it was no big deal. I didn't text or call him all day. After work I mentioned that we should head to the local Korean fast food joint for dinner. He agreed and said that he would call me when he was done hanging out with his mom.

Meanwhile I was frantically cooking some chicken noodle concoction wondering how I was gonna pull this thing off. I wanted to have dinner ready for him when he came to pick me up.






When he called me to come downstairs, I made up some excuse that I just got out of the shower and he should come up first. It was perfect timing...............
When he first came in my place was totally dark and there was a line of candles that lead into the bedroom. The was the sign that I made for him (and of course some knock-off couples shirts I bought on the street.....hehe)




He was totally shocked...............he started jumping up and down like a little kid who just got $100 for Christmas. First thing he does is spend like 5 minutes taking pictures of everything I had set up (meanwhile my perfectly timed meal was getting cold).




We enjoyed some nice white wine and our supper (kimchi included). Sung Hyun only had one glass -- that's all he needs to get a good buzz. The dinner was a total surprise. Did he seriously think I was going to take him to the local Kimbob for dinner?




I just bought the dessert because I don't really like baking (plus I don't have an oven). But I did go to the point where I melted some chocolate to drizzle on the top of the cheesecake and around the plate.


SARAH, this duce is for you.......................how did I do?
And here we are just goofing around with our camera on auto mode
The second part of my surprise consisted of singing a Korean love song that he listens to everyday. I decided that I should learn the lyrics and sing it for him. But when my Korean tutor told me it was a sad song about a couple who departs and doesn't meet again, I thought it wasn't to appropriate. So instead of picking a new song, we made our own lyrics and sang it to the melody. I was so nervous to sing it to him...................I think he liked it.
During dinner he asked me where his chocolate was. He kept saying that it's tradition for men to receive chocolate on V-Day. I played dumb and pretended that I didn't know about this. But really I had a kick-ass chocolate surprise for him.
It started with a list of 100 reasons why I love him...................

Then I wrote the message on 100 tiny peices of paper (both in English and Korean)


Then I bought some Hersey's Kisses and unwrapped each one and stuffed my little love message into each one of them

I don't even wanna tell you how long this took............





When I gave him this and told him what it was he couldn't believe all the work I went to for this day. He said he didn't wanna eat the chocolate. I think I pulled off a pretty good Valentine's Day and it was just as good for me as it was for him. He was definately gloating!!!!!
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

VALENTINE'S DAY.......

I got lots of goodies from my students on V-Day, but these home-made chocolates in this neat little box were my favourite.........


KOREAN THOUGHT OF THE DAY = Valentine's Day in Korea is a celebration that is practiced somewhat differently compared to other cultures. The first difference being that February 14th is instigated heavily by females rather than males. This is because Korean females are the ones who are more likely to give gifts to men than the other way around. In fact, it is not uncommon for a woman to buy twenty to thirty boxes of chocolate for sharing around the workplace as well as to men she has standard contact with. Whether its two gifts of twenty, one thing is clear: The women's efforts during Valentine's Day are a clear indication of the importance of respect in and outside the workplace. However, the women's efforts do not always go unappreciated. One month after Valentine's Day, White Day occurs in Korea. This is a day in which the males whom received gifts have the option to repond with a gift to the female, usually candy. Regardless of their response, this tradition continues, and is built upon the respect of obligation and the gift of giving. -- taken from GROOVE a local Korean magazine

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I am starting to wonder.......

.......if something bad is gonna happen soon. Once again Sung Hyun showed up at my apartment with these couple mugs

...........And it took me a while to realize that sh stood for Sung Hyun

Monday, February 12, 2007

**KISS AND TELL**


So here it is the story of our first kiss and perhaps it is not all that exciting to you, but everytime I think of it, it brings a smile to my face.


..............................for the longest time Sung Hyun would pick me up at my house for a date. Now our dates usually consisted of going for walks, heading to the near-by theater or having dinner together. He would hold my hand in public when we walked and as we pushed our way through crowds ...............and all I could think was 'cool, this guy likes me'. Yet inside the movie theater when all the couples were cuddling and holding hands, he never made a move -- never brushed his leg against mine, never reached out to take my hand (even though I placed it in a convient and easy position....hehe).......ughhhh so frustrating. On top of that, when he would drop me off at my house at the end of the date we would shake hands before we departed.............no hug and certainly no kiss............'maybe he doesn't like me I thought'


So then I started thinking that Korean guys must just hold hands with women, even if they are only friends. After all this culture is very touchy-feely so to speak. I was kinda confused as to what the status of our relationship was, because this went on for a good month and a half (and at this point we still had not kissed, even though there were many awkward good-byes where a kiss would have nicely eased the tension)..................


ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't take it any longer. One day when he dropped me off at my house, I thought that I would have to make a move or nothing was ever going to happen. And sure enough I was right.............there we stood at the door of my apartment complex and once again he shook my hand....................AHHHH


After he walked away and I went into my apartment I thought..................damn it Jen............you 're not the kinda girl to just wait for something to happen, so you better do something about this. I texted him on his phone and all I said was 'PLEASE COME BACK FOR A CANADIAN GOOD-BYE'......................so there I waited on my doorstep again.........my heart racing and ready to explode from my chest. Five minutes later he arrived and I told him to close his eyes................................


..........................................I wrapped my arms around his neck and just gave him a nice quick kiss on the lips................HE TOTALLY DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING BECAUSE HE DIDN'T EVEN KISS ME BACK.........................so I told him to open his eyes and we did it again.......without saying a word (because there was nothing to be said) we both departed.


When I got into my apartment, he texted me this:


WOW!!!! WE EVERYDAY CANADA STYLE GOOD-BYE.......R U OK?

How about some cool quotes???

"Believe in yourself. Never doubt your character or base your self-worth on the opinions of others. The people that really matter see the amazing person you are shine through each and everyday" -- Unknown
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"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us" --Gandalf
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"Instead of thinking about what your missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing" -- Unknown
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"Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have" -- Lori Walker
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"The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist see the opportunity in every difficulty" -- Winston Churchill
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"Opportunites are ususally disguised as hard work, so most people don't recongnize them" -- Ann Landers
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"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care" -- Anonymous
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"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" -- Unknown
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore, Dream, Discover." -- Mark Twain
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"The men [and women] who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed" -- Lloyd Jones
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"To love and win is the best thing. To love and lose, the next best" -- Willian M. Thackeray
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"The best things in life can not be seen, or even touched, but must be felt from the heart" --Unknown

Sunday, February 11, 2007

ughhhhh

Snowboarding started off really good. We drove to Vavaldi Park and got caught up in traffic so it took us about two and a half hours to get there. We thought it would be pretty quiet on the slopes because we didn't start until 8 pm......boy we were wrong. There were more people last night then the previous weekend trip. So once again we had to endure the long line ups, only this time it was cold out. And there was NO SNOW -- instead we speed down the hill on tiny ice balls. There was no traction what-so-ever, it sucked!!!! To make matters worse I didn't wear enough clothing so I was freezing the whole time............



On a good note, they had some famous singer performing and even a light show. I was a little slow with the pictures so this was the best shot I got






By the end of the night I couldn't wait to get home. I fell a couple of times and hurt my knee pretty bad (don't worry mom!!!). I started coughing, I was cold, grumpy, and tired.
...AND SURE ENOUGH TODAY I WOKE UP WITH A COLD............................ughhhhh


But I powered through and made Charlie some chicken alfredo. But right before he came over I almost burnt my place down. Thankfully I heard the sparking noises coming from my kitchen. I was making some green tea and I left the kettle on too long that it got so hot and started to burn and spark.................now my silver kettle is bronze colour.

Instead of heading to Miss Potter tonight we opted to study Korean. Charlie has taken on the daunting tasking of helping me prepare for Valentines Day. What a good friend..............thanks Charlie!!!! Hey and nice shirt (it so happens to be the one I bought for him in Canada -- fits perfectly)