Saturday, March 24, 2007

Where to begin.........

So I haven't updated my blog for a whole week. Not due to lack of material but rather because I have been in a rut this past week.
I was hit with some pretty hard news that I didn't realize would leave me feeling so down. My best friends mom died unexpectedly last week............


........and so here I am on the other side of the world unable to comfort my friend or be by her side when she needs to cry and I feel awful, completely helpless!!!!!!!!!

_______________________________________________




Well, I'm going back to school. Here is the crest of the university that I will attend in two short weeks. I have signed up for the Korean Language Course Evening program which runs Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 6:30pm-9:00pm............it takes me an hour to get there (doorstep to doorstep) so it looks like I will be a busy gal.

I went for a walk on the campus last week and it was spectacular. It totally reminded me of being in university back home and I loved it. There was one major difference though. All the people on campus looked like they were dressed up to go to a wedding -- dresses, highheels, perfect make-up, the works!!! What ever happened to sweatpants people?!?!?!?!



Here I am standing at the front gate of Yonsei, super excited!!!! I can't wait to begin......

_____________________________________________________


Yup it's true, I changed my hair colour. On a whim last week I bought a bottle of hair dye. I spoke to the lady in Korean and asked for brown (hehe, since I have just recently learned my colours in Korean). BUT either she gave me the wrong colour or I didn't follow the directions because my hair turned BLACK!!!!!!!!!!! Yah the picture doesn't look too bad, but trust me it's horrible. When I woke up the next day I thought maybe that it was all just a bad dream (well I was hoping it was just a bad dream) Nope, it was still black the next day.

_________________________________________________

I met up with some of Sung Hyun's friends on Friday night for some sushi. Well I am not a big fan of fish............and I am certainly not a big fan of raw fish.................but just recently I have started to like Japanese sushi. So what the heck..............sushi on Friday sounded like a good idea. I invited out two of my work friends and out we went.

What I thought would be a high class Japanese sushi restaurant with fancy rolls of fresh sushi on conveyer belts for your choosing, turned into something quite different.

Let's just say I learned that there is a big difference between Japanese and Korean sushi. The nights menu consisted of some cooked muscles, raw oysters, and other raw rubbery unrecongnizable goodness. AND THE BEST PART..............................OCTOPUS...................LIVE OCTOPUS



In the middle of the three dished are the oysters. To the right unknown? To the left unknown?


Here is a dish that is popular among the Koreans........................flat fish


Anne-marie and Sung Hyun hanging out at the smokers corner.




Oppsss........looks like I've got some seaweed stuck in my front tooth




Here is my lover sucking the octopus off the plate. Because it is still moving around it still has the ability to suction. In the next video, watch the octopus moving in Sung Hyun's mouth......uggghhh yuck!!!




So does anyone wanna know if I ate live octopus?? Click here to find out. Listen to Sung Hyun at the beginning say 'you can do it'





We ended the night by playing some drinking games at Jackson's house................FUN TIMES!!_______________________________________________________


VOLUNTEER TIME


Yesterday (Saturday) I spent 7 hours in the subway -- in case you're wondering I wasn't lost and I didn't take a tour of Seoul. A small group of us have decided to send a petition to the UN (United Nations) regarding China's violation of Human Rights when it comes to North Korean refugees.


Basically the North Koreans who come to China, escaping the opression of their country, are not classified as refugee status. Rather they are considered ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS and sent back to North Korea, for punshishment or even worse DEATH.


We have written up the proposal that we will send to the UN stating specifically what articles in the Human Rights Code China is violating. All we need now is a couple million signitures. So anyone out there would would like to help out please contact me (you could take the form to your work to get people to sign and then send it back to me, simple as that) ..........and you don't need to be in Korean to do this.


Here is my Korean partner in crime. He would get everyone's attention and give his big speech in Korean and I would pass around my clip board asking people to sign the petition. Yesterday we collected just over a 1000 signitures between 6 of us.

_______________________________________________________

Okay that was my week in a nutshell. I will do my best this coming week to update my blog when I can. Thanks for reading

Friday, March 16, 2007

I'M LUCKY TO STILL HAVE A BOYFRIEND.......

.............SERIOUSLY!!!!!

I was really hoping that I could get away without posting this simply because White Day was total CRAP, certainly not due to lack of effort on Sung Hyun's behalf.

You know the feeling when you have one of those days that no matter what anyone says of does it can NEVER cheer you up. Well I had one of those day and it happened to be White Day. I was grumpy, I was pouty and acting like the biggest baby ever. Sung Hyun would have just been better off staying away, far away.

And I certainly don't know what I was EXPECTING Sung Hyun to do, but it didn't matter what it was, it wouldn't be good enough. HOW HORRIBLE IS THAT FOR ME TO THINK THAT WAY!!!! You see I am quite the perfectionist, add a dash of grumpyness and some PMS, and NO ONE CAN EVER WIN (just ask my mom, or any of my friends for that matter).

That was my White Day................and like I said, I am still lucky to have a boyfriend!!!!!

So here is how it unfolded --

He called me in the afternoon at like 2ish asking if I wanted to go to V.I.P.S, an over-priced restaurant that is conviently close to my house. Here's what I thought: 'oh great this guy doesn't have anything planned for me, so he wants to head to the most expensive restuarant in my neighbourhood to make everything all better, or this was some last minute effort to make my day splendid'.....................since he is trying hard to save what little money he makes so that he can come to Canada in the summer, we have agreed to eat out less and start cooking more from home. Knowing this, I told him that I didn't want to go to V.I.P.S.

He asked where I would like to go instead, and I said something about heading to Kim Bob Joeng Gook, the other local Korean fast-food joint near my house, where meals can be purchased for around $2.............I was hoping he did take my joke seriously but I guess he did.

At around 7:30 pm I was getting hungry so I called him and he said that I should go to Kim bob to pick up dinner................he told me what he wanted to order and gave me instructions to just get it to go (take out). I still didn't think that I would be spending White Day eating, cheap Korean food on my floor, so I was imagining him waiting for me at the restaurant sitting in a horse drawn carriage so that he could whisk me off my feet.

A short 5 minute walk later, I arrived at the restuarant -- no Sung Hyun, no horse, no carriage.

Disappointed already, I slowly walked back to my house not excited at all for what he had in store. When I opened my door I saw this:


Now anyone in a somewhat happy mood would have been completely SHOCKED AND SURPRISED by his attempts. After all, little did I know that he was hidding around my building waiting for me to call when I got hungry and trying to make it look like he forgot about white day. Little did I know that when I was ordering the food, he was sneaking into my place trying to prepare everything in time for my return.


LITTLE DID HE KNOW THAT HE WAS WALKING INTO A TICKING TIME BOMB.

Anyways I think you get my point. So the I LOVE YOU signs were leading to the bedroom and right before my slidding doors there was this gift basket filled with ALL OF MY FAVORITE CANDIES AND SNACKS, plus a bottle of wine (and the sign on it says I LOVE YOU, in Korean)



Oh and he also got me a bunch of flowers with a single rose


When I opened my doors into my bedroom, he wasn't there. I looked under my bed and desk and checked all the regular hiding spots. Finally I heard a big giggle come from my padio and there we was with his arms in the I LOVE YOU HEART SHAPE, wearing a silly pig nose and the biggest smile of him face (don't ask me what the nose was all about -- perhaps it's because I always call him a pig).

Yah he certainly doesn't look to happy in this picture because it was taken after all the shit hit the fan, so it's his reinactment pose, minus his huge smile ;(

So yup after all that.................I was still bitchy and I said mean things to him like, you didn't plan this ahead of time, did you forget about White Day, blugh blugh blugh.

His reply to all of it was 'you know I don't have a money so I can't buy a gift basket for you because they are a many many money, so I make this gift for you and I know all your candies you like so this gift is my think'

..............can you understand his Konglish???? Basically he is saying that he put his special touch into making a basket full of my favorite goodies because it has more meaning than buying one off the street (plus he couldn't afford it).

He was so proud of himself that he pulled it off and it only took me two seconds to crush him like a fly and make him feel like he didn't do a good job. He said 'I'm sorry, I know I am a bad boyfriend and I know your Valentine's gift to me is very special, and my White Day gift to you is bad'.

After dinner he said that he would do all the dishes for me (the ones from his night before birthday dinner) so he spent 20 minutes in the kitchen cleaning it up. When he came back into the room I asked him what he wanted to do next and he said 'whatever you want'................I rolled over in my bed and fell asleep, without washing my face, brushing my teeth, or changing my clothes.

He tapped me on the shoulder, held up the I LOVE YOU signs one by one while wearing the pig nose and said 'sweet dreams my love'

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So there it is. The more I think about it the more angry at myself I become for how much of an A** I was. I woke up the next day with the biggest guilt feelings (and poor Sung Hyun woke up with the biggest cold ever.........so not only did he get treated like shit, but he also feels like shit too).

I called my mom to make things all better. She said that I DESERVED TO FEEL GUILTY AFTER WHAT I HAD SAID AND DONE TO THE MAN THAT I CARE ABOUT SO MUCH. And you know what she is definately right!!!!

I did my best to apoligize to Sung Hyun for my rude and not-called for remarks, but I knew no matter what I said, it would not take away the hurt that I destowed upon him the night before. I knew I had screwed this one up big time. I felt like I was walking on egg shells and wondered if he would ever think of me the same way.

I texted him saying that I was a bad person and that I was sorry for what happened. He responded 'don't worry, you are so good girlfriend'.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

THINKING........

I sit here after work on a Wednesday night, thinking.................

Today happens to be WHITE DAY (the reverse Valentine's Day) and although I told myself not to expect anything, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little excited to see if Sung Hyun has anything planned for me.

Yes I know this is one big commercialized holiday. And yes I know that if you love someone then you don't need a special day to proclaim or prove your love.

But this is what I have to say to that..............as you may recall my gift to Sung Hyun didn't cost much; rather is was very thoughtful and time consuming.

Also, all too often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that sometimes we take people and love, for that matter, for granted. So it's nice to have a day set aside for romance, even if that just involves reminicing about past memories.

When I got home from work today, I was quite shocked to see that someone had left a message for me on msn. I was shocked because a) I had no clue who this person was b) they were asking me if I was living in Canada or Korea, so obviously they knew about my life.

After about 10 minutes of research I discovered who it was.................then the memories started flooding back...............it just so happens to be a Korean guy who I dated last year. I remember him being so in love with me...................he would write me love letters and put them in my mailbox while I was sleeping. He would surprise me at my house with gifts. He was the total romantic!!!!! But it was one-sided mostly because I wasn't interested in getting into a relationship with anyone at the time.

He would do anything for me. It was too easy, he was too into me and it weirded me out. I mean how could someone say the words 'I love you' after only dating you for 10 days........really?!?! Needless to say our relationship didn't last long (mind you, that also had to do with the fact that he had a Korean girlfriend at the time -- which I was not aware of -- and I was not about to get involved in a love triangle............nor was I interested in a relationship either).

I remember him showing up at my door step with flowers and a jar full of candies with mine and his name enscribed into the glass...............it was a year ago today that this happened, so I find it quite bizzare that of all the days he decides to contact me it's today................especially since I have not talked, seen, or messeged since that time.

But that is neither here nor there and I really don't care to analyze his intentions because I am perfectly happy in my relationship with Sung Hyun.

We'll see about how happy I am with it by the end of tonight..................haha, okay I'm just joking -- really I am not that bad.

Maybe I'll have a story to tell, and maybe I won't (*sigh*)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Happy Birthday 새일 죽하해

It was Sung Hyun's (승현) birthday on March 13th and since I went all out on Valentine's Day I decided just to treat him to dinner. I asked him where he wanted to go, but he just really wanted to stay in and eat. Before he came to my house he went home to his mom's place and she totally forgot about his birthday, so he was pretty bummed by the time he got to my place. Poor guy just kept saying 'I know, my mom doesn't love me'.

Here is my first attempt at making Korean food..........


This is 미역국 (seaweed soup). It is a traditional birthday dish. To me, it tastes like salty water. But at least he liked it which is good because I only made one bowl.

Ummmmm delicious.................????

Side dishes.........mostly kimchi, but also peanuts and kimbop

.......and birthday cake of course
I also gave Sung Hyun a note that said -- here are the keys to my house and also my heart......

Friday, March 09, 2007

wazzzzz upppp!!!!!

As of late Sung Hyun has been practicing his wazzzz upppp (I think he wants to impress my friend Sarah, who is completely in love with black men). But no matter how hard he tries he is no where close to gangsta style............especially with the teddy bear between his legs!!! He wanted me a series of picture of him while he practiced........hahaha


Gloomy Sunday.......

Well these pictures are about a week behind, but not because I'm lazy, rather as a result of my sick computer. It's official, my computer is a piece of crap, which doesn't make me too happy, especially for those of you who knew what kinda trouble I had with it when I was back in Canada. Thankfully Sung Hyun willing dragged his desktop to my place so that I can reconnect with the world. I was starting to go stir crazy..........

This past Sunday Jackson (a fellow co-worker, but better yet, a great friend) and I went for lunch at a Nepal restaurant. I made a promise to myself that I would try eating more exotic food. So far I have kept to my promise -- Pakistan, Indian, and Nepal in the last 2 weeks.

It was a gloomy day so both of us took our umbrellas which were definately needed. Here is a picture of Jackson walking the rainy streets.
Here' s where we ate.....................overall it wasn't that great. The food lacked spice and flavour. The man thought that we wouldn't like spicy food, so he toned it down for us. I don't think I'll go back, even though we got a lot of food for a reasonable price.
Here's a look at some of the stuff we ate...............and yes we ate it all..................I know I'm a pig when it comes to eating.

.............but I'm all SMILES!!!!!


After our lunch we decided that we must go for a walk to burn off some calories, despite the rain and my high-heels (unfortunately I couldn't convice Jackson to wear them............ now if only I had brought Sung Hyun with me.......kekeke)

Here are some military police boys. In Korea it is mandatory for Korean men to complete at least 2 years of compulsory military service. Sung Hyun was a riot police man for his two years, just like the boys in the picture

Geeeeeezzz, I hate freckles!!!!!!!!! Sometimes I forget that I have them because I can't imagine what I'd look like without them.

Here are some office buildings in the area that we were walking, approximately 30 minutes from my house.



So what do you think of my new spring jacket..................it cost me an arm and a leg!!!!!

Some fellow Koreans enjoying the rain.......

The Korean flag on a gloomy Sunday...................well that's the end of my Sunday tour.......stay tunned for more

Friday, March 02, 2007

A fun day........or that was the plan!!!!!

On Thursday both myself and Sung Hyun had the day off work...................WHOAAA!!!!! I told him not to have anything planned because I wanted to take him out for the day and treat him to lunch. Well after we finally got our buts outta bed we headed to Itaewon (foreigners district -- I'm not a big fan) at around 1 pm. The previous week I had eaten at a great Indian and Pakastanian restaurant, so I figured I would take Sung Hyun there to try it out. I ended up ordering the same two dishes and the vegetable dish came out completely different than the week before. Instead of having fresh veggies mixed with some potatoes in a spicy sauce, I had and a frozen vegetable mix. It was so gross..................yuck!!!! When I told him that I didn't like it, he brought us some sweet and sour soup to enjoy for free......................which was even more discusting than the veggies itself. It was like they opened a bottle of sweet and sour sauce, heated it up and added a cooked egg. Let's just say that we left the restaurant with a sour taste in our mouth (partly from the soup..........hehe). I definately won't be going back there again!!!!

So our next stop was a newly renovated bar. It is pretty neat because you take off your shoes and put your feet in this heated white sand and sit on swings that are attached to the ceiling...............so relaxing. Well we walked by the bar only to discover that it didn't open for another 2.5 hours. OH GREAT!!!!!!

We decided to hop on a bus and head to the WAR MUSEUM, which was not too far away, to kill some time. I had been looking forward to reading and educating myself more about the Korean War. I think Sung Hyun was more interested in attempting to peek up the skirts of the Japanese school girls group tour.



Here we are outside the building. It is very very large and would take a good 3 or 4 trips inorder to fully see everything. Dad you would absolutely love this place. It combines two of your favorite things -- war and museums. If you came to visit me in Korea I could drop you off here on Monday and pick you up at the end of the week. Whatta you think?





Since I hadn't planned on walking around all day I wore high-heeled shoes, smooth move Jen!!! About halfway through our tour my feet were killing me and I had to stop every 5 minutes to rest. Leave it up to Sung Hyun to make it better...........................what does he do? Decides that he would let me wear his comfy PUMA shoes and so we traded. I didn't think he was serious but he insisted. For the rest of the tour he pranced around in my girlie shoes making clinking sounds while I gave my feet a rest. There is no way that I could convince and Canadian boy to do this even if I paid him.......................man I love my guy.


Sung Hyun was so excited to see the Canadian flag and he just kept taking pictures of it the whole way through the museum (which is probably why we ran out of batteries).



Here I am at the 38th parallel. -- the demarcation line between North and South Korea. As you can see I am standing on the North side of this line, thus I am in North Korea, hehe...................Sung Hyun refused to cross it.
But when he eventually did, this is what he saw on the other side -- a village full of starvation and poverty staring directly at us.
For me, I had images and flashes of what life in North Korea must be for a majority of the people now.
However, this was more real for Sung Hyun. He went on the further explain that this is how his mother grew up...............with NOTHING. As a result of the Korean war she was unable to attend school so to this day she can't even read Korean. Her life has been filled with poverty and hard-ships. She met her husband (who was a key maker and from a similar social position) and they married and had 6 children (5 girls and 1 boy -- Sung Hyun). When Sung Hyun was 10 his father passed away, making him the only male of the household and leaving his mother the daunting task of raising 6 children ALONE.
I could tell Sung Hyun's mom had a hard life when I met her. She is a skinny, frail, weathered, hunched over little lady. But her zest for life and her compassion to make a better life for her children was evident. From the second I walked into the room until I left I felt welcome. The huge hug and pat on the back that I received from her as I entered her teritory put my at ease and made me feel as though I belonged there. I was privileged to get a peek into her world and athough I was in an old, cramped, tiny, apartment it didn't seem to bother me. The joy and love that I felt that day far outweighed any materialistic possesions that most of us place so much value on.

I could see the change in Sung Hyun as he walked through this village. It was almost as if he was picturing himself in his mothers shoes and wondering what it must have been like growing up in such circumstances. WOW, and I thought my life was hard!!!!



After the tour we sat outside and played around with our dinky remote control cars that we bought to pass the time. The kids had a blast chasing them and we had fun doing stunts and racing. We headed back to Itaewon the check out the cool sand bar, only to be further disappointed. Since they just opened the sand wasn't warm and the drinks (which were $9 a peice) left us with headaches. Forty dollars later and and $10 cab ride home we were called it a night -- cuddled up in bed with a movie and a doughnut and fell asleep.