Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas PARTY

Every year my good friend Jennifer's dad has a Christmas party for his company. I was so greatful that Jen invited me along for an evening of fun!!!!

The beautiful ladies -- Jennifer on the left and her cousin Jenna on the right

Walleyball -- I LOVE IT!!!!

Our team kicked butt and took home the GOLD!!!! It was so much fun to play with Jen and her family. It reminded me of all the wonderful things to do in Canada.

Christmas Day 07

It was great to be home for Christmas, even though there were no presents under the tree ;( Well it serves me right for surprising my parents 2 days before Christmas.......... Anyways, it was great just to sit around and hang with the fam.

This is my mom's new tree. It's so massive that there is no room for an angel on top......hehe

So she had to display it by the window

At least Santa filled my stocking........with a mad wad of cash

But my mom did way better than me, she must have been good

Once again my dad adds to his already HUGE collection of LEGO. He just made the age requirements on this one (ages 3+)

And let's not forget the pancakes and bacon..............yummy. Here's my brother ready to chow down; no time the stop and smile for the camera

After breakfast we had a whole afternoon of lounging around in our pj's. Then we had to fill our bellies with turkey dinner. It's become tradition that my friend Kenda comes over for Christmas dinner, so here we are ready to EAT......


........................ our with mashed potatoes and gravy, veggies, stuffing, cabbage rolls, salad and of course turkey

Oh yah, and those silly little cracker hats have become a Christmas tradition too ;)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The big surprise

After my trip to Walmart (whooooooaaaaaa) and my adjustment to the new time change / getting off the adrenalin rush I finally made it to bed at 4 a.m.

So that morning I headed over to the annual open house Christmas party at my mom's friends place. I hid in the basement with a cell phone so that when she arrived I could call the house.

Our conversation went a little something like this:

Me - "hey mom (in a sad voice) I just called because I miss you.

Mom - "how did you get this phone number?"

Me - "I called home first and you weren't home so dad gave me the number to get ahold of you"

Mom - "oh yes I'm at a party......."

Me - "Why isn't dad there?"

Mom - "Dad didn't come because he's not feeling too well"

Me - "DAD DIDN'T COME.............BUT I CAME!!!!!!!

(then I ran up the stairs and gave mom a big hug while she dropped the phone)

IT WAS PERFECT, RIGHT MOM?!?!?!?!?!

_________________________________________

Then because my dad (and brother) weren't there we got to plan another suprise for them while we were driving home. We thought it would be best if I stood at the end of the street and attempted to hitch a ride since my mom just had to swing by the house to pick up my dad. So that's what I did. I stood with my back to the road so they couldn't see who I was and then last minute I pretended to walk across the street as if I didn't see the car.

My dad's response - "What's that IDIOT doing?"

Then I ran up to the window to ask if I could borrow a cell phone

To which my dad replied - "Oh, hi Jen"

And even though I was late and my original plan fell through it was still an AWESOME SURPRISE and an AWESOME DAY!!!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

The journey HOME

Okay so I had this splendid idea that I would come home to surprise my parents for Christmas. Originally my contract was supposed to end mid January, but with some begging and pleading I was fortunate enough to get out of my contract early.............SCORE!!!!

Sung Hyun drove me to the airport and I didn't feel too bad after heading through security. My mom's friend had planned a huge surprise party at my parents house. Anyways, upon arriving at my gate I had discovered that my flight was delayed 1 hour. I was a little disappointed and totally forgot about my 1 hour 20 minute connecting flight transfer. Which with the time delay means that I would have only 20 minutes to make a transfer.........yah right!!! But maybe they would make up time in air.

I stood in line at the transfer inquiry counter and found out that I WOULD NOT MAKE MY TRANSFER. I was seriously upset especially since they told me that there is ONLY 1 FLIGHT TO MY CITY A DAY. Therefore, I would have to sleep in a hotel in Vancouver. Now how the hell was I supposed to make my SURPRISE PARTY if I would be a whole day late?!?!?!

I cried, I balled!!!!!!!!!

It gets worse............

I got stuck in the airport because of some mechanical engine problem.......nice!!!! I wasn't looking forward to sleeping in Vancouver so I asked to change my flight for the same time the next day so I could sleep in Korea for one more night. They had a flight out the next day and said they would change the ticket once they found my luggage.

So after about an hour of waiting there stood my luggage in the secure area out of my reach. I was getting excited and I called Sung Hyun telling him that he would probably have to make the trip back to the airport to pick me up. However they wouldn't let me take my luggage out myself and there were no extra staff to escort me out of the secured area. That means I had to wait for them to load everyone on the plane before they could do it. Only problem was they had no clue when the flight would take off or if it even would.

Three hours later they made the announcement that the flight was leaving. Now after waiting all this time in the airport and calling Sung Hyun he convinced me that I should go on the flight and just suck it up and sleep in Vancouver.

So I did it. I've flown before. Made lots of flights back and forth to Korea. But in all my years of flying I wasn't prepared for this flight. The turbulence was so bad that for 3 minute I truly thought my life was over. Normally when turbulence occurs the captain makes an announcement letting everyone know that we are passing through a rough spot and that we should stay seated with our belts on. This time he addressed only the staff and asked them to take their seats and secure themselves. And for 3 full minutes I was sweating, heart pounding, on the verge of tears thinking that this was it. My tray was clattering and the man beside me told me that he was getting dizzy. I had my credit card ready to call to say goodbye.

We were dropping in the air, you know that free fall feeling on an amusement ride, and then the captain would regain control of the plane again. The passengers were gasping, some screaming, including me, and I kept thinking that this was the feeling that my student felt before he crashed and died on a flight in Cambodia this past summer. Then I thought about Sung Hyun and how he convinced me to take this flight and that he would never forgive himself if something did happen.

It was the longest 3 minutes of my life. And I was tense for the rest of the flight. No one was allowed to stand up or go to the bathroom for the rest of the flight.

I arrived in Vancouver with my two feet on the ground and I was no longer upset that I missed my connecting flight I was just happy to arrive safe. While waiting in line to pass through immigration I chatted with a few other passengers and we exchanged our stories about the flight. I was definitely not the only one who thought we weren't going to make it.

While in Vancouver I was lucky enough to get a flight to Calgary (closer to my home) but then I was on stand-by from Calgary to Regina (my city). The flight to Calgary was okay and I was so lucky to get seated on the stand-by flight.

Needless to say I arrived in Regina at 1 a.m. (instead of 4 p.m. as scheduled). My mom's friend was ready and waiting at the airport and I was happy to be home. I decided that I should stay at my friends for the night instead of banging down my parents door so late at night (early in the morning).

So we headed to Walmart where I was in awe of the wide aisles and lack of people. It was great and so was my sleep and so was my big reveal the next day, but that story will have to be saved for another post.

Monday, December 24, 2007

CHRISTMAS!!!!

SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Guess where I am?!?!?!


CANADA


Well perhaps most of you know it already but I surprised my parents and flew home early so that I could be here for Christmas. The flight was less than desirable so I'll save that for another post. Till now I must EAT all the delicious Christmas goodies, yummmm yummm....

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Saying good-bye

In not too long I will have to say GOOD-BYE to a very special group of students that I have had the priviledge of teaching this past year. They have changed so much. They started as the class from H*LL that nobody wanted to teach and magically (with a little touch of love) they have transformed into some really great kids, whom I will truely miss seeing everymorning. I will miss their hugs, smiles, but most of all their contagious laughter.





This little boy is my favourite ;)



They are the one's that taught me. I have learned from them!!!!!!

Christmas in Corea part II

The next day (Saturday) I had planned a big Christmas/ getting a new job/ going away party with my friends. And I went all out. I put my bed in the storage area and arranged my counterspace so that I could have a food corner.

FOOD

FOOD

AND MORE FOOD............

Everyone who came brought a tasty treat so there was definately more than enough. We also did a secret santa gift exhange. You know the one where you get to get to steal someone elses gift and then have to re-open another one.............


It was definately a big hit.


UNTIL AMANDA OPENED SUNG HYUN'S GIFT


Which happened to be a SQUID sloshing around in nasty fish water...........with a special message on top that read:


If you open, you must eat, this very very tasty treat!!!!!


Yup that's Sung Hyun for you!!!!! Luckly it was a gag gift and Amanda got to open another present


And of course no party is complete without some GAMES. So that's where the real fun began. We played PICTIONARY which was so much fun (except I got stuck drawing BUTT PLUG....hehe)

SO CHEERS TO EVERYONE FOR MAKING THIS NIGHT SUCH A BIG HIT!!!! AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE BACK HOME!!!!!

Christmas in Corea

I LOVE CHRISTMAS. The gathering of friends, family and lovers, the loads of food, the christmas carols and decorations. The smell of cold crisp air, the snowflakes falling on your face, playing in the snow, making snow angels then warming up by the fire with hot chocotlate. I LOVE IT ALL!!!!!!

And if I can't be at home for Christmas this year then I damn sure am creating that feeling here.

So decorations here we come --

Sung Hyun didn't quite understand the hype of decorating my apt. But that didn't stop me from blaring my Chirstmas tunes and goin' at 'er

Stockings for Santa to fill on Christmas Eve for Sung Hyun and me (do you recognize that one Kenda?) My good friend made me a stocking last year and that's her work of art on the right. It's all made by cross-stitch..........she's way more artistic than me (and perhaps she has more patience)

So with my apartment all decorated and gifts under the tree, next thing in store was a PARTEE!

........with my favorite class of three, Joy, Fred, Daniel and of course ME





They were so excited to finally meet Sung Hyun after I had been talking about him all year. They all left with smiles on their faces..................MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Worked!!!


I've found a job. I am leaving in 10 minutes to go sign the contract for next year. My current school where I have been for 2 years offered me 2.8 ($3000 CAD) a month to re-sign with them. Wow, that's a crap load of money, a huge pay raise. It was definately tempting since it is only a 10 minute walk to Sung Hyun's place, but I am ready for a change. I don't think it's common for someone to stay at the same work place (hogwan) for 3 years.
Even though my new job pays less it does come with some added perks. THE BEST BEING AN 11 WEEK PAID VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOOAAAA (and a Western boss, oh if you only knew how much this will change the dynamics of a work place in Korea). On top of that, I have no Korean CO-teacher breathing down my back making sure I am on the right page on the right day. Yup, I'm totally in control of my class. I'm given one book and the rest is up to me
Starting March I will be teaching at a privitized public school in Seoul. I'm in charge of grades 4 through 6, should be challenging!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

ICE BAR IN SEOUL

A few weeks back, or shall I say months, Anne Marie, Hodge, Sung Hyun and me, headed over to the Ice Bar near Hongdae...................Fun times indeed!!!


Sung Hyun warming up by the *fake* fire


hmmmm, whould you ever see two Western guys grinding in public?!?!


Even the drinks are served in blocks of ice, so neat


Eskimo kisses......