I'm kicking it in Seoul instead of in Geumchon, but I can relate to almost every reference they make in this video. This makes me LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!! TOO FUNNY... Enjoy!
This past week I've been sick. It's nothing major, just a simple cold that made my nose run and caused me to feel really exhausted. Well, yesterday when I arrived at school my two co-teachers mentioned that I looked exhausted. I said, yes, I was sick. They suggested that I go home early - after lunch (I only teach classes until 12:10 on Wednesdays, then I sit in my office for 4 hours so I wouldn't be missing much). My new co-teacher said that I should take "what is it.. a woman problem..?" that's right, menstruation leave. She was planning on taking it so she could leave early (she wasn't really sick, I think she just needed an excuse...) I was honestly sick, there was no reason why I should claim that it's related to "women's issues" since it's not. I have 15 sick days, and I have yet to take one. I ended up going home, on real sick leave, but I was shocked that I could use my monthly visits as a reason to go home.
On a related note, we went to see the Vagina Monologues last weekend with some of our friends. It was a great show. The show was a bilingual show featuring both Koreans and foreigners.
I have to tell you about my new computer (which, incidentally, has STILL not arrived, more than two weeks after ordering!!). Mostly because I'm lazy, I'm going to tell this story in point form.
Jeff and I have just returned from our week long "honeymoon"/winter vacation in Beijing, China. The week was great fun and included two Great Wall hikes, a Peking Opera, an acrobatics show, Peking duck (we're vegetarians, but we HAD to try it...), the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, a Hotong tour, a visit to a pearl (I originally typed purl!!) market, a silk market, and a trip to KFC for Jeff so he could have his egg tart.... oh yeah, our trip also included fireworks. LOTS of fireworks! When we first arrived in Beijing our tour guide told us that it was impossible to see fireworks in the city, we had to go outside Beijing in order to see a show since fireworks are illegal in the city centre - boy was he wrong!
So last weekend we hit up one of the local aquariums. And by local, I mean an hour subway ride away. But hey, it's still in Seoul. Anyway, this place was truly unique. I'll start off by saying that this aquarium also had an artistic side to it and not only was it showcasing the sea life itself, but also some of the, well, containers of that sea life.
Exhibit A. Ok, it's a little hard to see the actual fish in this photo, but trust me, they are there, swimming right next to Ariel and Sebastian (the characters from The Little Mermaid). So the aquarium had a little section that wanted to challenge the notion that fish should be kept in conventional fish bowls. Certainly not all of the aquarium's wildlife were kept in such unique structures (most, in fact were in the usual mundane aquariums that we expect to see). But there were some who had different homes. In the end, I don't think that the inhabitants really would know the difference, so... why not? At times it seemed a little off-kilter and bizarre, but since then I've come to appreciate this section of the aquarium more and it is quickly becoming one of my favourite parts of the visit. It's something distinct that really sets it apart from the rest of the aquariums that I've seen. Oh, I should also point out, if it wasn't enough that these fish are housed in a vending machine "fish bowl," that this vending machine is, indeed, a functioning vending machine that guests can use to purchase beverages. Yes... yes, we're in Korea, folks.
Is that shortbread?
Here is Jen being a tour guide again. I think she's got a new career ahead of her - well, unless her customers start catching on that she's just making everything up!! Notice the expression on Sue's face. She has that are-you-crazy-what-are-you-talking-about kinda look. Jen, it doesn't look good. Remember, she was a tour guide herself in the past. She knows when you're making things up! Alison is busy taking pictures of Jen's so-called evolution fish!
I just spent the past 45 minutes writing about our adventures with our landlords (complete with Korean characters and everything!), and for some reason it has disappeared! Oh the joys of technology!!!
Only in Korea can you go to a cafe to pay money to have little fish nibble at your toes. Last weekend we decided to take the proverbial plunge and try out this Korean phenomenon. For about eight dollars you get a snack (nachos, a muffin, dried squid or some oranges), a drink (beer, wine, juice, or a smoothie), and unlimited access to the fish pond. It's a great deal!
Sara was a little aprehensive. The look on her face embodies my sentiments when we first sat down at the pool preparing to put our feet in the water. We started by putting just our heels in the water, and then gently (for me it took about 10 minutes, Kelly was in within 2 minutes) lowered our feet (one at a time) into the water.
When Jeff arrived he dove in with both feet immediately. He also monopolized the fish that were in the pool. They seemed to like him much better than the rest of us. It was only when he finally took his feet out that the fish looked to us for some more food. When we were finished with the fish, we had an aromatherapy foot bath - hot water and lavender - followed by a nice lathering of cream for our now uber soft feet!
We got "shh"ed in the bookstore today. Well, I guess not "shhh"ed, but told that we were being too loud, and could we please keep it down. We weren't that loud, but I guess by Korean standards we were a little above the normal noise level.
Jumping on the Wonder Girls posting bandwagon, I thought that I would share with you this Korean music video.
On another note, please read Kelly's most recent post about "the hearts". She has some great pictures of us and an explanation of where "the heart" came from. And to think, I was always under the impression that it was a Chinese thing!
We have some friends who say that Korea is just a little odd.
The village was financed by the Korean government in an attempt to improve the English skills of the Korean population. I was told that many Korean English teachers do not support the English Village. They feel that the village was a huge expense that does not pay off. This place is huge - and it must have cost a ton of money to create (and maintain).
I'm sure that I have not fully captured the oddity that was the Paju English Village. It was just freaky. Can't say much more than that... I wish that you could have been there to experience this oddity that is the English Village.
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