Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Time flies....!

This is how it looks when I'm going crazy with boredom...

This is how it looks now...! (I missed being busy.)

Monday, Inseon had to go to maintenance training for the military. He has to do this once a year for five years, then lighter training/education for a while longer.

I went to meet June for tutoring for the first time! Ironically, her office is across the street fron Inseon's school. It's good because the schedule worked out in such a way that we can leave together in the morning, then meet for lunch before I go to work. This is the view from her office. This week we didn't meet Monday because he went to that military thing..

This is what the school looks like.

I took pics of the kids so that I could learn their names faster. It actually worked. I know all of their names, although sometimes it takes a couple second to recall. Anyway... thats a lot of pics to post, so I'm going to smush them all together into a video clip then post it. I don't know when I'll be ambitious enough to do the smushing... but it will be up here when it happens.

Tuesday, I went to KBS to see the filming of that show. That looking for lost/separated family members show.

This is me with Miriam. She's another intern. She's an adoptee from France.

Going around the table, starting at the left and moving right... Hoya (GOA'L- director of birth family search), Miriam, Me, Jeffery (fiance of..), Maisha (adoptee doing a BFS), er.. I can't remember her name... wife of Lee Herick (adoptee doing BFS who happens to be an awesome poet), a volunteer/translator... Korean names are hard to retain... and another volunteer with a name I can't remember... By the end of the summer I will know their names. I promise!!!

Wednesday... Wednesday was just like Monday. There didn't seem to be enough time for variation. Anyway... maybe I'll go work on that photo smushing...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The weekend...

So, the cold got me down so I spent most of the weekend resting and trying to pump myself up for the week to come. I can't wait to be so busy my head is spinning!

Inseon has some exams this week (2nd midterms), but it's good because Saturday he was studying and I was resting.

Saturday night we had date night. Ooooh! I saw a big shoe!

Then we had jjimdalk (찜닭) for dinner.

It was spicy. (We forgot to take a picture of our food, and Inseon wouldn't let me go in and ask someone else if I could take a picture of their food--haha--so we took a picture of the picture in the window)

I learned that kids have to learn how to eat spicy food... gradually integrating it into their daily diets... like solid food.

My mouth was hot, so we got waffles with icecream for dessert...

After that we were soooo full! Anyway, I still needed the brown flats I'm looking for... so we went shoe shopping.

...err... I'm still in need of brown shoes.

We got home around 9pm and I slept right away.

Today was the first time I got to go watch him play soccer again! (Last Sunday was rainy.) When we got there, everyone came over to say hi. There were a few new people I didn't recognize, but it was nice to see so many familiar faces (and to be the center of attention for a minute--even if I didn't know what they were saying, really).

This is where he plays soccer.

This is where I play while he plays soccer.

After soccer, we went to get dinner with Junseo (준서) and his girlfriend, Sojeong (소정). We had samgyeopsal (삼겹살).

The beginning:

The middle:

The end:

Love, and Cheetos! <3

Friday, May 23, 2008

Owl and Parrot

So, I had an interview today at an English academy called Owl and Parrot and I start Monday. This is what my schedule will look like so far.

Monday 1:30-6:30 Owl and Parrot (Apgujeong, 압구정)
Tuesday 9:00-6:00 GOA'L (Sangsu, 상수)
Wednesday 1:30-6:30 Owl and Parrot (Apgujeong, 압구정)
Thursday 9:00-6:00 GOA'L (Sangsu, 상수)
Friday 11:30-12:30 Tutoring SungYong (Gangnam, 강남)
1:30-6:30 Owl and Parrot (Apgujeong, 압구정)

As for now this is a tentative schedule. SungYong's wife wants to meet to tutor twice a week and he also has some colleagues who would like to meet with me for tutoring. Since this is more profitable than the unpaid internship, and I'm only required to do 10 hours a week at GOA'L, my supervisor at GOA'L said that I can change my hours to fit the rest of my schedule.

That's really all I have to say now. These seem to get less interesting without pictures. Monday I will take pictures of the school. It's really cute. The bright colors and great lines of the place make me think of that clothing store for kids... Gymboree? Is that it? Denise used to really like to put her kids in that stuff.

Anyway, farewell for now! <3

P.S. As it turned out, Inseon really liked American Cheetos. Mom, he ate them ALL!!! I didn't even eat any on the plane. I held onto them until craving struck. Well, craving struck, and once the bag was open, it was totally fair game... ::sigh:: Can you please send me some? Can anyone send me some??? Mmm... stain your hands (or your shirt, LOL, Mom!) orange, randomly sized, crunchy deliciousnes... Mm... Please send Cheetos with your petition sign sheets (just thought I'd throw another plug in for the Dual Citizenship Campaign). K. Goodnight <3

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Global Overseas Adoptees' Link


So the past 2 days have mostly involved my internship. I went there yesterday for the first time. It was pretty boring and disorganized, as most NPO/NGOs are (the disorganized part). The first couple of hours were fine. Full of orientation-y things. There are two other interns. The girl from France, Miriam, was also adopted. She started a couple of months ago. The other girl is starting now. Her name is Monica and she is going to be a senior at William and Mary. Also, her brother will be attending Wash U in St Louis in the fall. Small world, anyone?

The first thing I need to tell you about it the Dual Citizenship Campaign. GOA'L is currently working on a this as the big project. You can go read all about it if you want. Basically, we're lobbying to get some changes so that adoptees have the right to dual citizenship. It will not be an automatic thing, they will need to apply for one of the two citizenships because not all adoptees would actually want this. There are a couple different solutions to the mandatory military service. One thing is that all orphans are not subject to serving the military, and most adoptees are registered as orphans. If for some reason this is not the case, there are a few different options that are being explored. Anyway, read about in that link.

Now, I'll tell you why you needed to know all that... We're trying to get 50,000 signatures by December. I was wondering if you guys could follow the link and print the signsheet (it's 2 pages). If everyone could just get one sheet filled (12 signatures) that would be supremely awesome. Let me know if you need my address and I'll send it to you. If you don't want to, that's fine. I just thought this would be a great venue in which I could try to get some more signatures.

So, aside from that, one of the biggest services that GOA'L offers is the birth family search assistance. That's where I'll be spending a lot of my time. So, today I went to YTN, a big 24/7 news station, to accompany a searching adoptee on a filming for a show. She basically told the circumstances of her abandonment and what she knew of her birth. Then, Tuesday I will go to MBC station (a big cable network). They have another similar show called "그 사감이 보고 싶다." Which is a show for all Koreans who have been disconnected from family members in any way (not just via adoption). There is usually one adoptee live and one adoptee via webcam. That show is a full hour. The YTN thing is just a short blurb that they add to weekend news.

So that's pretty exciting. I don't have any pictures. I'm catching a cold, or maybe it's just allergies. Don't worry, Inseon takes good care of my just like you guys do.

Today, after the filming, I went with an adoptee to the Immigration Office. It was long. And annoying. And I'm tired. But at least now I know what to expect when I go to get my card... /sigh. The visa I'm here on is less common so the process isn't perfect and it seems like each person working there asks for different documents. Ehh, anyway. I'm taking everything I could possibly need.

Anyway, for now, I'm going to take some advil and take a nap. It was a long day.

Bye bye!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

When in Rome...

Who goes to school on their break?

I went to school with Inseon yesterday. I don't know why I agreed... maybe because I had nothing planned and it was a sunshiney day and it made me incredibly agreeable. Anyway... I sat through 2 classes. One was really neat. It was his meditation class. I wish I knew what the woman was saying. Something about if you die tomorrow, what would you want friends and family to say about you. If that's what you want them to say, how can you change your actions? That was the overall topic. I think... lol.

After his first class, we went outside and found a bunch of performers dancing. Some kind of promo or something. Anyway, they weren't super spectacular, but I filmed part simply for the song. Listen up, girls of 304/605...

After watching for a few minutes and enjoying the weather...

...we went to his school cafeteria to have lunch. We each ate a Dove Promise and we had the same inside! It says, "Go to your special place." So, we decided that this cafeteria must be our special places. lol

Then I went to his er... something chemistry something analysis class. Anyway. That part was pretty boring.

We met the same couple we had a picnic with for dinner. (No pics, sorry.) Then he had to go help his dad out, and I went home. I slept almost immediately, but made myself wake up at 8 and stay up. That's kind of all...

Ahh, this morning, I will go to the office where I have my internship. GOA'L. If you follow the link, go to the "Staff/Board of Directors" menu... my name is there! I just thought that was cool.

Monday, May 19, 2008

On Lost...

I couldn't watch it. I'm too afraid it's going to be a scary episode. I guess it will have to wait until tomorrow. I got until the LOST part, and I couldn't deal with the stress caused by uncertain anticipation. Tomorrow. I'll watch tomorrow...

Hello Hello

I'm trying to keep myself awake until 11PM so I can stop waking up so early. In making that attempt, I must keep busy... so blog, I will!

Today was pretty mundane. Inseon had school, then his dad wanted him to help out at his place. So he left here around 8:30AM and won't be back until 11Pm.

I spent some time this morning making calls to a few English schools who wanted me to come in for an interview when I got here. I met my friend Hana (who used to go to NYU, but is not part of the international college at Yonsei) for coffee and lunch. After we ate, she took me to see her new apartment.

While I was with Hana, I got a call from the guy I tutored in NY. (Back up... Last semester, I was tutoring a Korean guy, SungYong, in English. Although he had to return to Korea in the early spring, we made plans to meet up in Seoul and continue our meetings.) Okay, so he called. LOL! After seeing Hana's apartment, I made my way toward his office in Gangnam. We caught up and planned our meetings. He wants to introduce me to his wife and daughter (she's little, her pictures are soooo cute). He also said he wants to meet Inseon to make sure he's a good guy since none of you can do that yet! I'll let you guys know the outcome of that.

I got home around 8PM. His brother Incheon (like the airport) and his girlfriend (Jihye--I don't know how to romanize her name the legit way. JEE-HAY) were here. I was really surprised to see her because I thought they had broken up. She's really sweet and we got along well, even when I didn't get along with him so well. Her English is amazing because her mother was an English teacher. Anyway, we were chatted for awhile. I was practically falling asleep mid-sentence and she had to go home.

So... now I'm here. Trying to keep myself up.. and it's only 10:30 and I still have half an hour but I already wrote my whole day... School has corrupted my mind. Even though I know it's time that I'm trying to fill, I'm thinking in terms of space. I almost wrote, "Maybe I should go back through what I wrote and choose bigger words for the ones I already used." Oh dear... The thesaurus won't exactly help me kill time...

OOOOOHHHHHH!!!! AMANDA GRAH IS THE BEST OBSCURE VIDEO FINDER EVER!!! She found Lost for me!!!! That's what I'll do. I'll go watch Lost. I hope it isn't a scary one. Because it's late and I'm alone. Ugghh... Lost really gets my heart rate going...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I can't sleep past 5AM

Is this jetlag? Or is this just me and my usual non-sleeping self?

I met up with Raven yesterday. The weather was bad and we looked like drowned rats, so no pictures were taken. Next time...

Since the weather was gross, we went to eat shabushabu. I didn't take a pic, but here's one I stole from online...

You get this plate filled with thin cuts of meat and lots of veggies, then you cook it in a big pot of boiling broth. Perfect for a gross day.

Yeah... I wish I was still sleeping.

Oh, Mom--It looks like I'm going to need my original naturalization certificate to get my alien registration card...

And for Lill--The cake had a coffee taste to it. I guess flavors are themed with decorations..! Cakes here are usually a little spongier than our standards at home. It has the spongy, chewiness of an angelfood cake, but it's way more dense. The icing is the really light kind... Not like the kind you get at most grocery store cakes (so sweet it crunches when you chew it... like gingerbread house binding). Not even as sweet as the stuff you get with boxed cakes. It's more like... er... the whipped cream kind. You know what I'm talking about? The fluffy kind?

Day 2, Seoul Forest Park and a Birthday Party!

I decided that since the weather was BEAUTIFUL and was forcasted to turn nasty, we had to have a picnic. We grabbed Inseon's friend and his girlfriend and went to Seoul Forest Park for a picnic!

Then at night we went to a Birthday Party... It was for Sujeong, Dongyeop, Seungho, and Pohyang. The cake is beautiful, right??

Okay, that's all again. Within the next few days I should be hooking up with some of my friends from last semester. So... Until then... Miss you!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What it's like to be back...

So, I was waiting in line to go through customs. On the other side of customs, there is a big automatic door that opens so people can leave and find the people who are coming for them. While I was in line, I saw Inseon waiting! He was exactly front and center.

Amanda and Amanda asked if the reunion was like those of the dramas that I watch. Although I did hug him and refuse to let go for a few minutes, I did not cry and noone clapped. Inseon did, however, tell me something interesting. Inseon overheard some people talking.. and apparently, because of the amount of luggage we were carrying...

And how unnaturally happy we were...

....people assumed that we were coming home from our honeymoon! So, not so dramatic as one might have imagined, but we did get a good laugh out of the experience.

Anyway, I wasn't feeling tired at all when I first got here. I was full of energy and happy and excited... then halfway through the train ride it hit me. I was ready for a nap. The second we got home, I slept for a couple hours. When I woke up, I was ready to go! Sooo we went to Namsan Tower!!

Namsan Tower is the No. 1 most romantic spot and the best place to get a great view of Seoul. I know because they go in all the dramas...!

Couples go up and put locks together and hang it off the "don't fall off" barriers.

We ate in a food court...

Then we went home because I was exhausted. Although eager to get out and enjoy Korea, apparently I was not as prepared for exploration as I thought...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

From Philly to Chicago to Tokyo...

So... I made it safely to my hotel room, and from here I will let you know how this whole thing begins. (BTW: very proud of myself for the timely fashion in which I am posting this...)

Tuesday. I packed all day (heh...) and got little done. By 10 or 11 I was exhausted (that whole not sleeping thing is catching up with me, I guess) and not yet finished packing. I still had stuff in the dryer and the living room/dining room was a mess.

Despite that, I was actually tired and wanted to sleep. So I set an early alarm, laid down on the couch, and put Will & Grace on to fall asleep to. Rosario happened to comment on a suit that Karen was wearing and it reminded me that I had a suit in my closet that I wanted in my suitcase. I put it on my morning list and closed my eyes... but I couldn't get it out of my mind!

I finally decided to just get up and put it on top of my bags so I wouldn't worry about forgetting it. I went in my room. I turned on the light. I opened the closet and removed the suit. Something prompted me to look down. My gaze fell into the trashcan that I had emptied the day before. Inside was the mouse!!! You know the mouse... the one that fell on my head and has taken over my room so that I was unable to enjoy my last nights home in my own bed... Yeah... it was him.

I calmly exited my room and told my dad that I found the mouse. He had died. The mouse. Not my dad. My dad took my trashcan and dumped the bugger outside. Now, you'd think that would bring me peace. Maybe even convince me to find my sheets and make my bed so I could spend my last night in my room... But nooo... My stupid sympathetic heart... I was up all night (on the couch) picturing that poor mouse in the trashcan trying to get out. My dad and I thought we heard him frantically scratching at something the other day. I feel responsible for his death.

Wednesday. I was ready. Mom was ready. Dad was ready. So we left. I had to get makeup at Walgreens on the way, because Korean makeup is cakey and gross. I got it and came out. Mommy did that mommy thing and started asking me if I packed X, Y, and Z. The usual exasperated tone came out with a string of yeses followed by an, "Uh oh..." So we turned around and went home to grab some meds I had forgotten.

Made it to Philly Int'l Airport. Checked in. Waited a bit. Got a sandwhich. Waited some more. Boarded. Then found out we'd be waiting another 40 minutes... which put me dangerously close to the time tha tI had to catch a flight out of Chicago. I exited the plane just in time to hear my group get called to board the next plane. Luckily it was only a couple gates down.

Chicago to Japan was relatively uneventful for an 11-hour flight. The girl next to me had a terrible cough, so I drank OJ the whole flight. The girl behind me put her tray down and leaned forward on it to sleep the whole flight, so my seat had to remain in an upright position. The woman across the aisle had earrings that I think my mother would like. When I come home I'll see if I can figure out how to make them. They were made out of soda can tabs. 2 tabs per earring. They were cute. The flight attendants all seemed to be older vets, so they were mildly cranky and stood for nothing, but also super efficient.

I got off the plane in Japan. Went to International Connections and asked if any seats had opened on the flight that left for Seoul this evening. She said no. I through immigration. They took my fingerprints and I think a picture? There was a countdown and a flash. I went go to the baggage claim just in time to see my bags drop onto the carousel. A nice man helped me get a cart and put my stuff onto it. Despite numerous people telling me that airports didn't hold baggage over night anymore, I took my stuff to the Baggage Services counter and asked. So, my bags are being held at the airport. When I check in, I just show the people a sticker and my bags will get on my plane with me. I don't even have to carry them! Woot! I made my way through customs (quite easily since all I had with my was my carry on). I exited the building and made my way over to where the hotel shuttles wait just in time to see mine arrive.

On the highway going toward the hotel, I saw a really cool cicular building. I said, "Wow, what a neat building!" as I took out my camera. The man next to me said, "That's our hotel."

The lobby was BEAUTIFUL! If I wasn't so worried about not looking like a kid who didn't know what they were doing (since that was most definitely how I felt), I would have taken pictures there. Maybe I'll take some when I check out tomorrow.

My room is cool and clean and... well, quiet. I plan to take an hour nap when I finish this, then keep myself up until 9 or 10PM.

This one with the mirror was after my shower. As usual, the mirror fogged up, right? But by some magical force, there was a rectangular portion in the middle that didn't fog!

That's all for now. I mean, this was pretty impressive. Oh, and I'll edit those pics in later. After my nap. <3