Saturday, June 28, 2008

Silent from Seoul

Okay, so I know I've been slacking on the blogging front lately, but it's still a whole lot better than my "blog" from last year... it lasted... erm... not very long. Anyway, I'm sorry for worrying you!

Okay, so here's how I'm going to do this.. because I have quite a few pictures and I don't want it to get long and confusing... I'm going to post the pictures and set the blog to "post it" the date that it happened. So, even though I did not actually write on 6/22, if something happened on 6/22 I will set my blog to say that I posted it on that date. Alright... here goes..

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reunited and it feels so good...!

So, at the moment, I am in Korea, Richard (whom I met through my Korean class at NYU) is in Korea, Andrew Yi (also from Korean class at NYU) is in Korea, and our teacher is here! So, naturally, we got together.


Noraebang. Richard.

Noraebang. Richard and Andrew. Andrew is fond of TROT music. I don' tknow how to describe it. I guess it's like folk music. Only old people listen to it. Or country bumpkins (as far as stereotypes). Anyway, everyone knows a few songs. Andrew knows a lot. A lot a lot. His voice even does the same warbly thing that trot singers do. He also sang one K-pop song.

This is a vid Richard took of Andrew singing a k-pop song... Wonder Girls 쏘핫/So Hot.

This is our teacher. Pak Jeesun. She sang Backstreet Boys. Apparently she always sings Backstreet Boys. <3

Love~! I wish I didn't turn so red! There is no hiding a single drink...

So... there's also a vid of me kinda singing... something? Something N Sync. I don't remember, and I'm actually never going to watch that video. But I kinda felt like it would be unfair to post Andrew's vid and not mine... So, whatever. Don't hurt yourselves listening.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This is cool.

So my friends found this website. I think everyone could benefit. There are great things for all the kids' rooms. A ton reminded me of Lill. I think my mom might be able to make our eyes hurt just a little more in that kitchen... There are loads and loads of circly dots for Aunt Kath. GoGoGo!

(I write this on 6/19 but forgot to post it. It has been saved as a draft. Enjoy~! 6/28.)

Monday, June 16, 2008

압구정, Apgujeong

Apgujeong is one of the two areas known for the money that lives there. Apgu has the Rodeo Dr of Seoul and the highest concentration of plastic surgeons in the city. Here is a ad I saw in the subway for one of the plastic surgeons.

This is in the Apgu post because Apgu is where I teach English. This is something one of my students drew for me. She said to keep it "forever and ever and ever," and of course (you know me), I made a pinky promise that I would keep it "forever and ever and ever." I think this post should exist for about that long, right??

After work, Inseon's brother's girlfriend, Jihye came to Apgu to meet me for dinner. At this point, it was still mostly as if I did not have a boyfriend because Inseon had exams. He spent every night at the library until about 10:30... then came home to study more. This is where we ate. Pasta place. It was yummyy.

So, we called Hana and she said she'd come hang out with us for awhile. While we waited for her to get to Apgujeong (it takes about 40 minutes), Jihye and I walked around. There was a specialty shop for imported goods. Here is my favorite display. Ahh, the exotic taste of Campbell's....~~!

We went to a bar that Hana frequents since neither Jihye nor I knew the area. We girl talked, it was nice.

*I want to note that I'm in a dress. I've been spending a lot of time in skirts and dresses lately. I don't know what's going on. I just wanted to pointe it out. ...Er... Point it out.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Day of Eating

Raven's cousins took us out for lunch. Read the menu carefully. There is only so much most of our can read. I'm sure you'll find my reason for posting this soon. ^^

This is us. I'm not going to bother writing names because I don't remember her cousins' names and you should all know which one I am. I'm sitting next to Raven.

After lunch, Raven and I rushe to meet Richard and some of his friends for dinner. I didn't take pictures there. Mmm... Sorry, I'm rushing through these... belated updates. I can't think of anything witty or exciting to say at the moment... I'm just trying to make sure to prove to everyone that I've been having a happy and fulfilling existence, despite the lack of blogging. <3

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's not all candy and bliss~~!

So, the b-mom has disappeared. On purpose. It's getting weird and at first I was okay... but being in the office, surrounded by adoptees who are searching, have found, could not find, or just don't want to find their birthparents. It's stirring up all kinds of strange feelings that I don't feel prepared to deal with. Anyway, it's been strange. Although, I have always known that coming here would bring on a lot of stuff, I guess I didn't anticipate working at a post-adoption services agency where those issues would be thrown in my face everyday. I love working there. I love the people I work with. I love the people I've met working there... but it's just a lot, I guess.

Anyway... She's gone again. Last December when she changed her mind and decided not to meet me, I was okay. Really, truly, honestly okay. She had about two weeks to prepare herself to meet the daughter she let go twenty some years ago. She has a new family. She has a new life. It's completely understandable. I was fine. ...but she has now completely disappeared... on purpose. Just knowing that Holt knew her number and where she lived and who she is and that she is alive and okay and all that stuff... that made me feel better, ya know? Now, I'm back at square one. Now, I'm back to walking around Korea, wondering as every woman who looks around 40 passes me, "Does she look like me? Do I have her nose? Could she be mine?" Now, I'm back to driving myself crazy. I would not have made her meet me against her will. I just wanted to know where she was and that she was okay. That's all. Now, she's just one of those Koreans out there.

Aside from that, my only other worry is the teaching thing. I'm falling in love with the kids (especially the ones who drive me up the wall)~~! However, something is distrubing me, and I can't get it out of my mind. I can't make peace with this one thing... Today, I was writing progress reports, and I found myself writing the following: "At first he seemed to want to play more than learn..." I stopped myself and thought about why. HE'S A CHILD! Let me explain his weekday schedule.

8-3 School
3:30-5:30 English School
6:00-8:00 Math School
8:00-9:00 Piano Lessons
9:00-??? Homework
He said he usually goes to bed around 11 or 12.

These are children who are not allowed to play. All day, they are in some kind of school, being told to sit down, focus, learn, stop play, stop talking, stop stop stop stop stop!! It makes me sad. They're just being kids, right? What kind of life is that? I also realized today, that I have employment all summer... which means that these kids are going to be going to English school all summer. I asked Inseon about it, and he said they have off of regular school, but they still go to the afterschool schools. WHAT? So... when are these kids allowed to play and be kids? I am going to stop whining about my responsiblities because my 1o year old students play less than I do.

...It's like George Michael Bluth once said, "They’re grown-ups, they’re allowed to have fun whenever they want! We’re kids, we’re supposed to be working!"

On that note... I have to go finish these tiny people's progress reports...

I love you~~~~!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Zach Walks!

This is not about Korea. In fact, it's not really about me. It's just that the people in my office are not enough for me. I need to tell everyone~! Show everyone! Look at that little man gooooo~~~!

I showed everyone at the office... and one woman said, "If she's like this now, imagine what she'll be like when she has her own!"


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Quick response to Dana and Soph

Dana--- so proud of you for defending the use of proper Korean terms. <3 <3 <3

Sophia--- I did not get Cheetos... I'm dying here. Really. BTW: I leave here Aug 26, 수정 leaves Aug 28 or 29th. We should have tried to plan to travel together. It would have been nice. <3 Your family is so sweet. Really. I keep thinking about how you were my first link back to this country. 이모 mentioned that it has been two years since I first met her... two years since my first trip back here, with you. Now I have this whole life here, and it's strange that you're not here with me.

I wish I had magical powers and I could bring everyone here for just a quick trip. I would take Dana to a noraebang. I'd take Amanda Grah to Coffee Prince. I'd get Amanda Schwartz to go to the Art Museum with me--for some reason, Koreans aren't really into it, so I can't find anyone to go with me!

Ah-- AEG~! I bought Coffee Prince comic books (my new "text books" lol). I can show them to you when I come home. <3 And... did you know that Goong originated as a comic? The original is a long series (17 books), but there's a short one that MBC published that is only 3. I'm going to try to read the long one... at the combic book room place... so I don't have to buy 17 books (even though they're only like... ermm... $3.50).

Okay. That's all. Sorry everyone had to read that. I just wanted to make sure it got out there.

Love Love Love and ddeokbokki~~~! (I had ddeokbokki and fried stuff and some other weird stuff... [sound delicious? errmm... lol] for dinner. I have pics of jimjilbang and dinner. I'll post another time. Too tired now.)

Jjimjilbang, 찜질방, Sauna/Bathhouse/Relax Place

From Wikipedia:

Jjimjilbang (찜질방) are large, gender-segregated public bathhouses in Korea, complete with hot tubs, showers, Finnish-style saunas, and massage tables, similar to what you may find in a Korean sauna or mogyoktang. However, in other areas of the building or on other floors there are unisex areas, usually with a snack bar, ondol-heated floor for lounging and sleeping, wide-screen TVs, PC bang, noraebang, and sleeping quarters with either bunk beds or sleeping mats.

Most jjimjilbangs are open 24 hours and are a popular weekend getaway for Korean families to relax and spend time soaking in tubs or lounging and sleeping, while the kids play away on the PCs.

So we just went for the day. It wasn't a long overnight thing or anything. Inseon and I went with another couple (Junseo/준서 and Sojeong/소정), and one of his friends (Dongyeop/동엽). When Sojeong and I came out of the women's bathing section, we found the boys playing some game... They were using one pillow as a marker and kicking other ones toward it. The one that got closest without knocking it over won.

the pillow.

This is a little 1-2 person noraebang (music room.. karaoke like thing).

On the way home we got ddeokbokki. Yummy.

Long Time No See (one of the most used English phrases in Korea)

Okay, these pictures are kinda a mess. It's everything I've randomly seen and needed to take pictures of. The first 2 are because I recently had a conversation with Amanda Schwartz... wow, maybe not so recently... Anyway... I forgot to pack stockings and things to bring with me (yeah, Mom-- I know we bought a lot before I left, but I didn't pack anything). So I said, "No problem, I'll pick them up in the subway on the way." Amanda was confused by the idea of shops in the subway and I had trouble explaining. Here are some pics.

This is really yummy chicken from a place near inseon's house. The owner is really nice. He has a friendly smile and he gave us a free coke! 서비스~~!

This one is for Amanda Grah... I think you know what this is. It's right around the corner from my internship.

This is jjimdak. 찜닭. It's the stuff I ate with Inseon that one time and forgot to take a picture... he wouldn't let me ask someone else if I could take a picture of their food. Remember? This is it. I went again with one of his friends. His name is SeungHo. 승호. He's my favorite of Inseon's friends. Inseon had to stay at school late to study and I didn't want to eat alone, so I met up with him for dinner.

After dinner we met another one of his friends. HyoJong. 효종. His family name is Song. Like mine was. Last year I could not retain Korean names for the life of me. He is about my height. His nickname was Smurf. We made fun of him when we met this time because he was wearing blue and it was funny. (HyoJong, Elly, SeungHo). Then Raven came. I didn't get a pic.

We went to a board game cafe. Basically you pay a couple bucks to play games for awhile. It's fun. We played a game that was some hybrid of Uno and Jenga. It was fun. (SeungHo)


We played a monkey game. (Raven, Elly)

This is for Dana. You know.

Richard, from NYU was also adopted and is here for a year to teach English. He met another adoptee named Marcus. So, Richard, Marcus, Raven and I met to hang out. We ate dalkkalbi. It's funny because dalkkalbi is famous in the area that Raven's family lives in. Chunchon.

Marcus. Richard.

Elly. Raven.

We wear aprons because it splatters as it cooks. This is naengmyun. It's yummy. Cold noodles.

Everytime I eat at Red Mango, I miss Sophia.

Ah.... Another time I missed Sophia.... Inseon and I met up with Sophia's Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin. We switched my phone to Inseon's name so her aunt doesn't have to keep getting my bill. Then they took us to Pizza Hut. American food? lol. Yeah. I forgot to take pics first.

This is us. Eemobu ("uncle"). SooJung. Eemo ("aunt"). Elly. Inseon. [It's kinda like with Aunt Dar. She's not my aunt. But in order to promote the feeling of a close relationship "aunt" will do.]

For Dana again... you know. <3

ManwhaBang. 만화방. Comic Room. This is kinda like a library, but it's all comics. You pay by time. Inseon and I spent about 2 hours there for about 3 bucks. You can order ramen and coffee and other snack-y foods. It makes me think that Jarad would have really done okay if he had stayed in this country.

This is... er... okay. Picture a big big room with about 30 TVs, tons of couches and a PS2 for each TV. This is a place where people go to play video games. Another indicator that Jar would have been just fine... I'd say about 95% of the people here were playing Winning Eleven, a soccer game. You can play all kinds of different games, but this is most popular.

Before we went here, Inseon and I went to see Sex in the City. I felt like, "Okay, we did something really really girlie for awhile, I can survive this." He and his friends were going on their 3rd hour and I decided to take a walk... When we finally left, we went to the fish restaurant I have been craving since I left Korea in December... and it was closed! BC THE BOYS PLAYED FOR TOO LONG! Okay, I was bitter for about 23 minutes.

Yeah. That's what's been up.

Today is rainy. Inseon can't play soccer. Next week his finals start, so fun stops. This evening we're going to go to a jjimjilbang. Kinda like a super spa sauna thing. It's cool. Anyway, I'll explain later.

Love you!