Dance Master’s Delight

8 08 2009

So we were just on vacation for eleven days wherein we did nothing much, hung around, drank coffee, chilled, read books, and intended every day to catch up on posting, uploading pictures, and generally keeping our fan up to date on the goings-on of our final days here in Korea.  Alas, we never did.  Because we were too busy not doing anything productive whatsoever.

On another note, Hillstate, the giant construction project located directly across the street from our apartment, is officially almost complete. This is due largely to the efforts of the diligent construction workers that like to start every day of the week (and weekends!) at 7 am by dropping 1 or 2 scaffolding pipes on the ground ever 10 to 20 seconds for 2 hours before taking a well earned break.

The signal that construction is nearly complete? The first delivery of kimchi refrigerators.

Keeping your kimchi fresh.

Keeping your kimchi fresh.

From LG in a variety of colors to suit your lifestyle--the new Dios Built-In.

From LG in a variety of colors to suit your lifestyle--the new Dios Built-In.

A view of a section of Hillstate including scaffolding pipes.

A view of a section of Hillstate including scaffolding pipes.

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Yummy, Teacher!

8 07 2009

Today one of the kids at our school brought in the coolest show and tell ever:

Not just cute, Korean shit cute

Not just cute, Korean shit cute

Later, there was a fire downstairs, but the two incidents do not seem to be related–for now.





Korea Famous

5 07 2009

Last night we were hanging out in front of the local One Time (kind of like a 7-11, but with more choices of squid jerky) with some other foreigners enjoying some beer and the surprisingly pleasant weather. At some point a former student and his dad wandered by and dropped off a platter of dduk bo ki and some kim bap for no particular reason. A little while later a drunk businessman stumbled out of his car, and as he passed by our table slurred out a few words in English. We said something or other, he went inside, presumably to buy some very skinny cigarettes, and we went on with our evening. He came back a little while later and gave us ice cream shaped like sharks, dragged his poor wife (who didn’t speak any English) out of the car to visit with us (who don’t speak any Korean), and promised that if we ever had any trouble with the police, he could fix it for us. He also gave us a special Korean cure for hangovers, pictured below:

I've got wood.

I've got wood.

We’re Korea famous.





Soju Pillow

20 06 2009

Last night we were hanging out getting ready to watch what turned out to be a pretty bad movie when we heard someone singing outside in the street. Public singing is a lot more common than you might think here, but it went on for a while, so we took a peek out the window to see the singer in action. It was a very happy man sitting out on a stoop, enjoying the pleasant night air. He seemed to be a little tired, though. By the time we got our camera, he had cozied up with his soju pillow and blanket and tucked himself in for the night.

Just taking a little break...

Just taking a little break...

Soju pillow in action.

Soju pillow in action.

Still there after the movie.

Still there after the movie.

Good thing they sprayed for mosquitoes at least a couple of times this week, or he might have woken up itchy, covered in bumps, and feeling even more miserable than he probably already was.





One YEAR

10 06 2009

Happy Anniversary to us.  It’s one year today that we have been living here.  Let it be said that we know this from adding up  the hatch marks on our concrete wall.  Also, we have lived in this cell block apartment for longer than we’ve lived in any other dwelling since we have been together.  It’s weird to know where everything in our apartment is.  It’s about time we moved again.





The Refreshing Taste of Pine

31 05 2009

IMG_6474

Last week I went to the store to pick up something bubbly. Right next to the grape pop that I was looking for, there were a few cans of this stuff sitting there and looking lonely. So I bought one.

“Since there are so few on the shelf, maybe beverages infused with the taste of pine needles are delicious,” I thought.

After a few days sitting in the fridge, we decided to crack it open. The slightly greenish liquid appeared innocuous, but its scent reminded us less of a forest breeze, and more of Pinesol. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much what it tasted like, too. Not that we’ve tasted a lot of Pinesol. Maybe it is an acquired taste.





So Now What Do We Get to Panic Over?

28 05 2009

Yesterday was my Open Class (Jake’s was last week), an event where, after several weeks of panic, Korean style, the students’ parents sat in our classes for a total of 40 minutes, watching their children be, well, children.  No matter how hard they try to squeeze it out of them, darnit, it turns out a five year old’s will to party is much stronger.

But my kids were awesome.  They sang their songs, did their dance moves, answered my questions, sat nicely, and no one cried or went crazy.  I am so proud of them (and me!) for doing such a good job.  And they were handsomely rewarded with, what else? 20 cent toys from China that probably broke on their way to the bus.  But I digress….

Today is the final day of Open Classes, and I believe tonight there will be some to much celebrating.  We’ve been on the wagon for so long, I am kinda nervous–like first date nervous–to hang out with Sirs Vodka and Tonic again.  What if they have changed?  What if I have?  What if we don’t have anything to say to each other?  Who am I kidding?

We are officially under three months to go here.  We have decided not to go to China this summer, and just tour around Korea a bit.  We have made a very grown-up decision here (Let the Record Show!!) to save money for the future blahblahblah instead of gallivant about Asia, especially considering that we have already had two fabulous vacations in the last 6 months.  And truly who knows how long it will take us to find gainful employment?  I worry that all the fruits of our sacrifice here will disappear into the ether shortly after our return home.  Any suggestions?

We are going to hike Mt.Fuji before coming home though.  It will be early September, and I hear that it is a night hike with a summit sunrise.  We are so excited.  I am really looking forward to clean air, crisp winds, and views.  I did not realize how ingrained my need for open space was.  We are nestled into a foggy, smoggy valley here, and even on hikes we are lucky to see to the next ridge over, at best.  My mom always said that cloudy days made her claustrophobic, which I totally understand now.

This weekend we will visit a local temple/museum/park with some friends.  I am looking forward to doing something out of the ordinary.  These past two months has been a lot of business on the weekends and not a lot of playing.  I hope everyone has a great weekend and does not spend too much time missing us.