Wednesday, February 29, 2012

So I caught the last Metro home....

So, it was around 9:00 pm my time here, and I was at a Packer bar with abunch of people from my orientation group.  I wasn't really talking to anybody, and I had misjudged how much won I needed to take out, so I was at a bar with a bunch of people that I am not sure I know very well.  So, I decided to leave.  As I was saying my goodbyes, my friends, obviously, gave a me a bunch of shit for going home.  Then, I started talking to them and things went well, and all of a sudden it was 11:45.  The last metro leaves at midnight.  I ha no fare for a cab ride home.  So, I booked it out of there and made it safely on the train.

Things I did at the bar to pass the time:
1. Talk to the owners about how much he misses the Packers.
2. Talk to my friends about my how lucky I am to have someone who would be okay with me going across the world to teach.  (Honey, I talked a lot about you and may have sent my friends some pictures of our family.)
3. Played the, "Where are you from" game, which consists of guessing where the person is from based solely on their looks and, if you're lucky, a sound clip. I guessed the east coast for someone from Canada, and she got really offended. Whoops.
4. Offered a trade of a hair cut for a massage.  My friend will cut my hair, and I will give that person a massage.  Excellent trade agreement.
5. Watched my friend blow perfect smoke rings from a hookah.  I was pretty impressed.

Aside from gallivanting throughout the city of Busan, I do have some good stories.  I will go backwards by day.

Today, I was going on an adventure.  I can see the ocean from my apartment, so I took the old Grandma Bahr method to try to find it.  Go in the direction-ish until you find something you recognize.  Now, I am in a foreign country and I don't recognize a dang thing.  So, this was helpful in the idea of going towards the idea of beach.  So, with my nose to the air and sea breezes flowing, I started walking.  I went down several streets zig zagging.  And, then I came upon a metro station, which was good luck, because I needed to purchase a transportation card.  After some gestured conversations and confused speech, we figured out what I needed.  I thanked them profusely, "Kamsahimnida." Bowing and bowing.  I walked a little more.  Found an E Mart, which is like the Wal Mart of Korea.  Then, found a sign that said Haeuendae and a picture of a dude swimming.  "Yes!" I thought to myself, "This is it!"  So, I followed this road down a sketchy back alley with people loading and unloading things.  I didn't think it was right, so I turned around.  I looked up and there was a huge building that said beach on it.  Ah ha! That's the ticket.  So, I followed the streets to this building, and there it was.  A creamy colored wall that said, "Haeundae Fun and Sun."  Perfect. This is it! I will just follow this wall until there is a break in it.  So, I did.  I looked through the break to see the beautiful, unmistakable signs of

CONSTRUCTION!  They had the water portion of the beach partitioned off.  I was so put off.  I was concerned on how to get home because I had taken so many weird turns to get to that place.  But, I saw the beacon of CINUS department store and just looked up the whole way.  I found myself in my apartment in no time.  But, tomorrow, I plan on surveying the land hoping for a little more success.

Yesterday, I went to get my Alien Registration card. When we got there, there were 272 people waiting, so my co-teacher and I went out for lunch and shopping, and then came back.  For lunch we had Japanese curry.  I had a cutlet and mine and her had a croquette on his.  It was literally a hole in the wall restaurant.  4 tables each seating two people.  But, oh my God.  There was an egg carefully laid atop a steaming pile of curried rice and a perfectly made crusted cutlet snuggled in there, too.  So. Good.  If you come to visit me, we're going there.  It is a 40 minute subway ride, but it is worth it.

Monday, I left Jeonju University and traveled to Busan.  It was a three hour bus ride, and I could sleep during any of it. I met my co-teacher (James) and principal.  I really enjoy my school.  James has been so helpful through everything.  We set up my internet and bank account.  Then, we met up with one of his teacher friends Miss Kim (who, sidenote, ask if I wanted to get my nails done with her today.  I joined her, but politely declined a mani) for dinner.  We had tacos, fajitas and Mexican pizza.  I MISS CHEESE.  However, Korean Mexican food is quite a bit different.  It used a very specific spice that I do not know, but it burned my mouth off.  The beef for the fajitas seemed to be marinated in a jalapeno and soy bean vinaigrette and then sauteed to perfection.  It  melded with the peppers and onions quite beautifully.  THen, we went to Miss Kim's house and picked up some essentials that I need for my house.  Things like toilet paper and pots and pans.

Sunday was the last day of my orientation.  I got up at 8 and had to watch every team's 15 minute condensed EFL lesson.  It was seriously really difficult.  I, then, had to perform my team's lesson  last, which means that these people have been watching lessons for 4 hours, and now we have to go.  Well, shoot.  It went well.  Then, we had the meeting which told us what school we were at and how many co-teachers we had.  I have one named James.  I am going to Centum City High School, which is an all boys school. I am really looking forward to it.  I think that I will be able to use sports or music to help teach these kids English.  It should be really fun.  Then, we had our farewell dinner, which was sad to see my friends go, but good to know that we are all off to new and exciting adventures.  I am certainly looking forward to my friends Paula, Kiera, Maeve, Bethany and Brittany to come and visit.  It should be quite fun.

Saturday was pretty dull.  I had classes, and then had to rewrite my lesson plan according to new rules.  Yiiiiikes, but I got to bed early enough.  Friday was sort of similar in classes etc.  If you have an interest in classes please email me ( and I would love to tell you about them.  But, en masse, they are pretty boring.

Now, Thursday!  We went on a field trip to Hanok village in Jeonju.  We left JU around nine and arrived at our destination about 15 minutes later.  First, we descended into the city.  Where I took some cloister pictures.  We went to the shrine of King Tao-Je.  We walked through the shrine and his gardens.  It was beautiful.

We then went to the paper making factory.  These women separate fibers and then put it into boiling water, and then the men take the boiling water fibers and put it into this huge basin and used their rack that is webbed like a tennis raket to collect the fibers and then put the wet paper onto this huge stack.  I am not sure the drying process, but it was phenomenal to watch.  And, oh my gosh, there was an adorable puppy right outside of the shop who wouldn't let go of my sleeve with his itty bitty teeth. I about died.

Then, we went to the So Ju information center and learned how this rice fermented alcohol is made.  Holy crap that stuff puts you on your ass.  Then, we had a little bit of free time where we played yard games like "Sort-of horseshoes" and "really hard darts."

After that time, we went to a restaurant to bipbimbop, which is a cultural dish here.  It is essentially mushrooms, meet, hot sauce, cabbage, lettuce, sprouts, rice and egg all mixxed together in a giant cluster you know what.  It was sooooooooo tasty.  The bipbimbap has all separate flavor but they worked together in a way that I didn't think was possible.  We also had sticky lotus root and a ginger tea.  And, let me tell you, this tea tasted like a cinnamon gingerbread cookie.  It was awesome.

After lunch, my group went to the north side of the city, and we had cultural lessons.  The first on was a traditional Korean dance.  The moves were pretty straight forward, but you had to be exact with them.  Then, they asked for volunteers to be the lion.  Of course, I volunteered.  Who doesn't want to be a lion?  So, we had to learn a NEW dance in front of all of these peopl (there was about 12 of us).  Then, we put the lion on our head and danced around.  My partner was Stephanie, and I think we made a pretty good lion team.
 After our dance lesson, we played adult see saw which involves a board and a fulcrom.  But, instead of sitting and going back and forth, you are jumping up and down.  Safe?  Maybe not.  Fun? Yep.

Then, we went inside to use the fancy paper to cover boxes.  Mine is teal and pink.  The lady helping though was really sassy.  And, if you didn't do the craft how she wanted, she came over and fixed it for you. Yeah, like that helped my craft anxiety.

After that, we went to a room with a bunch of traditional drums.  We learned a beat, and tried to put it all together.  When it was working, it was a lot, a lot of fun.  I got on of the hour glass drums, and tried my best.  Then, after that, it was time to go home.    And that was a busy day.

Whew, this has been a long message.  I will make sure to update more frequently.  I hope all is well with you, and I will talk to you soon!


  1. wow am tired just reading it lol truly glad you are experiencing lots of new items, foods, and things to learn like drums, dances and foods that are hot looking forward to learning what boys in high school need to learn in English lol love ya we might need an address to send our letters too just saying..... hugs Aunt Mary Ann

  2. True story. An address would be nice.
    Happy Leap Day!