Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rainy daze in Yongin

It has been over a week since I last updated you.
My work has been busy. I have changed Kindergartens classes and now teach 10 little monsters each morning. Actually they are all quite good most of the time, with the exception of one or two each day who seem to annoy me senseless (the individuals seem to rotate on a 'bug your teacher' schedule that is unknown to me) . Overall, it means a little more work, but a lot more fun.
Besides this change, everything else seems to be the same.
I am still trying to get out running , but the bad weather the last few days has kept me inside (ie: cold and rainy...brrrrrrr). I thought the river in my neigborhood would actually burst its banks the other day!

Thankfully we were spared...this time.
I had a good weekend last week. My mate Helen came up for a visit since it was a holiday here.
Friday night we met up with my coworkers for a goodbye party for Heather who is (as I write this ) lying on a beach in Thailand. Since it was Chu ' Suk (Korean Thanksgiving type holiday) there was plenty to celebrate and thanks to our director a lot of red wine to celebrate with.

On Saturday afternoon (after plenty of sleep and water), we went to Seoul to do some shopping and such. As things go we ended up having a few pints in Itaewon (the preferred foreigner district of Seoul) and did very little shopping. I did manage to buy some sandals and a new bag. Helen and I were both regretting the wine from Friday night and Helen had to meet a friend at the airport Sunday morning at we decided to go back to Yongin for an early night.
Then on Monday we went to a palace called Gyeonbokgung. Sorry for the lack of photos...the computer at work is crap and I can't download any photos...and I'm too broke to spend cash at a PC room right now you'll have to wait!
It was raining most of the day, so we were wet and tired by the end of the tour, but the palace was beautiful and well worth the 3000 won entry fee.
Anyways, it was fun to see Helen and to meet her friend Katherine...we even ran into a couple of other Ulsan-ites (Guy and Hazel) while in Itaewon. I got to catch up on the local gossip and found out I missed a typhoon a few weeks ago in Ulsan - sounded like quite an experience (flooded streets, closed schools and air raid sirens....maybe next time).
No real plans for the next few weeks.
I will try to get my photos downloaded soon.
Chat soon

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Where's my wagon?

This week was a little less Julie Andrews, however, nothing to be ashamed of (at least that I remember).
Lets just say I 'hung my legs off the wagon' and almost fell off (as oppose to completely falling off) but have reaffirmed my desire not to drink in excess. Especially since I suffered one of the worst hangovers this past weekend. Is it true that if we don't use our ability to hold our liquor we lose it?
Anyways, my week itself was pretty standard. I got to know my new coworkers a little better and have been inspired to pursue a head teacher position that is opening up at the end of October. It would mean a little bit more responsibility and some extra cash in my pocket each month. But mostly I am inspired to have some say in curriculum and activities for the kids. I have been having dreams of starting an environmental esl program in my school/community and think this just might be a good place to put my ideas into action.
I also found out my vacation for the winter is from December 24th until January 1st - so I'm planning a trip to somewhere warm (Vietnam, Thailand or Bali) for the holidays. My long-time friend Mickey (a Belgian/Aussie-gal) has agreed to rendezvous with me. Which means that we'll have a chance to catch up properly after almost 6 years and I'll not have to spend the holidays in Korea eating Kimchi and drinking soju.
But the holidays are a while yet, so I'm trying to focus on the 'now' and not plan too far ahead.
I have some mates that will likely come up to visit next weekend. It's Chu-sok (Korean Thanksgiving-ish holiday) and a long weekend.
I might visit some temples in Seoul and some markets ...which will likely be quieter since most Koreans will be at home.
I added some photos below of my school's field trip to a fire station this past Friday. It was good fun, the kids had a blast and I'm not ashamed to admit that I did too.
Talk to you all soon.

Four of my Kindegarten students at the Bundang Fire Station (Clockwise : Jason, Sally, Elly and Cindy)  Posted by Picasa

Our students Posted by Picasa

Korean fireman  Posted by Picasa

My students spraying a fire hose at Bundang Fire Station Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 04, 2005

My new theme song is the Sound of Music

Since I have entered what my good mate Julie calls "the nunnery" there isn't as much to write about.
Now you might be asking ..hmm ...what the fu@&???
Well, let me explain.
I have made a promise to myself that this next year in Korea will be different from the previous one. It will be a chance to develop myself both physically and emotionally. Perhaps it was the events in my life over the past few months, or perhaps it was just time, but I found myself looking back at the last year and wishing for a different future. Anyways, I won't bore you with my emotional riffraff, but I guess what I am trying to say is that you can count on less drinking stories (note the word "less") and more actual accounts of what is actually happening in my life.
Needless to say, life in the nunnery this past week has been relatively quiet.
I have been running every day along the river , and plan to bring my camera some day so that I can share some of the beautiful scenes with you. There are a few white cranes that live along the river and quite a few ducks. Other then that, not much for wildlife - but it is beautiful.
Today was the first clear day - and I could see the mountains clearly for the first time. I want to buy a bike, since I am limited as to how far I can run or walk. (Today I managed 10 km). One of my coworkers offered to sell me her bike when she leaves in November, which I'll do if I don't buy one sooner.
My friend Joanne came by on Thursday night for a final visit before she took a ferry to China. It was great to catch up properly on everything that has been going on in Ulsan since I left. It was a short visit but a good one.
This weekend, I decorated my apartment and finished unpacking. I am feeling a little more put together.
Next week, my Kindergarten class is going on a field trip to a fire station. It should be good for a laugh or two.
Anyways, I'm hungry and going home. I'm making some denjang jjigae tonight (bean curd soup with tofu and veggies).
Enjoy the photos below.

Myapartment. It's very small, but cozy. Posted by Picasa

My Kitchen  Posted by Picasa

My bathroom Posted by Picasa