Saturday, September 8, 2012


I'm starting to get really annoyed at Korea. Yes, I said it! I've been having issues with my door. Last night when I got home, apparently my door did not shut all the way (it usually closes by itself, and then has an electronic lock). Before I went to bed, thankfully I caught it. I had to fiddle with the locking mechanism for a minute before I got it to auto-lock. Then, this morning when I went to work, I sat there and made sure I heard the lock turn before I left. Apparently, I didn't wait/look hard/long enough, because my door was OPEN when I got home tonight. No, not wide open, but it was not shut. I think the lock did turn, but the door had not fully sealed. I pulled it open without having to punch in my code. This freaked me out! I checked all my things, and everything was still there. Thank goodness I live at the end of the hall, and Koreans are generally very honest with non-criminal tendencies. I'm starting to get pissed at this door situation.

But, in other news... IT'S FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I literally did a happy dance when I woke up. Been waiting for this day alllll week! :) I woke up a little late, again, but no matter. I treated myself to a waffle for breakfast. When I got there, I decided I wanted the choco-nut waffle, but I wanted whipped cream. Last time I ordered this as well, but without whipped cream. It would have been infinitely better with whipped cream, so I asked for it this time. What I got instead, was ICE cream. While I'm certainly not complaining, it was hilarious. And absolutely delicious. Best lost-in-translation mistake EVER. On the way back to my apartment, I got a Iced Chai Tea Latte, but I don't think the girl knew what I mean by soy milk, and my latte tasted a little funny. Who knows what ended up in my drink?!

I finished getting ready, talked to mom and dad, and left for work. When I arrived, I got all prepared, even doing the things I don't usually like read over the lessons entirely, and made the extra things like laminated cards. The laminating machine was so fun!

Classes were fairly normal. I officially can't stand my youngest kids. They are WILD, have waaay too much energy, absolutely no attention span, and have the blankest looks on their faces when I speak. My next group of kids is not much better, but the class is smaller. One girl, Belle, sometimes I wonder if she has much more than crickets going on in her head. She just stares. Today, I asked her to do her work, did she understand, and why wasn't she working? She just looked at me. Then she dropped her pencil, and when I asked her to pick it up, she looked at me like I was speaking another language. (Oh, wait... I was...) I knelt down and asked her in my most patient, simplest words, to pick up her pencil. She sat there frozen. I finally had to grab a Korean teacher to ask her to speak to Belle. The teacher had to stay the whole class to help her. Extremely frustrating. The other kids all get it. It's like some kids just don't try, don't care to learn, don't give a you-know-what that their parents are paying out the @$$ for them to come to this academy to learn English to have a better chance at a successful future!!!! *heavy, angry breathing going on as I type* Well, actually, all that is probably true, unfortunately.

My other classes got gradually better after that. The kids were extra-rowdy today. I guess they were as excited about the weekend as I was. My 2SAP girls took a quiz, which they all promised me they studied for, but I still had to not only give them a word bank, but break it up into sections so there was only 3-4 choices vs. 12 choices. Does this make sense? Like, instead of 12 words as options for #1-12, I said "#1-3 has these words as choices" etc. I was quite frustrated. I feel like I really try to help these kids, and they can't even do well then. Ah, such is the life of a teacher. We feel like we fail when our students fail. Or maybe that's just a rookie mistake.

Well, my last class was great, as it usually is. The boys were pretty hyper, but they all got 100s on both quizzes I gave them (Hallelujah!), and I was able to sit down at the table with them to work on most of the lesson. It's nice to sit down, and it's nice to be on a level with them. Maybe in Korea, this is frowned upon because the teacher seems less of an authority figure to be respected (they're all about the hierarchy), but in America I think it's a good thing. Teachers don't seem so cut off from the kids, like they are there to help and can be approached for help.

By 8:00pm, I was dancing another happy dance! I decided to make a significant effort to be friendly with my fellow foriegn teachers, and asked if anyone wanted to get dinner. We decided to go downstairs to the bottom floor of the building to get shabu-shabu. This was described to me as a soup. I will take you through my culinary journey...

First of all, we sit traditional Korean style: on the floor. Now, I'm all for the fung shui and all that, but my legs fall asleep and my back starts to ache after about 10 minutes of this business. But, when in Korea....

Thankfully, we had a Korean with us at dinner. She was able to order for us and we knew exactly what we were getting. (Well, Erin and Brian Teacher already knew since they've been here quite a few times before.)

We ordered, and they brought a bowl of broth and turned on the burner. Once the broth was nearly boiling, we added veggies. Once these had shrunk down to a normal size, we added the meat. The meat cooked very quickly, so we had our first "course" - meat and veggies. We had been given 2 bowls of spices/sauces, and I found that I really enjoyed one of them. Don't ask me what it was, because I have no idea. I greedily ate as much meat as I thought was socially acceptable, being that the whole table shared the pot.

After this "course" was finished, we let the broth heat back up and added a plate of noodles (flour, not rice, thankfully). Those cooked a while, and the broth became more of a gravy consistency. It was absolutely delicious. The best really Asian dish I've had so far (I would say "Korean" dish, but I don't think it is Korean... I think it's Japanese...).

After the noodle course, the waitress added some more broth (we were all sipping it, so it evaporated quickly), and when it was good and boiling, added the rice and egg concoction. It got very thick and was actually quite nice as well.

All in all, it was an extremely good dinner, and I tried a sip of "sansachun" which is some Korean wine made from "red fruits of the sansas" - anybody know what sansas are? Me either... It wasn't bad, though. Almost like a cider... I only had a small cup (and by Korean standards, when I say small, I mean less than a shot glass size), but I would like to try it again.

I left a bit early, giving some money to Sean for him to pay my portion of the meal, and headed home. I had left my phone at home, and felt naked without some form of communication. Mostly because Tab and I had briefly talked about our weekend plans this morning, and we hadn't decided anything when I left, so I wanted to get back and make sure she wasn't expecting me to be over there or something. And then, of course, I discovered my door is a POS and I need to get it fixed.

I decided to just stay in tonight, and good thing because it's raining now. I love that I can hear the pitter patter on my window. :) I found a few really cool things while I was procrastinating writing my blog. I love/am addicted to Instagram (photo taking app which puts cool filters on your pics). I have previously used Postagram, an app that takes your Instagram photos and turns them into postcards. It's awesome, because the price is less than buying a postcard here and mailing it, plus I can put my own photo on it! I brought to Korea a few Postagrams I had sent to myself and also received. I put one of the photos on my desk under the glass top at school, and I loved looking at it all day. I decided I wanted some more photos! So, I found two awesome websites: StickyGram and Printstagram.

StickyGram is a website that you can turn your Instagram photos into magnets! It's $15 for a sheet of 9 magnets. They also offer free worldwide shipping (awesome!!!!) and if you fancy getting some, use the code FRIENDA771 and you can get $2 off! I am super excited to get mine in the mail. I already have some photos on the fridge, but these will really help my room look more personal.

Printstagram is a website that you can get simple prints of your Instagram photos. You can do regular squares, or minis! You can also make albums and other goodies. I wanted regular squares to put on my desk, so I got a set of 24 prints for the incredible price of $12!! Unforunately, you do pay shipping here. To a US address is $7. But, including tax, my total was still less than $20. 

I am super excited to get all these photos in the mail! I am obsessed with Instagram, and I definitely see more orders for these prints in the future! **Sorry for the tangent about these companies, I am just so excited!**

I wonder what this weekend will have in store....


  1. That place looks like Melting Pot. When I saw the picture of the ice cream my jaw dropped. I made a weird sound was like uhhhghghh slurp.

  2. Seems the Korean children are no different than American children. Some are fast and love to learn, others are just crickets....That was something I've learned. No matter how diverse we are, we are still all the same..Japanese kids and teens are the same as American, they just look different, sorta....Your dad can attest to the wide range of minds children have and most could care less how much $$$ mom and dad pay. Until YOU pay for your education....then it changes things.

    glad you are venturing out into Korean food. We learned that sometimes, it is best to just eat it if it tastes good and DONT ASK WHAT IT IS.. you have no need to know... just eat...

  3. Wow - I thought of the Melting Pot as well, except I couldn't think of the name so thanks Michael!! Oh, and thanks to YOU Chelsea! You are doing great - we're all so excited for you. You are REALLY GOOD!! Yeah, I'm thinking its "in the genes". hahaha You have the most fantastic parents - why am I telling YOU that! You know, already! Love you and miss you not being an hour's flight away... sob Oh, onward to more News Reports. Thanks so much, it makes Life so much better when I see your latest adventure... Nana


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