Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yukhoe and some Hangul

This week has been really great. I've been writing mostly about Beijing, but in the mean time some awesome things have been happening as well. It was so nice to only work 3 days after I got back from China, and then have another weekend! On Saturday I got my hair highlighted again at Hair & Joy; it looks really good! It was at the point where my kids would ask me "Teacher, why is your hair brown here (points at roots) and yellow here (points at ends)?" In my defense, I think they only noticed it because they are so unused to seeing people with blonde hair. It probably looked like quite a contrast to them, but I don't think other westerners noticed THAT much....
Anyway, so after getting my hair done on Saturday, I met up with my coworkers (Erin, Casey, Sean, Jessica, and her BF Raf) and we saw A Good Day to Die Hard in 4D! Yes, you read that correctly: 4D. Korea is such a technology giant, they have developed some awesome stuff! The movie was alright, but the experience was great!

When the scenes were in a car chase or a plane ride, the seats moved and tilted a bit (nothing you need a seatbelt for). When someone got shot, there was a poke in your back from the seat. Sometimes, a little puff of air puffed on the side of your face (from the seat). And when someone fell into water, there was a very light fine mist sprayed at you. The only thing that was odd was it was not a 3D movie with these effects, just a regular movie plus those things. For some reason, I assumed it would be 3D too! (Because, don't you have to go past 3D to get to 4D???) Anyway, we all had a great time! I would definitely do it again.

When we left, Casey, Erin, and I went to Dongdaemun Market to get some knitting supplies. We ended up with 4 colors of yarn and some different size needles. While Casey, Erin and I had been talking about doing this for a few months, the decision to go was spur of the moment and I ended up a bit shell shocked when I walked away 50,000W poorer. But, we got some great yarn (good quality and nice color).

After we got home, we decided to get some dinner - BBQ in the neighborhood. This has become my favorite food here! After dinner, I showed them the puppy cafe (see previous posts) and we played with the dogs for a few hours. It was actually more fun with them there; we nicknamed all the dogs (Prince, Cupcakes, Nappy, and more...). It was relaxing and fun.

Finally, I fell into bed that evening after such a long day out and about. It's crazy how the hours just fly by, you don't even notice you've been out longer than if you'd been at work all day. But it's also quite satisfying, feeling like you really accomplished something and made the most of your day off.

Sunday was an even better day. I wrote 2 weeks ago about trying a new church, Onnuri. Well, Tab and I met up for lunch before the 4pm service. We went to a cute Italian restaurant and shared some pizza and pasta. We made it right on time, and the service was so great! I think we both really felt connected and at home, which is a welcome feeling since I haven't really connected to a Christian community since my arrival here.

After the service, I made Tab come with me to the "Welcome Committee" sign. We ended up in a little informational meeting with about a dozen other newbies. At our table was YeChan - a Korean who grew up in England who is in Korea to begin his conscripted military service; Miri - a Korean woman who has spent the past 5 years working in America as a graphic designer; and Henry - a Nigerian man who teaches English and was very passionate about piano and film making. After the meeting, we went for a coffee together, the 5 of us. It was a spontaneous and really fun outing. I ended up staying out til quite late. It was some fantastic conversation - lots of humorous stories and exchanges about the various cultural differences.

YeChan and I decided to go to dinner last night (Wednesday night) and we had a blast. We met at Konkuk University Station and went to a Korean restaurant for yukhoe, which is raw beef marinated in Korean sauce. It was interesting... it came with a bunch of sides (per Korean tradition). The sides included raw cow liver, and strips of the cow's stomach lining. I declined to try that, but enjoyed the rest of the meal. We had some more really fantastic conversation, comparing America v. Korea v. Britain. He also taught me a bit of Korean, since I have learned so little thus far. I can now count with relative ease, and know a few words for use in the cab (left, right, straight, back, and station). I was quite proud of my abilities!

At school today, my kids got their penpal letters from Texas! I can't remember if I've mentioned before, but I've been in contact with one of the Intermediate School teachers from my old school district, and we got our kids to do some pen-paling! My kids wrote the first batch of letters and now they've received their first letters back, and they were so excited!!!

And, tonight we had new teachers arrive! I've been in contact with the new afternoon teacher, Meghan, and finally got to meet her! We all had dinner together at the same place that I ate at my first night; thankfully we got better food! It was fun to meet Meghan and the other new morning teachers. Unfortunately, I am quite tired and declined to go to the noraebang in favor of catching up on some much needed sleep. I've also had quite a bad knot in the middle of my back, just a horribly knotted bunch of muscles. I am planning to go to get those worked out on Sunday before church.

Finally, tomorrow Tab and I will have a sleepover in preparation for Saturday's ski trip! That's right, I'm heading to Yongpyeong Ski Resort, the site of the 2018 Winter Olympics, for an all-day ski trip! Hopefully I make it back in one piece...

Until then --

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