Week 20, 2017

I don’t really remember much from this past week. I forgot to write it down as it was happening…

Thursday one of my classes told me they were hungry and that I should buy them pizza… I told them no I shouldn’t and they should buy me pizza (jokingly of course). They asked why they should buy me food and I said because it will be my birthday on Friday. One of the students, Ann, was so excited at the idea that teachers have birthdays too. She told me she’d give a present to her little sister, Lisa, who is also one of my students on Friday. After we finished our lesson, she called her mom to tell her it was my birthday the following day. These kids are so precious sometimes.

Friday I turned 31.  As promised Ann’s little sister, Lisa, delivered the goods before classes started for the day. A cute treat bag full of candies. When class started, Lisa announced to the class that it was my birthday and asked them to sing Happy Birthday for me. I was in awe. Our former coworker came back from a three month excursion around Asia. Some of the kids were so confused at first. Others seemed to go crazy at the sight of her. The day went by relatively quickly. After work I went for a steak dinner and walked around the park. The school got me a super delicious cake for my birthday. 😎


Saturday I met the majority of my coworkers at Suwon Station. We were traveling to Jeonju by train. I’d never been on an intended long train ride in Korea. It was interesting but not that much different than a bus. The ride to Jeonju seemed to be going by really fast. We set out to find our lodging – a hanok. These traditional style buildings are so beautiful and interesting. The hanok we stayed at was very simple and cute. We went to wonder around and look at things around the area. Everyone, even the two dudes, got hair ornaments. Everyone except me got hearts. I got this sick hair pinwheel which was helping me make energy and brain power.


I took a photo of a random couple looking a tree that had surrounded a granite boulder while dressed in Hanbok. I took quite a few random photos.

We went to the night market. It was dirty and gross, like how I envision urban markets to be but haven’t really experienced. There was a giant pedestrian traffic jam and it was making me so anxious because the people were not moving. Later we went to a noraebang.

On Sunday, we woke up and went to get outfitted in Hanbok. The lady in the shop told me they wouldn’t have a jacket in my size and I could dress as a man. I anticipated this and was against dressing as a man. I either wanted to look like a pretty princess or look like my normal self. So I said no thank you and waited on the stairs while everyone else in the group found costumes. I was getting ready to go to a different shop and see if they had fat people sizes when the lady came out with a jacket and asked me to come try it. So I was outfitted in a navy blue Hanbok and ready to party. Except, it was exceptionally hot in that thing! We went to eat and explore more. I feel like I have never taken nor had that many photos taken of me in an hour and a half before. There was this super cute man who owned a coffee shop we stopped at that insisted on taking our photos with his own phone and offered to take photos of us on our phones as well. At first it was really creepy but it got more endearing as he suggested poses for us. Soon, it was time to return the hanbok and make our way to the train station to come back home.

Until next week,

B

Week 14, 2017

We started phone speaking this week. We have to call every student and ask them leveled conversation and speaking/reading questions for five minutes, after classes have ended. It makes the work week more hectic and rushed and everyone is so glad once it’s all over. I am a bit lucky because I don’t have to call the 36 students in the lowest level because that would just be disastrous. Buuut I do have 56 other students I have to call.

I got my eyebrows touched up last Friday and they’ve calmed down quite a bit since then, thankfully. They were embarrassingly too dark.

Wednesday I bought a ticket to the Hiphopplaya Festival in Seoul. I had been planning on going to this since February when I saw the tickets on a ticketing website but I had forgotten all about it and then I sent a majority of my money home so I wasn’t able to purchase a ticket and still pay bills and, you know, eat food. I was talking to my friend, 보라 , and she said I ~had~ to go. She sent me the money to buy the ticket!!! This was to be my birthday present. Ohmaigawd! Best birthday present in recent memory! So I ordered the ticket. I also asked my dad to take some money out of a savings account for me and put it in my American account so I could stay in Seoul and not have to worry about public transportation after the event.

Thursday I booked two nights at a hostel near Hapjeong Station in Seoul.

Friday my classes and phone speaking whizzed by and I was out the door, on the way to Seoul. I arrived at The Lazy Fox hostel shortly after 10:30 pm. I immediately took a shower because after taking a bus and two different trains, I was a sweaty mess. After, I went to the common room to chill and meet the others staying there. They were, of course, already several shots into soju. A majority of them decided to go out in Hongdae but I knew I had a full day ahead so I stayed behind.

Saturday came and I was nauseously excited. I got all my stuff and set out on my journey. I knew there was a shuttle bus but I couldn’t figure out where it picked people up at and I was too lazy to look into the matter further so I just took a taxi.

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The first set was Hash Swan, 김효은, and Changmo. I’m a bit sad I didn’t get more video of Hash Swan…

Changmo

The second set was Rhythm Power

After these first two sets, I got tired of being shoved and left the festival to get water because I was not about to pay music festival prices for bottled water…on the way back I saw this gem:

That is a little boy who doesn’t give a shit about anything and decided he’d had enough of skateboarding, plopped down on the ramp, and took a rest. I can relate to him.

After I reentered the venue, I claimed a plot in the picnic area and may have fallen asleep at some point. This was a great place to people watch though! I had a view of a man who was intoxicated beyond comprehension that was just feeling the vibes of the music.

I didn’t go back to the standing/shoving area until Jay Park and Loco came back on… by then it was dark and had gotten chilly so I was in need of the collective warmth.​

​ Jay Park, of course, did the ever predictable 몸매 where he takes off his shirt, shakes his ass, and does body rolls; but I’m not complaining – this is my second time seeing it in concert…

I left during the last set and caught the shuttle bus back to the subway and then to the hostel where a majority were planning on going to noraebang. I tagged along. It just added to the fun of my super long day.

The thing about staying at hostels is – you have to deal with other people’s bullshit. I stayed in a room with three sets of bunk beds. One of the girls kept ignoring her alarm so it would go off and automatically go to snooze. By the third time this happened at 4:30 in the morning, I swung down from the top bunk and screamed in her face that she should either get the fuck up or I was going to result to violently turning her alarm off for her. Another girl had the WORST body odor I have smelled in a long time. Also, when she took her shoes off at noraebang her feet were so rank… I semi-enjoy being able to pay $29 USD for two nights of sleeping in a tiny ass cot but that was just too much for me.

My olfactory glands had not yet recovered when, I boarded the train to come back home this morning I was again assaulted with b.o., poo, and feet smell. At first, I thought it was an old lady then I realized the train car was damn near empty further down. There was a homeless man passed out with his shoes off. He looked super dirty and had chunks of ??? idek in his hair. I had to put on my face mask to hide the fact that I was gagging. I did, in fact, throw up in my mouth on one occasion. Luckily, someone complained and the conductor came, woke the dude up, and got him off the train. Ooh did that smell linger though.

I made it home, got brunch, put some laundry in the washing machine, and took a two hour nap.

Weeks 5 & 6, 2017

Uhh… *scratches head* not a whole lot happened in the past two weeks. We went back to “normal” work hours.

My student, Daniel, likes to make jokes about me in class. He wrote this in his book:

My student, Cathy, drew me after she finished a test. See Mom, I wear the shirt you got me… I kind of have proof.

Suwon is hosting the U20 Soccer World Cup this May and they are pretty proud of it.

Last Saturday, I met up with a stranger from the internet to go to noraebang (karaoke) from an app called meetup. I’m a horrible singer and can only sing Disney songs so that’s what I stuck to. The dude stranger though… was an excellent singer. He also turned out to be exceptionally creepy/needy/annoying and kept alluding to coming over to my house. Thanks, but no thanks. *shudders*


If you know me, you know I’m not really a planner. I’m more of a last minute kind of gal. I bought this book to help with that. I don’t really have anywhere in this hemisphere I really feel like I need to go –  so maybe if I educate myself, that will change.

Friday my coworker helped me get a ticket to a concert the following day. There was some stipulation, to buy a foreigner ticket I had to have an international credit card… well, I don’t have one of those and only use Korean cards. So she helped me and after what felt like forever I got a ticket confirmation! I was so excited I felt like I was high.


So yesterday I went to the concert. I swear it took years to get there. I made friends with a little girl on the train who was sitting next to me. She kept tapping my arm and smiling at me. She pointed to my hair and I tilted my head so she could touch it. I finally get to the stop I need and I take the exit that was listed… but I have no idea what direction to go in. The concert was held in Olympic Park where the 1988 Olympics were held. Because I had no clue where I was supposed to be going and had time to kill, I wandered around a bit. I finally got worried and stopped a kind looking man to ask where I should be going and he didn’t know either. Haha! So I just kept walking and saw a bike rental place and asked the lady that was running it. She was very helpful.

I got to where I needed to be but there was an hour before the ticket booth opened for me to pick up my ticket. I looked around and bought some extremely overpriced merchandise. I assume they were doing a final soundcheck/test before the concert because the ground was shaking when I got there and you could hear the glass on the building rumbling from all the bass. I was convinced I was going to go deaf before I even got inside the building.


The ticket hut finally opened and then it was time to queue up in accordance to your section and ticket number. I was very impressed with the orderly queuing. I was also equally impressed with the women who were wearing mini skirts because I was wearing jeans and a down coat and I felt like I was going to die. We finally were allowed inside and I was super close to the stage! Aaah!

Technically, you weren’t supposed to take pictures but who follows rules like that? The security dudes were going their best to stop people but, pffft, that obviously didn’t work. We stood there for about an hour before the show started. Ohmaigawd it was so good.


And then after three hours it was over. ☹️😭 so I made my way out and found a taxi to take me home because I didn’t really want to take the bus and it’s a good thing I hadn’t eaten for nine hours or I would have probably thrown up, he was such a crazy driver. Unless you count magic, there is no way I should have gotten home as fast as I did… and that’s after he dropped off the two other girls I was sharing the taxi with.

 

Later, Hannah messaged me to ask me how the concert was… this is our conversation… lol

Today I didn’t really do anything special. Woke up. Cleaned entire micro apartment. Took out the recycling. Went to Suwon Station to eat and walk around. Came home.