Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Merry Christmas

I was dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know. Unfortunately, anytime we get snow in Ilsan, it is gone within a few hours. We did however, have a good Christmas celebration. On Christmas Eve, Sun took Christine and I out to lunch before work. He had asked us the day before if we would join him for lunch and not to tell anyone else that we were meeting. We spent the night wondering what this was about. Turns out, he just wanted to treat us to a nice lunch on Christmas Eve. We bought him a bottle of wine for Christmas from the grocery store across the street from L*Bridge. When I told him I didn't know if it was good or not, he simply stated, "It doesn't matter, it is alcohol. It will be good."

I had brought tangerines into work to give to all of the other teachers and quickly found out that I had been outdone by a long shot. We had three different cakes during our initial prep time. Later in the day, we all got pastries (something we used to get on a weekly basis until this last month). At the end of the day, someone else came in with a platter of cookies, kimbab, and sweet potatoes. I think most people forgot about the tangerines.

We came home Christmas Eve to find that the package from home had arrived. We tried to hold out and not open presents until Christmas, but midnight couldn't come soon enough. Our stockings were both stuffed with goodies and the presents were sitting under them just waiting to be opened. We opened presents at 11:00 PM on Christmas Eve. We got tons of goodies from each other and from home.

On Christmas Day, we had decided to eat at an International Buffet that we had seen earlier in the week. When we arrived at 6:30, we found out the wait was over 2 hours. I had planned to take full advantage of this buffet and hadn't eaten all day, so we decided to go somewhere else. We went to Wazzle to eat Chinese food instead. It was an incredibly nice restaurant with a great view of Western Dom.

While walking home, we bought a cake from one of the bakeries. Apparently, this is the thing to do on Christmas as almost everyone we saw was carrying a cake. We went home and indulged in a white cream cake before grading some papers for class tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Back by popular demand!

We have been informed numerous times that the blog has not been updated in a while and it is time for me to stop celebrating my 24th birthday. Life must move on after 24 I suppose…

Truth be told, Christine and I have been kept extremely busy both in work and leisure. Our first semester ended last week and we both got new schedules for the new semester. After one day of the new schedule, we both can tell this semester might be tougher than the previous. I have two more classes this semester (8 classes in a row on Wednesday) and Christine has been moved from a speaking teacher to a reading teacher. What was fun today was seeing some of the kids I had last semester in lower classes moving up to the next level. Some of my favorite students are in my class again making it that much more fun. I’ll talk more about L*Bridge and the students in a near future post. We have realized that after 3 months of being in Korea, we haven’t posted once about work.

Christine and I saw Jens Lekman in Hongdae this past weekend. I had only heard his music from Christine’s iTunes collection a few times but had a lot of fun at the concert. We got to the bar early enough that we were able to get pretty close to the stage. One of the opening bands was a cover band playing a lot of western rock music. I wished I had gotten a picture of these guys because they rocked! The small bar was packed (mostly foreigners) from front to back by the start of his show. It made me realize how many people in Korea teach English.

I have been bouldering at Bukhansan National Park almost on a weekly basis. The weather has stayed warm enough that I can still climb mid morning to evening without getting too cold. Unfortunately, this means I cannot climb before work anymore without climbing in 30 degree temperatures. I have met a group of people that have been developing the area for over a year now and have started climbing with them regularly. This past Sunday, I finally climbed a problem (Red Chili V3) that I had unsuccessfully attempted earlier this month. It is now the highlight of my climbing at Bukhansan.

One of the smaller boulders at the base of the River Beds at Bukhansan National Park.

About Me

We are both living in South Korea teaching English as a second language to elementary aged students. We arrived in September 2008 to work at L*Bridge for one year. It's like a reality TV show without the cameras and obscene backstabbing. See you in 2009!