Saturday, April 30, 2011

Incheon China Town

A bunch of us foreigners met to see Incheon China Town. It was the worst day weather wise since I’ve been in Korea, but it was still a good day. We met for lunch and then walked around and checked out the shops. There was supposed to be a festival, but the weather was just so bad I don’t think anyone showed up.

The restaurant where we ate.

Jiyeon and Jennifer at our table.

Hanging out in the rain

This would have been cool if it wasn't raining. Next time I'll go up there.

With the giant noodles, Jajung myung

Cool steps

Royal Wedding

Jennifer's door decorated.

Jennifer hosted a super cute party to watch the Royal Wedding on TV. We all got together at her apartment with tons of food and ate and watched some TV. Here are a few pictures of her place decorated and some people that attended. For some reason mustaches made it into the attire as well.

She even bought a cake that used the same ingredients as the one they were eating at the Royal Wedding!

Jamie and Stephanie and the other Stephanie creeping.

Kelly, Stephanie, Jiyeon and Matt with the mustash turned unibrow.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Seoul City Hall

The kids super excited for their field trip!

Big smile from Emily!

Today we went on a field trip to Seoul City Hall. This was an all day trip so basically I didn’t do much work today. I’m certainly not complaining. We saw a lot of diagrams, maps of Korea and currency from around the world. It was pretty cool. Then we had an indoor picnic of kimbap. That is a typical thing to bring for picnics or lunches. It is like a sushi roll, but it doesn’t have any raw fish. The kids also brought lots of snacks that they shared with each other and the teachers.

So, everytime we go on a field trip the school hires a professional photographer to take millions of pictures of them. Most of the pictures they look less than thrilled for. I guess at the end of the year they will make a big year book of all the pictures they take during the year.

I told them to make funny faces.

Playing with the abacus

Here is one of those class photos with them looking less than thrilled.

I can't get enough of Shawn! Especially when I ask him how he is doing in the morning and he tells me, "BEAUTIFUL!" :)


Emily's face on the man won. (10,000 won)

My face on the man won.

Our kimbap picnic.

Outside the City Hall in Seoul


On Saturday Ellen and I met in Insa-dong. It is a part of Seoul that is known for shopping for traditional Korean things. There are crafts, paintings, Hanboks (traditional Korean dresses) and more! There is a section where you can do your own crafts so together we made rings. You get to put little crushed confetti like pieces on the ring in your choice of color and then you shellac it with a quick drying clear glue. We then spent the rest of our time in Insa-dong walking around shopping and spending time at a little coffee shop.

Hard at work on our rings

She then invited me out with her friends in Bupyeong. Her best friend Jin Hee is now dating a guy who actually went to their middle school, but the girls didn’t know the guys then. I’ll call him Mr. Jung, since he said that’s his English name (also known as his family name with Mr. in front). Mr. Jung brought along his friend Brandon, who also asked that I call him by his English name. Either way that makes it easier for me since I can’t remember their Korean names anyways.

The Koreans with the waeguken

Well, we went to a Soju house, which is a typical bar/restaurant where you can get all sorts of food and drinks. We got some typical dishes of dokbouki, fried eggs (aka omelets), fruit platters and squid. The guys made sure the food kept coming as quickly as they were finishing bottles of soju. When we first got there the guys were pretty shy and you could tell they felt really uncomfortable practicing their English in front of a waeguken (aka foreigner). I had already met Jin Hee before, and I knew she wasn’t comfortable speaking English very much. However, once the guys were about 3 bottles of soju deep they didn’t want to stop speaking English. They said I was the first foreigner they really got to hang out with, so they were really enjoying their night. It was a lot of fun for all of us so we ended up staying pretty late, but luckily Ellen and I were able to catch the last subway home.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I love spring

I love flowers and I love spring! Ahh so beautiful!

Some flowers that I see on my walk to school :)


So, now that the weather is getting warmer you see more and more bikes. Everyone seems to have a bike so I decided I should get one. There is a really nice bike shop that is connected to my building so I decided to stop in. I wasn’t really sure where I would keep the bike and I really just wanted it to get from point A to point B so I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars, and well, these bikes were thousands of dollars. I was asking the people that worked there for the least expensive and maybe if they had any used bikes. They didn’t but they kindly pointed me across the street to a shop that was less expensive and more for the bikes with the giant baskets attached in pastel colors. This was definitely what I was looking for since I have no desire to keep up with Lance Armstrong while I’m in Korea.

I chose the least expensive used bike the guy had and he let me test it out right in the store. I was really nervous I was going to ride right into all the display bikes, but luckily I survived and told him I would take it. I said I wanted to buy a basket too so he threw in the lock for free! I got the bike, lock and basket for 60,000 Won -- not too bad! He tuned it up and attached the basket for me and I was on my way. Here’s a picture of my sweet new ride!

I caught the end of my class's violin lesson. It was probably one of the worst sounds I've heard in a while - 12 five year olds trying to learn the violin, but it was certainly worth a picture!

Hello Kitty

On Sunday afternoon I took the bus into Hongdae. I was told there are often art students displaying and selling their work in the park and I wanted to check it out. The bus was really easy and dropped me off at the same stop as the subway. I took a stroll through the streets of Hongdae getting things to eat along the way and just looking at the shops. The students were mostly selling jewelry, bags and notebooks. There were some that would draw you or had painted bags and clothing.

I then stopped into the Hello Kitty CafĂ©. It’s a bright pink building and everything is Hello Kitty. They have waffle desserts and cheese cakes in the shape of Hello Kitty and every beverage comes with a little Hello Kitty on it in cocoa or some other powdered flavoring. They also sell all different dressed up Hello Kitty dolls, trinkets and keychains.

The building - it's hard to miss!

The inside

The tables

How cute J