Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Thanksgivings

Friday night was spent with the Pension Gang (aka Angelique, J.O., Charlie, James, Neville, James, Charlotte) at Angelique's home near Itaewon. Angelique slaved over the stove all day and prepared an amazing spread (even the delicious sweet potato/marshmallow casserole!). It was a cozy, familial occasion that would warm the heart. And although I lost Family Feud I still had a wonderful time.
Angelique's Feast

Saturday was spent in Anyang at Jamie's, this time with Jamie, Mindy, Justin, Laura and about 20 other people. The food again was mahvelous and we had a fierce round of Trivial Pursuit going for a few hours. Not to mention we capped off the evening with some good ol' noraebang.

Pulling off meat from a turkey carcass
Happy Slapsgiving!

The surviving bunch of the night
 I know I may be a little late in saying this, but I am thankful for my life, my friends, my family, my health (although my damn lingering cough is going absolutely nowhere), and the experiences that I've had these past 27 years. You can't and shouldn't know exactly where life will lead you. If life's surprises stop coming, you'd eventually run out of things to be thankful for.

it's da bomb?

Last week, those cray cray NKers shelled Yeonpyeong Island resulting in 2 casualties and about 20 injured. Not cool, guys. Not cool.

The world was all:

But we were like:

 As you can see, it ain't nothin' but an SK thang.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Letter to the President

Dear Mr. President,

Under normal circumstances I would be totally psyched for your visit to South Korea. Like last time, when you came to Korea and I told my students that the great thing about being American was that if you were in a foreign country at the same time as the President, you would get together with all of us expats and we would have an awesome pizza party (Yellow Class is STILL jealous). However, you could not have chosen a most inopportune time.

I have unsuccessfully (thrice!) attempted to get a replacement phone for the one that fell out of my bag. The first time, the "nice" folks at LG laughed in my face when I tried to get them to hook up Liz's old SK phone. The second time, I went to Yongsan, starving and cold (remember the ol' Teal line?) I walked away with my head in my hands crying in a cab. Now tonight. I was all set with a fierce determination to "get 'er done."

As I headed out of the YBM building, a portentous sky over head, rain pouring down and lightning flashing mere feet ahead of me, I braved the rain and wind to get onto the 730 bus to transfer to the 405. I would go to the cat shelter first and then head to Yongsan after. My Ugg boots have soaked through and I've got soggy socks.

However, we get to Seobingo and there is a hemorrhage of cars and police blockades everywhere. Seobingo is impossible to penetrate, our bus driver makes a u-turn into the other direction. Somehow I make it into Itaewon and after a nourishing meal of nachos supreme, I look out the window and see a stream of Korean police, in their riot gear and bright neon yellow outfits. W.T.F. I go to a cab and try to hail one to Yongsan and he tells me to get on the subway. I go to the subway and there are policemen blocking the exits. Defeated I get into a cab and head back home to Seocho.

Luckily I had an awesome cab driver who lifted my spirits. God bless these cab drivers. Honestly. We converse about the G-20 summit, the reunification of Korea. Kimchi chiggae, noraebangs, Peperro Day. How Korea is the best (out of China and Japan). Texas Rangers.

Back to the point, Obama. If it weren't for your dang Veteran's Day speech to the troops on base at Yongsan, I might be home with a replacement phone that has been more trouble to get than it should be. Korea is the land of KONVENIENCE! So why the heck is this so impossible? Because of YOU, Obama. Because of you.

 I'm sorry, I didn't mean it. Tell you what, if you want, I can still show you the most awesome place to get spicy bulgogi and then we can go get some Vinyl tomorrow night ok? Just play hooky with those boring old foggies and we'll call it even. Oh wait. You can't call me cuz I don't have a phone. Guess you'll have to email me like EVERYONE ELSE.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Happy Pepero Day,

Our friend, Wikipedia, says that Pepero Day " is an observance in South Korea similar to Valentine's Day."

So in addition to Valentine's Day (adopted by most young ROKers) and White Day, there's another holiday added to the roster where cutesy presents and gifts can come out in full force. Not that I'm bitter though, because I know all my students are gonna get me all hopped up on chocolate. See, that's the great thing about being a teacher. I get 10 dates instead of one... :-p

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Dear Korea,

So I guess we'd eventually come to this point, but I just wanna give you a big, huge, monumental middle finger right now. I think I'm getting sick. I don't have a phone. And I cried in a cab today. Are you happy?! I cried in a cab!

I don't think this Southern girl is going to ever get used to the lightening speed temperature changes you have. And lord knows I'm not getting any younger so you need to be a little kinder to this body right here. I do not appreciate freezing my red butt off at Ichon Station to get to Yongsan (I'm looking at YOU friggin slow TEAL line. Teal line. ha. what a joke). I especially do not appreciate freezing my red butt off when said trek to Yongsan is fruitless.

I know it was my fault for losing my phone. Well honestly, it was the cute messenger bag's fault that I bought at YOUR store, Accessorize. Who knew that zippers are more function than form? I've been trying super duper hard to get a replacement phone but you are making it more than impossible for me to do this. Cut. me. some. slack.

My poor cab driver thought I was crazy. Would he think that correcting me on how to properly say, "Turn right after the subway stop" would set waterworks off on his fare? Doubt it, otherwise he wouldn't have. But he did. And it set this girl here, the one who has been madly in love with you, off like a bomb. Then he tries not to look disgusted as I give him soggy money that I used to wipe my nose.

Is this just the delayed crest of my prolonged honeymoon period? Or is it a signal that it's (finally) time to go home?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Better Daughter

Sometimes in the morning I am petrified and can't move
Awake but cannot open my eyes
And the weight is crushing down on my lungs
I know I can't breathe
And hope someone will save me this time
And your mother's still callin you insane and high
Swearin it's different this time
And you tell her to give in to the demons that possess her
That god never blessed her insides
Then you hang up the phone and feel badly for upsetting things
Crawl back into bed to dream of a time
When your heart was open wide and you love things just because
Like the sick and dying

And sometimes when you're on
You're really fuckin on
And your friends they sing along
And they love you
But the lows are so extreme
That the good seems fuckin cheap
And it teases you for weeks in its absence
But you'll fight and you'll make it through
You'll fake it if you have to
And you'll show up for work with a smile
You'll be better
And You'll be smarter
And More grown up and a better daughter or son
And a real good friend
And you'll be awake
You'll be alert
You'll be positive though it hurts
And you'll laugh and embrace all your friends
And you'll be a real good listener
You'll be honest
You'll be brave
You'll be handsome and you'll be beautiful
You'll be happy

Your ship may be comin in
You're weak but not givin in
To the cries and the wails of the valley below
And your ship may be comin in
You're weak but not givin in
And you'll fight it you'll go out fightin all of em

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Haunted Crackhouse

Usually you think of a crackhouse when you think of a house filled with about a hundred garbage bags, shredded toilet paper, and blood (red paint) everywhere, amright? But no, these were the materials we had, as Tim Gunn would say, to "make it work."

And make it work we did. We spent many hours erecting a maze using trashbags as the walls. We used lots of poster board and red paint. We were clever enough to use the shredded toilet paper from the Mummy Wrap activity an hour before. And behold, YBM's House of Horrors was born!!!