Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Every day...

I'm just kidding. But as predicted, I've got all my work done up to next Wednesday and there's 2 hours to go of this workday. I was warned that I'd be doing some deskwarming, so whatever. It's not a big deal, I'm just bored and it's a beautiful fall day outside and I want to go for a bike ride and have a picnic by the river. Oh ya! My bike is fixed. THe crusty old Korean man fixed it without saying a word basically, for free, and then shooed me away. Luckily, the man who owns the garage right beside the bike place was a little more curious about the foreigner with a broken bike and also I said hi to his 5 year old daughter the other day, so he likes me now. He informed me through gestures that I can't change the front set of gears, only the back ones. Which is kind of funny because that's EXACTLY what my crappy Toronto bike was like too. So it all worked out far better than I thought it was going to.

I was trying to think yesterday of something I could write about that wouldn't be totally boring for somebody like you to read. I think probably, knowing my family, what would go over well for sure is a day in the life! edition. I'm basically one of those day-time people now that carry about their business during daylight and only sleep until the afternoon on weekends. Which I'm totally OK with. I haven't reached the point of waking up before 6 to go for a run haha. I'm saving that for my 30s. OK, here goes.

I wake up at 6:30 am. I'm not good at rushing in the morning...I like to be lazy and eat a nice breakfast and drink a cup of tea and check up on the world and take longer than necessary to decide what to wear. Oh, it may also interest some of you to know that, similar to China, I don't have a shower. Just a shower head attached to the faucet on my sink. Which means there is a very high risk of accidentally getting showered on when I go to brush my teeth in the morning after I've got my clothes on. This is an issue haha. I seem to be incapable of learning this lesson...

I leave my house anywhere between 7:50 and 8:05...although I really should be aiming for 7:55. It all depends on whether I take a clothes on shower by accident or not haha. The morning also seems to be the best time to catch Canada on the internets and I usually have to cut off a conversation that I'm REALLY enjoying and so I leave late.

Get to school HOPEFULLY around 8:30am. Both the schools I'm at are really chill. I think I would have to be REALLY late to get in any kind of trouble for it. At one school the other teacher is always late a solid 15-20 minutes haha! Sometimes I think she isn't going to make it, and I will have these kids that barely speak English with no help from the computer, which I don't know the password for...and these kids are nuts. All hormonal and crazy. Being a preteen ain't easy. But she always shows up just in time, so it's ok.

Next, I generally teach classes all or almost all morning. 4 of them. Then lunch. Let me tell you about how much I love lunch here: LUNCH IS AWESOME. Basically, there is a caf that cooks food for the kids and the staff. The younger kids eat for free, the older kids have to pay a bit although I hear that all of them will get free food starting next year. I have to pay for it too, but not very much. And it's totally delicious Korean food. There is always rice, always kimchi, always soup. Usually there is something that tastes like fish, something that is too spicy for me to eat very much of and something that is pork/beef/chicken. And I gotta be honest. It's better than Chinese food. It just is.

Usually in the afternoon I have at most one class right after lunch. Then I'm at my desk until 4:30. Usually I've totally got stuff to work on for classes the next day and stuff, but because of this whole entire day of just sitting here I'm pretty caught up on everything. You know what I could/should be doing and will maybe do some of after I'm done this post? Learn Korean. Wouldn't that be smart? And a good use of my time?

I get home from work around 5 and usually don't do anything super exciting after that. Might go grab some dinner with friends, might go buy some things I'm still missing for my place from my favourite dollar store, might do laundry...stuff like that.

Weekends have been a lot more varied for sure. There's definitely enough going on in Daejeon to keep me interested. This weekend is a wine festival thing...which is awweesommme. I've been to Seoul a couple of nights to visit a friend I know from Toronto there...been to a city called Suwon a couple of times to visit another friend and go to a huge music festival...been to the south coast, and planning a Busan trip for Halloween. The trains in Korea are great so getting around is super easy and inexpensive...UNLIKE CANADA!! I think I've also mentioned somewhere before about how bars don't close...makes weekends verrrrryyy interesting!

Special Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Belated Thanksgiving Canada! I haven't really done anything to celebrate it here to be honest. Last year I skyped into the g-rents place and said hi to everyone (and blew my great Uncle Jim's mind with the wonders of technology haha), but this year the time difference wasn't going to work out. I think hands-down mine and everyone else's favourite part of Thanksgiving is the food. I hadn't really been thinking about it, but then some jerk somewhere must've reminded me of the existence of pumpkin pie, and now all I can think about is pumpkin pie. Apparently I can get it at Costco, but honestly, I know I will just be disappointed by it. Pie that you buy is ALWAYS unfulfilling. Oh well. I hope everyone else enjoyed their pie this weekend, including my stupid brat brother and his entire pie that he probably won't even eat all of.

What else is new? You're getting a surprise blog post because I'm bored at work. Because tomorrow is a field trip day and all the kids I teach are going to Seoul to watch a movie and look at a building? I don't know they didn't explain very well. Not only do they not speak English, they are 11. Getting information from them is not easy. So I have nothing to prepare for tomorrow, and my coteacher are gone, and I'm all alone and I'm soo boorrrrrreeed. And of course there are things I could be doing, like making sure my money transfer worked or trying to learn Korean or looking up FLIGHTS TO THAILAND or something like that, but I don't feel like doing it. I feel like communicating with people and maybe even interacting with them. So here we are.

On Monday I bought a bike. On Tuesday I broke it. I tried to shift gears and I mangled the thing that feeds the chain into the gears and also the plastic bit that protects the gears. Bent and snapped respectively. I bought it from one of those crappy little shady bike shops for about 50 bucks, which is really cheap for a bike here. Probably a bad idea all in all. The guy didn't speak English at all and he looked kind of annoyed the entire time I was trying to buy it. So now I am trying to work up the motivation to take it back to him and try to get a refund, or at least get him to buy it back from me for slightly cheaper if that's what I have to settle for. And if that doesn't work I'm going to just leave it outside and hope that someone steals it...which seems like the least amount of effort anyway. My roomate in Toronto was really smart with soon as it happened I was like "AGH Pete would know what to do!" So Toronto gets to score a point over Korea in the bikes department. That's Korea 10 and Toronto, like, 2.

There is a Wine Festival this weekend, which should be a good time! The weather is warmer here than back home but it's cooling off pretty fast. I've still been getting away with no jacket and bare feet, so I am completely content. I need to start thinking of a costume for Halloween...any ideas let me know. I also need/want to start thinking about/planning my winter vacation time. All I know for sure is that I'm going somewhere warm. China can wait until it's not freezing cold like I know it will be. I'm thinking Thailand Cambodia maybe Vietnam? I only have 2 weeks, so I don't want to stretch it too thin ya know?

OK that's likely all for now, workday coming to an end :) Thanks for tuning in, I'll see ya'll next time around. Hell, maybe tomorrow. Maybe I will write TWO posts tomorrow. I'm gonna be super bored. Apparently only the 2nd and 1st graders will be here with their teachers...everyone else in the damn school is gone. Maybe they will let me hang out with the first graders haha

OK, much love!


Thursday, October 4, 2012


HI THERE! I have things worth updating you about. Promise it's interesting. First and foremost, one of my best friends had a baby last weekend in Toronto! Baby and mom are both healthy and beautiful! I was receiving updates from various sources on this event while on vacation. Chuseok is basically the equivalent of our Thanksgiving, and this year we were lucky enough to squeeze a 5 day weekend out of it! 5 days is plenty of time to go on a little trip somewhere! We found an organized trip for not a bad price that a bunch of people we met at our orientation were going on too. We went down to Namhae Island from Saturday until Wednesday. Namhae is technically attached to the mainland via a huge bridge so we bussed all the way there. The first morning we hiked up a mountain to see a temple then went to a beach. Then there was a fire on the beach, because I wandered off looking for firewood like the true hunter-gatherer I am! You can't hang out on a beach at night without a fire amirite? The next day we switched lodgings to move closer to a town where the rest of our activities were planned. Here we went kayaking, but because they ran out of kayaks, 4 of my friends and I piled into a 3 person canoe (recap- there were 5 of us) and we paddled out into the sea. We didn't even tip over! It was a glorious success. The last day of the trip there was an Oktoberfest being held in this German village that was created for Koreans who had lived in Germany to learn the secrets of being efficient or something (that's gotta be pretty close haha). Anyway, Oktoberfest, complete with German beer and sausage and I think schnitzel too! We spent the whole day there and listened to Koreans yodelling and watched them dance to polka. It was probably the best day ever. The next day was Wednesday and time to come home. It was a long and harrowing bus trip...I was in pretty rough shape, particularly after Oktoberfest the day before (as you can imagine). Today I had to go to work, and it was paaaainnfullll. I call it vacation hangover...that first day after you get back from vacation and you're all tired and unimpressed with your regular life. Luckily I only have to go back to work for 2 days before the next big party! This weekend is Global Gathering Korea, which means dancing all weekend to lots of great DJs, including Guetta!!!! Who I swear is crazy famous, but if you don't know who he is don't worry, neither did Mom hehe. I'll likely update you on that one too. I'm pretty proud of how short I've managed to keep this exciting post, so I'm gonna keep it that way. If there are anythings in particular you want me to talk about in the next blog LEMME KNOW!!! I just want to keep you, the reader, satisfied and also entertained.