Saturday, February 28, 2009

P.Y.T. (The JT version)

This Saturday I went to the wop wops (or what the Canadians around here call the "Boonies") to visit my lovely friend Rachel.
Pyeongtak is not actually in the wop wops, it is just far, far away from my place which is a mere bus, subway and another bus ride away. I was pleasantly suprised to actually find a nice hub of shops and cafes, rather than brown farmland.
I also discovered the greatest invention, which I had heard rumours of but had never seen before. Potatoes on a stick! Koreans do love their food on a stick, but nothing beats the cheesy, deep fried potato stick goodness. delicious!
Actually, Rachel saved me the trouble and blogged about the rest of our adventures right here. It was a lovely, warm day. Spring is here! Wahey!

Friday, February 27, 2009

ewsies

Last night we were having a goodbye dinner for one of my co-workers when Ashley and I decided to share a dish. We went to the chicken page and as the menu was completely in Korean, used the pictures to chose a meal that looked all delicious and cheesy.When it came to our table, we were like "oh man they gave us squid"...but no, it was chicken feet. Me no eaty. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

it's about time for some bullet points

* I am having one of those lazy weeks. I have quite a lot of wee things I want to get done and usually I get up and 7am and be all productive before work but at the moment it's just not happening. Dozing until 10am, not studying enough, or making things I want to make. Dar. I'll start tomorrow! I promise!

*It's the end of the semester this week which means I will be changing classrooms and getting new children. eeek (this could be a good or bad thing).
I have finished writing comments on my students reports this week and I was pretty harsh to some of them - key words being "distracted". "disrespectful" and "disappointing". heh heh.

* We are now learning verbs in Korean. I'm at the point for every new word I learn an old one pops out the back of my brain. I am onto my 4th flashcard book.

* It's actually getting warmer. For realsies. Today it is 12 degrees. From what I hear that is around the same as Dunedin at the moment. After 2 winters in a row I am really at the end of my tether with the cold.

* I really, really wish I could see The GRAD Show at the Blue Oyster Gallery.

* Did I tell you I am going to London again? In May! Yay! Just for another 10 days. I'm on the countdown: ~84 days to go~

*Jeez I probably don't need to tell you how pissed I am at the Otago University students yet again shitting (literally) all over our city. It just makes me cringe imagining corporates in Auckland, drinking together and blissfully reminiscing about all the couches they burned and that time they threw their shit on freshers at the toga parade when they were 'back at Otago Uni' still never realising the mess that the city had to clean up after the them. ARGH! from my 8 years at Selwyn College I truly know they'll never learn.
To see the chaos for realsies here is the news item and further coverage on Campbell Live.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

presents!

One of the best things about being overseas is receiving packages from my nearest and dearest.
At my work, they send you a wee pop up message when a package arrives and then everyone oogles jealously as you proudly hold your package - which totally means "Someone loves me!"
I just got the most loveliest package from my dear friend Rachel ~ it contained so many unexpected goodies!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

an amazing story

Many of you would know my beautiful pearl cluster 21st ring. It is one of the most priceless, special things that I own. Often when I get drunk I stare at it and think of how much I love it, sometimes I even do this when I am sober.
It is the kind of thing that when I am not wearing it I can visually picture wherever it is. Usually this is on my bedside table, so it is the last thing I take off and the first thing I see in the morning.

On Monday, I realised I couldn't see it. I looked, I could not see, I quietly stressed.
I had worn it on Sunday - it was either in my room or in Seoul somewhere. Shit.
The more I looked for it in my room, the more I couldn't find it. oh god. I felt like a piece of me was missing!

I got my thinking cap on. I needed to figure out whether I wore it to the baby shower on Sunday night. I knew my co-worker had filmed me during a game at the baby shower and in the video I was wearing it! Man I should be on CSI!

I moved my bed, I moved my fridge. This ring was in my room SOMEWHERE!
After no luck, I got my rubbish bin (which was full, smelly and long overdue to be taken outside) put plastic bags on my hands and went through it. I was disheartened at finding nothing but banana skins and tissues, almost giving up but then! a glint caught my eye and there it was my precious ring nestled amongst some porridge.

I can't freaking believe that I found it. Thank god I am semi lazy and hadn't taken out my rubbish. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Monday, February 23, 2009

a shower of the baby sort.


The whole evening was so cute I could barely handle it. We played many games involving toilet paper cas we had to guess the width of Shine's stomach and make adult nappies (har har!) and we even got to vote for the baby's English name (now that's some trust!)
Wee Alex will be born in May - this will be handy as I need a replacement sibling for my wee brother or sister being born in New Zealand at the same time.
I also was very please to be able to give him the Korean version of "Where the Wild Things Are" - the best book EVER!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

pishy pishy: COEX Aquarium




Fish are cool.
Otters are amazing.
Bats are creepy.
Sad penguins are not cool.

Friday, February 20, 2009

well, you can't please them all...


Translation:
Jenna teacher "don't like".
har har.

Monday, February 16, 2009

another squiggley weekend

My squiggley weekend started with me learning some more squiggely at Korean class. I'm working on numbers at the moment, soon when I ask in Korean how much something is I will be able to understand what the answer is.
Since it was Valentine's Day I had a romantic walk through Insadong and some romantic pancakes with Rachel and Kayla.
Later on, we headed to Miint in Hongdae for the Mix Tape party, we went to one of these parties in December and there was some amazing David Bowie and Velvet Underground tunes being played. However, this time there was unexpectedly terrible, terrible music so we left 5,000 down and highly disappointed.
The girls managed to convince me that going to a hip hop club was the next best idea. It wasn't. I was grinded up against by a many a U.S. military man and 12 year old looking Korean boys in giant basketball singlets. Men were actually wearing grills. This whole situation made me a amused but a little stressed.
Kayla and I decided to sleep at the Jimjilbang, which was very squiggley of us. It was very noisy and ended up getting quite cold...next time we will bring: blanket, eye mask, ear plugs. But so cheap and amazing to wake up and relax in the sauna to start the day.

Then, to end my squiggley weekend I met up with my new language exchange partner. The idea of a language exchange is that we speak Korean for one hour and then English for the next hour.
It worked really well and the thing I am most self concious about is speaking Korean so it was good to practice.
I got a taxi to the meeting on Sunday which happens to be at a church (this is what my lessons are held through). The driver (who had great english) was very pleased with me, "oh you such a nice teacher, you're so polite and you're going to church - very good". I didn't have the heart to tell him that I am not religious at all and I was just going to my lesson. Especially when I was stepping out of the car and he called out "Have a nice pray!"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

happy valentine's day my love!


I'm still hoping for the day they invent teleporting.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Student of the Day: Bowl Cut Boy

Recently, we had to choose students from each class to compete in the G.E.C. Global Star speech and spelling bee contest. The problem with this is that you may have several members from one class that are completely capable to compete and then other classes you would be scrapping the barrel for an English speaking student. No matter what, it is a big honour for the students to be chosen - especially for their parents.

In my junior 1 class that contains bowl cut boy, caversham boy, dyslexic boy and bowl cut boys tubby friend - bowl cut bowl was indeed the most talented of the bunch.

I really thought he wouldn't care about the contest and maybe not even show up because he can be such a shit sometimes but he was so cute and got really excited. He even bought a new shirt and pants and practiced his wee speech over and over again.
His whole family showed up on Global Star day and they were so freakin proud it was adorable. But when it came to speech time and he got on stage, in front of all those people, the poor wee dear just froze and ran off stage. It really broke my heart and I really felt like crying because he was so embarrassed and his family were so disappointed. I really hope it doesn't put him off English.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Student of the Day: Blacky

I have an extremely intelligent student who has absolutely no sense of humour and every time I speak to her she answers back like I am a mere irritation interrupting the extremely intelligent thoughts in her head.

Anyway, I asked her the other day if she had an English name...
"Yes, my name is Blacky."
"You mean like Becky?"
No, Blacky. I like Black."
No very P.C. but if it works for her, it works for her.

There were pictures of items in the students workbooks such as trees, matches, dog etc. and they were supposed to draw a picture of what they can do with each item. Below the dog, Blacky had drawn an extremely happy person sitting at an empty dinner plate.
"You like dog?" (I often forget I am in Korea so initially thought this was a joke)
"Yes, it's delicious". (I KNOW that people in Korea eat dog but this was said to me in such a deadpan straight, you irritate me face that is was quite funny.)


Ah Blacky. She's so funny without even trying.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

wee wees

I gave in and went to the doctor because I have scarily been feeling the same pain in my lower back, the same which I had before I got my kidney infection last November.
When I arrived at the doctor, the receptionist said in clear english "I remember you". No kidding, and she only saw the beginning of my hysterical crying after being told I was going into hospital.
Anyway, my doctor must of seen the fear in my eyes because after our consultation because she said "No hospital" and diagnosed me with cystitis. My years of being a lazy pee-er have caught up with me.
The pharmacist gave me a bunch of drugs and told me to drink "too much water" and rest which I will dutifully do - I don't want to be one of the women in the "depends" ads who do a wee bit of wee wees when their child jumps up and down saying "pick me up mummy".

Monday, February 9, 2009

domestic bliss

This is probably the most domestic and functional ceramics I have ever made, but look: Coffee? I have a cup! Flowers even? I have a vase!
After being scared of the pottery wheel for so many years, it is actually quite fun and I am in the midst of organising to do some more ceramics. Woot!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Korean/Soju/Weiners

After nursing a week of jet lag, I am now nursing a sweet soju hangover which is a sign of being back into things after a hazy, sleepy week in Korea.

I am back into Korean lessons which have just gone from basic baby steps to our teacher only speaking Korean. I need to up my study game! I am really enjoying it though, even though I think by the time that I actually learn conversation I will be finishing my contract. But I don't mind.

Last night I had a lovely Japanese dinner with Kayla and Jeff, then returned to one of my favourite, cozy Hongdae bars and had some delicious soju cocktails for Shannon's birthday. Many, many sojus later I took the last express bus home. 
I have always wondered what happened to people that sleep past their bus stop and last night I had the experience -  I woke up in god knows where, felt verrry lost for about 10 minutes, then got a taxi home. Inconvenient but not a massive deal.

Today in Korea it is the biggest the full moon will be this year. We were heading to Jade's for a pot luck and we happened to stumble upon this amazing festival where write down and put a wish in the bonfire then it floats up into the air and comes true. The festival was packed with families and it was so warmsies...we ate some candy floss and then went back to Jade's to cook some "weiners" on the roof.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Merry Waitangi x

OW I wish that I could claim a day off from teaching  since today is New Zealand's national holiday. Here is one of my favourite photos from Waitangi Day 2007 when my flatmate Fran and I had a picnic and went kite flying at Moeraki boulders. A beautiful day!
Kei te whakanui a Jenna i te ra o Waitangi.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Camp A Low Hum Blues.


Oh man, I probably shouldn't even blog over the next few days because most of you are on your way to sunny Camp A Low Hum. I wish soooo much that I was coming too! Meeemmmmmmooooorrrrrieeeeeeeeessssss! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Student of the Day: Erection Girl

Of course this wee girl didn't actually have an erection. But she had put her pencil in her pocket so it stuck straight up, didn't notice and started playing hop scotch. OH MY GOD I wish I had my camera! She's probably my smelliest kid and she's a bit strange, but I try to like her.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Post London Blues: A whiny post about Jet Lag.

I've never had jet lag before.
I mean, I thought I did when I moved to Korea but really there is only a 4 hour time difference between New Zealand and here.

Now I know what jet lag is.

I arrived in Korea yesterday quite exhausted. So exhausted in fact I had a sniffle at the airport when I tried to ask a question that couldn't be answered.
I then got the bus home, had a shower and then went straight to work. I feel asleep on my 20 minute break and had my co-teacher come find me because my students were sitting there for 20 minutes. whoopsie.
I finished work, kept myself awake until 10pm and went to sleep. I woke up every few hours and then at 6am for good. This does not make sense as at 6am in Korea and London I would be near sleeping time.
I fell asleep at 9.30am and barely made it to work on time.

I hate complaining how tired I am, I feel like it is a form of bragging because my amazing holiday made me so exhausted. But this is ridiculous. My body hates me.

Ok, so this was one of those complainy blogs that I try not to do so often. I will try and back this up with something positive as soon as I wake up properly. hmmm time to start teaching.

Monday, February 2, 2009

'ello Mushy Peas Special Edition #7: Fashion and Bus Rides

Things I noticed about fashion in London:
- There is an extreme case of people wearing fur coats. Vintage or fake of course.
- Extreme amounts of blusher on cheeks.
- Denim cut offs and tights. I've never been big on the shorts and tights thing - they're so much more fun in summer!
- Uggs. Everywhere. Noooooooooooooo! Keep them inside!!!
- Uncomfortable trendies. These people are dressed so cool I don't even think they realise who they are anymore.
- Hair in rollers. During the day I understand...but 4am on the bus home?

- Stu often blogs about London fashion here. I love this blog - it's hilarious.

Interesting sights on the bus ride from Shoreditch to Tottenham:
- A man obviously having a very bad day and spitting on a woman as he got off the bus. It was pretty disgusting.
- Hundreds of Hasidic Jews going to church. They were amazing
- The most pimped out old peoples scooter I have ever seen. I was so in awe I forgot to take a picture - it had a rain cover, fake flowers and everything!
- 5 men who were about to get on the bus punching the absolute shit out of each other.
- I thought that the staring only happened on public transport in Korea. This happens in London also but less obvious - people are always doing the glance and glance away stare. I bet there are so many fights from people thinking that someone is looking at them funny. I like Korea's version where you can have a good old stare without feeling creepy.