Playing Catch-up


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Asia » South Korea » Gwangju
September 5th 2006
Published: September 5th 2006
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Hello, goodbye, thank you and stop here! are the only Korean words I have learned in two months. I came here in June ready to master the alphabet in a week and move on to full sentences. Of course my arrogance bit me in the ass as I still only know four words/phrases. In fact, the lady at Paris Baugette, the best bread place I've found, enjoys laughing at me everytime I try new words. We have a love/hate relationship.

So this blog is an array of topics and pictures, none of which relate, except that they are about South Korea. It's been a little over two months since I've been here. I remember arriving at the airport and feeling like my heart was going to explode because I finally followed through with traveling abroad. Immediatley perfect strangers were approaching me and assisting my bewildered face in the right direction. And ever since, I have experienced pure hospitality from Koreans (except one instance, right Tara!).

Unfortunately, I am very good at bringing my old habits and life with me. Hence the mulititude of pictures at the bar (Mike and Daves....they have crown, enough said). Yes, I am something of an alcoholic, and being in a completely foreign place has given me reason enough to continue slamming those crown and cokes. Along the way, though, I am meeting some very interesting characters. I've definitely mastered the "first five" when meeting someone.

1. What's your name?
2. Where ya from?
3. How long ya been here?
4. NOT what do you do? But, What hogwon do you work at?
5. How old are you?

If someone is not a teacher, everybody zooms in on like bees on honey. Did meet some cute baseball players once, thanks to Liam, but they left early, the bastards.

I did try to break out the shell of my apartment by going to the Kwangju National Museum. What a delight for a dollar, yep. Lots of buddhist statues, swords, jewlery, tombs, and other artifacts. I really liked the jar coffins, and not just because they looked like giant penises. A much better idea than a coffin if you ask me.

In August, the scorchingly hot weather (yes even for a Cali girl) pressured us to go to the local water park, Family Land. So, Tara, Phiphi (not Phebe, Tara), and I had
Phiphi & ??Phiphi & ??Phiphi & ??

Sometimes it's hard to fight off the good lookin ones, right Phiphi?!
one excellent adventure in the park; however, we didn't think to bring caps (stupid us) and were whistled out of the adult pool and shunned to the kitty pool. Phiphi refused to get in the pool, and Tara and I are white as ghosts, so we got a record number of stares and giggles. Laugh away little children! Still, not bad and definitely refreshing.

The last pictures are of some of my little ones at school. I am very thankful to be in a school with good discipline and trustworthy owners (from Canada, of course). The kids are very energetic all of the time!! Which is okay by me since I had the exact opposite problem with my middle schoolers back home. Compared to back home, teaching here is not near as stressful and still equally rewarding. The students I've had are respectful and so quick! I'm loving it, and that is after all, why I came here.

I'm going to Pusan this weekend, so I will post pictures soon!





Additional photos below
Photos: 30, Displayed: 24


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Liam & MeLiam & Me
Liam & Me

We are acutally quite cordial before the alcohol sets in!
Mr Ray and his TongueMr Ray and his Tongue
Mr Ray and his Tongue

Mr. Ray preying on the innocent :P
Tara & RobTara & Rob
Tara & Rob

Right back at cha
Rob & Yoo YoungRob & Yoo Young
Rob & Yoo Young

Such a lovely couple
Gwangju National MuseumGwangju National Museum
Gwangju National Museum

Entrance to museum
Seated Buddha, Iron Seated Buddha, Iron
Seated Buddha, Iron

Goreyo, Dynasty 11th -12th Century
Polished Stone DaggersPolished Stone Daggers
Polished Stone Daggers

Bronze Age, 7th- 3rd Century
Jar-CoffinsJar-Coffins
Jar-Coffins

Hmmm....sure they are
5-Story Stone Pagoda5-Story Stone Pagoda
5-Story Stone Pagoda

Once used as watch towers; spirtually significant to some; nice attraction
Family Land Entrance (Tara & Phiphi)Family Land Entrance (Tara & Phiphi)
Family Land Entrance (Tara & Phiphi)

And the water adventure begins
It's PhiphiIt's Phiphi
It's Phiphi

And this is where she will remain for the whole day.
The Kiddie PoolThe Kiddie Pool
The Kiddie Pool

One of the only pools we were granted permission to enter.
Smile Kids!!Smile Kids!!
Smile Kids!!

One of my younger, beginner groups. Simply adorable, or so it seems.


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