Tuesday, May 31, 2011

40 Days: The sauna-issue (Day 23)

Going to a spa at home is pretty expensive, but you get massages, face masks and mud baths. And that is only a few of the fabulous treatments available. Going to a spa in Korea is a whole different story.

Monday, May 30, 2011

40 Days: The Oranges (Day 24)

Out of all five the classes I teach here at Wonderland, I have had the most trouble with Orange Tree, the 7-year olds. From their discipline (or rather lack of) to their mothers who are never satisfied with anything. They are by far the most difficult class that I've ever had to teach.

40 Days: When life gives you Lemons (Day 25)

On a fieldtrip with Lemon tree. All pictures on this page
are courtesy of Roy Cruz
I am the homeroom teacher to the Lemon Tree class. They are the 6-year olds. At least in name. This means I eat lunch with them. That's all. I'm not going to bore you (again) with a description of every single child in that class, but a few should be mentioned.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

40 Days: My cherries (Day 26)

Teachers aren't supposed to have favourites. They aren't. But, as all all teachers know, that is easier said than done. Some children have the ability to steal your heart from day one. (And some make you want to punch them from day one, but that is a post for another day.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

40 Days: It's all Peachy. (Day 27)

The 5-year olds are my favourites to teach. They are not babies anymore, but they are still cute and playful. There are 2 classes for the 5-year olds at Wonderland: Peach Tree and Cherry Tree.

Monday, May 23, 2011

(Sm)All-things Sundays: I didn't feel like it.

By now it is pretty obvious that I like running. What is less obvious is that, even though I love it, I suffer every time I do it.

40 Days: The Apples (Day 28)

At Wonderland, we have 5 classes. Talking about all of them in one blog post would be unfair and an info overload. So I will post about them separately. Our baby class is called Apple Tree. Their Korean age is 4, but their Western ages are either 2 or 3. They are small! There are 5 babies in that class: Garnet, Alex, Dana, Olivia and Boa.

Friday, May 20, 2011

40 Days: No man is an island. (Day 29)

"No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee." - John Donne

Thursday, May 19, 2011

40 Days: One pot, many dishes. (Day 30)

Sunday was my friend, Terisha's birthday, so the Saturday night we went out for dinner. I have been trying to introduce her to new Korean meals every now and again.

On Saturday night, we had Shabu-shabu and that was when I realize that I can't appreciate Korea, without appreciating the food. And I can't appreciate the food if I try and lump all of my favourite meals into one blog post. Thus, this will be the first in a series about my favourite Korean dishes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

40 Days: Anything but empty (Day 31)

In Episode 10, Season 1 of "How I met your Mother", Ted loses his memory spectacularly. In one of the flashbacks of the disastrous night, we see him asking a girl if she knew that "Karaoke was not invented by someone named Kerry Okie, but is Japanese for Empty Orchestra". In Korea, we have a Norebangs and norebanging is anything but an empty experience.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

40 Days: Cake is for eating. (Day 32)

I haven't met many people who don't like cake..and the Koreans are no exception! In fact, they love cake so much that they give each other cake for birthdays, moving house, when they travel, when they come back, when they are sick, when they get promoted, etc. I don't blame them. Korea does great cake! They decorate it with chocolate and rich (but not sweet) cream. And the cake is always nice and moist.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

40 Days: NETworking (Day 33)

Prior to coming to Korea I had a Facebook profile, but rarely used it more than once a week. I knew about blogging, but I couldn't be bothered to read someone else's or write my own and any information, inspiration or interaction I needed, could be achieved by phoning a friend (or doing some guesswork.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

40 Days: The gift of GRUB (Day 34)

Korea by day looks just like home. It has high-rise buildings, cars driving, people walking. Korea at night transforms into a neon-lit hornets nest of activity. One of my favourite elements of this busyness is the street-food vendors.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

40 Days: I love it when you talk foreign (Day 35)

There are lots of theories about the signs / t-shirts / stationary that are so readily available all over Korea. One theory is that the bad English (or Konglish as it is fondly known) is the result of an individual with bad handwriting copying words or phrases. Another theory is that Korean phrases are directly translated into English and slapped onto merchandise. One more theory suggests that these words were thought up by foreigners, who know exactly the amount of entertainment value that Konglish has to offer.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

40 Days: Under the kimchi coloured sky (Day 36)

Last night I went running at 10:30. Not only did I need to train for my 5km race this upcoming Saturday, I also had a lot on my mind. I was busy all evening and by the time I realized I needed to run, it was well after 10pm. Unfortunately, the gym I go to closes at 10, but luckily I live in Korea. Korea is known for being "well-being" obsessed  and there are tracks and outdoor fitness equipment all over the place. So, when the desire hit, I got on my Soju Sookie, drove to the tartan track behind the Duksan apartments, put in my earphones and ran my little heart out.