Remember my first Korean lesson way back in March? Well, school’s back in session!
My old Coworker and I have been exchanging emails and on our last one, we both noted how his English has taken a slight nosedive so a deal was put into effect once more: he would get to practice his English through our emails and I pretty much demanded that he teach me and allow me to practice Korean. He got right into it, haha.
Although it is on the more basic side, I decided since I’ve never taken a formal Korean language class before, I might as well start from the bottom to build up a somewhat stable foundation.
Like he stated before he began — from today let’s practice korean little bit.
** All names, if any, are made up.
*** Content has been cleaned up and organised for your viewing and my reviewing pleasure.
**** Somewhat off-topic: I actually learned how to write the HTML code for tables just for this post. ^^ I hate formatting.
An Introduction to
Very Simple Sentences
In an attempt to pull myself out of these seemingly random waves of South Korea Withdrawal, I’ve commence to put into action a series of events and happenings that will slowly, but surely, take me back to liking America again. This will be code named Operation Bubbles and the first part is actually here, on my new wordpress called Pi-ary.
I had heard about this awesome idea of recording one’s life one day at a time through a picture per day. I will essentially be doing this but I will start of with a picture per day that will showcase something – anything that I missed in America. Hopefully, this will pull me out of these feelings of sadness that overcomes me…
…like when I needed to empty my bladder the night before and was reaching for the button on the side of the toilet (Korea) as opposed to the lever in the front (US)…
…and when my Internet refuses to work and when it does, it’s slow…
…and the resulting thought that there were no longer cafes right by me for my fast Internet needs…
…and the loud people everywhere…
…the monotonous green of American bills…
…not to mention the lack of reliable, public transportation…
I really can go on but I’m sure this isn’t going to help myself. Anyway, there will no longer be posts about me and my Post-Korea life other than posts about events that happened during my stay in Korea, after I came back from the peninsula. 🙂 If you’re that bored, feel free to move on over to Pi-ary. ^^
I regret to admit to how I haven’t been keeping up with this blog of mine for the longest time and now, I’m actually back Stateside (I got back last night and haven’t really been experiencing this so-called jet lag that people tend to suffer from after a long flight). This will be a short post seeing how tomorrow’s another busy day of my Texas friends trying to help me re-acclimate myself back to American life and because – interesting change of lifestyles – I’m no longer obligated to anything else so I’m in charge of cooking dinner and doing household things. ^^
I just want to put it out there that I’ve been busy the past couple of months trying to fit everything in and being busy, as usual. There’s school, camp, then vacation to Hong Kong and Taiwan. Then there’s the last-minute frenzy of trying to fit everything in I think I would miss before I leave, as well as other official things. However, I will continue to update this blog as I see fit for those things I didn’t have time to upload photos and post about them in a timely fashion, though they will all be categorized as “Post-Korea”. I will note the date that they occurred, if the photos I put up does not show a time stamp. I will also try really hard to remember everything, but remember that by this time, things aren’t as clear.
As for how I feel to be away from Korea… let’s just say that I caught myself browsing through my old posts on this blog and I’m rather depressed to be back. I’ll elaborate more later. 🙂 As for now, just know that I have plenty of free time here so I should get them all up soon; I’m giving myself two weeks off to try to get over this lingering sense of depression and get back to work and applying to grad school.
On November 11th, 2011, in Korea, it was known as Pepero Day in honor of Korea’s version of the Pocky sticks. They’re generally long and thin biscuits covered in some sort of sweet, sugary chocolate/frosting. Of course, there are several varieties out there and though Pocky hosts a lot more flavors, Pepero’s selection isn’t all that bad because it means I’ll eat less (or that’s the idea). There are the giant Pepero sticks the length of your forearm (this may depend on how long your forearm is but for the sake of visualising it, however long your forearm is is how long this particular snack is), the waffle-based kinds, the ones studded with almonds or peanuts, the strawberry flavored type, as well as Nude Pepero – which is my favorite. Nude Pepero is basically a hollow biscuit tube filled with chocolate.
I wish I could say that it began to look a lot like Christmas starting from two months ago, as it would back in the States, but that was not so. I did, however, begin to see a hint of Christmas-themed merchandise being offered at the beginning of November at Costco, but that was essentially the extent of it. That’s not to say that Christmas was conspicuously absent. I’m just saying that you had to look for it and mainly focus in on the shopping malls. As for Christmas carols, I did see one “choir” made up of 3 people; they were outside singing for a church function. Oh yes, and one of the neighborhood coffee shops has a playlist of Korean-sung Christmas songs (some rather badly and one reminds me of a Korean William Hung). The truth of the matter is that Christmas was brought from abroad and even then, it’s seen as more of a couple holiday rather than a family-oriented one.
HOWEVER, let me give you my rendition of it through snippets of modified Christmas carols (two, to be exact) and pictures illustrating said rectified lyrics…
I’ve been dreaming of a White Christmas,
But it’s no longer a dream here!
Where the treetops glisten and couples are kissin’,
Amidst a sheet of snow…
NOTE: This was started approximately a month ago but had been saved as a draft since then. I tried to proofread it and edit as needed, but… I don’t want to dwell on the tougher moments of life. The following may or may not include everything I was feeling at the time, but consider it a rant and an insight to some things foreign teachers may go through.
It’s about time to make the ultimate decision of whether or not I stay or go.
This is also because the relationship between my Co’s and I have become more strained than friendly for the most part. It’s more like we’re used to each other and tolerate one another but we don’t truly care about each other rather than the superficial things that displays that we’re on speaking terms. I don’t know what’s going on in their lives and vice versa. In short, I just want to get it all over with. I still like my kids a lot but because of my Co’s attitudes, nothing’s as exciting anymore. It’s coming to the point where I just don’t care, though I’m under the impression a lot of fellow GETs are in the same fix as me.
It came to something of a climax on Friday during lunch when the one Co still eating started off a conversation where she told me that she didn’t want to tell me something and it’s hard to do, but she has to (this always means it’s something that may not very pleasing to hear – it’s a Korean thing that gets on my nerves most of the time but never fails to amuse me). Honestly, if it’s hard to do and you’d rather not do it, why tell me? It’s like they just make it harder for themselves. Just spit it out.
I was visiting one of my friends in the city earlier today and she told me about this cute little mom-and-pops place that sold pies. There are some things you can’t really get in Korean and authentic, North American pies are one of them (unless you make a trip to Costco). It’s a nice little place off the main road and around a 5 to 6-minute walk from Timeworld Galleria in Dunsan-dong by the name of Mama’s Pie (and yes, it does bother me how the name suggests “Mama” only has one pie). There’s also a really nice-sized terrace with some seating and tables offered, topped off with umbrellas to fend off the sun’s harmful rays (un-pictured).
This is in continuation of my previous post on PC bangs.
You can say it’s a basic how-to/instruction post (with pictures) on how to register for an MMORPG game at a PC bang, focusing on Aion because that’s what I decided to play since after 4 years, I apparently forgot my log in information for WoW. >.>;
Since the first time I went to a PC bang, I went an additional two more times. I was so obsessed (I don’t want to admit it but that’s the truth) with playing a MMORPG that the second time I went, I spent a good hour trying to figure out how to register on a MMORPG to be able to play at a PC bang. it appeared to be a bit more complicated because I was foreign on top of how I didn’t know that much Korean. When I finally figured it out, I was in heaven. I had spent some time the night before registering on the Korean site for Aion because I was sure that I would end up playing on a Korean server. Before long, I got to the screen to download the game onto my laptop. Following my previous experience with WoW, I decided this was not a good idea for either my laptop or me. I decided to wait until my next trip to the PC bang.
I clicked on the MMORPG game icon on the main screen at the bang, and signed in on the pop up of Aion’s official page. Then, I saw this other button I could click. You’re supposed to register on another step with your registration number. No matter what, it wouldn’t accept my registration number, so I decided to do some googling. After all, there had to be other foreigners out there who encountered the amazing PC bang and needed to get their online gaming fix, right? Right. 🙂
I finally came across a post on waygook.org – a site/forum dedicated to foreign English teachers in Korea. (“Waygook” means “foreign” in Korean; “waygookin” means foreigner.) This helped me out a lot. I would tell you exactly how I finally got my Korean Aion account completely set up, but you can pretty much just click on that link if you want. All you need to know is that you need to (1) make an account on the Aion site (2) make another account on the I-pin site (3) have your phone handy because they’ll either call you or send you a text with the password/code that you have 2 minutes to enter [yes, they really do count down] and (4) you enter your I-pin log-in information into the Aion site under your account and you’re ready to go!
My third time going to the PC bang (which is, interestingly enough, the next day after my second trip because I kept on thinking about Aion), I decided to bring my camera and take some pictures of my computer station. I didn’t want to appear so obvious so I didn’t take shots of the entire establishment, but who knows? 🙂 Perhaps one day in the future… As it is, this is a good enough preview of what to expect.
I like how people here like signing me up for things without truly asking for my opinion. (If you didn’t catch it, as it’s hard to through mere text, there’s a sarcastic tone present.) Sure, they may ask, but I think they just do it to be polite if they do. One such instance was for Hermes Camp. Now that I think about it, they didn’t even ask – my Co had volunteered me for it. I’m not exaggerating; she was at the meeting and she raised up her hand for me. Thanks for that. I don’t particularly hold it against her, but still!
Well, this habit appears to be a characteristic of Koreans, or so it seems. My taekwondo instructor mentioned this marathon to me a month before. Next thing I know, he goes, “Iris, you go, yes?” Uh… how about “no, I’d rather not”? It’s just that I’m not really into running; I have a sense of self-preservation left in me. Well, it doesn’t matter anyway because what I say doesn’t really hold, because three days before (the same day he tells me about the belt test two days later), my instructor excitedly calls me into the office to show me my running number.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! ^^
Okay, this post isn’t about that, but it is Halloween and my Halloween rocked at school. 🙂 So I thought I would like to share the joy. Onto the point of this post:
My life revolves around school and taekwondo – it’s a fact. However, it’s something I don’t mind too much. Well, it’s also because I use taekwondo as an outlet for whatever happens at school and a new thing I added to my life called an “active lifestyle”. I find I quite like it, since it keeps me on my toes. I’ve also taken a liking to the feeling of sore, aching muscles, but I digress.
My brown belt test was last Friday. I was informed two days before.