Thursday, October 20, 2005

You say Potatoe I say PO-TA-TO:

Younger children dressed in their school uniforms on a recent trip to a SWEET POTATO field. We helped them dig up a zillion potatoes & brought them back to school. Unfortunately, Greer and I aren't the biggest fans of sweet potatoes (wish we went to a chocolate field). They put corn and sweet potatoes on pizza here. gross. My new favorite lunch item is pineapple pizza with hot sauce. ok, tangent. Greer is wearing a black shirt & white glove, Sunny teacher is wearing the green shirt. I can't express how fortunate I am to be working with all the teachers at my school. I've met other foreign teachers in the area and ........ my mother always told me if you've got nothin nice to say.... keep your damn mouth shut.
Today our school went to see the musical Aladdin. It was good. No Pants Dan traumtized a child from another school..... and he had his pants on.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Since I've been at "Little America" ( 2 1/2 months now) we've had 3 receptionists. Why? Because most women in Korea still quit their jobs when they get married to become housewives. This is Daisy. (well that's her English name) She was the receptionist when I arrived - GREAT GIRL, very good w/computers & other modern technology (which came in handy for me, don't know how I created this blog). We were sad to see her go but happy she invited us all to her wedding. This was the western style ceremony (the korean part was family only). It was a GORGEOUS fairytale wedding, but there were a few things I didn't understand. Like why EVERYONE was talking loudly while they were saying their vows. Why there was another bride waiting in the room to get married, like a pitcher in a bullpen, why the huge chandeliers started flashing like disco balls after they said "I do", and why everyone got lunch tickets and ate at a buffet with the guests of 4 other weddings. The best part was the display of wedding photos upon entering the hall. There were about 10 beautiful professional photos of the couple, some of the BEST I've ever seen. Each shot more elegant than the next, except the one with them both wearing tight leather, her on her knees in front of him standing w/some kind of whip???? What? Actually, it was a tough call b/t that and the boy with the rainbow mullet. I know you love that one Ang.

Traditional Homes

We brought the little ones, now being raised in a society flooded with Western Culture, to see what life was like only 30 years ago for some of our teachers. Life is STILL like this for some people in Korea today. I WISH I was placed in a traditional house; my apartment's nice but these houses are SO much cooler! Take a look at the architectual designs - always loved the roofs. There's a park in my area with houses built in 1643, still in great shape. Now, they're putting up sky scrapers in days. Scary. They built a restaurant next to my building in 3 days!
The children are sitting on Pots that held food. Everything done by hand, no McDonalds drive tru back then. The teacher in the photo is Dan, we like to call him "no pants dan". He and his fiance, Greer, are from New Zealand. They're what my mother would call "good people".

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Korean Logic
Okay, 1st let me assure you that I LOVE Korea. There are SO many things I like better about living here than in America. Like taking off my shoes when I enter a building or sharing food with others........ how the people are honest and respectful and soft-spoken (until they yell, wooh! then watch out!) I love how cheap the food is, even if most of it's not to my liking and most of it has some form of animal mixed in.
However, there are some "ways" about Korea that I will never understand. In some cases, there is absolutely NO logic applied to the thinking of (beware of stereotypes) Korean people. Let's start with DRIVING: I mean, this is one of the most advanced countries when it comes to areas of Science & technology..... but they still haven't figured out the concept of RED LIGHTS or traffic rules in general. It's almost a joke among us foreigners; we'll tell the taxi driver in English that red means "stop". They NEVER stop. There are constantly accidents. I don't know if there IS a speed limit. There are major intersections w/o signs. I think it's great that Korea has zero tolerance for drugs & weapons... but it would be nice if they applied some traffic laws. It's like drive at your own risk. And people walk in the street, let their children walk in the streets. Mopeds go WHEREVER they want and parking, HA! Park wherever. Maybe it's b/c the cops are half my size and hold hands. Men hold hands here, and women... but homosexuality is a "disease from America" (can be avoided by eating kimchi).
Wooh, thank GOD.
Now, let's talk about FAN DEATH. Did you know that if you leave your fan on with the windows closed.... you will die. YEP. 16 people died last summer from it. The fan creates a "vacuum" and "eats all the oxygen". Then there are the HOSPITALS: the real hospitals and the clinics they call hospitals. If you have the slightest cold they make you go to the hospital. If you have anything serious, they hospitalize you for weeks or even months. And it doesn't matter WHICH doctor you're going to .... you always get a shot in the butt. Nobody has been able to explain WHAT the shot is yet, so I denied the shot at my dr. visit last week. It was a frigging nose/ear/throat specialist! Why are you giving people shots in the butt??? Oh, when my co-worker went for a fever, they did everything but take her temperature. But don't worry, she got a shot in the butt!
Then this past weekend I went to Busan to visit a teacher I met. Her friend came with us to the store....... 3 independent blond girls walking down the street. Guess what happened. I heard a girl shriek and turned just in time to see a man hit his girlfriend/wife HARD across the face. Knocked her to the ground. He immediately put his hand to his hip and looked at his watch like, "how long is it gonna take THIS time." She stayed down, in the middle of the street, for a while. We stood there looking at him. I suggested picking up something HEAVY but the girls reminded me that we'd get deported. It was the 1st time for all of us to witness such a scene, but we were all told that "men often beat their women in the streets" and that we're "NOT to get involved". What? If I didn't think she'd be back w/him the next morning....... he'd be in the hospital. Further down the block we entered the store and Blake put her cigarette out in the street b/c there are no garbage cans (anywhere in Korea it seems - very strange). You wouldn't think it'd matter b/c the streets were full of debris and posters from the film festival that day. But as we were deciding which orange juice to buy a police officer tapped her on the shoulder and escorted her from the store. For a minute, I actually thought he needed a witness for what just happened outside, but no. He made her pick up the gigarette butt and put it in a random BOX. Afterwards, my friend Janneke explained that Blake was lucky she didn't get a ticket... b/c it's illegal for women under 50 to smoke in public streets. Not sure if that's all of Korea...... but if that's true........ and I'm not even gonna comment on the double barber polls. Yes I am. If you see one spinning poll, go in & get your hair cut. If you see 2, go in and get a prostitute. They're EVERYWHERE.
Well, I guess you gotta take the good with the bad. And I'm sure America has a plethora of it's own weird habits...... a zillion situations that seem to lack logic. I just had to share the things that are "different" and make me shake my head.

Friday, October 07, 2005


ahhh VIV! This was her New yrs eve party she threw last yr and her 24th b-day w/her good friends LInda & Dana (all college buds) It looks like I won't be celebrating new yrs the same way this year, seeing Korea celebrates the LUNAR NEW YEAR. However, New Yr.s Eve is my FAVORITE holiday and it lands on a Saturday this year. Perhaps there will be a party at my apartment. By the way, for those of you who don't know... I don't give presents celebrating the birth of Jesus, immaculate my ass, so if you get a present or card, it'll be for NEW YEAR's.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

As soon as I landed in Korea, I knew I loved it here. My children are beyond adorable and I'm meeting lots of cool people to hang out with.Amy was the 1st b-day party we had in class (she's one of my favorite) & the other Photo is from my VISA run to Japan. Scott (far back) lives in my city & is a paraglider. Frank is the bench coach for Japan's baseballe team.

Speaking of FAMILY, thought I'd share a couple shots I treasure. The lady in Pink is my sister Jenn (paternal side) at Mardi Gras last yr. She lives in New Orleans, well did. Hopefully there will be a Mardi Gras next yr. because her costumes always get better & better!
The gentlemen in the lower photo are my mom's brother Danny, who has his arm around his son Brendan, and their other brother (my uncle Eddie) on the right. I will post pics of their third brother Tommy when I get one. Oh, she has stories as the youngest & only girl.

I became an AUNT 4 times shortly before I left home. Both my brothers had babies (My brother Anthony had Jessie, top photo in yellow jammies)(no pic of Austin, my brother John's son); The other baby (in blue) is John- my cousin Samantha's son. He was being born at the same exact time as my niece Violet (the naked baby). I was in the delivery room with her parents (Jenn & Rian) who are basically family. She was the only baby I got to see - the others will all be a yr old when I meet them.

Just before I left, my housemate Mario gave me the BEST going away present ever!!! He got tickets to a Red Sox game....... but laughed in my face when the Yankees beat us. Errr! But we'll see how loud he's laughing after Tomorrow. (Love you MARIO)

These are some of my closest friends I've left behind in New York. I always have a BLAST with my best friend (Debbie) from college, best friend from High School (Kristin) and her fiance Dima. Aimee (brown shirt) is our sexy party girlfriend and Scott (also sexy) made the group complete when we all went to Wildwood, NJ to show them just how "WILD" New Yorkers can be. :O)

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a spontaneous nut job and how I packed my bags last minute to teach English here in Korea. I love my adventure so far..... and I want to share my crazy life with you all. So I'll be adding stories and pictures whenever possible. Here are a few to start you off: