Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Snow & Such

Sorry for the week off - I was doing so well! We moved apartments last weekend so we've both been absorbed with everything that entails. I'm sure at some point one of us will put the move into a blog post, but it won't be until we're all set up!

I woke up earlyish on Monday morning and raced to my new bus stop to catch my new bus to school. When I got outside, everything looked a little different.

It wasn't cold enough to stick around past midday, but it will be soon. My co-teachers take great pleasure in informing me that it's not really cold yet. Ugh.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Winter is Here.

Proof #1

AW YEAH Hideous winter boots.
Proof #2

That's snow. It's only NOVEMBER. UGH.

Korean Things I Have Eaten

I'm not sure if you knew, but it was someone's birthday last week. Someone who also writes for this blog but isn't me. Okay, it was Tom. To celebrate, we went out for some wild boar ribs at a restaurant sort-of near our place, with 11 of our closest friends. I got everyone to congregate at our apartment and called some cabs. The company clearly did not believe we had that many friends and only sent two cabs, instead of three! I had been so proud of myself for ordering them (in Korean and everything) so it was a bit discouraging.

The food was delicious, cooked by our South African master BBQ-er Bron. 

Although we packed ourselves with ribs we were still feeling a little peckish so as a group we headed to Jecheon's newest attraction - a taco truck!

It's hard to accurately convey how weird it is to have a taco truck open in Jecheon. Imagine, if you will, that Dannevirke suddenly had a Gucci store. That's how weird it is.

This lovely guy sells tacos, quesadillas, and burritos for 3,000 won each and they are damned delicious and have been declared 'legit' by the waygook community of Jecheon. The 13 of us managed to buy out his entire stock and give him an early night. If you do happen to stop by Jecheon, he's outside the CVS in Cheonjeongdong, near the Tous Les Jours.


Monday, November 12, 2012

It's getting cold.

The temperature gauge in our apartment says 19 degrees but I'm pretty sure it's lying. I'm sitting in my onesie and feeling chilly, and for the past week or so I've been snapping at everyone who leaves the office door open and lets in the cold. In other words, winter is coming.

In order to combat the cold-ass winters, Korea comes up with some pretty cute things. I haven't yet invested in a USB-powered heated cushion (I will soon, believe me) but I have ordered my onesie, some winter boots and I've picked up a few of the cuties in the video below.

Please excuse the shakiness, here is a behind the scenes factoid: I filmed this while walking home from school. About 45 seconds in, I turned around to see that there were people coming and I was holding a hand warmer and talking to myself LIKE A CRAZY so I started walking and talking to combat this. Classy.

Here's what the handwarmers look like in photographic form. You can see the metal disc that you have to 'click' to set them off.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Korean Things I Have Eaten

It's hard work generating content for this blog so I'm gonna start talking about food again. Food is my favourite after all. 

While in Seoul I indulged in some delicious street food which I haven't encountered in Jecheon - waffles!

Decanting the batter from a tea pot - how else would you do it?!
 For 2,000 won ($2.20 NZD) you can get a big, crispy, fluffy waffle coated with a thin layer of apple sauce and two mounds of frosting.

It gets fairly oozy as you eat it but every time I smell them cooking I reach for my wallet. Nom.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Seoul Mates

Excuse the terrible pun, I couldn't help myself. Or don't excuse it and just embrace it, realising that Seoul is the most glorious name for a city if you need to make puns about a city. I'm digressing.

Last weekend we left Jecheon for the first time in a while and went to Seoul to see some friends and attend a birthday party. Friday night featured some great company, delicious barbecue and this sign:

On Saturday morning we headed out to Deoksu Palace as there's currently an art installation running within the grounds. The art itself wasn't to my tastes except for one room full of golden chairs. 

I guess I'm swayed by pieces you can sit down. I like my art to be lazy.

It's getting cold but the day was bright and warm, and the grounds were fairly crowded. 

Autumn is hitting Seoul a little later than Jecheon, the maple is still green but the ginkgo was a beautiful, bright gold.

Can you see Tom?
The palace features a regular changing of the guard ceremony, with a cast in full traditional hanbok. This guy was about as bored as my 6th graders during dictation. He leaned his head on his flagpole and looked bereft.

In the evening we went out for an amazing dinner followed by the worst night's sleep in a hostel - seriously, if you're staying in Korea opt for a Love Motel. I might even write a post about how to book and find one so others don't experience the crap I went through on Saturday. On Sunday my evening was almost redeemed, as we managed to buy fresh coriander, sour cream and some dried beans... burritos ahoy!

After a lunch of western-style food (fish & chips for Tom, a pie for me) we caught the train. One of the many things I like about living in Jecheon is heading home through mountains and past villages. It was spectacular to be able to see autumn's progress up the country in one train ride. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Teaching Tips

Kindergarten kids are the cutest when holding hands and wearing matching backpacks. 

Bomb games keep the students entertained in a variety of ways.
Here you can see happiness, intrigue, boredom and in one special case - crying. 

Bringing out your smart phone can lead to 2 photobombs in one picture. 
A note on the second picture - last week was Halloween, so as a special treat I let the students play a bomb game - a powerpoint based team activity which is the staple of many English teachers in Korea. This particular game employs techniques similar to this video and as a result I made two students cry. One of the students was a particularly smug sixth grader who takes great pleasure in talking allllll the way through my classes and generally being a &*%$. I took great pleasure in his tears. I felt a little bit bad about being so happy but my co-teacher declared that his crying was 'excellent.' I love my co-teacher. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Walking our Neighbourhood

We're moving soon (YAY!) but  we still have a few weeks to kill in our hovel before then. I walked home from school and actually looked at my surroundings for once. We may live in a run-down, ancient, and hideous apartment block, but the neighbourhood around our place is dotted with some beautiful old houses. 

The sunset in Jecheon is pretty nice. Not as good as over Pencarrow from the Miramar Peninsula but still. 

Gorgeous, ornate gate and....

New friend!

This house is enormous, and has a tree laden with apples to the right of the car. 

Kimchi pots, bamboo and turquoise. 

Ugly-ass apartments improved by sunsets. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Random Snaps!

My school/prison cafeteria.  The lunch ladies are awesome but my requests for less rice go unheeded.

Pickles and boxes at my favourite pizza chain, Pizza School. I recommend the potato pizza without corn - it's a bit like a Mr Wedge.

Surprise old people saxophone concert, outside the Jecheon train station. Immediately before taking this picture I'd fallen over while walking up the steps from the tracks, so I was pretty grumpy and not at all appreciative of the music. Tom asserts it was my own dumbassery that caused me to fall over, but I've fallen on those steps before so it's the steps DAMN IT.

Gorgeous sunset over ugly buildings. Oh, Korea.