day 27, and a few random days after that

Day 27 (Saturday last week) 

So the day was very boring, did lots of resting. Me and Britt also went out for a bite to eat across the street, and the man who kinda speaks English there told us to tell Alix that he was sorry if he offended her when he said that Alix had a boy’s name (earlier this week i think). He wanted us to tell her that in fact, Alix was a beautiful name for a girl and he hopes to see her soon! 
One thing I wont tell you about the events of the night is the time that things occur. But I think from reading, you’ll be able to make certain assumptions about the time.
Here we go:
So Gavin and I, in the same vein as Tuesday (day 23), we take a bus to Samsung Plaza and meet Leah. Then, we take a bus to some station that I still haven’t figured out, and from there, we took a cab to Hongdae!!! which is Hongik University Subway Station. 
We walked around for a bit trying to locate a Salsa bar, since Leah felt like dancing. We decided to check the internet to see if we could find directions. So we found a place called Let’s PC. And as Gavin put it, only in Korea could you find signs that use PC as a verb. Anyhow, we found two different directions who both made it sound very easy to locate. NOT TRUE! We actually gave up looking for it.
Instead, we ended up finding this tiny cafe that sold cookies and cakes and cake decorating lessons! But upon entering, we found out that everything was very expensive, and their cheesecake was actually a cup of “cake”. So we left and went to a Starbucks-esque place. (They have Starbucks everywhere here, but we somehow ended up at this place. I had an Iced Caramel Macchiato, Leah had a Caffe Latte with an almond cookie and Gavin had an Iced Caffe Latte with a chocolate chip cookie. It’s important that i note Gavin’s bracelet. We were looking at it, and he told me he’d bought it for 30 dollars and it was one of his favourites, because the stones were obsidian, and they seemed to absorb light. Really cool stones. We also discussed the fact that he wanted it re-strung, out of fear that it would break some day. I counted them, since it’s my OCD thing that i do (15 beads).
The bathroom at this place had one of those strange grabby hands where you squeeze the thing and it closes fingers on a hand. WHY you’d need one in a bathroom is beyond me. for sanitation?? that doesn’t make sense because people will just touch the grabby hand thing instead. still gross!
Anyhow, we left the cafe and went searching for a bar. We found this place called Zen Bar, which is such a ridiculous place with such cheap drinks. but we’re now convinced that they water them down. Anyhow, we drank and had some really deep discussions over loud hiphop music (yeah, the zen bar is a hiphop bar. there’s a mural on the wall of a Buddha-esque person DJ-ing and smoking, and drinking all at once with multiple arms and tribal tattoos.)
We spent a few hours there and then Leah decided she really wanted to dance. From there on, we were jumping from one dance bar/club to the other, but only hitting the no-cover ones and dancing our hearts out to everything from Muse and Green Day to Blondie. Good times. My shirt was soaking wet by the end of the night. The last place we went to had paper circles taped up all over the walls. We started taking them down and sticking them to ourselves, but mostly to Gavin. Leah helps me smuggle some circles out for my devious plan (I wanted to cover Gavin in circles and have him wake up with them the next day.)
So from there, we decided to catch a cab home. We specifically discussed 30,000 won to get home (about 30 dollars. conversion is dead simple here) in Yatap and then to drop Leah off in Jeongia. He agrees and we hop in, he doesn’t start the meter. About 30-45 minutes later, we arrive in Yatap at our building, and we try to sort thins out, we pool 30 for Leah to give to him when she gets off. He then says it’s 35. after a bit of arguing, we discover he wants 45,000 to take Leah home. So we say no, that we’ll just get off here, and try to give him the 30, which he refuses. We start getting out of the cab, and he follows us out screaming in Korean. First he grabs Leah and she tries to give him the money, which he crumples and tosses on the ground. Then he grabs Gavin, and we continue to argue with the bastard. I rip his hand off Gavin’s wrist, and then he grabs me too. I give him the death stare and rip his hand off me, trying so hard not to clock him in the mouth. He grabs Gavin again so hard, it breaks his bracelet. Beads all over the sidewalk. Now we’re pissed, but instead we start picking up the beads. The cabby realises he won’t win this one and picks up his cash off the ground to leave, but not before tossing an empty plastic bottle at us first. It misses entirely, and he drives off. Leah crashes at Gavin’s and we arrange to hang out the next morning for breakfast.
After all this, I realise I still have the circles in my hand and the ones Leah gave me too. So I tape them all to his door, in a jovial looking arrangement. (yes, it was jovial)
The next morning, I have breakfast with Britt and go down to visit them and plan our day. Not much happens though, we go with Gavin to meet his Mandarin teacher in a waffle house. I drop Leah off at the station, and go back home to hang with Britt. I walk Britt to the station as well, since she has to go to this church to sing, and I take us down a short cut, but I fail to notice all the loose bricks on the ground and Britt trips and cuts open her foot. (I FEEL HORRIBLE ABOUT THIS!) we go buy her some bandaids and off she goes. we arrange to meet up in Jamsil, but I end up passing out and missing our meeting time instead. 
THERE! that’s the post I’d been trying to type all week! now I’m off to get ready for work. I’ll try and bring this blog back up to speed soon. BYE!

My Apartment

These photos have been posted on Facebook, but for those of you without it, here’s what my tiny living space looks like:
So this is my lovely Apartment. That door on the right is mine.
It’s not exactly friendly looking, in fact it kind of looks like a prison.
Down the hall, A couple of my friends live nearby. about 5 doors down is Brittney, 5 doors in the opposite direction is Alix. Directly below me is Gavin, 2 floors below me is Christine and 1 floor up is Georgia. 
This is where the cooking gets done. It’s all very magical. Actually, I need to buy more for this place. I bought a dish rack the other day, and next on my list is a new frying pan or a wok, a toaster oven and maybe a rice cooker. Maybe. Gavin has one, I might just pay a usage tax to him and buy my own rice.

That’s where the sleeping and blogging gets done. If I’m in the mood, art, photo editing and gaming happens there too.
Here’s where I can shit, shower and kick the washing machine all at once. It also needed a thorough scrubbing before I started using it, as when showering, EVERYTHING gets soaked, and you can imagine, it gets pretty gross pretty fast.
That’s all for now, I’ll be posting more photos as things progress. I’ve got an entry to finish before work and then I’ll probably post more photos soon.
On a side note, the homesickness is settling in. I got some kind words from Niosha which cheered me up some, but I’m hoping the continuous support of friends and family will help subside any feelings of sadness. As of this morning, It’s not working too well. I think I’ll do some drawing or painting tonight. It’ll clear my mind. I’ve no scanner, so If I make anything worth mentioning, it’ll most likely be photographed. 
Have a great day or evening people, Talk to you again soon.

Day 23

Day 23 was freaking awesome.

here’s why!
so the day started out pretty normal, woke up, fiddled on the computer, took and shower, and then met Gavin before work. He tells me about his adventure last night, meeting some artists in Hongdae and how they were having a performance art thing and then an after-party and i was welcome to come too. Naturally, i jumped on the idea of going to it. So i grabbed my favourite dress shirt, folded it nicely and put it in my bag and left for work.
work was standard fare, I got bored and concocted a fake conversation between me and Gavin over MSN by typing from his computer, running upstairs, typing on my computer, running downstairs, and so on. On my trips up and down between offices, I have to pass through my boss’ boss’ office. So inevitably, i started talking to her. She was editing Alix and Britt’s photos in Photoshop, so i asked why MY computer didn’t have Photoshop. She then went on to tease me, asking oh, you can do this stuff? okay, then i don’t have to do it. Can you answer the phones too? And then she showed me my embarrassing photo and said “I tried to remove your mustache (I have a mustache? is that even possible? me? facial hair?!) so I did and you looked like a girl with a boy haircut, so i changed it back.” How flattering is that? I already hated the photo, but now apparently, when you remove the “mustache”, I look female-ish. Thaaaaanks. I’ve discovered that Koreans are very blunt.
So anyhow, the kids were tolerable today. nothing to really report, except that my EAS 4 kids thought my feet were dirty, because my socks had lint balls on them. *sigh*
okay so on to an awesome evening:
I get changed in my classroom after class, meet Gavin and we take a bus to Samsung Plaza to meet Leah. from there, we took a bus to somewhere, I forget where, but thereafter, we took a cab to Hongdae subway station, exit 4. Leah had drawn a hilariously crude map, but we got there eventually, only to find we’d missed the performance by about 5 minutes and the after party was basically an interview with the artist and stuff. i can’t even describe it, it was just really interesting walking in on the aftermath. burnt scraps of paper on the ground, a man speaking Spanish and covered head to toe in i think chocolate. and chocolate smears on the walls, a giant cactus, a big scroll of paper, some branches….just crazy. They had a video camera going. If we see those people again, I want a copy of it. 
So the 3 of us went exploring for dinner and ended up at a Korean barbecue place. I had Soju 😛 
but the rest of the food was awesome. 
I’ve decided Hongdae is my most favourite place ever. EVERYTHING has so much character! everything’s just so interesting there. I took a photo of this store, that’s basically someones garage. there’s even a car parked inside it, but they have clothes on the walls, and the door at the back of the garage leads in to the actual store. Ridiculous. 
Now as we were walking, we just happened to gravitate to this tiny sign for a bar that was downstairs. Walking down, we discovered the most amazingly chill bar ever. We sat down on the floor, pillows everywhere in a small room with red walls and patterned silk drapery things hanging and the place was just super amazing. there was a bathtub in the middle of the main room, with leaves and branches growing out of it, and a low hanging chandelier. The girl running the place was just sitting at her computer playing awesome relaxing music like Elliott Smith and Cibo Matto’s Sugar Water.
So after a most relaxing drink in the most relaxing bar, (I had a jack and coke, i think Leah and Gavin had vodka somethings. or maybe Gavin was drinking gin and tonic? i forget.) Gavin showed me this strange abattoir looking place with white lamb legs hanging on the walls, and insane ink paintings. I wanted to stop there, but they’d been there yesterday, so instead we moved on to another amazing looking bar. This one was much bigger, and is characteristically almost always full. the place was set up very interestingly. The back of the bar had one of those BIG ladders that rides on a rail, and up there was a DJ booth, and shelves gong all the way up to maybe 20 feet, the tallest was the longest shelf, and the lowest was the shortest, and each shelf had bottles of liquor. We saw the bartender slide the ladder over and climb all the way up to grab a bottle a few times. Again, i had a jack and coke, Gavin his gin and tonic and Leah had a vodka lime.
it’s funny, as you enter or leave this place, all the staff, no matter where they are in the place, yell “Annyeong Haseo” as you come or go. I found this hilarious for some reason. Anyhow, we left, they said bye and off we went to find another bar! (remember, this is a Tuesday night) and so we take a stroll around, just soaking up the amazing Hongdae nightlife. full of musicians playing random stuff and really crazy graffiti. 
Anyhow, we eventually end up at this random looking really crazy fusion bar. it had such a moody atmosphere, tiled floors with fountains everywhere and hanging chandeliers and tiny rooms with small tables and tons of pillows on the floor. It had the atmosphere of a Hookah bar apparently. Super chill, but massively expensive. so Leah and I had a beer while Gavin had a very stiff gin and tonic. Leah also showed us a Russian handshake, and we also devised another handshake which involved the itsy bitsy spider thing and some weird butterfly hilarity. I’ve decided Leah is an awesome person and i need to hang out with her more for the simple fact that she comes up with such hilarious and random shit.
Oh and something i like about these bars: they give you free snacks! the first place had square animal cookie things, the second had seaweed strips with some sauce and the last place had these fried sugary things and also what i can only describe as candied green beans. TASTYYY!
So as we were all falling asleep on the pillows in this place, we topped off our drinks and headed out for a cab. 
also, on the cab ride home, I kept hearing some beeping noise. Now remember how i mentioned I keep stealing shit from my kids at school? well today my kid Kyle, brought a timer thing to school and it went off during class, so i took it. and of course, forgot ALLL about it, until I spent the cab ride going “what the f. is the cab driver messing with? constant beeping!!” and then when i got home and emptied my pockets, i realised it was me and the kid’s timer. the driver must have been thinking the same thing, hahaha anyhow, that’s it! Altogether, amazing night. I loved it. this should happen EVERY Tuesday. I’m getting to love this place more and more. (but also missing everyone from home more and more!)
Bye guys!

Week 3 (days 14 – 22)

So hello again, I’m sorry I’ve reverted to posting only once a week…things move so fast here, last week felt like it took forever and this week just whizzed by like nothing. So I actually barely remember any of the fine details, but let me see if I can get the gist of each day or just important things down. The days may be way off, so we’ll just assume these things happened at some time during this week.

I did end up going to that place again and having the curry chicken, it wasn’t exactly what we had in mind though. It was more like a thing you added soup to. I think it was me, Gavin, his friend and Brittney. During dinner we found out that Gavin’s friend also did swing dancing. She’s from the states too (Britt’s from Florida). Afterwards, the 4 of us went back to Britt’s place and Alix and I watched the 3 of them swing dance. basically, Britt was teaching Gavin and his friend. I got really sleepy, came back to my place, uploaded photos from Saturday (on Facebook) and then I went back. By then, they had given up on dancing and were just on the computer looking at swing dancing videos. 
Oh, Brittney has the most hilarious swing dance DVDs, the hosts are just so…weird. I can’t explain it, but it’s kinda like my P90x DVD, how they’re just over enthusiastic and use weird terminology and stuff. 
So anyhow, this week in school wasn’t too bad, some of my kids are still about as smart as a bag of bricks. Some of my kids, I found out this week were supposed to put on a play about the 3 little pigs. Except that when i asked them to tell me the story, they had no clue. So, we re-read it, and then i asked them again. Nothing. I tried to explain the concept of Before and After (because apparently Devin had taught them) and nothing at all. I ended up spending so much of my time just trying to explain that. SO FRUSTRATING! i actually got angry at these kids, because we went over the events together, wrote it all out, and then I had them do a quick comprehension quiz, where they had to sort through fragmented events of the story. like “the third pig built a brick house” and “the wolf huffed and he puffed and blew down the straw house” and so on. They failed completely. I’m convinced that maybe these kids can’t read the material, despite the fact that they’re supposed to be in the advanced class. 
Oh also, Sharolyn – my boss – was watching all my classes this week for the first hour of each one (once for each different class i have) and that kinda put pressure on me to have better lesson plans and have my kids work harder or show that they’re learning SOMEthing
anyhow, I also really buckled down on some of them near the end of the week. I took a watch and some weird MapleStory Pog looking things from my kids. They brought them to circle time, and were messing with them, so i just grabbed them and said “mine now.” I forgot to give them back! I’ll give it back to them next week. hopefully that makes them think twice about bringing toys and stuff or just messing with random things while I’m trying to teach. I might come off as the hard-ass teacher, but I want them to learn and pay attention. Their parents are paying good money for them to be here.
Anyhow, the rest of the week’s events aren’t solid in my head, but basically, one night I went over to Alix’s for some dinner. Dumplings and stuff. We also went to Kim’s Club (a big multi-level department store) and I bought weights. Ive been using them every day, a few sets of random stuff, I’m trying to keep it light, since I have to watch my back. But I feel like it helps. If I keep myself motivated to use the weights I’ll be able to stay in shape and feel less self-conscious about my appearance. I always feel too thin and lanky. oh  and they were ridiculous to carry back home from the store.
But moving on, hmm…what else…I know there was a night that Britt, Alix and myself all had dinner with Gavin at his place. I brought apples that I’d  bought. I forgot to mention this before: FRUIT IS EXPENSIVE HERE!! hugely expensive. I bought these apples from a vendor on the street. I kept calling the fruit floor fruit because the lady just arranges them in bowls on the sidewalk. But these vendors are everywhere, you can buy all sorts of vegetables and fruits from them. but I bought 8 or 9 apples for 5ooo won (a little less than 5 dollars Canadian). In the mornings sometime, you can see a whole bunch of them on any given sidewalk, washing their vegetables or roasting something. LOTS of street vendors. The other day, some dude came onto the subway and tried selling the commuters a chestnut opener. Apparently soliciting isn’t illegal.
Oh, i completely skipped Gavin’s dinner thing. So anyhow, I got there early and we found out that Gavin gets cable. Nothing special, but he does get the two Starcraft 24/7 channels and Discovery Channel. I wonder If my TV gets anything? I think we have the same internet plan.
Oh another thing that started happening this week: both Alix and Brittney have been leeching internet from unsecured wireless connections in our building, the most promising one being a 4 or 5 bar connection called Unicorn. But Unicorn has disappeared and all the other connections are 2 or 3 bars, so it looks like they might have to start buying internet like the rest of us 😛
So Thursday, we discovered, or had our suspicions confirmed, that Sharolyn is leaving. She`s been in Korea for 3 years now and it`s time for her to go home, or move on to other things. Her and I keep having conversations about art and commissions and illustration, i think she wants to get back into the scene and start doing that again. That to me, is encouraging. I don’t want to get so sucked in by this teaching English thing that i disregard the idea of pursuing what i really want to do. Hopefully, I can go home and become an art teacher. 
Okay what else, what else…So this Friday was Chuseok. That’s basically Korea’s Harvest Moon Festival. the kindergarten kids all dressed up in really cute traditional Korean clothes and basically, it’s a Thanksgiving equivalent. They eat lots of food, do lots of family things, and bow lots to their grandparents. For us, it meant a 3 day weekend. 
Friday, I was also thinking about going out to swingdancing with Britt and Gavin, but Gavin forgot about me and bolted off to the subway before I even let my kids out of my classroom. Soooo, I just went home and didn’t do much.
That night, when Gavin and Britt got back from swing dancing, the 3 of us went to Alix’s and we all sat around and chatted. Alix told us about her Shabbat (did i spell that right, Alix?) dinner fiasco. It turned out to be an adventure and a half, because she got lost in Itaewon in the process and somehow managed to find the place after, but she claimed to still be pretty hungry after. Usually, I guess It’s supposed to be a LOT of food. and you’re not supposed to use electricity or something either, but she took the subway home. I’m all for religious customs and stuff, but I guess it’s a cultural thing.
Saturday, I got started and finished a poster that Farrell wanted me to design for him. I like how it turned out, I passed up going to the temples and stuff to do this, but i figure illustration is what i really want to be doing, so any opportunity to do that, I’ll take. Besides, I’m here for a year. I can do those things later. That evening, I was expecting to go out with Gavin to Hongdae or somewhere. Never ended up happening. according to Britt and Alix, this was out “Man-Date”. I went over to Gavin’s, we made really good curry chicken, and then ate it while watching a really bad Chinese movie which was adapted from a comic book. It was Tiger Dragon Gate or something. no wait,…Dragon Tiger Gate? (Long Fu Moon or something in Cantonese) anyhow, after that really crappy movie, I was exhausted, and didn’t quite feel like going out. That, and Gavin’s friends all cancelled on him due to Chuseok or because of other random things.
Later that night, I went back downstairs and Alix was there too, and she told us about her and Britt’s adventure climbing a mountain, getting up the thing exhausted only to find out they’d only gotten halfway up, and the gazebo they assumed was a temple turned out to be a free public gym. With workout equipment and everything. How hardcore is that?? these people climb a mountain to work out. Crazy.
Sunday was pretty fun, although everything was closed in our neighbourhood, Gavin and I met up with Vanessa (a former MapleBear teacher. I mention her in my first post, she’s the one I had my very first dinner in Korea with) and we took a bus to Itaewon. Upon getting off the bus, I spotted Georgia and Christine just walking on the opposite side of the street, I flagged them down and they joined us. 
So Itaewon is white-town. actually, no. just foreigner town. Full of Africans and East-Indians, some of whom speak PERFECT Korean. And apparently the whole city turns into Monkey Beach at night. which is kind of gross. But during the day it’s cool. We went to this awesome used and new book store called What the Book? which was great, i bought a Grimm fairy tales book and another book called Stiff, which is basically a non-fiction about what people use cadavers for. So using them as crash test dummies, or something i read about in Vincent Lam’s Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures book – Med. school dissections. 
From there, we stopped at a Foreign Food market and I bought a package of Chinese Vermicelli rice noodles. I haven’t tried them yet, I hope they’re good. I need to buy accompanying food before I make something with it. 
After that, Christine and Georgia split, and Gavin, Vanessa and I went to this Irish pub in town and I had he Sheppard’s Pie and a glass of cider. It wasn’t bad. I certainly enjoyed the atmosphere. After that, we headed back home. We met up with Britt and wandered around Samsung Plaza looking for a bar to go to. Wait, I’m missing something. Oh, okay so we went to a pizza place before that in Yatap. Mr. Pizza. and they totally forgot about Britt’s food until we asked. It didn’t sit too well in Britt’s stomach and before that, Gavin had Fish & Chips at the Irish pub, and his stomach was not happy either. We pretty much gave up and came home after not finding a bar in Samsung Plaza. 
Monday, I finalized the poster design for Farrell and then met up with Alix and Britt for breakfast waffles. mmmm
and then we met Christine and Georgia and together, we set off to the ZOOOOO!!!! Gavin was making fun of us before we left. Apparently the Zoo is not on his list of places to go. Me and Britt took lots of photos on my camera, I’ll have to upload them later. But it’s really sad, someone should do something about this place. Koreans were feeding the animals! like throwing food at the gorillas to eat. one dude threw a bottle of iced coffee, which the gorilla drank. HORRIBLE. And then people were literally whipping grapes at the bears to entice them to do tricks. (which they did) and parents let their kids stick their hands into the Llama area and it was just so weird, We half expected parents to drop their kids into the Gator pit or something and be like: “Go play!” jeez, no wonder you hear stories about kids getting mauled by animals at zoos in Asia. The kids, although cute, are SUPER obnoxious, and will shove you out of the way to see something. or they shoved me, anyway. Oh, and this one money look SO sad, he had is hand up to the glass, and looked so forlorn. Some monkey areas were just smeared with monkey shit and the windows were all scratchy. It was pretty depressing. I’m glad this place didn’t have any truly endangered animals, because they’d all die instantly due to the amount of Asians throwing food at them and ducking under railings to get closer to things. f-ing crazy. I’m missing some stuff, but that’s the gist of this place.
After the zoo, I was soaked in sweat, and exhausted, so we all went home. I got take-out from the dumpling place with Christine and Georgia got a pizza. Coming home, I took a relaxing shower and got my Skype set up. I haven’t bought minutes yet, but essentially, It’s set up. Find me if you have Skype, my name is carson.vs.korea 
That night, I made Adacar on Spore. They’re pretty convincing. I’ve got my cardboard box, and Adam has his,…robot legs and gun-turret arms. VERY realistic. oh, and wooden hair too. then, Sleep.
So it’s Tuesday morning, day 23. Almost a month!!! I’ll try to do a mid-week post. Bye guys! Miss you! talk to me on Skype or Facebook or MSN

Week 2 (Day 7 to Day 14 morning)

Hello everyone, sorry for the lack of updates, but here’s my entire week! lets see if I remember everything…

Sunday, after I finished my last post, I went out and grabbed a bite to eat at a dumpling house, because I figured Devin was still asleep after our night at Monkey Beach. As it turns out, he’d been up for a while, since Joe seemed adamant about getting him out of his place by 10:30. So while I’d been posting on my blog and leisurely having some cold noodles at the dumpling house, Devin was frantically looking for me to give me his keys while moving all his crap out of his place and over to his buddy Steve`s place.
When I finally arrived to find Devin at my soon to be apartment, I bumped into Alix, Brittney, Georgia, Christine and Joe. Joe informed me that they had been looking for me and that Devin had tried to reach me at the Hotel. Joe passed me a set of his keys to my apartment to use. (That`s kind of creepy. Apparently he has access to all of our apartments. I remember joking around with Amanda the night before about how he must be snooping about in her underwear drawer. BUT NO! Joe`s a nice guy, I swear! And at any rate, He works so hard, I should buy him a BIG present or something. I hear he likes Western or Canadian things, I’ll have to find him something.) Anyhow, the bunch of them were headed over to HomEver to buy more household supplies. Instead, I vouched for just moving in, since I`d been itching to unpack since I got here. 
So my first day generally consisted of unpacking and cleaning. I’m not sure if I did much else, Its been a pretty eventful week, so I forget details. I do know that it was at about this time that Alix discovered my blog and decided that she was a celebrity on my blog due to the amount of times I’ve mentioned her. Apparently her name comes up a lot?
Moving on:
So Monday was my first day of teaching. I work a late start and a late finish schedule, but I got up early since I knew I had to make lesson plans for my clases that day. So I walk to work with Britt, Alix and Christine, sit down at my isolated desk upstairs, and start working away. I soon realise how much work I should have done last week, because there is SO much planning to do. I gauged my work ethic on Devin`s work ethic and I realised he had been doing this for 6 months by the time I met him, So it took him NO time to do these things. That, and he knew the curriculum. I didn`t. 
Class was a DISASTER! we covered the material, but the children did NOT listen to me. My ACI clas was bouncing off the walls during my lesson (I found out that they just do that regularly) and I over-planned for them. They didn’t get my math lesson AT ALL, and then immediately afterwards, My brand new EAS1 kids showed up. They’re basicaly level one kids, some, supposedly know NO english. my kids, save for one or two, were dumbstruck. They stared at me while I talked, and NO ONE answered questions. This one kid, didn’t even have a name in English yet, or so he told me, so we decided that his name would be Michael. Upon the class’ conclusion, I realised that his name was Stepano. (yeah, that’s right. Stepano. The parents apparently just pick random names for the kids. One kid that Georgia teaches is named World. Apparently someone somewhere is teaching a kid named Jack Sparrow. but that’s all his FIRST name. Straaaange.) anyhow, I made a mental note to rectify that later.
Anyhow, Day 1 of teaching was just disheartening. I realised there was a lot more work to it. It didn’t help that everyone else’s classes went swimmingly. I felt WORSE. I think today was the day it rained all day, but I can’t be sure anymore. If someone can confirm that that’d be great. lol But if it was that night, then that means after work, Devin dropped by to give me his key and soon afterwards, Alix, Brittney and I went out for ice cream. That trip turned into an excursion to HomEver. Now I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but Alix is possibly the most hilarious person EVER when we’re ANYWHERE. I’ve decided to start making a quote book, because I completely forget the things she said, but she’s convinced that ever Korean here speaks perfect English, and so she sets out to speak to them in perfect English, with big hand gestures and her typical hilarious loudness. I bought a really classy looking umbrella and Big Jaws popsicles, which are possibly the best popsicles ever. They’re called Big Jaws, because they’re shark shaped. Afterwards, we stopped at an ice cream place wherein I think only Alix bought ice cream. (or did she? I don’t think so…my memory is fading!!) OH YEAH! Alix bought the most hilarious rain jacket. And apparently HomEver doesn’t have rain boots, because Alix mimed a person holding an umbrella and then pointed at her feet and mimed putting on a boot and the man said no and walked away. Also, Britt tried out some of their pianos in the store. I’ve decided that we have to go back when there are no people there or less people, and have her play.
Okay so after that, we either all passed out, or we hung out at someone’s place. or I hung out at Brittney’s. I forget. but night came, and i slept.
The next day was no better than the last. It didn’t rain, but my classes were equally hectic, and kids who were supposed to be advanced, showed me no signs of even registering what i was saying. After work, I forget what I had for dinner, but I ended up at Britt’s place listening to music and talking until we were both ready to pass out. I was supposed to see Devin that day, because Wednesday morning he’d be taking a plane out of here. (which reminds me, I need to say sorry and goodbye to the guy) I was supposed to see him that night, but instead, I got too tired and comfortable at Britt’s and just hung out. I think this was also the night that she finally had air conditioning.
Day three was interresting, because I woke up with an intense feeling of sadness and homesickness. Also, I felt like I desperately needed to be hugged. I wrote an email to my family (Craig and Adam and Vanessa included, because to me, they ARE family…Craig will be officially in my family in 11 months) and by the time I finished writing it, I felt HORRIBLE. I arrived at school early as usual, and worked my yellow ass off planning my lessons. and you know what? BEST DAY EVER. The kids got EVERYTHING i taught to them, everything went amazingly and I left work that day feeling like a million dollars. Everyone else had left at that point, so Gavin, Georgia and I went out to find a place to eat. We went out for Spagetti at this Pizza place, and t was VERY good. If I remember where it is, I’ll go back again. 
On my way home, I met up with Brittney who told me that they were going out to see the Dark Knight tonight. I love that movie so much. Britt, Christine and I were the only ones to go, and it was an interresting experience. The theatre was below the building where HomEver is located, and all together, it cost each of us 10 dollars to go in. That’s 7 dollars for the ticket, and 9 dollars split 3 ways for 2 bags of popcorn and 2 cups of soda and a thing of nachos. GOOD DEAL! actually, it was 10 bucks for the food, split 3 ways, so i paid 11 dollars for everything. But that movie is so epic, I love it. Christine and I had a big Batman discussion going home. It was fun, apparently Angelina Jolie will be playing Catwoman and Johnny Depp will be playing the Riddler. I’m interested in seeing how that goes, apparently either the earnings from the Dark Knight or something or some amount of money generated from the Batman franchise is going towards support for Heath Ledger’s daughter? *shrug* anyhow, GOOOD NIGHT.
The next day went pretty well too, teaching-wise. The kids listened and seemed to really catch on to my lessons. (usually) it wasn’t AS good as Wednesday, but it was a big improvement from days 1 and 2 of teaching. Again, that night it was Gavin and Georgia leaving work with me. 
Something I should mention about Georgia, she doesn’t eat pork. Infact, someone in our entire group doesn’t eat SOMETHING. But I’ve been willing to try anything. I’m NOT across the world so I can eat McDonalds and Kraft Dinner. We wandered for maybe an hour looking for a place, and me I was craving Gaubi (speling? or Gaobi? anyhow, it’s the all you can at pork place I went with Devin and ppl on Friday). Except Georgia refused to eat pork! So Gavin and I, being the mean people that we secretly are, drilled her for answers to WHY she didn’t eat pork. Her answers were “I just decided I wouldn’t”, and pigs are “so dirty!” both of which we decided were poor answers. At this point, it was purely our stomachs who were talking and saying “you chose the worst time to stop eating pork, Korea’s most often consumed meat is pork.” and “pigs are actually one of the cleanest animals, contrary to popular belief”. In the end, we accomodated and actually found an amazing chicken place that has CURRY CHICKEN! I’m going to have to go back to have some. Maybe tonight? anyhow, we had this really spicy dish of chicken and compressed rice things and glass noodles. and ONE potatoe. it was very good. We also ordered a bottle of Soju, and my first sip made we want to vomit, because it reminded me of LAST wednesday and how horrible i felt the morning after. Me and Soju are never speaking to each other again. And Soju can forget about hanging out too, because we just don’t get along.
I think my night concluded with me and Gavin hanging out in Brittney’s room talking and sharing music. a wonderful evening. 
Friday, more of the same in terms of teaching. Each week, at the end of the week, we have to hand out Preview/Review sheets. they basically tell the parents “what we’ve been doing this week” and “what your child should prepare for next week”. The day before, I only remembered to pass them out to my last class of the day. today, I changed my system and handed them out at the beginning of the class. it worked out much better. I’m starting to really enforce a routine with the kids, and they’re really grasping it. I had a failed nametag making fiasco the first 2 days, but wednesday, i scrapped it and things went so much better. 
Anyhow, Friday night Georgia and I went out to Chicken and Beer for some fried chicken, because sometimes, I just really need fried chicken. That night, I just stayed in and watched Avatar. apparently both Britt and Alix tried to get a hold of me. I guess my speakers were too loud. 
Yesterday (Saturday) was pretty fun:
I spent the morning wasting time, had some eggs and then met up with Britt, Alix, Christine and Gavin. We went to Samsung plaza to meet Erica and the 6 of us took a bus to some place…I forget the name! biut it was nice, lots of stalls with cool stuff, lots of tourists, a TON of authentic old Korean and Chinese things for sale, I saw these amazing books filled with chinese, all weathered and batterend from years of age, I wanted to buy them all, but they were so expensive. Next time maybe. I also tried to get a new stamp with my chinese name on it. the guy said it’d be ready in 8 minutes. 10 minutes later, he hadn’t even touched it, so we went to look around some more. about 45 minutes later we returned to find that it was still just sitting around doing nothing. we were then told it would take 2 hours. I left. I’ll have to find another place. I really desperately wanted that. I bought some old patterned paper, and a sketchbook. the kid that’s all one piece of paper.  forget what they’re called. Rey or Tessar would know. 
Anyhow, afterwards, we went to Hongik which is apparently the youth culture hub, and we saw so much exciting things, it really felt like the metropolis, or just crowded exciting place I pictured Seoul to be. We wandered around for an hour looking for a Chinese restaurant Gavin liked and then Christine’s TD card was eaten by the bank machines. 
Christine and Erica took off and the remaining 4 of us did some browsing in the crowded streets. Britt went looking for shoes, and we found this hilarious building that has separate Karaoke rooms, but the rooms face outside with big windows like a dollhouse and you can look in and see the korean girls rocking out. When we finally decided we needed food, we stopped at a tiny side street corner where there was Pasta or Korean BBQ. While deciding, Chase showed up randomly with his buddy. That made my night, seeing someone from back home. He’s leaving soon for home, and I wonder how it must feel for him, I’m just arriving and loving it, he’s been there a whole year already. I just can’t believe the luck, bumping into him in such a HUGE city. and the chances of doing it on such a small sidestreet too. 
We decided on Pasta after Chase said his goodbyes and it was pretty good, but expensive. After, we went to a couple bars, the first, as Brittney said, felt like being at a house party. you took your shoes off at the door like a traditional Korean place, and sat at tiny tables on the floor. My camera also decided to die after I took a really cool photo of Britt. We then hopped over to a JAZZ BAR!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING MUSIC! holy shit, the first band was a tiny girl on piano, some dude on bass guitar and a drummer and they were more a fusion band than jazz, but ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I think I’ve found my new favourite place in all of Seoul. I want to go every night for Live Jazz. The second band was a quartet, piano, drums, upright bass and this tiny quiet looking girl with the biggest, most amazing singing voice ever. she sung in english, and i swear she sounded like….I can’t even describe how amazing. I think/hope britt or Aliz posted their videos of her singing, because I want everyone to see hear and see this girl. Incredible. 
We grabbed a cab home, and on the way, Gavin accidentally cleared the fare, which made Gavin (who has a really mocking laugh) and Alix laugh, which only seemed to piss off the cab driver more. He spent a good while speaking angrily at Gavin. I spent the ride contented and listening to jazz on my ipod.
This morning, nothing to really report, though Spore comes out today. I feel like a nerd for buying it and waiting to play it, but whatever. It’s pre-loaded on my computer so in about 6 hours when it officially is released, I can play it.
AND THAT WAS WEEK 2!!!!!!!!!! i feel like i missed a lot, but whatever. I’m gunna try and get Photoshop back on this thing and then I’ll put up photos of Saturday on here and on Facebook. 
Bye for now!