On the sixth Day before christmas…

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….I had the most bipolar weekend.

First. I will preface: this is Sunday’s posting that I didn’t post on Sunday because I was in Seoul dealing with the fact someone stole my wallet from my bag.

 

I’ve always believed that Seoul was relatively safe.

But with the amount of people shopping, it’s not too surprising that Myeongdong would be a hot spot for crime.

 

I had a great Saturday-meeting my one friend, and going to see the Nutcracker with the other.

But when we went shopping in Myeongdong, after I had withdrawn 90,000 Won, my entire wallet was stolen out of my bag.

 

Luckily other than money and an expired driver’s lisscene, all that was in there of importance was my ARC card.

 

I will have to go to Suwon tomrrow to reapply for a new one which will set me back 30,000 won. So between the stolen money and having to apply for a new ARC card, I will be out 110,000 of a budget that I had so carefully put together.

 

The nutcracker was wonderful and we had amazing seats for such a good price. Sometimes it pays to be a foreigner and sadly sometimes it  doesn’t.

 

When I went to the police station located in an area where there are not only a lot of foreingers, but  a lot of shops with sales associates who speak multiple languages, the police station not only was of no help, but when an English speaker tried to help me, they completely ignored us and only said to get my passport and bring it to them.

 

Like, hello we said that I live in Gyeonggi-do like 2 hours away.  How the hell am I supposed to do that?

 

It was sad that something as important as the police station did not have the necessary skills to help me with a stolen wallet, but down the street I could have help buying soap at Nature Republic in three different langauges.  I’m not saying the police should be required to speak English. But in a forienger shopping district where sales associates speak many languages, obivoulsy catering to foreingers, how is it your police station doesnt’?

 

Anyway this post will end here with today’s Christmas post because I’m too tired and annoyed from this weekend.

Clearly I won’t be home for Christmas though.

 

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On the 8th day before Christmas…

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My students gave to me…a funny and easy final 5-7 class.

 

This class I love so much.  There are too many cute ones to name.

Jake: the one with big eyes who always wants my attention.

Rainbow: the smartest student who asked me today if we are using the simple present or present progressive for an activity (darn you Rainbow..I don’t remember!)

Twin Girl: Her twin brother is in my 5-2 class. While they are both very smart, it’s obvious he’s a little more wild than she is.

Sehun: My EXO fan (I have one in every class) who likes Sehun the best.

Tony: Who is so small and so cute he look like a mix between Filbert from Rocko’s modern life and D.O. from EXO.  Weird combo I know but he was so cute today with his facial expressions!

 

And finally probably my favorite student Dion. Mr. Ash Blonde hair.  His English is pretty good compared to others but the way he tries so hard and always says “teacher”.  He’s so well behaved and tries to help keep the class quiet.  He will grow up to be a great person I think and I am going to miss him so much next year.

 

Now because I’m in the ending phase of planning my Winter camp which has turned me into a workaholic this past week, I will quickly finish up this post with Christmas song.

Now this will NOT be the last you see of The Nutcracker because well..I’m obsessed with it. (I GET TO SEE IT TOMORROW!!!WAHHH!! IN SEOUL!!! OMG) Ok now that, that is finished.

Usually I am a purist when it comes to anything classical and for most music.  But on occasion I do like remixes-usually ones that don’t change too much like the melody or overall feel. (Any VIXX fans here? Check out BEAST Fiction/VIXX Error remix..it slays)

So when I was working in PETCO …last year? This would come on and I couldn’t help but to secretly love it.  The slightly haunting feel is the same and though there isn’t the light and clean sound because of the ….dubstep?? It still feels really cool.

 

Hope you guys enjoy!! Because I will most likely not update this saturday and sunday…I should probably do so now…So…I will do Saturday’s post now in a seperate post…ok..bye.

Everybody

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Yes, the title of today’s post is an actual song title: whether you want to believe it’s Backstreet Boys or SHINee it’s up to you. Both are different.But it doesn’t make one worth more than the other or one better than another.  And that’s kind of what the point of today’s post is all about.

With all the crazy going on in the world these past few days, I needed a place to sort it all out.

Where to even begin?

I guess we should start with Paris due to its high publicized coverage…but in a way it’s ties to into just about everything else going on. Which is also a point of this post.

This will probably turn into  jumbled mess but I need to get all the thoughts out of my head before I go crazy.

I woke up on Saturday afternoon KST to posts all over Facebook. “Pray for Paris” “We stand with Paris” but nowhere did it mention what had happened.  I had to google it to find that Paris had been attacked in multiple areas with mounting causalities

It blew my mind.  It seemed out of the blue.  And why Paris?

I think the shock of it wasn’t that it was PARIS that was attacked, but the fact a world class city that seems untouchable was a victim.

These are innocent people who were trying to enjoy a nice night out at a soccer game, concert and dinner.

It disrupts the veil that we live in a civilize and safe world where war and terror don’t happen to us.

But the more I read about who the blame would fall on, I first had to look up the Syrian War.  I knew nothing about it despite the fact that my taxes have been funding it.

I learned about Assad, the Kurds, the rebels…all of the power struggles, rebellions and how the USA and Russia put their support in where they saw fit.

It became clear to me that the USA and Russia didn’t care about what would happen to the people.  They didn’t care that civilians would be displaced or that the war would tear families and people apart.

Yes they might claim they want to stop the dictaroship of Assad.  But in the process of training rebels and supplying weapons, ISIS was born.

The same group that has taken over as the main threat of terror.  I grew up knowing Al Queada as the “it” terror group.  But now, this “ISIS” is what my students will grow up fearing.

I saw that people were quick to blame the Syrian refugees in France.  Did they not understand these were the type of people the refugee were fleeing from?

I saw people quick to damn all Muslims; people wanting to close boarders.

It’s interesting that people choose to reach for hate and exclusiveness first.  They say they are doing it to protect people.  They are in fact acting no better.

Children reach for hate and fear first.  They reach for revenge.  That’s why when one of my students hits another, his first reaction is to hit back. And hit back harder.

As an adult, my first reaction is to ask “why”?

I know we can’t sit down with ISIS and ask why, and even if we were able to, there would be no ability to reason.  You can’t reason with extremist.  Just like drunk people.

But the more I thought about Paris and the Syrian war, the more I became disturbed.  I had this thought running through my mind that I dare not put on Facebook.

“Why does it take an attack on a world class city to realize how horrible and terrible death and war is?”

Is it because they are innocent citizens in a far away country?  No one is untouched in war.  We all feel the pain whether directly or indirectly.

It shouldn’t take us feeling sorry for Paris to suddenly care about the bombings in Beirut two days prior that no one cared about.  The bombing that took the life of a true hero who sacrificed himself and his daughter to save a mosque full of people.

I stand with Paris. I stand with Beirut. I stand with the citizens of Syria who can do nothing but watch their country kill itself.

If this is truly  an attack on humanity as Obama states, then what about all the problems the rest of the world has? What about poorer states that receive less media coverage? What about states were it’s become second nature to accept death and murder?  What about racism in a country that claims it’s free of it? Is that any less of an attack on humanity?

Some people may claim that my opinion is taking away from France.  I say it’s not.  It’s supporting it.  It’s supporting all those future cities that might be attacked.  I want the world to wake the FUCK up ( and I use that world lightly as I hate using it).  This isn’t about one city in one country.  It’s about the entire world and us as humans.

If we can only can find it in ourselves to care about what others are feeling through out own pain, it might happen. If we pretend that we are blind and lack empathy, that how could bad things NOT happen to us?

Why does it take an attack on Paris to make the world leaders want to increase it’s manhunt and destruction of ISIS and put an end to the Syrian War?  Couldn’t the refugees and dead civilaians of Syria be enough to want to  help end the war? Couldn’t the killings and horrors we know of ISIS to be true BE enough cause to want to hunt down ISIS?

It blows my mind that it takes Paris being attacked to put this all in motion.

Which brings me to my next point. Islam.

I’m a Christian.  I’m Christian enough to the point where I will hate missing Christmas service this year.  I’m Christian enough to know all the important dates, prayers and saint.  I’m also Christian enough to realize that those people who “claim” to be doing things in God’s name are nothing but insecure people who are full of hate…and thus are actually filled with the devil himself if you will.

I don’t have any opinions on Islam good or bad.  I don’t know enough and don’t want to spout out false statements.

However, I do understand while these ISIS extremists are claiming to be of Muslim faith, this is a small percentage.

Muslim is a religion. Just like Judaism and Christianity. And just like any time you have a large amount of people in one large group, you get crazies.

I teach 270 students. You think they are all angels? You think there aren’t some crazies or students who act out among them?

You’d be OUTTA YO MIND if you can honestly say that all 5th graders an angels.  And I would commit you.

These ISIS supporters and members draw a negative spotlight to Islam.  But we shouldn’t allow that to skew out vision. We shouldn’t be so narrow minded and weak to want to find someone to blame.  As I mentioned above, our first instinct is to retaliate-direct our hate at who we think caused us harm.  That is an instinct of a 5th grader.

So before you want to “close our boarders” and bomb Muslims, please remember a few things.  Christians carried out the horrific crusades in the name of God. Are all Christians like this? Germans committed the inhumane Holocaust. Are all Germans like this?  Generalizing based on ANYTHING does nothing but make things worse.  And the world is already in a shitty way-do you honestly want to make it worse?

This brings me to my next point.  Korea.

Saturday.  I knew only about Paris.  Something that was happening far away.  I knew nothing of why  traffic was horrible in Seoul. Something that was happening an hour away.

A little while ago, the government here made its intentions known about changing the history text book by 2017.  In it, the Korean history is rewritten.

That is not to say that American history textbooks must be read carefully, or any history text book.  In Japan I’ve heard they barely mention the atrocities of the the Japanese during WWII.

In the USA textbooks, there is little mention of Japanese internment camps.  Usually a side blog meant to be a “fun fact”.  More interesting are the different teachings of the Civil War.

Demonstrators showed up to protest this, as well as a few other issue they have with the current president.  I’ve read that ever since her poor handling of the Ferry disaster last year, her popularity is falling.

But none of my friends or people knew about this.  It was only through international media did I even hear about it.  At first it was mentioned that only water cannons were fired at the protestors.  Then it came out these water cannons were filled with tear gas and chili powder.  The police came the peaceful demonstration changed when people brought steel pipes and sharp bamboo sticks.

I’m from a country where demonstrations or protests aren’t uncommon.  I walked through one a few years back in Philadelphia.  I’ve seen many.

In my past 9 months here I’ve never once felt truly unsafe except for the one North Korean threat.

I’ve felt unaffected by the outside world.  Not keeping up with international news or world issues.  I’ve been blind and ignorant. But with the violent protest in Seoul, and the Paris bombing, I realized I can’t be ignorant anymore.

It was nice to be free of others suffering and the mess that is world politics.  But with South Korea changing, and the world continuing to slide into chaos, I can’t stay like this forever.  This country made me feel like I could be free from the mess.  But as a human it’s my responsibility to understand what’s going on the in the world.

This brings me to my last point.  When 9/11 happened I was in 7th grade.  I will remember exactly where I sat at school, what period of the day it was, what day of the week it was.  I will also remember the lie I was told.  I understood that the school didn’t want us to panic.  We were after all so close to D.C. that there were students who had parents working in D.C.

But the fact they told us that the school was closed due to “road construction” made us cheer.  Then when my friend’s parents took me home, I was told “the stock market crashed”  It wasn’t until I got home, and I was sitting on the sofa that I saw on the TV what happened.  And I didn’t understand.  I had never heard of Afghanastan or Iraq.  I knew nothing about Extreme muslim terrorists.  I was in 7th grade.

I understand it was the schools duty not to panic us.  But instead of making up a lie, I wish they would have told us that something had occurred and we needed to go home.

I understand the need to protect children but who is protecting the children who have to live with bombings and killings on a daily basis?

I though about bringing up the bombings in Paris to my kids.  I want to be honest with them.  But at the same time I don’t want to scare them. And because it’s such a complex thing dealing with religion and terror, I don’t know how much they would understand.

But I think it’s something they need to be aware of.  And I’m not sure they will really talk about it or care about it other than passing by.

Korea has it’s race issues.  I’m not going to pretend otherwise.  But the idea of this kind of extreme terror is something that isn’t serious to them.  Yes North Korea is there, but as many people have told me, this year the threat of MERS was more lethal than that of North Korea’s nuclear strike.

If I had a chance to address this issue to my fifth graders I would say this:

“On Saturday, something very sad and bad happened. Paris, France was attacked.  A lot of people were hurt and many died.  This was because some people only hate.  They hate what is different.  They don’t want to try to talk.  They just want to hurt as many people as they can.  We can fight back by being kind.  If someone looks different, or doesn’t have as much money, you should still be kind to them.  We can fill the world with love.  And stand up to these world bullies. I’m telling you, because I don’t want to lie to you.  I want you to be people who fill this world with only good things.”

It’s not much, and it’s simple.  I don’t need to go into detail about Islam and terrorists.  I don’t need to scare them or tell them the true horrors of war.  I just need them to understand that some people in this world are full of hate and anger.  And we can fight back by being kind to each other.

I think that’s really it for today’s political rant.

It’s been hard keeping these thoughts in.

I’ve seen friend have major disagreements online about it.

I’ve seen people getting way too heated over it.

I don’t want to be like them.  I just want those who can’t find a peaceful life to know that I support them-all of them, whether it be grief stricken France, human trafficking victims in Mexico, animals who are abused and tortured-it doesn’t matter.

Because if we continue down this road, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the apocalypse.  God flooded this Earth once because it was beyond repair.  I wouldn’t be shocked if he did it again soon.

But for now, all I can do is continue to this life, do my best….and of course listen to KPOP.   Because sometimes all you need are 6 sexy man singing in suits and doing insane body rolls.

But hey, that’s just me.

O.M.G. (Over a Month Gone)

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So….it’s been a while.  Like a long long while.  With the insanity that was my July and August I do apologize for not blogging.  Where to even begin.

Well it’s been so long I don’t even know what the last thing I wrote was.  Probably something about Chess the musical and 2pm concert and the craziness of summer camp planning.

Well to wrap up my August here is a brief over view: summer camp, parents visit, concerts.

Summer Camp:

To anyone who is contracted through GEPIK or EPIK you will have to complete two “camps”.  I had worked really hard planning out what I thought to be fun lessons but educational.  All of my other friends have told me that my lesson plans seemed to keep the kids occupied while they learned something.

Turns out my co teacher did not want a summer camp like everyone else.  It was to be 40 minutes of teaching something simple and then 40 minutes of a game that had nothing to do with what we learned.  Needless to say this was much harder than I thought. Even though I spent over a month carefully planning, I still spent 3 hours every day replanning for the following day.

Positives: The 3rd and 4th graders were beyond cute! They understood way more than I thought they did and I was able to speak freely with them.  It was a nice change to have kids so willing to participate without fear of being embarassed.

I understand people who say that teaching them is exhausting at times…but since I never teach them, I found them so cute and fun to teach.

My 5th and 6th grade class was a lot smaller so I really got to know their names and personalites.  I had 5 of my fifth grade students.  Compared to the 4 other 5th graders, my students had a much higher level and also were so much more confident.  The 6th grade boys weren’t as bad but I think it’s because I only had 2 of them.  I’ve seen what a class of 30  6th graders looks like and it’s not pretty.

Cons:  Other than feeling pressured to change the lesson plans during the course of camp, I really enjoyed my summer camps.  The kids were great and i got to really know some of my current fifth graders.

Lesson Plan:

Day 1: introduction, orientation 3/4 -altered musical chair game where they had to identify letters on chairs instead, 5/6-hot potato game where they had to ask a question or answer in the alloted time…if the timer went off when they were holding it they had to roll the dice and do the punishment.

Day 2: My Favorite: learning my favorite things song, make a favorite mobile, play guess “jessie teacher’s favorite thing” game

Day 3: 3/4-Family members, catch the words game, family BINGO game, 5/6-future tense, I will, make a time capsule

Day 4: Holidays- American holiday tour (with my dog as their guide) make your holiday activity

Day 5: Music day- Learn different types of popular American music, listen to sample clips of the music, Water balloon game-choose one card from the bag-if you can’t answer you must sit on the balloon and pop it

Day 6: Money Day-learn about American money, play 4 corners game (choose which corner has the right price) auction/shopping day, scavanger hunt-take pictures of thing or actions

Day 7: golden bell quiz, snack, awards, movies

Parents visit:

Parents visit was definetly something that stuck with me for a while.  While back in the USA i used to be the kind of person who got homesick very easily.  But here, not so much.

My parents came for 9 days after their China trip.  They were worn out from going and going in China.  I met them at Seoul Station and we took the KTX to Busan.

I have never been on the KTX before.  I wasn’t really impressed that much.  There was no where to store luggage and the seats weren’t as nice.  The ITX saemul is much nicer and cheaper.  It takes a little bit longer though. But traveling by train in Korea is so easy and cheap with nice scenery that spending a little more time on the train is NBD as long as you have your tunes, and snacks.

It was nice that we could all relax on the train ride. I had been running around like a crazy person the few days beforehand.  I had been house/puppy sitting and only had about a day to deep clean my apartment before the parents got there.

So when I finally had to go to Seoul to meet them, I had no eaten and was tired.  Thankfully we were able to just sleep on the train.  Which I did….soundly.

Because I’ve been to Busan before I knew my way around the station.  But W and I always take the subway to her house.  However, with all our luggage, exhaustion from traveling, and not wanting to deal with a super long subway ride, I found the taxi shelter.  It was about a 15ish minute ride to the Pacific Hotel.

Haeundae is a cool place.  It’s the closest to a beach town I’ve seen so far here in Korea (aside from he short time I’ve been at Gwangali).  It’s far more commercialized and tourist friendly than any other place I’ve been to outside of Seoul.  There are a lot of restaurants on the main strip, and shops and markets.  We were able to see the nightlife as we drove by to our hotel.

Paradise Hotel was super nice.  And it’s prices reflected that.  If you are willing to shell out the extra money, it’s a place I’d defiently recommend if you are looking for a little pampering.  For example, a breakfast buffet for the three of us was a nice 100$.

We ate at BonChon (the first one I’ve seen since being here) and then hung out in the hotel room.  At that point I was so hungry and tired so all I wanted to do was eat and go to bed.  Our first night in Busan was that of staying in the hotel while trying to explain why Snoop Dog was on “SMTM4” (a Korean rap show).

The following day we woke up and had breakfast at the Coffee Bean an Tea Shop (I think that’s what it’s called).  It’s a short walk from the hotel.  We had our breakfast and then went back to change to go to the beach.  It was an overcast day but there were a lot of people.

It was a little cold and the waves were pretty rough-but this is coming from someone who was spoiled by the caribbean. While the umbrella’s weren’t free the inner tubes were-I suspect this is to prevent drowning which is a smart idea.  Even though it was overcast it was still a nice day.  We all had fun watching the teenage boys sit in the breakers and get completely flipped over on their tubes by the waves. We could hear their shrieks of laughter and terror.

On a bad notes, I got taken out by a wave and lost my favorite pair of sunglasses.

After Haeundae we went to downtown Seomyun and wandered around.We had dinner at Seoga & Cook-the place I make W take me every time I visit.  Its “italian” but in typical Korean fashion, it tastes a little different.  Still the seafood is amazing and the portion sizes kind of remind me of back home which is why W and I always share.

It’s also the place that I was able to hook my dad onto buying “ade” (fruit juice and sparkling water basically) by getting him to try the Hallabong ade.  He quickly became obsessed with it and ordered it every single time we got drinks after that.

We then wandered around a little- I took them to Kim’s Club for some drinks and to let them see a Korean grocery store.  We then headed back to Haeundae.  It was a little strange though.  I’ve heard from friends about witnessng racial issues but now it was first hand.  Younger people didn’t want to sit next to my dad, and clearly gave them a wide berth.  I was shocked because we were in a more foreinger populated area.  (W had told me when her mom was visiting that her mom bumped against a lady on the subway, and the lady proceeded to wipe herself with a tissue afterwards).  It made me very angry…but also allowed me to see what I might ignore on a regular basis.  Because I don’t look foregin on the outside, I don’t have to deal with day to day issues of being different.

The following day we left Busan to come to my hometown Pyeongtaek. We took the ITX Sameul which is my favorite train and once again I slept as I usually do.  I let my mom have the window seat both times on the train because she would only be here once.  It’s a route I’ve traveled many times despite not actually ever sitting next to a window seat.

We stayed in Pyeongtaek enough time to do laundry, relax and even head up to Suwon for a look around the summer palace. There was an English speaking guide and we found out due to the new holiday (liberation day eve) the palaces were free!

Because my apartment, while bigger than most, does not fit three adutls comfortably, I had to sleep on the couch.  My apartment quickly taught me, that more than 2 people is a crowd.  We were able to eat pizza and ice cream and overall just relax.  I even got my dad asking to watch episodes of Modern Family!

That Friday, we left for Seoul on the slow “regional rail” as I call it.  It’s the slowest train, Mungunghwa, and from Seoul to Busan W said it takes about 6 hours. (I did have to one day take it from Busan to Pyeongtaek which while long, didn’t feel too bad.  It was about 5 hours but it was at night so I guess I didn’t feel like I wasted my entire day on the train).

It’s a quick 1 hour ride up to seoul, something I do almost every weekend.  However, I usually have a standing ticket, so I made sure to buy my parents tickets a head of time so we wouldn’t have to stand with their giant suitcases.

We headed to Seoul where we spent 4 days!! We stayed in Myeongdong at the Pacific hotel.  It was also a very nice place to stay. It’s right at the foot of Namsan Mountain, and we could even see the N Tower from our window.  It’s also literally right across from Myeongdong Shopping center.  IMO…it’s kind of the best location ever.

We went to the N tower out first day which was insane! I’ve been twice now but it was so crowded it took an hour just to ride the cable car to the top. It turns out that the Friday was a new holiday and there was some speical event going on at the top of the Mountain….it was so crowded and busy…but my parents seemed to like it.

Afterwards, we went to Myeongdong to look around at the shopping and ate street food.  I’ve never gotten the chance to do it so I had a lot of fun!

The next day My parents did the DMZ and I slept in and did some shopping!  We wound up meeting in Itaewon.  It’s the foreinger district of Seoul, and happens to be within walking distance of the Seoul US garrison.  It’s not my favorite place but if you want decent foregin food, or need imported supplies, Itaewon is your best bet.  We ate at some pub before wandering around the area and then headed back to Myeongdong.

My parents claimed that they had no intention of shopping with me…well like everyone, Korea changed them.  They became Nature republic addicts, doing the foot and hand shea butter treatment and face masks every night.

That’s also when the collection of Nature Republic EXO fans started as well. They are free and you get one each time.  They let you choose.  I wound up with Chanyeol (who I didn’t know at the time) and we used the fan a lot that weekend.  Sadly I lost him in the subway…so we went on a hunt for a new one.  And we wound up with 4 at the end of the trip.

We went to church on Sunday at the Catholic Cathedral in Myeongdong and ran into an old co worker of my dad’s! Afterwards we went to Gyeongbukgong Palace which was also free! We got to see the changing of the guard! They place is huge! You could spend an entire day there!  It made Suwon look like a dwarf palace.

My dad and I went to the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Park afterwards and wandered around.  We went to a chicken and seafood place as well.

The following day we went to visit the World Cup Stadium and the adoption agency.  We learned that I have a twin sister after thinking it was a boy for 25 years! It was cute to see at the babies!  We bought diapers and baby wipes as a donation.

Our final night we had BBQ and mango cheesecake bingsoo and it was amazing!!  I’ve had about 3 different types of mango cheesecake bingsoo-Sulbing, Cafe Bene, Mango Six…but nothing compared to Twosome place…

It was hard to say goodbye the next day and I was sad for some time after that but luckily I have great friends here who knew that I didn’t really want to be alone!

Left Over Vacation:

I went back down to Busan to visit W (so much traveling…esp to Busan!)  The Gwangali Beach Water gun festival was happening that weekend.  Even though we didn’t participate in the water gun festival, we had fun watching the performers and people getting soaked.  To sum it up as best as I can…Gwangli Beach looked like a Korean version of Spring break in Daytona Beach.

We decided to eat at a new place that weekend, and had amazing pizza and fries.  Even though the crust was filled with sweet potato it was so good.

Even though summer break was only 2 weeks it felt much longer than that. It makes me want to work hard to get to that next vacation!

Concerts:

So in August…I went to a total of 3 concerts which doesn’t sound that bad….yeah right.

Teen Top- I let W drag me to Teen Top-her favorite band.  We had standing of course and while it wasn’t quite as impressive as Vixx… Teen Top put on a great show.  They made me a fan through their concert.  Despite Niel’s lips, the 3 hour concert was a great time!  Ever since then I’ve been watching their Hawaii and Guam trip and listening to their music!

BEAST/Daejeon:

The final weekend of August I decided to be crazy and go see Beast on Saturday and then do the Daejeon super idol concert the following Sunday.

Well…W told me “you have to go to fan events!”  which take place a few hours before hand.  So I went at around 1230 and did not sit until at least 10pm that night.  Why you may ask?  Let me tell you one thing : FREAKING FAN EVENTS!

If you don’t know what fan events are let me break it down for you: fan clubs before the concert hand out free stuff to the fans…..and it’s insane.  If you ever choose to do this…take friends!  You basically stand in lines, run around like a crazy person, and get free stuff.  Sometimes things run out, especially if the person is popular.  It’s fun, despite getting sunburnt and being exhausted even before the concert started.  The concert was really good! I had been wanting to see BEAST since they are one of my favorite groups!  I had never been to a concert before by myself so it was an interesting experience.

They all looked and sounded great! Even though Hyunseung’s freshly dyed red hair leaked down his face due to sweat and kind made him look like he was bleeding, he looked so much better than I have seen him.  If it is true that they will be enlisted in the military soon, I’m glad I sucked it up and went to my very first concert alone.

I wound up with so many fans, stickers, photocards, that I have them all in a bag under my desk, trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do with it all

The following day I had to go to Daejeon for the super idol concert.  SISTAR MBLAQ Crayon Pop Block B and Vixx were all playing!!!  The venue though was really unorganized and we were all very confused.

It was my friend K’s first concert in Korea!  Sadly the disorganizaion and lack of fan events wasn’t so great.  But once the concert started it was amazing!

I saw my student E who had told me about the concert in the first place!  He was with his dad.  He came over and wasn’t shy about conversing in English with my friends and me and even gave me two fans from the Vixx  fan meeting of my favorite two members.

Crayon Pop was first: I knew 0 of their songs.  But they weren’t bad.

MBLAQ was next.  I was sad that I wouldn’t see Lee Joon but shockingly the trio did a great job! I barely even missed Lee Joon and Thunder. the vocals were on point and Mir looked really good.

Sistar was next: all the soliders that had showed up in one big group got very quiet all of a sudden and was focusing 100% on the stage.  It was hysterical to watch.  I was so happy to finally see “Shake it” performed live!  Sadly the original choereo for ‘Touch my body” was used instead of the remix.

Vixx was next: and W and I proceeded to turn into total fangirl mode.  Although they didn’t perform my favorite song they were so good.  They all looked great and sounded perfect…there’s just not much more to say otherwise I could go on forever.  I will say this: unlike dream concert where I completely  blanked out during Love Equation…I do remember this.

Block B was last:  I think because they haven’t had much come out in the past year I just wasn’t as excited as I usually have been about them in the past.  They sounded good and it was fun to see them again, but their outfits were really awkwardly put together.  While PO and Jaehyo had on suits, others had on t shirts or flannel….it was a strange mix.

The concert was just over 2 hours which felt short and I wish it had been longer.  Each group performed 3-4 songs.  I’m glad I got my Vixx fill and hopefully it will carry over until their next comeback! (not counting Vixx LR)

This past weekend W and I did Show Me the Money 4 Concert:  It was at Korea University and up a big hill.  I’m still sore in the butt from walking up it.  It was a smaller concert but still fun.  Jay Park and all of AOMG showed up (minus Simon D).  Tablo and Epik High also showed up with Jinusean performing after.  I understand now why Jinusean is no longer too popular.  They definetly have that 90’s sound.  I liked it but I can understand why some people might find it out dated.

The most dissappointing act of the night was Zico.  Not only was Zico sick so his voice sounded whiny and nasally (which is so not Zico which is why I like his voice) but Song Minho didn’t even show up.  According to WINNER fans he was in Japan.  If you’re the runner up I think you should show up. It was just not that great of a set.  Luckily Verbal Jint/San E/Sanchez made it up.

I had never really listened to Verbal Jint before, but with Sanchez the two of them make a lethal pair.  It was so different and less angry sounding that every other rapper that performed that night.  Overall while rap and hip hop isn’t really my style I enjoyed the concert.

W and I then went shopping in Myeongdong to find her BTS comic books while I finally picked up Mamamoo’s first album and EXO’s overdose album. I don’t know what possessed me to buy it…actually I do but that’s another long story and this post is getting too long as is.

Then we sat down for about an hour before heading back to Hongdae where we had a really good chicken noodle dinner and watched street performers.   Men performing girl songs never fail to make me smile.

We tried mango six mango bingsoo but it just wasn’t that great.  The mango’s were almost too tart and it melted way to fast. I was dissappointed.  You would think something called “Mango Six” would have the best mango bingsoo…not the case.

We left the next day after sleeping in and enjoyed time in the coffee bay near seoul station!  Finally I went home and spent the day cleaning my apartment.

So that’s it all caught up…it took forever.  But with Cinderella coming up in two weeks (Ken is playing the prince…kill me now) and then Chuseok in Jeju a week after that where W and I will re-enact our very own Vixx One Fine Day vacation I don’t know the next time I will be able to blog.

So for at least today…that is all…..WOW

Busan Haeundae

Busan Haeundae

Busan Haeundae Beach-Overcast

Busan Haeundae Beach-Overcast

Their

Their “selca’ game is strong

Jack doing a handstand

Jack doing a handstand

Jack and Daniel....not the alcohol

Jack and Daniel….not the alcohol

Gangnam style Jack

Gangnam style Jack

Ride up to Namsan

Ride up to Namsan

Top of namsan

Top of namsan

Gyeongbukgong Palace

Gyeongbukgong Palace

When I had light hair....wow

When I had light hair….wow

Dad's new best friend..Chanyeol Fan

Dad’s new best friend..Chanyeol Fan

Dinner...

Dinner…

Gyungbokgong

Gyungbokgong

World cup stadium

World cup stadium

worlds best bingsoo

worlds best bingsoo

Naman Tower

Naman Tower

Our fan collection

Our fan collection

SMTM4 concert...Rap Husband (verbal Jint)

SMTM4 concert…Rap Husband (verbal Jint)

Daejeon Super Idol Block B

Daejeon Super Idol Block B

Daejeon Idol VIXX <3

Daejeon Idol VIXX ❤

Daejeon Idol...MBLAQ....right?

Daejeon Idol…MBLAQ….right?

Fans my student gave me....aren't they amazing?

Fans my student gave me….aren’t they amazing?

Beast Beautiful Show 2015

Beast Beautiful Show 2015

BEAST! If only Yoseob was actually waving at me....

BEAST! If only Yoseob was actually waving at me….

(5th grade drives me ) Crazy! I just can’t see (the light at the end of the tunnel)

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Wow…so the last post was Father’s Day.  That shows just how much work I’ve been doing since then.  To recap as best as I can the past month as been slightly uneventful unless you count a ton of summer camp work.

At the end of June W and I went to Seoul because we had plans to see “Chess The Musical”.  But we wound up heading over to the 2pm concert the night before.  Needless to say it was one of the most interesting concerts I’ve been to.

1. we hadn’t planned on it and bought the ticket at the box office (110,000 won….)

2. because we hadn’t planned on it we were 30 mintues late…..

3. Despite strong performances by woo young, junho, jun K….the other three were kind of a mess-taecyeon couldn’t keep time, nickkhun’s singing…..year…..and either Chansung must have been sick or had a mircrophone problem because he was so far behind the beat….

4. It was the first time I was “star struck” at seeing them up close…maybe it’s because i’m not a huge fan?

All in all even being that late, I would have rather not gone.

The next day after some shopping around in Myeongdong we headed to the musical.  As uninspiring as the 2pm concert was, that’s how amazing Chess was.  Yes, not going to lie, we mainly wanted to see VIXX’s Ken, but it turned out to be much more entertaining that we thought.  At first the language barrier seemed a little distracting (especially since there were no subtitles like dramafever scrolling beneath) but about halfway through the first act it became irrelevant.  The acting and singing was all amazing and the storyline and songs were much more enjoyable that I originally thought (especially when i heard the composer was from ABBA…kill me).

Ken’s “Anthem” of course was the highlight of the show.

And that concludes a very boring month of June except for Chess.

Onto an even more boring month of July.  For the first time W and I had nothing planned for the month of July. No concerts…nothing.

This month has been…lacking.  Yes I ate real crab cakes and grilled corn at E’s house for fourth of july and went to see fireworks.  But other than that…it’s been mostly this damn summer camp planning.

Summer camp planning….the death of first time English teachers.

I have been using the book I was given to teach this entire semester.  Yes sometimes it’s annoying and unmotivating, but at least I have a lesson layed out as far as vocab and a theme.

Then i was told for my English camp…free reign.  As someone who has been so rigid with a book you might think I’d be happy.

I was. For a hot second.

Then came the fear…I had no book which meant I would have to make powerpoints from scratch.  I would have to teach a lesson and make it up all on my own…..and 7 of them!

Suddenly I missed my book.  Making 50 slide powerpoints for 7 days is just as much of a pain as it sound like.  One day’s lesson will take me 1 day to make it and 1/2 a day to edit and fine tune it.

Currently I am almost finished with the editing for day 6 while in the middle of day 7.  I also have to make the orientation power point as well….Stress has gone through the roof.

I’m staying super late at work, loss of appeitite, tired….while my co teachers get to take lovely little naps at their desks.

I’m thankful I’m almost finished because then I have to plan my parents visit to Korea, my weekend in Seoul for Teen Top, babysitting my friends dogs and do a good clean of my apartment.

Of course that is under the presumption I finish this week without going crazy.

For most of this semester my male co teacher and I have worked well together.  Our classes except for 1 really are pretty good.  But the past few weeks, in particular this final week, the kids are acting up and he’s catering to them.

I understand-they are kids.  They are in school for long periods of time.  Their parents don’t discipline them at home.  They are encouraged to run around before they get to the age where they have to work nonstop.  They aren’t impressed by Native Foreign Teacher.  They don’t want to do work because their English levels might be low.

HOWEVER

It is become very apparent that the lack of disicpline in the school and at home is negatively affecting productive classwork.

The male students in particular.

But when I try to enforce rules we agreed upon at the beginnng of term he backtracks and voids my authority in front of them.  I don’t know if he’s trying to all of a sudden to be in control because he’s the man, but it’s starting to irritate.

I think having two new teaches manage 5 classes was probably not the best idea.

Clearly, this post has become a little bit of a venting station.

But it’s been building up and with so few people who understand the difficulties of teaching as a NET that i am comfortable talking with, it has exploded here.

But with a busy August approaching and the end of the semester I’m trying to put a pretty crappy July away.

With a Teen Top concert, summer camp, parents visit, relaxing Busan hotel, seoul fun, and to end Block B, Sistar and VIXX!! Here’s to hoping that August will be better and my room A/C will be fixed so weren’t not the only room without a/c

fourth of july fireworks on post

fourth of july fireworks on post

E's two new jindo rescue puppies! I get to babysit!!

E’s two new jindo rescue puppies! I get to babysit!!

2pm concert

2pm concert

At SMTown with W

At SMTown with W

everything about it was amazing!

everything about it was amazing!

despite a stagnate July, the amount of music bought during this month has increased my collection

despite a stagnate July, the amount of music bought during this month has increased my collection

How to lose Interest in Pyeongtaek in 10 weeks

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Ok so I’ve been here closer to 15 weeks but then I would lose the relation to the iconic Kate Hudson and Matthew McCounahey movie that became “the”  RomCom of the the early 2000’s.

As mentioned previously, I thought I would be not having to use my paid vacation days this week and just leave early: 840-1130.  Well…something must have gotten lost in translation because other than the administration office I’m the only one here.  So I figured since I already made myself a portable cup of Earl Grey tea, put my face on, and dragged myself to school (yeah yeah It’s a 5 minute walk) I should at least get some stuff done.

So last time I mentioned debating between Seoul and Busan.

With GEPIK you have the option to resign with your school (if they offer-if they hate you….haha I guess ignore this) after a year, and gain a lot of perks-more vacation days, and a raise.

However, if you’re like me, and you want to leave you lost all of that.

I really do like my school. Despite the weird cancellation of classes and the sometimes boring afternoons, I am treated well, like my co workers, and have grown to really care about my students.  I don’t mind living close to school that much, and the neighborhood is very residential so I don’t really feel like I’m in the city.  Bijeon-dong was built with being a residential community in  mind.  But that does present a problem at time to people like myself who does not have a car or a family.

I have to take the bus to get to downton (DOWNTOWN OMG too much BBC) Pyeongtaek and then from there take the train or subway.

For someone who lived in Philadelphia for over 4 years, i cannot express the importance of Public transportaion.

The city itself isn’t bad, but Seoul and Busan both have an accessibility to so much more.

My initial plan, like so many, was to have a position in Seoul.  But then it switched to Suwon, which was why I chose Pyeongtaek.  It’s closeness to both Suwon and Seoul was part of it’s appeal as well as already having a stable friend already here.

But now living here for over 3 months, I’ve come to realize what things I really want.

So when my contract is up I want to move to Seoul or Busan.

But the question is: which one?

Busan

I’ve only been to Busan for a grand total of 2 days, and one of them was spent inside a concert hall/escaping from rain.

Pros:

The main appeal of Busan is to be closer to W.  I consider her my bff here in Korea and I miss having easy access (that sounds soooo wrong!)  to my friend.  I had been used to hanging out with my friends every day after work so now I find myself alone most of the weekdays.  I do like the alone time but sometimes it’s “too much” alone time.  I never thought I would say those words.

Another appeal of Busan is the city has a subway system.  When I was with W we traveled all over Busan with it.  Shopping was easy as well as getting to and from the HUGE train station which also houses a KTX line.

Although I hadn’t really been able to see much of Busan, the air felt cleaner, and it definetely gave off a different feel from all the cities up North.  From what I did see, it was very pretty and seemed like a really nice place to live.

Cons:

It’s that much further away from Seoul.  While yes there is a KTX train to Seoul, it’s expensive and isn’t as frequent and cheap as my train from Pyeongtaek. The only other choice is the bus for about 3 hours.

Summer gets very crowded.  With the Busan film festival and tourists, W told me the cities and beaches are filled with people.

Because Busan is the second largest city, the living quarters are much smaller.  W not only has a 1 room/studio but her kitchen is super narrow with two small windows and a typical “korean bathroom”.

I’ve learned that while my apartment is older (it has keys whereas everyone else has the super cool code locks-jealous!) it is much larger and I’m very lucky. Now having this large apartment and western bathroom, I’m not sure I’m going to want to downsize….especially now that I’ve had to buy things to “fill up” my empty space and walls.

Overall: While there are more pros, the cons do weight heavier.  I plan on visiting W in two weeks so we will see if I can get a better feel for Busan.

Seoul:

I spend almost every weekend in Seoul so I’ve gotten a decent grasp of the city.

Pros:

By now, I’m super familiar with it’s subway system.  I have yet to use the bus, but I hardly use my own buses. While the subway isn’t the easiest or most logical thing in the world, it does get you where you need to be while also having fabulous underground shopping.  It also has easy access to both Incheon and Gimpo.  I  find that I now can get around Seoul comfortably, especially the area around Seoul station.

Because Seoul is an international cosmopolitan city, it has that international appeal as well. While I don’t spend much time in the foreign districts like Itaewon, I can buy the international products I need-spices, random American brands-\.  Being in Seoul would make that slice of home I miss a little more accessable and not force me to drag it an hour south to get it home.

Also there is a more wide variety of food options.  Here in Pyeongtaek there are some international options, but nothing like Seoul.  Also things in Pyeongtaek definetly shutdown at a certain time, while I find that Seoul always has something open.

There isn’t really a park here in Pyeongtaek to relax-but Seoul has Yeouido and the Namsan area if you are looking for a “nature” retreat, or just wanting to sit outside and picnic.  Coming from a suburb area in Maryland, there was never a lack of wooded areas.  So while I enjoy the city I would like a place to retreat to.  Yeouido and Namsan are perfect. Many people bring tents  and food and drinks (IT’S LEGAL TO DRINK IN PUBLIC!) and make a day of it.

Going hand in hand with Namsan, there is just so much to see in Seoul.  The historical land marks live hand in hand with the modern city while the city is surrounded by mountains.  It’s really a city unlike any other and it’s why I fell in love with it.

Another large part is that it’s Seoul-major events seem to happen in two places-Seoul or Busan.  But all the concerts W and I have attended have been in Seoul.  It would make life easier to live in the city and not have to worry about making the trip up to Seoul, stay in a guesthouse, and then worry about getting a train home.

Cons:

Like with Busan, even more so I bet, the living quarters would be small.  I have a friend, J, who lives there now but her job is a “baller” job so I think her apartment is bigger than normal.  But as I mentioned above, I’m now accustomed to my “larger western” apartment.

The main appeal of Busan is a negative of Seoul.  While I wouldn’t be that much further away, and there would be the benefit of a KTX station, I wouldn’t be closer to W.  However I would have J and my Pyeongtaek friends come up to Seoul a lot. And with W making monthly trips to Seoul I guess it wouldn’t be too too bad.

Overall: It seems like I’m pretty biased towards Seoul….but I’m counting this as it’s close to where I live and I travel there so much. But I’ve been leaning towards Seoul ever since my first visit and fell in love.

I think with more travelling to Busan and spending a little more time here will help me make my decision…even if it seems that my mind is made up.

Now I did promise an ice cream review!

So Baskin Robbins is a decent chain back in the USA, but here in Korea it’s huge! And rightfully so.  The flavors here change and are innovative so it’s not just your average flavors.  Yes they have the iconic mint choc chip we all love but in Korea there is a flavor called Shooting Star….OMG

It’s “soda flavored” ice cream whatever that means.  It’s white and blue and red-i guess the blue and white are the soda flavors, and then there is a red “jelly” like strand in it as well. But the best part,,,,is the blue pop rocks.  Yes you heard right.  Blue pop rocks in ice cream.  It makes the entire flavor right there.  Now I love ice cream but I’ve never been one to buy “packed” take out ice cream because the grocery store was good enough for me.  However, now the Baskin Robbins guy knows me as the “english speaking customers”.  And when you buy take out ice cream, you get it in a really nice baskin robbins bag with dry ice to keep it cold.  Basically getting ice cream in Korea Baskin Robbins is the best.  Not to mention they give you these cute little spoons as well!

Wow this post ended up being longer, and a day that I don’t even have to be here….also the humor was lacking.  I apologize.

Next time on the Real Archives of Black and White dog of Korea: Lotte world review, learning that I have officially passed the age of clubbing in Hongdae, Namsan Cable Car fun, and trying to deal with my shopping addiction.

Big Bang (in theory)

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Yes. today’s title is a spin off of  both kpop group “Big Bang” and the amazing show “Big Bang Theory”.  I’ve decided to make some changes to posting.  Since I have a life on the weekends I figured maybe culture/sight seeing/kpop etc updates would be on mondays and then teaching/GEPIK applications/specitfic information on Fridays.

 

So my weekend….was amazing!

I decided to make the decison to stay in Seoul for the weekend.  It gets tiring having to go back and forth and then spend all day on your feet only to have an hour and a half commute home.

Choosing hotels….

I’ve had this dream to stay at the Ritz Carlton in NYC for a long time.  Turns out there is one in Seoul! For cheap(ish)! For one night it was around 200$ for a standard deluxe room.  However I needed it for two nights which rounded out at a whooping 500$.  I had just dropped 170$ on clothes….so that was a big NO!  Sigh, I will have to save up.  One day….one day.

 

I wound up booking a room at the “Grammos Hotel” located in the southern part of Gangnam right off of Yeoksam Station.  It is a bit south and more of a fincial district but for two nights I was able to spend only 300$.  It worked out well.  The room was big, there shower was nice, there was a SMART TOLIET!!!  (my mom is obsessed with these) and the bed was super comfy.

The room was also a “smart” room.  Everything was controlled with the panel on the wall or the remote control.  So i could turn lights, tv, ac on and off from my remote.  It was pretty sweet! It is located right near the Rennasaince Hotel, and is walking distance to a lot of restaraunts and coffee shops as well as an easy walk to Yeoksam Station

 

But how did I get there?

I usually take the train in to Seoul Station.  It takes about an hour, and it’s not too bad-5$.  But I needed to be on the other side (the eastern side) and there aren’t really any trains that go there.  So I wound up taking a bus to nambu terminal-my first time on a korean city to city bus….was surprsingly easy!

Trains and metro leave AK plaza which is the main transportation hub in pyeongtaek. The bus terminal is literally right down the road-facing AK Plaza turn left down the main road and you will see the bus terminal.

Now we did get stuck in traffic because silly me I took it the one that left at 530 so it took longer than normal which I used up sleeping and drinking the really good iced latte I had gotten from ToPresso-a fave coffee shop of mine. They are one of the only places that puts enough ice in my iced latte.

At first I was super hesistant about taking the bus-it was a spur of the moment thing for me (which if you know me, I like things super planned out) and unlike subway and trains, there aren’t any screens scrolling by in English.

So I had blind faith-but as it turns out the route that my bus takes leaves every 20 mintues.  So not only was it the main platform number (1-1) but it was empty so my suitcase and me had an entire row to ourselves! Yay us!  Now I will say this-about any transportation-the seats here are def smaller.  I fit fine but i’m sure for some people it could become uncomfortable.

As I said the bus ride was about an hour and a half long so I was thankful that I thought to buy that oatmeal and rasin cookie!

I had to hop on the subway line when I got to the bus terminal and then it was a simple transfer and a walk and then there I was at the hotel!

Now I had not gone out to eat by myself yet.  In America there is nothing strange or unusal about it.  You just bring a book or play on your phone and sit at the bar or something.

In Korea, no one eats alone out.

But I was starving and I needed something more than simply the banana milk I had bought at the GS25 (local convenice store). So after wandering for about 20 mintues and recieving strange looks I braved a restaraunt and walked in.  It was small and nice and surprsingly not too uncomfrotable.  For 6$ I got amazing bibimbap, and the spiciest kimchi I’ve ever had.  This stuff not only was paramore hayley williams red hair red, but you could smell the spice coming off of it.  I tried three bites and had to put it down.

I sat with my book (Twilight…don’t judge) and happily watched some baseball game on the tv.  All in all…it wasn’t the scary experience I thought it was going to be.

That night after shifting though about 100 channels I settled on a marathon of House M.D.

I had forgotten house good of a show it was.

I had not set an alarm but wound up waking up at 6 am like I’ve been doing for over a week now.  But I forced myself to fall back alseep until about 930 when I couldn’t stand it anymore.

I got dressed and headed out for a fun day of shopping in Itaewon, puppy playing in Gangnam, and exploring Gwanghwamun area.

But…I was not dressed for this adventure. The weather here has been difficult-in the morning, evenings, and shade, it is cold.  Like you need more than “a light jacket in April” cold.  But in the sun….you want to melt and die faster than Elphaba.

I had long light weight work out leggings, sneakers, a camisole and a light coat.  And by the end of the day I was roasting.  I even saw some people sunburned!

After checking out the US Embassy, Gwanghwamun gate, and buying some “imported” music at Kyobo (Hobbit part 3 soundtrack finally!) I headed over to Itaewon for some clothes shopping.  Because everyone here is a size 2 it’s hard to find clothes.  But itaewon has shopping that caters to “big size” anything over a size 4.  However…these stores tend to be…so big.  Most of the clothes I tried on were huge!  Good thing my friend told me that oversized clothing is a trend.

I left with a few shirts and a new pair of white shorts which I had to utilize the following day.

After Itaewon and a nice lunch at a “french bistro” I headed back to gangnam to play with puppies at the Cafe pawz cafe.

It was cute and the staff made sure everything was clean.  These dogs were a lot smaller than the others in Hongdae but still sweet. I had a particuarly chunky one park himself next to me.
It is located off of Gangnam station (not gangnam-gu office) and you need to make sure you leave out of the correct exit-this is another one of those super underground shopping malls- I have completely forgotten which one it is but if i remember or find it again I will edit this post.

Now it is a bit of a walk to get cafe but not unreasonable.

It was nice and relaxing and something I could see myself do every eveing after work if I lived around there.

I had the dliema of eating alone again for dinner so I found a “mexican” taco place in the basement of the Gangnam financial center.  It was interesting-the chilie was not bad but the ground up the beef so much that it was almost more of a soup that a chilie.  And the chips and salsa…were oddly sweet.

But while it was no Chipolte…it could have been much worse.

I went back to my amazing hotel and packed.  I didn’t want to leave.  It had acted as my amazing home for two days and that bed….so comfy.  I watched After School Club with had the one kpop star that I swear is stalking me through TV-Niel from Teen Top.

My friend Danielle is so offended by him and his lips and hair that I use his pictures to terrorize her.  Now I’m terrifed of his face as well.

Our friend Whitney however loves him and  his lips and calls us “mean”.   The good news was, his new song and personality were good-but getting past his face and those lips…it’s not an easy thing.

I ended up falling asleep to SVU marathon.  Oh how i miss my american tv shows.

The next day…I knew was going to be hectic:  With Big Bang concert on one side of the city and trains and shopping on the other side Whitney and I ran ourselves ragged.

I checked out of my hotel after a really good breakfast from Paris Baguttee and headed over to Apgujeong where she was staying.  Then we both went to seoul station to store out luggage for the day.  However Seoul station was full so we went to the next stop over-Hoekhyeon and dropped out suitcases off there.  Now Hoekhyeon sounds like Hakyeon-Vixx’s N’s real name…so…i’ve come to refer to the station as Hakyeon…probably not the best idea.

After storing suitcases it was time to do what I’ve become really good at here in Seoul…shopping! Whitney wanted this jacket she had seen in Hongdae the weeks prior but we couldn’t find it.  So we ate pizza, she bought a thing, I bought some stuff and then we headed back to Olympic park for Big bang.

 

We had planned on getting there an hour or so early but we ended up only having 20 minutes to spare…and we had standing!  So we quickly bought merch and then went inside.  Now when we walked in our standing section was packed….like people spilling out over the top…

I thought to myself…shit…we waited too long….

 

Only come to find they were putting the overflow from section C standing into seciont A so we wound up being closer and in a better poition!!  Who knew being late would pay off?!?!

 

The concert was amazing and we were so close! They had sections that moved over us and fireworks and fire and two new songs! It was a fun concert despite the fact they did not play my favorite song “Love Song”.

But Whitney came to the same conclusion I did-even though we had super close standing, and though I knew more of Big bang’s songs…..Vixx was a better concert.

Due to the travel time and chaos of people leaving we did’t get to the train station until 930pm and our trains left at 1020pm.  So we had ice cream and sat before saying goodbye and leaving.

 

I got home at 1130.  She got to her houe at 130.  It was a long night and 730 am looked horrible.

Even though it was so tiring and long and hot and I spent more money that I intended…it was a pretty awesome weekend.

1. I got to see bigbang

2. I got to stay at a nice comfortabl hotel

3. I got to shop!

4. i got to see and hang out with whitney

5. I conquered my fear of eating out alone

6. the weather-though hot-was nice.

I did not unpack when I got home only to realize that I have a 3 day business trip staring on Tuesday -tomrrow.  So i have to unpack when I get home, clean and repack for three days. it also is my only work day of the week until next wednesday due to “spring break” and “childrens day” so a super long weekend.  A very very weird week.

I will not see some classes for over 3 weeks.  So it will be hard and intersting to see where everyone is lesson wise come the week of may 10.

 

As for now, I have to plan the rest of my week, and try to stay awake at my desk.  Because sleep looks really really good.

Next time on the real archines of black and white dog Korea: business trip, long weekend, and looking forward to the progression of may