Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Traditional Korean Wedding

Last weekend one of Rich's friend's got married at a traditional Korean wedding at a palace in Insadong. Apparently this type of traditional wedding is fairly uncommon for younger Korean's, who generally prefer the western style "white wedding", so we were very lucky to be invited along.

As you can see from the photograph's the traditional wedding dress is really beautiful, especially the embriodery. We didn't understand a lot of what was happening during the ceremony but it was still a really great experience.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fifth Grade Field Trip

I'm now truely a teacher - why? I've been on my first field trip. Luckily, as an English teacher my responsibility on the field trip is fairly minor - mostly I just got to walk around and speak English to some of my students. I was also given various gifts of candy, chewing gum and chocolate during the day.

The field trip was to the Korean National Arborium, which is actually a huge area and I think we only just scratched the surface. There is apparently Siberian tigers and a brown bear there but we didn't get to see either of those.

It took about one hour, by bus, for all my fifth grade classes (10 classes, 10 buses) to arrive at the arborium.

Once we arrived the classes headed off with their teachers to fill out their workbooks for the day, I spent the most of the day with my co-teacher, vice principal and other teachers that teach specialised subjects.

We had lunch at about 12:30 which consisted of a lot of fruit and kimbab, in fact, more kimbab then I have seen in my whole time in Korea.

After we had finished lunch the homeroom teachers played games with their students, I tried to join in a few of these games and usually ended up making a complete idiot of myself. Which, of course, the children love!

After a couple of hours it was time to head back to school, we climbed back into our 10 buses and headed home.

I don't think I will be able to eat kimbab for a while!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dr Fish

Last Saturday we finally went to Dr Fish - Dani had been to the Dr Fish in Gangnam before and said it was great so the three of us went along.

What is Dr Fish? You may be asking yourself - it's a really good question. Apparently Dr Fish started in Turkey and it consists of tanks you put your feet into and the fish eat all the dead skin off your feet.

Apparently this cafe had two different types of fish as well - some with teeth and some without. It's all very very strange.

The cafe itself is very large and you can buy waffles, ice cream and all kinds of drinks. There are also books to read (although I think only one was in English) and you could basically just hang out all day if you wanted too.

You pay a small fee to use the Dr Fish tanks, you wash your feet before you go in, put your feet in the tank and then the fish go to work - it's like a swarm of fishes eating your feet. We think we had they type with teeth as occassionally I'm sure I felt a bite! But it also can tickle a lot - especially when they are in the arch of your foot.

It's a pretty strange but good way to spend and afternoon and your feet do feel soft afterwards.

Shopping in Myeong-Dong

Last weekend, Rich, Dani and I headed to Myeong-Dong in search of Doctor Fish (I'll explain more about that later). However, we weren't successful. But we did have lunch and did a little bit of shopping in Myeong-Dong.

When you're shopping in Korea, you never know what you'll find and when we were looking at socks we came across these.We also found these socks, Korea with a "C" instead of a "K"!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chucky is back!

For the past couple of weeks, I've been teaching prepositions - in, on, under, beside. For each topic I teach four classes and the last class is always a review class.

For my preposition review class my students we given a picture of a bedroom and asked to draw certain items in the bedroom. For example - draw a bag under the table, draw a book in the bookcase, draw a pencil in the pencil case.

The first time I taught this class (I teach each class eleven times) I was treated to a round of blank stares when I said "draw a doll on the bed". The children all knew what a bed was, but the word doll was a mystery to them.

When we marked the exercise, one of my brighter children happily told me that the doll he had draw was "Chucky" and made the horror movie stabbing motion with an imaginary knife.

I can remeber when "Child's Play" came out when I was pretty young. I know that there have been subsequent horrible sequels (I watched "Seed of Chucky" last year - that was a mistake) but I really didn't think these kids would have any idea who Chucky was.

In a later class, when I teaching the same lesson and I was greeted with blank stares when I said "draw a doll on the bed" - I followed it up with "A doll, you know, like Chucky". I recieved head nods of acknowlegement and a few horror movie knife motions from some of the boys.

When teaching in Korea, every day is truely is an adventure. I am however, glad I am a horror fan - I have friends who cringe at the mere thought of Chucky. I'm not sure what they would think of a classroom of Korean boys with their invisible horror movie knives.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Double Bill

For a while now, Rich and I have been wanting to attend "Double Bill" which is a cool movie night event held on Sunday night's in Hongdae.

However, other events kept happening and we kept on putting off attending a Double Bill film screening. But last weekend we finally made it along and I was so happy we did. The space where the movies are screened (which is a bar/cafe) is really amazing and has a really good vibe and the organisers were also really friendly.

Only a few people turned up to the screening that night but that's ok because there's not a lot of space at the venue. The main event that night was a very cool Japanese film called "Adrift in Tokyo", it was great to have a chance to watch this movie as we rarely have a chance to watch Japanese movies in the cinema as they all have Korean subtitles. It's also movie 21 in my 110 movies in 2010 New Years Resolution challenge. We finished off the night with dinner at a Mexican restuarant we liked, all in all not a bad end to the weekend.

An afternoon in Yeouido

It's been a long and cold winter in South Korea this year according to my workmates and Korean friends. However, the weather is finally getting warmer and it's starting to feel a lot like spring.

We had heard that the cherry blossoms were in bloom in Yeouido, so we decided to go and check them out seen as I had also wanted to visit the "63 Building" which is in Yeouido for a really long time.

Walking to the 63 building we encountered so many cherry blossoms! They are so pretty and make for great photos.

We finally arrived at our destination, The 63 building, which you can see is very tall and mirror like. When we got inside we were bombarded with things we can do. As well as having a viewing deck, the tower also has an aquarium, wax works and IMAX amongst the usual shops and eateries. However we decided just to visit the viewing deck which also includes the world's highest art gallery.

The view from the top of the tower is amazing, you can see so much of the city and can really see the contrast between the areas of town that are filled with the identical skyscrapers and the older parts of town that appear to have grown more organically.

The art gallery was really amazing too, it had a really great photography exhibition on with mainly Korean photographers. However, it felt like the art got a little bit "lost" on the viewing deck as it seemed like most people there wanted to check out the view and not look at art - which is fine. But it seemed like this wasn't the best place in the world to have an art gallery even if it is the highest art gallery in the world.

After we had out lunch we decided to check out a large garden in Yeouido whilst walking to the station. There were so many people!! Especially people on bikes and roller blades - it was pure madness and it wasn't even a great day weather wise - I wonder what this place will be like on a really nice spring day.

Expat Women

Recently, I came across a really interesting website called Expat Women which is a really useful website for women living anywhere in the world.

My favourite part is the blog section, so often when I search for blogs based in South Korea or anywhere else I may be considering working or travelling to, I often feel bombarded and can't find a blog that is particulary interesting to me.

However, most of the blogs on this website are great and it's really nice that they are all from a women's perspective - make a nice chnage!

I have now submitted this blog to the website for South Korea - a little nervous that my wee blog will be on a website like this but hopefully some people will take an interest in my ramblings!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jess' Easter Swap Package.

My friend Jess and I decided to do another swap - this time it was an Easter Swap. Jess sent me an amazing Easter package but there isn't too much Easter stuff in Korea so I decided to make her up an egg carton of Easter-ish kind of stuff. I filled the egg carton with all kinds of random goodies like candies and other trinkets.I also made a few things for the egg carton - including this little bunny. He's my favourite handmade item in this package.I also made a couple of sugar themed fridge magnets from felt - I like the ice cream the best.