Saturday, February 27, 2010

EPIC Journey, Part Two

So, it's you know where your children are?

Ugh, I've been sitting here for 5 hours... luckily I discovered a magical way to watch full episodes of "Fringe" on (it's usually for US viewers only) so that's been keeping me occupied. I charged up my computer battery while I was watching, thankfully, because out of the blue the plug just stopped working. I know it's not my charger because another guy tried to plug in his laptop and nothing happened. Oh well, now I have plenty of battery life to get me to Dallas.

I've been taking my "No Jet Lag" homeopathic remedy, and it seems to be working. I haven't bloated up like I normally do when flying, but the real test will be the 11.5 hour journey to Dallas. I can't believe that I'm not even halfway through my journey yet. Ugh. Makes me want to cry a little :(

Lots of military guys waiting. It almost doesn't even feel like I'm in Japan because I all I see are American faces (presumably)... wait, there's one Japanese family. I only know they're Japanese because they're speaking Japanese. See how smart I am? Okay, time to go. The next update will be from AMERICA!!!

EPIC Journey, Part One

So here I am sitting in Incheon Int'l Airport (Seoul(ish), for those of you who are stateside) with about an hour before my flight to Narita Int'l (Tokyo). I thought I might keep you updated on my progress, as well as the size of my cankles ;) (I swell up like a water balloon whenever I fly).

While I was waiting for my plane to leave Daegu, the Olympics were on in the waiting area--many foreigners, oddly enough, and I was curious if anyone else was rooting for Team USA. Well, we were watching a speed skating competition, the one where 3 people skate together against one other team--USA vs Canada. USA won (!!!) and I swear, like 5 people all shouted "YEAH!" and fist-pumped at the same time. The poor Koreans were all so startled, they actually looked a bit frightened by the outburst. I couldn't help but smile :)

Here's my view while waiting:

I know, it's not that impressive. I feel like I shouldn't give it my all just yet, I don't want you to get spoiled.
Friday, February 26, 2010

Half o' Chiquapin Parish'd give their eyeteeth to take a whack at Ouiser!

Ten points if you know where that title quote's from!

I've avoided writing anything here lately because it would just be more "only x days left!" and "oh, not much is happening here" and who really cares about all that? Not me, that's for sure. I'm pretty sure if I was reading my blog, I'd be like, "Geez, I wish she'd get a life and write something that will entertain me for 3 minutes!" So that's why I haven't written lately.

Today was my last day at YBM. As I said to my coworkers earlier today, I'm a bit indifferent about leaving YBM but I'm sad to leave all of them. Luckily, we have neat things like cell phones and Internet access, so it really shouldn't be THAT difficult to keep in touch. Unfortunately, I'm not really looking forward to starting my new job either; they've been really difficult to get any information out of and today was really too much. I needed to get my visa transferred to my new school before I leave tomorrow, so the guy from my new school (Moon Kkang) came by YBM to pick up my passport and ARC (Alien Registration Card) yesterday. I was told I'd have both back today, and I just assumed it'd be in the afternoon sometime.

Since it's Marc's birthday, we'd planned to go out and have a nice dinner after he finished work at 6:30. Well, 6:30 came around and I still didn't have my passport. We called and hassled people and were told someone from MK would bring it to the apartment before 8pm. Well, 8pm came around and still no passport... by this time I was angry and ready to cancel my contract because I really hate this kind of crap. Marc called again to find out what was going on, and was told that "something came up" but we'd have my passport within 15 minutes. Oh. Em. Gee. The guy finally showed up around 8:20 and said, "Sorry, oh and it was fifty bucks." I'd forgotten about payment, it would have been nice if my "contact person" had mentioned something about cost. Whatever. I'd really like to make an official complaint about this whole ordeal but I have no idea who to complain to.

In any case, I'll be on my way to the grand ol' U.S. of A. in about 6.5 hours--weeeeee!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

나는 여자 임니다.

i.e. I am a woman.

In order to improve my grasp of the Korean language, I've been studying via a website called Live Mocha. It teaches me useful phrases such as "I am a woman/man/boy/girl; I am young/old/rich/poor/fat/thin." I can also negate each phrase!!! So this means I have already increased my Korean vocabulary by like, I dunno... 200%? Just in case anyone ever asks me if I'm a man or a woman, at least I can answer them correctly. In Korean.

Really, I've only studied for any length of time like 2 twice; mostly I just get emails from other people who are learning English on the website to check their writing/speaking assignments. One guy even made me his friend! WooooOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOO!!! It's a little embarrassing to admit that I've been here a year and I really can't speak any more Korean than I did within my first month. Maybe this year I'll try harder?

Here's a great blog you should check out. These people even make supercool videos, much more entertaining than me :) Eat Your Kimchi
Monday, February 15, 2010

For those who are still experiencing Valentine's Day...

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

13 days!

Are you tired of my countdown yet? I hope not. Even if you are, I don't really care.

Right now we're in the midst of Lunar New Year, one of the big holidays in Korea. All of Asia, really. Most businesses were closed today so we just sat home. Most of the day anyway. We went out and had galbi with some friends, so that was good. Even BETTER is that we're off work tomorrow! WOohoooooo! I'm so excited about it that I'm not even going to make that "o" lowercase!

Did you know that marriage makes you older? I find it interesting that if my students know I'm married, they always assume that I'm at least 30 years old. However, if I haven't told them that I'm married, they assume I'm 23-24 but that I look like a university student. It's just because 30 is the magic marrying age in Korea. Here you can't get married until you have a stable job and can afford to buy an apartment. Because of the bad shape of the economy, they're putting off marriage and therefore putting off having kids, and even then they're only having 1, maybe 2 kids. Therefore, the population is shrinking and some government offices have ordered employees to go home and make babies. Seriously, you guys.

Also, Korea doesn't offer dual citizenship right now, but they're working on changing that because so many Koreans are in other countries but they're not Korean citizens and therefore their children aren't Korean citizens, etc. For example, a lot of Koreans that move to the US are quite happy being American citizens and while they'd like to retain their Korean citizenship, it's not worth it.

I'm not sure why I went into the plight of the Korean population--it's just interesting I guess. I've also heard that due to all this, prenatal care and whatnot is much cheaper to encourage people to have more children. The cost of giving birth is only like $1000, as opposed to $10000 in the US (assuming that everything's all normal and nothing goes wrong). It wasn't until I moved here that I realized just how expensive healthcare in America is.

Alright, I'm kind of tired of rambling. Marc's playing Star Trek Online (ahhhhhh!!!!) so I guess I'm going to watch TV. G'night!
Thursday, February 11, 2010

16 Days!

It's been a few days, but honestly not much has been going on. (And it least it's just a few days as opposed to few months.) I'm excited to go home; however, I'm not so excited about the flight. I leave Daegu around 7:30am on the 27th, and I'll arrive in Atlanta around 9:30pm that night. Now at first glance that doesn't seem so bad--only 14 hours. HOWEVER. Add 14 hours, and you learn that I will be traveling for 28 hours; that doesn't include arriving at the airport around 6:30am and then the 2.5 hour drive home from Atlanta. Oh well, at least I'll be home :) 

I ordered some "No Jet Lag" so I can maximize my time, especially since I'll be making the trip twice in 2 weeks. I heard good things about it from a coworker and I was able to find a retailer in Hong Kong so it was cheap to order it. 

Alright, so, officially I will be available February 28-March 13 (27th and 14th are travel days). I start training for my new job on March 16th, so no time to really recover from the flight--but that's okay, because I will have NO JET LAG! Hopefully.
Saturday, February 06, 2010

21 days!

Now, this might be TMI for some of you, but it's important to me.

I cannot wait until I can take a shower without having to practically sit on the sink. Yes, I said it. I *practically* sit on the sink to take a shower.

Now, I can either stand in front of the sink and lean waaaay back--which at 5 in the morning doesn't always work out since I'm sleepwalking at that time---or, I can just slean (lit?) on the sink. Slean, by the way, it the word I just made to describe the action of not quite sitting on the sink. As in, "I'm just sleaning."

Just 21 days! 3 weeks! Only 504 hours! Wahooooo! 
Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother."

Abraham Lincoln said that (according to the Internet anyway). It's so true.

This entry has absolutely nothing to do with Korea. It's really a pretty selfish entry, if you must know.  Tomorrow it will be 2 years since my mother was buried; I really can't believe how quickly the time has passed. (Doesn't that sound cliche'?) I debated whether or not I would write anything, but I think she deserves some mention. 

My mom was really goofy. Some people have trendy mothers, some people have old-fashioned mothers, and some people have soccer moms. Mine was all 3, with a dash of Rose from the Golden Girls. The older I get, the more I realize how fortunate I was to have the mother I had. She truly was my best friend.

The stories. Ooooooohhhhhh, the stories my family can share about my mom! I remember being in college and my parents took my best friend (at that time) and I to Six Flags in Atlanta; on the way home we stopped at IHOP for a late night dinner. My family has always had this strange fascination with bodily noises, and such stories inevitably came up during dinner conversation. I remember the four of us laughing SO hard, tears rolling down our faces, just telling fart stories. Yes, I said it--fart stories. I'll refrain from telling the actual stories themselves, because I'm pretty sure Mom would be pretty angry if I told the whole Internet world about her *ahem* fluffles

And what about the flat tire story? Remember when Mom was driving me and Bethany down the interstate and we got a flat tire in the van? It was like 10 o'clock at night and she was POSITIVE that nobody would help us because she didn't have her nails on? And then she was worried that we would roll down the embankment so we all had to huddle on the left side of the van? *cue Rachel's terrible Bronx accent imitation*

Oh, and what about UAB Day (wasn't that it?) when Dad decided it was a good idea for mom to drive downtown and she turned left into oncoming traffic? Rachel (I think?) and me and Dad we all screaming for our lives, and all she could say was, "What? What's the big deal?"

I really miss her advice sometimes. She always warned me about certain people in my life growing up, but I never believed her. I always told her she just didn't understand. Years later, when the day finally came that I learned she was right, she never said, "I told you so." All she said was, "To hell with them," and took me to Starbucks. 

She never tried to be my friend. She was always my mother. She always told me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear. And she was persistent. Relentless, even. I'm so grateful for that. I hope I'm as good a mom to my kids. 

Monday, February 01, 2010

26 days!

Yes, that's right, a mere 26 days until I will be arriving here:

     Do you realize what all this city has to offer? It has Taco Bell. Purple Onion. Al's. Dreamland. The Melting Pot. J.Alexander's. Cracker Barrel. Olive Garden. Five Guys. I don't think I'm going to eat a single meal at home! Okay, well maybe a couple. Oh, just remembered Superior Grill and Habaneros! I'm just so tired of mediocre food, and how I've become accustomed to restaurants charging outrageous prices simply because it's not Korean food. I mean, when is it ever okay to charge 5 bucks for a taco?? ONE taco! Geeeeeeeez. 
     I'm also excited about seeing family and friends, of course. Oh, and reasonably-priced Starbucks! And shoes that fit me! I'm a little nervous about driving, however. I'm sure it's like riding a bike. 
     Okay, enough rambling about food. I'm going to eat dinner and go to work. 


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