Idahoans are not very extroverted, agreeable, neurotic, conscientious, or open. Go figure.

And one more thang...

In October I have a girlfriend coming to visit from the states and I'm frantic. I've spent my whole summer exploring OUTSIDE of Seoul and now I have no idea what we'll do for the week. I've got the basics covered -- the DMZ, Seoul Tower, Tea in Insadong, and the Noryangjin Fish Market. The only part of Seoul I know intimately is the Express Bus Terminal and that's 'cause I've spent many mornings there waiting to catch a bus OUTTA Seoul. Hell, I don't even know Anyang that well. Help a sista out. If you live here AND you read my little blog AND you've got some tourist-y ideas shoot them my way: missmindyloo@gmail.com

Many thanks!

I could do this or I could do that.

For the past six or eight weeks I've been referring to the summer of '08 as "the neverending summer." It seems that I've packed more sun, fun, beaches (six in Korea!), road trips and theme parks into this summer than any other. And it never ends. It's nearing the end of September and there's still summer fun to be had, which got me thinking -- it's so strange to be living in a country where none of the "normal" seasonal cues take place. Yes, the Korean rainy season is over, and gone with it are the oppressive heat and humidity, but since I'm not a long time resident its disappearance really means nothing to me. Except maybe the personal freedom to wear underwear again.

No, I'm talking about things like the first day of school, college football, the last Alive After Five, cool evening bike rides, the appearance of Halloween candy (and decorations! Go Dad!), and brisk mornings. I was teaching a vocabulary class the other day when I was shocked to learn it was indeed the first official day of fall. When did this happen? I have yet to throw on a coat when I go out. The leaves are still as green as ever and my friends are planning another surf weekend in Busan.

Summer crept by at a snail's pace and now I've been shoved into fall, kicking and screaming. I have a love/hate relationship with fall. I love the start of the school year. For the past two years I've had the pleasure of working with the most amazing group of kids. Everyday was interesting and fun and crazy and enlightening and by the time summer was over I was more than ready to be back at work with them. I also love throwing on my hoodie when it gets a little brisk on the patio, watching the Broncos play on Saturday afternoons, riding my bike home from work, and helping my dad get ready for his annual Halloween extravaganza (this is not an exaggeration.) Yeah, fall's good.

However, it's also a very hard time for me. Every fall for almost as long as I can remember I have slipped into depression. Some seasons are better than others and last fall was especially easy. It was so easy, in fact, that I wasn't really worried about being all the way in Korea without my family to lean on. But I can feel it coming on, even without all those seasonal cues. I am trying to stay positive and busy. I have told my friends. I am making a conscious effort to be honest about how profoundly this season affects me, which is HARD. So send all your good vibes and positive thoughts and whatever else you can muster my way. I have a feeling I'm gonna need it!

Or I could just get Mom to send the Wellbutrin...

BTW, I really should have been typing a report for work instead of pouring out my innermost thoughts on the internets. You're welcome.


Chusok in Busan.

Every weekend I have grand plans to kick it at home, get some cleaning done, and recharge. This never happens.  My plans are always thwarted by last minute getaways and invites to theme parks and mandatory Saturday conferences.  Whatever.  You only live once, right?

Last weekend was Chusok, the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving.  Chusok is a huge holiday, and of course this means Koreans are on the move.  En masse.  According to my students (and a little help from Wikipedia), most families travel to their hometowns to visit relatives and to pay respects to those who have passed.  And watch movies.  All my kids said they were excited to watch movies and eat songpyeon, a tasty ricecake. (I'm hard-pressed to believe it is actually tasty.)

Anyway, I was invited by my friends Amanda and Nicole to go surfing in Busan.  I don't surf, but I do like the beach, so I agreed.  Glad I did.  The midnight ride was long and cramped (4 women, 2 Aussies, 2 Kiwis, 1 Canadian, and 1 HUGE Tongan rugby player), but Busan is a kick ass city.  Very chill.  Beautiful beaches, cheap love motels (yay!), an excellent bar scene, and apparently some good surfing. 

The Love Motel.

Surfing at Songjeong beach.

Amanda and me at the beach.

The boys go swimming. Songjeong Beach.

At the bar.

Octopus at Haeundae Beach Aquarium.

Sharks at Haeundae Beach Aquarium.

Evening on the beach.
Checks the rest of the pics here.


The Won is tanking...

I'm losing more money everyday. 

Chusok is this weekend and I'm headed to Busan to continue my Tour O' Korean beaches (and to spend more money I don't have!) I'll update later.

And I'm out...


Reality TV Rules!

Since I currently live in Bad American Reality TV Hell (is that the most redundant phrase ever?), I think this article is oh so appropriate. Enjoy!



Related to Korea... kinda.

A couple of songs I'm currently OBSESSED with. My taste varies widely...

Iron and Wine, "Boy with a Coin." Also check out "Cinder and Smoke."

Seo In Young, "Cinderella." K-Pop fabulousness. If only I could find her on iTunes.

Tegan and Sara, "Back in Your Head." They kind of look look like Keebler Elves in this vid.

Bo Burnham, "Rehab Center for Fictional Characters." I think I might marry this guy.