1. I am (very) happily heading home at the end of my contract. I love Korea, and I'm by no means done exploring (or paying off debt), but I need a breather. I need to pinch my nephew's fat cheeks and drink mojitos on the patio and swim at K&K's and raft and see Shakespeare and ride my bike again. And I need to recharge for Round 2. Right now the plan is to teach creative crafts to angry HS boys all summer, then be back in Seoul by mid-August.
2. Dawn came to Seoul!! We had an awesome time exploring, traveling and catching up. I value her friendship and insight so much and she was just what I needed to get me through until May. And I'm pretty sure her obsession with the Wonder Girls is just beginning. Girl, I KNOW you were humming "Nobody" the whole way home! Check the pics here.
3. And while we're on the topic of vacation, might I add that Christmas spent with my friends was really good. Amanda, Erica and I threw together an amazing breakfast Christmas morning, complete with stuffed french toast, scrambled eggs, friend potatoes, tons of fresh fruit, huckleberry pancakes and Erica's very own grits. Oh, and mimosas. Cheers!
4. My good friend Amanda had a birthday a few days after Christmas and that usually sucks, right? So Erica and I decided to surprise here with a trip outta town to see K-Pop singing sensation JYP! What better way to truly experience modern Korean culture that by attending a K-Pop concert?! To hell with all those trips to palaces and temples and the Korea House, if you want a true picture of what modern Korean culture consists of, go to a pop concert. It was so different from a concert in the States, that I'm not quite sure where to start...
First off, the tickets were WAY too expensive, especially for the venue. Hello, we were on bleachers in what felt like a really nice HS gym.
And then there was the orderly fashion in which the GA ticketholders were arranged. As in, they were actually arranged. I only mention this because Koreans RARELY queue for anything. Everyday I am pushed and shoved and prodded out of line. I am cut off and disregarded on the regular, so it was really funny to see the ushers organizing everyone into straight lines in GA. And the fact that everyone stayed put and followed suit is even more astounding.
Korea, you can't fool me anymore; I know you know how to queue, so just go ahead and get BEHIND me, thanks!
Then there was the show -- One Night Stand, he called it (so clever). But I gotta say, by the time he asked us to come home with him, he had every foreigner in the crowd (all 7 of us) convinced that Korean men ARE sexy. I was already convinced.
Check the pics rest of the pics here.
5. Daegu is not colorful. Don't let that adjective fool you.
And finally, the revolving door of Korean hagwon teachers is in full swing. Janet's last day was Thursday, and this Tuesday Tim will hear his final call of 'Teach-uh!!!' For better or worse, I'm pretty good at 'outta sight, outta mind', but these two will definitely leave a hole. So many of my Korean adventures, memories, frustrations and bouts of tear-inducing laughter were shared with them, that I can hardly imagine what Korea would have been like without them. I will miss them both dearly.
*Don't fret though, we partied our asses off Friday night.