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Maybe Possible, For a Fee

In many of the countries we've just recently travelled, there have been varying entry and exit requirements.

When we travelled Europe, we didn't have any issues because we were on European passports.

But obviously throughout Asia, we needed special permissions etc to enter certain countries.

Some visas are simple to acquire. Our Australian visa was done online, without us having to send out passports anywhere or get a photo of us looking very deer-in-headlights. It was a multi-entry as well, which made it very simple for us to come back after two weeks in New Zealand.

Vietnam wasn't that bad. We were able to leave our passports with a travel agency and they came back with the visas the next day. No hassel really. And we didn't have to waste anytime heading to an embassy and filling out forms.

China wasn't as stringent as we thought it would be. We were able to get the visa when we were in Australia and it only took 4 days. The more time consuming part of the Chinese pro…

And to all a Good Night

I suppose there is a lot I have yet to write about our current adventure. Right now, I'm just enjoying the televison in Moscow.

As it is Christmas tomorrow, it's only fitting that I wish all of you a very merry and happy holiday, wherever you may be, whatever time it may be.

The snow and the lights and the flu have made me feel like I'm right at home. Christmas in Canada is only really different by language. And well, family.

Which of course I am missing. But I know I will see you all soon. That includes the little one that my baby sister H is still waiting to arrive (PEOPLE! HAVE YOU BEEN CROSSING YOUR FINGERS???)

In a weeks time, it will be a new year and I suppose I'll be able to reflect more over what the last year has brung.

Right now, popcorn calls.

What better way to spend Christmas Eve if you can't be with family and friends? Food and tv are a good enough 2nd best.

Happy Holidays.

Siberia - in Decemeber

People, I am here. I am in the last new country on our list of places to be during this epic journey.

And we're looking at 10 days to Christmas, 9 days to Moscow.

Do you know how LONG we've been talking about Moscow? And now, it's only 9 DAYS AWAY!

I'm loving Russia. The people are so friendly, the weather is mildly cold and the food is so hearty. I'm definitley digging the cold lifestyle. Never realised just how Canadian I was.

Russia has added a bit of a twist to the internet, though. You not only pay for minutes you use but you also pay for MEGS you use. And there really is not way to tell HOW many megs you've used until you're finished. D and I were on the same computer for 8 minutes yesterday and used 5mgs. Who knows how.

So, a couple of things. If you know me, I will not be checking my canada.com email address as it seems to be adding megs. You can reach me at the yahoo.ca address which has the beginning part the same as canada.com except take out a 'b…

Train-ing It

There is something quite romantic when you think of riding the rails. You do conjur up all these visions of being on the train, glancing out at stunning landscape, laughing and joking with your travel companions.

It's bascially like this. Except maybe companions bit. Because if you can't really communicate, laughing just makes you check to see that you don't have anything on your face and the jokes, well, lost in translation.

I was pleasantly surprised by our journey from Beijing to Ulaanbataar. So many times when you set your expectations for things you are let down, either because you have been imagining it too long in your head or because other people's imaginations and descriptions have not been exactly justified.

But this was exactly what was written on the box. They could have guaranteed it. There we were, in this berth all to ourselves, snacking away on sunflower seeds and potato chips, watching the Chinese landscape go by. And it is breathtaking.

We saw parts of th…

Home Sweet Home...Sort of

We arrived in chilly Mongolia yesterday and I have to say, the best part about it is the fact that we are in an apartment.

Do you know I watched tv last night in my LIVING ROOM and then retired to my BEDROOM. A WHOLE NOTHER ROOM.

That's not even including the fact the fact that I also made dinner in my KITCHEN. Count that people. It's THREE ROOMS.

Oh! And I also had a nice hot shower in my BATHROOM. That's four.

Are you following me here? I guess I'm enjoying the comforts of home away from home. It's cold enough to feel like home. And so for now, it will be home.

Tomorrow we're doing a day trip out into the Mongolian wilderness, which we've been told is beautiful and magical and scenic and breathtaking and...you get the picture.

If it was anything compared to the train ride from Beijing, I imagine it will be all it's cracked up to be.

On a more personal note, if you could all cross your fingers for my sister H that her wee one will hurry up and just arrive! a…

Where is the Love?

I feel as though I may have not been sharing enough of the love om my blog recently.

Okay, let's face it, I haven't really been sharing much of anything on this thing recently.

But I think it's important to just say, at this moment, I am really really happy. I am so content and peaceful and blissful. I'm just perfect.

I suppose this surprises even me a little bit becaseu I have to say, a couple of weeks ago, I was not this. I was very not happy. Very un blissful. Very "I'm going home" uncontented.

There are times of helplessness, times of shear out-of-controlness, that you want to grab hold and do something drastic, if only to assert the power that you are in control.

D pointed out to me that I made it for quite some time before I declared that I was done, threw my toys out of my pram and decided that the next flight back to Toronto would have me on it.

It's slightly scary to think that is your only option. Slightly libertating as well. And, on the other si…

Writing Blind

We've been in China for 3 weeks and surprisingly, this is the first time I have attempted to log into Blogger.

The connections here are slow, and I assumed since I could never LOAD my blog, I would never be able to UPDATE my blog.

I suppose even after I post this I will STILL have no idea whether or not I have actually posted, because I won't be able to check.

So I'm literally writing into cyberspace. Weird.

China has been...well...China.

I can say that Korea prepared me for China. There is such a sense of isolation, of being lost amongst the millions, that it can, at times, be quite a lonely place.

It has been filled with happiness and hope, awe and amazement, folly and frustration.

And anger. I have been very angry many times, due to lack of patience, in China. As it was not perhaps Thailand's fault, I don't think it is necessarily China's fault. You need a lot of patience anyway with this place. Four months in, you don't tend to have very much.

But we've tu…

Houston, We May Have a Problem

There have actually been a lot of things that I wanted to write about but since I have been obsessed with Facebook and email, I just haven't been able to get onto this thing. Plus, for some reason, it has been pretty slow the past couple of days.

Vietnam has been an experience. I will say there were some downs, ones that we have not actually experienced anywhere else, but we've regrouped in a lovely hotel in Hanoi and are leaving here happy and positive about the country and the people here.

China is our next stop. We fly today as we decided we'd had enough of trains and will be taking many once we get to Russia.

One thing I've heard is that I can't actually access my blogger in China. I haven't really done any investigation so it may be wrong and you may hear from me again soon.

But, if this is the last post before Russia, enjoy the next month and I'll be in touch once we're trekking through Siberia....in December....dear God what have I done?

Family: Faceb…

They Did It!

At 1:40pm on November 8th, Little Mr. Marshall Gary Cassidy arrived.

3 weeks early and ready to take on the world, just like his parents.

My heart is bursting with excitement. I can't wait to talk to my sister, who, according to my mom I just spoke to, is doing well but very tired.

C - well done sister - you are now a mom. Does that mean I get to beg you for things too?
K - excellent job coach! Now the fun begins :)

Little Mr. Marshall - you're gonna be SO SPOILED you have no idea :)

Motor Madness

We had read a lot about the streets of Ho Chi Min, otherwise know as Saigon.

That they were busy with motorbikes, flying and flitting all over the place, swerving and sliding down windy and unkept roads.

I'd prepared myself but fell back on what I continue to fall back on when people tell me about the traffic in South East Asia - have you been to Korea?

I have written before about the traffice in Korea - how all you need to do is simply pretend you are only person on the road. And use your brake excessively.

For years, D has always poked fun at the way I'm terrified to cross the street. In addition to being a mermaid in my past life, I"m certain as well that I must have been hit by a car, perhaps when I was someone's golden retriever.

I was bad enough in Toronto and not much better in Korea.

I began to just get used to the cars come careening towards me. I would curse and srunch my face up, thinking that showing my frustration would somehow will the Koreans to be better dri…

The Cold Trek Home

Every step we now takes brings us two things:
Closer to home - for obvious reasons, I'm looking forwar to this. And it helps to make the daily constant decision making (ie where to sleep where to eat where IS THE BATHROOM) a little bit easier to bear.
Closer to cold - this I'm actually looking forward to, if only so that I can again appreciate the gloriousness of the beach.
In light of that, I thought it might be good to show a few shots of the heat we will be missing.



No, i don't know any of these people but it's all very beachy.

Life just always seems better at sunset.We are more than halfway finished our trip, over the hump and heading down the other side of the hill.We have our placed booked for Christmas and most of Russian accomodation is taken care off, thanks to my dreamy D. If it was left in my hands people, we'd be stuck in the middle of Siberia in December.I'm getting very excited to see China, although like the large countries of australia and canada, w…

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

There are many suggestions in guide books about 'what to bring' when going on a trip.

You'll always need something from home whether it's 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years.

Although I have read certain parts of the guidebook that lists these sorts of things and I did go through the list METICULOUSlY when we left Korea, there are few items that they don't tend to mention in the book that I've learned are pretty useful, you guessed it, the hard way.

Zip Lock bags - these things are indispensible, albeit not industructable but hey, they're cheap enough that you can carry about 50 of them with you!

They're great for toiletry items and allow you to catagorize so you not always confused every time you have to unpack your bag. I have all my shower stuff in one, my face stuff in another, my 'feminine products' in another, my hair products in another.

(And yes, for those of you who are rolling your eyes at the amount of products I'm carry, I'll kindly ask …

5 Years

5 years ago today I land at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, with a pack on my back, a money belt around my neck and killer jet lag.

4 months of planning and 20 days away from D, I was ready to take on the world. Well, at least the Western European part.

It was the beginning of this life I now have come to inhabit as a nomad, a traveller, a bum, a itchy feet person.

I remember being that person, working in a job i didn't love, spending way to much money in an overpriced city, angry and argumentative, jaded, a bit bitter and overall, lost.

Not really that far off from most people in their early 20s, disolutioned with life after school, not quite sure what is meant to happen next and if this, this 'life' is really, all there is.

I want to go back to my struggling early 20s self and just tell her that it will all be okay, it will change, it will get better.

And it has, because, for the most part, I made a promise that I would never let myself be trapped again. I would never continue d…

13 Weeks

As you may have read, we are no longer in Australia and have arrived in the magical Thailand.

We had heard nothing but great thing about this place, something that always then makes me apprehensive about going somewhere because it then has to live up to it's hype.

For the most part, it has. And I'm continuing to learn so much not about places of this world but how to BE a traveller.

There are so many things that influence your experience in a destination. I think I've rambled on about this before but I feel it so much more now as I'm living it, day by day, in the moment of the journey.

I can't help but compare Thailand to Malaysia simply because it was the first SE Asia county I went to.

There are pros and cons to both.

It's easier to feel isolated on an island in Malaysia. You could actually see Malaysians on holiday, in the same resorts as you. In Thailand, the islands (the 3 we have been on anyway) are so developed, you're not sure whether or not your in Bangk…

Goodbye Oz and NZ

Thank you for all your western food.

Thank you for your clean toilets.

Thank you for your interesting cities, inspiring landscapes, breathtaking views and vans down by many rivers.

I'm heading back to the beach, the place I most feel at home, reinforcing the fact that the reason I loved Splash as a child was not ONLY because I had a crush on Tom Hanks but because I was a mermaid in a past life.

Thank you for feeling so much like home.

We'll see you again soon. G'day mate.

Next stop on the crazy train: Thailand. Bring on the lemongrass and the massages. And of course the sand and the sun.

Born Free

There was a new concept D and I were introduced to when we arrived in New Zealand - freedom camping.

I'm not sure why they're so technical about it because essentially it's just free camping but perhaps people are trying to be very clever about being cheap - 'It's not about the money. It's about the freedom. You know, being free from the constraints of an expensive campervan park."

Another buzz word was our 'self contained' vehicle. Self contained meaning everything you need is contained, inside, your van. Fridge. Shower. Toilet. Bed. Shelves. Microwave. And that means, you can just park anywhere.

Anywhere? I asked the hostel guy. 'Ya dude (as many hostel guys talk) you can totally just pull up anywhere in New Zealand and just park and just like..be..ya know.'

This was great! The cost of the daily rental of the van was cheaper than a nights accomodation and we'd be saving money on food because we could cook every night. It seemed like the p…

In a Van Down By the River

I'm sure the late Chris Farley will not mind if I steal a line from his motivational speaker on SNL to say that currently, I am living in van down by the river.

I suppose it's a bit more than that as it's a van down by MANY rivers...and mountains....and wee towns....and forests...

I'm currently seeing New Zealand, a country that I can only say has touched my heart even with the portable toilet and the cold shower I endure every day.

And I really can't imagine doing it any other way. Every morning, a new walk or seal watching adventure or horsebackriding through Lord of the Rings territory.

Every afternoon a 3 hour car ride along rodes with the most beautiful scenery that you will ever see in your lifetime.

Every evening, cooking dinner in the middle of nowhere, emerging from our van to turn the gas on and off as we look out up from the valley towards the mountains and see nothing but moonlight, hear nothing but birds.

Getting back to nature is one of the most spectacular…

It's a Little Known Fact

Since we've been travelling, I have come across some interesting cultural differences among the countries we've been to.

I thought, in Cliff Claven style, I would share with you some of the more bizarre and weird laws and customs from where we've been.

MALAYSIA

*As the country is predominantly Asian, you do see many women with headscarfs and dressed in the full Muslim attire. Be sure to look closely, though, as you're more than likely to see some Prada shoes, a top-of-the-line Nokia phone and a matching designer handbag to finish the package.

*You're less likely to have trouble finding a shop open on Sunday then you will on Friday. And if you're around on Friday, be sure to listen for the bells.

*Buses don't have toilets. Most Malaysian food is made up of curries. Now, YOU trying finding something to eat on the days you have to travel 5 hours on a bus. Travel day is starve day.

SINGAPORE

*You cannot own governement housing in Singapore unless you are a citizen. I…

5 Weeks and Counting

It's hard to believe we've been on the road for over a month and yet it feels like a century ago I was going to bed at 10:30, getting up STILL EXHAUSTED at 9:00 to go and teach a full day until 6:30.

My Korean has definitely waned, although, I have to admit the odd time I do turn around when I can hear it in the street. I have to shake my head and look around just to remind myself that I'm no longer in Korea.

Malaysia was everything we had hoped for. Sandy beaches, delicious food, friendly people. So much of what you're looking for when you're on holiday.

It had beautiful beaches, some corally, some sandy, all relaxing. Sometimes we'd see crabs scurrying along at nighttime. Other times we'd find hundreds of dead little jellyfish that had been swept to shore by the tides.

The water was always breathtaking. All those blues and greens you seen in pictures. So remarkable in fact that I did pinch myself one or two times.

Australia has been the "home away from ho…

So Much to Do, So Much to See

So much has changed since I started ignoring this blog at the beginning of our travels.

It certainly hasn't been because of the lack of things to say. More the opposite.

But the internet connections in Malaysia were not stellar, especially on the islands and now that we're in Australia, we've simply been spending time eating and drinking and enjoy the company of English-speakers that I haven't really had a good chunk of time to sit down and have some verbal diahorrea on this thing.

I think I'm also now in a better place to properly reflect on my time in Korea, one which I do not regret and have come to look back on as a wonderfully wacky and weird experience. Part of me feels like I've gone to the moon and back, that this entire year I've been so disconnected with so many things that everything is new to me.

Take for example, pop culture. I had NO IDEA Christine Aguleria had a new CD out OR that she was pregnant and just hiding it. Ditto that on Nicole Richie! …

Happy Birthday HB

I've often written about my many ups and downs, highs and lows, crazy and sane moments here on this website.

What most of you may not know is that the reason there are ups and highs and sane moments is because of the funniest, smartest, most caring, most rational, most patient person in the world.

These days, much of his time is spent finding the perfect place to eat, sleep and beach for one very particular and mind-changing Gemini. And he has succeeded as only a Virgo can.

As today is his birthday, I hope that all he'll have to worry about is what time he has to get out of the bed to go to dinner.

We have now spent 11 of his birthdays together, although he will remind me that on his 20th birthday I was too busy flitting around for frosh week to actually KNOW it was his but still, I was there in spirit.

The next 10 have been filled with succulent dinners and exciting escapes and presents that went well (massages) and presents that were more on the peculiar side (a mixed tape?????).

Back to the Beach

Every Monday we would ask our students "What did you do on the weekend?"

Depending on the level of the class we would get answers ranging from 'my, mommy, daddy, home' to 'teacher, I went to the mountain and climbed with my mother and father and brother and it was a fantastic day. I was very surprised'.

I would envitabley, fill my students in on what I had done. During the last few months, it ended up being the same thing. "I went to the beach".

One day, in D's class, when he went to tell his students what he did, one of his students interupted and said, "Teacher, I know where you went. You went to the beach."

D laughed. He told her she was right.

She smiled and spoke again.

"Teacher, I think you love the beach. Always, on the weekend, you go to the beach".

She was right.

And so off we go again. Back to the beach. For another 5 days of relaxation, snorkelling, sleeping, eating, card playing, book reading and general doing nothingness…

A Brand New Woman

It's amazing what a trek in the jungle, some days on the beach and lots of different yummy foods can do to change your perspective.

I feel like a totally different person than the one that left Korea almost 2 weeks ago.

Was that only 2 WEEKS AGO???

I have some pictures I want to post but will have to wait until tomorrow.

We're on a land stopoever from the island hopping in Kuala Teregganu on the East Coast. We'll spend a couple of days in the city to start appreciating the sunny beach again once we get back there on Tuesday.

It's mostly the not-working thing that has obviously relaxed me.

But there is a little of the non-trapped-ness that is helping as well. I don't feel stuck anymore. I don't feel tied down. And I know that I'm on an amazing adventure, one that is destined to end with a big party with family and friends.

And that's a journey worth taking.

Oh What a Feeling

We're away! We're gone! Asta la vista baby! Bring on holiday!

With only one day of permanent holiday officially under my belt, I feel free as a bird.

Free as the birds I saw in the bird sanctuary today. The LARGEST ONE IN THE WORLD. The one I went to, you know, when I WAS IN MALAYSIA.

I can't believe I'm here and I can't even remember what I was doing before I was doing this.

Did I mention it's only been a day?

I expect to not have much internet time for the next little while. I'm trekking in the jungle and laying on the beach.

Enjoy your August. I'll get to ya when I get to ya.

The Last Case of the Mundays For Awhile

I find this part of the journey so difficult to articulate.

Perhaps this is why I've been so silent here.

Mostly, I just feel it's a very personal time, something that while I'm in the midst of it, I'm just not quite ready to share all the feelings and emotions I'm going through.

Almost like my emotions seem to be changing so constantly, that if I write anything down, it will suddenly become a REAL emotion, one that's not associated with any stress hormones or general anxiety.

And I'm not sure that's really the right way to go. Because I don't think venting in this sort of way will actually solve any of it or even make it go away momentarily. I think it will just paint the wrong picture.

One that you can't easily erase. One that is a distroted view of the actual situation. And perhaps my journalistic side wants me to 'stick to the facts m'aam'. And those facts DON'T actually include my roller coaster emotions.

Because then maybe someon…

Few and Far Between

There has been a lot going on here in G-town - my mind is mostly elsewhere.

I'm feeling a bit excited, apprehensive, sad, happy, angry, tired and content all at the same time.
With not much else to say, I'll leave you with some more of my cents.

For What It's Worth #2 - LEARN KOREAN RIGHT AWAY It was very easy for us to simply put this in the back of our minds and decide that we would 'just to it later'. Trust me, after your first week at school, the LAST thing you'll want to do is try and sit down and study.
I know because we tried. And then we managed to come up with 101 excuses why we just didn't have time to learn the language. Yes, JUST DIDN'T HAVE TIME.

People - there is ALWAYS time. And I think I would have had a much different - albeit less frustrating - experience if I tried to pick it up right away.

It makes it easier to simply socialise in a way you do back home.
Ask the convience store clerk if she's having good day.
Comment about the freshness …

The Beginning of the End

D and I recently celebrated our full year in Korea. On Friday night, we were out with the same teachers who introduced us to Korea when we arrived.

After our meal, we ventured off home to spend some quality time in a cool area (can I talk about HOW FRICKIN HOT IT IS RIGHT NOW??) our living room. Not to mention the bartender there makes THE BEST gin and tonics.

We started a highs and lows conversation, a little stroll down memory lane.

It's more than surreal. It's so strange and bizarre and amazing and weird and hardly possible and many other adjectives not worth mentioning that it's possible that we have been here a year.

We have come a really long way. Longer than I could have ever imagined.

If you had told me I would survive not only a foot break (yes I KNOW it's not that big of a deal but your are talking about a little bit o a drama head) but foot break IN ANOTHER COUNTRY, I wouldn't have believed you.

If you had told me that I after a year I could put 'Can reall…

Happy Canada Day

Although I've already celebrated - quite extensively I may add - I thought I'd better wish everyone near and far a happy one.

It was quite surreal this year as it's been the first one abroad that I've actually had other Canadians - and even Americans! - to celebrate with. Over the last 5 years, minus the one year when we were home, we were always pumping the day up for people who really, were just happy to have any excuse for a party.

This year, it was a bit of sharing of past Canada Day stories, eating of the pizza, the missing of the fireworks and of course, the token drinking of many drinks.

It was great.

So although I'm not at a cottage somewhere, NOT working today, I certainly celebrated in good fashion.

And will be hitting the sack early tonight. Because I'm an old lady people. I went to be 5 HOURS PAST MY BEDTIME last night.

Oh dear.

Have a great one.

The Next Generation - Double Whammy

During the first half of April, I had this terrible dream that my little sister C died.




I sometimes have these dreams, as I'm sure everyone does about a loved one, that feels so real and intense in the moment, the first thing you want to do when you wake up is actually just give that person a great big hug.



When I woke up, I remembered another dream I had had one time about my brother R, dying. It was C that had said to me:



"Well, when someone dies in your dream it means that their going to start a new chapter, have some exciting, some new, happen to them. Essentially, they life will change so much it will become a 'new life'."



So it's no surprise that I thought of this after the dream I had about her.



Later that week, I heard that she had recieved very sad news about her best friend's father passing away. I knew this would affect her very much, as she has been close with the whole family for many years.



Strangely, I came back to my dream, thinking that perhaps…

Sometimes, It DOES Sink In

A couple of months ago, I decided one very important lesson I wanted to teach all my chicldren was how to actually GREET people properly.

I would frequently arrive in class, ask individual students 'how are you' only to hear responses such as 'I'm fine', 'I'm happy' or my favorite Korean invention 'I'm so so', which I have learned should REALLY translate into 'I'm okay'.
What stuck out the most, was the impoliteness of their responses.

And so, I wrote 1, 2, 3 on the board and explained to them that when they are asked this question, there are THREE parts in the answer:

1 - your state of being (okay, well I didn't write THAT on the board as it would have really flew over their heads)

2 - a recognition that something nice was asked of you (ie THANK YOU. Or THANKS. or THANKS VERY MUCH. Or even the Korean THANKS VERY MUCHY)

3 - do unto others..(in other words, ASK THE QUESTION BACK. The variations included HOW ABOUT YOU? or repetitivel…

And So It Goes

"...and so it goes, and so will you soon I suppose..." - Billy Joel

I've heard that once you finally begin to 'get' Korea, you leave.

I've heard that many people choose to stay another year because after the first 12 months are up, they suddenly begin to realise what it's all about here.

On Sunday, I decided to head back to the sauna, filled with naked women and young girls, who scrub and sauna themselves to pure cleanliness.

I haven't been for a couple of months because the weather has been so nice but it used to be my regular Sunday routine.

And when I walked it, it just felt, well, dare I say a bit like home? Like home in the way it smells and the sounds and that feeling you get after being away too long and realising it's exactly like you never left?

I suddenly just felt part of it. Part of something that I really enjoy about Korea. A relaxing couple of hours pampering myself. For only 5 bucks.

There are so many things to get frustrated about here th…

Here Comes the Sun

In an effort to will the sun back to Busan so we can all head to the beach this weekend, I decided to post some pictures of the Baseball/Soccer/Football/Beach Festival weekend we had a few weekends ago.

On Saturday - we hit the benches




Lotte Giants on the field.



Crazy Mascot dressed in a traditional Korean hanbok - female dress.


D and B enjoy the game.

I was there...see??




Kiwi D sneaks a peek at the camera.


K and E REALLY enjoyed themselves.

On Sunday - we hit the beach:



Korea E prepares herself for the long day and Sun Hat K give some encouragement to N.







Magazines always help footballers wives pass the time.






Action of their final game.






Way to go waegooks!




Sand, sun, soccer, some magazines, some footballer wives, such great craic.







What a blast.

Get in Shape Girl

Does anyone else remember this bizarre children's gift that appeared in the 80s?

I've recently been trying to get back on the fitness wagon and for some reason, the commerical theme song will not get out of my head.

"Get in Shape Girl, it's so appealing, Get in Shape Girl, you know the feeling!"

Looking back as an adult, how strange is it that this was a young girl's gift.

"Here's some equipment!"

"Look at all the skinny girls in the posters!"

"With matching headbands!"

"And leggings!"

"AND LEG WARMERS!"

"Surely, you want to look like them!"

"You need to get in shape!"

"You're not good enough the way you are!"

I can just imagine my feminist's mother's face when I told her all I wanted for Christmas was a set of the Get in Shape barbells.

Perhaps that's why I got so many books that year.

To work out my brain instead.

Breathe Again

Okay, incommunicado slightly solved.

And now, after sweating it out all day, I think I should really join FA.

Otherwise known as Facebook Annonymous.

I wonder if they have an online group....

InCommunicado

My email for some reason is letting me read, delete, and even draft messages but it will not let me send.

My latest addiction Facebook seems to be undergoing 'technical upgrades' which if I remember correctly from my web days basically means WE'RE F**KED AND CAN'T FIGURE OUT THE PROBLEM considering it would be 'prime facebooking time' in North America and I can't imagine a 'scheduled update' would actually go on during peak hours.

Hmmm.

The girl with the gift of the gab has been silenced.

Okay, which one of you jokers out there has had your wish come true?

Just Looking Thanks

For Teacher's Day, I was given a disgusting amount of money in gift certificates at various department stores here in Korea.

One of the certifcates was for Lotte, quite a well known and prestigious place that has beautiful clothes, all far to small for me to squeeze into.

D and I wandered up to the top floor to check out some of the electronics. It was kinda a fun home mission, for when, well, we actually HAVE home, looking at various TVs, dreaming of ridiculously huge entertainment systems and deciding which couches we could agree on.

We also checked out the sports floor, which included shoes and mountain climbing gear. The matching outfits were certainly the hottest item there - you should have SEEN the Korean queuing to get the lastes polyester suits.

Most of this browsing was quite normal, almost like a regular day in a department store anywhere. And it felt kinda nice to just be in a place that felt really like home.

It didn't really last that long, however, before I was remi…

Back to Basics

When I was younger, I fell in love with a quote, that I'm not sure where it came from, so I've always posted it as anonymous:

"Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think"

I'm finding myself getting a little caught up in too many emotions right now.

And so, in an effort to change my mind, I'm throwing this out there in hopes that the universe will come smack me up side the head and get me to snap out of it.

Because really, feeling things is great.

But isn't laughing better?

Visually Minded

Although I've always got a lot of words bouncing around in my head, I can't always say that they make that much sense.
So, in an effort to compile some information that might be a bit less scrambled, here is a snapshot (ha ha, i'm TOO funny) I've what we've been up to over the past couple of weeks.
First, there was my birthday



which included tacos

some wishes a pinyata


and many many MANY songs sung by me


and others, when I finaly gave the mic away.







And then there was my ACTUAL birthday, which I shared with Buddha, and also meant, I got the day off.



Happy Birthday to us, big guy.
Then, there was a trip to Pohang to see some cute kids at an orphanage my friend K used to work at which included some playing


some measuring - of the length of noses that is..

and some hugs



and then an ice hockey game..







in which two foreigner friends were playing!



It included a bit of drama, when a player stormed off the ice, because he lost his glove. More likely, it was because the G-town team was KICK…

Old Lady

Is it possible that you can't function as an ESL kindergarten teacher WITHOUT 10 hours sleep?

I chose last night to go out - NOT TO A BAR - but to a movie.

It was a long one - perhpas too long - and a late one but Jack Sparrow is always worth the time.

And I was in bed by 1am, which means since I get up at 9am, I still got a good 8 hours (everyone cheer for me because I mastered some math)

But now, after 4 kindergartan classes, I feel like I've gone 10 rounds with Tyson. Except no body parts have been bitten off. But my clothes are pretty drenched from the EXCEEDING AMOUNT OF TEARS today.

I've never done a job where I needed this much sleep. I like my sleep, I'm a bit of a hibernating bear, but I never used to actually NEED this much sleep to function.

I'm so tired that I actually figured you all might be interested in how tired I am today.

If that doesn't show mental incapacity, then I'm not sure what else would.

Maybe another whole entry about the weather?

Countdown

Scene opens: 10:30am with the kindergartens second class of the day, after a 5 minute break.

Teacher: Okay everyone, please sit down in your desk

Students: meeda meeda meeda meeda (Korean for 'continue-babbling-with-my-friends)

Teacher: Okay, sit down. Please everyone sit down.

Students: *clearly paying no attention to teacher* meeda meeda MEEEDA MEEEDA

Teacher: T-student, close the door please.

T-student: NO

Teacher: *blink blink blink*

T-Student: *cheeky smile*

Teacher: T-Student I said close the door.

T-Student: NO

Teacher: *smoke out of ears blood boiling over* 5...4.....3...

T-Students and others: *T-student-slams door**scramble-knock-each-other-over-to-get-to-seats*

The countdown. For when a simple 'please sit down' just won't do.

Happy Birthday To Me

Every year, I get a LITTLE BIT EXCITED about my birthday.

I'm not quite sure why. Maybe it's because I don't yet have kids of my own's birthdays to get excited about.

Maybe it's because I'm like Peter Pan, will never grow up and am eternally a 5-year-old.

As today is a national holiday in Korea, I was lucky enough to not have to go into work.

This means I continue my 8 year "no going to work on my birthday" streak that started after I graduated from university.

As they say in Korea, "Assah!" (Otherwise known as YEEEESSSSSSS!)

Although I am celebrating today by doing whatever I want, last night was the big mexican food party at my house. Followed by some singing in the singing room. FOR 6 HOURS.

I went to bed as the sun came up, begged the drink fairy to let me awake without a killer headache and a sore tummy and had a fantastic time.

The best part about birthdays is that it's a great excuse to get everyone out. Because, you can always make an e…

Stranger in a Strange Land

On Sunday night, I felt this weird sensation when we got into bed.

Kinda like, I was living in a new house. Or living someone else's life.

It was so bizarre. Everything felt strange and unfamiliar.

Throughout my life, I have been known to have the occasional anxious moment where all you want is a big hug from you mom. And, I always took advantage of the hugging when possible to make the willies go away.

But this was different. It wasn't a scary feeling. Just more surreal.

We have recently started planning our next travel jaunt and this one is looking to be a big kahuna.

We're talking about places like Singapore or Sydney as though they were Toronto or Montreal.

We're deciding on whether to go to Vietnam or Laos first like it's a decision about chicken or steak.

We're discussing day long trips on trains across Mongolia and Russia like it's a decision about whether to walk or ride our bikes to the store.

All the names, all these places, that for so many years were far…