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Showing posts from January, 2007

In True Colour

I've finally updated my 365 Project and have realised it's going to look a lot more like a 133 project if I don't ACTUALLY put the effort into taking one every day.

I took a look at a few other people's and feeling a bit do you say...I SUCK AT TAKING PICTURES!!! I've only just realised that this whole project is probably mostly for arty good-picture-taking people but in the end, as any good kindergarten teacher would say, if I've had fun, that's all that matters

I'm getting ready to head home in TWO DAYS and I can't believe it. I seem to be having a mix of different emotions about the whole thing

A - I'm so excited to see all my family
B - I am only going home for really, 4 full days
C - D will not be with me
D - I'm so excited to be in an environment that feels more like what I'm used to
E - I'm so scared of what will happen to me when I have to come back

E is the one that is actually niggling away the most. When I would leave…

Let's Make a Connection

It's rare these days that I'm able to simply communicate with the guy at the grocery store or the shopkeeper selling me ice tea.

And I suppose I've gotten used to being a waegook without words in most situations.

But last night, it just happened. And suddenly, it was like I had always lived here.

I hopped into a taxi after going to the gym (please SPARE ME the 'why-go-to-the-gym-only-to-taxi-home?' routine and YOU talk to my foot after I make it run much longer than it would like. I'm at war with it at the moment and sometimes I have to pick my battles)

So, I say the usual thing I always say when I get into a taxi:

Me: Annyonghaseyo
Taxi: (either) Ne (or) Grunt (or) *blink blink*
Me: **address in the best Korean voice** juseyo (please)
Taxi: (see above)
Me: Kamsahamaneeda

As we're driving, he wants to take a left down a small street to make it faster. Parked, perpendicular to the street is this Korean parking combined with the largest popu…

Random Thoughts

Is there anyone in Korea who knows how to flush a toilet?


After much preparation, we're all set for what our Korean manager is calling 'Memory Pen' days - a Thursday Friday extravaganza - which, after it was finally translated from the calendar for me, essentially means get the kids to highlight important parts from the book over the past month. Sorted


If we teach at an English school, why are all the notes on the large board calendar in Korean?


My legs should be hurting more. I went to the gym on Tuesday and they are just..not..aching..ENOUGH!...although, my foot, perhaps is doing all the aching for them


How many flashcards CAN I find, download and print? And how long can I allow them to sit on my desk, waiting for me to laminate (YES YES I GET TO LAMINATE!! SEE THIS TEACHER THING DOES HAVE PERKS!!) until eventually, I just start using them as scrap paper


oh my god oh my god oh my god this time next week I'll be home!!


oh my god oh my god oh my god how the HELL …

Just Do It, As Nike Says

Since back on my feet, from breaking my foot, I have been mainly focussed on getting my foot back into running shape.

Many of you who know me will know I have turned into, over the past 5 years, one of those people who is addicted to the gym. Not addicted in the 'oh my god, I have to get that new outfit, so I can show it off to the new cute towel boy' but addicted in the REAL sense. That it is like a drug I cannot do without.

I would be called what I would consider 'hormonally challenged' although, since I'm pretty sure 51.2% of the world's population probably is (are ya with me women?) I suppose that's not really that challenging.

Since I began regularly excercising when we moved to Belfast in 2004, I just suddenly always felt better.

In the past, there were certain times of the month when I would simply have to just deal with the 'oh-look-at-that-milk-commercial-I'm-going-to-cry' and the 'I am so ANGRY THAT YOU HAVE PUT THE FORK AND KNIFE ON T…

Stupid Waegook

I was out with a couple of girls last night, enjoyed some dinner and then we decided to head back to one of the girl's houses for a few drinks.

As we entered the convenience store, I, said as plain as day and as loudly as any waegook can,


which means thank you.

What I meant to say was


which means hello.

And the girl just smiled. You know that tolerating-you-because-you-don't-know-the-language-you-dork-face.

And me and my two friends burst out into laughter.

Because all we could think was imagine, being back in England, or Ireland or Canada and working the night shift at a convenience store and some stupid foreigner comes in and just yells

"Thank you!"

And I decided what would make it better was to try and EXPLAIN to the girl that I MEANT to say ANNYONG HASEYO but what I SAID was KAM-SA-HAM-A-NEED-A and like I totally DO KNOW the language and...

that just made my friends laugh even more.

Because that just kinda made it …

Chat n Fat

I would love to take credit for that title but alas, it was not me but a lovely lady friend I have met here named E, who has done more interesting jobs in her 59 years then you could imagine. What's worse? She doesn't look a day over 40.

Chat n Fat was invented to describe a foreigner girls night we started a few months ago. It began when a group of us decided we were sick of drinking watery beer and soju (read: cheap vodka) and wanted a bit of a more 'civilised' night...(although, after looking at many of the pictures, I can't say that the whole evening turned out THAT civilised)

What we were after, dear friends, was WINE AND CHEESE. Here in Gimhae, and Korea for that matter, cheese is hard to come by and very expensive.

And although it may seem odd to have a dinner party and then charge people at the door, this is the way we do it here.

I was privelaged enough to host the second event, and was so glad to be able to HOST after spending 6 weeks as a hobalong.

So for abo…

Some LIght ESL Relief

Doing a bit of surfing this morning for 'extra materials' (read: any other games that ARE NOT HANGMAN) I discovered a site I had bookmarked months ago

After a bit of a sift through some of the pages, I was in stitches.

It definitely gave me a bit of a giggle, especially the 'satanic' section and the 'school life' bits.

Thank goodness the 'profession' does have a few nuts with a wicked sense of humour.


All In a Life's Work

I've been doing a little research (by little, I mean I've read through the Lonely Planet Korea Book) on Confucian practice and something struck me this morning as I got to the end of the page.

After reading through points that outlined the importance of 'honouring the family' and 'educating oneself being the sole purpose in life', the last line summed it up quite..well...frankly:

'Life is serious, it is not about fun'

After living in the 'the country that invented fun' (otherwise known as 'the craic') I'm beginning to understand why the transition has been such a challenge.

The Koreans do seem to have fun. But Korea is supposedly the most Confucius place in Asia. And it does seem that quite a few things that they do are to create the exact opposite of fun.

A bit sad really. But I guess old traditions die hard. And, if they feel as though their hardships and un-fun-ness will directly benefit something here on earth or beyond, they how can …

More Pics...Cause Aren't They Worth a Thousand Words?

There's a lot of things I'd love to write but my energy is focussed right now on new books and new classes. I'm actually enjoying thinking of extra things for them to do, outside the workbooks, coming up with materials to further enhance their learning experience.

Hmm, maybe I am getting a hang of this teaching thing.
I am also trying to be diligent in my 365 project - you can see the link on the right - and although I'm taking pictures, I just haven't uploaded. January 1st is documented so I suppose if you wanted to check that out, you'd see what I'm hoping to do!

This wa show the holiday started off. No make up and after a VERY long day of travelling, we finally found a 'great wee pub' and I got what I had been waiting for - a refreshing G&T. There were loads of food stalls like this one - B is getting some fresh duck from a friendly Tawainese dude. There are loads of these that are similiar in Korea but, this is the Tawain picture blog.

This was e…

Korea: Like You've Never Heard About Before

My buddy the Awesome Bringer has written a very good - (albeit slightly long but definitely worth the read) - post about 'the scene' here in Korea.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and though ya'll might be interested in hearing about Korea from someone OTHER than me for a change, although I wish I had the time to compile all the information.

A few good video clips as well.


A.B. - thanks for today's content steal..:)

Could I BE Any Busier? (in my best Chandler Bing voice)

...and so here's a pic...

Night market with the boys in Taipei
and the price of politeness...
I won't scare you with the after picture but yes, I did eat some of this...

Made in Taiwan

This was my first purchase on vacation, on the island of Green Island, in a little shop right by the beach.

Among other things such as t-shirts and bathing suits, it also sold dried deer meat. I decided that if I was going to come back with something that was truly 'made in taiwain' it was not going to be the super spicy raw hide I had been forced to try the night before.

Of course, that wasn't as bad as what can only be described as a 'pickled chicken foot' that both D and I politely agreed to gnaw on, if only not to offend.

So, amongst the other wares that I browsed through, I decided this bracelet would suit me just fine. Favorite color and all.

It was just one of the many things that I fell in love with in Taiwan.

Granted, I was on holiday, but the entire week I could not stop feeling relaxed amongst the Taiwanese.

The food was a treat - imagine going to an upscale Chinese restaurant and paying an exorbinant amount for tasty 'real' Chinese food and then, imag…