Sunday, December 28, 2014

Photo Sunday: First Day in Singapore!

So it has actually been over a week since my first day in Singapore, and I'm not even in the country anymore. I'm currently writing this post from Jakarta, Indonesia.
We've been super busy though, plus the jet lag has YC and I falling asleep pretty early every night, so this is the first chance I've had to post.

Sorry it is only a Photo Sunday. It is almost 11:00PM here, and we spent all day running around.

This photo is the first we took in Singapore!

The view is from our hotel, the Marina Bay Sands. It is phenomenal. I could never afford to stay in a hotel that nice. If it weren't for YC's awesome parents, I would never have gotten to see inside of it.
Most importantly, by staying there I got to swim in their famous infinity pool! More to come on that later.

For now I leave you with the lovely first picture and the promise of multiple posts on our adventures when I get home!

Have you ever been to Singapore? What about the Marina Bay Sands? Did you love it as much as I did?
I can't wait to go back in a little over a week.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Tteokbokki Tuesday: Seafood edition

Last weekend we went on an adventure to Toseong. We took a bus from Busan station to the park entrance and walked to the lighthouse. It was a lovely little walk along the coast and only took about 20 minutes. The views from the lighthouse and the lookouts along the way were spectacular and well worth the somewhat brisk weather. After we had soaked up the ocean views we exited the park and meandered down to the cove itself. All along the water front were these ramshackle restaurants with eager ajumma's (older woman) trying to corral us into their's. The food seemed a bit pricey in comparison to the a typical Korean restaurant but damn was it fresh and their was plenty of it. We got two orders of shell fish for eight people and that was plenty.

One of the shellfish I chose not to try

The view from our restaurant's "window"

What is the craziest thing you have ever eaten?
What was the best meal you have ever had while traveling?


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tteokbokki Wednesday?? : (

Well, at least I am only a day late this time. I was busy yesterday with my school's festival, a teacher lunch, and planning for vacation. So  I thought I would share with you how joyously intense a Korean school festival is. I will say one thing for my students, they know how to put on a show. There were so many wonderful and wonderfully silly dance performances and some great singing as well. It was really great to see the students being silly and doing something creative that they clearly enjoyed. Normally when you ask them what they do in their free time they say study and the most common answer to what do you like to do for fun is sleep.

So without further adieu here is a picture of some of my 3rd grade boys dancing in skirts. They think dressing in drag is hilarious here.

This second picture is from Sports Day a few weeks ago. The "sports" were more silly than they were athletic but the students had a lot of fun and even asked me to be one of the teachers than ran against them in a relay. I won. But barely. 

Teaching in Korea can be tough and kind of depressing sometimes when your kids are always napping in class because they were at a hagwon (private academy) after school till between 7 and 10pm. However, there are definitely opportunities to be silly with them and get a glimpse of their personality. 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Photo Sunday: I'm a Crochet Fiend

Pretty much all I've done today is crochet and play Dragon Age: Inquisition.
At least one of those things is productive.
This week is my last week of work before Singapore, so I'm feeling justified in my lazing around. Plus, I felt really sick on Friday, and not great since then.

So for this week's Photo Sunday you get a glimpse into what my life normally looks like, when I'm not doing cool stuff.

Not only am I crocheting a scarf, but I'm also wearing a hat that I crocheted. I may have a bit of a problem. Buying yarn makes me happy okay!

Today I also learned that the plural of scarf is both scarves and scarfs. Not sure how I feel about this knowledge, nor am I sure which I like better.

Saturday begins my adventure to Singapore, so get prepared for more exciting posts!

Anyone else crochet? Did you develop a yarn addiction too? Preference on scarves versus scarfs? Anyone else playing Dragon Age: Inquisition?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

One Week Until Singapore!!

Ahhhhhh! Next Saturday YC and I leave for Singapore! I am so excited!
Nervous as well, but mostly excited!

Mostly nervous about meeting his whole family and all his friends. Ah. Deep breaths.

But oh my goodness, I get to see Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Any suggestions on things to see/do/eat? We'll be in Singapore, Jakarta, and Kuala Lumpur mainly. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I know YC has lots of plans for Singapore, but we don't have as many for the other two, especially Jakarta.

So excited!

There's us during Christmas decorating. So cute, and so almost Singapore. Haha.

Hit me up if you have any travel suggestions!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cultural Musings 3 세

Sorry about missing Tteokbokki Tuesday but I didn't really have any new pictures to share. I shall work on taking more pictures. Anyways, I learned some interesting tidbits at my language exchange last night that I thought I'd share.

Musing 1: University
So last night we were talking about what everyone in our groups major in university was/is and I asked how they chose these majors, innocent enough question right? No! It took us awhile to overcome the language and cultural understanding barriers but I think I finally got it. So I had already heard that students take an exam during their 3rd year of middle school to determine what kind of high school they can go to, which in turn can influence where they get into university. No pressure. So what I learned was that high schools here are primarily broken up into two areas of concentration, sciences and society. I am still a little unclear as to what that means precisely but the two girls who said they went to society high schools either didn't take science at all or stopped after their second year. So anyways, majors. Seniors in high school take a huge test that determines what universities they can get into. Think SAT/ACT but with like 10x more pressure. Your score on this exam plays two roles. First, which universities you can get into, similar to how schools in the states said you need an SAT/ACT score of .... to get in. Second, which major you will choose. So from what I understand each major within a school is also given a score, for example they said you needed to get at least a 1500 on the exam to major in English. So instead of choosing based on interest like I did, they chose based on the score that they got.

Musing 2: Animal Control
I don't know too much about how animal control works in the States, all I can say is I don't see half as many strays walking around. Even when I lived in a city, not a huge city, but a city nonetheless, I didn't see this many strays. My alley alone must be home to at least 3 or 4 cats. I also saw a stray dog crossing a huge road this morning. I don't know what he was thinking crossing it 3 times, but it nearly gave me a heart attack. Not much else to say with this one. Just be prepared and watch were you are walking, the street is their toilet, when you visit Korea.

Here is an old, but pretty picture to make up for Tuesday.
I used some kind of magical filter on my camera and now it looks like a painting!
This is from our trip to Jeonju hanok village

I am now curious how you guys chose your majors?
Does anyone have a system to Korea?
What do you think about such a system? Pros? Cons?


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Photo Sunday: Christmas Decorating!

I'm actually posting a Photo Sunday on Sunday, you should be so proud.
Tonight my family started decorating for Christmas. I don't know about you, but in my family decorating is an affair.

It takes hours and is rather ridiculous all around.

Case and point below.

This is how my brother and I decided to put up the tree topper angel. I was pretty sure I was going to fall and die.
I think this picture pretty accurately sums up my family's decorating nonsense.

I can't wait for Christmas! We're celebrating with my family the 19th because we're leaving for Singapore the day after! I'm pumped.

Is your family crazy about Christmas? Is decorating a chaotic affair? Anyone else as excited for the holidays as me?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tteokbokki Tuesday: Oops It's Friday

Oops sorry guys. I went to a friends to watch the Holiday and drink hot cocoa on Tuesday, sorry about that. Anyways we celebrated Thanksgiving last weekend which was a blast. We had mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie to keep it traditional. But we also had pumpkin pancakes, fried chicken and ate with chopsticks to add a little somethin somethin. In true American Thanksgiving tradition though we did consume our weight in alcohol. I highly suggest playing the whisper challenge, that shit is phenomenal. But in all seriousness if you are away from home for the holidays celebrate with your friends, it really takes the edge off those holiday blues and there is a lot less stress!

Here is the only picture we managed to capture of the night. (Thanks Meghan Borland for the photo)
The Traditional Vegetable Turkey

Happy Holidays everyone!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Photo Sunday: Winter is Here

Hello loves. How was your Thanksgiving? Not in America, then how was your normal week?
I ate all the food, I swear. I love Thanksgiving.

During break here, it snowed! Multiple times! This was our first real snow of the season, so of course I took a picture to share with you all.

Look how pretty! It was like a winter wonderland. By the end of that day we had over five inches of snow. That's so much snow! I honestly don't even like snow. I got to stay inside all day and drink hot chocolate and watch movies with YC, so I enjoyed this snow. 

Snow and I can be friends as long as it agrees to only come when I can hide inside all day.

Seems like a reasonable request to me.

How was your Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it? Has is snowed where you are yet? Are you also only a fan of snow when you don't have to touch it? Comment!