Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Air Raids and other Disasters. SURPRISE!!

Good thing my school told me about this drill... NOT.
All of a sudden a broadcast came over the loud speaker, then air raid sirens started going off.... and are still going. Welcome to scare-the-waygook (foreigner) day!! The government is conducting civil defense training today across the nation so people know what to do in case some disaster (such as a North Korean attack) were to happen. --I guess kind of like us Californian's version of an earthquake drill at school, but more serious.-- I was told about a "talk" about South and North Korea that would occur today, but it would've been nice to know a few more specifics. And speaking of specifics, how are us foreigners supposed to know what to do in the event of an emergency since this whole broadcast is in Korean??

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thanksgiving in Daegu and One Great Food Weekend

I am so thankful to have a "family" in Korea since I am away from my real family at home. My Thanksgiving weekend started off with a Skype session between my family (mom, dad, sister, cousins, grandparents) and my Friday "A" level first grade class. My school bought a webcam specifically for this purpose and even video taped the class. I introduced my family on a powerpoint and then gave the students a chance to think of 3 questions they would like to ask. It was probably the best experience I have had in the classroom thus far... They were so cute! The students were REALLY excited, as was my family (I think). 
On Friday, we had a burrito night. One of our friends, Jeff, got a package from home with burrito making things (tortillas, taco seasoning) and he was kind enough to share it with us. SO delicious and it made me miss real Mexican food... too bad you can't send Hilbertos and Saritas in the mail. His sister also sent him homemade fudge. Amazing. We then completed the night with a norebang session, makkoli, and beer.
Burrito heaven.
On Saturday, I had a Thanksgiving meal with my Daegu family. A magazine here, Daegu Pockets, offered a Thanksgiving meal set, complete with turkey, gravy, pie, and cranberry sauce. We also all pitched in a side dish or drinks. This made for PLENTY of food and great company (about 20 people in a little apartment).

Pie/Turkey combo
Thanksgiving toast.

The next day, Shelley, Shaun, and I got some breakfast at Coffee and Waffles (one of my favorite waffle places so far). We then headed out to Herb Hillz on a bus. We wandered around the "ecopark" and then took a ropes/ziplining course. We for some reason thought that taking the second hardest course- "King Kong"- was a good idea. NOT so good. It was pretty tough and it was also freezing out. It took us at least an hour to complete the course... rope ladders, zip lining, rope bridges, death defying stunts, a skateboard and bike suspended in the air, and high wire acts. And the only time we ever saw an instructor was at the very beginning when he was giving us safety warnings in Korean. It was completely ridiculous and we were all almost in tears at one point or another, but I am happy I did it... At least we can have a good laugh now

"If you drink this coffee, then your lips will be turned warm
like a you're kissing and you'll falling in love.
Taking on bite of waffle, you're being ever more romantic.
Coffee&Waffle is always be with you."
"Caution!! Excessive drinking of coffee
can bring about uncontrolled urination."
Little did you know....
Getting lost on the way to Herb Hillz.
Climbing over guard rails and through fields.
Story of our lives.
Ohhh so that's what men do in the bathroom
As in, "Merry" Christmas? 
The start of King Kong
Only attached by two ropes.
Ready to go

Namwon and Paintballing

On November 20th, I went to small city called Namwon (in Joellabuk-do, a province Southwest of Daegu) to go paintballing. We took a cab ride about 30 minutes away from the city and then hiked up a small hill. We were basically running through the woods, hiding behind small trees, and killing each other with paintballs that weren't bursting because it was too cold. It definitely was not like the experience I had at Camp Pendelton in San Diego last year, but it was still fun. In the last game of the day, we played sudden death... everyone for themselves. This equaled death for me... I got slammed with paintballs the second the whistle blew. For about 2 weeks after paintballing, I had bruises all over my body (which in my opinion were well worth it)! After, we went out for a very delicious duck dinner... 4 courses of duck: steamed, soup, some burger type duck, and spicy. The next day, my friend Shaun took me to Namwon's big garden, Gwanghallu Garden. Apparently there is a Romeo & Juliet type story (Chunhyang) in Korea that took place in Namwon... which is how the city earned the title "the city of love."
Paintball in Namwon 

Biggest koi fish I've ever seen
Korean Romeo and Juliet

The swing where Korean Juliet was
sitting when they first saw each other

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Week in Pictures (Nov 8)

I am CLEARLY behind on blog postings (as I always say), but my students have finals for 4 days, so expect a bunch coming your way...

All the leaves are gone now...
but it was pretty while it lasted!
Makkoli: Korean rice wine
Birthday cupcakes I got for Shelley
Cute but too bad they didn't taste as good as they looked
Big dog that is always sitting at this wine bar!
So cute
Mark found a sombrero just laying around...
Jjimdak (찜닭) at Andong Chicken
Chicken, noodles, and veggies in a sauce.
So delicious. I think we eat here at least once a week
Many drunk people in the picture. It is strong cocktail.
At Vinaroo (cocktails in a bag)
haha self explanatory
Creepy Simpsons?
Jenga is FUNCH in Korea
Please read....
"Why did the monkey fall out of the tree?
Because it was dead coz we shot it
and we made a coat soft, furry, and a little prietty.
I love you, you are beautiful <3.
But... I met a girl and it went crunchy... in a nice way
I flossed my teeth with it
But can you blame me"

Woobang Land- November 13

For Shelley's birthday, we went to one of Daegu's theme parks: Woobang Tower Land. Now, this is hardly comparable to any theme park in the states, but it was run definitely fun to run around like little kids for the day. If anything, it was like a bigger and more permanent state fair (with a few dangerous rides....) The park was equipped with a "haunted" house, carousel, bumper cars, roller coasters, theme park games, all of that bad-for-you food, petting zoo, and even a bar. We even had our first brush with Christmas decorations... so exciting :)

Woobang Tower

The not so scary haunted house
The genie isn't in his prime anymore.
And apparently Aladdin changed the spelling of his name...
Stroller parking in Korea means leaving
your kid in the stroller as well.
Click to enlarge...
I love Korea's signs that are translated into English

You could only pet these poor puppies out of this small hole 
Dogs in a petting zoo?

Woobang Land at sunset.
Woobang Tower "bungee jumping"
Re: Dangerous Rides...
Please notice how my butt is not making
 contact with the seat (I am next to the guy in the purple).
It spun around and around, bumping up and down.
No seatbelts. Death trap.
For a small fee, you can ride these robotic animals...
I swear we are adults.
Our Woobang group!
(Top to bottom, L to R)
Andre, Mark, Roberta, Shaun,
Jose, Shelley, Me, Jaco,
Carel (missing Hannes)