Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bill Clinton??? or...

What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by
I actually ended up taking the test 4 times. There are 2 sets of questions, and the I got a different result depending on which set. 2 VERY DIFFERENT RESULTS!!! I got each of the 2 results twice. Bill Clinton was the first and 4th result. The other one...

IGA Mart

It is a 24 hour convenience store similar to a 7-11. There are many stores like that around Korea: IGA Mart, 7-11, Orange Mart, Family Mart, GS Mart, etc.

a notebook

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Day

Christmas Day, Jason and I went to the Wolfhound, an Irish Pub (THE Irish Pub) in Itaewon. Irish Tom had organized the outing and had made reservations.
[this photo by Janine]
It was a buffet style Christmas dinner with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, beans, veggies, buns, shellfish (yuck), and raw fish (also yuck), among other things. There was a group of 12 of us there. Kieran and Dairin et al went to the Hilton Hotel for their Christmas dinner. It was twice the price and they got only a small bit of turkey. Anyway... The dinner started around 4:30 or so and ended fairly early (7ish). The group slowly shrank as everyone went their own way for the rest of the evening (some home, some elsewhere). Jason and I stayed for more drinks. A few of the people we met the previous night at Kieran and Dairin's were there, as well (all Irish, I think).
some of the groupKing Yiannis Tom and DavidKing JasonKing Richard's Christmas cigarmost of the group [this photo by Janine]

"Halloween without the candy" ???

South Korea Encourages Prostitute-Free Holidays
Why Party With Prostitutes When You Can See a Movie?

What's New Year's Eve without drunken co-workers and hookers? Well, in South Korea, where office parties often devolve into bachelor parties, it would be like Halloween without the candy (almost). Nevertheless, in an effort to stomp out Auld Lang Syne debauchery, Seoul's Ministry of Gender Equality is giving away free movie tickets to workers who pledge not to hire prostitutes this December 31st. [...]

South Korea combats prostitution with cash offer to businesses
SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea has launched a campaign offering cash to men if they promise not to buy sex from prostitutes after year-end office parties, government officials said Tuesday.
The move is aimed at changing the party culture in this male-dominated society by winning commitments from male employees to abstain from hiring prostitutes after the parties finish, said an official at the Gender Equality and Family Ministry,
who asked not to be identified because of policy.
A total of $5,000 will be paid to companies based on the largest number of volunteers who sign a written pledge, the official said. Some 1,300 companies so far have participated in the campaign.
South Korea has stepped up its crackdown on prostitution since 2004 when the legislature passed new anti-prostitution laws targeting human traffickers, pimps and prostitutes. The practice remains widespread, however.

Prostitution is illegal here, yes... but...
I know in Yongsan, the red light district (a long street with doors and display windows lit up in red) is right around the corner from the local police office. The anti-prostitution laws have not made the street even change its look. And you can still see women sitting in the windows at times.

a turtle tummy

The kindy's first floor turtles.

Another lunch at the kindy

This is one of the student's lunches.Clockwise from bottom left: rice with purple rice in it; kimchi; Korean pancake (normally I love it) with squid in it (which makes me NOT love it); little whole fish; radish soup (yummy!!).The little fish are nasty. The kids love them, though. They also eat them dried. Sometimes the teachers give the kids little fish as treats. If a student does something well, he/she might get a sticker, or they might get a little fish to munch on. The kids are often trying to give me little fish to eat. Shudder... no thanks.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Eve cont'd

Update: Jason D missed his flight but was able to catch a later one.

He spilled his drink on himself and came up with a very interesting excuse for the look. The sound doesn't exactly match the video so you really have to listen to hear what he is saying...
but once you hear it... lol... :P

Bunnies Can't Stand Christmas :D

I saw this on Tom's blog and decided to share it with you. :P

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve I took Jason up to Ilsan to a party at Kieran and Dairin's (an Irish couple that I've known since 2003, when I worked in Hwajeong, just north-west of Seoul). It was a great evening. That group is always fun and interesting to be around. There is never a dull moment.SOME of the alcohol that was there (taken from across the room with my handy camera... this is only at 7 times zoom :P). I'm not even sure if this bunch was touched much, as everyone brought a lot more. A lot of people were just drinking beer.In the kitchen.Lovebirds on the living room floor.In the living room... a little later.Jason, me, Dairin, Cookie Monster, Kieran (Cookie Monster goes everywhere!!! He was even there when we went to Beijing the other year. :P Dairin loves Cookie.)Raphael (Australian, friend/co-worker from my last job in Korea), and I. I went to Raph's wedding here in 2004 (to Ja-young/Miss Moon (Korean)).Jason entertaining the Irish.Jason D. I wonder if he made his flight!! He was supposed to be on a flight home at 9 in the morning. I think he left the party (stumbled out the door) at around 3 am or so.

Happy Holidays!!!

Merry Christmas!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
to those that don't celebrate Christmas... Happy Holidays.

the kindy school

Here are some pics of around my kindy school.
First Floor:
The first floor hall and main entrance. On the left are the main office, the first floor teacher's bathroom and the first floor kids bathroom. On the right are the (3-4/Korean 5 year old) Roe Deer classroom (closest to the doors) and the (4-5/Korean 6 year old) Deer (Sa-sum) class.The back door. To the right is the hall to the main doors. On the left are the (4-5/Korean 6 year old) Squirrel class (da-ram-jui) and the (3-4/Korean 5 year old) Hippo class (Ha-ma). The main stairs. Going down (behind the Santa) you get to a big room that is used as an activity room/sports room/ballet room, and a swimming pool beyond that.
Second Floor:At the top of the stairs. To the left is the piano room and then the entrance to the (5-6/Korean 7 year old) Mu-gung-hwa class and the other little classroom (Chinese? Math?). Straight ahead is the English classroom. It only seats about half of a class in there. The two Korean English teachers each get one half of each class, one half goes to the English room, the other half stays in their classroom.The second floor hall. On the left is the kitchen. After that is the second floor student bathroom and then the teachers' bathroom. On the right furthest away is the (4-5/Korean 6 year old) Elephant (Ko-ki-ri) classroom, then the (5-6/Korean 7 year old) Giraffe (ki-rin) classroom. Straight ahead there is some sort of little office room (entrance from the other stairwell) that I have never seen used.Piano Classroom. The 5 rooms on the right each have one piano. The 4 rooms on the left each have 4 pianos.The second floor kids bathroom. Everything is child size.

turtle yoga?

The turtles at the kindy are always holding poses like this.

Friday, December 22, 2006


This is referring to what I mentioned in the last post about people thinking I am Russian.
Since arriving in Korea, I have often been asked if I am Russian. It is not just the Koreans asking me that, either. After I got here in the fall of 2001, the foreigners that lived in my building thought I was Russian. One of them told me that after she met me. She wasn't sure why they thought that. During that first year here in Korea, I was constantly being followed by drunk Korean men thinking I was Russian. I even had one grab my ass and ask "ol-ma" which means "how much." I don't think I need to explain that any further.
Sales people, taxi drivers, and other Koreans that I encounter often ask if I am Russian. Either that or if I am American. It is not often that they just ask where I am from. Strange.
My previous contract in Korea I was in Goyang City, which is just north-west of Seoul. A couple of times I was even stopped by Russian women thinking I was Russian.
When I was in Shanghai, in China, I was asked either where I was from, or if I was Canadian. That was also a bit odd, I thought. Maybe they get a lot of Canadian visitors there??? The two Estonian guys I met in Suzhou (at the KFC, if you remember that post), said that I looked like I could be Russian, as I had some features that were very Russian-like. Interesting.
There are Russian women all over South Korea. They are usually 'dancers', etc (or other types of entertainers, if you know what I mean). I heard that they make a lot more money here than than would if they stayed in Russia. Anyway..... It is strange that so many people seem to think I am Russian. Not just that I am Russian... but that I am a Russian in Korea... knowing what the majority of them do here. It is usually fairly easy to spot the Russians in the foreigner areas in Korea, as they tend to dress a bit differently.
Many of the Korean night clubs have Russian dancers. During my first year, in Anyang (just south of Seoul), I went to a dance club where they had a little space for a dancer on either side of the stage. During the dance songs, a dancer would be in the little space in basically lingerie or a bikini or such. They weren't dancing so much as wiggling. Then during the breaks with slow songs, they would appear wearing evening gowns, and would wander around mingling with the crowd of drunk Korean men.
My friend/co-worker Kelly didn't believe me when I told her that I kept being asked if I was Russian... until she showed her mom a picture of me and that was EXACTLY what her mom asked. LOL.

The owl is coming to Korea.

Titillating Food Chain to Open Outlet in Korea
Such an appropriate title for the article.
I went to Hooters once... only to meet friends who had stopped there for a bite before going to the no longer existent Club Malibu Bourbon Street (a bar) in West Edmonton Mall. That was a LONG time ago. I only had water.
When ever I hear about Hooters, though, all I can think of is seeing the waitresses wandering around the mall with the owl mascot, handing out Hooters balloons to little kids. Something just didn't seem quite right about it.
My friend Aaron has a comment about it on his Messenger ID: "Hooters to open in Korea. Job opportunity for B-Cup girls!" LOL. BUT, many Koreans are obsessed with plastic surgery and such, so that might not actually be true. Or maybe they'll hire some of the Russians that I am often mistaken for.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More from Chris' Christmas Party..

Here are SOME of the videos from Chris' party.
Stacey's song:
Dave and Kath's song:
Chris' ode to everyone:
a visit from Santa:
a visit from Santa cont'd:
To see the rest of them, check out my other videos on YouTube, under my id: silveroses69. There are also a few videos there of some of my classes at the kindy.
I didn't get a video of all of Chris' songs. To see more, if you want, check out Jared's videos from the evening on YouTube id: kiwiot. Or do a search for "Chris's Xmas Carols" in YouTube.

Snow on the roof

[my neighbor's roof on Sunday]

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My "Soldier Type"

You scored as Medic. You're a medic. Not really into fighting people, but prefer to help and heal. Your a caring person who generally wants to help, but not fight. But instead you heal the injured. Your a brave person, but most people generally regard you as foolish because of the risks you take to help others. But you don't care because your a battlefield medic, and saving lives is your business.







Combat Infantry


Special Ops


Support Gunner






Which soldier type are you?
created with


As if Chris ordered it, it snowed the night of his Christmas party. It snowed A LOT! It was still snowing today for a while. It probably won't be around for long, though. Although, I have been told by several Koreans that Korea is supposed to have a very cold winter this year, with lots of snow. We shall see.
me in the snowsnow on the treestrying to catch a taxi
(we never did find one that would take us home)April in the snowSNOW

Christmas Party

Last night was Chris' Christmas party. (He's the one that had the Halloween party I went to, for those of you that are following along.) When ever he has a party, he goes all out. I'm not sure how much he actually spends (time and money) on his parties. He baked cookies, decorated his apartment, wrote versions of the traditional Christmas songs for his close friends, organized games and activities, made a slide show of pictures of all of his friends and put it on cds for everyone (which a very short Santa handed out) and had tons of food and snacks around. One of the games that I unfortunately missed was pin the candycane on the elf... I think he was the elf.
a friendly game of twisterpictures with Santa (Kat and I)the crowdthe host: ChrisStacey and I
A few of us ended up crashing at Chris' as IT WAS SNOWING so the taxis didn't want to go any distances so we were kinda stuck. Us girls took over Chris' bed and left the guys to sleep on the floor down below (it is a loft).

Saturday, December 16, 2006

department store

This is the Hyundai Department Store at Cheonho Station (a 25/30 minute walk from my home). It is all brand name shops (translate to expensive). Many of the department stores/shopping malls are lit up year round. Well, most things in Korea are. They LOVE neon lights. They love lights.

kids and their mobile phones

South Korea wants teens to hang up mobile phones
Parents go crazy over the phone bill while the kid just keeps on talking. Preset limits on calling time don't always work.
South Korea is trying to stop teenagers from ringing up massive mobile phone bills with new rules that let parents control just how long the handsets are used.
Phone bill angst is rife in South Korea, where data from mobile service operators show that four out of five people own a handset and at least six out of ten school-age children have one.
A Telecommunications Ministry official said on Friday that from January, children will need parental permission to go above a preset limit, which can be up to 30,000 won ($32.57) a month.
Parents will also receive detailed information about the types of services their children subscribe to.
At present, parents can set a limit on how long children can talk on their mobiles, but all the kids have to do is ask the mobile provider to increase the limit.
In February, a teenaged South Korean boy killed himself after tallying a phone bill of 3.7 million won ($4,017).
"The ministry hopes these regulations will prevent teenagers from making a lot of mistakes about how they use their mobile phones, which can lead to mounting bills," the telecommunications ministry said in a press release.
Cho Jin-kyung said she hoped the new regulations would mean her teenaged daughter spends less time on the phone and more with her books.
"My daughter's phone bill always causes me stress," Cho said. "I scold her all the
time over it and threaten to cut her allowance, but it never works."
I remember when I did teach middle school aged kids, I sometimes caught them using their phones in class (hidden under the tables). They would be sending text messages to their friends. Sometimes their phones would ring and they would actually answer them! I put a stop to that pretty quickly. If it is their parents phoning, well, maybe I would let them answer (although, their parents should know where they are to begin with, since THEY are paying for the lessons). Some Korean rack up huge phone bills. My friend/co-worker, Kelly, is one of them. She said the phone company is actually sending her a gift for Christmas because her phone bill has been so high.
Foreigners, for the most part, have pay as you go deals. For some reason, Koreans can't do the pay as you go. Wouldn't that solve the problem with the kids' phone bills???
Up until recently, the only way to actually have a contract phone was to have a Korean friend sign up for you. The phone I have now, I got on a contract. I had a friend sign up for a 3 month contract so that I could get the phone. I could have extended the contract, but figured I didn't use it enough for it to be worth it. I usually only use it for texting. So I changed it to a pay as you go set up. I have heard that it is getting easier for foreigners to get contracts, but I haven't really looked into that. The pay as you go is so easy. I don't have to worry about a monthly phone bill for it (especially since I have a phone bill for my home phone already). When it does start getting low, I just get my boss to phone in and add won (money) to my phone and I pay her back. Or I could go to any KTF shop and get them to do it. I love texting. :D

Friday, December 15, 2006

tonight's dinner: cheese ra-bokki

I felt lazy today so after a short work out at the gym (my ankle started bothering me as I forgot to take my meds this morning) so I went to the local Kimbap-Cheon-Guk. Such restaurants are everywhere and serve quick and cheap, simple meals. That is where I had the dwenjang chigae that I posted about previously.
Cheese ra-bokki is ddeok-bokki and ramyun (ramen noodles) with a slice of processed cheese on top. Ddeok is a thick rice cake noodle type thingy. Ddeok-bokki is generally quite spicy as it is made with gochujang (red pepper paste), and sometimes red pepper powder as well. It is generally made with the ddeok, cabbage, carrots, onions and odaeng (processed fish... which I find disgusting). If you get it in a restaurant (rather than at a pojangmacha/street vendor) there will also be half a boiled egg on top. I get it without the odaeng (when I remember to mention it). You can get ddeok-bokki anywhere here. No matter where you are in the city, it is fairly easy to find a street vendor making it.
The side dishes: a standard soup that is given when you order any non-soup item, sweet radish pickles (I don't particularly like them), ggakdugi (radish kimchi)

Building an "English-only town"???

I'm not sure how well it would actually work.

S. Korea plans to build English-only town
South Korea plans to set up an island town where students can immerse themselves in English without leaving the Asian country.
The town, where English would be the only language spoken, would include educational facilities from primary schools to college as well as learning centers for short-term students. It would be on Cheju Island, about 50 miles off South Korea's southern coast, which was once housed exiled scholars with dissident political views and is now a popular tourist destination.
While creating an entire town would be expensive, officials believe it would save money in the long run.
"According to the Bank of Korea, Korean students spent over $3.3 billion to study abroad last year. We think that if we create a superior educational and residential environment on Cheju as planned, there will be fewer students going to foreign countries to learn English,'' a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Finance and Economy said.
Some municipal governments have set up English-immersion camps, but they offer only short-term programs. Many are now being closed down.
[United Press International]

The students go abroad to study/learn English, of course, but also for the experience of living in a foreign country. They want to experience another culture, and make friends from those countries. There is no way they could replace or fully re-create the experience.

They "CLAIM" to have it.

N. Korea May Have Anti-Bird Flu Vaccine
North Korea has claimed it developed a poultry vaccine against the deadly H5N1 type of bird flu and is inoculating chickens as part of stepped-up efforts to prevent the disease following outbreaks in South Korea.
"The production of H5N1 vaccine locally developed recently in our country is increased and the compulsory vaccination of it to whole poultry flocks is being done," said Ri Kyong Gun, director of the North's Veterinary and Anti-Epidemic Department, in an interview with AP Television News in Pyongyang.
Ri did not say when the vaccine was developed or how effective it is.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Korean percussion.

Here are a few videos of the entertainment from the foreigners seminar that I had to go to on the 2nd. For some reason the sound isn't quite in time with the videos. Sorry 'bout that.

Thumb wrestling.

Here is a bit of the thumb wrestling that was going on last Saturday night. ;) D's going to kill me for posting this. :P

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

another night out...

Last Saturday I went out again, of course. :P I met up with a few girls to have a beer while waiting for the guys (the Loko football/soccer team), and for the Indian restaurant (Namaste) to be ready for a big group. We went to the restaurant a bit after 7. I think our food took a couple of hours to make it to the table. For some reason, they wanted to serve all 20 or so at the same time!! Oh well. The food was sooooooooooooooooo good!!!
The main reason for the outing was a going away party for one of the guys, Delphy. I've only met him a couple of times so don't really know him, but I know most of the others that were there.
[Tally, Delphy and I]
After dinner a few people went home and the rest of the group headed to Itaewon for some drinks. We went to a fairly new Irish pub there. There was no sitting room, and the tv there was tiny, so us girls went upstairs and stood around with our drinks, and the guys headed to Hollywoods to watch a game that was on, and then came back, by which time we had a small table. Some of the others stayed at Hollywoods, or headed to Hongdae, which is where most of us ended up a little later.
When we had enough of the Irish pub, we hopped into cabs for Hongdae, to Route 66, a very popular place, famous for its Long Island iced tea. Yummy!!!
[D (Irish, arrived in Korea around the same time I did this year) and I][Sophie (Irish?) and I][Darryl (American, friend from last year in Korea) and I][Dairin (Irish, friend from last year in Korea) and I][Aaron (Australian giant, friend/co-worker from last year in Korea, soon to be a father) and I][Jason D(American, co-worker from last year in Korea, looks drunk in every photo I have of him... maybe because he is???) and I]
I'm not even sure exactly when we left there. I ended up with D and a couple of the guys: Jason D and Aaron, going for some more drinks... beer... NOT my favorite, but... well... when it is offered.... some friendly thumb wrestling ensued.
Notice the pink in my hair again??? Well, it is a bit more purple this time. :)
[all photos are at Route 66 in Hongdae]