Saturday, October 25, 2008

cream collon

Some Cream Collon anyone? Found these at a little import store. A Japanese snack.They are little tubes filled with cream. Hmmmm... Interesting name choice.

"I Like To Move It"

How I love my kids!!!!!! My co-teacher put on some music and on came the song "I Like To Move It". The kids loved it. Three of my kids started dancing. SOOOOOOOOOOOO Funny!!!!! Daniel is in the front doing to robot or what ever it is he is doing. Tony (back left in striped shirt) has quite the moves, and Ryan is back right.

Cutting pumpkin toffee

I always find these stands interesting. The giant scissors are used as both a tool (hammer?) and an instrument (to play along with the background music). Stands like this are fairly common in Korea. The pumpkin candy (like toffee) is nice. A bit chewy, though.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Busan Part II: Sharks!

(continued from Busan Part I)
In the morning, we got up (obviously) and headed to McDonald's for some breakfast. Then it was off to the aquarium at the beach. Shark time!! :)Me!
[this pic is from Michael's camera, posted on Scuba In Korea. I'm in pics 1, 2 and 5 on the October 11th dive]
[the rest of the pics are my own]I went on the shark dive 2 years ago and thought it was fantastic. Again, I loved it. I posted about most of the details the last time I went, so check it out if you are interested (including a lot of the things that are living in the tank). There were a few additions to the tank, including another sea turtle, much more aggressive than the 2 aggressive ones that were already there. Fun!! The new turtle was locked up in the double lock (the area we have to go through to get to the main tank, so it wasn't bothering us for the most part.[main tank from above - that is a glass bottom boat tour]
As I had gone once before, Michael had me join the first group, who all have their PADI. He went through a quick training with me to make sure I remembered everything, and then we headed to the 3 million liter, 5 meter deep main tank. Michael moved the new turtle into the training area and a few at a time went through the double locks to the ledge of the main tank, above the second tunnel. I was last in line to go through. While waiting, the turtle started pushing. All it took, though was couple of hard pushes on its 'shoulders' to get it away. In the tank, though, the other two turtles were right there, waiting for food. As Michael put it, they will eat and eat and eat until they throw up. Then a few seconds later, the'll be back and want to be fed again. If you don't feed them, they think you've forgotten and need to remind you. Since they don't have fingers to poke you with, they give you a bit of a nip. Well, luckily I don't think anyone was nipped, though one was close. Eventually, Michael got annoyed and tossed both of them into the double lock area. The first was easy, as it was right there. The second he had to wait for it to get back, then did a bit of turtle wrangling - had both fins together (behind its back?) so it couldn't move and pushed it in. Never seen giant sea turtle wrangling before!! :P
Michael is the first down to the bottom of the tank. Then we went down one at a time. It sometimes takes time to get down, as you have to equalize (pop your ears) as you go down. If they won't pop, PAIN! in which case you have to go up a little and then back down and try again. Going down, there is a rope to hold on to and you basically walk backwards down the side of the 2nd tunnel to the bottom. Once everyone is on the bottom, the tour of the tank starts. At one point we stopped to look for shark teeth on the bottom. I found 3!! In the tank, the divers are often the 'main attraction' (according to Michael). The Korean visitors watch the foreigners in the tank more than the sharks, I think. They wave and take many pictures. Of course, we can wave back (not wildly, though, for safety reasons) or pose for the pictures. I suppose I'm used to feeling like a bit of a zoo attraction (being a very obvious minority does that - people stare all the time, people sometimes ask to take pictures of you/with you, kids (and sometimes big kids) say hello, giggle and run away. LOL.After my group finished, we stuck around to take pictures of the 2nd group in the tank.
Then time for FOOD!!! A few people went for Mexican. The rest of us went for kalbi (meat). YUM!! and I suppose I could mention that soju and beer were also on the menu! ;)

Sunday, October 19, 2008


The Korean won is really hurting people these days. I hear about it every day. It really does suck. It's a little higher than it was a couple of weeks ago, though. I'm just hoping it doesn't go down any further. Not only that, there is too much going on in the news to do with North Korea. Not good.
South Korea braces for crisis fallout
From: The Associated Press Published: October 17, 2008
With its banks facing potential trouble, its currency and stocks reeling and consumer debt on the rise, the country's woes have stirred memories of the regional economic crisis that struck it more than a decade ago.
Now, amid criticism that officials have done too little too late, government leaders are racing to restore confidence in the country's economy.
Also, the country's broadest measure of trade — the current account — is expected to record an annual deficit for the first time in a decade, meaning South Korea is spending more on goods, services and investments from overseas than it sells abroad.
South Korean stocks have been no exception to the worldwide rout in equities spurred by the U.S. credit meltdown, falling 38 percent this year. They had already dropped 22 percent even before the collapse last month of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
South Korea's currency was also having a bad 2008 even before declines against the U.S. dollar accelerated amid the crisis. The won has plummeted almost 30 percent this year against the dollar and had its worst single day — a drop of 9.7 percent Thursday — since Dec. 31, 1997.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"What's up, my nigga?"

Every now and then I come across very interesting books for teaching English.This one might be part of some sort of series or group of books, as I've seen similar ones with similar names before.Incase you have a hard time reading the script, it says:
What's up, my nigga?
Gary: What's up my nigga? Long time no see. What have you been up to?
Joey: Nothing much, just been busy working and staying outta trouble.
Gary: Yeah, last time we seen each other we were locked up.
Joey: I remember that. I promised myself that I was gonna be good when I got out.
Gary: I'm glad to hear that you're staying outta trouble, keep doing good aight.
Joey: Yeah. Maybe I could hook you up with a job where I work at.
Gary: Really? If you can get me hooked up, I'd like that. Keep in touch.
Joey: Sure thing. See you around. Take care, man.

When I see things like that, all I can really do is laugh. I can't imagine a scenario when a Korean would actually be able to USE that this. Or anyone, really.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Busan Part I

I went to Busan for the weekend for the purpose of jumping in the shark tank. Of course we had to make a weekend of it.
Friday after work, my co-worker Jacob and I went home to get our things and then met up infront of the McDonalds (about halfway between our homes) at 5:15 to catch a taxi. I had thought about the traffic earlier but then didn't consider it. Needless to say, the traffic was horrible. We were cursing almost the whole way due to the fact that our train was departing at 6:00 SHARP. The freeway was backed up because some idiot drove into a brick wall. ARGH!! We were only near Yongsan station with only about 7 minutes to go. We told the taxi driver to please hurry, not that he could really do much. He did help a bit and drove on the shoulder a couple of times to pass. By the time our taxi pulled up outside Seoul Station, we had only 3 minutes to get to the train. Jacob threw the money into the front seat and we sprinted across the front area, up the stairs and into the building. THEN... with only 2 minutes to get through the entire station, my backpack zipper came open and a bunch of things fell out - socks, make-up bag, bra, etc. ACK!!!! Jacob ran back, scooped up my things while I worked on getting my zipper back up as to not loose anything else and we were sprinting again - him carrying my things. Up the stairs to the KTX gates and then down the stairs to the train. I was watching my clock the entire way. We JUST made it. The doors were going to close. We got into the closest car then walked back several cars to our seats. We were so out of breath and my heart was pounding for the next few hours. SO close. Another second and we would have missed it. Shane and Eileen, some friends of mine, were very worried that we had missed it and were trying to figure out what to do. They were considering trying to stop the train, as I had called when we were running into the station... Whether or not he understood what I was saying, I don't know, since I was concentrating more on getting there than what I was saying.
We were SOOOOO lucky.
We arrived in Busan at around 8:45. We were the first of the group (of about 12) that were arriving Friday night. We took the subway to Haeundae and then walked to the hotel. We picked our mats (first come first serve!!!) and then headed out to find some food. The 3 of them wanted seafood, of course - go to the sea, eat seafood. We went to one of the little restaurants along the boardwalk. Sitting on the second floor overlooking the sea was so nice. The weather was perfect. Cool, but warm enough that we didn't need coats.
Eileen (Korean) ordered fish soup for everyone.Not very appetizing if you ask me (well, since I don't like any seafood, that is not surprising). She ordered non-seafood pajeon (green onion pancake) for me.The side dishes were pretty good, too - a zucchini dish, a spicy squid and raddish dish (I picked out the raddish bits to eat and they weren't tainted by the squid, surprisingly enough), peanuts, and shrimp and little sardines which the others polished off several dishes of. Of course, beer and soju (Busan Soju - C1) were also ordered.After dinner we went back to the hotel to meet some of the others that had just arrived. The guys had a bit of fun on the little coin bumper cars, except for Shane.... Oh Shane! - he put coins in but it just wouldn't work.

Seoul Traffic

cars... on the freeway... barely moving... at almost 11pm on a Sunday night.[taken from the Hannam Bridge]

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

yum. Moroccan!

A friend of friends just opened a Moroccan restaurant called Andalous in Itaewon a week ago. Jeff (a Moroccan) used to (or sometimes still does?) play on the Lokomotiv Goyang team, which I have been friends with (many of the players) for a few years. So last Friday I went with a group of them to check the place out. For those familiar with Itaewon, it is up the hill opposite the McDonalds (near Noksapyeong Station) where the New Delhi restaurant used to be. The food was excellent. The menu is small but very good and there is a buffet, as well. Most of us had the buffet dinner for 20,000won (sorry I was so hungry I didn't get a pic). A few others ordered separate dishes:chicken kebabslamb kebabs
etc. Everyone was very happy with their meal. I had never had couscous before. It's great! And the vegetables were soooooooo good. Large chunks of zucchini, carrot, and others. The baba ganoush and hummous were also wonderful.