Archive for November, 2009

Things I love about Seoul

1. The yogurt Lady (Who I realized drives a motorcycle. OMG YES)

2. The outdoor markets (fresh tofu sold next to… 30 cent socks. WONDERFUL)

3. My students (Make me an instant celebrity)

4. Parks (with random gym equipment)

5. Public Transit (T Money in hand, oh yes)

6. The people I see on public transit

7. Drinking culture (Soju? Bekseju? Magolli? It’s a way of life)

8. The people I meet. (English teachers and everything else)

9. Art Galleries and hagwons ( We all need a space to work)

10. Street food (Waffles, red bean fishies, dokkbukki, oh god)

 

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When I was art school, we had the life-saver: 55 cent coffee, hot fresh and strangely oily. It pumped your blood full of sweet caffeine on those late night crunches, and provided a change of scenery when class seemed just too pressing. For those days when paying upwards of 3 bucks for a cup just wasn’t happening, there was nothing more celebrated in my life than that cheap-coffee machine.

Well, it’s met its match in Seoul. Cause now, I have a 100 won (<10cents) coffee. That’s right. Same deliciously sweet, slightly oily, hot hot hot all ya can drink less than ten cent rainbows.

Yup. It’s Monday.

So, in a surprising turn of events, my almost-brand-spanking-new mac suffered massive hard drive failure! What???! How is that even possible? My last back up was about a month ago – quite good for my records. I’ve gone years without backing up. Horrifying, but true. ㅜ_ㅜ

So, what does this mean? Well, I haven’t been online in a few days (except for at work) and I probably won’t have a working computer for at least another week. And, I’ve lost some writing and photographs. I’m not sure how to load my software from my backup either… so… I’m not sure what’ll be up with my Adobe stuff when I get my machine back.

One last bit of moping: I’m wearing dokkbukki pants today. I grabbed these jeans from the jean-pile, only to realize (now, as I sit in my office, preparing for the day) that there was a horrible accident involving that ever chewy and delicious hot rice cake: the dokkbukki. I seem to remember a night with a lot of friends and laughing and OH YES. I must have dropped a ton of the bright-red-chili-sauce-drenched – tomato-simmered-cakes. Cause there be red stains all up and down these legs. How I failed to notice as I got dressed this morning, I’ll never know… Fail. Major Fail!

Onto the awesomeness of life right now: things are pretty awesome. Life has taken on a kind of schedule: work in the mornings, of course, but every night holds something different. I’m taking an interactive class on Jonsen Dynasty culture at The National Palace Museum of Korea – last week we made soap. This week we’ll do calligraphy! I’ll be going on field trips and trying on hanbok. It’s all very interesting, and the palace is super lush.

Other days I go to Itaewon, to the Chabad. We’re studying women’s experiences in the prophet stories in Hebrew – oh man. There are some seriously strong women, but their stories are so fragmented. In Itaewon there are also weekly-or-so writers’ workshops and performer’s workshops, and lots of little coffee shops and English book stores. It’s amazing to feel like there are so many resources to plug into for the arts.

I study Korean a few nights a week, either with friends or with teachers at my school. My reading is getting to a workable stage. I’ve almost got all of the compound vowels down. Everyone knows how much I struggle with language, so learning to read awesomely is super sweet for me. Right now I’m only learning about 2 vocabulary words a week (mostly from my students, haha) which is not really enough to talk or anything. You’d be surprised though at who speaks awesome English in Seoul – it’s everywhere.

This week I have a super easy schedule – no 9th grades cause of finals, and for the 8th graders we’re giving an English speaking test. (we = my Korean English Co-teachers and myself). The speaking exam is on the slang I’ve been teaching the last two weeks:

That’s so wack! Fail, Major fail!
That’s sweet! That’s sick! Major win!
I’m chill. I’m cool. I’m solid.
I’m whatever. I’m eh.
I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
What’s up?~ Just chilling.

The girls had to make dialogues with the slang and perform them in class. Yes, really. I love my job! I’ll put up videos of some of the good performances later – some of them are so funny! I feel like a proud mother every time I hear “I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.”

 

Oh, and Manisha and I made a new video for her students (elementary). You can check it out here. Funnnny!