Thursday, December 16, 2010
(Note: No animals were harmed in the making of this masterpiece.)
Sunday, December 12, 2010
The subject of dogs in Korea is a hot one. I'm learning more about the (emotionally-charged) issue everyday, but I won't bore you with facts or my opinion. Point blank: there are some problems. And, like most other places around the world, there are simply too many dogs wandering the streets thanks to people who don't take responsibility for them. Obviously, as a result, the shelters are overflowing with dogs in need of care. From what I understand, one or more of the shelters are independently-owned by people who hold lots of land. So, in some cases, it's literally a one-man show. Tons of puppies/dogs with only one guy to go around and care for them (yikes). I've learned that the dogs at one of the shelters are kept outdoors. All. Year. Round.
Kia and Sean rescued many of their (five) pets from such shelters. One of their dogs -- and probably my favorite -- Darwin is believed to have escaped from a dog farm...you know, the place they keep dogs before sending them off to be tortured/slaughtered for some posintang (dog soup). Yeah. Another one of their pets, Marcel, was living at the shelter where animals are kept outdoors. Luckily, now he sports a cute WARM sweater :)
Sooooo, last night, a fundraiser went down to help these shelters. And, I helped. In the -4 degrees Celsius temp. It was brutal. But nice. (It should be said that I took more warm-up breaks than anyone; however, I was there and that's what counts, right?) Each time I went inside in an effort to feel my feet again, I kept thinking: This is three hours of painstakingly-cold weather you have to endure. Imagine countless nights of this. I don't know how those animals survive. A lot of them don't and it gives the phrase dog gone cold a whole new meaning for me.
I'm thinking of doin' a rescue...whad'dya think?
To learn more about the treatment of dogs in Korea, check this out.
You can learn more here, too.
WARNING: This site contains a graphic video and is not really suitable for those who cry easily.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Some quick updates:
#1) I've veganized my life and could not be more pleased with how much love it brings on a daily basis. Seriously. Love. Everywhere.
#2) I've decided to re-sign with my school for another year. My face hurts from smiling so much on a daily basis thanks to my lovely little kiddos. Really. I think dimples have formed that were not previously on my cheeks (dimples...wrinkles...meh?) How can I pass up another year of this? Plus, this year has flown by so quickly that I'm sure the second will, too. So those of you who have not been out here to visit, start planning (ahem, Hannah Colclazier).
#3) I'm bringing Sir Marls to Korea! Yeah, he needs to break free of his sheltered mama's boy persona and experience this bustlin' city. It's done wonders for me, now it's time to think 'bout ma babay.
Some things to look forward to:
1. Snow. It's coming...I can feel it. :)
2. Christmas break: I was going to travel to Indonesia and Malaysia, but have postponed that trip in order to spend time with my family over the holidays. It's been ages since I've talked with my little bros and I gotta say: I miss the knuckle heads.
3. My dear friend Tonya will be back in Korea come February/March. I'm looking forward to another (full) year with her in Korea. Good times are a given.
So there you have it folks. Looking forward to sharing more things with you and hopefully a visit or two from some of yas.
Hugs, (*are you getting your daily 12?)
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I've mentioned before that I have had a hard time finding nutrients here in Seoul. I've found my favs and stuck with them; however, it's been quite a boring diet. Thankfully, a while back I stumbled upon a blog written by a vegan living in Seoul. It has been a god-send because I have already added a variety of new ingredients to my diet, as well as learned some new combinations for my main staples. I found (ok, find) myself addicted. The blog is bomb, and the writer seemed (is) pretty cool, too.
I decided to throw caution to the wind (subject line) and e-mail the author to see if she would like to cuss and discuss sometime over coffee. Fortunately, she didn't think I was a complete (and might I add desperate) weirdo and accepted my invitation. I met up with her today at a coffee shop and had a great time.
Furthermore, we were right across the way from a little grocery mart where I came upon some hard-to-find good such as Sri-Racha, curry powder, Stevia, vegan curry sauce and some canned olives. I was pu-humped!!! They ended up being pretty expensive, but I don't mind splurging on food. Next on my list is finding a good pair of running shoes....things will start feeling like home after that.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I think I'm finally settling in. Meeting some cool people, seeing really awesome things, adapting to a totally different culture. I've been picking up a bit of Korean thanks to yoga classes, my students and my Korean friends. I can confidently order my favorite Korean dishes and tell the cab driver left or right. Oh, and I've mastered the phrase "Eat Well!" I've got the polite phrases down, too. However, I'm a little iffy on the phrase, "I'm sorry." I usually end up telling people to eat well instead. My face turns red a lot.
I've moved into a new apartment. It's actually quite the pad. Alas, I am unable to use the term floral abode as the walls are simply white. I do have a hot pink comforter though. It made the transition a bit easier.
The job is going pretty well. (I'll tell you the truth when I am through with my contract.) My students are amazing and the parents are pretty great, too. A sweet story: I've had a hard time adjusting to the change in diet. Being a vegetarian and out of my element -- and utterly exhausted at the end of the day -- I've basically stuck to a routine of tofu, tomatoes, soy milk, bread and a few other vegetables. My stomach has really been my enemy lately. Add to the equation my love for the super spicy authentic cuisine of Korea and you've got one tumultuous tummy. Today, Grace's mother brought me a homemade oriental healing tea that is said to heal stomach conditions. She was genuinely concerned and it felt nice...you don't get that too often here. I was sick on Monday and missed the morning half of school. I saw my principal today... she growled at me and said something in Korean that I think translated to: "Buck up weak sauce." Needless to say, the gift from Grace's mother was really appreciated.
Summer vacation is just around the corner and I couldn't be more thrilled. I'm heading to Japan for a solid nine days and am really looking forward to seeing what John has been up to for the past 11 months. I don't think nine days will suffice, but I'll take what I can get. It will be nice to get out of Korea for a short time. It's currently so hot that I should probably shower twice a day -- add yoga to the mix and it should be four. It's also monsoon season. I was walking to work the other day and the rain busted through my somewhat sturdy umbrella. Although, I like the rain. It's perfect weather for writing, reading, eating dukbokki -- one of the most delicious, spiciest, chewiest foods in Korea -- and listening to good music. Now, if I only had Marley.
Scrumptious minus the fish cakes. It singes your taste buds.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Welcome...it's been almost three months since I first stepped foot in this foreign city. It actually amazes me to write that. It's been a whirlwind of a time. I should have started this blog when I first got here seeing how I have much to share; however, I've never been a fan of shoulding on myself. I'll give it to you in small doses mainly because it's almost midnight here and I don't feel like writing a ton. Let’s start with the basics:
I live in a quaint one-bedroom apartment about 5 minutes from the school. It’s swell for a couple of reasons:
a) I can wake up between 8:50 and 9:02 and still make it to school by 9:27….9:35 if I get coffee. Not an ideal way to start the workday; yet, I do it for the kids, you know? Those extra minutes in the morning are the difference between “I love you, Lindsey Teacher” and “Lindsey Teacher, you crazy today.” I prefer the former statement.
b) I’m surrounded by nature. Every night I fall asleep under a canopy of roses. Pink ones. When I greet friends at my place I get to say cool things like, “Welcome to my floral abode.” It’s awesome!
I work at a hagwon, which is Korean for cash money millions…I mean private English Institution. I teach kindergarten and elementary Monday through Friday from 9:30 to forever. It’s quite a workload, but aren't all teaching jobs? My school is awesome for one reason:
a) My students. I teach an amazing group of seven year olds (which is around five years in America) more commonly referred to as The Grapes. They amaze me everyday with how smart and dedicated they are to their studies. I will go ahead and dedicate an entire post to these little kiddos. I love them and not just because they spoiled me rotten on Teachers’ Day and delight in the fact that I have curves.
One anecdote before I begin to wrap up. I’ll preface it by saying that most of the women in Korea are crazy thin (either that or they know how to work the color black to their advantage.) I don’t know that many of my kids have seen curves before….or boobs. Upon arriving in class one morning, a student exclaimed: “Oh! Lindsey Teacher we are so happy! You happy?” I cheesily replied, “Of course I’m happy! I get to spend my day with you guys!” They burst out in (evil) laughter: “Hahahahha! No! Happy because Lindsey Teacher you have baby!” They thought I was with child. Super. After explaining that I was in fact NOT expecting, a rather curious specimen of a child named Ben reached up, grabbed my chest and said: “Then what are these?!” It was both humiliating and sidesplitting at the same time.
Here is a picture of the perpetrator:
Everything else is going pretty well. I’m getting out and seeing some great things. I joined a hot yoga gym. I have had the pleasure of seeing this handsome beast named John Hildebrand twice now (and am looking forward to the next encounter.) I eat great food. I miss home quite a bit….especially my main man Marley. I’m planning a trip to Japan in August. I’m meeting some great people and really missing some others (Hannah Colclazier.) South Korea has been quite a treat thus far. OH! Except when you hear unidentified war sirens (which are very scary and surreal might I add) and see military men with guns posted at every street corner. I’ll save that story for next time.
Toodles and Poodles,
*Bear with me. I'll get better at blogging.