Thursday, July 22, 2010

Safety First Then New Friends

I'm going to try to be more diligent about updating my blog. I'm trying to be more diligent these days about lots of things. For example, I'm trying to wake up earlier, eat breakfast and get out of my apartment more often. It's a work in progress. Today I got up early though because I couldn't sleep...I WAS SO 'CITED! Today, my school took a field trip to the Safety Theme Park. It wasn't really that cool to be honest, but it meant an entire morning free of lessons, worksheets, and "please sit nicelys." I didn't take any photos, but trust me, it wasn't worth it. On the bright side, it made the day go by quickly, which I was thankful for.

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


Man, my blogging skills are disreputable! Two posts during the almost five months I've been abroad. I wish I could say a lot has been happening; however, the truth is...I've just been lazy. Not necessarily lazy in living, but lazy in blogging. Korea is pretty awesome, but it's also pretty exhausting. As a result, I rarely have the desire or brain power to document my life here. I'm starting to feel a bit guilty; hence the post.

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 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.

Dukbokki anyone?

Scrumptious minus the fish cakes. It singes your taste buds.