Making my way through Asia (and grad school) one adventurous step at a time.

Friday, June 25, 2004

I Love Learning New Things...

I love living in Korea, because I learn so many new things. Today I was lucky enough to get a double whammy.

1st I learned that just because the pop machine says "Mountain Dew", doesn't mean you won't get a cup full of Pineapple Demi-Soda.

2nd I learned that if you have just procured a cup of Pineapple Demi-Soda, (which you thought was Mountain Dew) and your student brings you a coffee ... you need to make a choice. Pick one and stick to it. Don't try to alternate sips of Pineapple Demi-Soda and Coffee during your lesson. You'll wind up with a mouth full of curdled milk taste, with a tinge of coffied pineapple and nothing you can do to fix it. That can be unpleasant.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


Ugh. It's's humid...and then hot some more. Don't get me wrong, I love hot weather I've just lately found myself to be getting quite jealous. I'm sweating away like crazy, and my Korean friends AREN'T. I don't know if it's physiological, biological, environmental or dietary..but whatever it is it's just not fair.

The regular semster here has ended, and some of my students did really well. I was pleased. My student evaluations seem pretty good too - so my students either really like me, or just raced through the evaluation without reading the questions.

One of my most cheerful students is off to join the army this summer, but he made sure I'd still be here in 2 years when he's done so he can take my 2nd semester class in 2006.

Now I'm 3 days in to my intensive course. That's an entire semester taught in 3 weeks. Seriously - I started teaching the classes on Tuesday, and their midterm is next week. And my class is HUGE! Most conversation classes are capped at 33 students ~ since this is a special class I've got 53 in it instead. I can't even move up and down the aisles to check their work!

23 more sleeps until I sleep in Canada. For those of you good at Math like me... then not counting today and the day I go home, that's only 22 more days.

Take care, and I hope to see lots of you soon.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Some great advertising...

During the hot summer months here in Korea, I've been drinking a canned iced-tea called "Ceylon Tea". Underneath it's name is a little poem that just make me smile every time I drink it:

Ceylon Tea.
Now dream of Tea is distilled each pure drop
a tear of joy
A vision of paradise for men
lost in their dreams
Sailing the Indian Ocean towards new horizons
Ceylon Tea.

There, now isn't that so much nicer than a big splash of colour declaring "NOW - with even MORE aritficial sweetners!!" or something of that ilk?

Monday, June 07, 2004

Guest List...

Hi! One more list, but this one's not mine. My sister has started making a list of food she won't eat. Looking it over, I've realized that I've eaten everything on it. Let me know what you refuse to eat!

Here's what we've got so far

(1) Cold KD. A personal weekend breakfast favourite.
(2) kimchi. Korean pickled cabbage, usually with anchovies
(3) Bon DaeGi. Steamed silkworm larvae
(4) Haggis. You already know.
(5) Anything roasted on a stick with its body still fully intact.

In other news, we had a birthday party for a South African friend here. I love birthday parties at Daegu University ~~ we sing "Happy Birthday" in so many languages. This time we had English, Korean, Afrikaans, Polish, French and Spanish. I like the Polish one the best. Next time I'm at one of your birthday parties, you'll get to hear it too!

Friday, June 04, 2004

So the Americans do it too...

While I was living in China, I got a big laugh out of what we called "put your longjohns on" day - becuase that particular calendar day indicated that it was now officially cold, and "take your longjohns off day" which was also a calendar holiday marking the official start of warm weather. Nevermind that it had been sunny and warm for weeks already. If it wasn't yet the designated day, your warm woolies stayed on.

In Korea, I've discovered the official "Air conditioner" Day ~ which is still another 2 weeks away despite the fact that I've been wearing T-shirts since April, and have been dripping in 30 degree weather for over a month now.

I had always chalked it up to being a quirky Asian phenomenon. Now, however, I've discovered that Americans have Memorial Day to start their 110 days of summer. The American Forces TV station here had a huge number of commercials during the Memorial Day weekend urging their service men and women to take appropriate precautions while enjoying their summer activities.... activities we've been enjoying (apparently without taking necessary precautions) for several months now. I was instructed to give my bike a safety check "after keeping it in storage all winter" ... except for 1 snowy week in January, I never stopped riding it! Anyway, all this to say that Americans also seem to use a specific calendar day giving them permission to enjoy summer - even though it feels like it's been here for ages already. I think maybe Canadians have such short summmers, we judge our seasons by the weather, not the calendar.