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

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Adventures in Sunburns

I'll fill you in on all my Thai adventures later. For now, I just wanted to say I'm home safe, sound, and only a tiny bit sunburned. (On my last day at the beach, I fell asleep under a palm tree - I got a few little weirdo splotchy burns as the sun peeked through the fronds.) So, yes, I've retuned from a tropical adventure with a sunburn on my left ankle, the inside of my right knee, and my right armpit. Lovely. Tonight is our semi-formal start-of-semester gathering for the teachers...and my dress exposes-you guessed it- my left ankle, my right knee, and my right armpit.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Adventures in packing...

34 more hours, and I'll be on a plane bound for Thailand. Well, actually I'll be on a plane bound for Seoul, so I can connect to the plane bound for Thailand. Even so, I've just finished packing and am ready to go! It's not as though Thailand will be any cooler, or less humid than Korea, but somehow it seems more bearable when there's a white sandy beach under you, and salty aqua surf infront of you. So, I may not be posting for a while, but hopefully will have some pictures for you early in September. I've also never been snorkling or windsurfing before, but I figure if my Gramma could go snorkling last year, maybe I'll be able to manage it too. (Does snorkling have an 'e' in it?) What a fun word...snorkle, snorkl, snork. snork. HA! I love words. No, I haven't been drinking. I just like the sound of 'snorkle'. It ranks right up there with 'duck' and 'barnacle' and 'macadamia'.

...I've just read the above post. I really think it's time for a vacation. Snorkle.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Adventures in Golf...

Yup, I did something today I've never done before. I went to a driving range. There were 5 of us all together, and I think I hit around 300 balls (taking about 600 swings, of course). My arms are a bit sore, but it was more fun than I thought it was going to be. Most of us are pretty inexperienced, so I think some of the skilled Korean golfers were a bit amused (bemused?) by us. Nevertheless, we had a good time. We also plan to hit the batting cages and the bowling alley in the near future - just to make absolutely certain that our skills really and truly don't lie in the world of sport.

Adventures in Toilet Seats...

Some of you may recall from past posts that many washrooms in Korea are equipped with what I call 'space toilets', because they look a little bit like Captain Kirk's chair aboard the Enterprise. There are a bunch of buttons on the side that control the bidet, the post-bidet blow dryer, and the temperature guage for the heated seat. They are so common here that I don't even think twice about them anymore. So, when I was watching Las Vegas tonight, I didn't even notice the seat on the toilet in the episode. Lo and Behold, the seat played an important role in the show! During the discussion about the toilet seat which was imported from Korea, the guy mentioned that they would soon be a hot item in the USA. I had to shake my head in wonder. The seats cost over $250 each. I can't imagine anyone I know paying that much money for a toilet seat. I'm guessing the same folks that would spend that much on their toilet seat are the same ones that would spend over $300 on 'doggie stairs' to make it easier for their pooches to climb up on the sofa. I know that personal spending is all a matter of priorities, but people, please, lets have some perspective! No one should be able to rationalize paying $250 for a heated toilet seat...unless they've committed themselves to reading the collected works of Hemmingway whilst perched on the potty in the middle of winter. Even so, I have no doubt that the guy on Las Vegas was right. Heated toilet seats will indeed be a hot item in North America pretty soon.

Monday, August 08, 2005

What a nice evening. Most of the day was cloudy and full of showers. However, just after dinner, the clouds were sent packing, and scuttled across the sky dragging their feet on the tops of the mountains as they went. The air was scrubbed clean and the whole of the outside world looked as though its windows had been freshly washed. The rice fields shone a bright bright green, and I sipped a glass of iced tea and watched the pretty world.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The times they are a changin'...

Ahhh, Bob Dylan. Seems to me that some of the (best?) singers that came out of the 60's had the worst voices. Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Mick Jagger certainly lack the melodic and dulcet tones usually appreciated in singers. This observation is an aside however. The real reasons for using Dylan's lyric as my introduction today are as follows:

1) I'm working my way through the Anne of Green Gables books for some light summer reading. I have always felt a kinship with the impetuous, quick-tempered Anne of the original book. This summer however, it's taken me all the way to book #4 "Anne of Windy Poplars" before I found myself nodding my head thinking "yup, I know how that feels".

2) I discovered it now costs $185 to be a Young Interpreter at Upper Canada Village. I held that much beloved role for 2 summer as a volunteer (this was before I got a job there that actually paid me to dress up).

3) My favourite treat during the summers I worked at Upper Canada Village was when my campers made and brought back "Butterscotch Squares" for dessert. I was thinking of them the other day, and hunted down the recepie. My first thought was "Ooooh, but they have alot of sugar - and all that butter can't be good for you". That never used to be my first thought when it came to yummy food.

4) During a quiet lull in the afternoon, a time when I would usually daydream, or read or try to give myself 1940's era hairstyles, I did none of those things. Instead I thought "I think my bathroom drains need a good scrubbing". How responsible of me. (In Korea, our bathrooms have drain holes in the floor. Every once in a while, the little hair-muck-grime-scum filters get clogged up with hair, muck, grime and scum and need to be cleaned out with rubber gloves, chopsticks, a toothbrush and some determination.)

5) I've been using my air conditioner lately. Up until this summer, I haven't had any use for the things. Winter is long enough as it is without blowing it into your livingroom during the summer too. And yet, here I am sneaking it on for an hour here and there, feeling guilty all the while. Like I've committed a crime against my own convictions.

There. Those are just little things, but since they've all jumped upon my concious mind today, they seem to have conspired en mass to remind me that the times, indeed, are changin'.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I've just logged on to write a new post and have realized I'm at a loss for words. Let's see what I can dredge up...

1-The cats are no longer fighting, they're 'playing' instead. The only difference is that there's now no hissing.
2-I'm back at work now. If you can call it that. Today I sang songs and drew and coloured aliens with 6 sweet kids for a few hours, then was home by 2pm. Not bad for a days work. I'm teaching the children's summer program here at the university, afterwhich I still have 10 more days of holiday. I've got my sights set on Thailand.
3-I finally read the newest Harry Potter book. I was quite surprised, but I didn't cry (like some people I know!)
4-Oh! Oh! Oh! I thought of one that will come as a surprise to all ... I went to the gym! 2 day in row! Okay, that was last week, and I haven't been back since, but I was on a roll there for a little bit.
5- It's been Kids Week, and now Teen Week on Jeopardy. I'm feeling quite smart these days. However, it's also got me thinking that perhaps my academic knowlege base has been deteriorating for the last decade. (Especially considering my reading material is no longer Jane Austin or Joseph Heller but J.K. Rowling instead) Hmmm, alot of good authors start with the letter "J". I'll have to keep that in mind.

Alrighty folks. Sorry you've had to read all that. You may now resume your daily activities with a fresh sense of purpose - since you'll be secure in the knowledge that whatever you're doing today is probably a little more exciting that what I'm doing. If not, at least you know you're in good company.