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

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Adventures in an Underwater Discovery...

Friday was the last day of the 2008 Daegu University Children's Winter English Camp. On the last day, we always do a presentation involving singing and dancing and props and pomp. Although I had five students this year, one of them left for a family trip to Japan on the day of the presentation, so I only had 4 little munchkins all alone on the big stage. They look so tiny.

Our presentation was the song Underwater Discovery, and the kids did a great job. Over the course of the program, we made snorkels, and waves and underwater life forms. The only problem came with the line "Riding on a sea horse, that would be so cool." Unfortunately, their pronunciation, despite my greatest professional efforts, continued to come out missing the 's' in horse. Yes, go ahead, say it out loud without the 's' in horse. I'm not going to type it for you. This is a family page.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Adventures in Amazing Races...

It's no secret that if I had my pick of reality shows to compete in, I'd choose to be on the Amazing Race. Sitting around on a beach bickering and eating snails on Survivor doesn't appeal to me. Sitting around in a house bickering and - well, just bickering really, on Big Brother doesn't appeal to me. Since I can't sing, dance or look at a camera without making a goofy-face, Canadian Idol, Dancing with the Stars and America's Next Top Model are out. I have no desire to be fired (or hired) by Donald Trump, and Fear Factor is simply out of the question. Jetting off around the globe, participating in frustrating, but culturally symbolic challenges while not being responsible for actively choosing to get rid of other people sounds like something I'd enjoy more.

Recently (well, I saw the episodes recently. I have no idea when they actually originally aired.), on The Amazing Race:Asia, the teams spent 2 episodes in South Korea. It was great to be able to recognize the places, and empathize with the teams as they tried to find their way around Busan by taxi. I laughed so hard when the team from the Philippines complained that Korean drivers stayed in their lanes and obeyed traffic signals. If they were in Manila, they would be able to weave through the traffic. Next time I'm driving, and sputtering at the traffic, I'll have to remind myself that it's all a matter of perspective. "It could be worse. I could be in Manila." I'll tell myself.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Adventures in Rising and Shining...

I remember one winter, my family was catching an early (early!) morning flight from Ottawa to Regina. My Dad came in to wake me up with the chipper rhyme "Wakey, wakey, rise and shine. Tomorrow we get up at half-past-nine." For some reason, that's never found it's way to my memory bank's exit door. I was thinking of that rhyme yesterday as I contemplated the state of limbo I find myself in this month. Technically, I'm working this month. However, I don't start work until 1:30pm, which means I have the option of sleeping in every morning, as though I'm on vacation. Once I get to work, it's so much fun, and goes by so quickly, I feel happy and relaxed and ...well, like I'm on vacation!

Torn three ways between the option to sleep in, the desire to sleep in, and the desire to get up and start my day, I occasionally find myself waking up bright and early, then snurling (snuggling + curling) up in my warm blankets in that dozy state between awake and fending off angry forensic scientists with radioactive cheeseburgers. (Don't ask.) Yesterday, whilst in that dozy state, I was convinced that wake-up times should come with a letter grade. Clear as a bell, I was sure that waking up at 8:30 was a B-. As I tried to figure out the rest of the scoring system, I must have drifted back into a bit of a snooze because the characters from 'Bones' were trying to get me to throw my shoes over a brick wall. By the time I woke up again, my wake-up grade had slipped from a B- to a C+.

Perhaps I should just get up the first time I wake up, and avoid the snurling, dozing, and the subsequent mental oddities.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Adventures in Hillary Hair Hilarity...

Things have been a bit slow lately. My days have been a routine of "Wake up, eat breakfast, go to the gym, shower, eat lunch, sing and dance and play and colour, come home, eat dinner." After dinner, I've been amusing myself with a new application on Facebook called HairMixer. You can see from the photo above what I would look like if I had Hillary Clinton hair. (The Angelina Jolie hair was a disaster.) Looking like me, looking at Hillary looking like me got me thinking about lunch. (It was dinner time. Anything would have made me think about lunch.) I started to think about what former 1st Lady of the US I would like to have lunch with, if given the chance. It was a toss up between Hillary Clinton, Martha Washington or Eleanor Roosevelt. (I had thought about Jackie O, but I think I'd be to intimidated to enjoy my meal.) Who would you choose?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Logdriver's Waltz

I used to love this video when I was a kid. I woke up this morning with the tune in my head, and thought I'd see if I could find it. I did.


A little bit of nostalgia to ring in the new year. Enjoy.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Adventures in Opinion Polls...

Here is the choice I was faced with 20 minutes ago: brave the cold and head for the gym, or sip my coffee rreeeaaallllyyyy slowly to give myself a chance to faff at the computer for a few more minutes. As you can see by the new Opinion Poll I've added to the sidebar, I'm still sipping. Every time I update my blog, I'll try and think of a relevant question to go along with it, giving you, my dear reader(s) a chance to put in your two cents worth.

Hmm, since all I've done since my last post was a crossword puzzle and a good night's sleep, I've run out of things to say and must face up to the fact that I will have to face the cold.

Happy voting!!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Adventures in 2007 Winding Down...

Happy New Year! Now that the festivities have fested, the celebrations have celebrated, and the brouhaha has brouhad, it's time to sit down and fill y'all in on my holidays.

First, I've had a few spare minutes of reading, and have realized that I shouldn't have treated the "Price of Honour" book so blithely in my last post. The book is actually deeply disturbing on a number of levels. I think it's well worth the read though.

Next, let's see...ah, yes. Christmas! Despite the increasing number of lights, tinsel and carols to be seen and heard here in Korea, Christmas still sneaked up with no snow and very little warning. Christmases for me in Korea have really been as good as a 2nd place Christmas can be. This year was no different.
Christmas Eve is always the hardest time for me when I'm not home for the holidays, but good friends and good food at Tracy's house made it comfortable and cheery. Christmas Day brought 8 friends into my tiny apartment for a buffet brunch and gift exchange. After the gift exchange, everyone left to prepare for dinner. Devon managed to get his hands on not one, but TWO turkeys. (A rarity in Korea, indeed!) Everyone pitched in and supplemented the turkeys with favourite tastes from home...but since 'home' was represented this year by at least 6 different countries, the flavours of home were wonderfully varied! Dinner lasted about 6 hours from start to finish (what better way to forget you're not at home than to prolong the time you spend with friends). After dinner, in the quiet of the night, I got to speak with my parents, and wish my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew Merry Christmas via webcam. I love watching them on Christmas morning, and am thankful that my sister lets me.

Boxing Day was quiet and were the next several days. I don't start work again until Monday afternoon, so I'm still on holiday.

Yesterday was a really great day, even though the primary goal was left unmet. Annelie needed to go to the Japanese Consulate in Pusan (about an hour away by train), so we planned to go to Pusan, drop off her application, troll around the city for the day, check in to a Yogwan for the night, pick up her visa the next day, and head for home. However, we didn't double check that the embassy would be open. It wasn't. We stood outside in the cold for a few minutes, staring blankly at our tourist map that didn't tell us where we were. Eventually we headed back to the train station to get our bearings, and headed for Kebabistan- a Turkish restaurant in Pusan. It was delightful: excellent hummus, falafel, and lamb-thingies. After lunch, we made our way to the store. They carry my favourite brands at hugely discounted prices. I got a pair of bike shorts and a long-sleeve travel top in preparation for our trip to Cambodia. Both items were over 50% off the regular retail price. WooHoo! With good food and good deals, the day was a nice change from my sofa, even though Annelie didn't get her visa.

I think that's about all. I'm hoping everyone has a wonderful 2008!