Tuesday, December 23, 2008


School closed on Monday, December 22 so I'm officially on leave now!

I'm flying to Singapore tomorrow morning and am feeling a bit anxious / excited - especially since I'm going alone! I think it'll be quite an experience which I'll be sure to blog about on my return.

Having said that, wish you all a very Merry Christmas ~ be safe & happy!


Dashing through the snow...

This is what I woke up to this morning ~ I nearly slipped like... 5 times while walking....
It's beautiful nonetheless!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kindergarten End of Year Party

Today, Thursday December 11 2008 was my last English class
of the year with my Kindergarten students.
So we had a little party ~

I made certificates for them & gave them a little gift ~

Monday, December 8, 2008

Snow on a Sunday ~**~

It has been bitterly cold here for the past 3 days.
On Sunday, December 7 2008 I woke up to this ....

Later in the day...around 7pm

Shinoo's Birthday Party

There's a family here that's taken me as one of their own... I teach 2 of their children (6th & 3rd grade). On Saturday, December 6 2008 I was invited to their son's birthday party...

I bought this chocolate cake for him~

Mrs Park & her son, Shinoo (birthday boy)

I met this girl at Shinoo's birthday last year... she is soooo cute!~

Mrs Park made my favourite dish for me ~ Dol-sut bi-bim-bap

School on Saturday

In Korea, school is in session every second Saturday. The kids do fun things... like this:
A Grade 2 class having a snack party~

A Grade 5 class making 'kimchi-jon' (Korean pancake)

Another 5th Grade class sewing~

When the English Teacher becomes a Tooth Fairy

On Friday afternoon, I had an afterschool English class. I had the kids watch a movie. I had to leave the class for a few minutes and when I came back, I found this tooth on my desk. When I asked whose tooth it was, this boy just smiled at me. I said to him, "Please take it away ~ teacher doesn't want this kind of present! Thank you!" Please note how he's looking at his own tooth! Hahahahahaha.....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just one of those days ~

It was just one of those *good* days. Before work started, one of the 5th grade teachers sent me some walnut & cream cheese-filled bread.

...and then, my classes were pretty well-behaved & good. We taught our 4th graders "Feliz Navidad" ~ a song by Boney M. It made me go back to my childhood ... Christmas carols & the wonderful joys of the festive season!

After work, one of the teachers bought me a hotteok (hot & sweet Korean snack)

I was passing this restaurant that I usually go to, and the owner wanted me to go in for coffee. I decided to buy a take-away for dinner, and while I was waiting for it... the lady peeled and cut up an apple for me!

I really felt the love today *^^* I hope you did, too!

7am ~ view from my apartment window

Monday, December 1, 2008

Climbing Sorae Mountain (소래산)

On Saturday, November 29 2008 I went mountain climbing. Yes people ~ you read right... Sheetal Makhan put on the hiking shoes and headed to Sorae Mountain. Thousands of Koreans flock to the mountains every week-end. It's great exercise and a chance for them to get in touch with nature. I've been invited a couple of times, and I usually reply saying - "Thanks, but do I really look like I do that?!"

Anyone and everyone who knows me will vouch that I'd rather spend my Saturday afternoon strolling through the bustling streets of Seoul - not hiking up a mountain. But yes, I did it! And I was quite proud of myself, too! Granted, it wasn't all that steep ~ but then again I went verrry slowly. Coming down wasn't too bad - although my calves and thighs were in absolute pain the following day! It took us over an hour to get to the top, and about 45 minutes back down.

You can walk over these pebbles before / after the hike ~ like therapy

You can also do some stretches on the gym equipment

With my Korean father (Papa), good ol' Mr Lee

...with Beul-Nim
(Me: How much longer till we get to the top?)

Woohoo! I made it!

How on earth was I gonna get down this?

Thanks to Mr Lee ~ "Miss Makhan, Catch my hand"
(Translation: Hold my hand)

View of my city, Siheung

Oh boy, this hurt!

Jeamri Massacre Monument

On Sunday, November 23 2008 I also visited the Jeamri Massacre Monument. This monument is dedicated to the 29 Koreans who were brutally killed by the Japanese during the March 1 Independence Movement of 1919.

There was a church where villagers used to gather to pray for liberation from Japanese rule.

On April 15, 1919 Japanese police raided the village and herded villagers into the church...and set it on fire.

Visit to Holy Ground

On Sunday, November 23 2008 I went to a place known as the "Holy Ground" about an hour away from where I live. It was pretty misty in the morning, but so beautiful... calm and peaceful.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lucky Mart aja-shi (older Korean man)

This kind man works at Lucky Mart - where I do my everyday general shopping ~ and he always helps me with my things back to my apartment - especially when I buy bottled water!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My first attempt at making Korean food ~

I'm pretty proud of myself... I made 콩비지떡 (Kong Bi-ji Tteok) It's a savory Korean snack/side dish. It's made with soy bean curd, but looks like a potato patty. I added spring onions and some green chillies. I took it to school for my co-workers to taste. I was so happy ~ they said it was tasty and good ^^ The senior teacher told me, "Make more!"

Yong-Jae, teacher is waiting for you!

I was taking register for my after school class. One boy (Yong-Jae) wasn't there. I asked the others, "Where's Yong-Jae?" and within a few seconds, Seong-Bin (boy in the middle) whipped out his cellphone and called Yong-Jae... "Where are you? Teacher is waiting for you..."

These kids are in 5th grade ... and they have snazzier phones than me!

Lunchtime visitors

Sometimes after lunch, these 1st graders come to just say "Hello" to me!


Check out the amount of cabbage loaded on this truck!
I saw this on my way to work this morning....

Thursday, November 20, 2008

First snowfall of 2008

On my way to the gym this morning (at 6am!) it was snowing ever so slightly. By lunchtime, it snowed more... but the ground isn't fully covered as yet.

Nothing is ever as bad as it seems ~

Last week was a trying week for me. I was hearing bad news from all corners of the world and everything seemed to be happening at once. At times like this, it is so difficult to be far away from the people you love most.

I didn't know how to react to everything that was happening. People around me here were oblivious to what I was going through. I wore a proverbial 'mask' for 3 days and kept myself occupied as best I could.

I stayed after work on Thursday and Friday, and spent 2 hours at the gym on Friday night. I don't work on Saturdays, even though schools in Korea are in session every alternate week. However, I went to work just so that I could keep my mind busy.

On Sunday night, I convinced myself to get rid of the nasty feeling hovering over me. On Monday morning, I was back on the radar and back to my old self.

I just realized that things are almost never as bad as they appear to me.

This was a busy week for me, which I'm glad for because it made the days pass by very quickly ~

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pepero Day in Korea

Image from Google Images

Today is November 11 (11.11) which is PEPERO DAY in Korea. Snacks called "Pepero" are exchanged between friends. This is done because the snack is like a biscuit stick and looks like a '1' So when written, the date is 11.11.

My students gave me gifts of Pepero snacks today... I'll a post a pic tomorrow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Miriam Makeba dies at age 76

Image from Google Images

I was so sad to read that South Africa's singing legend, Miriam Makeba passed away. I won't go into detail, as there are a number of websites that have covered her life & death.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Another wedding...

On Sunday, November 2 2008, my principal's daughter got married and many staff members were at the wedding. It was held at the Cheongdam Wedding Plaza in the heart of Gangnam, a corporate and upmarket area of Seoul. This was my 3rd wedding that I've attended in Korea since I've been here...

The couple's portrait

The bride's parents greeting guests

The groom & his parents
The men behind the desk make a note of the (cash gifts) that guests give to them,
afterwich they are issued with a food coupon for lunch after the ceremony.

The aisle

Where the ceremony took place

Bride with dad

Wedding cake

After the ceremony, at the reception