Sunday, September 28, 2008

Open / Demo Class

On Tuesday, September 23 I had my 3rd Open / Demo Class. English teachers (Korean & Foreign) came to observe my lesson.

I taught 6th grade the chapter, "I'm stronger than you".

I began the lesson with with a warmer where they had to formulate words using only the letters I wrote on the board.

Then I went through the regular Phonics, and had them do a reading exercise. After that, they completed a mix & match activity followed by a game.

After the lesson, my co teacher & I had to meet with the other teachers to discuss my lesson & teaching methods.

I was commended on teaching Phonics to the students, as this is not part of the regular curriculum. All in all, I think it went well. We had the lesson in the newly built English Zone, so in that sense... we had to quickly familiarize ourselves with the new classroom.

...just glad it's over. Now, 2 weeks till my next open class!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lost in translation...

This evening I met a friend for drinks. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary. However, there were 2 men at the table next to ours, and the one kept looking over at us. He eventually started speaking to my friend (who is Korean) and was asking questions about me... where I'm from & what my job is.

The reason he was asking my friend about me is because he couldn't speak English.

After they left, 2 girls sat at the same table & started randomly talking to me. After asking where I'm from, they asked my age... then asked if we could be friends. Just like that. When they asked what job I do, I didn't say "English teacher", but "journalist".

I've noticed that when I tell Korean's that I'm an English teacher, their interest in me grows...because they think that by speaking to me, their English will improve.

They wanted to follow my friend and I to another bar when we were joined by 2 other guys (a friend of my friends, and his friend... who came to keep me 'company', I guess?!). Anyways, these two girls were only interested in speaking English to me because I was a foreigner. They ended up not joining us at the second bar.

So my friend & I moved to another bar with the 2 additons, who we'll call PH & NS. PH keeps in touch with my friend on a regular basis. PH & NS's English is quite limited.. so we all agreed that during the evening we'll speak English, Korean, Konglish & Body Language!

It was only fair... since the group was comprised of 3 Koreans & 1 foreigner (me).

PH is generally a quiet person, so I tried making conversation with NS...who only responded with giggles or... wanted to top my glass up with what we were drinking.

I was hanging by a thin thread & running out of conversation topics with NS (my friend helped with English - Korean translation every now and then).

I was getting pretty tired from talking.. and just sitting & doing nothing so I was getting a bit sleeping. An hour and a half later, I said I wanted to go home. My friend was pushing me to talk more to NS, but I was getting irritated since he wasn't speaking either.

Anyways, bottom line is ~ I've been here for nearly more than 13 months, and I am very comfortable with the lifestyle & mannerisms of the people here. At least, I thought I was.

But... it appears that the longer I stay here, the more of a foreigner I feel.

I had this conversation with someone during the week ...language is VITAL between people. If there's no language, the relationship is based on ... what? Maybe just physical acts? That just isn't enough. Of course, this is entirely my opinion.

So to end the story, I took a cab home and here I am... about to go to bed.
Good night ~~

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's a dog! A singing dog, apparently...

Yesterday, I asked my building manager what that shrieking crying sound was. He pointed to the ground... and said "dog...people on second floor"

Translation : The people who live on the 2nd floor have a dog ^^

So I said - but it's crying so much, and it's a very scary sound!

He said to me... "dog sing a song"

Well... that singing dog woke me up with its crying at 00:34.

30 minutes before that, I was woken by men speaking at the top of their voices outside my apartment building...

Save me. Someone. Please!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A freakish kinda howling that's freaking me out

For the past few days, there's been a noise outside my apartment that at first sounded like a siren. Then it sounded like someone screaming... and then, I heard a dog barking, which is strange cause there aren't many stray dogs around here, and people don't keep them as pets - cause everyone lives in apartments.

And then I thought of my friend Brian, who told me last year that he lived above a restaurant who.... used to..... slaughter dogs.

So, I'm really not sure what this sound is, but it's a shrilling cry, and I'm having to play my MP3 at a high volume just to drown out the sound.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Big Bang ~ Haru Haru (하루하루)

Here's Big Bang's latest... Haru Haru (하루하루)

...and here's the intro to their album, Stand Up

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Chuseok 2008

Pic from Google images

It's Chuseok in Korea... which means a (very) long w'end...

Taken from Wikipedia:

Chuseok, originally known as Hangawi (한가위) (from archaic Korean for "great middle"), is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday in Korea celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar Korean calendar. As a celebration of the good harvest, Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns and share a feast of Korean traditional food.

Nearly all of my Korean friends have traveled to their grandparents' home and will perform various ceremonies in honour of their ancestors. There was a definite buzz in my market place as people hurried to do last minute shopping. Suddenly, everything seems so quiet now...

I've been keeping myself occupied with sorting out my apartment, and watching DVD's... chatting to family & friends online ~

A week's wrap up...

I've been back in Korea for a week. It's taking me a very long time to settle in again. I've been living out of my suitcase for the past week. Just couldn't get myself to unpack.

It took me a few days to overcome jet lag and battled waking up in the mornings for work.

For a month, my mum was with me in Korea and for the following month, I was with my family in South Africa. When I came back to my empty apartment in Korea, it was a bit of a shock to my system - suddenly being alone. I guess I got used to having people around me all the time.

All in all, it's time to get back into the swing of things - work wise.

Back in Korea

...with my dad

I left East London on Friday, September 5. My mum was going to travel with me to Jo'burg. We were delayed in EL for 3 hours.

It was a tearful goodbye, and was so touched with family & friends who came to the airport to see me off.

We arrived in Jo'burg that evening and stayed a night at the Inter-continental hotel.

Saturday morning, I said a tearful goodbye to my mum and headed for Dubai. We were delayed for an hour before taking off. 2 hours in Dubai, and I was headed for Korea.

I arrived in Korea on Sunday evening to a cold and empty apartment...

Police Clearances and all that jazz...

In July, I went to the Korean immigration to renew my visa after I re-contracted with my current school for a second year. I went with all the documents that was required, but after waiting for 2 hours to be served I was told that I needed one more document.

A new law had been implemented - they needed a police clearance from South Africa. I was annoyed and couldn't understand why they'd need it ...because how could I have committed a crime in SA if I had lived in South Korea for the past year?

Anyways, to cut a long story short... turns out I needed more than a police clearance. I was in South Africa and my visa was about to expire, so we had to start the process from the very beginning and apply for a new one altogether.

It was a day of stress and running around... sending documents off with couriers etc. I was very lucky, because my visa was ready sooner than expected.

I had to pack up everything within a day and leave ASAP 'cause my ticket was about to expire.

So ~ within a flash, I was ready to leave South Africa...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Family Photos

On Friday, August 29 2008 our family had our photos taken.
This was the first time we had a studio sitting. I think they look good ;)

Night out with friends ~ Keg & Numbers

On Saturday, August 30 2008 I met a few friends at the Keg & Beacon and Numbers. It was awesome seeing friends I hadn't seen in a year or more... All in all, a fun evening - but we didn't pull an all nighter 'cause we were pretty beat from my bro's gig the previous night!

...with my bro

...with Ryan

...with Wez

...with Duane

...with big bro, Vijayan

...with Natalie & Roxanne

House for Charity

On Friday, August 29 2008, Damelin in East London held a fundraiser at Numbers. The 3 DJ's of the night were - Craig de Souza, DJ Sox & ... my very own brother, DJ Damage! It was a kickass evening...

Family Dinner

On Friday, August 23 2008 we had the family over. It's gatherings like these that I miss out on and that my heart is so sore to miss. They are always evenings of good food, laughter and tons of pics! Love my uncles, aunts & cousins xxx

East London Aquarium

On Wednesday, August 27 2008 I visited the East London Aquarium -
not much to see, and clearly in need of a make-over...

East London Museum

On Thursday, August 21 2008 my friend, Natalie (above) & I decided to do the cultural thing & visit the East London Museum. We were surprised/not surprised to notice that nothing much had changed since we visited the Museum when we were in ... Prep School, maybe?

Nevertheless, it was cool spending the afternoon with my good friend of many years who keeps me company online all the time in Korea!

Home Sweet Home

Mum & I arrived in South Africa on Friday evening, August 8 2008. I was giddy with excitement to see my family at the airport - especially my dad & brother.

This is my bedroom:

Time to go home ~ Stopover in Dubai

So my mum's holiday in Korea was up, and it was time for me to begin my holiday in South Africa. We left on Thursday, August 7 2008. We were in Dubai for a couple of hours - we arrived at the airport with many expectations - we were told that it was out of this world. But we were pretty disappointed. It wasn't all that at all...

B-boy & Ballerina

On Tuesday, August 5 2008 my friend Ki-young, my mum & I went to see a performance called B-Boy & Ballerina. This is the 3rd B-boy performance I've seen in Korea & I'm hooked!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cold Stone Creamery

I discovered Cold Stone when the creators were being interviewed on Oprah... I was so excited to know that there was a Cold Stone here in Korea... it's entertainment while you eat! They make your ice-cream (custom-flavoured) on ice-covered counters...

1. Choose the flavour of ice cream you want

2. Choose what you want to add (eg: cherries)

3. Mix

4. Serve

You can even have it in a choc-coated wafer...


Myeong-dong is another one of my absolute fave hangouts - shopping, restaurants etc... cool vibe