Friday, October 31, 2008


Happy Halloween!

Image from Google Images

Elevator Boy again

I met Elevator Boy again this morning. It was raining when we got to school ... and his umbrella was about 3 times bigger than him. He is just so cute ^^*

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Elevator Boy

I see this little boy every morning at the elevator. If he's down the passage he runs to me, and just stands there and smiles and waves. When I wanted to take a photo of him the other day, it looked like he was going to cry. I tried again yesterday, and he obliged!
He makes me smile *^^*

When they hit my last nerve...

I think I'm a very lenient teacher. I give many warnings and threaten some students with punishment... but I almost never do it. However, yesterday was another story. Tuesdays are my busiest days. I have 2 classes of 4th grade & 4 classes of 6th grade. After that, I have an hour of after school class. By the time my last class came in, my voice was nearly gone and my energy was minimal.

But ~ as I always do, I tried to psych myself up for them. When 6.2 came in yesterday, their homeroom teacher had to sit in on the lesson as my Korean co-teacher wasn't there. I couldn't believe that they didn't even care that he was there. They refused to listen and behave. I had great classes before them ~ doing "Shrek" role plays. But I stopped the fun with 6.2...

I had enough. I had just given them an easy phonics test... and 5 minutes before the lesson ended, I put the 18 words back on the screen and told them to write each word out 10 times. They were not allowed to leave till I signed their books.

When they came to have their books signed, they shook their aching wrists and said "Sorry, teacher". *^^*

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Diwali 2008

Image from Google images
Happy Diwali

Diwali greetings to all who celebrate. Hope your day has been filled with peace & joy. I'm missing my family a lot today. The last time we celebrated this auspicious day was in 2006. We didn't observe it last year because of the sudden death of my uncle.

I tried to observe the day as best I could here in Korea. I took a cheesecake and traditional Korean rice cakes to school to share with the teachers. After all, days like these are all about giving and sharing! I also tried being lenient with my classes today, but more about that in a post tomorrow!

What I'd do just for one jelebi right now! (the sweet sticky orange snack)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ga-Eh's Wedding

My sweet friend, Ga-Eh got married on Sunday, October 26 2008. She's a 6th grade teacher at my school. The wedding was held at a cathedral in Gwangmyeong (about 15 minutes away from where I live). Up till Friday afternoon, when I asked Ga-Eh how she was feeling, she said "so-so". She was so relaxed during all her wedding preparations. But when I saw her on Sunday afternoon and asked how she was, she just said "Umm... a little nervous!"

I think she looked lovely~~

In Korea, the bridal couple have studio photos taken
and display it at the entrance like this.

Time to walk down the aisle!

The groom getting ready to walk down the aisle

Here comes the bride...with her dad


Blessings from parents

After the wedding with the bridal couple's mothers


Hanok Village

On Saturday, October 26 2008 I visited Hanok Village in Jeonju-si. The village contains various portraits of former kings of South Korea.

Naejang Mountain (3)

I have dozens of photos, but I have just posted a few here to give you a feeling of what it was like up in the mountain. It was an amazing experience being in the midst of such beauty.

With Beul-nim at the top of the moutain
This is one of my favourite pics

Naejang Mountain (2)

The walk up to the Buddhist temple was lovely... so peaceful up there!

...with Mr Lee & Beul-nim

Naejang Mountain (1)

We arrived at Naejang Mountain early on Saturday morning. We took a shuttle bus into the mountain and walked to a temple... and then walked back down to the base. The mountain is best known for its red & yellow maple trees during Autumn.

The scenery took my breath away - I don't think I've seen anything as beautiful. The mountain is said to be the best place in the country to really appreciate the changing of seasons.

The view when we were driving to the mountain

Cakes filled with sweet red beans


My first Korean breakfast

For breakfast, I usually have either cereal / fruit / coffee / toast / yogurt. But on Saturday morning, I had my first Korean breakfast ~ rice & soup (with bean sprouts, rice and spring onion). At first, I wasn't keen on this kind of food so early in the morning. It wasn't that bad... and it kept me full till way after lunch time!

A night in the Jimjil-bang

Friday, October 24 2008

This past week-end I went on another road trip... 4 hours away from where I live, to Jeollabuk-do. We left on Friday night and stayed over in a Sauna/Jimjilbang.

Sauna's / Jimjilbangs are very popular in South Korea. It is 24 hour a public bathhouse where you pay a minimal entrance fee and you are issued a pair of shorts & a t-shirt.

After showering, you can soak in a hot tub, or lie in one of the treatment rooms (salt room, ice room etc...). There's also a gym, PC room, beauty treatments etc. And then, you go to the sleeping room and try to sleep anywhere you can find an available space on the floor!

I stayed in a Sauna on Friday night. It wasn't my first time in one, but was still an exciting experience. For an un-initiated foreigner, walking around in one's birthday suit may seem daunting, but after a while you realize that no one really cares or is looking at you.
* * * * * *
Outside view of the public bath house

Ladies locker room

You can even buy underwear & other necessities there!

Gyming @ 02:15!

What the public bath looks like

The sleeping area ... you just crash anywhere!

My sleeping mat, pillow & blanket
(It's difficult to have a good sleep with some people snoring in the room!)