Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love Trailer

Here's the trailer to a much-anticipated film, Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts. It's based on Elizabeth Gilbert's memoir (of the same title).

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sadiyaan Trailer

Take a look at this trailer of an upcoming film starring Rekha, Rishi Kapoor and Hema Malini. It's also the launching pad of a newcomer - Luv Sinha, son of actor/politician Shatrughan Sinha.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I don't like you all the time!

How incredibly cute is this kid? "I love you too, bu-bu-bu... I don't love you all 'e time!"

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today (Sunday, March 28 2010) is my dad's birthday. I wish I was at home to celebrate with him, but we will have to have a very belated celebration when I'm at home later this year.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

you for always teaching me the important values of life and for demonstrating numerous acts of selfless giving. I wish you good health, wealth, peace and happiness now and always. Love you lots xxx


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bad Hair Day for 4th Graders

Even kids have bad hair days!

My one 4th grader refused to pull his hoodie down. His friends told me that he cut his hair and didn't like it so was covering it up. 

In my next class, the very same thing happened - this girl had her hair cut and didn't like it so was hiding it under her hoodie!


Bloody Student!

I was wondering why my one 4th grader sitting at the back wasn't doing his work. His finger was bleeding and this is what I saw when I went over to his desk. Sent him straight to the bathroom!


Different Avatar's of Mr Bean

Got this in an e-mail from Pratigna.

If Mr Bean had a baby

The Truth behind Barney

Got this in an e-mail from my brother:


Report Card Comments

I got this in an e-mail from my friend, Chetan:

These are actual comments made on student report cards by teachers in the New York City public school system. All teachers were reprimanded but, some of these are really funny!

1. Since my last report, your child has reached rock bottom and has started
to dig.

2. I would not allow this student to breed.

3. Your child has delusions of adequacy.

Audrey Hepburn Image

This image of Audrey Hepburn from the film, Breakfast at Tiffany's is pretty well-known around Korea and is often used for advertisements. Here is an example of it being used for a beauty & skin care / nail art salon.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mini Fanta

Sometimes when we crave for something, we just want to satisfy our taste buds with just a tiny piece or a little sip. So I was pretty chuffed when I saw this 'new' smaller bottles of Fanta at my grocery store! I put it next to my bottled water so you can see the difference in size.


Parody: Telephone ~ Lady Gaga feat Beyonce

What do you think of this parody of Telephone by Lady Gaga feat Beyonce?


Telephone ~ Lady Gaga feat Beyonce

Have you seen the music video of Telephone by Lady Gaga feat Beyonce? It's sparked some heated debates about artist's social responsibility and such. Many people, including singer India Aria expressed their distaste about the nature of the video and have said that Gaga has pushed the envelope too far with this video.  Check it out.


We've all talked to this guy

Got this in an e-mail!

Mujibar was trying to get a job in India.
The Personnel Manager said, 'Mujibar, you have passed all the tests, except one. Unless you pass it
 , you cannot qualify for this job.'
Mujibar said, 'I am ready.'
The manager said, 'Make a sentence using the words  Yellow,
 Pink, and Green.'
Mujibar thought for a few minutes and said, 'Mister manager, I am ready.'
The manager said, 'Go ahead.'
Mujibar said, 'The telephone goes green, green,  and I pink it up, and say, Yellow, this is Mujibar.'
Mujibar now works at a call center.
No doubt you have spoken to him.
I know I have.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another Cute Baby!

The Kindergarten teacher at my school (Lee Bong-ae) recently had a baby boy. His name is Kim Woo-seong. The first photo was when he was just a few days old and the second one was sent to me today. He's so cute!

Phonics Face

I saw one of my 3rd graders draw this in his textbook when learning phonics (A-E-I-O-U). He must have learned it at an extra English class or something, but it's the first time I've seen it...quite cute!

The "a + e" are the eyes.
The "i" is the nose.
The "o" is the head.
The "u" is the mouth.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Snowing ~ again!

None of us could believe when we looked out the window was snowing! It's not clear in this photo that it's snowing, but it was!


Rock It Like It's Spring Break

My brother introduced me to this song over the weekend by Jump Smokers feat Pitbull. I love it! It's my new party-starter :-) What do you think of it?


How to Clean a Telephone

Taken from "Tip of the Day" on The Chosun site.

To clean a telephone, wipe it with a cloth dampened with vinegar and use cotton swabs soaked with rubbing alcohol for the areas around the buttons.

Korea Blanketed by Worst Yellow Dust

Last year I wrote about "Hwang-sa" or "Yellow Dust".

It's that time of the year again when the dreaded dust storm is back.
Just read this article on the Korea Times site.

Korean Peninsula Blanketed by Worst Yellow Dust

By Bae Ji-sook
Staff Reporter

The Korean Peninsula experienced its worst case of yellow dust ever recorded Saturday and Sunday, leading the weather administration to advise people to take extra care as more is expected this month.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) posted a special yellow dust warning for most parts of the country Saturday.

The dust in the air marked 2,684 micrograms per cubic meter in Daegu; 2,408 micrograms in Jindo, South Jeolla Province; and 1,048 micrograms in Sokcho, Gangwon Province. These are the worst figures since the KMA started taking dust density measurements in 2005.

According to the agency, the special warning is posted only when the density is over 800 micrograms per cubic meter. The KMA posted its first such warning in 2007.

Fly and cry: Babies divide air travelers

Whenever I fly (especially on international flights - mostly 10+ hours), I say a little prayer hoping that there are no crying babies on board. Nowadays we have MP3 players / iPods to block out wailing babies or children throwing tantrums while their parents do one of two things: 1) Hush them or 2) Ignore them.
I've just come across this article on the CNN site. It's something I've always said - and hope airlines will implement it ^_* What do you think?

By A. Pawlowski, CNN
March 16, 2010 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
 Many air travelers list crying babies as one of their biggest frustrations in flight.

(CNN) -- You're stuck in a cramped metal tube with hundreds of strangers for hours, when it invariably happens: A baby starts screaming and the passengers' collective blood pressure seems to rise along with the decibel level.

The issue of crying babies and unruly children on flights is a passionate one for air travelers.

Many say they're exasperated by parents who seem to do little to quiet or control their offspring, while others counter that fliers should be more patient and understanding.

The comment section of a recent story about a smelly passenger being kicked off a flight soon diverted to a heated discussion about children.

"Babies should be banned from planes, movie theatres, restaurants, and any other public place for that matter.

The rest of the world doesn't think your kid is as cute as you do," wrote one poster.

"How do you expect families to visit relatives overseas without flying?" countered another. "The onboard entertainment is so good these days and headphones are cheap enough that a crying baby could be blocked out."

Some posters suggested that airlines should seat families with children in one section of the plane or offer flights for adults only.

Cheeky FB Fairies! -Part 3

You may have read my first post and then the latest one.

I woke up this morning to a reply from him. He apologized for the late reply saying he doesn't check that e-mail address often. ...I don't know, I may even be guilty of using that line before. He also said that I could send a Friend Request on FB "'s not against the law. LOL"

Anyway - I didn't get butterflies in my tummy when I saw his name in my Inbox. It was a short message - said he'll write again later. If he does, OK. If not, it's really OK too.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cheeky FB Fairies! - Part 2

A few months ago I wrote about someone I "met" in 2002 and who I lost communication with. I never forgot about him and longed to talk to him again because I never met anyone after him who I could talk to the way I did with him. Five years later, I plucked up the courage to e-mail him. To my delightful surprise, he replied and we re-ignited our friendship.

We both agreed it was easy to talk to each other and it certainly didn't feel like almost a decade had passed by without us talking. It was just free-flowing about anything and everything.

After a while, the same thing happened as before. The e-mails just stopped and he stopped logging on. This time round, it wasn't as bad because I'd already told him everything I'd wanted to before and for me, that was the closure I really needed.

A few months later, his name started popping up on my Facebook home screen as a "Friend Suggestion". This was uncanny because we had no mutual friends and the email I used to email him was different to the one I used to log in on FB. This continued for a while. But I ignored it and it stopped for a couple of months.

About two weeks ago, his name started showing again. Why?
It was like Facebook was trying to tease me in a very cruel way.

Just when I thought I was forgetting about him, his name popped up every time I logged in. No matter how many times I clicked the X in the top right corner or refreshed the page, there it was: as  a "Friend Suggestion".

Friend Suggestion. Why not?

For a few days I thought about emailing him again. Remember - there was no bad blood between us. No harsh words exchanged ... just that our friendship diluted into nothingness.

Last Friday when I got back from the movies, the more I thought about it, the more irritated I became.

I was tired of playing games - mind games. I was wrecking my brain with the "Should I? Shouldn't I?" What the hell? We all want things in life - relationships / promotions / opportunities, but we're too afraid to ask for them. Or are we shy? Or... are we afraid that the consequences wouldn't be in our favour?

Whatever the case, I was becoming mentally drained.

I typed out a pretty decent friendly email to him. It took me over an hour to write. It was only about 5 sentences, but I backspaced, retyped, deleted and retyped.

With squinted eyes, I hit SEND. Within seconds, the message was delivered to his Inbox waiting to be read.

It's been a week. No reply. The grace period is over. I've already made excuses like, "It's not his work email, maybe he hasn't checked yet....blah blah blah". No more.

Then I thought back to 2008 after the first e-mail I sent him after the long gap of communication.

It was lunch time for me and we were chatting online. The conversation turned to my e-mailing him after so many years. We were always honest with each other (at least I know I was) He told me that when he saw my e-mail, he wanted to delete it without reading it. I had to rush to teach a class so we couldn't continue the chat. I asked him to write what he was about to say in an email.  This is what he said:

I know that it was wrong of me to want to hit the delete key.  That would have been the easy way out of the situation. Just pretend that I never got it and move on with my hectic life. But then I thought to myself there is nothing wrong in just being friends and sending the casual email back and fourth as a friend. To be honest with you, if I was to delete the email I would have been guilty for a while. My life was hectic for a while and I didn't know what you wanted from me. Plus, if I was to reply would that just open another can of whop ass on myself.  Also could my brain take another shot to the head. I know that I owed it to you plus more for what I put you thru .  When you said that you needed a response to your email and that you were looking for one. That is when I decided to email you.

My reply was long. I told him everything I'd wanted to tell him in the years gone by, but I didn't have the opportunity to.  Part of what I said was:

Firstly, you thought ... why am I emailing you? What do I want? You simply have to know I never and don't want anything from you.

 He said it himself - "But then I thought to myself there is nothing wrong in just being friends and sending the casual email back and fourth as a friend." 

So what happened?

Another twist in the story is that I know he was seriously involved with someone - around the time he stopped talking to me.

In our first few e-mails in 2008 I remember asking him to please tell me if he meets someone and if he doesn't want to continue talking to me. But - seriously, what's the matter in just being friends?

If he didn't want to just be friends, I asked him to please tell me and not just stop talking and replying my e-mails.

So apparently, the answer to the age-old question "Can a man and woman just be friends?" is N-O.

Sweet Namaste Pizza

This is a new pizza in Korea called Sweet Namaste with a curry sauce. It has meat, so I definitely won't be having it, but the name amuses me! For those who don't know, saying Namaste is how Indian people greet each other.


General Update

Every night this week, I sat at my desk ready to write. I typed. Backspaced. Selected All. Deleted. Retyped. Backspaced. Check who's online. Replied an e-mail. Eventually, my eyes would feel heavy and I'd lug my body to bed. I wouldn't fall asleep right away. I'd lie on my left side. Turn onto my back. Turn to my right. Flip onto my tummy. Back onto my back. I wasn't having peaceful sleep.

My days seemed long and I pushed myself to the gym every other day. It snowed on Wednesday evening - perfect excuse to stay in. Giving up the idea of writing that night, I watched my favourite, My Fair Lady with the gorgeous Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison - both of whom I absolutely adore.

I actually started writing this last night, Friday (March 19 2010) but am continuing now - Saturday, March 20 2010.

There's not that much that has happened, except work and a few movies that I've seen.

At the cinema, I saw Clint Eastwood's Invictus with Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman - who portrayed Nelson Mandela. The following week I saw Alice in Wonderland.

At home, I've been watching classics. The other night, I traveled back to the '60s with My Fair Lady and today I was in the '70s with Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford in The Way We Were.

I'm yet to blog about all these films. As far as reading goes, I'm neglected my books a lot and I attribute this to my lack of writing lately.

November was by far, my best writing month, thanks to NaNoWriMo and I really need to get back into the swing of it.

Work-wise, things are OK. I'm teaching less classes than last year, but my workload hasn't decreased. There's a lot more research and paperwork that needs to be done. This coming week, I'll be starting my Kindergarten class for the year.

Personally, there's been a few other developments - or lack of, rather. I'll write about that in a separate post.

As for the weather, it feels like winter is only beginning. Today, weather forecasts warned people to stay indoors because of Yellow Dust.

That said, let me get going with my writing. Hope you're having a good weekend where ever you are in the world.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bollywood-style Nando's ad (UAE)

For those who don't know what Nando's is:
Nando's is a restaurant chain originating from South Africa with a Portuguese/Mozambiquan theme. Founded in 1987, Nando's operates in 26 countries and on five continents.[1] Nando's specializes in chicken dishes with either lemon and herb, medium, hot or extra hot peri-peri marinades (properly known as Galinha à Africana). In some countries, Nando's has other flavour options like mango and lime, lemon and herb, or Mediterranean.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Hamba kahle, Fatimaben

This story ran on the Times Live site on Sunday, March 14 2010.

Meer, who would have turned 82 in August, died in St Augustine's Hospital in Durban on Friday afternoon after suffering a stroke two weeks ago.

Meer's brother, Dr Farouk Meer, said she suffered her first stroke eight years ago, leaving her partially paralysed.

"This new stroke caused additional damage to her nervous system, particularly the brain," said Meer.

Meer, a Durban-based sociologist, was married to Ismail Meer, who died in 2000.

Achmat Dangor, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said: "Prof Meer, who has been a close friend of Mr Mandela and his family for more than 60 years, was an academic and a stalwart of the struggle against apartheid."

Fatima Meer

Anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Fatima Meer was a selfless leader who fought fearlessly and sacrificed her well-being in the struggle for liberation and the building of the South African democracy, says the ANC.

"The African National Congress is deeply saddened to learn of the death of the ANC veteran and anti-apartheid struggle stalwart, Mama Fatima Meer."

"Mama Fatima was a selfless leader. Regardless of the apartheid regime attempts on her life, she did not surrender her determination to serve our people. She did not loose sight of her political activism," it said in a statement.

Meer died at the St Augustines hospital in Durban on Friday afternoon following a stroke she suffered two weeks ago.

She was aged 82.

Clean your Kidneys with Dhaniya

Got this in an e-mail the other day:

Years pass by and our kidneys are filtering the blood by removing salt, poison and any unwanted entering our body. With time, the salt accumulates and this needs to undergo cleaning treatments and how are we going to overcome this?

It is very easy, first take a bunch of parsley (MALLI Leaves) KOTHIMBIR (DHANIYA)and wash it clean.

Then cut it in small pieces and put it in a pot and pour clean water and boil it for ten minutes and let it cool down and then filter it and pour in a clean bottle and keep it inside refrigerator to cool. 

Drink one glass daily and you will notice all salt and other accumulated poison coming out of your kidney by urination also you will be able to notice the difference which you never felt before.

Parsley is known as best cleaning treatment for kidneys and it is natural!  

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Seo-joon's 1st Birthday Party

My friend, Hye-jin's baby - the gorgeous Seo-joon who I'm crazy about, had his first birthday celebration today: Sunday, March 14 2010.

A child's first birthday is a milestone in Korea. Many years ago, the country had a poor health system and many children died before their first birthday. If a baby lived past 100 days, the family would celebrate. If they lived up to their first birthday, the celebration would be even bigger. This tradition has carried on throughout the years. While the 100 day celebration may not be as big, the real party is when he/she turns one year old.

It was raining when I left home, so I took a cab to Bucheon. Traffic wasn't as bad as I thought, but it did take a bit of a long time to get there. The driver was kind enough to find the exact place I needed to be at.

This was my first time to attend a first birthday celebration. It was so fancy - it reminded me of weddings I'd been to here in Korea. Parent's go way out for this occasion. Here are some photos from the party.

There were three 1st birthday celebrations at the same venue (in different rooms) This was at the elevator so that guests knew exactly where to go.

This screen changes with photos of the different parties. It has information about the parent's names, the starting time and what room the party will be in.

The little man was having his photo taken. The venue has different backdrops for photos - really nice! He was dressed in a little black suit looking too cute!

 There's a table with a display of photos and albums where guests can write a message to the baby. Hye-jin told me to write a long message (which I did ... in English!)

These are party favours - towels in the shape of a cake!

The venue with set tables

Some of the food (buffet)

Hong-il & Hye-jin (Seo-joon's parents)

Seo-joon's grandmothers place silk over Seo-joon's neck wishing him a long and healthy life. This is his maternal grandmother.

Various objects are placed on a tray in front of the baby. Depending on what the baby picks up will be the path he/she will follow in life. Example: If he picks up a stethoscope, he'll go into the medical field. A pencil indicates an academic...and there's money which means he'll be wealthy in life.

To everyone's delight, Seo-joon picked up the cash!

With Hong-il, Hye-jin & Seo-joon


Happy White Day!

Today, March 14 is WHITE DAY (Valentines Day) where guys are supposed to give girls candy. Last month on February 14 was RED DAY where girls were supposed to give guys candy. Stores and bakeries are filled with pink and white gift bag goodies, like this here - in Paris Baguette.


Friendly Ladies

I see these ladies almost every day (morning or late afternoon) on my way to or from work. They often sit in an area just around the corner from my school. They so friendly when they see me!


Pre-Spring Snow in Korea

On Tuesday evening (March 8 2010) it was snowing and raining. When I looked out my window around 8pm, this is what I saw.

The next morning when I stepped out my apartment, this is what I saw:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Welcome to the World, Baby!

On Sunday morning (March 7 2010) a little blessing finally made his grand appearance into the world. This handsome little boy belongs to my friend, Chetan and his wife Seema in East London, South Africa.

Congratulations to you both. He's just perfect!


Saturday Night in Seoul

On Saturday evening (March 6 2010), I ventured out to Seoul. After traveling for about 1.5 hours, I arrived at my destination. A friend invited me to a social gathering of his English Club. I met a couple of people, including someone who asked me, "Are you from India?" to which I replied "No" and she went on to ask, "So why are you wearing a bindi?" She was American.

Another girl (American) came over me to me and said, "I've been wanting to talk to you - I miss my Indian friends so much." I said to her, "Who said I was Indian?" She then asked if I was Pakistani, but I made her believe I was Egyptian for a while. Ha!

Why must people assume instead of just asking?

I also met two elementary school girls. One of their dads belong to the English Club. I was blown away by their level of English - they were able to converse with me. Ahhh what a dream if my students could do that!

I hardly took photos - just have this one lousy one which isn't really of anything - just the food table (and some people in the background).

I took a cab home and bargained with the cab driver on a set and reasonable price. It was quite amusing - I was sitting in the backseat while the driver was trying to find my destination on his navigation. He couldn't find my city or I looked (it's in Korean) and found it! An hour later, I was home safe and sound.


Welcome Dinner for Staff - 2010

On Friday, March 5 2010 there was a Welcome Dinner at school for the new teachers. The restaurant was on the same block of my apartment. It was a gal-bi (grilled beef/pork) restaurant. 
 Welcome speech

New teachers getting bouquets of flowers

...and the meat arrived

This was my dinner - tofu stew and rice

After dinner, the 6th grade teachers went to Bucheon to a bar

Head teacher let me choose the an-ju (food to eat when drinking)
I chose my fav - "dubu kimchi" (tofu)

Lee didn't come to dinner. He left school early because one of his friends' father passed away so he went to pay his respects. HOWEVER - he ended up drinking there and got very drunk. When he joined us at the bar he was loud and a bit irritating. I left around midnight and the rest of the teachers went to a norae-bang (karaoke bar/singing room) which I personally can't stand.

With a new teacher, Mi-na