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  • kraft macaroni and cheese

    Steve and I just ate an entire box of it! And it has stirred up a lot of thoughts and emotions in me. We received a care package today from Steve's parents and it included this small box of amazing food, among other things! Of course we didn't wait or save it for a rainy day, we ate it immediately after our evening run.

    This is what happens with all of the care package food that we get from our parents. The Cheetos, the four boxes of girl scout cookies, the peanut butter meltaways. They are gone, within minutes, empty packages and boxes left behind as embarrassing evidence. Tonight, we ate it in silence, like two people eating their first meal after days of starvation. I inhaled spoonfuls of the orange sauced noodles and then, realizing that the plate was quickly becoming empty, I slowed to eat one noodle at a time. Jabbing one noodle on the end of the fork and trying to savor each bite. Sadly it had to come to an as all good things do.

  • some thoughts about the past few weeks

    It's been awhile since I've blogged. I just haven't felt like writing lately. I haven't been keeping up with my own personal journal either. I worry that I am falling into a rut and before I know it this whole year will have passed me by and I will have forgotten some important events and memories. It's not that I've been too busy to write. There is always time to write! So here are some quick updates on life in the R.O.K.

  • Teaching

    I thought I'd drop a little knowledge about our school and teaching requirements.  I mean, we do a ton of fun stuff on the weekends, but we spend most of our time at work just like anyone else.  I think I wrote a bit about our daily grind in a previous post, so I'll go into our actual teaching this time.

  • Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival

    Over one million visitors come to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Jinhae, South Korea.  It happens every year for 17 days near the end of March-beginning of April.   At this time the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and are quite a spectacle.  The visitors come from far and wide to walk over bridges and down streets that are draped in blooming cherry trees.  When the wind blows the air fills with pink petals and the trees "rain" pink all over the streets and streams. 

    Our trip to this festival began a day earlier in Busan.  We came in from Jinyeong on the bus and then took the Busan subway to the Gwangan station on the Green line.  We met our friend Tom and we headed for Gwangali beach.  There we met a few more friends and sat on the beach enjoying some cold beers and snacks.  We had come to this beach a few months ago and we wished we could have stayed but it was bitter cold.  I was so happy the sun was shining and I was able to wear a t-shirt and soak up some sun.  

  • Scenes from a movie on Geoje Island

    As Steve and I recalled our trip to Geoje Island, we compared it to scenes from a movie. We made the comparison to movie scenes because it was a really fun day, effortless, carefree, and seemed almost too perfect to be real.
    Scene 1: Steve and I wait outside Dunkin Donuts in Gimhae for Sally (our co-worker) and her boyfriend (Sunshine) to pick us up. We have only had about three quick lunchtime conversations with Sally and are now planning to spend the entire day with her and her boyfriend. They pull up to the meeting place and enthusiastically wave at us and smile. We get in the car and begin our 1 hour and 30 minute journey to Geoje Island. On the way we chat non-stop and eat birthday cake (from Sunshine's birthday the night before) with chopsticks by passing the container around the car. We arrive at Geoje Island, via a newly built underwater tunnel which you can read about here.

  • A Staff Dinner

    Earlier tonight we had a staff dinner for all of the teachers and staff at our school.  Work dinners are nothing new, of course.  We've all been taken out to dinner by our bosses at one time or another.  The point is to improve morale among the troops and to show appreciation for their hard work.

    Our staff dinner took place at a very nice little place on the outskirts of town.  Their main course on the menu was a duck bulgogi, which is like a thick stir fry of duck, vegetables, and a spicy brown sauce.  We sat on the floor Korean style and each table had a burner with a large bowl of sizzling duck bulgogi to share.  Each burner was surrounded by several side dishes like Kimchi, garlic cloves, soybean paste, onions, peppers, and lettuce leaves. 

  • Baring all in Busan

    This weekend was another trip to Busan full of great memories and new experiences. We arrived Saturday in the afternoon. I left Steve at Sasang and headed back down in the subway to meet up with the girls for a shopping day in Nampo. For me, this was much needed girl time! I have not had any girl time since moving to Korea. It was really nice and refreshing. We walked around Nampo window shopping and stopping at shops along the way that looked cute or unique. I finally went makeup shopping and was pleasantly surprised to find cheap and high quality makeup that matched my skin tone. I also bought a very awesome James Bond shirt, new spatulas (much needed), and pretty spring nail polish. We finished our girls outing with cupcakes at Red Velvet. I had the most heavenly tiramisu cupcake. We met up with everyone for dinner at The Pan and had delicious meals of pasta.

  • feeling the disconnect

    Last night, we went to Jinhae with our friend and co-teacher Grace after work. This has been a tough work week, as there are anywhere. Additionally, Steve and I have been in Jinyeong for the past two weeks, without an escape, and were growing tired of our isolation and solitude in this small town. Grace wanted to go to Jinhae to eat dinner at her mother's restaurant and get some "fresh air" by the sea. It sounded like just what we needed to get out of Jinyeong and our workweek funk, so we rode along. It was about an hour drive from Jinyeong and the sun was setting beautifully over the mountains as we made our way toward Changwon. Steve and I sat in the backseat and chatted with Grace the whole way about work and other things. It felt good to see mountains and tall city buildings and to ride in a car. We arrived in Jinhae at an outdoor market and walked down an alleyway to a small hole in the wall restaurant with about three tables.

  • Another Great Weekend

    Just like anyone living anywhere, we look forward to the weekend.  This past weekend we had a great time (again) in Busan.  It is quickly becoming one of our favorite cities.  We arrived Saturday morning after our usual bus ride.  For starters, the bus ride was notable because it was the first time we got on the bus without making sure that it was going to Busan with the driver.  Now this may not sound like much, but to me it meant that I was confident that I read the city name on the bus correctly and purchased the correct ticket.  I guess it meant to me that I no longer had to be scared of riding the bus to the wrong place.

  • The Daily Grind

    Hey friends.  Steve here.  I thought I'd drop in and write a little about our job so that you can have some insight into what we do on a daily basis.  Obviously, we love to travel to new places and meet up with friends, but we have to work sometime, right?

    We begin our day waiting for the school shuttle.  It picks us up every morning a few blocks from our apartment.  The bright yellow shuttle is full of students when it arrives and the driver and adults on the shuttle all tell us "Good Morning!" when we step on.  They are very excited to see us every day and when I get the front seat the driver looks over at me constantly, smiling and repeating, "Good Morning!"  He tries to tell me stories of the things happening on the streets of Jinyeong, but I don't understand much of it.  He did an excellent job of pantomiming a motorcycle crash that I guess happened earlier this morning.


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