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Who Wins: ‘Mr. Bean’ or ‘100 Angry Grandmothers’?

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Hello, fellow ESL teachers. Do you have 10 minutes to kill in a class? Have you already shown your students every (currently available on YouTube) episode of the animated Mr. Bean series? Are your kids bored to death of Hangman or–in the case of South Korea–“Nunchi Game,” where they each stand up in the order of words or numbers on the board and the last one to stand is out? Do you have a class that is relatively advanced in English and can offer some creative discourse? Or, do you have a class that barely offers input at all?

Here is an activity that I have found to be incredibly fun and rewarding for both those able to communicate well in English and those with more limited ability.  Please note, I originally found a much more basic version of this idea on Dave’s ESL Cafe. But, I felt that was a little boring and limited. This way, you’re only limited by how creative the children can get and how weird you want your choices to be (also, if someone else out there has already come up with a version of this closer to my own, just remember the old adage that might or might not have come from Oscar Wilde, “Talent borrows, genius steals.” Which means, yes, I am calling myself a genius).

These were most of the
These were most of the “fighters” in today’s matchups of “WHO WINS?”

I call the game “Who Wins?” or “This vs. That.” It’s a fun debate on who would win in an imaginary fight. First, write down on pieces of paper different things that could fight. These could be as simple (lion, tiger, bird, monkey, etc.) or as unusual (today I included things like “a baby,” “Batman,” “John teacher,” “Mr. Bean,” “a bowl of soup,” “five chickens” and “100 angry grandmothers”) as you want. Make a few or a lot and carry them around the class or throw them in a hat. Have one child pull out a random fighter, another child pull out another. Write the choices down on the board and then pause for a few moments as they laugh at the ridiculous matchups. Then ask the children “who wins??” When they give their choices, ask them “WHY?

Depending on the level of English, you’ll get some really great, creative answers (A girl said “a baby” would win her fight because of her mother. In “Batman” vs. “A Giraffe,” one boy said Batman wins because of his weapons. Another boy, when answering for “five chickens” vs. Mr. Bean, “a bowl of soup” vs. John teacher and “Lion” vs. “a baby,” offered up the same answer: one would eat the other. Can you guess which one??) or at least a simple answer (Lion beats bird because, “strong,” which is better than nothing, especially if it’s from a kid who usually barely contributes). Especially with higher levels, it can be loads of fun when you get a random match-up between “A Baby” and “A Lion,” or “Mr. Bean” and “100 Angry Grandmothers.”

The activity is easily adjustable to the children levels and interest. Throw in a points system that can give rewards for most creative input or simply any input at all. Some kids almost never speak up. With this game, I have found even some of them cannot help but chime in. Or, keep it a free-form discussion.

From my friend Brendan Shea over at The Multifaced Man:

So I just did this with my previously bored summer intensive class students and we had a riot! Robot Obama beat the devil, and Brendan Teacher’s Baby with a rocket launcher beat Jae Won (one of the students in the class) by being too cute to punch. This was a fun game!

1000 grandmothers worked together to use their ‘lovely power’ and ‘soft fingers’ to lull a tiger into a false sense of security only to kill it with their secret dwenjang and kimchi smell powers after it dropped it’s guard. This was my favorite class in a long time.

I think the part that makes it so fun is that it’s only limited by their own creativity. I had a team that picked ‘ant’ out of the hat score points against ‘transformer’ because they said the ant could crawl inside and snip wires. Brilliant, and really fun.

Give it a try and let me know how it went in the comments!

JPDdoesROK is a former news editor/writer in New Jersey, USA, who served a one-year tour of duty in Dadaepo/Jangnim, Saha-gu, Busan from February 2013 to February 2014. He is now a teacher in Gimhae.

On Dating a Korean

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I have always known that my husband isn’t a pro on dating. When we were boyfriend and girlfriend, we would either go out to see a movie or have dinner in the same restaurants or bars. Our first date was memorable, … Continue reading

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When things we did in camp go wrong.. lol She was going for,...

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When things we did in camp go wrong.. lol She was going for, “We did a pirate skit.” ㅋㅋㅋ #funny #honestmistake #learnenglish #cuteness

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Andalusian Summer Cycling and pre-Bulgaria, Greece and onwards…

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Bournemouth 3

Since I last blogged I have been quite preoccupied with the minor necessity of work. Over the summer I have been working for two schools in Granada conducting a variety of exam preparation classes, 1-1 classes and summer intensive courses across a range of levels and abilities. Although work is invariably enjoyable the last couple of months have been quite tough with some heavy teaching and preparation hours that I was not necessarily prepared for. It’s reassuring that I will have a more structured contract at just one school when the next academic year begins in September, for the moment I have just about had enough of the classroom, my brain needs to rest a little and absorb what it has been learning and working on since my arrival in Spain at the beginning of March. Although I embrace the philosophy of adventure, surprise and unpredictability I am quite sure that I prefer the opposite in my work life.

Talking of adventure, surprise and unpredictability I now have a month of vacation to enjoy before I return to the language school that I will be employed from mid-September. I didn’t have much time to think of any grand plans so, for the beginning at least, I will be winging it this summer in Europe. I have a flight to Sofia, Bulgaria tomorrow evening and from there I will be heading to Athens, Greece; beyond this I have no idea where I will be going. Eastern Europe is not necessarily on my dream list of travel destinations, but neither is it somewhere that I have never imagined myself. It’s most definitely an unknown entity, I’ve done little research and less preparation, I’m blogging rather than packing at the moment…

The summer in Granada has been more work focussed than anything but I have had a little time to enjoy myself when the searing heat has allowed. It rained for the first time in what I would suspect would be three months of eternal sunshine and temperatures hitting the early (and sometimes late) forties (celsius) on a daily basis. Pleasure has come from some early morning bike rides and a couple of swimming pool visits at a local private club in the country courtesy of Sam’s girlfriend’s membership privileges as well as an early summer trip home to England to visit the family.

Sam and Mercedes Swimming Pool
My time in England has been quite limited in recent years but living in Spain gives me ample opportunity to fly home for long weekends at much greater convenience and I took this opportunity in early June. After spending a few hours in a Malagan (?) hostel I took the most inconveniently early flight possible to Bournemouth where I had to spend a few hours drifting around town and along a sunny but chilly beach front before taking a National Express coach that took over three hours to travel a mere 90 miles through every town between Bournemouth and Exeter.

After the tedium of the bus journey I was treated to a good English carvery by my Dad and a couple of English beers to ensure all the food was digested properly. The weekend was spent at a leisurely pace at the farm, as well as a good Devonshire day out in Exmouth for some tea and cakes and a walk along the beach in a biting coastal wind. I was introduced to Dart’s Farm which is any expats food paradise. I do wonder if they would consider moving it to Granada… Over too quickly I caught a flight back from Bristol on a Sunday evening, Elizabeth ensuring that I boarded the flight with a full belly of roast chicken.

Bournemouth 1 Bournemouth 2

After adding a few pounds of weight in four days I returned to Granada and had a good look at my single-spped road bike and took the quick decision to order a proper race bike so I could enjoy the mountainous regions surrounding Granada and beyond. A few days later it arrived in the post, a little construction work, some oiling and tweaking and I was ready to attack the mountains that dominantly impose themselves on the Granada skyline. What follows are some brief accounts and Strava files of said summer excursions with a few pictures of the stunning scenery that envelops these rides. If you have no interest in cycling you might want to end your interest here!

Granada- Alhama de Granada- Granada 133km

This was pre-race bike arrival and I did this on my single speed ride. Although it was before the insane temperatures of late June onwards, it was still pretty hot from midday as I was heading back to Granada. The highlights of this ride was cruising across the dam at Embalse de los Bermejales and seeing the semi-submerged tower in the middle of the reservoir and the climb that followed out over the mountain to Alhama de Granada of which you can see in the pictures below.
1. Alhama de Granada 2. Alhamade Granada

Granada- Iznalloz- Granada 84km

Iznalloz is to the east of Granada, tucked in behind the mountain ridges of Sierra de Huetor. For the most part this is quite a flat ride as it follows some low lying farmland but it creeps up severely as you hit Iznalloz. So much so (and I was still on my single speed at this time) that I got mocked by some builders for having to get off and push. That being said this is a pretty ride and the scenery is immense throughout. It would also make a good loop if you carried on out to Darro and came back through La Peza and Quentar.
3. Iznalloz 4. Iznalloz 5. Iznalloz

Granada- Pico Veleta- Granada 96km

This is the big one, the highest paved road in Europe, topping out at 3,394m. A week before I took on this ride I went to Guejar Sierra and introduced myself to the insanely steep climb from the river valley to Alto Hazallanos where the gradients hit insane numbers of between 20 and 30 percent for extensive sections. They have had this particular climb on the Vuelta Espana and you can see the pros struggling on it. Mental stuff. You can see from exactly the one hour mark of this video the stage leader hitting the bottom of the 7.5km climb Anyway, if you go on to climb Pico Veleta from this route you have another 30km to go, all be it at moderately more manageable gradients.

With this in mind I took on the 40km climb from the village of Cenes de la Vega along the more gradual A-395. From the ski village at Prado Llano (28km into the ride) the climb changes through tight village switchbacks up to a military barrier where the military road starts. The road is accessible by ducking under the barrier (closed only to vehicles) and from that point on you are exposed to gusty, moon like mountain top with an ever-deteriorating surface to the point where, a few 100m from the summit, it becomes impassable on a narrow-tyred road bike. The climb is pretty brutal and the descent best-ridden with extreme caution. However, the sense of achievement and the incredible vistas and the journey back down at 60km/h are worth it.

5. Pico Veleta 6. Pico Veleta 7. Pico Veleta 9. Pico Veleta 10. La Peza 8. Pico Veleta

Granada- Quentar- La Peza- Granada 98km

I haven’t done this ride justice with my poor camera phone photos but this is the most scenic ride so far. At the crack of dawn I set off to avoid the daily summer sizzle. I think this will become my regular training ride as it has wonderful twisting roads, lined with wilting trees, trickling rivers, turquoise lakes and a lack of vehicles. On this particular day I bumped into a family of deer atop the final climb into La Peza and stopped to admire their early morning musings as the kept me within one eyes eyesight.

14. La Peza 13. La Peza 12. La Peza 11. La Peza

Granada- El Fargue- Viznar- Granada 26km

This is my new go to weekday evening ride, up a mountain that lies behind the famous Albaycin district of Granada. Not only a quick physical test, with some lung bursting gradients near the summit, it also has the best views across Granada. An impressive sunset ride.

15. Viznar 16. Viznar 17. Viznar

Granada- Alcala La Real- Granada Loop 120km

This is not my favourite ride as it hits some seriously long, straight and tedious climbs on some very fast main roads but the initial ride out to Colomera is one of the best. Also it has to be said that Alcala La Real is quite a pretty Spanish town with a great hilltop fort.

18. Alcala La Real 19. Alcala La Real 20. Alcala La Real

Dear Korea #128

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Though I’m not proud to admit it, I was never really big on keeping up with the news or politics when I after I came to Korea. I mean, I was generally aware of what was going on, but it was something that I didn’t spend too much time looking into. The problem with keeping up from the other side of the world is that I’m always on the outside looking in. The news seems much scarier when you’re not living in it, and the context of what’s being said can vary depending on the source. As a result,  I’m always left questioning the state of my home country, as well as whether or not it’s wise to return anytime soon. For now, based on the things I’ve been seeing, it’s looking like South Korea will continue to be my home away from home.

Jen Lee's Dear Korea

This is Jen Lee. She likes to draw.
She also likes green tea.

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Japan iii: Osaka in One Day

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Osaka can, in fact, be done in a day.  Had I worn appropriate footwear I really would have checked everything off my list and have been off to Kyoto for Friday, but I opted for flats and that was not the brightest idea so my advice for you if you're just here for the pictures is to wear runners and get Osaka and Kyoto done in 2-3 days on your mini-break.

After our first late evening out we got up and out the door by about 10 AM and headed to Osaka Castle.  We stopped at this wonderful little restaurant called "Comachi" for some nosh before heading into the massive park where Osaka Castle is located.  It was about 37 degrees Celsius not counting the humidity, so we were really happy to have a little rest time in an air-conditioned environment.  We were also pretty thrilled to be eating our own meal (rather than the shared plates typical of Korea) with lots of veggies.  Stumbling upon a mostly vegetarian spot was great for our 2 vegetarian companions, as well.  My curry was awesome and I was pretty full all day.

Two of us took the stairs up to the 8th floor while the others waited for the elevator.  It was hot and muggy and started to storm which was pretty cool from the top of the completely modernized Osaka Castle.  You can see the whole city and there are maps telling you exactly what you're seeing.  We headed back down the stairs just in time for giant drops of rain to pile down on us.  Getting out of that park seemed to take an eternity and we were pretty much drowned rats by the time we got to the subway.  We were going to head back to the hostel, but instead chose to mosey on (smelling of wet dog, of course) to Shitennoji Temple.  We took the subway to Tennoji and then decided to grab a cab not knowing exactly where it was.  Everything is pricier in Japan, and cabs are no exception.  If you can take the subway then you should do it!

The grounds at Shitennoji ("Shitenno" for the 4 Buddhist Guardian Kings, and "ji" meaning Temple) are free to roam, but to see the inside of the Temple and the stunning Buddhas was about $3.  This is totally worth it.  The temple grounds themselves seemed fairly similar to those in Korea (where once you've seen one you've pretty much seen 'em all), but the statues of the Buddhas were entirely different.  Still gold, you can see a difference in the way the faces have been made, plus there are lots of apples and fruits, etc. from people coming to worship.  

There is no photography permitted, so here are some photos I found from Google Images.  They do not do them justice, so definitely go see them yourself!

Some of you may recognize these studs from my trip to Ssanggyesa Temple.  They're not quite as ripped in Korea.

By now my clothes had dried a bit but my shoes were full of dirt and the soles were wearing thin.  The dogs were barking, but we were headed back to the subway (several blocks away - maybe 10? There's an underground [AIR-CONDITIONED] path to the subway we ended up taking.  It was glorious) to find "The Face".  I had no idea what the boys were talking about, but after a train ride back to Namba and a walk that seemed much farther than it actually was, we reached Namba Yasaka Shrine.

Originally 12 buildings, most of the shrine was actually burned down during air raids in 1945.  These building were built after the war, and the lion-head theatre is pretty striking!  Namba is confusing - we had to take exit 31 to get here so be sure to get a map!  We actually managed to get around using maps and cabs - none of us had data plans and there is no wifi anywhere in Osaka.

Two of our companions decided to go ahead and watch a Puppet Show so we wandered around (where else) the Dotonbori again.  They do a lazer and water show and there are tons of awesome stores, cafes, bars, and restaurants in the area.  It's packed before the sun goes down but after?  It's all pretty boarded up and quiet so make sure to get your okonomiyaki and takoyaki in before sunset.


We went back to J-Hoppers to rest for a bit before dinner.  I had no idea the plan was to go back to the Dotonbori, so I went pretty casual and had grabbed some edamame from 711.  Let's discuss the convenience store game here.  At 711 there are rows upon rows of sushi, soba, sandwiches, and other dinner items that shouldn't be scoffed at.  This is the only place you can really get a cheap meal and they're not bad.  If you're saving up for Kobe beef (yet another thing I didn't manage to tick off my list) then perhaps 711 meals will be your saving grace the rest of the time!

Didn't go in here because...MERS.

This salad was half vegetables and half sweet potato crisps.  It was delicious.

Deep fried Tofu

More egg things.

Chicken Karraage and Okonomiyaki

Our second Izakaya experience was in the Shinsaibashi.  Go there for cute little restaurants at night and cool shops during the day.  The capsule hotel is there as well and looked really cool!

You can get just about anything your heart desires at the Tax Free shop.  They have all the wild varieties of Kit Kat bars, they have an entire wall dedicated to Hair Dye, they had tons of Hallowe'en costumes, sex toys, camping gear, and electronics, and we didn't even hit every floor.  If you need souvenirs this might be the place for you.

The streets in the market area were everything I wanted Japan to be.  With larger than life Gyoza, Crab, Dragon, and Octopus sculptures on the little food stands and tons of brightly-coloured signs I was pretty content just walking around taking it all in.  That's how you do Osaka in just one day...

Choco Devil #cafebene #먹스타그램

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Choco Devil #cafebene #먹스타그램

Chu Seong-hoon thought Hwang Kwanghee was gay because he used banmal

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Idol news for today. In all honesty, I am sick of all of the number of articles that talk about how so-and-so was mistaken in thinking so-and-so was gay. The quality of these K-pop articles rivals TMZ in their idiocy. I'm not sure why this news story re-surfaced, but it was originally minor news back in 2012. 

Chu Seong-hoon's logic was a bit interesting here: how speaking to someone in banmal, a lower speech form in Korean, can make others infer that you are gay. It is the first I heard this, but maybe it can come off as flirtatious. Then again, everything Hwang Kwanghee does comes off as a bit, well gay.

I also think Kwanghee sounds like an idiot by deciding not to use banmal because he worried that it would make it to difficult for someone speaking a foreign language to understand. 

The famous martial artist Chu Seong-hoon (Yoshihiro Akiyami), star of the reality TV hit The Return of Superman brought laughter to audience members in a recently re-surfaced broadcast on KBS2's Happy Together 3. 

In a 2012 episode, Chu Seong-hoon discussed his misconception of ZE:A member and current TV personality Hwang Kwanghee in an episode that also starred singer Son Dam-bi and Hello Venus' Alice.

In response to MC Yoo Jae-suk's question on Chu Seong-hoon's first impression with Kwanghee in Laws of the Jungle, Chu Seong-hoon replied "I didn't know anything about Kwanghee when we first met, but even though he was younger than me he used banmal."

Chu Seong-hoon stated that "While doing sports, the relationship between juniors (hubae) and seniors (seonbae) are quite strict, so I did not understand. So, at the beginning I thought that he was gay. I was able to accept it thinking, hey, if he is gay then he can use banmal. But then as time passed I heard that he was using banmal with other people too."

Most people think Kwanghee is gay when they see him
In response to this, Kwanghee stated "As Chu Seong-hoon was using a foreign language I worried that he would not understand if I purposefully was speaking correctly and using high speech." (Note to non-Korean speakers: the major difference here is adding one syllable at the end of your sentence to make it more polite. This 'yo' bit does not usually cause any confusion.) He also added how he wanted to get a jump start on him.

At this point, MC Park Mi-sun chimed in saying "This is one of Kwanghee's charms. Even though Kwanghee could be my son he uses banmal. It ended up being a way for us to get closer."

101 Frugal Living in Korea tips

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Live in South Korea? Like to save money? Check out this post!

101 Frugal Living in Korea tips

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