Sorry its been so long since I've written...I was good about this, but I've definitely been slacking.
So things have been relatively normal around here since we got back from Thailand. Its cold (but getting warmer already!!). All of us have hardly been working. Its the end of the school year, so there's hardly any work to do (and by hardly any, I mean zero). It was the Chinese New Year a week ago, so we had some days off school for that. My schedule has consisted of working from 9-10:30 and then going home at 10:30. I only teach one class of about 3 students, and then I get to leave. The new school year starts here on March 2nd, so this is just sort of a review for the kids I'm teaching, and a chance for them to maybe get ahead. I like working with a small group of students because I can pretty much do anything I want - we watched a Simpsons episode on the Olympics, which was awesome because the show had all the neat Olympic vocabulary I taught them, plus they totally understood what was happening in the show and it was great.
To pass the work-free afternoons, we've sort of been on a rediscover Seoul kick. We're trying to do all the things that we sort of take for granted because we're here all the time. This past Thursday, I met up with Anna and Rebecca and we went to Lotte World in Seoul. Lotte is a company that owns....pretty much everything. There's Lotte Mart (like Home Plus or Super Target), Lotte brand foods, Lotte Super (simple grocery store), and of course...Lotte World! Its an indoor and outdoor amusement park right in the middle of the city. Since its still pretty cold outside, the outdoor part of the park was closed, but we decided to explore the indoor park. I suppose its most comparable to the indoor park at Mall of America, but a little bigger.
The whole thing is sort of kitschy and definitely targeted to a younger audience, but that didn't stop us from acting like 7 year olds for the day. We started off on a ride called "The Adventures of Sinbad" which was a themed water ride that took us through the story of Sinbad. It was pretty elaborate, but of course the dialogue in each of the scenarios was in Korean so we couldn't understand everything, but it was still cute. We also stopped to watch a little parade...
We spent the day going on all of the rides, including a ride really similar to the spinning teacups at Disney World...except these were called the "drunken baskets". Interesting name for a ride designed for children. We got a little over zealous with the spinning, and were all ready to throw up after getting off.
Lotte World also has a roller coaster. The ride lasts for about a minute, but it was still fun. We also went on a ride called Pharaoh's Fury..it seemed like it would be a tame ride...but ended up being a little crazy, and was basically a small roller coaster in the dark. Definitely unexpected.
Lotte World at night
Reebs and me at Lotte World
Friday night I went with Sara, Rebecca, and Anna to the Seoul Museum of Art. I hadn't been back there since my first week in Korea, but we wanted to go because there was an Andy Warhol exhibit that we really wanted to see. It was really cool to see so many of his most famous works...the Marilyn Monroes and the Michael Jacksons, and his self portraits. We went to Hongdae after that and ate at a really great Indian restaurant. Korean food is great, but sometimes we just want some diversity!
Everyone watching the Olympics? Its become quite the rivalry between the U.S. and Korea in speed skating. Cheering for the U.S. obv, but definitely happy to see Korea doing well! I think Kim Yuna (or Yuna Kim) is going to be skating this week. There is some serious pressure on her over here to win gold...so hopefully she can pull it off or she's pretty much going to disappoint everyone in this country. Sort of sad. In the states we kind of take all of our medal winning for granted, but in a small country like Korea they're just so damn proud to win any medal that they replay it over and over and over....and over. I've seen each speed skating race where a Korean medaled about 5 times now. I get it. You got a medal. So did we. Relax. But it still doesn't stop them from replaying it, and its all my students can talk about. Speed skating! Figure skating! Kim Yuna! Lee Jung Soo!
So here's a K-Pop song for all of you...I know how much you missed it. Anna introduced me to this song, and now I think we're both wishing we had never heard it. Its definitely the strangest video and overall concept to a music video that I've seen. Its called Marshmallow...and we're pretty sure the girl is falling in love with the marshmallow, because its so plump like a jelly and soft like a cookie. Those are the actual lyrics (in translation). I don't get it. I'm guessing no one else does either, but it will make you laugh.
Other than that...things are pretty much back to normal around here. Sort of boring. BUT don't you worry. Yesterday we made a list of things that we want to do here in Korea...most of them need to wait until the weather is nicer because they're outside or involve taking a trip somewhere. But in a month the weather should be warming up, especially in the south, and we'll be able to start on our list. There's still so many things we haven't done here so we're going to make sure we make them happen this spring and summer. Lots to look forward to!
"Life is known only by those who have found a way to be comfortable with change and the unknown. Given the nature of life, there may be no security, but only adventure." --Rachel Naomi Remen.