Friday, November 5, 2010


Ha! Man blogging turns into a mountain when each time you don't do it it feels like you have more and more things to go over. I'll give a brief update to catch you up. Life is going pretty well, I have been ziplining, gone to Everland which is a themepark here in Korea, played basketball one weekend, and started a language exchange with a friend I made on the subway.

Ziplining was really neat, it was a town a couple of hours outside of Seoul. One of my favorite parts of the ziplining was driving through Korea. It always amazes me how some places just look the exact same. Forests are forests no matter where you are. There were some really pretty rivers that cut through the landscape and the ziplining was near a creek on a hillside.

Everland was really fun. I spent a lot of time with my friends from work and enjoyed being with them. The best ride was the T express which was a really big wooden roller coaster. I was surprised that is was not rickety and altogether dangerous sounding like other wooden roller coasters. The best part of the day was the camel ride though! So there were these camels, that were clearly for kids. Most of the kids say ages 4-12 would ride by themselves, and the younger ones would go with their parents. Now being 25 and not having children, I was definitely outside of the economic niche of these camels. But I really wanted to go on one! So I talked my buddy into going with me. Now bear in mind, I am larger than the average korean adult, and my friend is about my size. I can guarantee that we were going to be the heaviest load this poor camel would have to deal with all day. Anywho, we made it to the front, and they of course gave the obvious denial to our request. I did not acquiese and continued to hammer them with repeated questions of why not and I want to's. They could see that I was not to be swayed on this matter and relented, but made us wait for the larger of the camels. Lets just say we got our money's worth on the 40 meter track or so, and I can definitely check that one off the list!

Basketball was real fun, and so I will move on to the language exchange. So I talked to this girl on the subway and traded emails, and now we have language exchange. I am Korean slowly, but I enjoy it. The girl is really a nice girl. She is half korean and half chinese, and she goes by Cozy as her English name. That's right Cozy. It is funny to me how easy it is to call someone something that is just silly, and have it become fairly natural after a few times. I mentioned my efforts to learn Korean to a few of the students at school, and they were very excited. They told me they would make phrases for me to know called DOE's. For the kids DOE stands for daily oral expression, and is something from their reading, the kids are required to memorize the sentences and repeat them in class. So the next day I went to class, they had given me the keys to the korean language by teaching me such phrases as, "I sharpen my pencil", "I love myself", and most importantly, "Are you crazy?" I feel more fully equipped to deal with my Korean shortcomings than ever before with these cure-alls at my disposal. If I get lost? I just pull out I love myself to a passer-by. I want to impress a girl and show off my Korean, "I sharpen my pencil" will knock her off her feet! Ha, I love my kids they are great.

Alright a quick food for you today. EEL!!! There is a restaurant that has an eel tank with maybe thirty eels in it and I walk by it everyday. I really like Eel in sushi and wanted to try it out. Eel is so good! I would give it a 9 out of ten and only not a ten because it is expenisve relative to other things. They have a couple of different ways that you can cook it, one is in a soy sauce and teriyaki kind of mix that is my favorite, one with hot sauce, and then one way where it is a pretty basic kind of salty rub almost. The eel is super tender with no bones or fishy taste and is just fantastic. It is also considered an aphrodisiac, so I got that going for me to now.

Alright! Feels great to blog and write down things hopefully I will carry my motivation into some more entries!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Livin' the Dream

So I think I thought of a tidy analogy to describe how I can sum up my first few months and how I try to look at life. So here it is Adam original thought.

"I live my life like eat my gummy bears. The unsavory yellows and greens first, so that I can enjoy the reds, oranges, and clear ones."
-side note, it shouldn't at all surprise you that I used gummy bears with my thoughts since maybe 2% of my conscience thought is devoted to them. Will maybe towards candy 2% is closer... Anywho

So there you have it, I really like it in life where you can get the hardest part over with first. Now this quote might be useless to anyone else, since they probably just believe that "getting started is the hardest" school of thought, but something with candy makes it click better with me. Pertinent to me presently, the quote sums up the beginning part of Seoul. I feel like I have made a good foundation at church and work with friends and people to be able to do stuff, and feel comfortable in either arena. There are still times where I get lonely and miss people, which to me is a little weird since I didn't have many of those feelings at all on the mission, but I feel good about each day, and there isn't a part of my life that I dread right now making it hard to have a tough day.

Dang It's been a few weeks since I have blogged! Yikes! I'll keep trying to do better and hopefully keep them down to a more manageable size to make. Well, we had a week off for Chuseok which is Korean Thanksgiving, it was really nice to have a little time off. Unfortunately, it was a week of cancellations and rain! The rain was pretty crazy, I have never seen it rain so hard, there were huge puddles everywhere, and some places where water was coming up from under the pavement of the street! Some of the things I did get to do were more noraebang, eat at Outback Steakhouse, play basketball with some people from work against Koreans, a small hike, night shopping all night, office season 6 party, and more but I am having trouble remembering since it was more than a week ago. The basketball was really funny. Where we played is kind of a park area where a lot of people are, and the basketball hoop didn't have a net, and the court surface was brick. We played 2 on 2 for awhile and then a group of Koreans who regularly meet at that court came and played pick up against my fellow teachers and I. The teachers I was with are pretty close to my height, but some of the Koreans were huge! Like some of the biggest koreans that I had seen in my time here and they all decided to play us. The people that were just hanging out at the park started taking an interest in our game and reacting when things happened it was pretty funny. The night shopping was really fun too. In some areas of Seoul, they have markets that don't open till one in the morning, and others that stay open for most of the night until sunrise. It is pretty crazy to see. Apparently, in this one area of Seoul, there are enough clothes to clothe the world... which I think is not an overstatement at all. We went to several different stores and walked around for quite awhile, but I got pretty tired. At about four in the morning I was going up several floors using escalators, and I would look in the mirrors that are on the sides of the escalators, and I kept seeing this foreign person. It took me a few seconds to realize that it was me. So once I would settle down, I would go to another floor and go through the same, who the heck is staring at me in the mirror thing. This happened on four consecutive floors and I was pretty sure at that point that I had hit my wall.

So just a quick summary for this weekend, I watched BYU lose again which was really sad, and had dinner at an Indian restaurant with a girl I met at church. So I have never really had good Indian food till I got here to Seoul! I really like it though, samosas and the garlic nan are definitely my favorite. I also saw a movie that turned out to be rated R oops! It was Resident Evil Afterlife, which is based like a video game and pretty much felt like you were watching a video game... Luckily there wasn't anything outrageous, but there were only two english movies to choose from so I was a little limited.

My kids are so funny at school. Each week, my first graders have a writing workshop, where they have a guided prompt to write about. This time the prompt was "make a creative story". Well maybe not the most creative prompt, but the kids really outdid themselves. All but one of the kids decided to write about me (or Adam Teacher in the stories) fighting a monster, saving people, or in one case a weird explanation of how the sun and moon were a long time ago? I must be fairly adept at using weapons and fighting in the kids minds. Some of my skills and weapons included swords, guns, scratching, long arms, hairy arms, and taekwondo. The settings ranged from at their family's Chuseok dinner, to the swimming pool, to their elementary class. I am not sure how they intended me to feel, but it definitely put a smile on my face. The one girl who didn't write about me fighting someone, wrote the following (paraphrased):

"A long time ago, the moon was called suji and the sun was called mingming and there was Adam Teacher. Adam teacher touched the sun and said owww that's hot. Then, he touched the moon and said owww that's cold. Then, the moon and the sun told Adam teacher, "Don't touch me." and Adam Teacher said, "Ok."

I am really lost on this one.

Alrighty food time! I have the food at the top and it is called Pat Bing Su, which is really hard to spell without korean letters and make it sound right. Anywho it is shaved ice topped with fruit and mochi and ice cream with red bean paste. The red bean paste isn't hot or anything and has a really nice texture with the ingredients. One thing about Koreans is that they really like remedies. Whether you have a hangnail or a cold or gout, you can be sure that Koreans have some food or recipe that you should eat for your specific ailment. I ate this with a Korean girl that I went on a date with, and she explains that Koreans ate the red beans to prevent seeing ghosts. Now mind you, not all ghosts just a specific type of ghosts. The red beans prevent only the ghosts that you see when you are really tired after exercise or a long day. I have yet to see any ghosts under these parameters, and have only the red beans to thank.

Alrighty! See you in the future!

Oh p.s. if you were to leave a comment, and google asks you to type the word so it knows your not a robot, write down what word it asks in your comment I always think those are funny.

One more thing here is my address if you feel the need to give me presents!

Adam Murphy
3rd Floor, Heonghwa Brown Building, 75 Dongsomoon-dong-4-ga
Sungbuk-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Sunday, September 12, 2010

River, Bar, Jump

Hmm I am super tired! This morning I stayed up all night to watch the BYU game that started at five in the morning Seoul time. I watched the whole painful loss to Air Force, and although it was sad, I think I will do this for most of the games. I think it is a nice way to remember home and is something that makes me excited and overly passionate at least once a week which is nice. I have a few comments about the game, but I am just going to take them from excerpts of an email with my dad and a facebook exchange from a friend. Both of them are how Riley Nelson the BYU quarterback pisses me off. The first exchange

Adam Murphy It's 5:20 in the morning and I am watching BYU Football over the internet, couldn't be happier. Go Cougs!

Katy Bodenhorn I could be happier. Like, if we hadn't gotten stomped. :/
Adam Murphy Yeah or if we could sauter Jake Heaps arm and brain onto Riley Nelson.

and the second...
Man it is frustrating watching Nelson play quarterback, ok you can run the ball I get it, but what bugs me isn't the fact that he can't throw anywhere near anything, it isn't the fact that he can't even go through progressions to look for an open receiver i.e. even look around before he darts off, the thing that bothers me the most is he cant even do a three much less a five or seven step drop. There were more multiple occasions where he stepped back one step panicked and took off.

Sports is a weird thing, I can be no where near it but still have an emotional attachment to something that really doesn't affect me other than spending my time and emotions. I suppose that is what most fun things are though really, just a positive memory and a happy time. Either way, I loooooooveeeee that it is football season, and absolutely cannot wait for basketball season to come. Instead of watching games during the offseason I watch Kobe Bryant highlight reels, and by the time the season starts I forget that he ever misses lol.

Well I give a couple brief stories and updates. I went with some church friends on the Han river cruise. It is the river that divides Seoul's North and South sections and is pretty sizeable. It was raining off and on when we went, which made it a little difficult to see, but it was still really fun to see the skyline of all Seoul. At the end of the trip they had a little laser show with a whole bunch of water jets coordinated with the lights off of one of the ends of one of the bridges. Well, the light show ended and we started heading straight for the jets! These were pretty much fire hoses and they soaked me and many a Korean old woman (totally worth it).

We also went and did Noraebong and went to "Monkey Beach" which is one of about a million clubs in Seoul. Noraebong is Korean Karoke (sp?) and was pretty fun. We had a group of about ten people, and did it for a little over two hours. I was still really sick and I had lost my voice. Despite this I pulled through with a solid rendition of Lose Yourself, a memorable Where is the Love, and a so-so All my Life by KC and JoJo. I am sure I will do it several more times before my time is up. I hung out with some of the English teachers this most recent Friday night which was really fun. One of the teachers found a bar that was showing the first NFL game with Minnesota vs. New Orleans. A few of the teachers were from Minnesota and really took the lost hard which was both sad and really funny to watch. I noticed that one of our teachers bore a stunning resemblance to the Vikings coach Brad Childress. I want to get his permission before I post comparison pictures but it was close enough that my fellow English teacher threatened to shave his moustache lol!!! Later we played darts and had a real good time. I feel like that I am getting to know my teachers a little better and vice versa. It makes work a lot more enjoyable and the weekends funner and I am happy about that.

I think I am going to rap this up and then hibernate but I had a two more things. So I think I lost ten pounds in the past two months. At this rate I will weigh 125 when I come home. Just want to prepare you all in case it is shocking. I am happy about lost weight like anyone would be but its not like I really went out of my way at all. I think I just sweat more and there is not a lot of meat, butter, and sugar in anything that you would eat so it would be a little tough not to be. Anywho I got bored writing the past five sentences so I can't imagine that it was much better for you to read :). I also had a date with a Korean girl last night. It was really cool and we are supposed to play racquetball this week I am pumped!! She works at Warner Bros. Korea and seems pretty cool so we'll see.

Alright, Let's wrap this up with the weekly food!

I literally pointed at a menu and ended up getting this little number...

Now on the surface it doesn't look to bad, I'll read the entry in my phrasebook.
"Boiled Beef Entrails seasoned with red pepper powder & cooked again in Beef broth with vegetables". So it had some things that were a little different. The weirdest thing was when it came out there was so much steam I couldn't even look into the bowl for a couple of minutes. The taste was ok though maybe a 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. Where I thought the blood sausage tasted like bandaids and I would eat the bare minimum to stay alive, I could at least eat yukkaejang till I was full.

Oh one last thing... I told the story on my facebook status, but the following interchange made me smile.

Today I was giving a spelling test to my little 8 year old Korean kids. The word was jump, so I jumped to give them an example. They were impressed and started applauding and told me to jump again. I did so to a second ovation. Man, sometimes the kids make you feel special :)

Alright thanks for reading!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Long Post

So this one could be a long one.... I have missed some weeks right after stating some goals about blogging weekly I believe?? Oopsie. I am sure my blogging audience understands that exploring a new country and meeting new people is slightly more important then writing about it :). I started this blog at exactly midnight Seoul time, and I will be happy if I can wrap this up within an hour so be warned, you could be in for a lot of words along with poorly constructed sentences.

Well I have had several kind of small epiphanies and cool things that have been going through my head and what I have read. I wanted to share two things I read from the late UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.

"Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of the self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."

I also found he had a seven point creed he used in teaching players.

-Be true to yourself.

-Make each day your masterpiece.

-Help others.

-Drink deeply from good books. Especially the Bible.

-Make friendship a fine art.

-Build a shelter against a rainy day.

-Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings everyday.

So I really liked the quote. I have thought about it in several ways, I think that there is the obvious point of putting effort into what you do in order to get satisfaction. The deeper idea that I have been thinking about is the career path that I have studied for the best of what I am capable? Can I ever get satisfaction from a career path that I enjoy fully? I really enjoy working with kids, but it is not something that I will be able to do for the rest of my life the way I feel currently. There are some really cool things that happen from day to day but there are several days that can feel like a grind. Lately, I have felt that I really need to find work that feels as less of a grind as possible for me. Right now I am not so sure that it is in Finance. I actualy have been thinking a lot about becoming a veterinarian. Here is a small breakdown of what I am thinking. So I really love living things and thinking about how they work. I was pre-med before my mission and gave it up, largely thinking that it would not be conducive to raising a family. I think that a vet would offer many of the same things that I find very intriguing in science (anatomy, surgery, helping something that is hurt, and doing something that I feel helps the world) while still enabling enough family time. Either way, I really want to find something that I can feel satisfaction out of.

Now on to the pyramid (So at this point you can probably tell it is going to be long, since I haven't even breached what I have done the past few weeks)

So the pyramid seemed eerily doctrinal. I wanted to highlight a few things that stuck out.

Point 1 Be true to yourself. I think that I struggle with this at times in a few different ways. One of the things that I am becoming comfortable with is that it is ok to be alone and not have plans for a weekend. Sometimes it is just fine to hang out at home. I don't have to feel like I have to do something really noteworthy in order to feel cool or like I am having fun. I have spent a lot of time alone in Seoul, but feel like getting away from a lot of noise at home helps me think and plan my future better. This thinking time has led me to find out what I really want from life and what my goals for the near future and beyond will be. So here is a big one. You ready? I want to get married... crazy eh? I don't have any prospects, but I am ready to be able to committ myself to having a family and be codependent with someone. Now this isn't something I am rushing towards but for the first time it is definitely a goal that is something I want to work towards instead of something off in the horizon. So having a personal goal is something I am ready to set.

Make friendship a fine art-

I really try to do my absolute best to be a person that my friends can depend on. I love my friends and feel so grateful for them. I feel bad sometimes about keeping up with some friends. I just got in contact with a friend who I haven't seen who I lived with him. I had gone home for the summer after living with him for a school year, and he was a great friend when I was going through an especially sucky time. When I got back to school in September, this friend called me to invite me to his wedding. Now granted weddings at the time were the last thing I wanted to go to, but since I associated so much negative feelings from the past, I forgot my friend and didn't go to his special moment when he had been with me for so many of my crappy moments. This has happened more than once to lesser degrees for different reasons, and I am very sorry for it. Those instances cannot be something that I repeat. I need to be better to my friends, and having these experiences almost makes me want to keep friendships on a superficial level which is exactly not what I want. So to all my friends sorry if I have messed up, I love you and appreciate you!

Last point for this one I promise-

-Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.

I really have done pretty well for myself here. I have been to the english bookstores a few different times already. I read Game of Shadows which was written by the reporters who broke the story of the Barry Bonds Grand Jury testimony regarding his steroid use and the story of BALCO, which was the health lab that Bonds got his drugs from as well as fueled several key American track athletes including multi-gold medal winner Marion Jones. For the sake of those who don't like sports I'll just stop there. I am also reading a book about Korean history, Che Guevarra, in addition to the usual amount of sports reading for me :). I have read more books this past year than any other year and look forward to continuing.

-One side note, the John Wooden quotes came from SLAM magazine of all places, which is an exclusive NBA magazine pretty cool eh? So those sports things payoff every once in awhile :).

Alright!!! You made it past the thought section of my blog!!! So it is 1:38 a.m. and I still have three weeks to catch up on yikes. Alrighty. So school is so fun! I really just love all of the kids, they are fun to joke with, and I see progress with them every week (definitely not every day). As I alluded earlier, they all think that I am Harry Potter. I have used Avada Kedavra once or twice. It may seem extreme, but that's the price you pay when you walk into my class. Treat this as your warning if you stumble into Seoul blog followers. The only kids that confuse me are the preschoolers I have first thing in the morning. Monday through Friday I have different groups of preschool age students right after they have lunchtime and playtime. I am suppose to settle them down enough to teach them some sort of nonsense. So my classes are either drama (where we read a story and listen to awful songs), arts and crafts (where I try to switch ten minutes worth of coloring into fifty minutes, or build ten different crafts since none of the kids can do it on their own), or science reading class, where the kids hate it. Yup. This is the worst part of my day obviously lol. But hey life could be worse! Hmm let me think of some highlights. Well if you have ever met an asian, there is a good chance they have an english name, since there asian name is impossible for a westerner to pronounce. Some of the names are just flat out weird. For instance I have a Dragon in one of my classes. Yup, just like the mythical creature, and that kid sucks. It is a good thing he doesn't have a normal name because it definitely would be crossed off the list immediately since I don't want to be reminded of him ever again. I have a Pee Bee. Not Phoebe. No the two words pee and bee... There is someone named Harry Potter. Passable? Well a girl chose this as her english name. There is Lion. And there is Jenis. This one boggles me the most. It is like the easiest name to make a hurtful rhyme out of. The kids parents really dropped the ball on that one. Not only is it not a name, it rhymes with genitalia. There is a 30% chance that the parents picked one of the "words" from when you try to log in or make a new account on a website and it spits out words like cargyme or totterflame. Either of these not words are a superior name to Jenis. Other than that though the kids are just hilarious. Today I gave my first grade aged kids an American baseball card each for their sparkling performances on their spelling tests. I told one of the little girls that one of the cards was the best since it had a dodger on it. Immediately, all of the kids tried to trade for it, but they quickly lost interest when one of the boys looked over at the card and said, "ah yes very fat, I don't want him." I had to explain that Americans are fatter and that baseball players can be fat and still be good, which clearly made no sense to this 6 year old. God bless you Elliot. You and your shrewd bargaining skills based on dietary efficiency. Needless to say the kids are a lot of fun.

So last week I went to the Horse races! LOL! Nothing can compare to korean jockeys riding on top of silly named horses while native Koreans enjoy there only legal form of gambling. I am going to translate the korean currency into dollars and cents to give you the proper perspective. So it cost about 65 cents to get in. Your minimum be could be about eight cents. Can we say cheap entertainment? Let me give you some of there awesome names. Machine Gun, Geumbit (who I read as Gambit first who I like the X-men character, needless to say I laid about sixteen cents on Geumbit/Gambit and he did not dissapoint.) Happy Birthday, Headline News, Glorious Winning, Beautiful Money, Winning Machine, Battle Bingo, Energetic, Summa Cum Laude, Jingle Bella, Dr. Two Billion, and the list goes on. There were twelve races and I stayed for about 8 I think and lost about a dollar betting. Lord help me if I would have stayed for the last race where I would have had to choose between the likes of Nice Play, Oh My Creek, Happy Birthday, Gounjit, Wink, Brown Girl, Babble Rose, Winner Choice, Fear Hunter, Explicit Image, Yahoo Event, Proud Mary, and Blue Band Carmen. Horse Racing was a whole new experience. Obviously my basis for choosing horses was solely on there names appeal, but it is hard to describe the feeling you get when they show your horse you bet a dime on delaying the race a couple of minutes due to the fact he refuses to go into his assigned gate. Such was the fate of Ecton Q who I could have sworn was related to Ghostbusters some how, but it turned out he really didn't to be in that gate, which was a strong indicator that he didn't want to run even mildly fast. They also let you watch the horse kind of walk around a really small track for show, so you can see what your horse looks like. I tried to get as many horses that either fought there owners or pooped during this little walkabout display. Quite the experince indeed something I am really happy I did.

I have done some sweet hiking! There is a national park about a fifteen minute walk from where I live, which continuallly blows my mind as I am still in an area with high rises and the like in Seoul. I decided to brave a hike even though it is about ninety with significant humidity. The hike was about 5 km either way and I have never sweated or drank so much water in my life. I drank four liters of water on the hike. That's right over a gallon. You can picture me once I got to the top. The hike was very hard but had an incredible view of Seoul, with untouched mountains in the opposite direction. It really gave an understanding of just how huge Seoul is. It has more people than LA but in a much tinier area. At one point I thought I was looking at all of Seoul and could see hundreds of Hi rise buildings. Then I walked around to a different part of the mountain I was on and saw that what I was looking at earlier was about half of Seoul. But still I could see all of Seoul, I don't know of a place where I can see all of Los Angeles, so the population density within Seoul is just massive. It is a great city and has so many places to explore.

I am going to skip ahead to the food review section and maybe I will come back to this again. So as I just said, Seoul has sooooo many restaurants to choose from. They are just packed in on every block and on top of each other. Mcdonalds is really cheap here, (about $2.50 for a big mac fries and drink), so the easy thing to do is to go there. But hit me that I really could eat at a different restaurant every day I am here! So I tried a place last night and I will give you the review.

Well this is it. It is called Sun-Dae, and it is not to be confused with Icecream ever. I am pretty adventurous when it comes to food here, so I went to a restaurant near my home and just pointed at something on the menu. They came back with this little number. Korean Blood Sausage. It was sick. The texture about the same as eating a snail. It tasted like a band-aid. I ate about two thirds of the plate only because I didn't know what it was until today when I described it to some Korean teachers who broke the news. I try to stay positive about new things but NEVER AGAIN! If I were dying and hadn't eaten food in a week, and was on an island with only blood sausage, I would take one bite about every three days and that would be just long enough for me to balance dying with eating blood sausage. On the Adam scale of eating it gets a 1. Good game Korea. Blog completed at 2:57 a.m. I hope you appreciate this!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Last Note

P.s. So all my classes think I look like Harry Potter... thoughts?

School's Out!!

School is out!

Well my life is alright, the new ward here seems alright, it is a little hard to get together since everyone is all over the place and I don't have a cell phone yet but one day!! It is really hot though most the time. I definitely sweat way more than I have in my life! Right now is kind of weird since my school is out for the week, which means I don't have anything planned, and the teachers that I would hang out with are all out of the country... so I have had some days where I go through days not speaking many words to anyone which is not my favorite. Things will be good, I think that it is a really special thing to be able to teach english to people, it isn't something that will save there life, but I do think it is something that will make it much more enjoyable and give them a special set of tools in the world. I think that having a deep motivation to serve is the best way that I will remain happy here in Korea. There will be times where I feel lonely, bored, and REALLY want to watch American sports, but at the very core doing something that helps someone and making it the primary motive is the best way that I have found to improve as a person. It will definitely be a growing time.

So as I alluded earlier no kids! So I have been trying to stay busy the best I can. So what I do, is think of something I need or a place I want to see, find out a way to get it, and then walk around that part of the city till I get bored, eat, and head home. Not too bad really. Tomorrow I am going to hike the mountain by my house. I have spent a lot of time trying to learn the Korean alphabet and feel like I can read a little bit. The sounds that the language makes stil sounds really foreign but it is getting better each day and that is all I can ask for. So I try to talk to people whenever I can on the subway or bus. I met a couple guys from France this week Benjamin and Guillobe(sp?). They were actually really fun to talk to, I gave them my facebook, and we made tentative plans to go see the DMZ this weekend. Facebook is really funny, it is really a nice thing actually to talk to someone briefly on the subway or bus, and then give them your name on facebook, and maybe meet up. I talk to some Korean girls it is really funny some of the reactions. I have found that they will never initiate a conversation, even if they like spill something on you they probably won't say a word. However, once you ask them something they seem to be pretty open. Some of the girls are really funny and kind of give you a weird look and wave you off, which is no big deal, but a lot of them will just talk your ear off which is definitely fun. I want to check out some of the dancing clubs here. LOL The french guys had some funny things to say about it, saying in broken english that it was impossible to make out with a Korean girl! They also said the sounds systems were really good but you are like packed in there and can't really move or talk. It sounds lame now that I type it out but I do want to experience a little bit of everything.

This last week I began teaching alone. It was mixed, some kids were really fun to teach and others weren't having it. As part of my teaching, each day I have an activity class for pre-school and kindergarden age kids. They are all a madhouse! The kids just go bonkers, alternating from being out of their seats, crying, and not doing what they are suppose to do... I started to keep a tally of kids that cry and put it on my desk, so far we are up to four kids, all in the activity class that have made it. Updates to follow heh. The rest of the kids had a test this week, so easy teaching, one class of review, one class of taking the test. LOL I found out there are websites that make you wordsearches and all you have to do is write in your list of words. So... the kids got wordsearches after their tests and they actually really like them. The teachers at our school try to give little prizes if the whole class does well on a spelling test or unit test etc. The prizes range from food to watching a you tube video to stickers and things like that. So a couple of my classes got a hundred this week, so I showed them a Kobe Bryant video. Oh man, I thought it was cool and so did the other boys in the class but I think that the girls were pretty bored :). I made them repeat that Kobe Bryant was the best basketball player and so just spreading the Lakers wherever I go! Another class got all perfect scores and so I gave them a penny each. It might sound like a lame prize, but the kids thought it was really cool! They asked how valuable it was and what it could buy and I told them nothing, and they didn't really believe me lol. Oh well they will find out soon enough.

Well I guess it is food time!!! I had a couple of new things, but I think I will choose Milkis. I am a little tired so I am going to turn it over to wikipedia on this one...

Milkis (Hangul:밀키스) is a soft drink produced by Lotte Chilsung, a Korean beverage company. It combines many of the common elements of traditional carbonated beverages such as corn syrup, sugar, and carbonated water with milk to create a creamy taste; its label proclaims "New feeling of soda beverage". Milkis is available in orange, strawberry, mango, melon and classic (regular) flavors. It is a popular beverage in South Korea, and it remains widely available worldwide.

I had a friend tell me it is like when they do the sprite with sherbet thing at church all the time but like in a soda and that was pretty apt for me. I think I would give it a 7 out of ten. Maybe something i could miss, not something I couldn't live without. I tried to post a picture at the bottom hopefully it worked, but I am super tired so good night!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

1st week in Korea

Darn! Well I thought that I would have some pictures to share but it turns out I have an xD card and not an SD card! Any ideas how I can get it off of my camera? Let me know ASAP!!!!

Well I'll drop an update on you guys. So what a week! My head has really been swimming. This past week was all training, since next week I have to start teaching, which normally they have two weeks of training for you but I only get one. Apparently the kid I am replacing went crazy! Like really crazy! I only get details here and there but there was some sort of breakdown from a already kind of off kid. So that is the reason for all the rush and hub bub. So the first weekend was fun! Everyone from the school went on a retreat which I passed on because I was exhausted from the jet ride. I went on a super awesome adventure. First I went to a Korean restaurant, and with the help of my phrasebook I barely got out that I had no clue what the menu said, what the things were on the menu, if I knew the things that were there, I would have no clue about liking them or not, and that they should pick for me. This all was verbalized by me in about three words and pointing to the "What would you reccomend phrase" in my Korean book. So for my first meal on my own in Korea I had no clue what it was called. It turned out being some soup thing that you put rice, kimchi, and mystery items with an egg in it. It was fine, they brought some peppers for me to try and they were super spicy and tasty! Sidenote, being as there are so many new foods to try I am lowering my already pretty low pickiness and plan on eating every darn thing I can! So at the end of the meal I still had some (((At this point when writing the blog, I had to stop to go get Pizza School with my floormates Kelly and Becca!! Pizza School is Little Caesars on roids, 5,000 won (which at the current rate of 1200 won/dollar is a little over four dollars) for wayyy yummy pizza. It kicks Little Caesar square in the gonads.) leftover food. So I asked the Korean ladies who ran the restaurant for a to go box. So apparently in Korea, people don't have take out boxes. But I kept asking and pointing and gesturing and I got the message through. So they wrapped up the remainder of the food that I had and put it into a dish and sent it home to me. When I got home I took a closer look at the box and saw that it was actually a real dish instead of some sort of disposable dish. So now I got a dish.... which is nice.

So the kids were fun to watch and teach. Adam is apparently a completely foreign word to them. Whenever I tell them they have to say it a couple times. A-dom, Ate-m? Atom? Adom? Ate-am? Once they get this far they all realize, oh wait there is some Japanese character who I think is Atom but is some sort of rocketman. They ALL love that, then that sends them into a excited imitation of a man with rocket shoes.... great. The kids are anywhere from 6-16 in the classes I teach and definitely are interesting. You always go by Adam Teacher. Koreans in addresses and most things I guess start with the broadest category first. Interesting, but I am not sure if it is better. The kids are really sweet and I am sure to have lots of pictures etc. I teach about six classes of english monday through friday from 12:45 to 8:45 with breaks mixed in. Not too bad and there is some downtime throughout the day. Unfortunately I found out you can't wear jeans or shorts so I wore the same pair of slacks for four days lol. Oh well can't have everything.

I want to keep up with new foods that I am trying, so I will profile one Korean food per blog I think. Complete with picture and my personal rating :).


Banana Milk!!!!

Dang will guess the picture is above.

Banana Milk was a prize for one of the classes that I shadowed. Unfortunately they didn't perform the requisite task so the teacher gave it to me and it was sweeeeet! It taste exactly like a banana that has been liquified with a super good texture yummmmm. Needless to say I have bought a ton of it! I know you shouldn't give a high rating right out of the gate but 10 out of 10! Delicious! Something I definitely think that I will miss when I would go home. So if anyone can help me with how to play songs on my blog and how to get pictures off my camera keeping in mind that I do not have the cord, that would be great! Alrighty See you next time!