Sunday, March 31, 2013


So many threes today. And I didn't even ask Lucy to say the date. What a wasted opportunity (she says tirty and tree).

We awoke to scrambled eggs and me, to a voice message from Lucy's friend, Fiona. She also has a great accent and we are going to be friends when she comes to Korea. I'm forcing it.

The main event for today was the Indian Holi Hai Festival on the beach. We got a paint packet and chucked the powder all over each other. It was great fun. We formed a circle as a lady taught us some dance moves. There was much smiling and festivity.

My favourite thing was finding a little craft market in the train station. I didn't think I'd ever see handmade things here. Not because an awesome art community doesn't exist, but because I lack the communication to find one.

That was the best surprise I've had yet I think. Some of the stuff was amazing and some quite similar to what you'd see back home, except with a flair of Korea.

A burger, donut, and cream-topped coffee also featured. I've eaten a lot of rubbish lately!

The Easter Bunny was staying in the hostel

The lady makes each miniature shoe out of rubber, felt, string, and glue. Must take a million years.

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Weeheeee Busan day!

I absolutely love the feeling of Busan. It's a coastal city so it kinda feels more chilled. Kinda like New Zealand was in the air. No seagulls though.

Going to the beach was great. It was weird seeing the skyscrapers and the sand at the same time. It was also pretty busy, even though it was so cold!

We are staying in the cutest hostel which was the best surprise of all. Each room had a country theme (I was in Sweden) and it was just so cute.

Great first impression, Busan.

Gig on the Haeundae beach

My Swedish bed

Friday, March 29, 2013


When your soundtrack and situation combine beautifully, it is an elating experience.

Walking home from school, this exact moment happened. I was strolling down a tree-lined footpath as Artisan Guns was accompanying my contented thoughts. I broke into a huge grin when the drum hit and volume increased. It's such a good song and that part gets me every time.

Couldn't have been more perfect for a Friday afternoon.

This is the song I'm going on about.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


So, a second grader has tuberculosis and the whole school had to be x-rayed. My classes were all interrupted, but it gave us something to talk about in the teachers class, so that's absolutely fine with me.

Don't worry Mum, apparently I'm TB free. The guy in the

I get messages from the administration in Korean so I paste them into Google translate for some Engrish fun. The message about the X-rays was especially great. It said that in the case of a positive result, teachers have "the right to shoot".

Oh the hilarity!

Well done, Katie!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I decided I needed some holy in my week seeing as I'll be chucking paint around on Easter Sunday instead of being at camp.

Once again, it was really great to be at church, and this time in the middle of the week.

It was acoustic, intimate, and there were prayer stations. It was familiar and fresh at the same time.

On the way to church I got a hot chocolate, and after walking a few blocks, listening to Ryan Adams and loving the starry night I felt a tap on my shoulder. The cafe man had been chasing me because he forgot to give me my 100 won change. All that effort for ten cents!

It made me love Korea even more though.

Just a little gem for you.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I have a phone which actually connects me with the outside world! It's ridiculous how much I have missed 3G. For hours I was glued to my little friend, texting, apping, downloading, and updating. And I was hanging out with friends!

We went downtown again and ate Italian at this amazing little restaurant. They gave us free icecream after.

It really was like having dinner out back in NZ. We got the little booth and had some red wine to accompany our delicious creamy pasta.

It's one of my favourite things to do and all together it cost me about $16! I'll be back. The chef and waitress were also the cutest things ever.

Monday, March 25, 2013


PAY DAY!!!!!

It's so nice not to feel anxious about my money situation. It's a really gross feeling, wondering whether you can actually afford to hang out with people. Today is the first time I've felt secure about the figure in my bank account for a very long time.

So it's no surprise that I went downtown for a spot of shopping after work today.

Spending money feels so good! And I do actually fit some of the clothes! That was one of the best points.

It is actually quite sad how content I was with my big bag, crammed with a new coat, dress, tights, tops, sweaters, and socks.

Consumerism wins today.

I didn't get my phone sorted though. Pooooooooooos.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Today I found out that ill be auditioning for the worship band. I must prepare one song and he'll spring another one on me there and then. Ohhhh dear. That's a bit nerve wracking! At least I have a couple of weeks to fret over it.

Because I went to the practice, I prayed with everyone involved in the service before it started. We went up to the top floor where the acoustics were incredible. To start it off the pastor led, "Lord I give you my heart, I give you my soul..." and we were all just belting the chorus out. It was really really cool. And it sounded amazing.

I got back to Gaksan and was walking around to find fried chicken when I ran into a group of my students. I told them about my quest and they told me the best place to go so I decided to take their advice and carried on. It was packed when I got there and I kind didn't know what to do when I got inside so I'm pleased a couple of other students came into the shop. It seemed to be a queue so we chatted and they did their best in English. To let them know I appreciated it, I got them to teach me how to order in Korean. I felt a bit awkward and silly saying it to the lady, but it was well recieved and I got my chicken.

I ate it on the way home and popped the last piece in my mouth as I walked into my kitchen. That was a mistake. I had eaten it too fast and the last one really set my mouth on fire!

It was delicious though. Good thing too, cos I only know how to order the spicy one.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


This was a great Saturday spent cleaning in the morning (I always enjoy it), and then exploring Duryu Park with Gemma and Nicole. We did a lot of sitting and talking while we ate icecream instead of wandering about, but it was definitely lovely and we walked to the cafe which took a while. It's justified ok!?

This morning I went on an internet hunt in my slippers because I needed to see if Sarah was still visiting. I got some weird looks as I wandered the streets, phone out, looking for signal.

I vowed to get my phone sorted today but alas, it couldn't happen! One day I'll be reliably contactable.

My neighbourhood

Flowers are blooming everywhere.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


This morning's classes were cancelled because Grade one was on a field trip. I do like how Korea is last minute in these cases because it's like a pleasant surprise when you find out. I do love teaching, but this gave me the chance to finish my lesson plan, print photos for the class leaderboard, and catch up on Facebook. All important tasks.

When I got home I ate fresh strawberries, grapes, had a cup of tea, and some cereal for dinner. It was glorious!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I opened a bank account today! I have a card and everything. There's absolutely nothing in there yet, but it's a start.

I'm feeling more and more like this is my home now. I knew where more things were in the supermarket today, and the streets at night feel comfortable. I love strolling through the area I live. Things are getting familiar.

I know where the tree roots are that have made the footpath lumpy. I trip less these days. It's a good feeling.

Spring is making things a whole lot prettier.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


You guys! I finally got me some milk. You know what that means.. I'm in the cashmonay game again. My settlement allowance finally came through.

I also went on a very long post-lunch walk (that's a thing here) with the lovely older English teacher to this river. It was about an hour round-trip but it was cool to hear stories of her childhood and what Korea used to be like. It sounds like a tough time what with the food rations and the lack of jobs for women. Life turned out pretty good for her though I think.

As I was waiting to cross at the lights I heard a small, "Hello" from behind me. I turned around to see a little girl on a bicycle wearing all pink except for her light blue face mask. I smiled and got back to standing there. A minute later I heard another more gutsy, "Hi," so this time I asked how she was and what her name was. After some very cute answers the light went green so I said goodbye. She said a crispy, "See you later," and whizzed off on her bike with her family in tow. Nothing makes my day like cute little kids practicing their English on me.

It was also Taco Tuesday tonight at Dani's. I really enjoyed wandering around E-mart, purchasing stuff and commenting on all the different things to buy. We then went and ate a very yummy taco salad, drank wine, and talked about a myriad of things.

Not a bad day at all.

I got far too excited to see these suckas in the supermarket.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Hello Monday. I did not want you to come, but you ended up being pretty cool.

It was Gift Giving Day Pt. 2 and despite some trembling I marched through the teacher's office and up to the vice principal. I handed over my gift (with both hands) and it was done. Phew!

At the end of the day I checked my school messenger inbox and saw a message which I thought said, "You can go get your settlement allowance from the administration office," so I bounced along the hallway and down the stairs, dreaming of purchasing milk on the way home. After a flurry of Korean, confusion, and wild gestures, the lady called my Co-Teacher who just said to me, "Why did you go there?" over the phone. At that moment it dawned on me that I had misread the email. Instead it said I could get my ARC card which I had already done earlier today.

I said sorry a million times in Korean and shamefully walked out. Way to be a demanding foreigner.

It's cereal and coffee with no milk for me tomorrow morning.

Things have got that serious.

I did, however, find it in my bank account to buy these, very necessary face masks.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


DISCLAIMER: This post is about to get super Christiany. I apologize if that's not your cup of tea, but I want to document the remarkable stuff that happened today. Please don't feel obliged to read.

Today has been a great day, although it did start two hours early, with some neighbours hammering away at my wall or something very close to it.
I used the spare time to lay in bed, check Facebook, Instagram, delay showering until I ran out of time... all the important things.

Anyway, I embarked on the 1hr journey to the stop by church and arrived at a cute little cafe for a Skype date with the lovely Lucy Collins. It was so good to see her. To begin with I was ashamed because the cafe was so busy and everyone could see me Skype, but then when I took my headphones out I was ashamed because I realized the cafe had cleared out and I hadn't adjusted my noise level. I was practically yelling at my laptop. Ahhh well.

Church was amazing, yet again. I had missed it without even knowing it. During the first worship song it just felt good and right and like home. The sermon was exactly what I had been thinking about over the past week and a bit. It was about being salt and light and then some really interesting, foundational points on The Law and what it actually means today. I really like how he preaches. It's super biblical, but his style is different and I really like the things he chooses to point out.

Aaaaanyway... so after the service I was talking to this girl, just getting-to-know you stuff, and right in the middle of answering my question about how long she'd been in Korea, she asks, "Do you sing?" As I was mumbling my way through my, "Well yes, but no, but not very well, but I did do worship back home, but I'm not very confident...," she takes my hand and drags me up the front to meet the worship leaders and talk about joining. On our way up there she explained that God had told her I sang and I should join the team.

No pressure or anything. It's my second week! Plus I already told God I didn't wanna get involved in ministry this year because I want a break. And why did he choose the scariest one to tell her about!? I would've gladly done welcoming or even Kids' Church. But no. I'm going along to watch the practice next Sunday.

On my first Saturday night in Daegu I met a girl in Daiso. I was foreign, she was foreign, so she said hello. We had some conversation, said goodbye, see you round, and then kept passing each other in the store and awkwardly commenting on each others' purchases. After a final farewell at the checkout I thought she was a nice stranger and never thought we'd hang out again.

Until I saw her at church this afternoon. It was so cool. I went over and said hello, then she invited me to have coffee with her and a friend and I had a blast. I love it when those sorts of things happen! I even remembered her name.

So there were three remarkable coincidences that I believe God orchestrated for me today. The sermon topic, the whole worship team thing, and the chance meeting with that girl.

He really cares.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Skype in the park with my grandparents this morning was absolutely delightful. The sun was out, I had my favourite jumper on, and they were exactly the same as real life. Nana read me the paper. I learnt a lot about the new pope. What a guy! I made Poppa laugh, and we had a great time. Public Skyping is where it's at.

Tonight was a fantastic St. Paddy's Day celebration. I saw live music! My first gig in Daegu. It felt incredible. The bands weren't the tightest, but they were just perfect for the bar they played in. We danced, sang along, and had a blast. Who would have thought I'd enjoy a Korean, U2 covers band?

Also, what the heck does it mean when someone pokes you on Facebook!? I'm completely at a loss.

The band wanted to be Solomon so badly.

I ordered this all for myself and couldn't finish it. White bread + cream + sugar + caramel + a scoop of icecream as big as my fist.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Today was gift giving day part 1. There were mixed reviews.

First up was the principal. Big deal! I went to his office after much fretting, and I gingerly knocked. He wasn't there! I couldn't try again! I wouldn't have the nerve.

Moments later he came around the corner and invited me in. He bowed a lot and told me to sit down. I bowed a lot but didn't sit down. Instead, I held out my gift and bowed some more. I said the words I had practiced which meant 'thankyou' and then smiled. He took it, smiled, bowed, said thank you and then proceeded to look around his office, narrating in fluent Korean. I did not understand a word. When he walked over to a table and picked up a packet of coffee to hand me he said some more things. I took the coffee, said, "have a nice day", bowed some more, said thank you, and left. I really hope that's what he wanted me to do.

The next gift was a box of coffee mix for the office. I thought I was being sneaky about it when I showed my co-teacher after lunch. Unfortunately she was with a group of other teachers and told me in hushed tones to keep it in my office for us and she'll just take a few to the other teachers' office. Either she's being sneaky and keeping it for herself, or I made a possible social faux pas. Probably a bit of both.

The vice-principal had left for the afternoon so that was an utter failure. 

Here's hoping Monday's better!

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I have a favourite student. She has a mushroom haircut, glasses, and she laughs at my jokes. She's pretty much awesome. They were drawing pictures of their ideal boyfriends and she was tracing a guy off a picture on her phone. She's a hoot.

They all are.

Today was White Day. On Valentine's Day in Korea, girls get chocolate and lollies for the boys so White Day is a chance for the roles to swap. As one class was coming in and taking their seats, one boy was shifting uncomfortably in his. He finally got up, marched over to me and held out a lollipop accompanied by the words, "For you, teacher." It was a bit cute. And it definitely brightened my day.

Also, I got the shower ration right for a second night in a row!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


Let it be know that today is the day I mastered the pressure to temperature ratio in my shower. It was a small, but very significant victory.

I had no classes today and so have prepared (almost) for the next two weeks. It feels ridiculously good.


These students are so much fun. I thought my lesson on introductions and greetings would be way too basic and boring, but the students actually loved it. They were talking and laughing and getting into it. I was well pleased!

The Ideal Boyfriend/Girlfriend lesson went better today too. They got into it and drew great pictures. I was teasing some students who drew more than one, that they wanted multiple boyfriends. It was hilarious. Some had their phones out and were tracing photos of celebrities. I really enjoyed helping them with sentences and laughing with them.

One girl drew her ideal boyfriend and I said he looked cute. She muttered under her breath, "and sexy" with a very determined tone. I was like, ok! He can be both if you want!

Also, I may have picked a favourite. She has great hair and enjoys my jokes. That's all I ask for in a student. 


 Today there was a lot of stress relating to technology, my stupid computer at school which hates internet and enjoys crashing, my stupid incompatible mac, which doesn't have powerpoint, and the world wide web, which is always letting me down!

One thing certainly made it better... a flippin' fantastic hot chocolate.

It was so good I got another one which warmed my belly on the walk home.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Waking up was made sweeter this morning by the fact that we had put Dani's two mattresses together on the floor last night and fallen into beauty sleep, slumber party style.

A severe lack of sleep left my eyes droopy and dry. After I applied some freshening collagen eye patches they felt so bright and happy. Definitely buying more of them! It was like a new day! For about an hour and then the subway to downtown unfreshed them and made them sleepy again.

We had a fun day with Gemma, walking around the shops. I drank the yummiest strawberry lemonade in existence. There was REAL strawberry pulp in it! It was in TGIF or a restaurant with a similar name. American place, massive chain. I can't remember though. It tasted like America. But it also left me bloated. My tummy isn't used to saturated fats anymore.

After a farewell to Lucy on a crowded subway, I sat in cafe and worked on my powerpoint for tomorrow morning. I'm never last-minuting things again!The day ended on a very high note when the lady at the coffee shop gave me a cookie with my hot chocolate, and I got a Skype with my brother.

I miss his singing! He sang me a song and it made me a little emotional, I'm not gonna lie.

The best beverage in the world.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


Lucy came to Daegu today! It was really nice to see her. I was legitimately missing her.

The hang outs and dinners are absolutely fantastic, but they are always missing that Dublin flair. Her wit is unmatched.

We went out tonight, all night. That's a first for me. It was heaps of fun though. We found an awesome bar which was a highlight for me. It's called Organ, which is a bit strange, but it played great music, wasn't crowded, and the guy behind the bar looked super cool. I'mma go again.

In other news, I got bitten by something on my lip this morning. So weird. It swelled a little, but when I took photos it did not match up to the imagined puffy lips so here is a photo of me icing it on a frozen yaleto:

Friday, March 8, 2013


Friday! The end of my first full week as a teacher. I'm not gonna lie, it was a good feeling when that bell rang (the bell is a cute little tune and it is played every period, beginning and end - still loving it though - I definitely do a little head dance every time). Less good when I realized I don't have a powerpoint made for Monday yet. I'm gonna have to drink lots of coffee in cafe's with wifi this weekend to work on it.

I went straight from school to E-Mart and managed to underpay for my drink. We were all confused. The girls there helped me access the internet and I had a Skype with Mum and Dad, Amy and Von. It was fun. I'm getting over the public thing.
Some little kids wanted to sit in the background and watch for a bit. That was fine with everyone concerned. They were adorable.

For the first time since I got to Daegu I felt so far away from home today. I got one of those heart-dropping texts and I just wanted to be there. It feels so helpless to be so  distant with the only means of communication being frustratingly inconsistent.

But I bought a vacuum cleaner! That's definitely noteworthy. It was expensive, but I will never regret.

In other news, my students are getting bolder:

Maybe I won't wear this outfit again. 

But then again…
I choose to take it as a compliment.

I also got called a model, Nicole Kidman, and they said my face was small while they held up balled up fists (it's an attractive quality in Korea). If they keep it up, I'll give everyone A's

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Spring is here! It made stepping out of school so sweet as the warmth washed over me. It was a beautiful still day, perfect for a stroll home.

All day I was looking forward to coming home and watching New Girl. I am doing really well. I'm nearly finished season 1 already and I only started yesterday. I reckon I should get an award for being so good at watching TV shows. This year I'm gonna clock the television.

Once again, my students are the best:

I am so badass.

I don't think she's enjoying herself


Today was another good one.

I only had three classes, all grade 1 and all before lunch. I thought I would get a whole heap of lesson planning done in the afternoon, but no...just as I was finished lunch, the lovely older English teacher came and started chatting. She kept saying, "ten more minutes?" It was great though because she's quite hilarious and I love talking about cultures and language and she had great stories.

On the way home I walked through the park by a kindergarten. There were kids playing an it made me smile. As I strolled down the road I heard a little high pitches voice say, "hello!" It belonged a gorgeous girl poking her head out of the car window. Her mum started driving off and she yelled, "bye!" very confidently.

Walking home from dinner tonight I looked up past the power lines and over the tops of the buildings to see three stars glimmering in the sky. It was such a beautiful, clear, warm evening (compared to the last few) and I couldn't help but be amazed that I've seen many more impressive displays in the night sky, but this was the first time I'd ever seen these particular stars. It was quite a moment.

More of my students writing cute stuff:

I thought this was a good twist on a classic.
Very many, thank you. I have ALL of the boyfriends.

And this class must have been right before lunch (in my intro I say that I like baking):

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Today was a different day! I was dreading going to school and being bad at it again, but things changed. I don't know exactly what it was. Maybe it was going over respect and rules up front that made things easier, but they actually paid attention and got into it.

I also had lunch in the cafeteria and one of the other English teachers came and sat down and we chatted for ages. She's so great and she seems to be super open minded and just generally lovely. She never stops smiling and although she stumbles over her words sometimes, she carries on! I admire that so much!

That conversation made my day I think.

Also, this assortment of gorgeous questions:

And survey answers:
I'd just like to point out that the use of hangul here is genius. It is "ing".

Monday, March 4, 2013


Ohhhh man I came home feeling so dejected I ate a whole party mix packet.

It feels like my first day went pretty badly. I know I'm probably my own worst critic, but it was certainly not easy! The first class was so shy it was like pulling teeth, and then the second class was so rowdy I didn't know what to do.

Tomorrow better be easier!

Anyway, I met another teacher who is so great. She is the school counsellor and she can't wait to start the teachers class. Neither can I really. I think I'll enjoy it faaaaar more than the student classes if today is any indication.

I got the students to write down anonymous questions for me to answer, and these are some of the best so far:
This guy had an agenda I think.

And they also filled out surveys so I could approximate their level. Some of the finest:

So perfact!