Sunday, June 30, 2013


While I sat on the bus to church my mood got fouler as the journey went on. It started alright because a fresh wave of AC hit me as I stepped on, but then I kept thinking about the state of my apartment and I could feel frown lines get deeper the more I dwelt on it.

You see, this morning I found a sneeky bit of mold on my headboard and I wiped it off but then it plagued me. What if the mold was coming from behind? I decided to take my bed apart and check. What I found was horrible. Mold carpeted the wall, the back of the headboard, even under the wooden panels on the base. It was a situation.

I got out the rubber gloves and vinegar and gave it a good dousing. I tried to wet it first, but I could see spores fly into the air when I wiped it. SPORES. Just such a gross word. Now they're inside me.

I decided I better make a thorough job of it and pulled out my wardrobe and the shelves. Behind the wardrobe there was a bit of fuzz, but oh man the shelves. Carpet again. And it has ruined the wallpaper. It smelt so bad and it wouldn't go away.

So you can understand why I was feeling pretty unimpressed with my day. As I sat there a thought crossed my mind that I really need to worship today. Part of my bad mood was because I had missed my bus so I might not make it to church in time for practice, which means I would let Mo down, and I really wanted to do it. When I feel the grossest, that is when worship means the most and when I know how much I need to assert God for who he is. He has blessed me with so much, and I can deal with a little mold.

It might seem very silly, but it was good to be reminded like that.

After church we went to a park and ate food together. It was so nice. I met a new girl from SA and she was very cool. I hope she comes again.

People also kept complimenting me on my singing today. Apparently because of the mix and Mo's voice, I came through very clearly. My reaction is always gratitude, but in my head I feel like they're just being nice or maybe they don't know much about music so can't tell how bad it is. But today there were so many and from people who know stuff so I couldn't completely disregard it. My theory is that to my ears it's not great, but God turns it into a pleasing sound to other people's. It's kinda like that time in the Bible with tongues. I hope he keeps it up!

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Jocelyn and Camesha

Mold has no chance

Saturday, June 29, 2013


I didn't realize how much I've missed children until I spent three hours teaching them this morning. I walked in the classroom armed with a lesson plan and powerpoint and they all became silent. I spent a few minutes loading it on the computer, not knowing how I would manage teaching primary kids when I'm so used to highschoolers, and when I stood to face them they were all looking at me with eager anticipation for what I would say.

I was stunned for a moment because usually in my classes I'm fighting for their attention.

I even got to sing a song, do some actions and they all loved it. Every single child got into it. I relaxed into kid-mode and we had a great, exaggerated time.

One girl appreciated her lollipop so much that she came and lingered around me after the class. As I was putting my bag on she bowed deeply and said thank you. So adorable. 

This is Orange Town

This dress was far too hot.

These are some knickers with built in bums

My outfit is very Korean

Cheese bagel and Korean study in the cute cafe - great Saturday night!

Friday, June 28, 2013


I have one student who is fluent in English. She spent 6years in China at an international school so she's pretty much perfect. I can speak to her just like I'm speaking to a native speaker. It's cool. She sort of feels like one of my Big Girls. It's just so natural.

After class she showed me how to get to this cool restaurant and we chatted for a bit. Plus she didn't sleep in class today! Hoorah!

After Korean class we went out for burritos and it was getting late by the time Dani and I left. It was really sweet cos Jon said he would text us to make sure we got home ok. Small acts of chivalry never go amiss.

Aaaahhhty phowtow

Took some cake for Dani in a great bag.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I started watching Monarch Of The Glen and it is so nostalgic for me. I remember watching it with mum and dad every week and absolutely getting into it. I can even recognise the characters and story lines.

I love checking in with Archie and the gang. The accents make it awesome, although Nicole's is still better. 

Another awesome thing about today was the watermelon Rebekah brought to my office. I ate so much of it in such a short time that I felt ill. But it was soooo gooooooooooooood!

"Spring is booby's season"


I got paid today and boy it felt good. I still have a bit of a residual knot in my stomach from the stress of being practically penniless for the last couple of weeks. It is not nice.

But it was super nice to buy groceries and have fruit in my bowl and a fully stocked fridge. 

At Emart I got a bit too excited and bought a few too many heavy items which made the journey home extremely difficult. My biceps were trembling and I was afraid the box would split by the time I got home. All was well and I made it in the end. 

However, when I got home and unloaded I couldn't bring my hands to my face. My arms had turned to jelly. I couldn't even eat the delicious grapes I had bought! 

It was torturous!

Today I clashed but I have no clothessssss

The grapes of wrath

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


This has been a Bae-filled week and I'm not complaining! I hung out with Chaejin tonight. We had an amazing dinner (my first 물냉면 in Korea) and then had coffee.

At first she was shy about English but then she got really fluent and we had lots of laughs.

She is such good fun, and so lovely! She came with me to different shops, looking for makeup and clothes. 

It's so cool that this is only the second time I've seen her but its just so easy to hang out, even with the language barrier. 

We decided that its like she is studying English while I study Korean. I learnt a new word: 답답하다 which means stuffy or the feeling when something is difficult to understand or portray. I love that there's no direct translation to English. Such fun!

Full of couples (and smartphones)

Some good legs (and terrible shoes) on the subway

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


This was another productive Monday. I made a decision to enter a ORY business plan into a competition. I know I won't win, but I may as well put it out there. Who knows who could read it!?

So even though I was crazy tired I went to a cute cafe and started the entry form. It was good to sip tea and make plans. Sarah also sent me a very helpful email and made me think a lot so I'm very grateful to her and all my friends who have listened and helped me so far. 

It really is a team effort!

The cafe was also a vintage store which means she is living my dream!

Monday, June 24, 2013


Tonight I came home from church and set about decorating my walls. I moved the bunting and stuck up letters, photos, and pictures I've accumulated since being in Korea. It's such a great collage of things that I love and I hope it keeps growing.  Please send me stuff (and the blu-tack to put it up: it's impossible to find here!).

I also Skyped Sarah which was an utter delight. I love her a lot. It was cool because her friend was there and we were being our usual crazy selves. I don't think about who I am when we hang out. It's just natural, so her roommate thought we were a bit weird. That's all good though.

It made me think how cool it is to have a friend from so long ago that has seen me change and grow and how easy it is just to be me with her. It's the kind of thing that no matter how quickly a friendship develops, you just can't muster that even in a few years. It's special.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


I had the loveliest brunch with a beautiful lady today. Michelle shouted me to delicious food, coffee, and company.

It really was a shame that I had to leave early because we were so good at chatting. I loved being able to talk about Korean culture with her because she is simultaneously an insider and outsider, having grown up in NZ. So I could say things I was finding interesting and she would not only agree but also tell me why it was like that. 

When we parted I felt so full of goodness!

I had the subway to myself and it was weird.

Yay Michelle!

Selfie for no other reason than I was bored. I am a true Korean now.

My burn today.

Delicious dinner with Nicole

Friday, June 21, 2013


Today I had that feeling people have told me about, the elation a teacher feels after  an unexpectedly good class.

Mine was the first period. I stopped the game, and within a few seconds there were 40 pairs of eyes looking at me expectantly, waiting for me to teach them some more. What!? They aren't even the best behaved class. Every person did the game. No one slept! And only about five didn't finish the exercises. I was impressed to say the least. 

The next class was rowdier, but boy they were funny. They wanted to compliment each others' panties, boobs, and ability to drink. 

During the exercise where they had to give each other compliments, one girl approached her friend with a cheeky grin, said her name, looked her up and down, said "never mind!" and then walked off. It was a riot! 

I also saw one boy at a table, giving out compliments with as much charm as he could muster as girls crowded around him, giggling. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I was hungry tonight so I decided to try a yeastless bread recipe. Unfortunately it did not turn out as well as I had hoped.

It was basically one big wheaty scone. So dense and so crumbly. But while it was hot I put honey and jam on a couple of slices which made it palatable. It absorbed it right up like a sponge. I don't even know how.

Tomorrow I bet it'll be rock solid and not very tasty. I won't be bookmarking that recipe!

I burnt myself even.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Tonight I went to Dani's for dinner and she made quinoa and veggies. It tasted so good and reminded of cooking with Lucy.

It was nice to have a different taste of home and those memories. She also made it perfectly, a feat I have never managed. 

There's an apricot orchard on my way home and it's so tempting to eat them!


Today we all just melted. Even in my morning classes the students were wilting. I had sweat on my back, and the air-con was only heating things up. Who set's an AC system to 28 degrees!!!??

Anyway, we all did ok in the end, but I already dislike monsoon season. Everything is sticky and hot. One girl didn't believe that I had opened the windows in the classroom so I went up to all of them and stuck my arm out to prove I wasn't mad.

What I did enjoy was the rain. I loved waking up and hearing it outside. It's such a universal sound. I hear it the same at home as I do here. It reminds me of the verse that says God causes rain to fall on everyone in the world. There are some aspects of life that unite the whole of humanity.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I was looking forward to today. I had no classes because the second graders are camping until Thursday. It's a chilled week.

I put my productive hat on though and did a whole lot of lesson planning. It feels so good to be ahead for once! I also wrote and posted some letters, finished blogging, and made some space on my hard drive. 

I had a wonderful chat with Mum on Facetime after school which involved a whole lot of silliness and eating pumpkin that was far too hot.

I then continued the productivity by meeting Dani at Cafe SO:L to work on my business model for ORY. Finally! She's so encouraging and full of good ideas. I've really been procrastinating this because I feel so pressured. It's almost as if I do this part wrong, it will all fall apart. But with her help I feel more able. Hooray for friendsI almost finished a complete draft, and I have my next move in line!

Aaaand great cafes! We got free coffee (at 10pm!!) and chips.

I also did something very stupid. The time was ticking and my bladder was filling up. The rooibos tea was really doing a good job of running it's course through my body and was looking for an escape. I hate public toilets at the best of times, so I had been putting off asking for the key.

As he was leading me down a dark alleyway to a locked door, I was thankful for the lack of light to show me how filthy everything was. I could make out the outlines of crusted grease around the light switch and handle as I unlocked the door and to my horror, it was Korean-style in every cubicle. Not a throne to be seen!

I made a split-second decision and took off running. I ran down the alley, out onto the road and all the way to my apartment which is a few blocks and traffic lights away. Well, almost all the way. As I was about to reach my door I realized I had left my house key in my bag back in the cafe. I had already been gone a suspicious amount of time for a little pee-relief, so I sprinted back, handed over the key, sat down, and crossed my legs.

It was mere minutes later that the kind man plonked a free coffee in front of me. That was definitely pushing it.

You'll be glad to know that I made it home a little while later due to fantastic self-control and distraction tactics. It was the best pee I've had in a long time.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Walking to the subway this morning was remarkable.

It was the perfect temperature, I could feel the sun on my back, and I was so clean. 

It was just a beautiful combination of feelings that made me feel so content in that moment.


Saturday, June 15, 2013


This morning I was feeling weird. My tummy was less than settled. Maybe it was the greasy food Dani and I ate last night, but it's ok because I drank some peppermint tea and made myself harden up.

I cleaned all morning and after I finished the dishes and wiped down the bench, my last chore, I actually grinned to myself and let out an audible sigh. It was just so nice to be in a clean environment again. I watch as the week goes by and the state of it all diminishes until Saturday, my cleaning day comes around. It's a good routine.

I stepped outside to meet Nicole for the food expo and woah! It was hot. It hit me like a wall and I was perspiring after five minutes. The air is just so thick and warm. It's like being wrapped in a blanket but also trying to stuff it down your throat.

The expo was cute. Not enough free food. I had free wine and makgeolli though which was alright. The food did look pretty amazing. Many, many hours must have gone into the displays.

We met Lucy and went back to Nicole's to eat pizza and chat. I really enjoyed it. Her apartment is really nice and the pizza was so delicious. We ate a family sized one between us. It was like an American movie. So massive.

Lucy and I were very silly right before sleep time. It was so hot, so let's blame the heat. She started throwing out a random animal or object and then imitating it using her body. Banana was a personal favourite. We were entertained for a very long time and in fits of giggles. It felt like a real deal slumber party.

Ramyeon wall

There were the most intricate desserts.


Like my cake for my birthday!

Friday, June 14, 2013


After Korean class, Dani and I came back to Gaksan and got ourselves some food from a restaurant close by. We were talking about life and I told her all about my website idea for ORY.

I've been feeling guilty lately because I haven't done a thing on it since coming to Korea. Just recently it keeps plaguing my mind and I think God is gently nudging me not to give up. The next couple of steps feel scary, like if I stuff them up the whole thing won't work out. That's not a good way to be thinking though.

Anyway, Dani was so encouraging and she got excited about it as I blabbed for ages about every detail. It was so good to tell someone the vision for it and be able to watch as she caught it. I was so humbled by her reaction, and even her willingness to sit and listen to my dreams and promise to keep me motivated to achieve it.

I really am glad that our paths have crossed!

A lovely message from a lovely teacher today.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Today I was so impressed by my classes. I started the lesson by reminding them that I didn't see them last week so today we would have to do two lessons in one. I tried to pump them up and I used some Kid's Church tactics. The "turn on your ears, and turn off your mouths," actually worked! Maybe 16 year olds aren't too cool after all.

Even my most challenging classes did an awesome job of keeping focused. They stayed engaged because we were moving fast and because I kept challenging them. Very impressive. We got to play the squirty game for even longer than some of my other classes that didn't have to do so much content.

It made me think that maybe I have been underestimating my students a bit, or just not keeping things moving enough. They switch off so quickly that maybe I need to push them through things at a faster pace.

There's nothing worse than dragging a lesson out to fit the time.

I went to see an open class in this really poor area today. It was the ghettofarm.

I'm feeling productive. I've got so many letters done!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


The first graders went to see a musical this afternoon and I got to go along with them. The general consensus was that it was pretty bad.

The one woman absolutely massacred Memory and You Raise Me Up. I couldn't hardly understand a word and it was just the wrong style of song for her voice. Give her Nessun Dorma or something, anything else!

But it was still fun to be away from school and I got to talk to another teacher I'd never really met before. She reluctantly gave me a lift back to school after and I thought it was going to be crazy awkward, just us in the car but actually her English was impressive and she told me all about travelling through Europe with her friends. I really liked her. Now I hope she won't be shy to speak English to me.

I want to go to this. I don't really know what it means though.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


This morning instead of my first class, I went to watch a few skits performed by some second graders. It was really cute because one boy came to the classroom early and didn't know about the skits. When my teacher told him, he insisted I come too and almost wouldn't leave until we were following him to the auditorium. I assured him I'd be watching too and he nodded his assent before leaving.

The skits were hilarious. Most of the time I did not have a clue what the heck was going on, but it was obvious when to laugh, and I generally followed the lead of the crowd. Much genuine laughter happened, like when one girl was supposed to have given birth came on stage with her shirt still stuffed. Her 'husband' pointed, and said something to her and she looked down in horror before rushing behind the curtain and returning with a completely flat stomach.

They're a bit of a handful, those students but it's the cheekiest that performed the best.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Today I had a blast shooting my students with the water gun. We're playing a fun game at the end of each class to do with superlatives, and I get to squirt them if they guess wrong.

Some classes got really into it and when I let the boys have the gun to shoot the losers, they were hilarious! They took forever to aim and fire, acting as if it were a sniper rifle.

I wish the whole lesson could be so fun every day.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Dani came over this evening and helped me finish my lasagne while we watched a movie. Drive is a vicious film! I was not expecting that! It was good though.

Afterwards we did some yoga and then the 7min workout. It was great fun doing exercise together. 

She loves the yoga and I love the 7 minutes so we encourage each other. This must become a regular thing!

I was wearing a great cardi/necklace combo today. Yay Cheek Pinchy!

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Today was the first Saturday to myself in about 2 months. I decided to spend it in another world, reading the day away. I have such lofty dreams!

I set out to find a library, and walked a very long way to the first one, discovered it wasn't right, then walked further to the only English one in Daegu.

The lady there was lovely. Her English was perfect and she told me I was first foreigner ever to visit. It hasn't been open that long though.

It was so new that they don't have a system for borrowing books yet so I just stayed and read some short stories on the uncomfortable chair. I did get a membership card so now I'm all official. 

I read a collection of stories by Oscar Wilde that almost moved me to tears amongst the children screaming and running about around me.

I walked to Buy The Book and bought one to read. It's the perfect atmosphere for a Saturday reading session. I reclined on the couch in the corner and put my feet up on a chair. I'm pretty sure they Wouldn't have minded if I lay down and took a nap for a while. 

It's a Saturday worth repeating.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Oh my word, Dani and I got lost again on the way to Korean! Will there ever be one week where we take a direct route!?

Despite the trek, class was awesome. Our usual teacher was sick so we joined another class and the new teacher could speak English pretty well so it made things a whole lot easier. I was totally teacher's pet because I just loved all of the grammar she was teaching us. Grammar makes language make sense. It all clicks when you know the rules!

Oh and after class we went for a quick, cheap dinner and found an awesome donkatsu restaurant. That first bite transported me back to orientation when we had it a couple of times. It's one of my favourite flavour combinations. Ahhh so good!

Best icecream in the heat of the sun. Tasted like a calci-yum.


DDR after class. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Nicole and I decided to make the most of our holiday and go to Suseong Lake.

Unfortunately there were giant sheets of metal up around half of it and it wasn't very visible but we took a stroll in the heat of the day and happened upon a very run-down little theme park. Everything could have done with a lick of paint and some garden shears. It was almost haunting.

The robotic animals which were rhythmically dragging children around in little carts were genuinely terrifying.

It was so surreal and creepy. It belonged in a Tim Burton film.

We walked to the other side of the lake and watched people on their swan boats as we chatted about younger siblings (shout out to Daniel!) and how great it is to be the bossy one.

It was a very nice day. I drank too many beverages though and my stomach wanted to explode. I never learn!

I caught the bus in the wrong direction home and went right up to the border of Daegu in the North. It was a really nice, airconditioned ride though and I ready so much of my book that I finished it when I got home! Turns out The Curious Incident Of the Dog In the Nighttime gets good about halfway through.

Anyway, I ate some kimbap and then met Dani for yoga class but it wasn't on so I went for a run instead. I was dead after 5 minutes which was not surprising, but also very upsetting. I did my 7 minute workout, had a shower, finished my book and felt good about life.

Where's Barney?

Some Engrish

Creepy robot toys

I hope they were friends