Wednesday, July 31, 2013


A few students came in to my office three times today! The first time one of them had a pile of  goodies for me including a whole lot of info about Korea, a map, and a whole lot of photos about TOP because I told her yesterday that I love him. It was such a cute gesture!

The second time they came in just for a chat between classes and I'm pretty sure they sneakily stayed way too long. At lunch when they came back we had some laughs and they definitely were far too late for class. After the bell rang they kept chatting and I asked if they should be going. The one girl, with a glint in her eye, said, "Teacher, it's ok! We can stay!" And then a few minutes later when I asked again, she said, "Teacher! 4 minutes. It's ok!"

Who am I to deprive them of my company!?

I played board games with church people tonight and afterwards I told Christine my idea for ORY over frozen yoghurt. It was exciting all over again, just to explain it to someone. And she had some great advice too that I hadn't thought of before. I really appreciated her input. And the relator in me loved sharing!

Soon the whole world will know about this and someone will just have to help me!

I had a blood test today. I hate being jabbed!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


After an awesome Skype to Von, in which we vowed to get YouTube famous, I went off to Emart to purchase a tripod with determination and a bounce in my step.

I opened my door to see a radioactive orange sky that was painting everything gold. It was so amazing that people were on the street staring at it.

A rainbow was poking through some buildings so I stopped to take a photo. A second after it captured, lightning crawled through the sky and across my phone screen. It was so quick I hardly believed it, but it was so vivid I couldn't have imagined it.

Confirmation came a few seconds later with thunder so angry I thought maybe Kim Jong Un had made good on his promise and was ending us all.

I ran home to get my camera before the rain started pelting. I made it out in time to take some lame shots and then run back inside while I was mostly dry.

I wish a photograph could capture amazing moments like this, but I'm so glad I've got my memory and this blog to document it.

"The Miranda"
The Von

The rainbow - faint, I know

Also today I received an amazing package from Amy! It was full of so many things I love including a poetry book, chocolate, delicious licorice fudgey stuff (seriously, it was incredible), Eclipse gum, and crazy teas!

I had the lemon meringue pie one and it was so delicious! Wow.


Another awkward experience happened while waiting for the subway today.

I sat down on a bench and the girl next to me shifted over. Then she shot me a sideways glance. Unsatisfied, she bent forward and across to get a good low angle perspective. Still not sure, she stood up and faced me for a few seconds before addressing me in Korean. 

I pulled out my best phrase, "I don't speak Korean very well" but she ignored it and carried on. I picked up a few things including 미국 사람 and whipped out my second most-used sentence, "No I'm not from America, I'm from New Zealand". It wasn't my best, but I could tell she understood by the way she visibly deflated. 

Again, she asked questions, pointing to her head. I thought I heard "water," "what," and "where," but I couldn't be sure so I said my third best sentence, "I'm an English teacher". 

It registered and after a pause she earnestly asked me something that must have been important because when I assured her I didn't understand she got up and approached an older lady to come help. 

Her way of helping was to phrase the Korean sentences differently and smile at me. 

I used my first best sentence again and she just carried on. 

After hand waving, "I don't know"s and various perplexed facial expressions, she asked me if I felt frustrated because I couldn't communicate. I recognised the 땁땁해요 thanks to Chaejin. 

At that moment the subway came to my rescue. I was sweating and red-faced by this stage. 

It was a hilarious and endearing interaction. How it started is my favourite part.

Brad was just chillin on my door when I got back from lunch.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Dani and I had such an adventure this afternoon. First, we met at Beomeo station for the art festival. It was cute and there were kids everywhere, but the art was underwhelming. We did get coffee from a cute guy, and witnessed a toddler climb over a barrier and play with a little duck that was part of an installation. He was such a badass. He was so determined. His father's verbal and even physical attempts to stop him did not deter him from touching that duck!

After the art, I suggested we go to this restaurant outside of Daegu, only I wasn't exactly sure where or what it was called. A student had just told me about it. 

While on the subway to a stop we weren't completely sure was right, I found the website I had been looking for. Phew!

We found our way to the CW- Cinema World. It was flash! And good. Expensive, even by NZ standards. But it felt great to feel a bit fancy and drink nice wine. 

Afterwards we went up to the gallery. It was full of movie figurines. From Star Wars to Disney princesses, it was all there. Mostly Iron Man and superheroes, but it was still cool to look around. 

We then went down to the stream and walked along the big rocks to the other side. It was so still that the light made a beautiful reflection as they danced on the water. I wished I had brought my camera. There will have to be a next time. 

On the way back we were talking about books we love and Dani mentioned The Picture Of Dorian Gray. Mentally I added it to my list, so when I got to the bookshop downtown and they were about to close, it was the first book I said to the woman. I knew trying to find anything among those shelves in the few minutes she had graciously given me was a near impossible task. Surprisingly, she knew exactly where it was and I bought it as she was turning out the lights. 

It was a very fortunate ending to the day and I'm so excited to start reading!

Saturday, July 27, 2013


I fiiiiinally finished Monarch Of The Glen. It felt a bit like finishing a marathon and I do feel a sense of accomplishment in a weird way. It's been a long haul, but so, so worth it. I'm definitely happy to put the woes of the family MacDonald of Glenbogle to rest though.

Today I also convinced myself to roll out my yoga mat and do some exercise again. I've been so slack, but it felt so good! Why do I always procrastinate it when I do enjoy it!? Human beings are weird.

In a bid of health I decided to make veges galore for dinner

These facemasks are the most flattering thing.


All day I was looking forward to delicious curry at Maya and catching up with people I hadn't seen for months. I was starving by the time came for dinner which made it all the more delicious. Ahhh it's the one place that does good Indian in Daegu it seems.

It was great to see a lot of people I hadn't seen in ages. They're a good bunch and always fun.

After dinner we parted ways and Dani and I went to the little bar we had found last time in the area and had a wine cooler. Delicious! And the waitress was so cute. We wanted to hang out with her but thought it'd be a bit weird.


Friday, July 26, 2013


Tonight I had dinner with the lovely Nicole! It was so nice to see her friendly face, and what a cute one she has!

We went to Poom, a niceish restaurant downtown with some attractive waiters and were given far too much food.

Here's the order of events:

Waiter: Servicee (he places down bread and dips on the table)

Us: Oh, thank you! (gladly tuck in)

Waiter: Your food (gives us our meals, side dishes of salad and of course, pickles)

Us: Yum! (hardly take a bite before the waiter is back)

Waiter: Servicee (shyly places french fries on our table)

Us: Oh, thank you! (grinning at each other cos he was cute)

Then we eat our meals and become very, very full.

Waiter: What would you like for dessert?

Us: Nothing, thanks. We are fine.

Waiter: It's free. What do you want? (obviously, not going to take no as an answer)

Us: Oh, ok.  I guess ice cream is ok. Just one. We will share.

Waiter: Here are your desserts (gives us each a big cup full of ice cream, cornflakes, and crackers)

Us: Oh man I'm full. I can't do this.

Waiter: Servicee (puts cake on the table and runs away before we can refuse)


I ninetiesed it up

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Shannah came over tonight and we watched a movie and grappled with the complexities of the male species and her poor heart.

It was really nice to be there for her, even though I felt I didn't have much to contribute at all. I think it helped that she could just hang out and unload.

No matter how awkward I feel, and out of my depth, I am learning a lot about loving people in this fine country.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Sneaking out of school feels so terrible that I'm not sure it's worth it. I feel like I'm escaping from jail, especially because half of the carpark is cordoned off to prevent it.

No other teachers leave for lunch, although there are only a handful at school.

I will not be bound to my desk though! Not when delicious food and iced beverages are mere meters away. And Dani's company as we tick off restaurants and dishes in our neighbourhood we've been meaning to try.

The walking out of school is far easier than walking back in, hoping that lunch is over and everyone is inside away from the windows. Today I was stopped by the gatekeeper, an elderly man who beckoned me over.

He said something about lunch and then pointed at the cafeteria. I said "no", hoping he asked me if I ate at school. He then went on to say something else until he registered my confused face. He broke into a grin and waved me inside. I take that as certainly not permission, but a kind of "stuff it, she can't understand anyway" attitude to me leaving.

I guess I can't even get into that much trouble anyway because I won't understand when they tell me off.

I made this scroggin for school and it's so good!

Monday, July 22, 2013


I saw my line friends tonight! I met a Finnish girl and her Korean boyfriend while we waited for the Simon and Martina photo booth a few weekends ago in Seoul.

She is about to go home so they're doing some travelling and stopped in liytle old Daegu for a visit!

It felt so great to have visitors from within Korea who weren't even teaching here. I made friends all by myself!

We had a great time. We ate yum food and looked around downtown before they had to get on a train to Busan. 

I hope that one day, somewhere in the world I will get the chance to see them again. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Another good sleep at Lucy's and a morning full of laughter and good music made a perfect start to a lazy Sunday in the Joch.

I was planning to go home at 2:49 but we were having too many good chats at the cafe so I chose to go later. When Lucy suggested I stayed longer I felt so happy! I jumped at the chance and we hung out around the market and ate kimbap. 

The kimbap lady was so cute and she called us pretty as we left. They are even more stoked to see waygookins in the Joch. 

Lucy may be allergic to everything consumable so we decided to test the mango berry delight icecream from Baskin Robbins just in case it passed the test (it did not- she died just after I left). It was delicious while it lasted though. 

Parting was sad, but there's always Seoul in a couple weeks to look forward to! 

On the train I sat for most of the way and had some great chats on the handupone to while away the hours. Another ahjumma beckoned me to sit with her and I offered her some jelly beans. What a cutie. 

It has even one of my favourite weekends so far.

This couple matched everything.

Terrible selfie

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Happy birthday Apa! I had a great day in your honour.

It started waking up at a decent hour at Lucy's and making my way to Seoul. I thought it'd be a mad dash for the train but I was able to grab and consume a coffee, but my ticket, go to the loo, buy gum, and hang out for a few minutes before the train arrived. How nice!

On the way I had a fun game again of sitting in empty seats. I thought I'd be super late because of the train times and the subway, but I emerged at the exit only five minutes after our initial meeting time. Great success! 

Ahhh I was so happy to see Lara at the top of the stairs and Michelle moments later. We hopped in a taxi and went to ....... for .........  It was delicious! It was crazy cos the room we were in filled up with foreigners and it was so loud! 

We walked around the cute area a bit and I decided I like it even better than Hongdae! Lara was so lovely. She bought me some earrings from this gorgeous handmade jewellery shop. What an absolute treat! 

We met her friend at a really nice patbingsu cafe. Unfortunately she was an important lady in the police so she received a phone call soon after we arrived and had to go. People were protesting something! But she told me to get in touch if I need help finding a job in Seoul or need anything. Just lovely!

We then went around Insadong to this really cool building that has shops around the outside and the balcony spirals up on the inside so you walk past them all. People had drawn all over the walls so the building itself was kind of a never-ending work of art. It really was interesting. 

We wandered, all the while laughing and talking. Whenever I speak to Lara I am always learning new things about Korea or the world. She is just full of interesting anecdotes and tidbits.

She had an appointment so left Michelle and I to wander a bit and find the Coffee Prince cafe. We were trying to hold in our excitement as the taxi wound its way up the mountain. And we were almost overwhelmed as we looked around Han Seong's house, taking photos and recalling which scenes were shot where. She is almost as obsessed with it as I am so we had a great time. 

The view was incredible. There wre two mountains and a village in the foreground with Seoul city in the middle. We could see the 63 Building towering over everything else. 

I was snapchatting while Michelle went to get our drinks and a lady at the next table laughed at my expression and offered to take my photo. Sheepishly I declined. 

After that we walked through Namdaemun on our way too Seoul Station. It was a quick KFC dinner before I ran to the tracks with moments to spare.

What an awesome day! And to top it off, I sat in a seat on the train and no one claimed it the whole way! Such luck!

Friday, July 19, 2013


Today was a great day! It was such a swine and I enjoyed every moment.

I woke up late, cleaned, de-molded, wrote letters, made potato bake, and was generally productive before 2pm came and I rushed off to the train station. 

There was only standing room left so the whole way to Lucy's was like a game. I sat down in an empty seat until someone kicke me out. I sat for most of the 2 1/2 hour trip. 

Seeing Lucy was awesome. It had been far too long. When I got there we had some coffee and the girls met us for dinner. It was amazing. Spicy chicken cooked like samgyupsal. 

We went back to Lucy's and played Catan. I won again!!! It makes me so happy, especially because I bragged a lot over text to Lucy that I would. 

Happiness and joy. Two Lucy's in one week! What did I do to deserve this!?

The ahjumma talking about me
This woman had the right idea

Thursday, July 18, 2013


PHEW! Last day over. And it went pretty well. I do love my students, especially when they tell me they love me and how much they'll miss me.

I went to the staff dinner after school which was pretty great. Free food usually is. Although, I was feeling fussy and they brought out so much seafood and pork! My two least favourites! Aigoo. 

But there was delicious pasta and a sweet potato pizza that was more like mashed kumara with cheese and toppings. A-mazing invention, Korea. 

Dinner entertainment involved watching faces turn red as they all poured each other beer and having my hair touched by the teachers. I love their curiosity. It's so sweet.

Alysha sent me a card and a bow and it made my day completely.