Sunday, November 30, 2014


I was standing behind two people silently communicating on the subway escalator this evening.

It wasn't one of those nauseating couples, either. It was two deaf people shaking each others' arms and gesturing to each other.

It was really beautiful to watch them giggling, rolling their eyes, and carrying out what would be a very normal conversation except that it was soundless.

I'm pretty sure they were talking about being drunk or how much they could drink. I'm no sign language master though.

I was on the way home from a lovely Thanksgiving evening:

Saturday, November 29, 2014


My drama club made me so proud today. We had so much fun practicing and performing our little Goldilocks and the Three Bears skits. I wish we'd had an audience.

I also wish I had spent more time finding roleplays for them to do all year. I thought it'd be too hard. Apparently not.

They were so cute. I wish I could show you the videos but alas, they are too long. All I have is this blurry photo.

Friday, November 28, 2014


A whole bunch of energetic fifth graders with all eyes on you can be pretty terrifying.  Even worse if their eyes aren't on you and if their mouths are all running at the same time.

Oh boy I was not looking forward to school today after a text from SuYun this morning saying she was too sick to come in.

I have five classes on Thursdays and they aren't the best behaved. Luckily the fourth grade teacher cancelled the worst, but I still had a pretty sub-par class.

It was followed by the best class in the world and I was completely on my own. The homeroom teacher didn't even come near the whole lesson. They were amazing. The elation I felt after that class carried me through the next one.

A good class can really make your day.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I did so much food preparation this evening, I feel amazing. I'm on top of lunches for the rest of the week and onwards.

The weird thing is all of this work goes into something that wont exist in a few days time. Food is so temporary. We eat it, transform it into energy, and then it's gone.

All that work. But not for nothing because it's my fuel. Such a strange concept. I wonder how much time in my life will be spent making food for me to consume.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Today one of my students ranted and raved at me. I couldn't figure out what she really hated so I stopped her to ask.

She replied "The man who started the 1, 2 Revolution. He was such a harsh guy!"

Turns out it was Hitler.

Good to know she doesn't condone what he did.

Made some radioactive aoli. It's yum!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


 Someone started a countdown on the office whiteboard and today it really shocked me.

I have 30 more days of proper school left. That includes weekends even, so it's much shorter.

One month.

It's so weird to flick through the textbooks and think about moving on to the last chapter very soon.

I can't believe how fast this year has gone. It really flew.

I'm all jumbled too. I love this place, but I also love New Zealand. I miss the beach, road trips, drinking tea on friend's couches, laughing about mutual jokes, and my beautiful family.

I still have three more months, and they shall be the best so far!

Sunday, November 23, 2014


This morning I awoke in a beautifully comfortable bed, feeling the perfect temperature. I drifted off back to sleep after noting how content I was.

What a beautiful way to start the day.

Kitchen of my dreams.


So it begins.


I made some new friends this evening at Camesha's mansion in Itaewon. It was so much fun. We played Head's Up, the paper game (thanks Amy), and Who, What, When, Where. I LOVE PLAYING GAMES.

I got far too into it like usual and intimidated all the people I had just met by my competitiveness. It's more fun that way.

But then everyone I didn't know well left and Camesha, Mariyah, Kek, and I got in our jammies, poured some more tea and settled in for a chat on her leather sofas (!!!). This was after we watched the new Beyonce video multiple times and practiced our twerking. Keke is queen.

It was so nice just to chat for hours with girls at a similar stage to me. Midnight tea is the best kind.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


I made the trek out to the airport this afternoon to meet Han and his folks. He kindly agreed to take a couple of my coats home for me, which I know is going to make all the difference when it comes time to lug everything with me.

It was great to see him, too. We spent his money buying gifts for Melinda, which was great fun. We must have walked the length of Incheon Airport a few times. I thought it'd be strange to see someone from home in such a random location for a random time frame. But it really wasn't. The airport could've been located in Auckland.

I got a taster of New Zealand and now I'm super pumped to be coming home in three short months(ish).

Han, did you get your teeth whitened while you were here?

Friday, November 21, 2014


Every morning the park by my house is covered in ginko tree leaves. The old men in the community take it upon themselves to sweep them up before most people are awake.

Luckily, I get to catch most of it some days.

It really is an Autumn Wonderland. Forget Winter!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


I finally found a lovely Korean chingu! This evening she came to my house and we ate salad and ddeokbokki while we watched The Mindy Project. It was so nice to have a real Korean here.

After that, we walked along the stream to her place. Oh my it was so cosy. She sleeps on the floor on top of a heated mat. It's the best thing ever and I'm tempted to throw out my bed.

I got a little bit of apartment envy. Although more compact, she has a bigger kitchen, more cupboard space, a closed in shower, a view, and all the warm feelings in the world.

It was fun giggling on the cushions with her.

Isn't she the cutest with her glasses?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Today was a good day because my CSA boxes arrived. I got home to find my meat by my door, which was a relief because I had a very awkward conversation in Korean with the delivery man. He would say something, I would tell him I didn't understand, he would tell me something else, once again I said I didn't know.

So I was very happy that it had all worked out.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically I pay a load of money and they deliver a box of seasonal, organic veggies and a chunk of good quality meat. It's all locally produced, so it's very Korean.

I'm scratching my head over what to do with a massive radish, cabbage, and sunchokes. Ideas?

Sue and I were unintentional twins today. So cute.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Today was not Jungjin's day. The poor thing was in tears after a terrible sixth grade class. Kids can be monsters sometimes.

Anyway, she was taking it out on the vacuum cleaner because we were all trying to detect where the terrible smell in the office was coming from. After cleaning it was still around. We were litterally sniffing it out when Jungjin found a bottle of milk on her desk that looked pretty scary.

She got it over to the sink before it exploded all over her. Poor thing was covered in rotten milk and she smelled like a cocktail of vomit, dog poo, and ginko fruit.

Despite all this she was laughing and cracking us up all afternoon. She's a bright spark indeed.

They just love singing. The questions was, "Do you like banana soup?"

Monday, November 17, 2014


I love waking up in Jess's bed. Not in a weird way. It just feels like a real bed. It's a warm, soft double bed in an actual bedroom. All of those qualities my bed does not have.

To make things even better, she made me coffee and cooked me an elaborate and delicious breakfast.

I was very spoilt indeed.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Kyrios Conference today was blooming fantastic. I just love the preaching I'm hearing these days in Korea. It's so full of grace. There's no brimstone, only ridiculous love for people who don't deserve it.

When it comes down to it, that's the only thing that really motivates me anyway. I can try do all this stuff and I put my relationship with God into formulas such as the hours I spend reading the bible multiplied by the minutes in prayer.

That only makes me tired.

Good thing I got an energy boost by listening to the gospels in a really meaty way with loads of fresh analogies. It was the Paleo gospel I guess. Lots to chew on.

I also played Cluedo and that's always a great time.

Dongshin just feels like family. What a great place to be.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


I ran out of school a few minutes early today, feeling like a complete badass, making it past the principal's office like James Bond. Perhaps it was cooler in my head.

But I made it to the train station to hop on my way to see Lucy. I really enjoyed the journey this time. I paid an arm and a leg involuntarily for first class, but it was lovely. The extra space made all the reading so comfortable. I even thought I could've stayed on longer. Normally I hate transportation time.

I got to the perfect place in my book, too! Nearly finished. Some to save for tomorrow.

This packet of Korean grape juice took me right back to stealing the communion juice. So delish.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Sarah and I visited the big Rubber Ducky this evening. It was freezing cold. We could only stand to click the shutter a few times before running off indoors for the Heat-tech sale.

It was cute though and I love that it's floated all around the world (not really). But it has visited a lot of cities. I wonder how many pairs of eyes have looked at it over the years.

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Today is Wednesday. On Sunday I embarked on my journey through The Mindy Project. I have arrived three days later at episode 8 of Season 3.

She is tragically relatable. I was in stitches at times. One of the best shows.

Go watch it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014



Today is the first of many couple days over the next few months. On this particular one, the Pepero company has cashed in on the fact their chocolate coated cookie sticks look like the number one by marketing that if you love your girlfriend then you absolutely must buy her a whole load of Pepero on 11.11. Very cunning.

Also, in class today, one of my gorgeous fourth graders was getting very agitated by the tune and speed of the song in class. After showing the video and having her class try sing along, which wasn't working out very well, she pulls her hands off her ears and shouts, "THIS IS A USELESS MATTER!"

It really cracked me up. She's always bursting out with the most obscure English phrases.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Tonight I had impromptu galbi tang (short rib stew) with Suyun on my way home from school. It was a hot meal that I didn't have to cook to warm the cockles.

It was great to get one on one time with her outside school. I really like her a lot.

I set her up with Janet to possibly adopt Boppy, Jan's dog. I hope it works out. It'd be a strange connection, but I'd love it.

A breakfast fit for a Monday morning.

Monday, November 10, 2014


After church, Joanna, Jess and I got a bite to eat from Cafe Mama's (once again) and it was incredibly refreshing. Jo and I just have a whole lot of shared experiences and mutual acquaintances. It's really nice when you're in a foreign country, to share things from many years ago with someone who completely gets it because they were there too.

We even regaled Primal stories and connected the dots between who we knew and didn't know.

She's a great one.

Doesn't this look amazing? It was.

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I danced the night away in Seoul for the first time ever. It was so much fun!

Alex had heard about a couple of places to go so we dolled ourselves up after dinner (boerewors and lamb chops that were absolutely out of this world).

I forgot how good it is to go out for a wee dance every so often. The first place we went was called Ska Bar. Contrary to the name, they played mostly old school RnB, which was absolutely perfect. Camesha taught me some great moves and I felt incredibly white.

The bar tender had some wicked hips that did not lie! He kept making the doorman feel uncomfortable by the way he'd approach, shake his booty for a bit and then strut away. It really was quite fun, especially because I was shadowing him in the background.

We went to a couple of other places after that, each with their funny moments. Notably, Jess got her arms flailed around by a guy with the best intentions. It was hilarious.

The Dinner Clan

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Today was Suyun's birthday so we went out to Cafe Mama's for dinner. It was so good. I had my usual pumpkin salad and was in food heaven.

It was chilly but we sat outside with heaters and blankets, munching on good food and laughing together.

I know I'm so lucky to work with these beautiful ladies. It's a rarity in any job, so I feel completely blessed by their openness and willingness to speak English with me. I know it must be the last thing they want on a Friday night after teaching it for the whole week.

Friday, November 7, 2014


My iHerb package arrived today with a whole lot of spices and ingredients I've been looking forward to.

Sue got so intrigued on the walk home that we stopped at an outdoor cafe table, ripped the box open, and she inspected it all. It was very cute.

Packages are the best, even if you order them yourself.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I have some very cute coworkers. They just brighten up my day without even trying.

We had a spontaneous photo shoot in the corridor after lunch.

How wonderful.

Also, they told me I look like Nicole Kidman and I'm not going to argue with that.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


I looked up from my meatballs to catch Si Hoon scuffling past me at top speed. He saw I had caught him and let out a yelp. He swung back around for some friendly banter.

After a few less-than-subtle hints that he, too enjoyed meatballs, I glanced in each direction to make sure the tattle-taling girls were nowhere to be seen before breaking some off for him to try. 

He exclaimed that it was really delicious and I was quite chuffed. 

Koreans are really onto something when it comes to sharing food. All my life I've been a selfish hoarder, thinking what's mine should be mine. But this exercise taught me that there is so much joy in allowing others to join in what's yours, even if it's a tiny sliver of meatball.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


I can embarrass my brother in this post because he never reads my blog. It's a great tool.

I was Skyping Mum and Dad as per usual this evening when my brother walked into the kitchen and took Mum's spot at the computer. He was armed with his guitar and we had some jams. I know it must have been annoying his end because of the lag, but he soldiered on for a good while.

I know he wanted to see me because even once Mum and Dad went to bed, he wouldn't let me go. There was always one more thing to show me or to have me listen to or to talk about. It was very sweet.

It ended with him making a fool of me on social media, but I did kind of set myself up for it.

This was a great concept, however the sweet potato could never replace a soft, white bread roll to encase my boerwors.

Monday, November 3, 2014


I woke up very late today and decided to forego church in favour of a Lizzie Bennet Diaries marathon.

It was worth it.

I also ate this at the same time. Yup. Worth it.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


Mariyah and I ruined Moe's birthday surprise this evening when we managed to bump into him and Aaron on the way to the restaurant. Oops.

Despite the shaky start, we had an awesome evening. We walked to Hapjeong for some dinner and along the way I chatted to one Korean/American girl who did YWAM in Tonga. Weirdest thing. But it made me happy even though she couldn't say anything in the language.

After dinner, the group stripped back to the original faves plus Bunny, Keke's South African friend, and she was hilarious. Such a delight. We went to a classy jazz place and chatted and laughed at Bunny.

The boys went home and us girl talked for hours more at my new favourite bar, the Bali Superstore. It was sooooo hip, but also grungy in the best way. We started requesting songs and Glamorous Indie Rock'n'roll made my night.

You know when the conditions are just right. You've got your people, your conversation, your beverage, your atmosphere, and of course, your tune.

The donut cake

Love affair with a hamster