Wednesday, December 31, 2014


What a way to end the year!

It started with a friend request from Ki Hong, and then a message from Ki Jung. It was so good to be in touch again and hear all about their lives! They seem so genuine and really lovely. I'm so, so pleased to have that contact again.

I have Rikus and his makgeolli to thank for it, too. If it wasn't for his sloppy messages to Ki Hong's Facebook page he'd never have found me.

But that wasn't all, because the whole day was building up to the much anticipated Y2K New Years party. And it was a great one!

People arrived before we were ready, I burned the popcorn, the balloons were near impossible to blow up, and we were just generally in a frantic rush up until go-time. But it all came together and it was a blast.

All the guests were New Philly church people and I knew most of them already from other things. I also had my friend-family at the core so it was great. I made some new friends, danced the night away, and had a lovely time.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I finally arrived in Incheon after quite a trek with all my bags. I was staying in Camesha's house while she's in Canada, and one night before the big NYE party.

It was so nice not to have any commitments for a day. There's a certain freedom in being in a foreign home, all alone. And her's is a particularly good one. It's so high-tech and beautiful.

I did some sock-slides down the hallway. She has a real life hallway! These things are very special when your whole life is spent in one room for two years.

I did pilates while the sun filtered through the blinds and people wandered by on the street six storeys below.

What a contented day!

Monday, December 29, 2014


Chuncheon Dak Galbi day had finally arrived! Leslie and I set out early for the little city an hour and a half away, almost falling asleep on the train.

Some very nice old people less-than-delicately told us when to get off and all kinds of passengers started chiming in. We had no idea so many people were invested in our journey. It was truly a collaboration!

Of course, the spicy chicken dish was first on the cards when we arrived. We walked to the dakgalbi street and picked a restaurant. It was so much food! But it was delicious so we did a pretty solid job.

Then we found the big dam and took a lot of photos. We also walked up the steepest hill in the world and had to remove all of our layers in order to cool down. Good thing it was minus something so the process didn't take long.

We missed the last ferry across to another place, but I wasn't too gutted. We headed home feeling pretty happy.

We stopped for coffee at a cafe/pension and the lady let us use the toilet in this gorgeous room. The generosity of Koreans, especially in small towns is amazing.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


My lunch today was an affogato. I really didn't mind.

They are so amazing from this one place and they don't charge extra for a little kahlua on the side.

My word what a gamechanger.

Leslie and her brother, Josh were my company and the conversation went from sports to Alias. I found some more Alias fans, guys! Maybe they weren't quite as into it as me, but I gotta take what I can get!

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Today was also a tourist adventure. I met Leslie and her brother at Hongdae where we found a really cute hole-in-the-wall Hawaiian burger place. It was deeelish.

Then we had popsicles before going up Namsan mountain to see the sunset.

It was beautiful. Leslie and I climbed inside these stone barrel things and we felt very cool. Kids wanted to be us. Adults too. They copied our great idea.

Then I went to Aaron and Moe's to have a friend-family dinner and meet Somang, Moe's girlfriend. It was really lovely to be in someone's living space and just hang out. I really really appreciate those great people.

Keke looked homeless and she was a bit too good at acting.


Isn't it great to be pleasantly surprised by just a fantastic day.

I wasn't expecting it to be lame or anything, but I thought it may have had awkward parts as I met up with a family from church back in NZ. They were visiting family here and I know their daughter well from leading her at Kid's Church, but beyond pleasantries I had never really talked to Sung or Sora.

It turned out to be fantastic. They're such interesting people! They talked so objectively about Korea and it was so nice to feel Kiwi vibes from them. Also, Joabelle impressed me so much. We did a lot of walking around old houses and the palace. She was such a trooper. Not a word of complaint. She was happy just to follow and listen to us talk most of the time.

She is the same age as my third graders but she's so much more mature. She wanted to know all about my students and my life here. It really was very sweet.

This guy sketched on the wall.
I love the walls in Bukcheon


Christmas didn't end so well for one couple.