Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

Well, it's almost Christmas in Korea ... 8 more days to be exact.
It's hard to be in the Christmas spirit when the temperature just dropped below zero for the first time, the sky is blue every day and there is no hope of snow.
It seems more like October in Canada...

I love Christmas, so I'm not letting the lack of snow ruin my holiday celebrations. Luckily, Christmas ornaments and decorations are easy to find here, so our apartment is decorated and looking great. I've finished all of my Christmas shopping (except for part of George's present), and we have holiday parties to look forward to. Tomorrow we are hosting a Christmas Sweater Party (a very important Laurier tradition), and on Monday I'm doing a Secret Santa gift exchange with some friends. We are also hoping to go skating on Christmas eve, to a fancy dinner at one of the beach-front hotels on Christmas day, and to some kind of Christmas concert or performance before then!
Even though I am missing snow, my family and friends, holiday parties, and all of the Christmas traditions at home, there is still enough to do here that I will have a nice (although very different) Christmas.

Last weekend we went to Seoul for an EPIK reunion. It was basically a big goodbye party for all of the teachers who have decided not to re-new their contracts, and more importantly, was a free weekend in Seoul!
We left Friday morning (another perk, missing a day of school) and arrived in Seoul before noon. There was enough time for a quick visit to Forever 21 before checking into our hotel. Although the majority of the rooms were updated and nice, George and I were stuck in an old, creepy and somewhat dirty room. Really the only negative part of the weekend.
On Friday we had some lectures, group discussions, and a talent show. After a steak and wine dinner (yummmm), we were taken to see JUMP!, a comic martial arts performance. I had already been lucky enough to see NANTA, so thought JUMP! was good, but not incredible. Those who hadn't seen NANTA really enjoyed it. I guess I'm just a spoiled brat!
On Friday night we went out in Seoul with our EPIK friends and some friends from home who teach around Seoul.
Saturday was spent at Kyongbuk palace, the Folk Museum of Korea, and a sea food buffet. (Again - transportation, hotel, tourism and meals were FREE. So lucky, right?)
After the reunion ended George and I decided to check out the Seoul Snow Jam. There was a big-air snowboard competition taking place in the middle of the city. Everything had been built for the one weekend, and was in a gorgeous location, with mountains as the back drop. It was also the most crowded place I've ever been, with just too many people to be really enjoyable. We managed to brave the crowds and the cold for about an hour, but that was all that I could handle.
I returned home with some friends on Saturday night and George stayed another night with his friends.
Overall it was a great weekend, Thank you EPIK!

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