Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Well, I think you're crazy.

Korean Tv commercials are hilarious ... here's one of my favourites (and it's sequel):

Won Cashing 1

Won Cashing 2

So bizarre, but hilarious.

Another one, with Lee Hyori, Korea's sweetheart. She is in about every second commercial!


Interpark 2

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting.

So, with a beach vacation looming, I've been on a real fitness kick lately.
I've been joining George at the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Gym that he goes to for weekly conditioning classes.
If you're interested in watching videos of what goes on at Korean Kartel Gym, check out the website! I'm in a bunch of videos under the conditioning section.

We've also done some good hiking around Busan the past 2 weekends. First was a hike from Beomeosa temple along the Geomjeong Fortress to the cable car in Oncheonjeong. The second started at Oncheongjeong station and went up the mountain, through Nam Moon Village and to Seokbulska, the stone temple. The weather has been perfect for hiking and I've found myself asking why I haven't done more hiking this year!

That's what I'm doin' these days.

January in Korea has been pretty uneventful.
Regular school hours do not apply - all schools have Winter Camp schedules.
For me that means 3 weeks of mornings-only. Can't complain about that. Although I am only teaching grades 1 and 2 ... I miss the kids who actually speak English! The positive is that I am home by early afternoon and have lots of time to exercise, read and just relax.
I have completed 2 weeks of camp, so after next week I am free. George finished his camp last week, so has been enjoying his time off. We only have one week of overlapping vacation, and have decided to visit Boracay, Philippines. A quick google image search will show you what we are in for. I can't wait!
The weather here has been very random, jumping from -1 to 16 in the space of a few days. On the coldest days it is absolutely freezing at school since windows and doors remain open, even though heaters are blasting. I can just hear my dad saying "Close that, we're not heating the great outdoors!"
The best thing about Busan's winter is that it is almost always sunny. We've only had about 2 or 3 rainy/cloudy days in January. This makes for some great conditions for outdoor exercise like jogging and hiking - both of which I've been doing a lot of!

Monday, January 4, 2010

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Christmas in Korea was different, but actually quite nice!

George and I went to Songjeong beach on Christmas Eve, and sat and enjoyed the view and the nice weather. After a Blowfish burger and a coffee date at Starbucks, we decided to hit the movies and see Avatar. Not very Christmas-y, I know, but an incredible movie anyways!

On Christmas Day we were awake by 8am (the latest I've ever woken up on Christmas), and opened presents and had a nice breakfast.
After a relaxing day we met up with our friends Cliff and Laura and went to a Christmas buffet dinner at the Grand Hotel in Haeundae. For 50, 000 won we had a choice of Western dishes like turkey and stuffing, seafood, all kinds of Asian fusion food, desserts, and best of all - wine! It was nice to dress up and enjoy a fancy dinner, and do something big and festive.

After dinner we met more friends at Blowfish for some Christmas drinks. It was an early night, but a surprisingly good Christmas away from home.

Some things that were very different from Christmas in Canada:
* It's more of a couples holiday here ... a big date night.
* All the kids at my school had to come in for a half day on CHRISTMAS EVE!! Madness! I let them listen to carols and make Christmas cards.
* Although Christmas is recognized, it's not celebrated in the same way that we're used to at home. Kids might get 1 small present, adults don't really exchange gifts, my principal was shocked that I gave her a Christmas card.
* While at home, everything is closed on Christmas, and people have big dinners with family, here it is a holiday to eat out with family, your significant other, or friends. It's also a big drinking holiday for expats and Koreans alike.

I had a nice Christmas here, thanks to gifts and decorations sent from home, skype calls to family, and my wonderful boyfriend and friends here in Korea. As good as it was, I never want to spend a Christmas away from home again!!!