#tbt The Night We Repped The LBC

For this #tbt (read: #throwbackthursday, read: flashback to days past), I’m going to visually recount when Joshy, Jee, Veny and I took our ghetto a$$e$ to see Snoop in Seoul, because, well, I realized I never repped him on the blog, and because it was super fun and it also wasn’t an epic bomb of a show like that time Collin and I thought we saw Gaga cover Gaga.

I realize this was pretty much almost a year ago next month, thus making it the perfect specimen for a flashy flashback.

We all got really super excited when we knew Snoop was coming.  There was the minor wonderment of how the man was going to enter the country under the influence, because you know he has to be, and there was no way he wasn’t going to be without it, but Korea is a druggless country. There was also the brief discussion of how we ourselves were going to get “lit”.

Joshua and I seriously looked up directions for how to smoke banana peels like a coupla hippies, but that turned up preposterous results, and work that proved to be far too extensive for an outcome that would not warrant our backbreaking labor over my measly toaster oven.

Guess we would just have to sip on dat gin (soju) n’ juice the old fashioned way while we got to work on our hand-crafted Olde English LBC represent costumerie. We kept in true Rastafarian color scheme to go along with his Snoop Lion-ness.

I would personally like to thank Itaewon’s skeezy scene for being a magical garden of glorious ghetto herb jewels!  Thank you for bedazzling our bosoms!

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After Snoopifying ourselves. Purple drank and a fat one.

Moving outdoors to some bars to get all hood and shit.

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Bad bitchez.

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Is this guy the biggest thug you ever did see or what? Livin dat THUGLYFE.

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The show was at Olympic Park Stadium, and once we got in, it felt so lax compared to concerts back home. I’m used to hardcore security at Staples Center where you cannot walk an inch without someone checking your ticket, but once we were inside, we were able to run down and we were on a lower platform just dancing and singing (screaming, let’s be honest, I lost my voice) the whole night with a slew of other people. It was bomb diggity.

We also made bets about what time and what song he was going to start with, and guess who was the lucky ducky?! That’d be moi! He kicked it off as Snoop Lion with his then-new “La La La” and after that he was Snoop Dogg for the rest of the show.

Everyone owed me a cocktail that I really did not need at that point in my life.

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In keeping with the theme of the evening, and because we wanted to try and stalk him and sneak into the after party with him and 2NE1, we went to every super gangsta bar in Itaewon. We ended up spending the bulk of our evening in Club Zion, which I deem the island bar because I like to imagine that’s what it’d feel like if you were on some sweaty island somewhere. I met a bald man named Herbert, and I will not be returning there again!

And no, we did not meet or get into any Snoop Doggy Dogg parties. But I know where to find all the Tanzanians if you’re looking.

All in all, it was an excellent show and we had SO much fun!

Always remember, WEST COAST IS THE BEST COAST!

Get Yo Retro On: Shindig & Gopchang Jeongol

I’d like to take a moment and highlight what I believe to be two of the greatest hidden treasures of the glorious Hongdae. For those who aren’t in the know, Hongdae is a very lively part of Seoul with a really great art university, and some of the cutest coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques around. It’s also where a lot of dignity goes to die every Friday and Saturday night at places like Zen 1 & 3, “The Park” and Papa or Mama Gorilla…. if you’re really feeling like making some mistakes.

Of course I love a good solid night of awful 1,500won tequila shooting and dancing to the same songs over and over again, weekend in and weekend out, but I do enjoy a change of pace every now and then.  Well, I recently discovered the bar Myoungwolgwan (MWG) which holds a Shindig night once a month, where all they play are tunes from the 50s and 60s. And let me tell you, that tiny little wood paneled bar gets all kinds of dirty dancing up in thurrrr! I don’t think I’ve had more fun during a night out in Hongdae than I have the past two times I’ve gone to Shindig! Hatches new visions of Richard Simmons’ sweatin to the oldies.

The first time I literally stumbled on it because my friend Dustin, who recently came back into town for the summer, had a friend DJ’ing. We went, we sang jovially, and we got way down with our bad selves.

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This last one in June was a Tiki/Beach theme (perfect opportunity to rock my dress adorned with palm trees), and was their first foray into live music with a girl group called The Barberettes, and a little Korean man who tried desperately to imitate Johnny Cash. They played some jams to kick off the night, and then the tunes started bumping and the dancing got underway!

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For those who are looking for a way to boogie down and can’t get enough oldies in their life, MWG’s Shindig is located just behind Hongdae Park. When you walk out past the bathrooms, keep going straight and pass Exit and it’s just past it with a lotus sign. It’s 8,000~10,000won cover, and that gets you a free beverage as well as lots of burned calories once you start shakin your groove thang.

My other favorite hidden gem of Hongdae is a poppin retro bar called Gopchang Jeongol.  Andria, Jee and I started our birthday celebration here earlier this year, since we are ajummas and all.  It was only suiting we spent an evening celebrating our long lives to the tune of Korean rock n roll from decades past.

This place has the coolest vibe and is decked out with hundreds of records, photos of old groups, vintage radios and clocks covering the walls.  Granted I can’t sing the songs that play because they’re all in Korean, but they still have that awesome oldies retro vibe that I totally crave in my life. But then there’s that glimmering moment when I recognize an American song redone in Korean and belt it out in my own English bubble. Assa!

This last time I went before Shindig with Josh, Andria and a few of Andria’s friends, for an evening of retro. There was this one table of 2 Korean couples who were so out-of-this-world jammin’ along to every song that came on.  They were having the best time (and as we found out later, smashed out of their minds!) At some point in the night, they got up and came over to our table, where Josh and I put on our ever-present dancing shoes, and started jumping and awkward dancing and singing right along with them.

Here we are all happy-faced out with our new friends of 15 minutes, before the girl in black irked Josh out and fell off her chair. Oopsie daisies!

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We have tried to find this place a few other times, and Josh and I always got lost.  But, should you chose to navigate Hongdae and treat yourself to a feel-good evening (which you totally should), here’s how to orient your internal compass. Go out exit 4 of Hongik Station and walk towards the main street.  Turn left down the street and make your first left. Keep going to the end of the road and take a left and walk until you come to a roundabout. Take the first right, and keep walking down that street until you almost come to the end of the road. It’ll be on your left down a little staircase. You have to order some food too, along with your drinks, but that’s pretty standard for most Korean bars/hofs.

I seriously hope you go, boogie down and enjoy both as much as I do!

Healing The World Thru MJ & ESL

There have been a couple times in my life when I quite vividly remember Michael Jackson songs leaving a feeling with me that so permanently stuck.  I’ll start with the second story first because it isn’t as applicable to this post as the first is. 

This was during my junior year of college during Fiesta weekend.  I drank too much of a bucket at Sharkeez, however I wasn’t even drunk, but felt absolutely sick so I was sitting down moping in the corner while everyone was dancing and having a great time.  BUT, the second “Billie Jean” came on, a fire was lit under my ass and I lept up and to the dance floor I went for a good 4 minutes of hardcore dancing….ultimately retiring to my nauseafest in the corner once the song concluded.  If only for those 4 minutes, thanks to the great MJ, my night was quite complete.  Ever since then, I cannot sit down during “Billie Jean.” IT IS MY JAM.

Now on to the first story.  When I was in 5th grade, the music teacher would come around to our classroom and  teach us songs once a week.  This one week we happened to learn “Heal the World.”  I instantly FELL IN LOVE with the song and all I remember trying to do that whole period was steal the lyric sheet that the teacher handed out to us.  Then when goody-two-shoes-ol-me was too scared to steal it, I began frantically trying to write down all the lyrics.  When that got to be too much, I finally ended up stealing the sheet.  Phew!  I was determined to learn that song! Essentially, I thought the song was so beautiful and fell in love with the power behind the words at such a young age, and it is a memory of a song I will never ever forget. 

Well, this past chapter with my 5th graders, Jin and I were teaching about “What a wonderful……”  She had taught them the song “What a Wonderful World” and thought it would also be really great to teach them about the differences the world over.  The poverty, the obesity, the riches, the diseases, the fighting, the different ethnicities, the different religions and skin colors, all co-exiting together.  This is so important, especially since Korea is such a homogenous society and many will never have the chance to leave, or may never choose to leave.  It was also really special to me to have the chance to teach it to them with Jin since I had first learned the song when I was their age and it had such a lasting impact on me. After watching the video with Korean translation, one of my students ran up to me asking if she could please have a lyrics sheet.  I instantly gave her a hug and it brought me right back to when I was her age scrambling to keep those lyrics for my own.  Major heart swell.

The irony in all this is that while teaching these children about healing the world, and while I was making this video, our neighbors up above are all consumed with blowing the world up.  Anyways, below is a video of the song project that they did. Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

And just for fun, because I’ve had a week FILLED will Michael Jackson love, here’s another video of two of my little nerds singing, and completely GETTIN DOWN with their bad selves, to “I’ll Be There” by The Jackson 5. 

With the 6th Graders we were learning “I will….” so we learned this song as a dictation exercise.  I caught the little guy on the right totally gettin all soulful in his seat all the way in the back, so I jokingly asked him if he wanted to come to the stage up front and perform for the class, and he gladly accepted my invitation!  John, on the left, is my favorite, super nerdy, computer programmer boyfriend. I love him more than words can say. Enjoy the comedy.  This has definitely been one of my teaching English in Korea highlights 🙂

 

Nothin like a lil MJ to unite the freakin world.

Gangnam Styleeee

I know this is a bit tardy, but I’ve been out of the country so I couldn’t inform you of this rage over in the East, but I still wanted to, so I’m doing it now.  This video is insane.  When Brianne and I were in Boracay it came on in one of the clubs we were in and everyone lost their SHIT.  She later asked me what it was….well, now here you go, m’lady.   I don’t really know why this song is everywhere, aside from that it’s KPOP and it’s awesomely awkward and entertaining.

In case you’re wondering, Gangnam is the really richy, fancy, well-to-do part of Seoul just south of the river where lots of plastic surgery happens, and “oppa” is what the Korean girls like to call older (young) men.  Usually using a very high pitched “cute” voice.

Enjoy the sexiness…

In other news, Philippines post to come soon-ish, and I think I will begin a “Photo-a-Day” portion of this blog starting when my 2nd contract begins next week 🙂

La Bamba Mi Papa

If I had to pick one song that will forever remind me of my dad it would be La Bamba.  Yes, La Bamba. When I was little Dani Tami sitting in the back seat of Papa Schaeff’s black Grand Marquis (later to be stolen) I used to request that La Bamba be played on repeat any and every time we were in the car. It was my favorite song.  My dad had a cassette tape that he used to play.  As soon as the song would finish I’d yell out “PLAY AGAIN!” and he would play it again…and again. I’m sure he hates the song now. However, if and whenever I do get married, I can guarantee there will be a jazzy father-daughter dance to La Bamba. I can’t wait.

Today is Father’s Day back home, so the spontaneous no 2nd period, no 3rd period and no 4th period, came as a pleasant surprise, and called for an earlier Skype call home to Papa Schaeff and the rest of the whack job Schaeffs! I’ve been kind of bad about talking to my dad this whole time that I’ve been abroad, so whenever we do talk it’s always a pretty long catch up sesh on the men (if any) in my life, where I’m traveling to next and where I want to go after, if I’m (still) sick, how the house is doing, what movies we’ve seen…. all while watching my dad make stupid faces and hold the camera so close to his face that I can see up his nose.

Let’s be honest, my dad is awesome in the cookiest way possible. They say that as women we typically tend to look for men who remind us of our father, or who have qualities that they possess.  I guess that is true, because no other man in the world would put me or my family before himself.  Who would work so damn hard that it stresses him out more than it should, but does it because he loves his kids and family more than anything in the world. So why wouldn’t we look for that? He may not be able to afford everything I’ve ever wanted in my Princess world, but fundamentally, the things that make me the person I am today definitely came from the kind of father that I grew up having.  We have our fair share of problems as a family (who doesn’t), but no matter what’s happened I’ve never once doubted the dedication my dad has to our family.  He (and his once-upon-a-time fro) truly are the best.

Some of my most favorite and fantastic stories while growing up are about my dad.  HELLO San Francisco China Town/Days Inn/15 seater van fiasco.  I think I said too much. But that story never EVER fails to make me die hysterically of laughter.  In short, I love Papa Schaeff so much and consider myself one lucky lass to be his daughter.  So now let’s take a little journey through the many hairstyles and wardrobes that make him so awesome.

Little Garry Schaeffer and my Grandma Janet and Grandpa Harry back in Pittsburgh.

He was so hip, and loved to draw cubes. On everything.

After driving a taxi in NYC and Chicago,  he embraced the fro, dropped an “R” in his name (why?!), moved to Hollywood and took some commercial head shots.

And some dramatic, pensive head shots.

Played a milkman.

And posed like this in front of cars that matched his pants.

Then in 1983 he met Mama Schaeff at a party. They did a silly little dance that sista and I like to imitate all.the.time, and 6 months later decided to get hitched in Vegas.  Here’s how the rest of his life has unfolded since having children and living in Los Angeles.

Aunt Ruby came to my tea party birthday party in 4th grade.  She ran around the tea party in jogging shorts and full make up and wig.

He took me toy shopping in the most stylish way possible.

We went for a dip and a sunbathe.

And education always came first (I was reading about stocks).

He drove us on many cross-country journeys, and took us on boats to exotic places and Catalina where we washed a hot day down with ice cream and short shorts.

Education paid off and he congratulated me for drinking my way thru college.

He sent me off like so on vacations to exotic lands.

And then hugged me as I bawled my damn eyes out when I moved across the world.

Papa Schaeff rocks, and I will be listening to La Bamba all day in his honor. LOVE YOU!!

 

The End of The Beginning & The Beginning Of The End

Today is the first day of school, and I wore my new vintage blue plaid blazer because you’re supposed to look your best on the first day of school, right? I also wore my new Koreanized spectacles which my amazing-not-anymore-co-teacher told me look very expensive. I’m fancy.

Since it’s the first day of school and I never wrote about winter camp or the end of the school year, I’m just gonna kill 2 birds with one stone.

Winter Camp came and went, thank god.  2 weeks for 3rd & 4th graders, 1 week of 5th & 6th grade little shits. We did Hollywood Week and it went fine.  I think the highlight for me was teaching myself iMovie and making them these music videos which I showed on the final day…A Day at the Academy Awards.  I taught them a song, they illustrated, I threw these together.

Weeks 1 & 2 / 3rd &4th graders: Hot ‘N Cold by Katy Perry.  Taught them oppositessss.

Week 3 / 5th & 6th graders: Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus. Taught them about LA…and gerunds (-ing words).

Korea’s weird in that we had winter vacation end of December to beginning of February, then came back for a couple weeks, the 6th graders graduated (cue waterworks…and I did), and then we had  spring break for a couple weeks and now we’re back a grade older.

I’m a bit nervous to be honest. My amazing co-teacher Leni is now a 6th grade homeroom teacher, so we won’t be teaching together anymore 😦 Jin and I will still be teaching together, thank god, and I have a new co-teacher, Mr. Jang, who I taught English camp with. I’m nervous about that because his Englishee is pretty bad and he giggles whenever I say hello to him…uh oh

This is our last lunch as a 3some because Leni now eats lunch with her students in her classroom. Sad face.

Thought I’d post some of the photos from the 6th grade graduation, because I freakin love those kids. I think I’m the only one who loved their 6th graders. I actually cried at their graduation.  Who cries at a 6th grade graduation? A loser cries at a 6th grade graduation. If I’m like this watching kids I’ve known for 6 months graduate elementary school, I’m embarrassed for my own future children.

Billy on the right was my favorite 6th grade boy.  He is so f’ing smart. and Jessi, on the desk (who spells his name like a girl) is a little rascal. Here they were writing their pen pal letters to Kendra’s class in LA!

Heartbreakers

I’m impressed that they’re not covering their faces!

Money & his lil bro Rainbow ❤

Zidane. Oh how I love him. So smart and slightly cocky, but with a little heart of gold.

Billy & Ben

Sweet lil thang was crying!

The lil peach on the right is Sally.  My fave 6th grade girl 🙂

So yea, new school year has begun, the frigid cold has dissipated and spring is upon us.  Ciao ciao winter coat! I will leave you with another disgusting thing that I have tried.  This is that ugly ass fish I like to call the penis fish.  To be politically correct, it’s actually called gaebul, but penis fish is more suiting.  I tried it with Leni when the whole school went on an overnight trip to Gyewah about 3 hours out of Seoul. Wasn’t too bad, but won’t do it again.  As you can see, I’m also a wiz with chopsticks. When in Korea!

KPOP POP POP.

About a year ago I first really heard about KPOP (Korean Pop) when I was working at bloc, but didn’t really think anything of it.  One of the girls on my Choreography team always said she basically repped the whole Korean choreo market because one of our clients was always working with the big groups ova in the far East…NOW it’s all making sense.  Especially when I sit here watching some of the videos and seeing the completely womanly looking men dancing like my main love Justin Timberlake….

So yea…on the KPOP front, I felt the need to share this video from Letterman the other night. This is “Girls Generation” (or SNSD), which is a KPOP group that my students are f’ing obsessed with.  Looks like the KPOP scene is trying to invade the states now, so God bless their songs having at least some catchy English in them.  They also have an absurdly insane amount of group members, topping them off at 9 members.  Je-sus!

 

How many times do you think Letterman practiced saying 감사합니다 (that’s thank you….gam sam nida) while getting his makeup done?

I haven’t really gotten super into KPOP since being here, which is a shocker, but I do love this song, and hear it everywhere. Grocery store, subway station, and hummed by my students in class.  The guy is from Beast which is like, the *NSYNC of the boybands and she’s from the group 4 MINUTE.  There’s also 2PM and 2AM, amongst other groups.  Very original names.

 

Catchy yea???

Heart Exploding All Over The Damn Place <3

I’ve been here for almost 3 months now, I honestly can’t believe it. Where the heck has the time gone? I know in the grand scheme of things 3 months is nothing, but this is the longest I have legitimately been AWAY from my family and close friends.  Having always lived within an hour of the Schaeffs, it’s kind of crazy to think that it’s been so long since I’ve seen them.  I spent my first Halloween abroad which ended up being my most elaborate, and now the holidays, my birthday and both Mama and Papa Schaeff’s birthdays are fast approaching.  It’s nutty to think I will have to ship presents to them. Regardless, the past almost 3 months have been the most amazing I’ve ever had.  I’ve talked to a few peeps back at home in the past week, and they all keep telling me that it looks like I’m having the best time.  And all I can respond with is “YEP, best decision I’ve ever made :).”  It was a bit hard for me to actually tell my mom I was already considering a 2nd year here.  A couple days later, I got this adorbz pic of me from when I was 3 with my first Korean friend/neighbor, Hana Ko, from when we lived in North Hollywood.  When I would sing the Hannukah song like a good Jewish child she thought I was singing about her.  Or so Mama Schaeff says. Keepin the azns close by from the get go I reckon!

“Oh Hana Ko, oh Hana Ko, come light the menorah…”

In other news, I thought I’d take a post to just talk about some of the things I’m loving about being in Seoul.  First, that would be my lovely girlfriends here. I really love them. Katie, Abby, Steph and I had a wonderful girls night out on Saturday filled with martinis, tequila sunrises, some amazing jazz and most importantly, some much needed GIRL TALK.  We went to Jazz Story which is in Hyehwa, the area I’ve decided I really want to live in.  I think I wrote about it before, but I went on one of my favorite dates ever there and I needed to go back. Abby had been saying she wanted to go see some jazz, so twas perfect.  Originally, I had only intended on going out to Jazz Story and then making it an early night because old lady over here has not been wanting to booze it up like a young buck these days. What is becoming of me? I guess I’m becoming more matour.  Anyways, that went to shit after a couple “dirty” martinis, a good buzz, a bottle of soju and the need to make up for a shitty Friday night. We ended up going to yet another ghetto ass club in Hongdae, which was awesome good fun.  I didn’t get home til about 5am, after which I proceeded to sleep/Skype/sleep the rest of the next day away.  All in all, I am in love with my girlfriends here.  They are simply amazing and make me happy.  I really needed a good group of girls, especially after leaving so many lil gems back state-side 🙂 YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.  Anyways, here is a video of Billie Jean (how approps 😦 ) and some pictorals!

Written in the menu ❤

From classy to trashy. Enter Club Naked.

I know I literally talk about my students like they are my children or food that I love so much that I just want to eat UP, but there were a couple things that made me even more obsessed today. First, one of my favorite 6th graders, Billy, is entered in an English speaking/writing competition.  He asked me if I could proofread his speech for him, and of course I was so excited about it. He wrote about challenges that we all face in life and compared it to his favorite show called Challenger.  It was seriously the cutest thing ever. Kids are so freakin smart and it becomes even more apparent everyday. Here he is in 6th grade and I was truly impressed by how he not only could write a 2 page speech in English, but it also made sense.  I was talking to my co-teacher Leni about how good it was while on our way to lunch today, and she told me he is one student who truly cares about learning the context as he wants to become a writer one day.  I knew I loved him for a reason.  But now I’m sad I came half way through and only get him and all the other 6th graders for 1/2 a semester 😦

Second, last night Katie and I had a coffee date, and afterwards we were walking around Suraksan, which is where she lives and where both our schools are in North Korea. I ran into so many of my students!! It was actually really nice to run into them and talk to them outside of school.  1 of the girls was Sally.  She sits right in front of me in one of my 6th grade classes and she is always so cute and sweet and shy.  She doesn’t ever raise her hand but I can tell she’s smart and she’s one of my faves.  I was talking to her last night and was so impressed with her English.  Katie and I kept telling her how great she spoke, and then today she comes to my class and raised her hand 3 times, giving 3 correct answers.  Truly impressed and it made me happy to think maybe just that little “you speak so well!” had an impact. Another one of the girls I ran into was Sara.  She’s in 5th grade and apparently has problems at home.  She’s super tough, pretty obnoxious and is always punching the boys.  But I still really like her.  I think she’s really smart and just needs someone to actually tell her that because I don’t think she gets it at home. I was telling her how I always call on her because I KNOW she’s smart, and that she always gives correct answers, and when I look at her work it’s usually almost always perfect. I also told her she was pretty and she just kinda hid inside herself and kept saying “No I’m not. No I’m not teachaaaa.”  While I’m sitting at lunch today, I told both Jin and Leni how I ran into her last night, and Jin tells me “YES! Sara came to me today to tell me how you told her she was cute and smart! She was very happy.”  Ah, the freakin little things just keep getting me 🙂

Last thing about my students then I’ll stop.  Today I learned that Sesame Street is PURE GOLD.  I taught my 1st and 2nd grade afterschool babies about feelings and emotions this week.  Whenever we start the class and I ask how they are today, they give me blank stares, so it seemed only suiting to teach them something so vital.  Anyways, we started the class today with a Cookie Monster and Ernie video about being happy and sad over a cookie. THE KIDS WENT NUTS. I honestly didn’t expect it.  I ended up playing the video 3 times for them because they couldn’t get enough, and frankly neither could I.  Something about hearing cute little babes laugh.  I also had them draw feelings on monkeys, and originally asked for one student from each table to come up and tell the class what emotion their monkey had.  No no. Every single student shot their hand up to come to the front of the class, show their monkey and speak complete English sentences.  It was one of those “OMG I’m actually doing something right” moments.  They’re having fun and learning 🙂  So great.  Now here’s a video of them watching Ernie and Cookie Monster, because I couldn’t handle it and needed to bottle it up.  Let your heart explode NOW.

In completely unrelated news, not only will I be ringing in the New Year with my sista from anotha mista, my favorite bossy pants, Cori, BUT it also looks like Bret is going to be able to come out here and we will travel to some exotic land together over my birthday!!! BEST NEWS EVER!!! Now to get the fam out here soon! 🙂

That’s all! Goodnight moon 🙂

An I’m So Happy I’m In Korea Moment

There have been a couple times so far since arriving in Korea where I had an “I’m so happy I’m in Korea moment.” The first was during orientation when we were at the folk village.  We were watching dancers do a native dance where they had these crazy streamers on their heads and it was like they were dancing with their heads, but they were also jumping and playing drums. It was just so cool.

Last night I had another one of these totally feel-good-about-my-decision moments.  It was my Vice Principal’s last day at my school and all the teachers went out to a Korean BBQ dinner at a super fancy restaurant close to school. My 2 co-teachers felt awful because I don’t eat pork and that’s what we were eating, so they ordered me this cold noodle dish in a super spicy red sauce. I completely forget what it’s called, but I thought it was bomb.  And their version of spicy is not comparable to mine.  I want more spicy!  We also ate probably the 100th different type of kimchi I’ve tried since coming to Korea, salad, raw onions in this soyish type of sauce, and some other dish which I have no idea what it was and neither do they.  It seemed sushi-ish and was tasty, but I’m clueless. For dessert we had this rice cake type cake that none of them liked, but I thought it tasted like bread so I enjoyed it haha.  The dinner was awesome because I got to actually hang out with my co-teachers and meet some of the other younger teachers.  Many of them don’t really like to speak English because they are nervous about the language, but they were speaking with me, so I felt quite happy about making them feel comfortable enough to talk to me. The night went on, we ate, talked, and drank. And drank. And drank. At one point I looked over and saw my Principal downing shot after shot of soju with some of the other teachers.  I think he kind of looks like my 5th grade teacher Mr. Miyamoto. Only I never saw Mr. Miyamoto taking shots.

Here are some pictures of the food and of my 2 co-teachers and some of the others. Leni is the girl on the left making a peace sign, and then Jin is the one in the picture with me 🙂

THEN the fun continued.  To those of you who don’t know what a Norebang is, it’s karaoke, but in your own private room.  The Koreans are nuts about this shit!  SO, you have about 15 happy drunk Koreans and lil ol’ American Danielle piled into a room, tambourines are handed out, water and more drinks are brought in on a tray, and the book of songs is opened for people to pick their song. I never karaoke.  As many of you know, you probably don’t want to hear me sing because I am that god awful. But no, I was forced to sing. And I was forced to sing a duet, in English, to a song I’ve never in my life heard before…with my Principal (who doesn’t speak a lick of English, but knew this random song).  He was dancing like a little Asian man and I was dancing and singing and laughing the entire time. OMG it was fun. Everyone has to sing, and Mr. Principal was not letting me get off the hook by only singing with him.  I had to sing again.  This time I sang with my adorable co-teacher Leni.  OMG she is so cute and loves to sing, and she’s super teeny so she was super drunk! We sang a song by Lenka that she chose because I didn’t feel comfortable enough yet to whip out some Bieber Fever.  In due time it shall come.

This brings me to the moment I had that “I’m so happy I’m here” feeling.  After everyone sang, we all stood in a circle in this little tiny room filled with tambourines and disco lights and held hands.  Principal sang a song in Korean which I had no idea what he was saying, but I could just feel it was a happy/sad song.  The Vice Principal then went around the circle and gave everyone hugs and cried a bit.  I only met her a few times but she was so sweet.  It was amazing how I didn’t even know the words, or really her for that matter but I really did feel overwhelmed, but maybe just because I was so happy in that moment to be there.  The teachers are all so kind and sweet to me, and I love watching them bow whenever they say hello or goodbye.  I used to think it was a little weird and awkward, well, I still kind of do, but it just comes off as so respectful and you can just tell they’re all such nice people. Anyways, I had my moment and it was awesome.

I’m sure I’m going to have many “get me the hell out of here” moments too (like when the little 3rd grader with severe ADHD came and took over my classroom yesterday), but it’s nice to know that these ones just pop up out of no where 🙂

Now I shall leave you with a video of my amazing duet with my beautiful co-teacher Leni.  Enjoy the norebang (before my memory card space ran out) and my super sexy singing voice!