WTF?! Wednesday ~ Mrs. Lee, What Planet You From?

Hi everyone! It’s been a little while since posting my last WTF?! Wednesday jam because I was on a wondrous trip to Bali followed by a big move out of North Korea.  But, I’m back today! And happier than ever because A) I just found some new bedding so my apartment will slowly stop looking like a college dorm, and B) because CORI is coming to visit me at the end of the month!!! She’s coming to Seoul and then we are planning to pop on over to Tokyo since I have a long weekend in the beginning of October. WEEEEE!!

Now onto this week in WTFness! I actually took these photos 2 weeks ago when I was forced to co-teach (if you could even call it that), with the laziest, sloppiest, most absurd ajumma (old Korean woman) I’ve ever come in contact with.  I feel she, her wardrobe and just general demeanor are well deserving of their own post.

I am actually unsure if her name is really Mrs. Lee because she never even responded when I called her by “name”, but that’s what she told me it was… that one time she actually spoke to me. That brief moment in time was very brisk and almost non-existent.  It was like she couldn’t be bothered to be around a dirty foreigner. She didn’t ask my name, didn’t say hello, but just tossed me this handwritten questionnaire and ran away.  If you are confused, on the left side it says “Question 1-5”, and on the right it says “Answer”. So, I did as was asked of me and wrote her 5 questions that I was burning to know about her, expecting to receive some awe-inspiring answers in return.  Never got those.

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Then came the time to meet and do something called TEACH the students. You’d think that one would dress presentable for a day on the job, and also be a little more involved. But no no. Not “Mrs. Lee”. She showed up to work like so and carried on in the back of class reading the newspaper and catching up on some zzzzz’s. She also walked into each class carrying a box of glue sticks and a mug filled with pens that she never used.

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The only bit of teaching that “Mrs. Lee” did was when she began class.  She started by yelling at the students, followed by hitting a few so hard on the head, and finally, wrote a grammatically correct phrase on the board for the students to repeat 10 times. Only they weren’t grammatical at all, and the students knew it.  Her phrase choices were stupid, to put things bluntly.

In the first 6th grade class the phrase was “How you?”, the second was “Where from?” and the last (which she finally got right!) was “Be quiet”, also quite suiting for that particular class, but that’s neither here nor there.  I began class by asking the students how to correct their “teacher’s” English.

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One of the biggest things that qualifies this as a WTF?! moment is the fact that she had ZERO idea of how to use a computer. She didn’t know what a mouse was or what to call the monitor. I know that she is older, but I found it bizarre that Jin had to spend a good portion of her time teaching “Mrs. Lee” the basic vocabulary that accompanies this technology that’s so abundant in our lives. Actually, the Vice Principal wanted me to teach “Mrs. Lee” how to teach, but I refused. My job is to teach the students, not to teach the teacher how to be a teacher. Especially when she had applied for this position under the pretenses that she was a teacher.  Oh, and because she couldn’t be bothered to even ask me my name.

On top of no basic computer knowledge, she also refused to eat in the cafeteria with everyone else, but instead conned a student into bringing her lunch in her classroom, which the Vice Principal was outraged about. She also STOLE one of the 3rd grade point frogs and one of the 6th grade point monkeys off our progress board. A token of her time as a teacher, perhaps?

If I can find it within myself to find one thing that I am pleased with in regards to “Mrs. Lee”, it’s that I strongly believe she brought me closer to my 6th graders. They are usually too cool for school, but having her there really made them appreciate me and hands were actually shooting up to volunteer, which NEVER happens.  So thank you for that wacko lady!

Alas, those two WTF weeks came and went, and now I have a brand new co-teacher named Shin hye and she’s young and sweet and pretty and I’m excited to have permanency once again!

WTF?! Wednesday ~ The Saucy Scarf Sales Gypsy

Hi everyone! This is a day late on my clock, but according to the rest of the Western world it’s still WTF?! Wednesday!

I had an old friend, Robyn, and her new husband stop into Seoul on a layover on their return home from honeymooning in Thailand, so we went to dinner and ice cream and I showed them around my favorite area of Seoul, Jongno.

So, my (I think) 12th and 13th visitors to Seoul are my excuse for being tardy!

Now onto the weird!

Earlier this week I went to Namdaemun Market looking for a travel pack backback for my upcoming trip to Bali in August. Namdaemun is a very traditional Korean market where you can buy souvenirs and trinkets, and pretty much anything, and bargain bargain bargain (if you have cash).

Well, I didn’t find a pack I liked, but I did find this gypsy drag fella/heShe selling scarves with a new twist. This is SO bizarre for Korea, and I just started cracking up when I saw him standing in the middle of massive piles of scarves shaking her hips and groping his breasts. I stopped to take the photo, he posed, and asked me where I was from. All I could slam back was “Where are YOU from?!”

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WTF?! Wednesday ~ A Row Of Phalluses

HI guys! Another week, another WTF?! Wednesday! It totally crept up on me this week because my weekend all blended together.  I was chosen to go on a 4 day trip with the Seoul Office of Education to the island of Dokdo along with 35 other native English teachers, so the weekend and the week have flown! That being said, a post about Dokdo will be coming shortly because that is a very special island to the people of Korea, so you’ll want to hear a little bit about it.  You’ll also want to know why I’ve since acquired a new sense of good luck now that I’ve been there.

ANYWAYS, for this week’s WTF?! Wednesday I’m presenting you with something phallic.  I think it’s absolutely odd that Korea has parks and sculptures enshrined all over the country dedicated to the male member, when anything related to sex is so taboo.  Many Koreans when asked don’t even know the scientific words for penis or vagina.  It’s BIZARRO.

While in Samcheok this weekend, we were walking up to the top of a mountain to pray (for the millionth time) for good weather so that we’d be able to reach Dokdo’s holy soil.  As we were walking, we passed this row of glorified penises. The boys I was with walked right past them at first, but I of course caught wind of them and lept at the photographic opportunity.

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Korea, you cray!

 

WTF?! Wednesday ~ Patbingsoo With A Panda

HI guys! It’s Wednesday today so that means I get to share something weird, wacky, silly, horribly written or just plain ridiculous with you, per the usual here in the Koko.  Anything that makes me utter a WTF?!

It’s spring now, which means that the weather in Korea is becoming muggy and completely and utterly clammy.  Basically, I’m one uncomfortable human being 95% of the time.  Between my school keeping the AC under lock and key because “WE MUST SAVE ENERGY”, and the subway and bus Gods taking the liberty to turn the AC on and off whenever they feel like suffocating us in a confined space, my skin is constantly sticky and in desperate need of a bath.

However, one of the splendiferous perks of spring and summertime in Korea is the patbingsoo. This my friends is heaven in a bowl.  It’s made of shaved ice, condensed milk, mixed fruits, ice cream, sometimes red bean which I prefer it without, and any other assortment of cereals or nuts.  It is usually served in a big bowl so you can share with a few people and cool yourself down from the inside.

Two Thursdays ago was Memorial Day in Korea, which meant we had the day off of school.  My friend Veny and I went down to the Han River and got our couple on by sharing a tandem bike ride along the river. After we biked around for an hour, we wandered for something sweet.  We ended up choosing a cafe that wasn’t too packed except for this little Panda man sitting outside at his own table havin’ a cuppa joe.  Strange yet inviting we thought.

We were really confused at first because we didn’t know if it was someone’s table and they just brought their cute lil friend along for a treat.  We finally figured it wasn’t being occupied, and pulled up a couple chairs to sit with the Panda and his joe while we enjoyed our delicious patbingsoo. I do LOVE Pandas afterall.

If we were going to join Panda, we might as well include him.  Here he is trying a taste of our treat.

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65 Is The New 31 If You’re A Baller.

Absolutely nothing about the following song reminds me of the Baller, except for one significant opening line…..”You remind me of my Gucci shoes.”

During our first year out of college, Bret and I used to talk on the phone every morning on our horrendously long traffic filled commutes to work. Along with hearing about his morning coffee consumption and other morning *movements*….I got to hear his sweet “sweet” rendition of Monica’s A Dozen Roses. Only for the longest time, I had absolutely NO idea what song he was singing because his annoying, nasally, almost Urkel-esq version was so far off from the sultry jam, that I was floored when I finally heard the actual song he was mimicking. He still doesn’t understand where my auditory disconnect went awry.

His awful singing voice aside, per his Facebook page, Bretty is turning a ripe 65 years young today, and his bone structure wouldn’t let you believe he’s a day over 31. He is the reason I love White Russians, why I’ll always find being called a whore endearing (but only by him of course), why I’ll always refer to that *classy* blue liquor that only grill-wearing ballers drink as “The Hypo”, why I’ll always remember my Women in Film class because of his incessant knee shakes, why men’s ties and the word “Façonnable” will always roll off my tongue, and why a New Years Eve will always be somewhat empty if he’s not there to grace me with his *sensational* hip-swiveling and claptastic dance moves. He’s the best roomie I’ve ever had, and the best platonic manfriend a girl could ever ask for. He’s the baller to my whore, and thank you UCSB and that lovely apartment complex on one Segovia Rd. for introducing us.

Oh, and Happy 31st Birthday old man. I hope your racquetball ankle sprain heels in a jiffy.

Now for a little time travel complete with a dance video, or two, because this post would be incomplete without.  Apologies in advance for the embarrassment.

I think this is the first photo we took as the best foursome of neighbors on the block. By this time I knew his name and wasn’t calling him “the Matthew McConaughey guy” anymore.

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Winter came, Natty Lite and White Russians got us super acquainted, I called him Doug Funnie nose, and I actually remember this hug quite vividly. We totes became BFFs then and there.

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I turned 21. White Russian, sweaty face and awful tank top. He also cracked open his very special bottle of “Hypo” on my very special day.

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He especially loved 2am wake-up calls from his awesome sisters and their friends down the way when he had water polo practice in 4 hours.

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He loved repaying the favor by jumping on his sister while he was intoxicated and she was trying to sleep. This is actually still one of my all time fave Baller/Jones photos. High 5!

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We also had Three’s Company naptime on the famous couches after a long day of watching Sex and the City or Desperate Housewives, two of Bretty’s favorite TV shows.

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Then the Baller and Whore 1 & 2 graduated ❤ Santa Barbara would have never ever been the same without these two.

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After graduating, Bret moved back up north to Coup Town and me to LA, and I was SO sad, but it honestly never really felt like it, aside from not seeing him everyday.  Since then we’ve spent I think nearly every New Years Eve together and a couple trips either him down to LA or me up to San Francisco within the years.

Botched trips up north for Oktoberfest, only to be greeted with the alternate gay Love Fest, have never been sweeter.

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And mind-altering afternoons in LA laughing our asses off while watching Borat have never been funnier.

When I came home after a year and a half in Korea, the Baller (and Rami!!) came to LA for my birthday weekend, and it was the best gift ever!!

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We of course danced, and he spent a lot of time practicing his dance moves and gettin’ low…..his “specialty”.

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A tribute to the Baller wouldn’t be complete without documentation of some of those masterpieces he likes to whip up. Please. Indulge your eyeballs.

Here he is dancing to his own natural rhythm. His own essence. Really feelin’ that music. Pardon the side angle.

And rounding it all out with my personal fave. Everytime I watch this video I can’t not laugh. It gets me every, EVERYtime.

Love you to the moon Baller, and I hope you get over your fear of Asian cuisine and come visit me in the Orient. I’ve got a live octopus with your name on it waiting.

HAPPY 65th BIRTHDAY, DOUG FUNNIE!!!  YOU’VE NEVER LOOKED BETTER!

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<3,

Your favorite Whore

WTF?! Wednesday

Hi guys!! Quick lil thang first off! I’ve decided to make an ever-so-slight change to my Wednesday weekly posting and will now be calling it WTF?! Wednesday.

Since Korea is a dream boat for all things weird and WTF, this will give me free reign to show you all the great Engrish fails PLUS all the other amazingly ridiculous things this country has come up with.  It’s absolutely fascinating.

SO, for today’s WTF?! Wednesday, I’m treating you to one of my personal faves.  This photo just goes to show that anything goes and zero f*cks (or many, according to this young lady’s head piece) are given over here in the name of fashion.  In this girl’s case I wouldn’t really qualify a bucket hat as fashionable, but that’s neither here nor there.

I was sitting across from this girl on the subway, and when I looked up from my phone I had to do a double take and reread because I thought my eyes were fooling me. They weren’t, and BOY what a statement she chose to make!

The hat really is a masterpiece.

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Your eyes are not deceiving you.  It does in fact say “FUCK IT” around the entire bucket and rim.

Perhaps her boyfriend broke up with her the day she made the purchase? Or she just liked the style? Or she’s never listened to rap music? Or foreign movies? I’m at a loss.

Whatever the reason, she gave zero fucks that day and it definitely made my day!

Watchu Say?! Wednesday

As most of you already are aware if you follow me on Instagram, one of my favorite things to do is document the horrendous form of the written English language in Korea. People walk around with some of the most butchered sentences or inappropriate sayings on their clothing, and I believe it’d be a huge disservice to our eyeballs and all the Grammar Nazis out there (myself included), not to capture such technical gems.

I’ve decided to make a weekly post on this ol’ blog of mine chronicling the outcome of what happens when Koreans choose not to utilize the overabundant amount of foreigners in their country, and instead decide to #justclickprint.

For the first Watchu Say?! Wednesday, this is actually the first #justclickprint t-shirt I hunkered down and bought myself. I found it in a stall in Gangnam Station, and stood there laughing to myself and debated spending the 10,000won (~$10) on it for a solid 15 minutes. The girl working there was most likely clueless as to why I was laughing and shaking my head at a t-shirt, which I’m sure is usually the case when I find something good.

I finally decided that it was definitely too good a find to pass up. Between the floral and the message it’s struggling to get across, I had to own it.

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In case you are at a loss for what it says, here’s what it should say:

Peace
Love
Understandin’

I just wish I had the gusto to wear it to school since I’m such a fan of it. However, as a teacher of the English language, I can’t bring myself to do it.

Oh well! Until next time!

안녕! (Annyeong = Goodbye)

KoKo’s Resident Klutz

I was sitting with Jeewon, Tim and Andria Friday night at a failed evening of watching Reservoir Dogs on the rooftop at Platoon in Gangnam, and somehow my still (almost 2 months later) sprained ankle came up.  Then I got to pondering all my epic falls since coming to Korea.  I mean, if anyone knows me you know I’m a klutz, but ever since coming to this country I seem to have forgotten how to put one foot in front of the other.  It’s a bit absurd, I’m the first to admit.

Well, I made a tiny list of some of my goodies so they’ll never ever be forgotten once the bones heal and the bruises fade.

1 – ~6: Winter 2011

While still learning how to walk on snow and ice, I had quite a few tumbles that first winter. Many of them were in the Family Mart right by my school.  And many came back to back, as in right after I got up I fell back down again, and took down a few bags of chips with me. Actually, I could probably tack on a few more falls to that number up there, but we’ll just keep it at ~6 for my own sanity.

Remarkably, this past winter I don’t recall falling in the snow.  Job well done, me.

Note: Don’t wear Uggs in the snow.

7. Japanese Karaoke Room during a typhoon

During a typhooning evening in Kyoto, Japan,  30 bottles of sake took over a karaoke room.  Somewhere between not all of it making it into the appropriate glasses, and my own sheer excitement over singing the next Celine Dion or Disney tune, I collided with a puddle of sake on the ground and nearly broke my hand.  It didn’t feel right for a good month afterwards, but somehow it healed itself, and Japan will go down as how I came to be Noraebang obsessed.

8. 80s Roller Derby

This is easy.  I hadn’t legit roller skated in a really long time and someone had extra WD40’d those roller skates because were really slippery.  It was a given that I was going to plummet either face first or tuchous first. Thank heavens I’ve been blessed with a padded posterior.

9. 90s Dance Off for Namibia

The floor was slippery, I was in tap shoes.  It was a recipe for disaster.  At least I can say I tapped my ass off and we WON.  Let’s relive it again, shall we? It gets good at 2:26. And really good at 2:34.

10. I FELL OFF A BUS

2 weekends ago was Buddha’s Birthday so we had a 3 day weekend.  Andria and I decided we wanted to breathe some fresh air, so we headed out of Seoul and up to Paju, about 45 minutes away by bus, and about a hop, skip and a jump from the North Korean barbed wire border. Despite the locale, it’s a really cute little town with lots of coffee shops and random little art and chatchky galleries that we were excited to take advantage of.

But that’s besides my point right now.

Before I even stepped foot in Hyeri, the area of Paju that we were going to, my fun had already begun!

As I was swiping my T-Money card to get off the bus, I somehow missed the middle step in my footing, and in a nanosecond my whole body went repelling downwards.  I was caught somewhere between a lunge and a split from the top to the bottom step, and GOD BLESS my cat like reflexes, because if I hadn’t jut my arms all the way up and back to grab those metal bars I surely would have eaten that pavement and my teeth straight off the bus. My wallet went flying back and all I could scream to Andria was “SWIPE MY CARD!” Heaven forbid I get charged an extra 2,000won on the return having not swiped out on this journey!

Shockingly, the whole bus of Koreans let out gasps of horror, which is quite unusual, as people are so mum here and usually have nothing to do with people when something horrific or embarrassing happens on any mode of public transport. Anyways, I hoisted my lame body up and *gracefully* moved out of the way of the bus, let out a few cryscreams at the side of the rode as I held my aching knees, and checked to see if my tights had ripped (they hadn’t). Then I let out the heartiest laugh.  OF COURSE I FELL OFF A BUS.

This is what my left leg looked like the next day.  BATTLE WOUNDS.

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Fallin’ all over the world since this epic fall at the Colosseum of Rome in 2006.

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A Pupu Platter Of 2012 Whathaveyous

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!

Wow, another year has come and gone, and I must say, 2012 was my favorite year of my almost-29 years gracing this planet.  So much that I had always dreamt of in years past same to fruition this year, and I can honestly say I am in the best place I have ever been in my life.  And it feels damn good 😉

I had made the resolution in 2011 that by the end of the year I would be living a life abroad ~ check.  In 2012 I promised myself I would do absolutely as much traveling of Asia as possible.  I came to Korea to conquer this continent like a blaze of fire, and in looking back I can say I did just that.  Along with the travel resolutions, I really put my best foot forward to work on getting what I really want, and making that start from within.  I try my best to communicate what I want, but a lot of time it fails when walls get put up, or life just gets in the way.  So, I’ve really tried to be as self-aware as possible just be the best version of myself and hope that it brings with it what I truly want.  That being said, 2012 has definitely been the happiest and most honest year to date 🙂

Now I’m just gonna throw together a few highlights from each month of 2012. Badabing herrrrrr goes!

I began the year on the beach in Koh Phangan, covered in florescent body paint and drinking liquor by the buckets with one of my dearest and oldest friends on the planet ~ my fave biatch and sista from anotha mista, Miz Diamond ❤

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January marked my first birthday to be celebrated away from everyone I’ve always shared my (obviously) favorite holiday with.  I felt a little down about it, then in flew a gift from THE BEST sista ever ~ Sista Schaeff in the flesh, in Korea!

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On her last night here, she snuggled my foot to sleep.  BY CHOICE! ❤

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In February I visited two of my favorite countries so far ~ Vietnam and Cambodia. I saw some of the most beautiful snorkeling waters, caught my first fish, shot my first gun, ate a bowl of pho a day, wondered why they allow Americans in, and saw my life flash before me about 1million times while in ‘Nam.

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In Cambodia I visited the most breathtaking temples I have ever seen, spent an afternoon with beautiful children in an orphanage on the river, saw insurmountable beauties in some of the deepest poverty stricken eyes, and struggled to hold back tears while walking through a living history at the Killing Fields and S-21 genocide museum remnants from the Khmer Rouge of the 70s~80s.

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In March I visited the happiest place on earth, AKA the DMZ, for the second time.  This time we rode bikes along the most intensely guarded border in the world, all while Obama paid the peninsula a visit and peered over to the North with us.

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April means Passover, which also means the sea parts in Korea.  I made the trek down south with a homie and we met Moses, crossed the parted sea and drank makkoli while doing so, obvi.

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Later in April, my favorite story to date came to be.  A couple morons went to a Lady GaGa concert.  They got all gussied up in the hottest of pink and the tightest of attire, only to miss the whole thing whilst trying to attain the most coveted seats in the house during the “GaGa cover band”…. *face palm* At least we looked sexy.

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In May, Wawa came for a visit.  We did many things, but by far our favorite day was our “Day of Culture.”  We visited Gyeongbukgong Palace, learned about the creation of Hangul (the Korean alphabet), ate a traditional lunch, drank tea in a lovely tea house, dressed up and cracked up in Hanbok (traditional Korean dress), and wrapped up with a journey to the Noryangjin Fish Market.  Twas a wondrous day!

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Then came June, and Buddha’s birthday.  A crew of us high-tailed out of Seoul to Gangneung, a little beach town on the East Sea. There were makkoli and soju spurred chicken fights, sexy man-wrestles, toasty bonfires, crashing of high class fancy Korean booking clubs and frisbee games resulting in broken pinky toes and racial slurs. The Buddhaman had an awesome birthday!!

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Then came July and two events which could be classified as the greatest events of the century. One more than the other, but one got more hype than the other according to the Facebook.  You can use your own judgement on that one.  One required us to dress to the nines to bid adieu to all the homies we grew to call family, and also the ones we grew apart from because a lot of people that came with us were weirdos, let’s face it. The other required some prior temple-sculpting, lots and lots and lots of soju, mudmudmud and practically no clothes. Mud Fest was by far my favorite event of 2012.  Shit was CRAY TO THE MAX!

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August was the most bittersweet month of the year I’d say.  It was sweet because I took a 2.5 week summer jaunt on over to the Philippines with my lovely lass from home, Brianne.  We saw some of the most picturesque islands, snorkeled and ate our faces off, hiked miles in our little warrior Havaianas, posed with stalagtites, missed the whale sharks, got in a fist fight with a very mean typhoon, and let tempers fly with shitty budget airlines.

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August was bitter because our contracts ended and some left KoKo and I had to face the harsh reality that the world as I knew it was shattering before me.  Well, that’s an over-dramatization, but that’s how it felt at the time dammit. I also got thrown into my deathbed by some plague I contracted in the Philippines.   So, not only were my friends leaving, but I was deathly ill and partying with an IV in the hospital, unable to hand out proper goodbye hugs. NOT COOL WORLD.

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Then on rolled September.  Grabbing my bearings on who was still left in my Seoul-cial circle happened naturally.  I got back in the go-out mode (at least for the time being), and some friendships from the previous year had the chance to blossom.  Late in the month for Chuseok holiday, a group of us gals decided to pop off to Osaka and Kyoto, Japan with boy toy Joshy. We frolicked by bicycle all over Kyoto, made the most of the typhoon stricken city by stuffing our faces with enough sushi and sake to fuel an army, and tore up (literally) a karaoke room.  Best weekend ever!!!

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October was of course Halloween, and we got down with our bad selves…and Bob the Builder.

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In November I actually had a REAL Thanksgiving, none of that Pho shit (pardon me, it’s just not suitable cuisine for Thanksgiving).  Josh Rich was also in town as my 6th visitor to the Orient. A Happy Happy Turkey Day it was!

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And last but not least, I think the winner for best December event goes to my dance crew’s (WORD TO YO MAMA’S HIGH WAISTED JEANS) epic ass kicking in the 90s dance battle for the African kids. Real winners put in the effort, and effort we put in. Obviously you would know this had you been at our latke-rehearsal party, our cheese and crackers rehearsal party where Matty ripped his jeans, and our final rehearsal party that almost interfered with us attending the actual party because we were too focused on perfecting our dance.  What a BOMB DIGGITY way send out 2012!!!

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As you can see, 2012 was quite the year, and it’s been a pleasure looking back on it with you. Here’s to an even better 2013, and going home to America in 10 days!!!!!!!

PEACE & CHICKEN GREASE, HOMIEZ.

I Came, I Fell, I Conquered

I know I’ve been a complete slack of a human being on the blog front as of late. I keep telling myself to post about the recent happs, but then life gets the best of me. In my defense, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with all the visitors I’ve had here in the KoKo.  I’ve been top of the pops lately if you hadn’t heard. In the past 2 months I’ve had 3 visitors to Korea: Jeff Davidson, one of my ATO homies from the good ‘ol SBeezy days, Josh “Gay” Rich, my old Santa Barbara neighbor and favorite non-homosexual gay person, and lastly, my long-awaited, MUCH anticipated visitor, Adam Allegro, photographer extraordinaire (http://catchthejiffy.com). It’s been awesome, and that brings my visitor count to 7 in the last 16 months.  Who’s next?!?!

To catch you up, because I’m sure Facebook doesn’t do that for you, I’ll show you some highlights from the past 3 months. It’s a bit of a time traveling experience, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

The first highlight after Japan was Halloween.  Halloween is my favorite holiday, and last year it was a sour disappointment, despite my amazing costume.  However, the company I shared it with this year more than made up for last year. I got creative while exploring the world wide web and decided to go as a Roy Lichtenstein 1960s pop art lady (in case the uncultured folk out there are confused and just think I had really bad acne for the evening).

I kicked it with some saucy Japanese schoolgirls.

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Had my “damsel in distress” moment when I got rescued by Spiderman in a seedy alleyway in HBC.

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Then I went on to get down with Andre Agassi’s zombie circa 1990.

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A couple weeks later me and a bunch of Koreans decided to hit up a 1960s/Andy Warhol shindig.  Here’s me and Jee shmoozing with Mr. Warhol about being in one of his next films.

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Then we just got sexy with some spectacular wall art.

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Then I had an unexpected 5th visitor when Jeff popped over from Singapore for a few days on business.  Here’s us drinking somak (soju and beer combo) at Noryangjin fish market, over a plate of freshly killed sashimi and octopus.

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Shortly thereafter, I time traveled to a roller derby set in the 1980s. My closet and I love the 80s, and this was the perfect opportunity for me to cut up my newly purchased California Raisins sweatshirt into true Flash Dance style.  It also provided the perfect setting for me to showcase my wild agility and ability to stand on two feet.  My hands hurt for a good 3 weeks after this tumble.

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A couple weeks later Josh “Gay” Rich came for a week-long jaunt to the peninsula to learn what Gangnam Style is all about. I’m not sure if he discovered it or not?  He was my 3rd school visitor, and my kids thought he was very handsome and very TALL.  The girls were oogling at him and the boys were jumping to try and reach his head.  It was adorable.

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Then he met my 6th grade boyfriend, Jinho.  My little angel boy talked baseball with him and was so excited to meet him. I was like a proud mama.

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During Josh’s visit I also celebrated my 2nd Thanksgiving abroad.  Holidays are so weird in Korea.  They literally sneak up on you.  I swear I didn’t realize it was Thanksgiving til like 3 days before and we had to scramble for where we were doing our potluck because I was not settling for another bowl of Pho on Thanksgiving like last year.  Anyways, this is my beautiful Seoul fam plus Josh.  Every family has that one “special” member right?  Can you spot ours?

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This pretty much catches me up to present-day and my most current visitor.  Adam and I have been wanting to be on the same continent for a few years now, and the time finally came!  He just got out of the Navy stationed in Italy and has begun  his year of jet-setting across Asia to pursue his photography dream.  We started bonding over his beautiful photos a few years ago, so I’m thrilled to have him in my home-away-from-home to capture some stunning photographs of this peninsula that now holds a special place in my heart, despite all it’s oddities.  He’s been here since December 10th, and is here until January 4th popping all over Korea.

Aside from taking brilliant photos, I brought him to school with me as my show and tell special gift to my shithead 6th graders.  I felt they needed a little inspiration, and to many he was.  They were all impressed with his gigantic stature (6’4″), his ginger hair, a term I taught to my 3rd graders, and how his feet hung out over the back of his slippers.

Here he is with my best class of 6th graders.  They were amazing and had so much fun with him!

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He also handed out piggyback rides to my favorite 3rd grade babies.

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And met my 6th grade boyfriend again 🙂 Isn’t he just the cutest?

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He even arm wrestled my man co-teacher after my students dragged Mr. Jang over to the table.  Peep the video below to watch Adam kick his ass.

 

This week I also celebrated my 2nd Christmas abroad, but first in Seoul. I was actually feeling crappy all day, but was coaxed into going to my friend Keira’s for a potluck/housewarming party.  It ended up being really nice and quaint and I’m glad I went, because the holidays are already really depressing living over here that they shouldn’t be made any more by staying in bed by myself on Christmas day.  So, here’s another semi-family photo with some new Koreans that I met.  Once again, can you spot our “special” member?

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Last but certainly not least was the EPIC event that I partook in last weekend.  My friend Jeremy runs a non-profit organization (http://gosena.org/) where he raises money to pay for high school costs for a select group of students in the Namibian school that he used to work at during the Peace Corps. So a couple times a year he throws fundraisers where we spend an over-abundance on alcohol and have an amazing time and it goes to support little African kids.  Well, this holiday fundraiser was an In Living Color themed t-shirt tag party fully loaded with 90s dance battles.  However, the 3 other “crews,” if they can even call themselves that, didn’t even stand a chance against my craftily put together crew.  All hail to the 1st place champions: WORD TO YO MAMA’S HIGH WAISTED JEANS (or WTYMHWJ for short).  We featured a medley of jams sampling all the great hits from every NOW music CD you ever owned. We won the whopping prize of 100,00won which we generously donated back to the kids, and of course superstar status for the rest of the evening.

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If you want to relive the Macarena, Barbie Girl DDR style, the great Bboys, the amazingness of “The Carlton” or watch a tap dancer slam her ass so hard on the ground that she pulls her groin muscle, I beg you to please tickle your eyeballs with the video below.  I promise you it’s worth every second of the 4 minutes that it is.

 

I hope you enjoyed the speedy version of the past 3 months. I’ve felt like quite the sorority girl that I never was.

OH, and if you live under a rock, I’ll be gracing the United States of America January 12th~25th.  So, if you know what’s good for you you’ll accompany me as I eat myself a winter coat during the duration of my visit, and come celebrate my birthday the evening of January 19th.  SEE YOU SOON AMERICA!!!