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)