8-31 Ok, so it's the last day of the month and it's been a week or so since my last entry so I thought I'd update on the latest happening here in South Korea. We're back to normal here at school this week and so far I'd say it's been awesome as I've started trying a new way of teaching and it really seems to work, at least with the younger kids. I'm really working on being more animated to keep their attention during class b/c it's very easy for them to ..... wait, what was I writing about? Oh, it's easy for them to lose their attention in class. The Kindergarten teacher has also asked me to move my class which is going to give me 4 hours on Weds morning (hopefully) to work on lesson plans, etc which will be an awesome time, right in the middle of the week.
The weekend before last I visited a Costco in Seoul with a friend from my area and picked up a couple pillows which was really nice b/c I was still using the pillows from the little love seat and they are not very comfortable. I have noticed my sleeping has improved since. I also picked up a 55 pack box of oatmeal in an attempt to start eating breakfast every morning again. So far in the week and a half I've had it I've had breakfast once but I'm hoping to soon be doing so everyday. I also noticed at Costco that if you bought the Jager there it came with a free soccer ball. Great, like you need more opportunities to do silly things that could hurt you while drinking Jager! Also, I wondered while I was there if Koreans think that everything in America is like Costco: Giant tubs of peanut butter, 55 packs of oatmeal, etc. I wonder.
Random thought here but thought I'd mix to a little Black Stone Cherry for the rest of the afternoon. Had the need to listen to the first album again, especially "When the weight comes down". Anyway, after leaving costco I headed over to Itaewon to meet some friends at Coca Cabana (?) for dinner. It is an all you can eat Brazillian style eatery where you get steak, chicken, etc until you can't take anymore. It was an awesome time and the pineapple desert at the end was really, really good. After stuffing ourselves we headed over to Scrooge's pub to have a few drinks and wait for the South African/ New Zealand rugby game. I'll have to admit I never really knew much about rugby before coming to Korea but after hanging out with the South Africans and others I've really grown to love watching the sport. Scrooge's really is an interesting place, as it's in Itaewon, so there's almost all foreigners, and from all over the world. The South African game was on until about 3:30 am and I needed to stay in the area until 5:30 so I could get all the stuff I'd bought earlier in the day as they were in a locker at the subway station.
So, against my better judgement I went down the street to the Hamilton Hotel Jjinjilbang, which to say the least, doesn't have the best reputation! Jjinjilbang's are everywhere in Korea and are a bathhouse where you have several hot tubs varying in temps, along with saunas, and you can get a massage if you like. There are also sleeping areas you can stay in and are often a cheap place to stay at night. So, my friend (Chingu) Glendon and I went in and lounging in the hot tubs and this middle age gentleman gets in with us and starts talking to us. After a few minutes he counts our penises (1 penis, 2 penis, 3 penis) and I should have just left there. Yes, this Jjinjilbang is known as where the gay Koreans go, although Koreans will tell you there are none in Korea; I DISAGREE! After showering we walked up to the sleeping area and I'm not really sure I ever truly fell asleep as after watching people "perform" lewd acts I was too afraid I'd wake up with a surprise. After a while I decided it was time to leave and get my belongings at the subway. All I can say is that this was a once in a lifetime experience.
The next day I carried all of my crap from the day before onto the bus and headed home. On the way home my Friend, Andrew, invited me over to Uijeongbu to have some lunch, so I decided to head over that way. It was a great afternoon and evening and I got to meet some cool people in the area, including a girl that originally is from the same area of the world as I. Her family was from the Ohio County part of Kentucky, so it was nice to meet someone that knows that part of the country as most people have no idea what I'm talking about when discussing KY. After eating we heading over to Amusing World and man, it's awesome. For about $6 over two hours I played darts, ping pong, cards and they also have Wii Bangs, movie rooms, an arcade, food, beer, massagers, everything. I really had a great time at Amusing world and my new friends are pretty cool. We left there and headed over to the Halloween bar, where everything is decked out like it's Halloween. Don't really have a lot to write about it but I'd like to see what goes on there for Halloween!
So, I've definitely experienced a Monsoon season now, and I'd have to say, at least, here it's not been too crazy. However, I am ready for it to be over as it's rained pretty every day for the last month, including my hiking trip where I was flooded out of my tent and this past weekend's trip. This past weekend was another great weekend as it started out with me heading to Hanam to hang out with friends there. We started with a BBQ on the roof and I was introduced to a Braai-Broodjies( Hope that's right) which is a sandwich from South African (http://http//www.rainbowcooking.co.nz/recipes/braai-broodjies-barbecued-sandwiches). It was a very simple sandwich of brea, tomato, onions, seasoning, and cheese but man it's awesome. I'm going to have to start making it! After griling on the roof we headed over to old Hanam where I met another guy that goes by the name of Bo, which was quite interesting. It was a great time meeting him and several other people from the area. Later we went over to the Noraebang to do a little singing.
I had to leave the Noraebang around 5:30 am so I could catch a bus and the subway to go on another Adventure Korea trip. Even though I fell asleep on the subway I barely still made the bus and joined the other. We headed to Seonyudo Island where we would be enjoying beaches, bike riding, the ocean, and just relaxing. We took a boat over to the island and I was afraid that it was going to be a bad day as it started raining as soon as we got there. Lucky for us, nature had other intentions and the rain cleared up and we were presented with a gorgeous afternoon and evening. I explored the island and found an awesome spot by the pier where the ocean was crashing against the concrete and sending water shooting up the pier wall! One sad note from there was that the wind blew my lense cap into the water, to be lost for all eternity. Luckily they are not that expensive and I can pick one up when I get my camera cleaned soon.
After hanging out on the pier I hung out with our driver and guide in the ocean for a while before cleaning up and getting ready to watch the sunset. I didn't realize how absolutely gorgeous the sunset would be as you can see in the pictures I've posted on FB. I believe they are some of the best pics I've taken since I've been in Korea! An interesting note from the trip is that one of my roommates from the weekend was from Northeast Montana, so it really is a small world. In the morning we had the opportunity to see the sunrise but I could hear it raining and passed on that. I was going to pass on the morning hiking too b/c the rain was absolutely pouring but was talked into and was glad I was as it was a nice little hike, even though I'm not sure my shoes will ever be dry again. After hiking a couple peaks, Montana Mike and I headed with others to the beach to catch razor fish.
Razor fish area creature and is gooey in the middle and had a shell similar to the texture of your fingernail and it cylindrical in shape. To catch them you take a shovel and scoop away sand to reveal their holes. When you find them, you pour sand into them, which causes them to suffocate and search for water. As they come up you grab them by the shell and slowly pull them up. We didn't catch a great deal as we soon ran out of salt but they did wash them off and cook them; I tried one and they were not too bad. Afterwards, we packed up everything and headed back to Seoul. I really couldn't ask for much more than this past weekend as it had a little bit of everything: BBQ, new food, good friends, new friends, hiking, and biking. This weekend I'm planning on doing some hiking with a friend I met a few weeks ago on an Adventure Korea trip. We're hoping there's no rain and that we can get in a nice hike. Let's hope we do!