23 April, 2006

Black Day

February 14th is Valentine's Day, March 14th is White Day, and two Fridays ago I discovered that April 14th is Black Day, a day for single people to celebrate. In honor of this day, Morven hosted a Black Day dinner, serving a Korean-style Chinese dish called jjajangmyeon--noodles with a black bean sauce.

Good Friday

On the Friday before Easter, our cook boiled a gigantic pot of eggs, and all three classes spent the last hour of morning kinder having an egg coloring party. The kids got really into it, inscribing pictures and patterns of all varieties on their eggs. It was great fun, and I think we were even able to keep the number of unbroken eggs higher than that of broken ones. Mom had sent me a package with a bunch of Easter related things for the kids including egg stencils, but it didn't reach me in time for the Friday egg coloring. Julian thought they were so cute, however, that she boiled more eggs on the next Wednesday for just my class so we could use the stencils. Below are pictures from both days. Andy
Brian, Peter, and John
Marc and Kevin (of psychedelic frog fame)
Kipper's egg
5 year old Penny's egg

20 April, 2006

Liz's Birthday Continued/My Foray into Korean Fashion

Since we didn't feel like doing anything on Thursday night (school night) in celebration of the birthday, we decided to do the official foreigner celebration on Saturday night. And because we always just see each other in our plain old jeans and t-shirts or whatever else we happened to wear to work that day, we thought it would be fun (some more than others) to dress up for dinner. And instead of simply pulling out one of the three sensible skirts from our wardrobes, why not go shopping?

Our friend April found a dress fairly easily, so that left me and Liz to fend for ourselves one night after work. We wanted actual dresses, but this posed a couple of problems. One, Korean women don't wear casual dresses very often. There are strange skirts and tops and expensive little boutique dresses aplenty, but we wanted something in the middle. Two, Liz and I are big American women, and even though there are some big Korean women, Korea just hasn't caught onto making big clothes. In fact, I know that there are many Korean women who have a hard time finding clothes in their own country. It's not as if they're fat, either. Anyway, just for fun, we did go into a couple of the little boutiques. In one, a woman convinced us to try on some items even though she only had small and medium in everything. "I can ORDER large..." she told us expectantly, trying to make a good impression, unlike some of the shop owners who all but sneered at the mention of 'large'. We didn't leave completely depressed, however--we considered the fact that I actually got one of the dresses zipped a victory. As we were about to give up, we ran across a store with lots of brightly colored, fun and funky clothes in the biggest variety of sizes we'd seen yet. And they had dresses. Liz found a nice 'free size' dress, and after trying on a couple of misses, I got a hit. Once we had our dresses picked out, I, of course, had to check out the jewelry and found a nice necklace and some earrings to match my dress.

Sidenote about dressing rooms: there's usually standing room only, so hopefully you don't have to do much bending over; there usually aren't mirrors in the 'rooms', so plan on modeling for everyone in front of the communal mirror; and don't be surprised by a scant door covering. This last dressing room in question was right next to all the clothes and had a curtain on a dowel that covered me from mid-ribcage to knees. Liz was kind enough to stand in front of it. I also once tried on a pair of jeans in a utility closet.

Saturday afternoon we had a nice girls only lunch after which I treated Liz to a fancy airbrush manicure, and April and I had 'foot care' which translates as nearly one hour of intense leg and foot massage. We plan to go back. After that, we put on our dresses, collected the rest of our party, and went for dinner at Liz's favorite samgyeopsal restaurant. I was able to catch some photos of us in our rare state of dress--we even got Bryce to wear a tie, though it didn't last very long around his neck.

18 April, 2006

Liz's Birthday

Liz's twenty-third birthday was on Thursday the 13th. She asked the kids not to spend money; rather, she asked them to make her cards or write special things to make her birthday memorable. On Thursday morning, however, in true Korean tradition, the kids showed up with armloads of elaborately wrapped gifts. She had three cakes over the course of the day and went home with no fewer than three grocery sacks of presents. Her last class of the day--the middle schoolers--set up a special party in the rec room with yet more treats, and Marc and I took our classes up to participate. Marc suggested that we sing, so we had an impromptu noraebang/karaoke session with teacher and student participation alike. Liz surprised us all by breaking out a passionate number from Caberet, Marc and I sang a duet from Moulin Rouge, and several of the girls played pop songs on their hand phones to accompany their numbers.

13 April, 2006

Gangneung University Field Trip

Last Friday we took the kids for a walk to Gangneung University for some fun and games. We were suppose to leave at 10:00, but that was bumped to 10:30 due to 'wind', and then it was bumped to 11:00 so we could have snacktime and birthday cake. I think we finally got out the door around 11:20. In all honesty, it was quite windy, but the kids had fun doing something out of the ordinary. We found an open 'field' where we started a couple of circles of Duck, Duck, Goose, but not too much time had passed before we were asked to move due to field maintenance. As it was almost lunchtime anyway, we decided to simply call it a morning and trekked back to the school, but not before we took some photos, of course.

06 April, 2006

The New Look

With the onset of spring, I felt my blog needed a makeover--please enjoy! Also, for those of you who have wanted to post comments but have not wanted to create accounts, I believe I have enabled comment-posting for non-members. Lastly, but very importantly, happy 80th birthday to my grandpa!