Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The 5 Month Mark is closing in.

Yup, 5 months. Feels like only yesterday that I was wandering around the British Museum with Hugo, embarrassing the shit out of him by taking a boatload of pictures. Or sitting in Bar T'At sipping on a pint of Warsteiner while Tom drinks a strawberry smoothie. Or meeting Dave at the Starbucks outside St. James' Tube station 10 hours before my flight.

So, what have I achieved while I'm here? A small checklist:

1) I've drunk a lot.
2) I dove head first into a culture that, besides reading the lonely planet, I knew nothing about.
3) I've made good friends.
4) I persuaded Alex to buy some converse that were at least 1 size too small.
5) I now know that I want to teach for the forseeable future.
6) I'm trying out a new hairstyle.
7) I'm learning a new language.
8) I danced like a retard on a nightclub stage.
9) I now know the reason why Soju is unheard of outside these lands.

And yet, I want MORE.

This could be cabin fever brought about by being hungover on my first real day of holiday with nothing planned or booked, but dammit, I need to do more. Which is why I'm giving into cliche and drawing up my very own lists: 10 things to do while in Korea (only 7 months left now), and a slightly grander "50 things to do before I'm 50". Seeing as I'm over 2/5th of the way there, I'd better get cracking.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I forgot!

In the midst of my other rantings and ravings, I never mentioned one of the most surreal experiences of my life: A Korean first Birthday party.

One of my co-teachers invited us all to her kid's first birthday. Now, I assumed that it was a thing mainly for the parents and their friends to chat and drink at whilst the babies played in the corner. Nuh-uh. The baby was definitely the star of the show.

We arrived at about 12 (after being told to dress up) at a Wedding Hall (A set of reception halls that can hold multiple weddings/functions at the same time) style place in Migeum and went downstairs. The baby, and mum and dad were all dressed up to the nines and welcoming people in. We sit down, talk to some of our co-workers (hierarchy is such that mingling at formal gatherings is frowned upon; you stick to your group unless someone formally introduces you) and get some buffet food. Then the lights go off and an announcer comes in and starts heaping praise (according to the front-desk girl who translated for me) on the baby, before a little slide show comes on.

So far, so normal. But then, spotlights up, techno music on, and in come 2 Korean waitresses wearing fairy wings and things on their heads, who proceed to do a 10 minute dance with sparklers for the baby!

It was most bizarre. And now I want a similar party for any of my children because it looked friggin hilarious.

In other news, the topic of what I want to do in "the real world" has reared its ugly head. Part of me still wants to qualify as a teacher, but at the same time I have a nagging feeling that if I were to choose teaching, that I would be shutting down all my other options. And I don't want that.