Gangnam Style

Sorry I’m behind on my blog. I have been really busy packing and cleaning. I will update soon.

I wanted to post something to keep you entertained so I thought I’d leave you with a music video. This song is Korea’s big hit of the summer. I have been hearing lots of buzz about it, but today I finally watched the music video. It’s odd and funny and very Korean… enjoy.

Busan International Fireworks Festival

Monday, October 24

I don’t remember if I have previously mentioned this or not, but I now have a language exchange partner. She is a 6th grade teacher at my school. She is so so sweet. We met on Monday and after our lesson, she gave me 2 huge pears. Pears in Korea are so big… they are bigger than grapefruit.

Tuesday, October 25

During our 3rd grade classes we were teaching about time and asked our students what they do every day. So many of them said academy (additional classes) so my teacher began asking questions about how many. Most go to more than one, but it was pretty shocking when one of my students said he goes to 5 academies. On top of his regular week at school, he also takes classes in English, Chinese, Korean, math, and taekwondo. The poor kid! No wonder he struggles at English… he’s so bogged down by everything else he’s forced to study.

Wednesday, October 26

On Wednesday Jamie and I went to get our hair cut. I’ve only had 2 haircuts in the 8 months (now 9 months) I’ve been in Korea. The first time I went to a large department store and ended up getting a lady that spoke pretty good English. This time I went to a small place in my neighborhood. The cut was interesting. She cut my hair dry, then they washed it and two women dried my hair, using two blow dryers and their fingers to comb through my hair. It was quite an experience. The entire thing was only 12,000 won ($10.50). Jamie had her bangs trimmed for 2,000 won ($1.75).

Before                          After


Thursday, October 27

I was talking to one of my 6th graders about Halloween and he told me that he doesn’t like to be scared. He said that his brother once jumped out at him while wearing a scream mask and he cried. He’s a funny kid. I liked that he was willing to admit that in front of a group of his friends.

Friday, October 28

There was a big K-POP concert on Friday night. K-POP is Korean pop music and it’s HUGE here. Some of the biggest bands played in the show, like Big Bang, SHINee, Kara, and T-ARA. I filled out an application for tickets online on October 14th and I heard that if it said “Successful!” then you definitely have a seat.

I was really excited about going, but I decided to stay home because I knew I would be out in the cold on Saturday night and didn’t know if my body could handle two chilly nights outdoors in a row. Bummer.

Saturday, October 29

I have been looking foward to the Busan International Fireworks Festival since I found out I was going to be living here. It happens every year in October at Gwanganli Beach.

The weather on Saturday was awful. We hit the beach around 4:30 to make sure we could get a spot. The fireworks didn’t actually begin until 8:00pm. It started out great. We were sitting there, the weather was nice, and we bought a pizza and had dinner on the beach. Unfortunately, it started misting around 6:30 and eventually it started really coming down.

I guess I forgot to mention that we were supposed to go out for Halloween after the fireworks so we were all dressed in our clothes we were planning to wear that night. After the fireworks, we were all cold, wet and super sandy. If you know me, you know that I HATE sand.

The fireworks were nice, but the weather put a damper on things. It was also a bit hard to see because they didn’t always shoot up very high and there were lots of umbrellas blocking our view.

So… I should have gone to the K-POP concert.

About 5:00… before the beach was too crowded

The view we had – umbrellas and people trying to find a spot to sit

The fireworks were so low

The subway station was beyond crowded

If you look at the top of the stairs you can see the guy in the camo holding back a herd of people from coming down the stairs

Here you can see Jamie and Shanna bracing themselves against the side of the subway car because we were packed in that thing like sardines!

Awww Moment

I teach grades 3-6 in an elementary school. Up until a month or so ago, I taught 6th grade twice a week. It was cut back to once a week so that the 6th graders could prepare for their national exam that they had last Tuesday.

Last Friday was my last class with the 6th grade students until September. My co-teacher knew they had been very stressed out over the exam so she wanted me to have fun with them. We played a “Name That Tune” game using Korean pop (K-pop) songs. They were able to listen a clip of the song that used English and they had to write down the name of the song and the name of the band. They also had to list the English words that they heard. Apparently they loved it because my co-teacher told me that yesterday they were begging to play again.

She also told me that she gave them a sheet of paper and asked them to write down things they thought the class was missing. 20-30 students said me. Awww!