Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We are finally on vacation....YEAH!!! Though our schedule is nothing to complain about, we have most certainly been ready for a break for a while now. We are very excited to have some time off so we can do whatever we want or nothing if that's what we want. We're going to start our break right with couples massages!!! We're going to have them done tomorrow, and after that we'll think about what the rest of the week holds. We were gonna go to Seoul, but it's suppose to be really cold here this week and Seoul is pretty far north. So, we may go to Busan instead. Who knows...we're just excited to have time off!!!

HaPpY nEw YeAr!!!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

a look at our Christmas

SO...We actually had a really good Christmas even though we didn't get to be home with all of you. This is a quick look at all the different events and festivities from our Christmas in Korea!!!Also, a special thanks to all the emails, cards, gifts and deposits made that helped make our holiday feel at little more familiar. We love you all and hope you had a blessed Christmas.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas comes to Korea!!!

Christmas is just around the corner, and we are anticipating a different kind of Christmas than we're use to. As I've mentioned before, it doesn't feel the same as being home during the Holidays, but Christmas time has finally made it's way to Korea!!! The decorations are now up and the Christmas music is blaring everywhere we go. We're still going back and forth about what we will do. It's so weird to try and come up with something to do on Christmas instead of visitng with family. This is our tentative schedule as of now. Our Christmas celebration will kick off on Christmas Eve with a program at school. We do work on Christmas Eve, but the day will be filled with Christmas cheer as our students entertain us by singing traditional Christmas songs with their little Korean accents. Then after we get off of work Chris and I are going to start our own little tradition of making a Pumpkin Pie together!!! For the main event, Christmas day, I think we are going to have lunch at a really nice restuarant. We've also thought about having massages done somewhere. It would be soooo amazing to get a good deep tissue massage. Have I mentioned that the beds here are so hard that my legs fall asleep every night...ridiculous!!! Christmas night there's a special service at church that we're going to attend. Which I'm sure will be followed up by some kind of dinner with friends. Friday, the 26th will be back to work, but again this will probably be mainly a fun day for the kids to show off their new Christmas presents! That night after work we have a Christmas party with some of the other foreign teachers and some Korean friends. That's pretty much what we have planned for now, but who knows how it might change. Sounds like were gonna be pretty busy, but the week following Christmas is vacation, so we'll have plenty of time to rest up!!! I'm trying to convince Chris that we should go to the nicest hotel in town for a day just so I can soak in a tub for hours upon hours and get my bath fix in...boy do I miss my bath!!!

Dinner and a movie

It was such a long week. Everyone around me has said the same thing. I think this is probably due to the fact that we are anticipating our time off of school and anxious for all the festivities surrounding Christmas to begin. We took it easy this weekend because we had so much to do this past week. We had to be up early almost every morning which really hurt due to the extreme changes our sleeping patterns have undergone.

On Saturday night we tried out a new restaurant called Ashley. It was a grill and buffet, and this was the first place we've been in Korea that kinda had a Southern feel to it. We saw the place last week but were not hungry at the time. After we passed it up, we kept thinking about it over and over. All week long we talked about the unlimited supply of cheesecake on the dessert buffet that we couldn't help but notice. So, it wasn't even a question as to what we would do on Saturday. We made our way to the "old downtown" region in Ulsan, and we went straight to Ashley!!! Chris's first plate consisted of fried potato wedges, sweet potato casserole, fried rice and 3 pieces of cheesecake. Can we say carb overload? I couldn't help but crack up when I watched him take his first bite...cheesecake. We are definitely adding to the world's view of all Americans being over indulgent people as we binge every time we see anything that looks like good ole American food.
After filling up, we made our way to the Mega Box movie theatre, where we watched Yes Man, with Jim Carey. We thought it was really cute, and it was a nice escape from all things Korean, except there was a Korean girl in the movie and a few lines of Korean as well...we had no clue. This was the only humor in the movie that the Koreans actually understood. Obviously we appreciated the cultural humor much more because of our given situation. For about an hour and a half I actually forgot where I was...it was kinda nice :)

All in all we had a great weekend. We're really anxious for this week to begin and all the Christmas activities and breaks to begin!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

4 month list

Well, we've hit our 4 month mark and we came up with a list of things that Korea has brought into our lives. We've obviously found aspects of Korea that we love and other aspects that we don't love so much. Regardless, Chris and I have both grown so much in these past 4 months , and for this we are thankful:
  • neon lights
  • sitting on the bus and older women randomly stroking your hands, face and hair or having a monk sing to you...that was classic
  • not so friendly older women literally shoving you out of their way on the sidewalks and in stores
  • our favorite Korean dishes: Chamchi Gimbap (Korean version of tuna sushi), Dak bok em bap (Chicken Fried Rice with cheese), and of course any Japenese food (which is much better than all Korean food)
  • our not so favorite Korean staples: Kimichi (fermented spicy cabbage), red pepper paste, pig intestines, bugs... and don't forget the red bean desserts
  • pencil cases and stationary! the pride and joy of the kids and a constant distraction in class
  • parents sending their children over to you in restaurants and such to practice their English
  • the pervading stench of fish, garbage and sewer
  • the confident boost... because you are always a beeeautifull girl or handsome maan to anyone you come in contact with
  • men in shiny suits sleeping in the streets after a night in the bar
  • the waffle lady, who stands in a street vendor stall right outside the apartment selling waffles and these wonderful creme filled pastries all day everyday
  • our most used Korean phrases: "assah" awesome, "jinja" are you serious?, "ego ul mayo" how much is it
  • and what would we do without the classroom favorites: "hajima" don't do that, "anja" sit down, and "joyounghihay" be quiet
  • restaurants and coffee houses completely decked out in princess pink and purple
  • instant coffee served anywhere and everywhere
  • open markets and truck vendors driving through the streets shouting and selling everything from garlic to fish to computers to beer
  • "the squat" as we like to call it, a common Korean resting position that really looks like what we would call "popin a squat"
  • bean sprouts, Chris's only source of survival for about 3 weeks when we first got here
  • body image: a new found appreciation for our bodies pre-Korea (about 35 lbs. heavier combined), and our skewed perspectives after being surrounded by the thin Koreans
  • toilet paper, covering all of your basic needs at home, work and in the restaurant (no napkins on these dinner tables); the bathroom is just an afterthought as a place of use
  • fashion, the 80s reborn! with a little added class
  • excitement and joy when you see someone who looks like you and talks like you...you talk even if there's nothing to say just because it makes us all feel more at home
  • cleaning my bathroom by spraying it down with scolding hot water
  • talking to Mama while she gets ready in the morning and my day is coming to an end
  • a new appreciation for the kisses she blows me every time we say good bye
  • girls in strange, nearly naked outfits dancing and shouting on the sidewalks and in stores ...no this is not a form of exotic entertainment, this my friend is how the Koreans advertise :)
  • random festivals for music, pottery, mums... they come out of the woodwork to go to these things
  • scooters, the scariest thing you could possibly look up to see coming at you as you walk on the side walk
  • SKYPE, email, facebook, myspace, and blogs which allow me to keep in touch with all of you
  • understanding what it means to be a minority and actually experiencing racism
  • the adventures of cooking a western meal when the supplies are non existent
  • Paris Baguette, Tours Les Jour, Baskin Robbins, and Tiamo...our favorite places to get dessert, we keep them in business over here:)
  • bus drivers who drive as if they shouldn't have a license and make me aware of death on an everyday basis
There are many more things we could list, but we've gotta stop somewhere!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I've had a lot of people asking for a mailing address lately. Please do not feel as if you need to send us anything!!! But for those of you who insist, here it is:

ELC, 3FAmber Schamp
846-1, Guyeong-Ri, Beomseo-eop
Ulsan, South Korea

Saturday, December 6, 2008

coffee shops and Korean diaries

So, the entertainment these days has changed a bit. It's getting pretty cold here in the land of many Koreans. Not having a vehicle forces us to spend a lot of time outside waiting on buses to travel back and forth between work and home or walking anywhere else we need to go. Thus, the result is, we don't go as many places, and when we do, we opt for warm indoor locations. We've found ourselves in nice and cozy coffee shops more and more frequently, and though coffee is ridculously overpriced unless you buy the instant coffee (which I admit, I do while at school on a regular basis). We try to stay away from Starbucks and instead enjoy some of the Korean coffee shops. This isn't because we wouldn't love that o so familiar Green Tea Latte and Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffin. The reality is, Starbucks is completely out of our price range in this country, a simple latte rings in at close to 6,000 won, which is the equivalent of about $6.00, and this is smaller than a tall size. Yeah... so, when you pull through the drive thru at Satrbucks Monday morning, first of all thank God for your vehicle and the nice heater in it, and second remeber that you could be paying close to 6 bucks for a much smaller drink filled with many more calories (they don't believe in light options in this country either:)

I'm also learning to enjoy the simple forms of entertainment these days, such as my journal entries from the kids at school, or as they would call it, their "diaries" :) There are always interesting stories. Every once in a while a kid will vent about how they hate English, their teacher :), their parents or life in general, but usually they are fun and light hearted stories about the everday happenings in the life of a Korean child. This week, I read the cutest and funniest little journal entry that captured my heart because I could relate to what my child was saying. Instead of summarizing, I'll directly quote the diary, spelling and gramatical errors included, just so you can see a little bit of the English level that we're working with.

Meet Celia (This is her English name, all students who study English have an English name). Celia's about 9 years old, and she's is in my Jr. Special class, which is an upper level class for elementary students. Her writing goes as follows:

" <I saw mouse>
I saw a black mice today.
I scard mice.
I don't like mice
I want mice is no in the world
'God please kill mice!' "

I just thought this was too funny and too true. I can agree; I kinda wish God would kill all the mice in the world as well :) Thanks Celia, for bringing that joyful thought into my mind!!!
That's all folks!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Are you impressed???

Hopefully you've noticed the changes that have been made. I'm not gonna lie, it took me a while to figure things out. Chris mad fun of me; he doesn't understand why it matters!!! But, I couldn't help noticing that my blog was extremely lame in comparison to the others that I like to read. In the end, Mr. Who Cares was impressed with the new gadets...hope you are too. Oooo Google, what would we do without you??? The look has changed a bit, but I still couldn't figure out how to create a personalized layout:( There's an Asian looking pic, one of my personal favorites since we've been here. Sorry about the music in the background if you're at work, guess you may need to mute the speakers. I even changed the world clock so that the time in Western Ky and SK shows. Check out the live weather update that shows the temp here in Ulsan. I always seem to get questions about the time and the weather...so here you have it!!! Hope this makes things a little more interesting and fun with the details. Anyway...that's all for now!!! I'm off to bed.
Good night world.