Saturday, February 26, 2011

A rainy day in Seoul...

Hey everyone!  Earlier in the week, I saw rain on the forecast and thought..there is no way!  Sure has been on & off raining since 2 this morning.  Crazy that 3 weeks ago we had snow and now we have rain.  We had plans to go to Insadong today (a lady I work with says it's Americans favorite place to go) but Seoul pretty much stinks in the rain so we weren't able to go.  We are having a quiet, lazy day at home enjoying what is left of the weekend.  

Not too long ago we had heard about this huge store, full of fresh fruit/vegetable much like a gigantic version of Walmart.  We wanted to check it out.  In the states, we use signs as references like "ok floor 1 has clothes" and so on.  This is the 'Information' map at this place.  Guess we will just..find it on our own :o)

One of my favorite parts about Korea is their vending machines.  It is so cheap and has the best juices (not much soda, they don't really like soda here).  Mike and I like to try something different every time.  My favorite so far is Mango juice.  Mike likes this weird ( I think ) grape drink that has like lumps of real grapes in it.  If you know me at all, you know I am so weird about textures..even when I was warned about the lumps I was disgusted!

Part of Mike's crew chief job is flying at night using night vision goggles.  This pictures were taken for his seat in the helicopter of part of Seoul at night.  The river is called the "Han river".  I heard it was named after the language Han-gul.  Koreans call it "Hangang"- gang meaning river.  The lights go on and pretty.

This is Danny's new favorite hiding place..between Shep's 2 dog beds...

Don't know if I have mentioned in the other blogs but I started tutoring a brother and sister.  He is in seventh grade and prefers to be called "Aiden" (so cute).  And his sister is in third grade and wants to be called "Rachel".  I am tutoring them English..both conversational and grammar..that type of thing.  They already learn some basic English is school so they have a good basis but the mom wants me to expand on it. This past Saturday was my first day and it was fun!  I went to a huge bookstore yesterday in Dongdeamun and got them their own workbooks.  The mom doesn't speak any English at all so to meet them and set up times..our realtor had to translate..pretty interesting!

Hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jetsetting & police...

Destination:  Okinawa 
Leave:  March 21
Return: April 4

That's right, I am leaving way sooner than I thought!  I take out of Incheon, Seoul Airport on the 21st of March.  I am really excited but kind of nervous because I am yet again going into another foreign country that is completely different from Korea.  Different food, different language.  My number 1 and 2 things on my "have-to-do" agenda.

1.  Go to the beach (It will be warm enough to sit out!)
2.  Try REAL sushi (originated in Japan)

Mike is a little jealous because he wants to go but with his work schedule it would be too hard to take the leave plus we have no where to keep the dogs.  I told him if we do stay for 2 years we'll have to make a trip back.  He really wants to go to Tokyo.

I'm sure you saw the heading and thought.."police" ?!  Long story short.  I came home from work on Friday to this man that literally looked like Korea's version of "Where is Waldo"..with the glasses..hat..and striped shirt.  He was standing on our stairway asking me if we were throwing "feces" on top of this rusty shed next door.  I said no.  The more I thought about it..I had remembered that when there was a ton of snow on the upstairs area..we were letting Shep go to the bathroom and then right after shoveling it off.  Well..we weren't noticing where we were throwing it and didn't think it was that significant because it just fell into the thick snow on the shed.  WELL..the snow has now the "feces" is all exposed.  Later in the evening, the same guy and another guy came back and wanted to talk to Mike.  It seems here that men prefer to talk to men and vice versa.  So, Mike stuck with the story ( I know that is really wrong ) but we offered to clean it off with no problems.  They said no and that they were going to call the cops.  I was pretty much freaking out..but they never ended up calling the police..thank GOODNESS!  

The first thing I said to Mike was..oh wonderful..we would get in trouble for POOP.

It has been kind of quiet around here lately and we've been kind of lazy about going places.  Next weekend we are making it a priority! :)  So..instead of telling about a new place..I will post a couple of pictures on what we did on the New Year here.  We went to this place called "Lotte World".  It is kind of like Korea's version of Disney World.  What is so significant about this place?  After of it is indoors..roller coasters and all because it is so cold here, they want to be able to keep part of it open.  The castle and everything is outdoors but this is what we saw indoors...

If we end up staying 2 years..this is the car I am DETERMINED to get.  It's called the "Damas"..what does that look like? LOL

Have a great rest of your weekend and great week!  Love you all!

Friday, February 11, 2011

My first week!

Happy Friday :)  Hope you all had a great week..I'm sure you're ready for the weekend..I know I am!  I thought I would write and give an update on how my first week of work went.  Overall, I thought it went really well!  At times, a bit overwhelming but I am really catching on.  I work with 3 other Koreans, making me the only actually all of the CAC besides the people who work for the colleges on base.  That makes it really interesting when I am taking my lunch break and I am eating a turkey sandwich while everyone else is eating stinky kimchi, rice, dried anchovies, and a lot of other mystery foods.  Besides learning about work..I have learned SO much about the Korean culture already just from them.  

To "welcome" me into the bank, they took Mike and I out to a real authentic Korean restaurant last night.  I was a little hesitant..because I'm not wild about their food.  First we came in and took our shoes off, which is mandatory in a traditional restaurant.  The first thing I smelt...MY FEET.  They stunk so bad because I forgot to wear socks!  Needless to say the whole time I was thinking, please don't be able to smell my feet. They went ahead and ordered for all of us.  It was so much food I was shocked.  First they brought out big bowls of rice for each of us.  They then brought out a platter of different vegetables such as dried seaweed, spinach, sprouts, things like that.  Then you put what type of sauce you want for example bean sauce...the others I actually didn't know what they were.  They brought out 3 different types of Kimchi.  One type had been aged for probably 3 years (underground)..which is basically really spicy.  A soup kimchi..that wasn't aged.  Same taste..just different consistency. favorite the kimchi made in the restaurant instantly.  It was sweet and soooo good.  Then, they brought out sweet pork and regular pork.  You wrapped your pork in the lettuce cups and put rice or whatever you wanted.  FINALLY..after being so stuffed it was time for dessert.  It was kind of a grind cold cereal..mixture of barley, rice, wheat and Korean rice crispy treats (which is just popped rice and a little sweetness to it).  All of that for only 37,000 WON!  (About $35).  Needless to say, if we have visitors we are definitely taking them there!

Ok, ok, I'm sure you don't want to hear about the food anymore.  So the next thing that happened this past week..or that we noticed was that our neighbors "Jindo" dog had puppies.  I posted a picture of a older Jindo puppy back in my first few blogs.  But here is what they look like now...

It makes me want to take one so bad but I already have my hands full with 2 and we all know you just can't take 1 of this sweet little faces.

Also, just wanted to send a WOO HOO to my mom and David.  Congratulations mom and your new ENGINEERING position..and the wedding coming up of course.  You guys are going to LOVE Colorado..we are jealous!  What a great opportunity to have a fresh start out of Florida!  Now you two are the "Traveling Twosome" too!

Maybe one day...HA  

Love you all!

Hope you all are doing great.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

An exciting week!

So last week I interviewed for the Military banking position on the K-16 base (where Mike is stationed).  Leaving the interview, I was thinking there was no way I would get this position.  Low and behold, I got a call earlier this week telling me I was selected :)  I go in Monday!  I plan on tutoring 5 families on the side for teaching English.  So things are looking up job wise!  One of the questions in the interview was asking me if I was willing to travel to...OKINAWA, Japan for 2 weeks to train.  Of course I didn't turn that down...

Another exciting thing about this week has been the "warm" temperatures..AKA 32 degrees- 41 degrees.  It isn't going to last, in fact it is getting back to its usual cold but we sure did enjoy it while it lasted!  It is pretty funny how I was tempted to wear just a thin long-sleeved T shirt in that weather.  I always tell mom that your body just adjusts..even if you are a full-blooded Floridian.

Since this week was Lunar New Year for the Koreans, it was a ghost-town around here.  I have to admit that was a nice break from all the crazy drivers and rabid dogs.  This weekend is the Super I'm sure you all know, so the weekend is kind of "designated" for Super Bowl festivities.  

Back in October, they held the G-12 Summit here in South Korea.  The place they held it at is this humongous mall/convention center/hotel/casino/aquarium/movie theater and so on...called the Coex (Convention & Exhibition Center)  It is HUGE, needless to say.  

Have a great weekend & Superbowl.  GO PACKERS!