TGIF!! (In more ways than one)

So, I’m sitting here writing this at 5am–It’ll be a quick one.  I went to bed early (or relatively early…heh.  Just earlier than my usual time) because I wanted to actually be rested going into Friday.
Apparently my body had other plans, because I woke up around 4am with an upset stomach.  😦
So much for having a good night’s sleep…heh.

Anyway, I finished updating that Seoul entry, and even though it is now 5am, that also means it’s officially FRIDAY!
And this isn’t just any Friday, mind you…this is my first official payday since I’ve been here!
My boss put in a week’s pay once I got paid, but I get the rest today 😀 😀
I’m so beyond excited for this.  I didn’t realize how much I’d spend on setting up my apartment and just getting to this point, so I’ve been coasting in on fumes.


(For some reason, when I typed in various versions of “Payday” or “Korean Won” and that sort of thing, I couldn’t find a good picture of a person jumping around in a giant pile of Korean Won…only US dollars. )
Anyway…I had less than 100,000 Won ($100USD) in my Korean account (more in my US account, but I didn’t want to transfer any more of it over in case I needed it for bills).
And I think my boss put in around 600,000.  ($600).  WAHOO!!!
Feeling much, much better.
I’m going to be over the moon once the real one hits.  Also, that would technically make me a millionaire 🙂  I get around $2000/month, which here is 2.4 million Won.

No biggie.
Who wants a new car?

Anyway, I’m going to try for bed again.
Also, once I get paid, I can move money to my American account and put some bills on auto-pay…for the first time ever.  I’m one of those people that has always had to worry about money…living paycheck to paycheck, as they say.  So…to be at a point in my life where I won’t have to do that anymore is a very, very welcome change.

And with that, Goodnight!

(I’m going to be doing a post in the near future on expenses too, btw)
(And, my sore throat is still here.  GRR.  It’s fairly mild, but I wish it was gone altogether.)

Day Trip to Seoul

I went out on Saturday night with a few people and we discovered that one guy visiting from England hadn’t been shown a good time.  He was visiting his friend (I know of him because the expat group here is a pretty tight knit little group) and he apparently hadn’t taken him to see anything, and Sunday was his last night.  So…both myself and another of our friends suggested that we take him to Seoul on Sunday (the guy’s flight was at midnight).

So…that’s just what we did.  Got home around 6am and then met up with the others at 11am to depart for Seoul.  Thankfully it’s only about an hour away on the KTX (high-speed bullet train) and can be 2-3 on the bus (depending how many stops the bus makes).

We took the train up there and found out that all of the storage lockers (for his suitcase–the airport is just outside Seoul, so he brought everything with him) were sealed and off-limits because President Obama was in town for the Nuclear Security Summit meeting in Seoul.

Anyway,we decided to check with a hostel and see if they’d hold it for us (they took it for free! yay!)–then we were off!!

First stop:
Gyeongbok Palace

Then after that, we went to Seoul Tower.  This tower gives a lovely panoramic view of the city.

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^Nuhhhhooooooo.  I don’t want a slideshow WordPress.  Blrgh.  Oh well.  Go there for the Seoul Tower pictures.  lol.  🙂

After Seoul Tower, we all got Korean BBQ (Gogigui) current favorite dish.  🙂  They have endless side dishes to pair it with and you get to grill the food right there at your own table.  The tables at these places have a built in…basically a mini pit right there in the table.  However, this particular place in Seoul wasn’t as great because the prices were higher for less food than we were used to in Daejeon.  (Perhaps because Seoul is a bigger city).  Anyway, left there to go pick up our friend’s stuff from the hostel and made our way to the Incheon Internation Airport (in Seoul). We all got some ice cream at Baskin Robbins while we waited, and then my co-worker and myself caught the first bus out of Seoul.  We had to work earlier than the rest of them, so they stayed behind to see him off.

We left around 10:10pm and made it back to Daejeon a little after midnight.  (Typically a 3 hour bus-ride, but at night, it’s a straight drive…no stops.  Yay!

I’d say, a pretty successful visit to Seoul.  🙂  Normally, you’d have more time there, but this was definitely a fun, spur-of-the-moment trip.

“Manners and Conduct in School and Out”

We’re planning on introducing a Manners class in our kindergarten classes, and I was browsing around online for material we could use and found this:
Click on the numbers on the side.

😀  haha 🙂

note to self:
This is good

This too:

Care Package!!

The care package from my grandma’s friend (family friend) Kay arrived today…and I was stunned.  Absolutely more than I could have hoped for!!!
Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!

My face hurts from smiling so much 😀

Also, my grandma sent me this image and I felt like passing it along.

Mini Update

1.  Thanks to both Google Translator and my co-worker (and a good sense of humor on everyone’s part)…I have a phone!!!!
2.  I also have a bank account!!!  Need to work on getting money transferred over (and seeing if my work needs the info for payday)
3.  One of my kindergarteners has started reading 🙂

However…I’m also now sick.  Hence the short update.  I’m headed to bed…sore muscles and a sore throat/swollen glands.
I’ve heard that pretty much every new person that comes over gets a cold or some sort of sickness when they first come over.  It’s to be expected with the new environment and stress apparently.  I felt it come on around 3pm today during my afternoon classes. :-/  Thankfully, no nausea or anything, just feeling really weak and exhausted.
So…off to bed.

I’ll talk more about getting my bank account set up and the stuff about my phone when I don’t feel crappy.

Goooood night.  (at 9pm. lol.)

Classroom Materials

Thank you Internet!!!  I’ve found some great links on the Internet for classroom materials.  (Mostly thanks to Pinterest :)).  I also have a channel that I’ve been saving videos to on Youtube.

Speaking of the Internet…I found a childhood video (full version) on Youtube, and I feel embarrassed to post it (ha), but I think I’m going to play it for my kindergarten students around Christmastime.  I think they’ll get the most enjoyment out of it and they’ll be able to understand it by then too.  🙂

Other teaching links that I’ve found recently:
Popsicle Sticks
or here

Clothespin ABCs and Numbers

Edit:  (I couldn’t get the links to work last night :-/)
Kindergarten Klub Blog

Lamb Handwriting Practice

And, this is my YouTube ESL/Teaching Channel

Annnnd this is what I’m thinking about showing them around Christmastime…kind of like a reward for all their hard work because by then they should actually be able to enjoy it.  I think they could understand parts of it now, but that’s not as fun.

I’ll probably test out other Barney videos every so often to see how they like it and to see if they’d even enjoy watching a Barney video.  (I couldn’t do the whole thing in one day…but perhaps stretched out over a few days).  Anyway, more fun than doing activity books every day for the next year.  😛


First off, I think the ‘food’ part is the hardest adjustment for me here.  They have Western food to some extent but it’s also a lot more expensive than Korean food (which can be bought for roughly $2-5(USD)).
I’ve tried a bunch of different foods but my stomach doesn’t really seem to be satisfied with what I’m giving it.  I’m experiencing this weird thing where I’m not necessarily craving anything from home…but I’m also not craving anything from Korea.  I’m eating enough but I also feel like I’m constantly hungry.  I’m not sure if that’s my body’s way of adapting or what…but yeah…it’s very weird.
And I wish it’d hurry up.

I think it could also be getting used to the smaller portion sizes too…bah.  No fun.

Oh…and 700 VISITORS!!!!!
Wahoo!!!!!! 😀
I feel like a proud mama 🙂

Ooh! For me?! And it’s NOT a bill in Korean?! :)

Ladies and Gentlemen…it has happened!  I received my first “care package” from home..ah..Thursday?
It actually wasn’t really a care package, but I ordered from running shorts and new shoes from, and since they don’t ship to Korea, I had them shipped to my mom’s house and she sent them over to me. (Thanks again, Mom! :))
Even though I knew it was coming, I was still really excited (ie: dancing around in the elevator, haha) when I got to pick it up from the security guy at the front desk.  🙂
Annnnnd…it only took 5 days!  Not too shabby!

My grandma’s friend Kay (practically family) also apparently sent me one recently too!  I feel so spoiled 😀  A real one this time…wahoo!  😀

Anyway, I still haven’t finished my TEFL course (yeah…remember that?  from months ago? ha.), so I’m trying to work on that and get it knocked out.  The online course has a 6 month limit and I have til May 16th or something like that.
I just got so busy with the car thing and then moving here…and then getting settled.
Now, I just need to make myself crank it out and get it done.  Ugh.

These are AWESOME!!!
Learn Korean

KWOW (Korean Word of the Week)

Sidenote 2:
I have almost 700 views to my blog!

Sidenote 3:
I think I’ve *inspired* my second person to come teach in Korea.  😀 😀


This is another personal piece, but what’s a blog about being on the other side of the planet without telling the whole truth.
The fact is, life goes on whether I’m here in Korea or not, and well…you’re supposed to deal with it the best you can either way.
I found out yesterday morning (for me) that I lost my grandpa.  It’s sort of been a long time coming because he’s been suffering from various ailments for the past few years. Thankfully, I have all the rest of my grandparents around…and even though I/we knew this was coming…it still hit like a ton of bricks.  I’m doing alright, but it’s still sort of come as a shock, and I was honestly in denial when I first heard from my mom.  That part of my brain assumed that my mom had been mistaken or that I had misheard or even made up that whole conversation in my head.

I wish more than anything that I could be there with my family through this and to help support my grandma.  However, I know that my place is here and that I’d be a fool to leave.
The great thing about being an expat is the community of other expats that you find yourself surrounded by.  These new friends become sort of like an extended family.  They know what you’re going through (whether it’s good or bad).
In this case, since I can’t be near my family, I’ve already had some friends checking up on me to make sure I’m alright and that I’m handling it ok.  And…you really need that while you’re “on your own” in another country.  It helps you, or me, feel less isolated.  And it’s wonderful.

I also think it’s going to be really strange to return back home in a year from now.

I wish I could be there to support my grandma (and other members of my family too, but especially her.)  We’ve been through a lot these past few years, as I also lost my dad to brain cancer in 2007   (5 years this December), but I know a lot of good things have happened too.  It’s just a rough few years.  (Partially why I’m doing this.)

Anyway, I’m dedicating this song to my grandma.  Well, and the rest of my family too.  ❤  Love you and miss you guys.  I’m there right with you, just in spirit.


Sorry, had to 😀

Wait…Wait!!  Here comes the chorus!!  VACATION…ALL I EVER WANTED!! VACATION..HAVE TO GET AWAY!!!!!

*ahem*  🙂

So, being in a hagwon (private school), I kinda get pretty minimal vacation days…in exchange for smaller class sizes.   I get 10 days off + all public holidays.  (Um..Korea, you need to add more holidays to your list…and stop making them on the weekends! grrr!  You’re a bunch of crazies!)

Anyway, here are my current vacationing plans:

Bali, Indonesia: late July (I have the dates in front of me, but I feel weird putting them online)
Here and Here for info.  Oh, and here.

Thailand:  Late December/Early January
Here and Here
(beaches, tigers and elephants, oh my!)

Japan: during Korea’s harvest festival in Sept/October
I have a friend teaching in Japan and I want to come visit her 🙂  And we can go to Tokyo Disney! 😀

Beijing, China: 3 day weekend (Thanks Buddha!)–this will be a back-to-back non-stop weekend of sight-seeing.  I’ve heard that it can be done, and that yes, it’s basically a crash-course for Beijing, but you can easily see all the main stuff in 3 days.
(Thanks to excellent public transportation!  Gr…we need this in America.  Get with it.  Gosh…we’re so sad.)

Here.  And here.

I have so much more on my list (while I’m on this side of the globe) and just not enough time to see it all:
Australia (I know it’s far…I want to go so bad.  Perhaps after my contract is up…)


Anyway, that’s two updates in one night…probably going to go read and then head to bed.

Edit:  Well, honestly, those places and general travel around Korea will be enough to keep me very happy 🙂

Are you sure you don’t want to come teach in Korea??  It’s pretty nice once you start to get settled in 🙂