Other, Personal Goals

This isn’t directly Korea-related, but as being in Korea has helped the progress and  well, it happened while I was here, I felt like I could post it.

Anyway, I’ve had a personal goal of becoming more toned/trim and losing some of the pudge around my belly…and well, just trying to be healthier.
I don’t know how much I’ve lost because (1) I don’t have a scale and (2) it’s never really been about the number for me, just the look and how I feel.

I’ve liked how I look, but I just wanted to tweak here and there or improve.  Just trying to get healthier.  And well, I think my hard work has made itself known.  I’ve been able to notice the results for a few weeks now, and it makes me feel a bit narcissistic to say it, but I’m so so proud of my results.  A bit more to go, but I’m so thrilled.  I’ve noticed my oblique muscles on my stomach becoming more defined, more toned arms and working on the legs.  But ahhhhhh!! Yay!! 😀
Also, I’ve had 3 people in the past week mention how they see a difference.

Just wanted to re-iterate that I’m doing this the healthy way and I’m not starving myself or anything.  Trying to eat more fruit and cut out the junk.  Also, in Korea, I (and everyone) walk EVERYWHERE.  Granted, you can take a cab, but coupled with the diet change, stress and increased exercise, people lose weight when they come here.  (Happened in Europe too.  Just because these cities are more walking-friendly.  Nice large sidewalks with plenty of room for bikes too!)

Anyway, yay me!! 😀  All those ab exercises, planks and pushups are paying off 😀

TEFL Course is COMPLETE!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHhh!!!!!!!!   I’m in shock right now.  I just submitted my final unit (#20) on my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Course (to get my TEFL certificate).
Granted, my tutor still has to grade the last few units that I’ve submitted to him, but aside from that…I just get to sit back and wait now.

I’m in shock.  It’s been 7 months.  SEVEN MONTHS.  Yeah.  Seriously.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! *happy dance* *happy dance*

*fingers crossed that I don’t need to fix any of my responses*

Anniversary! (+ Haircut)

Today marks my second month in Korea!
Can’t believe it’s been two months already!

10 more and I’ll be back home…crazy.

—-
I got my first haircut in Korea yesterday, and I was just a wee bit nervous about that.  I have layers and side bangs and all sorts of stuff going on, so trying to explain that when there is a language barrier…yeah.

Anyway, a co-worker told me where she got hers cut (and hers is curly, so it takes the extra skill to cut curly hair.  And uh, in case you weren’t aware…Asian people don’t have curly hair.  So you have to find the right hairdresser that knows what to do with it).
Thankfully, I don’t have curly hair–just really thick.  (Love it though).

I was immediately stunned when I walked into the hair salon.  Chandeliers and 5 or 6 people ready to welcome you into the place and take your coat and belongings.  They put them in a locker and gave you the key.  Then you were taken to a sitting area where you could get a few types of juice or water or whatever.  There was also a giant flatscreen tv and a popcorn machine!   Girls were running around taking peoples “orders” on clipboards for what they wanted done to their hair.  Did I mention the chandeliers??
ALSO–sidenote–a haircut doesn’t exceed 12,000 Won here.  (a bit less than $12 USD).

^Waiting Area

I waited about 20 minutes in the waiting area and a girl came over and took me to the chair.  I worked on explaining what I wanted (lots of gestures and Google Translator).  Went to the area to get a shampoo and 2 notes here:
1. Their shampooing chairs are much more comfortable (plus neck support)
2. You get a scalp MASSAGE when they do this.  Not just shampoo in and shampoo out…but a massage too.  Yay!! 🙂

Went back to the chair and she confirmed what I wanted.  Pretty sure this is when my breathing stopped.  We were having communication trouble and I kept hearing words like “color” and “curl” and I started to panic.  Part of me wanted to just get up and leave.  I mean…who needs a haircut anyway.  Heh.
I still don’t know what she was asking, but I kept saying “No color..just cut”.  I have no clue if she was asking if I colored my hair or if I wanted to color it.  Or if I wanted her to curl it at the end (they style it for you too) or if I wanted a perm.  I have no idea.
Anyway, she walked away and another girl came up and started cutting it.  Then the other girl came back up and she and another guy dried it.  (Each person seems to have a team of people, lol.)  I liked it…yay.
THEN, she took me to this little sideroom and put up this weird magnifier to my hair roots and said “dry” “no good”  “very dry.”  She then quoted me a price on a treatment they could put on it to add moisture.
It was only an extra 10,000 Won (like $9), so I said sure.

Went to another set of chairs and I couldn’t see exactly what she was doing…I knew she wasn’t coloring it, because I specifically heard those words “dry” “no good”.
She rubbed some creamy stuff into my scalp and gave me a magazine to “read”.  Took 5-10 minutes then took me back to the hair-washing station.  Washed all the stuff out.  We went back to another station (regular..with mirror, etc)…then she took this tiny spray bottle and started spraying stuff on my scalp.  Then she dried it…I could already see a very visible difference.  SO SO shiny and soft.  My gosh.  😀 😀
She then straightened it and escorted me back to where I got my coat and stuff at the lockers and I paid. (No tipping here).

All that for 24, 000 won.  AWESOME.
A bit of a nerve-wracking experience, but very worth it.


AALLLLLSOOOO….
I got an OVEN!!! Ovens don’t come standard in kitchens here, so I knew by coming to Korea, my love for baking would have to be put on hold.
HOWEVER, a co-worker and his wife are heading back to Canada in two weeks and I’m buying it off them (and baking pans etc etc).
YAY! 😀 😀

It’s not a standard oven–bigger than a toaster oven, but small enough where I can carry it in my arms.
Now…just trying to find a spot for it in my tiny kitchen…

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.)

Just a Side-Note…

WAHOO!  Just did laundry for the first time in Korea!

I have a bit of a headache so I’m going to go relax in bed, watch some Downton Abbey (Episode 5) and tend to my blistered (yay…) ankles.
Note: If you go snowboarding, wear thick socks that go up past your ankles.  Definitely didn’t even think of that when I was packing…and now I’m paying for it.

Final Days and Storing Away My Possessions…

Wow.  What a long day.  Actually, that’s an understatement.

At the end of my last entry, I went to bed around 3:30 or 4 am…woke up at 8 to finish a bit more packing.  Got the rental truck picked up at 10..got home around 10:45 and packed more.  My brother and his friend got to my apartment around 12:45 (and my mom around 11:30–she helped me clean a bit until they got there).  Started loading the truck around 1…finished just before 2.
Then drove to the storage unit and unloaded everything.  Finished around 4:30.
I filled the truck up and dropped it back off..thennnn went back to my apartment with my mom and grabbed the remaining things that I didn’t have in boxes and brought them to her place/storage unit.

Finished up around 6pm.

So close to being finished.  So so close.

I need to get back to the apartment tomorrow to clean and drop off my keys.  And that’ll be that.

Last things on the to-do list:
*Clean apartment
*Call AT&T on Monday morning to shut off internet at apartment
*Call Ameren on Monday to continue utilities through end of the month (per apartment contract)
*Double-check all bags–make sure I’ve got everything..cut anything that is un-needed.
*Return rental car

Cant believe this all is actually happening.  I’m going to be on my way to Korea in just over 48 hours.

Wrapping Things Up and Special Suprises!

Had my last day of work the yesterday (it already seems like it’s been days!)…went ok..just another long night.  Turned in my keys and swipe card…and…I’m done!  Weird..but exciting.
Then today I had my going-away party from my family, and that was really great.  I loved getting to see everyone 🙂

Love.  🙂  Also, I got two more bouquets of flowers 🙂  That makes my total up to 3 now.  I also got one from one of my locations for work when I left 😀
As a single girl, it’s pretty rare to get flowers so I get really excited when I do 🙂 haha.

Allllllsoooo.  😀 😀
I had been planing a bit of a surprise for my mom and brother over the past few weeks, and I got to reveal it to them today too 🙂  I got them both to go out to lunch with me today, and I revealed their surprises then.

Yep!! Sending them both on a cruise to the Bahamas in August!! 😀  I’m so so excited and thrilled that I can give them a gift like that.  I normally have to live check to check, and I know with this next job that I’ll be able to pay it off with my first payday, so I’m so thrilled.
Neither have been on a vacation in over 10 years as far as I can remember, so this will really be great.  🙂

I was also going to update on my nightmare of a car situation, but I’m exhausted.
So…next time.

Anyway…t-minus ONE WEEK!!!  AHHHHHHHHH!!!

Last Day…

So, my last day of work is tomorrow, and I’m honestly feeling a bit bittersweet.
I’m excited because that’s just one more step toward this new experience…which is hopefully as amazing and fun as I’ve heard.  But, I’ve also been with my job for a bit over three years, and although I may vent and complain about certain aspects, I’m really going to miss some of the people I’ve had the opportunity of working with over the past few months.  The thing about working with a smaller staff (like we do in our stores) is that you really get to know the people you work with (if you so choose) and you form a bond.
Anyway, I’m still excited, but yeah..very bittersweet.
Especially with my most recent location.  This one has definitely been…an uphill battle it seems.  But, the thing about it is that looking back…I can see how far we’ve come.  And it’s weird to think that all that progress has been because of my influence.  I say “influence”, because I personally didn’t do every single change in the place…a lot of it, yes.  But I think I’ve hopefully created some sort of spark that will help keep them going in the right direction.
I also learned that one of my favorite managers from my last location is going to be taking over where I left off.  YAY!  I know he won’t let me down and that he’ll be able to finish off what I started.  I just wanted to make sure that all that I’ve worked on won’t be for nothing once I’ve left.  No backsliding allowed.

ALSO…I had my last day working with a few associates today and I’m honestly surprised my jaw didn’t drop completely to the floor, but I had about six associates come up to me today, and not just say “thank you”, but that and “You have really made an impact here.  Thank you so much for all you’ve done.”  I was pretty much stunned.  I know I’ve been working hard the whole time, but I never really heard or saw a whole lot of gratitude.  I felt I had to point out what I had done to get any sort of recognition.  And there it was.  😀
And I did receive a pretty stellar letter of recommendation from my boss’ boss.  I was practically glowing while reading it, ha 🙂

Anyway, last day of work tomorrow…and then crunch time.  I really need to knock out more of that TEFL course.  Ugh.  At least now I’ll have the time to get it done…

Going out to lunch with my mom and brother on Sunday and then a going-away party from my family. 🙂 🙂

I SOLD MY *FIRST* CAR!!!!!!!! (exclamation x 50)

I sold my car today!!  So so so excited! I think I got a decent amount for it and I’m just a smidge away from getting enough back to pay off the rest of my loan. 🙂

Ahhhh!!!! Also, this was my first time selling a car and I did it solo!  I do have a wonderful set of friends and family that coached me through the process, but I did all the in-person stuff on my own.  Really stressful and everything, but still so exciting.  Definitely a learning process and I just can’t believe how fast everything happened!

Anyway! Hoorah!! 😀  Second to last big hurdle before the big day…the last one is moving day on Feb 18th!

Also, I just filled up with gas for the last time for the next year 😀
Price: $3.29/gal
I want to check against this when I come home.

VISA!!!!!!!

MY VISA HAS ARRIVED!!!!
AHHHH!!!! So so happy!! It didn’t get lost in the mail! yay! haha.
After months of hurry up and wait and lots of paperwork, time and money…it’s here!  And I can officially work in the Republic of Korea!!! 😀

So, my paperwork is now officially complete except for waiting for that second background check!  Which, I can still work and do everything now that I have the visa, but the Korean Education Dept. decided this year that they also would like copies of the background check…so now all new entrants (ie: me) need to get that second copy.
I already sent off for it and it takes a few months, so..in my mind, I’m finished with paperwork 🙂  YESSS!!

Have had a rough few days at work recently…just feeling overworked/underpaid and stressed out over how much there is be done.

Anyway, getting pretty excited to see what Korea has to offer.  Bring it!  😀