Sunday, March 2, 2014

Why Korea is So Safe: My Theory

When we first moved to our new neighborhood, I wondered if I would feel safe walking around at night. Unlike where we lived in Ansan, there are no flashing neon lights and tons of people walking around at all hours. Although the city of Suwon is the second biggest in the province, we live in an older neighborhood with 1970s style houses around us. The first week we moved in, I was walking down our sparsely lit street at night when I saw a group of three or four people coming the opposite direction. I had my key in my hand, ready to sprint for our front door if needed... when the group came closer to reveal a pack of backpack-laden teenage girls. Silly me, did I really think there would be danger?

Or... maybe Korea is safe because Batman lives here!?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Traveling in Thailand: Our Scam Story

It was five in the morning. We hadn't slept soundly for the last ten hours on our first ever overnight train ride. Thankful to be on the last leg of our trip to the south of Thailand, we lugged our bags onto the bus which would take us for the next three hours across the country. Fifteen minutes into the trip and already nodding off to soothing music on my headphones, I felt the bus stop and a man with a heavy Thai accent shouted, "Go to Onan! Go to Onan!" up the stairs. Nobody moved. Certainly he wasn't saying "Au Nang"... or was he? I pulled off my headphones and asked someone if the man had said Au Nang. When given the affirmative, we grabbed our bags, tumbled down the stairs, and watched as the bus sped away. Then I looked up from where I'd landed. We were in the middle of a pitch black jungle road with two Thais and a handful of Russian men. Oh. Dear. God. What was happening to us?

Waiting in Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Railway Station

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

36 Hours in Bangkok, Part 2: Wat Arun

With only 36 hours in Bangkok, we chose the wander-and-hope-you-see-awesome-sites plan over the see-everything-fast-fast-fast plan. I'm a big fan of seeing new cities from a high point, so we decided to wander in the direction of Wat Arun, otherwise known as Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan... errr... I'll just stick with Wat Arun for short!

The view of surrounding temple grounds from atop the main spire of Wat Arun

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Let It Go: Why Is It So Popular With Korean Students?

If you haven't seen or heard the hit single "Let It Go" from Disney's latest film Frozen, well, you've probably been living on another planet for the last month. My first exposure to the song was when my normally phone-game-addicted eleven year old Sean ran up to me shoving a paper at me as I entered the classroom, "Teacher, can we sing? Please, please, please! Let It Go!" Before I knew it, my four students were blissfully gathered around my phone singing their hearts out following the lyrics on Sean's paper. Then I wondered... What sorcery was this?! Some real life English that actually interested them? What's the catch?

Idina Menzel as Elsa sings "Let It Go" {source}

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

WWOOF CSA: Organic Korean Food for Valentine's Day

Nothing says "Happy Valentine's Day" like garlicky kimchi breath, right? Well, if you disapprove of such a pungent kiss, how about a fresh, organic salad or homemade yogurt? Even though Dan and I have never really celebrated Valentine's Day, we had just received a package from Korea's first organic co-op... what says "Love" better than food?!

Our delicious organic Valentine's Day meal!