Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear 2011

Dear 2011,

We haven't met yet, but I can assure you that when we do, it will be memorable for both of us.  I am very well acquainted with with your little brother, 2010, so I just wanted to formally introduce myself, tell you some things about my past, and let you know what I expect from our relationship.  Now that I am leaving your brother for you, I think we need to get some things clear. 

Firstly, your brother and I had a lot of good times, some of the best of my life in fact.  With your brother,
  • I lost 60 pounds 
  • I became a nicer person 
  • I cut off all my permed hair 
  • I moved to another country
  • I fell in complete love with a woman named Shaina
  • I learned to listen to the voice (sometimes voices) in my head
  • I learned to put myself first and do what I want above all else
  • I learned when to shut the hell up
  • I've hiked a mountain
  • I've gone scuba diving
  • I let love speak louder than logic
  • I've grown as a woman and as a girlfriend 
  • And as was evident in 2009, 2008, ect as well... I was the shit...
As you can see, your brother will be hard to top, but I have lots of faith in your potential and I believe that you will show your brother up in many ways.  Your brother was quite the catch for me.  I wonder if you are as well endowed as he is lol. I am a girl who tends to get what I want from the likes of you, and since 2010 was soooo good, you had better be great.  Here are some things I am expecting from you

  • A loss of 40 more pounds (60 really, but I wont put to much on you at once)
  • Seeing at LEAST 4 more countries
  • Wear my own big ass curly hair
  • Size 10 baby!!!
  • I want to hate fatty foods (hahahaha yea right)
  • I want us to meet the parents
  • I want to spend more time happy than sad (and I will be keeping count)
  • I want ALL FLY EVERYTHING-- Def need to up my game... Time for more shoes, bag, and clothes!!!
As you can see, here are just a few of my requirements.  They are more like nonnegotiables.  Give them to me and maybe I will be as good to you as I was to your brother and all of those before you.  Now that we have all of that clear, I can firmly go into this relationship  with faith.  I look forward to becoming very intimate with you  and I can't wait for everything that will unfold.  See you soon.

With love,

Shaina

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in cheongju

In my entire life, I have only spent 2 Christmases away from one; my first year in phoenix, and this present Christmas.  I can honestly say that it was a beautiful one.  This has been a rough month for me in general.  Lets of thoughts about lots of things and being away from home have made this a very uncomfortable time for me, but this week made everything wonderful.  Rob and I spent our first Christmas together exactly how I imagined a perfect Christmas would be.  Love, laughs, food, drinks, presents, smiles, drama, and lots of kisses.  My Korean family came over for a huge (and fattening) dinner in the conference room of Global Ville and we had a wonderful time.  ANDDDDDD I got a Nook from the love of my life.  What a great weekend I had.  Now I sit in bed playing with my new toys and hugging my Yoshi that rob got me as a stocking stuffer. SEE OUR CHRISTMAS HERE!




I've made a lot of changes in 2010 and its time to make even more in 2011.  I thank God that I am still growing into a better and more humble woman everyday and that I have such a wonderful man that continues to help me grow.  I think its important to take a minute to sincerely be thankful for the good AND bad things that you have in your life.  Not for the sake of others, or because a holiday told you to, but to really appreciate all the little things.  A kiss on the forehead, a whispered I love you, a teenage brother telling you you are the best sister in the world (and you know teens hate everything), a kissed hand, a heartfelt letter, knowing your family loves you, and the happiness that comes from the thoughts of your future with the one you love.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Korean Mastication

"Fucked"-- that's the word that comes to mind when I think of my health since arriving in Korea.  While the word itself might be less than literary, the emotions behind them are valid.  Back in the states, I very rarely found myself to be "under the weather".  There were of course the bi-yearly allergies that were extremely taxing when they occurred, but I could regulate when they were coming and how long they would last.  I pride myself on being stronger- and lets face it, better- than everyone else when it comes agility, flexibility, intelligence, and health.  Not like "I'm better than you" but more like "anything you can do I can do better", and yes, the difference is crystal.  With this knowledge, one can easily understand why it is difficult to admit defeat.

This is the fourth time I've been sick in 6 months.  I can't dispel this feeling of, for lack of a better word, "fail".  Hence, the title of this blog; Korean Mastication.  Many foreigners get sick when they come to Korea and this has been coined "The Korea Effect" and I am falling victim to it big time.  I  feel as if my new country has been chewing me up, regurgitating, then chewing again while holding the repeat button.  I've yet to be spit out.  Taking that out of its metaphorical context, I have yet to recuperate from the continuous health ass kicking that I have been receiving in SoKo.  At this point, I am at a loss.  Its like I have to pick between being healthy and losing weight.  This weather and these conditions are killing me.  In the situation I find myself, it is really important to eat hearty foods that will keep my healthy and full.  Things like soups, potatoes, meat, vegetables, and oats.  This would be ok if not for two big problems;

1. Carbs are bad for ME specifically.  I know some people do fine with carbs, but for me, they stick to my body like--- I was going to say white on rice, but I think FAT ON FAT PEOPLE is more appropriate.ve
2.  Lunch at school is always lacking.  Every day.  I never get enough vegetables in Korea and the meat is always shit.  I hate the food here not necessarily for the taste, but because it lacks the kind of nutrients I need to sustain my healthy diet.  I have no idea what to do.

So basically, I am sitting here in bed taking a sick day because of this damned vomiting and coughing situation.  I feel like crap because people had to take over my duties at work, and to top it all off, I ingested oatmeal and cereal today.  Carbs and more carbs.  And now I'm starving and I have no idea what to eat.  If I take the high road I could eat a slim fast bar, but will that help me get better right now?  Be healthy or get skinny.  What do I do?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jimjilbang- My first Korean Bath House

 So, as I said in my earlier post, I went to check out the jimjilbang in Dreamplus today and boy o boy was it an experience.  I was NAKED-- just like I like to be-wait, let me back up and start from the beginning.

I arrive at the bath house not really knowing what I'm in for.  I know that there is going to be nakedness and that is pretty much as far as it goes.  When I get there I go to the buffet in the building so that I wouldnt workout out on an empty stomach and how proud was I that I went and had salad and soup.  (and for 15,00 won that was an awesome buffet!) After the buffet I meandered my way down to the fitness center, where once again, my sole means of communication were body language and grunts.  I walk in and I immediately find myself surrounded by naked Korean bodies, both old and young.  The desk lady looks at me and smiles as she realizes that she does not have an outfit that will fit this luscious body .Sheit  hands me this shirt and it is tight as hell but I a  go with it.  I figure I will check out the gym before I go and get this much needed massage.  "Checking out the gym" turned into Shaina getting her ass kicked by a Korean Trainer.   Not just any trainer either.  The guy with his damn face on the wall--the HKIC, if you will  (for those of you reading who are not black lol the original statement is HNIC- head ni**a in charge, but the acronym was changed to be more applicable!).  And when I say he kicked my ass... I mean he took his foot off, and swung it at my ass like a baseball bat, and sadly he was just getting started.  We did abs, cardio, and a serious interval circuit, and when I stopped to BREATHE he would yell 화이팅 (Hwaiting)- which is korean for FIGHTING!!! Aka- DONT BE A P***Y!  I was like damn give me a minute.  After my 10 minute speed walk on an incline (which he called cool down) I said my "good byes "and my "see you next weeks" and they watched the Great Black Hope walk down the stairs.




Me and the bullshit towel
Once I got downstairs, I went to my locked and prepared myself to get ass naked in front of all these other women.  I was in a sea of saggy nipples/asses and pubic hair lmao!! (that actually made me chuckle).  I went to get a towel from the front desk lady and --what the hell, they were the size of a pillow case.  Now what the hell am I going to with THAT.  Hence...this face-------->


Once I got the courage to actually walk away from the locker I was hiding behind, I walked into the Sauna/bath house and I can honestly say it exceeded my expectations.  I was actually taken aback and stopped at the door just too look around.  (too bad I couldn't take pictures)  There were showers, scrubbing areas, and several huge tubs.  I guess I forgot that it was actually a bathing house.  I cleaned up and went straight for that hot tub.  (NOTE: Make sure you clean yourself throughly before you enter the tub...I almost made a biiiiiiiig booboo).  It was just what I needed.  The only thing missing was my music, which I will surely have next time.  I sat there and relaxed the night away.  


Little ass outfit

I still wanted a shot at my massage but look at the tiny ass outfit that I had to squeeze into.  But- I did it, only to find that the massage person was gone for the day.  However, my spirits were high and now I feel good.  I have great faith in my sleep tonight.  Bath House-- my new favorite place.





Next day edit---sleep was good!






Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Things to know about Korea--- BEDS SUCK

So I have been thinking about this for some time and its time to talk about it.  As always, I must remind you that this is a Diva's Guide, so my opinions might be a little biased.  Here in Korea, one of he first things I noticed (literally because I got here at night) was that the bed was hard as shit.  This has been the case in almost every place I've slept.  Whenever I think of this I am reminded of the princess and the pea.  I have always been  particular about where I sleep and how I sleep, but this is no exaggeration.  The beds are hard as stale shit. Not to mention my boss does everything backwards and takes no responsibility for her dumbass actions so I was definitely pissed last night.  That stress along with the bed defintiely kept me up all night.  I wanted to slap the damn taste out of her mouth scream at the top of my lungs.

On top of not sleeping last night, I tossed and turned around that hard ass bed for about 5 hours and just could not get comfortable.  About a month after I arrived in Korea, I purchased one of the mats they use to sleep on the floor, and I put in on my mattress.  Thats how bad it was.  Now, I'm guessing with all the heavy weight of both me and Robert, this mat needs replacing (or turning, this thought just occured to me lol).  So I am going to try that when I get home.  My whole body is in pain right now.  Maybe this is insignificant to some people, but in my world, one of the most important purchases a person makes is a bed.  You could have shitty furniture all day long, but when you rest your head a night, THAT needs to be taken care of.  Right now I dont feel like my Diva-esque needs are being taken care of.  So today I am going to Dreamplus downtown to check out the Sauna/gym/spa and then hopefully a massage.  I am hoping to come home feeling refreshed and worked so that I just pass out when I get to that hard ass bed.  And since I havent spoken to that dumbass my boss today (not even hello) I should be stress free and relaxed.  All she has to do is steer clear for another hours.

Will blog about Dreamplus when I return.  Wish me sleeping luck

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My job at Cheongju English Center--- United Nations

 This session at CJEC I am all about the United Nations.  I start class by discussing all the different situations in which the UN can be helpful.  Droughts, floods, hurricanes, and war are all included in this discussion.  After we talk about that, I move into some key aspects of presenting a speech; posture, eye-contact, volume, ect.  This is all just working up to the big deal of the class-The Speech!

After we talk about some of the major countries involved in the UN they are given country cards with information and a speech outline.  They proceed to fill in that speech outline with the information and then comes the hard part.  The students have to memorize their speeches!!! How awesome/awful is that?  I walk around and help them with pronunciation and they get to ask me questions (basically trying to explain to me that they can't do it).  I just give them that O so needed comfort and at the end of the day they do a pretty good job.  They stand up at the podium and give a shaky performance but they seem satisfied with themselves afterward.  Can you imagine giving a speech in a foreign language?  I couldn't do it in Korean, and I make sure I explain to them how proud they should be of themselves.  Today was my last day in the UN.  Next week we have a "planning week" so we wont have any kids!!!  WHOOOOO.  Next up: Clinic.
Speech practice


Joking around
Helping them memorize their speech


And occasionally come nose picking

Thing to bring to Korea...Medicine

So starts the list of things you should bring to Korea.  I am officially experiencing my first cold in I don't know how many years.  As I return from the bathroom after coughing my lungs out, my boss says, "Oh you look so healthy but your system is not hahaha".  That is code for "we didn't hire you to get sick".  Usually I come down with allergies followed by a serious sinus/nasal drip, but in South Korea, I am coughing... I don't like to cough, and I don't gross snottyness either (Diva's view of South Korea remember).   A few of my other friends happen to be sick right now, and boy o boy you should see the shit they are being given here; pellets of some kind of medicine, drug seeds, ect, so once again, I find myself extremely lucky to have access to the military base.  Thankfully I am sitting pretty and enjoying the effects of NyQuil, Ibuprofen, and some other powerful meds.  
My bedside tissue bag and cup of tea

Point: Before you come to South Korea, make sure you stock up on all those meds you think you will need.
  • NyQuil
  • Allergy meds
  • PMS meds
  • Cough medicine, ect
Trust me, when you are sick and lying in a bed surrounded by your own mucus, you will be glad you did!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dancing in Shinae (Downtown)

video
So Rob and I were out for a bit of shopping and while we were walking around Downtown Cheongju we ran into this show!!!  We were like WHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAA!  Enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

This weeks job at Cheongju English Center--HOCKEY

 Last session at cheongju English Center, I taught Hockey.  It was sooooooooo much fun (as is evident from the pictures) especially since I didnt have a homeroom.  The first 15 minutes was spent talking about hockey (the extent of my knowledge was in the power point!) and learning the rules.  We then proceeded to practice our swings.  One of the biggest issues with Hockey is "High Stick" where people lift their stick up in the air way too high and run the risk of busting someones mouth (see my demonstration on the left)!  No fun.  After we ran through all of those things, it was game time!  I had a blast.  Im sure this will be my most exciting job while I'm here.  Sadly, most of the time in class was spent playing hockey so I have very little to report in this blog but you get the point.  Next session is UN... more to come on that!  Don't you wish you were me!
I love them!

Me hitting him because he was high sticking lol...Shaina whips ass in ANY country!

Busted!

Team Spirit

I stay in the game!

All day!

COLD is the understatement of the year

This morning...Sad...I know
There is nothing right about the weather in Korea.  Living in Arizona for so long has spoiled me in more ways than one.  Today, when I walked out of my warm and toasty abode, I walked right into 27 degree weather.  W the F?  It was the worst feeling ever.  I have not experienced anything quite so cold in a long time.  I never saw anything in the 20's when I was living in good ole AZ and I promise I don't want to.  You see this picture???  They told me today it was "just starting to get cold" GTFOH!!!!  This is how I looked for "just starting to get cold".  This is not ok.  I'm praying to the jacket God's to protect me through what is sure to be a rough time

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Halloween and Everland Amusement Park

I had the BEST week ever starting with last Friday.  I went to dinner with Chanel and her friend before going to the Halloween party.  It almost started kind of rocky because Robert missed the first bus so he had to go to Dejeon before making it here which ended up working out ok anyway.  Once he arrived I made sure he had some good Eats (chicken from Kyo chon...yum) and we pregamed a little before heading to the Halloween party that I talked Ciara into coming to!  Photos below.




















It was so much fun.  We ended up being so drunk that we barely remembered how we got home.  THAT NEVER HAPPENS.  So basically it was awesome.  We finally went to bed around 330 so that we could get up and go to EVERLAND bright and early at 730 on saturday. 

We taxi-ed down to the bus where Chanel was waiting for us (and only Chanel).  It seemed that everyone else who was supposed to join us canceled so it was just the three of us which was totally cool because like I told Chanel, we are NOT the lovey dovey couple. The entire trip took about 2 hours and we stayed awake and clowned the whole time, included when Rob and Chanel started photoboming this little Korean couple who took a million pictures of themselves.  Something interesting to know about Korea is that EVERY couple is so in love... for like 2 months, then when its over they never speak again lol... Not generalizing, just something I picked up.

We get there and the first thing we do is gun it to the T-express, the biggest roller coaster drop in the whole world.  Its clear that I do NOT want to take part in this roller coaster adventure from my face in the "before" shot but I did and it was awesome.  We waited in line clowning for about 30 minutes which was exceedingly short for this ride in particular.  EVERYONE wants to ride this one and I could see why.  That drop was ASSinine (yes I know that is spelled wrong).  After this ride we grabbed some horrible fair food (I was hoping for a turkey leg and a funnel cake but this is Korea remember) and then we ended up finding our way to the the ZOO!!! Yes ladies and Gentleman there were animals at the Amusement park and that was all I could ask for.  I was in heaven.  The monkeys, the birds, the "Wild Babies" it was just beautiful.  Then there was a seal show...need I say more!  Fabulous.  Anyway, we concluded out trip taking pictures and riding a few more rides.  It was SOOOO much fun.  I had the best time ever. 









He was so serene!








Saturday, October 23, 2010

Can you really "LOVE" your job?

I hear people say "My job doesn't even feel like work because I love what I do".  Hmmmm...Let's expand on that shall we.

For an average person this statement might very well be true.  And average run of the mill everyday kind of person might in fact "Love going to the same job everyday", but for someone like me I wonder if this will ever be the case.  I am somewhat of an "ADD professional".  I am interested in so many different things, that I don't know if I could settle into one specific career.  True enough, I could pick something that was constantly changing and challenging me, but on any given day my interests change completely.  One day I want to teach, another day I want a psychology practice, another day I want to work in higher education like College campus life, the next day I want to write, after that I want to go back to school for "FILL IN THE BLANK", ect.  The list continues.  Now do not for one moment mistake me a for woman who can not make up her mind, for that is not the case, I am more of Jack of all trades.  I dabble in a variety of life skills;  maybe even a melting pot of talent, if you will, and I am constantly living outside of the box.  How then, could anyone presume to restrict me to the confines of one profession?

So I ask again, can you really love your job... if you are someone like me?  This is a sincere question.  I believe that I could be wrong so opinions are welcome.  Here is where my theory could fall apart.

I have been working since the tender age of 15; because I had to, not because I wanted to.  Didn't have money for anything when I was coming up so when I hit the working age, I made sure that I was employed.  So I have been working for the past 10 years, which most people my age probably can't say.  Not bullshit jobs either- managers, team leaders, ect- and sometimes more than one job at a time.  Yes, life was not always easy and rosy for me like some of my more privileged friends but I'm not complaining, merely getting to the point.  Work has yet to be something that I have chosen to do.  Even being here in Korea, love the place, but I've been over teaching since 2008, again I'm teaching because 1. I'm good at it, and 2. because it gives me access to be where I want to be.  Point:  Maybe I need to actually find something I love to do and choose to do.

The only job I have ever really loved was being the Campus Activities board chair.  I loved the Event planning, working with the agents, organizing the events, and of course, having a team of people that have to do what I say because I'm a controlling bitch I am a born leader.  This is the kind of atmosphere I would love to be in everyday, but I don't know what that would look like on a professional level.  What the hell do I major in for that?  Lately I have been looking into the medical field, or back into the medical field actually.  Before I jump the broom and move right into it, I am actually investing time into taking a free Biology course and a  free Anatomy course so that I can see how interested I am in field.  So far so good and I am definitely liking learning more about my own body!  So let's see where that goes.

At the end of the day, I want to believe that I will find something that I can be happy to do everyday, but I am not the average person.  The get up and go to work everyday completely content with a mundane existence and yea I am generalizing...so what.  I hope that my desire to have my toe in so many different waters fades away when I no longer "have to work" and I can find something I can stick with. There were so many things that I wanted to explore but I couldn't because I had to grow up so fast and concern myself only with making a better future. Maybe when I'm done making up for lost time I can find a job I love and turn all the other things into hobbies and be like everyone else.  But can you really love your job?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Today was Rough...My Id is leading me

Today was a rough day for me.  My first thought upon opening my eyes was, "This is not going to be a good day".  I hit the snooze button on my alarm and canceled my normal workout routine for a few extra minutes of sulking sleeping.  If ever someone woke up in the wrong bed on the wrong side of the mattress it was me on this day. It was 7:15 when I finally got up, threw on Rob's sweats (first sign of my emotional state...wearing Rob's clothes), an ugly but comfy top, and my workout shoes, for the start of what was sure to be a shit day.  I thought talking to my family would help, but it just made me feel worse and that conversation ended with hidden cloudy watery eyes.  


I practiced French on my Ipod while walking to work but felt no satisfaction.  I was in "Don't you dare speak to me" mode and everyone picked up on it.  I felt lonely as soon as I opened my eyes, and the only thing I had to look forward to was the fact that I was going to see my Rob tomorrow.  That's right...WAS.  Right smack in the middle of my day Robert tells me that he has to work this weekend and he will be unable to come see me.  Wasn't that the icing on my shitty ass day cake?? Yep.  You know what happened right?  I sat there staring at the computer screen while the tears just dropped on my desk.  Not angry tears, just a sheer disappointment that I could NOT shake.  This makes nearly 3 weeks that I wont see him.  I could have crawled up and died somewhere.  For the rest of the conversation I pulled it together and pretended like all was well, but there really was nothing that he could say to soothe me; I was gone at "I got bad news".  To be fair, it wasn't all his fault, the day began as shit and he just added another huge turd.  So technically I can't blame him but who gives a fuck about technicalities I am still disappointed.  When he finally had to go to work and could no longer try to pacify me like the big baby that I am chat with me, I put my head on the desk and had the watery eyes until I fell asleep.  Poor Robert sometimes.


Lately I feel really alone.  Don't get me wrong, Korea is awesome and I am surrounded by people that I truly like but they don't understand my particular brand of Bitch they don't know me on that BFF level.  All of my inside jokes and funny stories are with Robert, but since he is my significant other, I can not solely rely on him as my source of friendship and fun.  To be honest, the only person that I could call a BF is Ciara because she is a bitch too is similar to myself in many ways, but she has her boyfriend here and since she has been here for so long, the novelty of Korea has worn off for her.  Such is life.  But if she didn't live next door I'd be lost; truthfully.  Everyone at home has their own lives and their own issues and I feel very disconnected.  So as far as exploration and excitement I am all alone as everyone already has a BF.  Its like I know everyone but have no one.  Make sense?  Not that I give a shit if you don't get me.


Even though I had to force myself with all that I could muster, I worked out when I came home.  I gave myself a facial and baked the cookies that I was supposed to bake for my Robert, and I gave them to Ciara.  I cleaned a little, did my nails, and now I'm watching another horror movie.  So I didn't beat the shit out of anyone like I wanted to the day wasn't as bad as it could have been and now I am feeling better.  I remembered that I am overly emotional this week because of EVE's bitch ass life in general and I have to get myself under control.  Now I just have to shut down my Id(see bottom)  and stop giving into all the emotions I feel, which today were irritation, sadness, and disappointment.  Luckily I cried out my feelings instead of eating them.  I'm sure tomorrow will be better, but Saturday was to be spent with my love...so I must fill up that time so that sadness wont set in.  DISTRACTIONS PLEASE!


Tomorrow will be better.  Tomorrow will be better.  Please don't let anyone fuck with me tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be better. 


ID (if you dont know psychological terms)- The id is responsible for our basic drives such as food, water, sex, and basic impulses. It is amoral and selfish, ruled by the pleasure–pain principle; it is without a sense of time, completely illogical, primarily sexual, infantile in its emotional development, and is not able to take "no" for an answer. It is regarded as the reservoir of the libido or "instinctive drive to create" 


And my Id is a muthaf*cker sometimes out of control.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reading for writing

I admitted to myself that I really want to write.  I have been writing forever but I very rarely allow myself to get to deep into it because of a little thing called "fear".  What if I give it my all and I fail?  What if I sit in front of the computer screen and I can't write anything?  What if I think it's great but everyone else thinks it's horrible?  These are the questions that I continue to let plague me and ultimately keep me from one of my greatest desires, but no more.

I picked up The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes because I didn't  read all of them when I was younger; a few here and there, but not all of them.  I couldn't put it down.  It was, and is, a constant reminder of what I want to do, and the way I want to do it.  Conan Doyle conveys his characters so well by only using minor details and a captivating story line.  He paints a picture that can easily be followed, yet at the same time forces the reader to stay on their toes.  It's not just the story itself; its the way he expresses it.  Rereading the stories has made me look at my own writing differently; both where I am now and where I want to be.

This made me want to reread more of the classics.  There is such an abundance of great material out there and I have barely scratched the surface.  I am going to keep writing, but right now, I am going to focus on broadening my literary horizons so that when I sit down to finish (and ultimately rewrite) my untitled autobiographical love story, I will be confident in my knowledge and my abilities.  I am so excited about what I know will end up going into my mental "Success" files where I keep all the things that I have accomplished.

My book cue is posted on my blog to the right.  If you have any books suggestions please let me know!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I AM A YETI

It never ceases to amaze me how utterly shocked Korean people are when they see me.  Here is a rundown of how it happens:

Scenario 1: Shaina is walking down the street, probably knee deep in her ever changing mental movie (I am Shaina's Raging Conscious), when she hears someone yell "OOOOOOHHHH".  Cue strange man/woman who comes up to her and starts talking in Hangol (Korean) like Shaina knows what the hell she is talking about.  And if that's not enough, Creepy old person starts touching Shaina's hair because THAT'S whats up.  Nope... I can assure you...what's up...its not!

Scenario 2:  Shaina is walking to work and its 8am.  Not only is she walking, but the sun is shining down on her back causing her to sweat profusely (I am Shaina's over productive glands).  Cue 1,000,000,000,000 kids trying to run up to her and start speaking the 5 sentences they learned in school that year.  "HELLO" "WHERE ARE YOU PROM" "WHAT IS YOUR NAME" "THANK YOU"  "BYEBYE".  Cause I want to have conversations at 8 in the morning.  Yep, let's do that.

Scenario 3 (and by far my least favorite): Shaina is walking down the main shopping street probably pissed off because everything she tried on doesn't fit ( I am Shaina's ever slimming waist line pissed at Korea for not noticing...*$&@(@)*%*# You Korea).  Cue old lady/man/young teen boy/girl/mom/kid who sees Shaina and gets the "OH" face, then tries to sneakily poke the person they are with as if to say "O shit look at that" as if Shaina can't clearly see them.  They notice Shaina looking and quickly pretend they are NOT doing exactly that.  Here comes the face flush of embarrassment.  Yep you're caught!

Now, I say all this to express the sheer and utter "fame monster" that I deal with in Korea everyday.  This isn't a once in a while thing.  However, I can honestly say that its not a bad thing.  The only time I'm ready to tell someone "PISS OFF" (getting my Brit lingo ready) is when I'm just not in the damn mood (see examples above).

I do really like the hospitality I feel here, which brings me to my ultimate point.  They don't expect me to know Korean, they don't get angry when I misspeak or have no idea what they are saying.  They try to teach me words and we communicate through awkward movements and laughter what we are trying to say.  This has been true for me in every instance so far.  And even when I am being "taught" how to say something, it's not out of annoyance, but a sheer desire to help me speak their language. 

Random convention on my way to work...yep...just imagine! YETI!

So even though I am a yeti sometimes its not that bad.  Americans could most certainly take a lesson from the Koreans. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happily Reflecting


 Could it be possible that I fall in love more and more everyday?  I spent the weekend cooking new dishes with my honey, having some quality time, and making out.  Every time I look at him I feel like I am even more connected than the previous moment. I thought about it when a friend of mine from work was talking about all of the things that go wrong in her new relationship of 7month.  She was asking me how we are so "perfect".  Yea, I couldn't believe it either.  US?  Shaina and Robert, perfect?  And as I began to tell her how wrong she was about our relationship, I really started to think about it myself.  The normal reaction is to say "What the hell  We aren't perfect?", but really and truly, I couldn't think of anything I would like to add or remove from our relationship.  No I don't think we are perfect, but for who we are and what we are trying to do, I think we are as perfect as we can get.  We understand each other, and what we dont understand, we work to figure it out.  That's the thing... we WORK.  No matter how hard it gets, we work it out.  That's what makes a relationship work.  And that's what I told her.  No quick fixes, no easy button, just knowing that you want to be a better person for someone.  And that takes time.  Anyway, I loved my weekend.  I think I'm done with my excretion of emotion for tonight.  Going to bed happy as I always do.  For the first time in a long time I'm happy every night.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Job at Cheongju English Center-Restaurant


 
I spent the whole first 2.5 months of my Korean life teaching "library" where I taught students how to check into the library and check out.  I also taught them several games and talked about some of the popular English books ("TEACHER I LOVE TWILIGHT").  It was such a wonderful change from what I was used to in the States.  I'm a little bit luckier than most of the other teachers I know here for several reasons.  The first being, I know what its like to be a real teacher in my home country.  I hear a lot of my buddies complaining about their jobs, but if only they knew what life was like when you are actually a real teacher and your content areas are tested!  Try being an algebra teacher!  Because of this, I have a deeper appreciation for my job here and the lack of stress I am under.  The second reason is because I teach more of a summer camp than a real school.  Our students come in on Monday and we bid the adieu on Friday, starting the whole process over the following week.

This is a blessing and a curse because it causes me to have to have high energy at ALL times (because I only physically have students in my class once) and it makes my life completely redundant.  At the same time, I know that certain kids that annoy me will be out of my room in 50 minutes or less and I will never have to see them again!  Its beautiful!

Now, I teach "Restaurant".  We cover the types of restaurants- fast food, buffet, dine in- we cover the meals in a day- breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch - and several other things.  Majority of my time is spent having them repeat after me and asking them fun questions like "What do you eat for breakfast?" "Yummy!  What is your favorite dessert".  Then we have a role play where the student have the opportunity to be waiters/waitresses and customers.  They take orders, have menus, get the food from the cabinet, pretend to eat, pay, and tip.  They have an excellent time and so do I.  At the end of the role play we have a boys vs. girls memory game where they have to match cards together.  They get so into it and they do all of this for a few reward points that I stamp into their "Passports".  This is my day. 

People have been wondering why I am so happy... its because I know what my life could look like right now had I done what most people urged me to do and stayed in Phoenix within the comforts of normalcy.  I know how bored and utterly dissatisfied I could have been had I listened and not done what was in my heart for the first time ever.  I know how much I could have been hating my job had I not just said Fuck it!  And I am going to happily keep doing things that make me happy, and Korea is definitely this first of many!