Thursday 30 June 2011


As I said in a previous post this week we're playing Guess Who? because the topic is describing appearence. My co-teacher asked me if she could film me explaining my powerpoint slides and game instructions. I've never watched myself back teaching before so it was a bit weird but just thought some people might like to see me in action, hopefully I'm a bit better than when I first starting teaching on my CELTA course!

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Latin America

Last time Kev visited we decided to hike the Seoul Fortress walls. I got the info for this from this site. We found the place ok but only walked a little way and the wall ended. We went in seach of the next part of it but were unsuccessful. One of the best things about living abroad is when you plan to do something and although it doesn't work out you stumbled across something else cool happening. As was the case on this day. We saw some tents ahead of us and went to check it out. Turns out there was a Latin American festival going on so we stayed and ate, drank and enjoyed the entertainment!

The only picture from the Fortress walk...

Italian arancini

Worth the crazy long wait!


We went to Peru, Brazil, Mexico...

Peruvian fare. The green sauce on the potatoes was the.spiciest.thing.I.have.ever.eaten
I think the potatoes are this dish: Papa a la huancaina although at the festival the sauce was green, perhaps because of pepper availability

Spanish Omelette

Mersey tunnel

Caipirinha and sangria

Cheese bread from Brazil (pão de queijo)

Basically a cheese and ham toastie. Ah-Mazing! (This: empanada)

One way to hold my bag

Leave FFs.

Monday 27 June 2011

Summon the police woop woop woop

I've been taking a night class at the National Palace Museum throughout June and last week as I was making my way to class across the road were loads of police officers. The Museum is near the Police academy building so it's not unusual to see cadets practising, but this was much more. A lot of them were decked out in riot gear and they were all lining the edge of the pavement. This was an unusual sight, so I filmed it as I crossed the road. Once I got across I realised there was a kind of protest/demonstration happening. Lots of disabled people in wheelchairs were moving along the pavement, many with tin cans dragging along behind and with posters, which naturally I couldn't read. This seemed a bit strange as the police were so heavily armed with safety equipment and I couldn't imagine those protesting making that much trouble. I guess the police were there to offer the protesters protection, but it still seemed rather excessive. Here is the video I took, sorry it's a bit jumpy but I was walking along.

This is the bar of soap I made at my first class. It's a peach, which has some symbolism, which I can't remember at the moment. Opps!

Spring in Nakseongdae park. It's a really peaceful place to relax. Here are some images from Autumn

Nice day in the park

Who knows where the name of the post is from?

17 things that happen when you're computer-less

This weekend my computer has been held captive in the repair shop. It was supposed to take 2 days to fix but that was on wednesday and I still haven't had the call to say it's ready... this weekend I had decided to check out a photography exhibition I heard about on facebook, that is until I remembered I didn't have a computer to check the details. So here are 17 things I found to do when completely computer-less

- Make cookies
- Spend too much money in daiso (pound shop) on things for the home
- Buy a completely overpriced UK magazine
- Drink too many cups of tea
- Listen to music on the extremely substandard speaker built into your iPod.
- Watch TV
- Realise how bad the signal is on your TV
- Do some washing (even though your washing basket is nearly empty)
- Clean your apartment
- Write a letter to a friend you have neglected for a while
- Finish reading your book
- Paint your nails
- Watch a terrible movie with Kevin Bacon in it just because it's the only thing in English on TV
- Read overpriced UK magazine cover to cover
- Use it's 'revamp your life' section to replan your life
- Read your horoscope and actually take what it says to heart.
- Consider practising Korean, and then realise you don't have a computer to play the CD-Rom on. Duh!
- Phone Kevin and have a go at him because you're bored and he's not.

Thursday 23 June 2011

Pizza School Love

 I recently read a blog which was pretty negative about the foreign food you can get out here in Korea. Especially pizza. This made me think, because so far I've not been horribly dissappointed when eating western food in Seoul. It's never going to be what you are used to at home, but then I know that Indian food in the UK is not like it is in India, and Chinese food is certainly not like it is in China. Anyway back to pizza. As you'd expect western food out here is expensive. Pizza is no exception, Mr Pizza, Pizza Hut, Dominoes and Papa Johns are all available here but thay charge an arm and a leg. But let me introduce you to my favourite take away shop; Pizza School! As far as I am aware it is a Korean chain, and it is cheap! Yesterday I bought an Iced smoothie from Holly's coffee for 5000 won. Pizza school pizza starts at 5,000. FOR A WHOLE PIZZA! This is cheap. It's made on the premises, infact st my local one I like to watch the lady preparing it, looks like fun! Yes, the toppings can be unusual; sweet potato (not that good as it's sweet potato paste), potato pizza (my fave, comes with bacon as well!) and all the pizzas come with sweetcorn as standard. Now that might be a bit weird but it's something different, and if you like sweetcorn, where is the problem?? You can get stuffed crust and dipping crust and garlic sauce (yum yum yum). What is not to like about pizza school? I usually try and eat only half the pizza for tea and then it can do me for 2 meals (I'm trying to save money here!). One down side is that the pizzas are only available in one size, but really, if you want more why not just buy two? I really like pizza school, and so what if it's not the same as you're used to at home, it's not like UK, American, French, Canadian, Australian, Spanish,German, Russian etc etc pizza is authentically Italian is it?!!

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Dinner and a movie

Brown bread

Cajun chicken salad and Orange-ade (which is fresh orange juice in Korea)

Ribs and pasta

Jacket potato!

Why is the baddie in American movies so often British??

Guess Who

When you have to prepare materials for games and activities in class sometimes you have to think of names for characters or pictures. When I am put on the spot I always go through my friends and family for inspiration. This week I've prepared the game "Guess Who?' for 5th grade. I thought I would share my pictures and names to the people who provided the inspiration. If your name isn't here then I probably deemed it too difficult for Koreans to pronounce, either that or I just forgot! (See also my Rolling Stones/Beatles influence this week!)


Lucy in the sky with diamonds, Rolling Stones and a Prince!

I like teaching 5th grade, I had half of them last year as 4th graders and they are a good bunch of students, but they can be noisy (see hot/cold game here), the last 2 weeks we've been making Music videos (to be posted when finished here this week) and I simply had to video this class because they were so quiet it was almost eerie...

and finally... I went to view some apartments this week. In one of the lifts was this poster. I was initally concerned that the building was unsafe. But turns out this guy was caught stealing... an umbrella. Seoul really is a safe city.

Ancedotes and musings

These are things I just want to share.

Ancedote 1. At the weekend I went away camping on the beach. It was really sunny, and although I have learnt that I must wear suncream and keep applying it whenever there is the slightest hint of sun I always seem to forget one place to put it. This weekend I forgot to take a hat and subsequently burnt my scalp, all around my hairline. I was talking about this with one of my co-teachers at work. I was saying how I have very white and very sensitive skin and therefore burn easily. She had this to say; "When it gets hot and sunny foreigners like to wear less clothes, but what about your skin?" So i replied, "Well if you wear suncream, you won't get burnt and we like to get tanned skin" "but why do you wear less clothes?" "Well it's hot, so wearing less clothes makes you feel cooler...' After this she looked at me a bit miffed and went on eating her lunch. Is that not a logical answer? It's hot, wear less, you're cooler?

Anecdote 2: During June I signed up to take an 'Experiencing Royal Culture' course at the National Palace Museum of Korea. It's free for English teachers, and knowing nothing about Korean history I was interested to take it. It's every tuesday and I leave straight from school to get there. This means I am 1/2 an hour early for the classes so have plenty of time to waste before it starts. This week I decided that as I had plenty of time I would pop into family mart to get a drink and some fruit. It was across the road and it was hot, so I decided I didn't want to trudge all the way down into the subway and back up again to cross the road. I waited at the traffic lights. This was a major mistake. I have NEVER EVER waited so long for traffic lights to change. I was there at least 15 minutes. While I'm standing there I'm thinking "If I'd taken the subway pass I'd be making my way back by now..." but it would be sods law that as soon as you leave they turn green, so I waited, and waited. Getting more and more impatient. Finally they changed. I headed into Family Mart, and of course there was not one peice of fruit available. Perhaps it's only 7/11 that sells fruit?? So back outside I am now worried that I'm going to be late, of course I forgo the traffic lights and head down into the subway and then back up. Walking at a quick pace to the museum. As I'm nearing the entrance I pass 2 small independent coveinence shops. Didn't need to go all the way the family mart anyway. Poo.

Monday 20 June 2011

Open Mic 2

 My camera ran out of memory on sunday so this is all I could get of our second open mic. Wendy used her camera to get some of the other songs but I'll have to wait til she posts them on facebook and try and link to it. Until then:

Sunday 19 June 2011

Glamping at the beach... sort of.

Last weekend we got away from it all on an overnight excusion to a deserted island. Sand sand and sand everywhere and our toilet was behind a big rock... glamping at it's best!

Over night in the jimjilbang. Do not go to one of these if you actually intend on sleeping overnight. This is Korea, people will arrive at all manner of times during the night, the lights will never go off and everyone will continually be incredibly loud.

Very long bridge connecting the airport island with the mainland.

That banana was really manky, but she ate it anyway.

On the small boat to the deserted island

A starfish we found

Also scavenged for some clams and then cooked them in beer, water and some of the old burger fat.

Tasty, but still very sandy


Our house for the night

Our tent village

Lunch: burgers, complete with gherkins, onions, lettuce and tommy k.

Chopsticks only, no spatulas.

Ipod speaker

I dig my toes into the sand

The sky resembles a backlit canopy with holes punched in it.

and then the sun set

and the fun began!

$7 gin. Classy

Firestarter, twisted firestarter!


yum yum

My first ever Smore. (toasted mashmallow and chocolate squeezed between two ginger biscuits, Americans know how to make tasty fattening delights)

Then the next day back on the small boat

Scrabble on the ferry

Sunburnt in a few places

New friends
and a Korean family in a tent.

 We arranged the trip through Adventure Korea and it cost 96,000 for the travelling fees, tent rental and food.