Sunday, November 1, 2009

Unexpected Fun!

Well last Wednesday night was quite an experience.  Liz, our landlady, had sent out a mass e-mail to all the foreigners in the building (as she is wont to do) asking us if we would be interested in joining her at a "strings concert" at a nearby performance center.  She said that the president of the local arts association had invited us to the performance and was offering free "royal seats."  My curiosity was piqued to say the least so after checking to make sure Angie was going too (lest I end up there alone) I agreed to go.  We all met for dinner at Gimbab Sarang before hand (were I had bibimbap for the second time that day...and it was delicious again).  It turned out to be Mama Liz, Papa Kim, Me, Angie, Andie, Noyoun, Mina, Korean American Andrew, Other Andrew and one of his friends.  After dinner we all walked down to Guebendari metro station (one stop away from us) where the Gil-Dong Arts Center is located.  I am pretty sure that Liz is a member of the arts assocation because she takes weekly lessons at the center.

We all settled down into our (questionably) royal seats and waited for the performance to begin.  I was a heck of a lot more than just a strings performance.  There were drums, dancing, strings, singing, and a musical.  The musical, which took up more than half of the two hour show, was especially interesting.  The description that Liz gave us at dinner was the following: Long ago in Korea, in the time of the many kingdoms, there was a king of the Baekje kingdom that fell in love with the wife of one of his court members.  He tried to rape her, but she refused.  He tried to convince the man to give her up, but he refused.  He tried to rape her again.  She refused.  So the king had her husband sent away to a far away island so he could steal the wife.  But she escaped with the guy and lived happily ever after.  Um...whoa.  That is a lot of raping.  Which we saw acted out.  On the stage.  The guy was also blinded by the king's soldiers with a TRIDENT.  So random. 




The Rapist King.

When I asked So Young about it, she said she'd never heard of the story.  But she did tell me some crazy but apparently historically accurate other story about the last king of the Baekje who was  total playboy and didn't care at all about his country.  The other kingdoms knew this and decided to attack him.  All the men went to fight the invading Korean and Chinese kindgoms and the women knew they woud lose.  Rather than bow to another king, 3000 women jumped off the cliffs near the city, killing themselves and effectively ending the Baekje kingdom in Korea.  Crazy town!

It was pretty hilarious to look down our row at our land of misfit foreigners.  Mina and Noyoun were falling asleep, KA Andrew was taking pictures of them, Andie was reading Texts From Last Night on her iPod Touch, Angie would randomly turn to me and say "Wait...what is going on?", and Other Andrew/his friend kept getting up and leaving the theater.  So random.  After the play, KA Andrew, Andie and I went into HomePlus to do some quick Halloween shopping for last minute costume items and candy for our classes.  That is the first time I've been in HomePlus (I usually stick to HomePlus Express near us) and it is crazy big!  Like 5 floors of overwhelmingness.  Andrew and I took the subway home and I crashed right after posting my journal entry.

Thursday was pretty uneventful.  I wasn't feeling too hot so I watched a Garfield Halloween special with my after school classes and relaxed before coming home and freaking out about swine flu, haha.

On Friday I donned a costume and was the ONLY one in our school.  Thankfully it was pretty tame so I didn't feel like a total wierdo.  I went as a devil, with a black dress/stockings, red sweater, red paper horns bobby pinned to my head and a pitchfork.  Little kids kept stopping by my door as I taught and staring.  I couldn't stop laughing!  Friday's classes went very quickly as all I did was do fun Halloween stuff with my fifth graders all day.  We reviewed the rooms in a house with a Haunted House Jeopardy I made and the kids had a lot of fun.  Then they each got to trick-or-treat for a piece of candy at the end of class.  I tried to ignore the fact that in ONE of my fifth grade classes I had TEN students absent.  "Teacher.  They not here.  Because flu."  Greaaaat.

Fear me!

Earlier in the week I had gotten a message from Ayzia, the SMOE teacher in Brigid's building who I met once when we went out in a group for dinner and a bus tour, asking what I was up to this weekend.  Brigid and Natasha both have a school holiday on Monday so they headed down to Busan.   I responded that I didn't really have any plans to speak of, so we decided to hang out over the weekend.

On Friday afternoon I decided that since Ayzia was possibly staying over at my apartment on Saturday night, I might want to get some sort of matress for her to sleep on.  Since will hopefully have at least four people coming to visit me this year for a week or so each (my brother Mike, Jo Anna, Monica and Carl) I decided it was a worthwhile investment to actually get something decent.  I talked to So Young and another coworker about it and they perused our options online for a little while before So Young just decided that we should head over to Lotte Mart and check out what was there.  If I bought it at Lotte Mart they would deliver it to my house for free on Saturday.  Sounded sweet! (And it did end up getting delivered without a hitch while I was at Lotte World Saturday, which was awesome and very convenient.)

On our way over to Lotte Mart we were stopped by some of our students who wanted to show off the Halloween costumes they had brought to wear for the party at their academy that night. Also the one girl asked "Teacher, do you have a boyfriend?" and after I replied no, she said something in Korea to So Young.  So Young translated that they planned to find me a Korean boyfriend.  Awesome.  Tiny little fourth grade matchmakers.  Best of luck to them.

We went into Lotte Mart (another sensory overload) where after some hemming and hawing I picked out two double mattresses, one stuffed with cotton and the other with sponge.  I figure if there is one person staying I can stack them, or they can be separated in a pinch.  I spent a fair amount of money, but I think it was a really worthwhile investment.  I came home Friday night to watch a little TV and frantically clean my apartment so it was presentable, rather than a total cesspool of gross.

Saturday morning I woke up and headed out to LotteWorld Amusement Park to meet Ayzia and Chicago Laura.  We also briefly met up with a friend of a friend but then split ways when he went off to meet some people.  Lotte World is (apparently) the world's largest indoor amusement park that is open year round.  How about that for qualifiers.  The craziest thing to me is that there is this big indoor amusement park and outdoor amusement park smack dab in the middle of Seoul.  It is crazy! Can you imagine half of Six Flags being shoved into downtown DC?  No way!  We immediately headed to the food court because we were starving, and then it was time for Laura to pick up the German.  Laura is on the CouchSurfing website, not as a host, but as a meet for coffee or drinks person.  While that is SO something Laura would do, and I love her for it, I would NEVER do that!   Anyway, this German guy, Lars, was travelling in SoKo and needed someone to show him something fun to do in Seoul so he met up with us at Lotte World.  In a lot of ways he reminded me of Gabe. As in he's some science guy getting his PhD in semiconductors, and has to be right about everything.  However for him, it was (somehow) less endearing. Perhaps because we had just met him...  Anyways, he was a decent guy to spend a day with, but as Ayzia said "Keeping up a conversation with a random stranger all day is exhausting!"

It was raining so the outside park was pretty dead.  We spent most of the day inside doing rides, show and a haunted house.  They went on lots of rides I was not down for, so I did my requisite people watching (awesome) and reading (also awesome).  I did go in the haunted house (where Ayzia held my hand cause I'm a baby) and on tamer rides (like the hot air balloon, and monorail).  I even went on the Drunken Baskets!  Think teacups, but baskets instead.  Now think about them also being on a huge rotating plate that tips toa 45 degree angle.  And imagine a German stranger spinning you until your head is about to fly off with as you puke all over.  There you go.  We also watched the crazy rip off Disney parade-of-foreigners, a Dracula Musical where Lotty and Lorry (think Mickey and Minnie but foxes) stormed into a vampire wedding and killed everyone, and some fun Halloween challeges like group jump rope.  While at the vampire musical, I saw two students and I think it blew their mind (as it does to all children) that their teacher has a life outside of school.  They ran up and were like "Teacher! May-gon teacher!  You are here!" It was great.  Overall it was a really entertaining and fun day.

Dreary day.  Good thing it was mostly inside! off of Cinderella's castle much?  They had a Lotte version of just about everything Disney.


Veeeerry pink and reflective children's area.

Mummies running a group jump rope competition?  Of course.

When this creeper came up behind me and put her arm around my shoulder I thought it was Laura.  I shrieked a little when I turned around, I admit it.

Look! Ayzia made a friend too!

Awkward foreigners in awkward pastel costumes leading the parade.

Lotte and Lorry (Mickey and Minnie).

Little Mermaid.


Ok, this guy was awesome because he threw me a peace sign.

Peter Pan.

Creepy overly sexy Egyptian cat. Don't know the story here.

Dracula Love Story Musical.

Can we talk about how inappropriate the dancing popsicles on the screens look?

Dracula Musicl from Meaghan Shanahan on Vimeo.

After we said our goodbye to Laura and Lars, Ayzia and I came back to my place, grabbed some take out and watched scary movies.  Verdicts as follows:  I don't think I'll be rushing to buy another Korean horror movie afte A Tale of Two Sisters.  It moved really slow and we were confused as crap.  This is the official last straw for Rotten Tomatoes, I am never believing what they say about a movie again, especialy a foreign horror movie.  Any site that considered this and Let the Right One In to be terrifying should be shut down.  On another note, Orphan was freaking awesome.  Like really excellent.  Rent it.

This morning we woke up and Ayzia headed home to get some stuff done before the soccer game a three.  I did some wash (which I have not done in an embarassingly long time) and headed out to the metro.  This was the last season game for FC Seoul and for some reason it was half price.  It was pretty freezing in the stadium (the temperature dropped a ton today, so I am thankful to have gotten a care package from my mom with my new winter coat, gloves, an a ton of SwissMiss Hot Chocolate with Mini Marshmallows!) and it was a 1-1 tie which was horribly depressing.  However the game was still ridiculously fun, and I got a NEW noisemaker with even cooler pictures from the season (I think they make a new one each game).  Plus this game was MUCH more active and they had a lot more fight in them.  Like six yellow cards and a red card worth of fight, hahah.  I am seriously considering getting season tickets next year as they are fairly cheap and it is an excellent time.

Looking forward to Eun Kyung coming back this week from her honeymoon. I want to see wedding pictures ASAP!

1 comment:

  1. "Lotty and Lorry (think Mickey and Minnie but foxes) stormed into a vampire wedding and killed everyone."

    Really? And KILLED everyone? Those are not the Mickey and Minnie I remember.

    PS I love the Dracula musical bit. Forgetting Sarah Marshall much?