Saturday, July 31, 2010


An Ode

Today is your birthday
Hip hip hooray!
If I were there,
I'd make you lemonade.
You are real swell,
and pretty dang cool,
And when I get home,
No doubt I'll serenade

My poem skills aren't so great
But July 31st is-thats the date!
You are the best mom ever!
I have nothing else clever.

Happy birthday Mom!!! You should get yourself a new car or something.

oh wait...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Two Days...two days


And then! Vacation for three weeks. Bam sucka!


In related news, brother Kris just got to Korea for a nice little visit. He abandoned his job for three weeks and we plan to traverse the depths of Korea in a monumental and transformational way. At least we hope so. Or I hope so. I haven't really gotten to talk to him about it much.

Jet lag=not awesome

And then after those three weeks, who knows. Some things are up in the air. But blog world, I'll be sure to let you know when I know.

My life=unpredictable

Also, COT already started her vacation. Yesterday.

COT vacation=unpredictably awesome

Also, I want this Korean boy at work (not a student, fyi) to love me. Jung-min! LOVE ME! Forget your gf of three years and just love me. You won't regret it.

Jung-min=making a huge mistake

Also, right now I'm teaching an advanced reading class and we're plowing our way through the Roald Dahl book "George's Marvelous Medicine". It's a pretty boring class because I'm having a hard time making a reading class exciting, but today I decided to bring in all sorts of different juices and then we (my class of 4 students) mixed them all together for our own 'marvelous medicine'. Well, it tasted really bad. Really, really bad (i blame the giant amount of pineapple juice one of the kids threw in) so then we rock paper scissor'ed to see who had to drink it. As soon as one kid finished chugging his turn away, he immediately ran to the bathroom. And then the rest of the time he had an upset stomach.

Me=really good teacher

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Desk Warming

Right now I'm stuck at school until 4:30 even though I'm pretty sure I'm the only teacher currently in the school because everyone else is on vacation but for some reason its cool to lock all the foreign teachers up.

Anyways, this is giving me time to do some real internet searching.

I just found a gem.

I'm trying to like Korean music, so I just searched top songs or something random. Anyways, this led me to a Korean singer who was/is trying to break out in the USA. Her website is awesome.

This is BoA.

The following can be found in her 'About Me' section:

Height: 5'4" or 160 cm
Weight: 99 lbs or 45 kg
Shoe size: 23.5 cm
Blood Type: AB

Family pet: Sarah (cat)

Cellular phone melody: Kim Hyun Jung's "Nuh Jung Mal"
Cellphone window message: a magician blowing fire out of his mouth, and the flames turn into a heart shape.

Favorite song: "Hot In Here" by Nelly & The Neptunes
Favorite movie: Men In Black 2 (Men In Black II, MIIB)
Favorite Colors: Beige, Grey, Black, White, Gold, Brown, Dark Colors
What she looks for in a guy: Responsible, intelligent, not too big, not too tall, generousity
Favorite cartoon character: Winnie the Pooh

Superstitions: If her ssang kka pul (double eyelid) comes out, the things she has to do that day won't work out well
Person She Respects: Her Mother
What She Thinks Are Her Attractive Points: eyes, nose, and lips
Where is she most often: besides home, or on location via her work schedule, she can also be found at the beauty salon
How she likes to dress: Hip-Hop Style and Casual Style
What she thinks when she sees students around her with school uniforms: Ahh, I want to go to school
One thing you must have in your pocket: Cell Phone
One thing she can't memorize well: People's names

GEMS! All of them.
But mostly the part about how she has a pet cat named Sarah, she is 99 lbs, and how her double eyelid is not a good sign. Ohhh Korea, I'll never understand you.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Saturday I went up to Seoul with some friends with the intentions of seeing that movie everyone is talking about.

You know, The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

I kid.

We really meant to see Inception. I swear there were a couple days where every one of my friends fb status' were about this movie. We went up to Seoul to see it because we wanted to go big or go home. And see it on the IMAX.

Welp, that was a good idea in theory. A bad idea in real life.

Sold Out.

So why wouldn't we decide to see a movie? And why not a Nic Cage movie?

This is why we made the wrong decision:

Oh Nic.

One friend and I were laughing so much at the beginning of the movie and at the skills of Mr. Cage that another friend told us to stop it or he would move. And he was serious.

Soon enough he was joining in.

Everyone needs to see this movie.

Friday, July 23, 2010


(the second to last-i think-installment of 'meet the ptaek fam'. its a good one. be excited)

Meet Chris:

(ignore the drink...or don't)

Chris is a pretty swell guy. Don't let his manly exterior scare you away from the sensitive, sweet puppy dog inside.

You want to know how to cook? Ask Chris.

You want to know why vegetarians are lame and why soy is actually really unhealthy?
Ask Chris.

Want to lose every argument with another person? Go to Chris.

He's a good guy with a deceivingly big heart. Yeah, I just said it.

One time in Seoul when a drunk Asian tried groping me, Chris took the challenge. And won.

He's got a way with the ladies (sometimes) and brings a good party. You know Chris is serious about partying when he brings out his knee brace.

Best part about Chris? He's ticklish.

Worst part about Chris? Being scared to tickle him because of his giant muscles.

Yup, that's our guy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Michael Jackson

Like clockwork, the minute the big hand reaches for the 30 and the little hand 3, I hear a boisterous Korean student burst through my door and shout CINDY! COT doesn't appreciate it, but I don't really care about that.

Makes my day.

Kim Do Hoon was never in any of my classes, but for some reason he feels compelled to visit me everyday.

Best part: He only knows like 4 words in English.

So everyday is the same conversation:


"Hi Do Hoon"

"Nooo, my name is Michael Jackson"

"No! My name is Michael Jackson"

"No! Your name is Cindy Michael Jackson"

"No! Your name is Cindy Michael Jackson!"

Andddd you get the picture.

But I absolutely love and adore him.

Yeah, he's pretty amazing.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Recent thoughts

I feel a little weird when I get to the lunch room and find myself excited over a pot of tofu soup.

Men who DON'T carry a bag/purse are now more strange to me than a man who does carry one.

I get to play in mud all weekend. DREAMS COME TRUE.

I am determined to win a lobster out of the crane game near my house.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

DDR Revelation

Back in college, I was roommates with a very spunky girl. Some called her a little crazy, but she was super fun and we had many a good times.

There was this one guy in our apartment complex who really, really liked stargazing. He had a giant telescope (hahaha-thats not what she said) and every Sunday he would set it up in the middle of the complex. He would then go around asking various girls to come 'look through his telescope'.

Ok writing that out makes it seem kinda creepy. I guess it was?

Anyways, when asked this question, my roommate quickly said YES and ran out to the telescope. Gonna be honest, but it was a sweet telescope. Thousands of dollars were spent on it. I think we could see Saturn. Awesome.

Well, the telescope boy had a couple friends hanging out with him. They were interesting (read: weird) but my roommate was a lover of all people so she was super nice to them and talking about random things and then they decided this was enough of a relationship to invite her (and therefore me) to a party.

A DDR party.

So my roommate somehow convinces me to go with her to this "party" (i didn't want to, but i guess i'm easy to convince) and we leave with these two brothers, their friend, and his girlfriend.

Mormon guys are so sneaky at forced awkward (double/triple) dates.

We get to the brothers house (well, their parents house) and are led down to their basement and through a maze of rooms (still creepy) to a tiny room with a TV and two DDR pads. And not much room for anything else.

I guess this was our DDR Party. Awesome.

The six of us start to play DDR (or 5 of them. i felt like i was going to be murdered or something) and then the friend of the brothers busts out his guitar and starts jamming out. Like hard core singing. Like serenading all of us with really strange song lyrics.

I was trying to hard to get my roommate to catch all my signals of 'hey, we should go. this is weird' but she was a little oblivious.

We ended up staying and watching a movie at their house. I felt uncomfortable the entire time. And that's saying something.

Anyways, this was all brought to light last night when I hung out with some of the other teachers in my apartment building (there are 4 of us). We decided to get together and order some pizzas and hang out.

And then someone suggested DDR.

I shuttered.

BUT I did find this gem. Have any of you ever watched this video before? It's pure genius! (anything with a midget aka little person is)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Because we're in Korea...

...and people stare at us no matter what we do!

Jacob and Edward would be proud.

And yes, we went to the movies like this. And yes, it was awesome.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Beach!

Saturday I went to the beach.

It was glorious.

The sun wasn't really out, but it was shining. As made evident by a really awesome sunburn I'm currently sporting. Feels good!

But let me tell our story through these pictures:

Right off the bus I found some really fun Koreans. I gave them candy. We were friends.

We found our spot on the beach and then I ran into the water. Its the first time I've been to an ocean/sea in a long time, and I forgot about the salt water aspect. It was icky.

Oh and then there was the infamous banana boat incident. Five of us girls went on a banana boat ride. It was my first time on a banana boat, but I didn't think much of it. One of our friends told us that one of us should fall off the boat so we could stay on longer.

And then I DID fall off the banana boat. Twice. Yeah, we got to stay on a lot longer. You're welcome friends.

This picture is just post banana boat. I beckoned for this well-oiled piece of machinery to join us, and as you can see, he readily accepted.

This man was buried:

Some of the girls:

And our whole group! We owned that beach.

I'm pretty sure I touched at least 3 strangers pecs at the beach. It was a good day.

Buddhist Temple Stay

Last weekend was a good time to be Buddhist.

We took the train to the very edge of Seoul (meaning fresh air and nature!) and meandered our way up to the temple we'd be staying at.

This was one of those things I had on my 'to-do' list in Korea from the very beginning, but I didn't really know what to expect. After I heard we'd have a 4 am wake-up call the following morning, my enthusiasm dwindled.

Still, we ventured forward. It was a small group at the temple stay-not more than 20 people- and we were the only foreigners. This was neat, but also difficult at times. There were a couple lectures that the monks gave and we were without a real translator. Meaning we we not as well-behaved as we should have been. Oops.

We found our chi. We were zen.


We did make friends with a couple girls who spoke English. They fell in love with our boy Mike.

And the 4 am wake up call wasn't as horrible (or maybe it was) as it sounded. We got up and almost immediately went to the temple to do some chanting and then some 108 prostration bows. It was interesting and a little sweaty (seriously, the mat on which i was bowing had a mad puddle of sweat where my forehead would hit every time i went down...embarrassing) but overall it was a really interesting experience.

The temple stay wouldn't be complete, however, without one man: the Apple Man.

For part of the day we had gone up to do some taekwondo moves with a couple ninja monks. It was actually really fun, but this guy had decided to be a little more involved with foreigners. Making sure our stances were correct and what not. For one exercise we had to kick a paddle thing that this guy was holding, and every time one of us would go to kick it, he would move it out of the way and we'd just look like idiots.

Not funny.

But when we were leaving the mountain from which we were being ninjas, this guy smiled at me and gave me an apple.


From that point on, the Korean girls we made friends with would talk about apple man at every given moment. Every time we saw him they would run to me and tell me that apple man is coming. And then they went and got him right when we were leaving the temple so we could pose for this picture. Thanks girls.

Andddd that's my temple stay experience. It wasn't as...inspirational as I was intending, but it was for sure a good time.

Minus having to sit in the lotus position while we meditated. Ugh.

World Cup

Imma be honest.

Cindy+World Cup=indifference

Of course, I love and support the home team. I always want them to do well.
But other than that...meh

This time around, it meant me cheering for two home teams: USA and Korea.

Koreans go CRAZY for the World Cup. They love it. My students happiness levels depended on the outcome of the games. Since the games were played in the middle of the night our time, I wouldn't ever know the final scores. But then I would come to school and would find out just by looking at the poor boys faces. Genius.

Welp, we decided to be a little more involved and head up to Seoul to watch one of the games with the rest of our Korean citizens. And when I say we, I really mean I didn't want to because it was at like midnight and it meant me having to stay in Seoul and blah blah but I went.

And I'm glad I did (thanks kim and kate).

First off, I'm glad I went because I got this sweet hat!

What a good way to spend 1000 won. It also makes a handy flotation device if the world is flooded.

Also good because all the drunk Koreans wanted to take their picture with me. I'm kind of like a celebrity here. Especially with that hat.

Also good because its always a good time with these people:

And then Korea lost and it wasn't as cool anymore.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


No, I'm not talking about the world cup. Although I could. And I will. In a later post.

But for now, I'm talking about something a little more exciting.

Something involving my dreams coming true.

And a crane.

Yes, you heard me right.

After months of training and thousands of won spent, I finally got what I came for:

A cheap-ace stuffed animal dog.

I'd like to thank Matt for hanging in there with me, and pushing me forward even when I wanted to give up.

He also won. His prize is a little weird alien thing. It's pretty awesome.

We owned that crane game room.


(also, let me say Matt has perfect eyebrows. Look at them. Jealoussss)

(also, pps, i found a crane game where the prizes are REAL LIVE LOBSTERS!
that is next on my list)


(the fifth part in a series entitled "meet the ptaek fam")

Meet John:

Yes, he looks this good. All the time.

What you can't see is his bottom half. He is sporting what the world knows to be jorts. (ps i just found this: And if you want a definition of jorts, click here).
The bandanna only adds to his emsemble.

He also has a fascinating bellybutton.

But we can't talk about his striking physical features all day (well, we could, but there are other things to talk about too).

We should probably talk about how John is the most dedicated to learning Korean. This could be because John is in love with Korean women, but whatever the motivation is, its working. He comes in handy. He also has the most Korean friends. Winner!

John and I have a good thing going. We're just there for each other, you know?

(giving me a tic-tac after an unfortunate incident eating ramen)

(airplane. duh)

And John can't be mentioned without the drum game. It is a special thing.
He's got skillz.

Yeah, thats John.
Our redheaded stepsibling/secret lover that has to stay secret because its weird to love a stepsibling.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Walking to school today felt like I was walking in a puddle of moisture.

Icky, eh?

I hear its raining right now too. Not that I've gone to check. I just saw some people mention it in their facebook statuses. Its the lazy-man weather checker.
And a lot more reliable than the real weatherman.

Good thing I keep an umbrella at school AND at home. SHA-BAM!

Now, please let me take a moment to delve into some things in Korea that I just don't understand.

#1: The unflushable TP

You walk into the bathroom. Here at school, they have music playing in the background (instrumental music of Barry Manilow songs are my favorite selections). You walk into the stall and you see what you normally see in a bathroom stall: a toilet, toilet paper, and trash can.

(In most public bathrooms, however, the toilet paper is not located in the stall. It is outside all the stalls near the sinks or whatnot. So you have to gauge how much TP you'll need for whatever deed you're about to do before you get to doing it. True story.)

But thats not the main focus of this. In lots of places here, you do not flush the TP in the toilet.

You fold it up and then throw it in the trash can. I think this is strange. I'm pretty sure most toilets can handle the paper-thin tissue. But for some reason, they just like to put it in the trash. And I think that is icky.

#2: The mini-broom

When you walk along the streets in Korea, you see lots of old people walking around. Most of the people have had long lives and worked really hard, and you can tell just how hard they've worked by the horrible back posture they currently have. Some of them are bent almost to a 90 degree angle. It is actually really sad.

After awhile, I noticed that Korea is weirdly promoting this back behavior with...the mini broom.

These brooms are only as tall as your knee or mid-thigh. So in order to use them, you have to bend all the way over.

I just want to shake up the world here and show them a regular sized broom. With a handle that is almost as tall as you, allowing you to walk around with your head held high. GENIUS!

#3: Advertising

Walking along the streets on a Friday night, don't be surprised to hear what sounds like a marching band pass by you. But don't worry, they're just advertising for whatever store hired them. Some are holding big banners while others are generously throwing flyers all over the road. No, they don't just hand them to people. They cover the streets with their advertisements.

Sometimes they'll forgo the fake marching band and just have some guy drive around and throw flyers or business cards out of his car.

It's awesome. Kinda. Friday and Saturday nights are the most popular times for these, so when you wake up the next morning you'll see streets lined with papers.

And then you'll see poor old ajumas (old ladies) with their mini brooms, sweeping them up.

It's a vicious cycle.

Honorable mention:
In Korea, every time you get a pizza, you also get a side of pickles!