Monday, March 30, 2009

Ajuma Power.:.

Ireland has it's mystical creatures, Greece has it's plentiful Gods, America's got BigFoot, Scotland's got Nessie & I guess Korea has the Ajuma... with herAjuma Power. An Ajuma is an older Korean lady, Ajuma means "Mother". They rule this land. You can see it in their eyes & Ashley told me, if you look enough of them in the eye you gain some of this power. They are NOT ladies to mess with. They work the land. Control the men. aaand are greatly respected. The Ajuma.

Ajumas roam Korea in packs. The high class ladies wear visors over there faces when the sun is shining down on them or any means to shade their precious skin. The whiter your face, the more beautiful you are in Korean culture. It's a sign that you don't work the land and are rarely outdoors.

They are not shy about giving you the once over either. There is nothing like a disapproving stare from an Ajuma to make you feel uncomfortable. You can try to stare them down, but prepare to be sorely beaten. They can also elbow like a Thai fighter. Don't go downtown shopping on a Saturday afternoon if your not prepared to stand your ground when the herd of Ajumas invade the shops. They show no mercy. Bumping into you and pushing people out of your way is just a way of life here.

The working Ajumas work the fields or any plot of land they spot. Most are bent over permanently from working on crop fields. They are a force to be reckoned with.

Beware of the Ajuma.
P.s None of these pics are mine, as I'm afraid to take a picture of these scary creatures.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Tables have Turned.

I spent the past week covering classes for Justin. Friend, runner, artist... on top of my own classes. Himself & Caitlin have gone to Bali but should be flying back as I write. We don't have substitute teachers here, everyone picks up the slack. I had to cover classes of which our eldest kids attend. Named the Nok-Ji-Won classes. They are mainly 16 year olds. I had to remind them that I also went to school once upon a time. So I know all the tricks.
The earphones up your sleeve & into your ear trick. Check. The pretending to write with my left hand while my right hand is busy texting on my phone trick. Check. The "if I put my hand over my face, she wont know I'm sleeping" trick. Check. My Dad actually taught me that last trick at Church. Catholic Church was never very inspirational. As for class tricks, I could go on.

Teaching the older kids made me miss my Elementary classes. Where I tell stories & they hang on my every word, where I joke, make amusing faces & they are not embarrassed to speak English. Not at that awkward, insecure, self aware stage. Where I can be stern & funny at the same time & they learn English in a fun atmosphere verses a lecture. I am NOT the lecturing teacher type. One of the Nok-Ji-Won kids told me "I feel like I'm in a game show. Your like a game show host". I guess that's the energy that works with my younger kids.

I love teaching kids. Kids are kids wherever you go. Whatever the culture. I love kids. But I also like giving them back to their rightful owners at the end of the day. I love teaching kids about what I'm passionate about. I miss sharing my horse knowledge with them. I feel like I've accomplished a lot more when I help a kid overcome a fear, create a bond with an animal, gain a sense of trust and make a lasting memory. I don't feel like I have achieved anything teaching children the different parts of a bicycle in English.

The classroom is too confined for me but I'm glad I have had a chance to experience it.
By each life experience, I edge closer to the realisation of what I want to work at and what I want my life to be. I change my mind regularly. Chronic Dissatisfaction. Boredom of routine.
I have come to accept that there's a lot more to experience on my journey until I stand still.
By standing still I'm referring to staying in one spot. One place. Satisfaction. A sense of continual accomplishment. Daily. I will find it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Paddys Day in Korea

I'm pretty sure there's millions of people in the world today celebrating St. Patricks day, but I wonder what percentage of these people actually know who St. Patrick is or what he did. I had to write down the story of St. Patrick in simple English to give out to the teachers at my school so they could read it to the Korean kids. I knew the general idea, but definitely had to research a little for the exact details. The Korean kids weren't too bothered by the first half of the story, except for the fact St. Patrick was stolen from Wales by Irish Pirates. I knew there was a reason Pirates talked in mumble like they did... they were Irish... duh! Anyways, the kids loved the 'banished all the snakes away from Ireland' part. My elementary kids asked me "Is this a real story?", "Did the snake really talk to him?". aaaand of course I told them "yeah, we love St. Patrick, cause we hated those talking snakes, they never shut up!!"

So since I was working late on the official Paddys day, I had my Paddys Day party last Saturday night at the 'Irish Girls' apartment. It was great craic! We sang and danced to the best Irish music, none other than Westlife, Bewitched, Mark McCabe and The SawDoctors (Kate, I sang SawDoctors in your honor!). Then when we had wrecked the heads of their neighbours enough we headed downtown to 'Songs' the German Bar, and then onto 'Fish & Grill' till 6am.

[Me, Charlene, Edel & Claire]

[We even had the owner of 'Songs'... Mr. Song, full of Irish Spirit]

[Me, Charlene & Kelsey (who is the newest addition to Avalon English)]

Last night, for the official St. Paddys Day celebration we went for a few local drinks to 'RedMonkey' where Kelly brought the green food dye for our beer!! Yay!!!

I hope wherever you were in the world you had a GREAT DAY!!! xxx

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cheerleading Ninjas

So before I explain the title of this post, I have to give you the rundown of this weekend!

Firstly Shane headed on a boys camping weekend with Justin, brokeback mountain style. It was a great "ME" weekend. I was in need of some 'Me' time. I love hanging out with Shane but it's definitely difficult to have your own time and space when you live with someone in a two bed open plan apartment. Were working on it though! So I needed some fast greasy food, so I called up Jesse, who I knew wouldn't say no to an unhealthy lunch. A few burgers and laughs later I headed for a cycle (the weather was beautiful this weekend), then watched a chick flick and got some writing done. Later everyone came over to JoEun Villa 101, that's my place, had a few drinks, went downtown for some Galbi (grilled pork, goooood!) and then headed to a German bar, Songs. I got to hang out with the three Irish girls, Claire, Charlene and Edel.

AND for the Saturday night finale all the girls plus Jesse headed to 'Club Vanilla'. You pay a tener in and it's all the beer you can drink! It's FULL to the brim with stylish Koreans, who stand around the dancefloor until a song they know comes on, then they don't freestyle dance like normal club goers, they all have certain routines to certain songs. It's hilarious! We just danced our faces off 'till 5am. There was a dance competition at about 3am where guys breakdanced etc... and then one Korean girl (i'm pretty sure the Club pays her) stripped off.
Completely. Knickers 'n' all. On stage! It was very akward! Hilarious but akward. The music stopped and she ran off stage. Very random!!!

So, on Sunday... after a long morning of recovery, Shane returned from his beach camping trip, cold and sandy. A load of us headed to the Gwangju World Cup Stadium to see the free!!, first football (Soccer for you Americans) match of the season. Gwangju versus Daejeon. Gwangju kicked their arses, of course. It was a gorgeous day, we had some beer (The cure!) and
strawberries and sat in the sunny stadium stands with a great view of the game!

Sooooo... I should have known that instead of the usual cheerleaders, we are in Asia after all, they had CHEERLEADING NINJAS! Brilliant!!!

Here's a video I took of the Cheerleading Ninjas BRINGING SEXY BACK!!! (Warning it's loud!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Since when do I have big feet?

So I headed shopping with Tiff & Kelly... SHOE shopping. I have already had 4 shoe fail shopping days. There is A LOT of shoes. Korean girls are very girly and mostly wear mini skirts and high-heels on an everyday basis. This is too much hassle for me. I'm more of a t-shirt and jeans girl myself. Although I left all my pretty girl shoes in Ireland, for what reason, I do not know. To make a stupid long story short.
I bought a cute pair of shoes although I have to shop in the 'girls largest shoe section' as there isn't any high heels bigger than a size 5(Ireland)/7(American).
I KNOW!! Crazy. Those Asians & their damn small feet. My mate Caitlin has been turned away from some shoe stores as they tell her "no, no, feet too big".
My arse also doesn't even fit into the extra large skirts over here. Koreans don't have booties. Waaaay to give me a complex Asia!!! Also on my shopping trip we saw this realy sweet t-shirt.
If anyone has the guts to wear this back home, I'll buy you one! haha!

I would also like to point out, there are NO copyright laws in Korea. So you can use whatever picture you like, of anyone, and put it anywhere. Like the sign for our new local bar 'Redmonkey'. Hey look, it's the Coyote Ugly girls. But alas... there is no-one dancing on the bar in here. Unless my Mam and her best friend Trish come over to Korea. They are famous for such shananigans in NYC!

We have started a new semester in our school. It's Spring Semester! YAY! I have a lot of the same kids and a lot of newbies. Here's a few pictures I took of my Winter Semester Classes.
The Elementary kids are great fun!

[This is Jack (above), he's a little devil]

[This class is crazy, especially the boys, and especially 'Tim', the one infront]

[This is my fave class, of mostly boys, there's one girl, poor Melissa, the kid that looks like the Omen (infront) is Ben, he is probably my fave kid, such a little legend!]