I always enjoy looking at clever, cute, and colorful things. Hence why I enjoy the designs of Alessi! At the Shinsigae department store, there is a display of Alessi and I love to fantasize about buying all of it!
Thank God for kids like Edward, my little weirdo first grader that reminds me that not ALL Korean kids stick to the homogeneity of their culture. ho·mo·ge·neous
1: of the same or a similar kind or nature
2: of uniform structure or composition throughout
Yes, that one word about sums up the Korean population. But not Edward. He is truly one of a kind. Edward is the kid who wears moon boots everyday who constantly mortifies his classmates on insisting that extraterrestrials are real and looming outside of thier windows at night. He is kid who stares blankly into space while the rest of the class is reading a lively story about a dragon going to the grocery store and blurts out a question during this time, "Teacher, how does a rocket propel itself into the air?"
Basically, Edward is your typical completely brilliant kid who is socially retarded and completely clueless in the field pertaining to common sense. In other words, I totally adore the kid.
Well, anyhow, today in class, we were discussing American currency and I asked the question to the kids, "Who is on the $1 dollar bill?" And they answered, "George Washington," like properly trained chimps. And then I asked, "And who is on the $5 dollar bill?" One of the smart kids in class answered, "Abraham Lincoln." And then I asked, "OK, who is on the $20 dollar bill?" With complete and utter confidence Edward blurted out, "Hitler!"
I nearly fell out of my chair, not knowing weather to laugh hysterically or die of shock. Best of all, when I tried to correct him, he further insisted that it was true and that he read it somewhere that Hitler was on the $20 dollar bill. Oh man, classic.
Its days like these that make me happy to be a teacher.
I think earmuffs are the cutest! I managed to take a photo of a girl standing clear across the street with my 12x zoom. I might add, taking a photo of a Korean girl is like taking a photo in the wild of chupacubra- They are elusive and just ain't havin' it. Everytime you pull out the camera, they cover their face or turn around. Which explains why I have zero pictures of adult Koreans. To solve this problem, the 12x zoom was invented! Those muffs are huge and fluffy and sooo cute:)
It was sooo cold yesterday while walking around the Ewha Women's University area but I still managed to snap a few photos. I was super depressed when I got there because my 2 favorite stores in the area were closed- San-X and the Japanese toy store. Damn!
As an American abroad, I feel like I have been missing out on all of the excitement. It seems the Koreans really like Obama over here. This morning when I stepped out of my door, there was a newspaper with Obama on front on step.
I was pleasantly surprised today. I got off early from work and decided to take a bus to Shinsigae. I took bus #11, which ended up being the wrong bus but I decided to stay on anyhow just to see where it ended up. It ended up in Miguim, a neighboring town! This is also the place where the 2001 Outlet Mall is so I strolled around a bit, ate some Pho, and snapped some photos.
As I was strolling my way to the grocery store, I noticed that the butcher had a fresh shipment of meat in- the whole cow! All of the meat is hung from the ceiling by hooks with bones and all. I am disgusted but captivated at the same time by this gruesome sight.
Lately, I have had plenty of free time on my hands due to the fact that it is wintertime. My boredom has led me to actually pick up a pencil and draw for the first time in like years. I am actually pleasantly surprised how my first few drawings have turned out.
I wanted them to look awkward yet fashionable and cute like the Korean kids around here in the suburbs. Some of the kids are soo dumpy and dorky yet adorable here! And their parents dress them in rather whimsical outfits at times. Oh, and the ajumas were fur, real fur. Its everywhere in Korea. Uh.
Typical Korean pre-teen off to the hagwon to learn some English.
Grumpy and frumpy old money ajuma showing off her fur pelt.
Dumpy kid magnificently dressed by her parents to attempt cuteness.
I think I will attempt more sketches and see what I can come up with! They entertain me to say the least.
I really enjoy the fact that this little store has all the snacks and drinks I could possibly want literally 30 seconds away from my front door. Like at 11:30 at night, I can decide I want an apple juice and just throw my coat on over my pajamas and I am there!
Added bonus: The super hot Jinro Soju ads on the side!
Yesterday was a first for me. I spent the day with hundreds of naked Korean women young and old at the jimjilbang.... The communal Korean bathhouse. A coworker and I decided to brave it out and experience jimjilbang together on Sunday afternoon.
When you first arrive, you pay 7,000 won (about $5) and receive 2 little bitty towels and a tshirt and shorts. The sauna is segregated between men and women so you then head into the women's only locker area. Then, you remove your shoes and place them into a little locker for shoes. There are 100's of these little lockers!
After you lock up your shoes, you then receive a key for a larger locker where everything else goes into. And I mean EVERYTHING. You soon give up hope of ever being able to cover up with the little hand towel you were given and bare it all just like everyone else.
For Korean people, the sauna is a normal place for families to go. Mothers and daughters are all around you, some with naked little babies, and there are saggy old ajumas, as well as rail thin 20-somethings. Everyone is naked and scrubbing one another like they haven't a care in the world. So much scrubbing!
Welp, after you are unclothed, you must first shower and scrub clean before getting into one of the baths or saunas. There are many baths to choose from of varying temperatures ranging from scalding hot to ice cold. There is one bath that contains salt and minerals that feels great. Another of my favorites is the bath with incredibly strong jets. Ahhhhhhhh......
There are also 2 saunas- a wet sauna and a dry sauna that is at a steaming 98 degrees Celcius. That is HOT, HOT, HOT! Whew! And there are little sitting showers that seem quite popular where women sit and scrub away at their bodies. I have honestly never seen so much scrubbing in my entire life! Everyone is scrubbing one another on every place on the body imaginable! I never knew people took being clean to this degree. Wow.
I think my coworker and I were about the most frightening monstrosities Korean people had ever seen in their lives, what with her being a skinny African American girl and me being pale and curvy and covered in tattoos. Like the odd couple. Besides the few dirty looks I received from conservate old ajumas and the curious looks received from children, I think I can handle the jimjilbang alright.
All in all, our afternoon at the jimjilbang was quite enjoyable and I came out feeling as if I had been drugged with something very good. I was soooooooooo relaxed. Whew!
Today, I went to the hair salon inside of Lotte Mart to get my hair highlighted. I figure since it is the place where pretty much all foreigners here in Suji go to get their hair cut, they would do a good job. Turns out I was right!
My stylist did a great job and she could speak pretty good English as well. When she was washing my hair, she gave me and amazing scalp massage for like 20 minutes. I was in heaven!
I think the hair turned out cute so I am happy. Excuse the totally Myspace worthy photos I took by myself. Ha ha!