Squeezing Everything in With 1 Month Left!
Boppin' Around Daegu
The first weekend with the newest couple, Eric and Carley, was spent in Daegu on Saturday. They went and hiked with Sam and Stephanie, while the rest of us did some shopping and had a relaxing day walking around the city center. Luke and I stumbled upon a temple with what looked like a miniature park inside. There was a quaint fountain with benches all around it, a nice bathroom, an information center, and a few of what I assume to be traditional Korean games!
Of course, as we went shopping, we found quite a few Konglish goodies which always make me giggle. I bought some ajumma pajamas for $3 which is basically a super comfy, fuzzy, winter nightgown, haha! We bought some more wool socks because you can never have too many, some gifts for our homies, and a few other items. It was a fun but relaxing day. Perfect after the Halloween craziness.
Hikin' Hwawangsan East
On Sunday, Hannah, Luke and I hiked the mountain that is basically in our front yard, Hwawangsan. We walked to the start of the mountain and then up what was basically a VERY steep, long driveway. It was a pretty unique hike in my opinion as it was mostly covered with trees instead of an open, clear view of the sky. It was also perfect timing to see the fall foliage so the entire hike was gorgeous. It took us about 1-1.5 hours to get to the top where we took tons of pictures, enjoyed some makgeolli, ate a few snacks and enjoyed the view. We spent almost an hour at the top before heading back down. From start to finish it probably took us about 4 hours total so it was a wonderful hike to do during the day to make me not feel so lazy. ;-)
Luke and I would love to hike this again one morning to see the sunrise, but we don't have too much time left!
Celebratin' in Busan
The weekend before my birthday was also everyone else's last weekend in Korea, so the whole bunch of us went to Busan for a night out. We went to Aori Ramen in Seomyeon for delicious ramen. Then did some shopping! Afterwards, we ate tacos at Abnormal Taphouse in Haeundae and headed straight to some Rock N' Bowl for some glow bowling, darts and music. Unfortunately... the Rock N' Bowl place had shut down and nowhere online did it say this. With no Plan B, we ended up "pub hopping" and grabbing a drink or two at a few different places before passing out. Although not what we were expecting, it was still a nice night.
In the morning, we had 돼지국밥 (dwaeji gukbap) for breakfast. To no surprise, this is another delicious Korean soup. It's a very popular pork and rice soup, but I love it so much because it's only spicy if you make it spicy. You add a lot of extras to make it your own! We went back to Seomyeon and found Kim's Bowling so we checked it out and it turned out to be exactly what we were looking for the night before (of course). Those who were still there decided to do it and we had a blast! (Girls won! :-)) It was such a good end to the weekend!
Please excuse the blurry phone pics...
Earthquake'n and Parade'n
Last week was a hot mess. Hannah, Cameron, Stephanie and Sam were all packing and cleaning up before leaving the country. Carley, Eric, Luke and I were left to teach a big group of 4th graders, so our classes were a bit larger than average and therefore a bit chaotic. Wednesday, Luke, Eric and Carley decorated my desk for my birthday and of course included the quite sad, but sacred "Norbit" balloon octopus that has been passed around the room for birthdays since April. (Pictured on the right.)
We also experienced a 5.4-magnitude earthquake around 2:30 that afternoon which came from the city of Pohang and lasted about 10 seconds. I was in the classroom with my 4th graders when it happened. Having never experienced an earthquake myself, we all just looked at each other as I was trying to decide if that was in fact an earthquake, if the wind was super strong, or if someone was doing work on or around the building. Some of the girls screamed and hugged each other as I calmed them down and...continued the review game that we were playing. After class, I was informed that it was in fact a quake. Woops! (At least next time I'll know and can have them act accordingly!)
The Winter Olympics of 2018 are being held in Korea, so that Wednesday, was also the day that the Olympic torch was being paraded through the nearby city of Changnyeong-gun. Unfortunately, we were still working and couldn't attend but our friends were able to see the parade, get selfies with the "Torch Man" AND get on the news speaking Korean when they went to finish paperwork in Masan before leaving. I have to admit I was pretty jealous. But it's still pretty cool they got to go, and I'm glad they were able to send us pictures and videos!
Our friends left on Thursday night and tears were shed when they came to say goodbye. After we met these people, only a week or two had passed and we already felt like we had known them for years. We spent almost every waking hour with them and we were actually a family for an entire year. It's going to be weird and sad to part from them but hopefully we can meet up with them again sometime in the "fyootch" (Konglish for future).
Luke and I now have less than 2 weeks until we leave Korea, and we're still unsure of what we'll be doing in a few months. But as we interview and apply for other teaching jobs, we're hoping we find out soon! Fingers crossed!