Monday, December 20, 2010

The Abbreviated Version

I haven't updated in ages, so this is going to be the abbreviated version of the last 3 weeks of my life. Well, I'll be talking about whatever it is that I remember about the last 3 weeks. It was a very busy time at work with the Fall semester ending, the Winter semester ending & the arrival of Erik. I think that I'm just going to use my photo albums as a guide to all of my most recent happenings.


Seeing as though Erik had been here for about a week and we hadn't shown him a proper night out, we decided to go for food nearby the villa and indulge in a night out in Ingye-dong. It wasn't anything too special, but it was still quite enjoyable. I'm pretty sure Erik stole (by accident) the key for a local chicken place's bathroom. I really hope that he returns it someday soon... All I can say is that I'm glad it isn't an establishment that we frequent often.

( I accidentally ordered seafood, instead of chicken... whoops. )


( Ciaran, Calvin & myself )


The very next day, Justin, Calvin & I went out to meet Chelsea and her friend Jordan in Seoul. The plan for that afternoon was to find a very large wholesale fish market, called Noryangjin. It actually took us quite awhile to find the place, but after while it was located.

It was indicated by my friends that I am the king of saying exactly what I'm thinking, even if it is beyond pointless. I'll see a car that is red and say, "Hey, there's a red car." Nobody cares or needs to know, but i choose that it is relevant to point out such things. Back to the point; while searching for the market, I saw a street up ahead. In my mind, it seemed very important to the search for our destination, and as you might guess, I said, "There a street over there." With the perfect comedic timing, filled with that perfect hint of sarcasm, a passerby Korean exclaimed, "Chin-cha?!" This Korean phrase literally translates to "Really?!" We all died laughing. It was absolutely perfect, almost as if he was trying to make me feel like the biggest ass in the world, when in actuality, he was just having a surprising conversation with another person. I love it.

Once we finally reached Noryangjin, we explored for quite some time, saw ridiculously oversized crabs, witnessed the death of a handful of sea creatures, and finally settled in to eat some delicious fresh seafood.

( Noryangjin )

( Products )

( Shrimp )

( Squid )

( Octopus )

( I forget what these are called, but they taste just like the ocean )

( dinner )

Coffee Lab & The Wolf Hound

Let me just mention that I still love that Chance is here. The next day, I went on another one of my solo missions to find interesting places in Seoul. I was able to find this great coffee shop, called Coffee Lab. The coffee and the decor were wonderful. After tearing through about 100 pages of my new book, "You Shall Know Our Velocity," which is amazing so far, I called up Chance and we met up for a big get together in Itaewon. I met a bunch of new faces, and caught up with a few familiar ones.

( great coffee )

( pleasant decor )

( Chance )

( table of new friends )

Dinner with Friends ( Part Justin )

We have continued to carry on our new dinner tradition. I really like having events like these; it makes us feel more like a family. Justin decided to cook yellow rice and steak. He did quite a nice job doing so, and he ended it off with some delicious cheese cake. On a side note, we have yet another teacher. His name is Connor, and I don't know him much, because he is a middle school teacher. We just don't see each other outside of work, due to a slightly different work schedule.

( Justin cooking )

( the gang enjoying some rice )

( cheese cake )

( Justin with his bottle of Andang soju )

End of the Semester

My first full semester at Avalon has come to an end. This meant many things. First, I had a ridiculous amount of work. It was honestly, the hardest I've ever worked. It sounds silly, but I've never had that many things on a to-do list at any of my jobs. The last week of the semester I was working 12 hour days. Pretty sweet! It was satisfying to finish though. One other thing to note about the end of the semester, is that I had to say goodbye and good luck to all of my sixth graders. I will miss having them in class, and I am already missing the classroom dynamics of a few of my classes. It is also nice to rid myself of a few of my problem students. All of this leads into the fact that I have new problematic students and new fun students. I have one little girl that wears a white tiger hat and insists that I call her "Tiger Killer." Pretty much awesome!

The other sad thing about the change in semesters, is that we had to say goodbye to Ciaran. Avalon won't be the same without him.

( FT Champ team )

( the fun one )

( Beyonce, Tiffany, Nicole, Bella & Jenny )

( Ian, Emily, Olivia, Danny & Erin )

(Rachel, Jen, Emily, Jenny & Rebecca )

( Grant, Jonathan, Erik & Sebastian )

Later that Night

Being that it was Ciaran's last night, we had to have some sort of send off. Not only was it Ciaran's last night, but it was also payday, Calvin's birthday, Ji-sun's birthday, Justin's one year in Korea, the end of the semester, and FRIDAY! We started the evening by having galbi with the FTs and the TAs, then eventually settled into Jurok for a night of games.

( galbi )

( 호습 and JC getting there )

( Erik giving a toast for some unknown reason )

( Ciaran teaching somebody a lesson )

( Matt & Erik having a good time )

( 윤호, 진수 & Justin )

( JC, there )

( 윤호 & 동호 BROTHERS )

( Calvin )

( Justin, 진수 & 호습 )

( End to a good night )


The next few days all kind of blur together, but I'll give you what I can. The plan for Saturday night was to goto what we thought was a tattoo convention. I headed into town early to scout of prices for iPads and other goods. I ended up playing arcade games in Yongsan and eventually meeting up with Amarisse who was bound for the same event. We got together for coffee in Hongdae, and then, we met up with Justin and Erik and found the space for the event. Turns out that it wasn't a tattoo convention, but a big performance art event. It was pretty damn cool, and boy, was it eventful. Erik and I got in line for free tattoos, but the artist and her friends were arrested/escorted out of the venue while tattooing Erik. They were practicing illegal tattooing. In Korea, one must have a medical degree in order to pierce somebody's skin with a needle. Not only that, but they were doing it in a performance space. Whoops. Technically, I can still claim the free tattoo. We'll see; she didn't do the best work on Erik's ankles. After watching a few bands after that, we headed out to meet with some friends at a strange bar that looked like some sort of lagoon. We made some friends here, then eventually moved on around 4am. We went to meet up with some other friends; we sang, we danced, we went home when the buses started running at 6am.

( Justin sandwiched between tattoo artists )

( girl and Amarisse )

( Erik getting inked )

( performer )

( Amarisse & D (famous singer) )

( the space )

( Justin & Erik's cult photo )

( Justin, Lisa & Jonathan )

( new friends )

( Justin turned into a dancing machine )

( awwwww, sleepy )

지선's Birthday Party

The next day Justin, Erik & I went into Yongsan to find me a keyboard to type Hangeul and to find Erik a new power cord. We were successful on both accounts, then we headed over to Seodaemun for Ji-sun's birthday party. What can I say about this night? We drank a lot. We played games. Ate delicious food in the company of truly great people. It was amazing. I'm so glad that I was invited. Ji-sun, if you ever read this, I want you to know that I think you're great. I'm so happy for both you and Calvin, and I'm glad that through you two, we are good friends, too. I hope that your birthday party was as fun for you as it was for me.

( 은정, 지선, 중민, myself & Justin )

( 중민 & myself )

( the party )

( Calvin / spiderman )

( the birthday girl )

( 지해, 지선 SISTERS )

(지선 & Calvin )

( happy birthday! )

( everybody )

( ? )

Dinner with Friends (Part Calvin)

One more dinner to post pictures from. This one was Calvin's. He recently moved into our building to replace our old tenant, Ciaran (tear..). He cooked us the most American meal possible. Burgers and Hotdogs. He did a really great job. PHOTOS!

( Calvin cooking )

( because we're fancy )

( the meal )

( dessert )

( the heart and soul of every party in Korea )

Last Weekend

Because I'm getting tired, and this weekend wasn't terribly eventful, this will be a short section. On friday night, we had some drinks at Jurok after the first week of the Winter semester. We also somehow ended up at McDonald's where I wore a McDelivery helmet. I don't know how or why. Apparently I feel on the ice three times. I'm awesome.

Saturday, I helped JC buy a guitar, while hanging out with Chelsea. Then, I met up with Calvin and Justin. We hunted down the Korean Film Archive in Digital Media City, where we found a cool light-up melding heads sculpture. After this, we went to Gangnam to meet up with 지선, 은정, and one of their college friends for ridiculously expensive drinks. This was followed by the watching of Harry Potter 5 at my apartment. We were supposed to watch 5 and 6 in preparation for 7 the next day. Everybody ended up leaving and going to bed after about and hour and a half of Order of the Phoenix. Bummer.

On Sunday, Justin and I ended up watching Deathly Hallows alone, but we ran into a bit of excitement in Yongsan while waiting for the start of the movie. We saw a famous guy from Superstar K, and I was able to get my photo taken with him. His name is 강승윤. After the movie, Justin and I met up with Calvin and 지선 for some food at Pizza Hut and some arcade action. Then home.

( DMC lights 1 of 3 )

( DMC lights 2 of 3 )

( DMC lights 3 of 3 )

( Calvin & camera )

( heads )

( Justin & heads )

( more heads )

( friend & 은정 )

( myself )

( 지선 with disguisable stuffed bear )

( Justin at the candy store )

( myself & 강승윤 )

( Superstar K Christmas performance )

( 지선 kicking some Jubeat ass )

( Calvin & I killing zombies )

Whew. Some much for abbreviation. I'm terrible at the short version, but this is slightly shorter than it would have been if I had made it three posts. I just want to say that I'll be missing my friends and family this week, due to Christmas. I hope that you are all preparing to have the happiest of holidays. I love all of you.

Also, throughout making this entire post, I've been listening to the New Bodies, and it is definitely making me miss you guys. I hope that everything is wonderful for all of you, and I can't wait till I get to play with you guys again.

Noryangjin Fish Market: the ONLY exit Noryangjin Station, Line 1. When you exit the station doors, do not turn left out of the station and walk across the catwalk that leads to the street; just keep walking straight up some stairs that lead to a bridge. You'll see a sign there that says Noryangjin Wholesale Fisheries. Once on the bridge, just follow the only path laid before you.

Hongdae: Exit 2 Hongik Univ. Station, Line 2. Just exit and explore. You'll find something fun; we always do.

Digital Media City - Light-up heads & Korean Film Archive: The best I can tell you is to goto Digital Media City Station, Line 6 / Gyeongui Line. As for walking directions, I would google map search "korean film archive, seoul." It'll be the one marked as "A." Good luck.

Yongsan iPark Mall: Any exit Yongsan Station, Line 5 / Jungang Line. Just get out and explore. The arcade is on the seventh floor, along with the CGV. Many good restaurants, including a great sushi train eatery.