What’s been up…

December 22, 2009

Once again I have slipped into a lazy spell of not posting anything here. Lots of great stuff has been going on, but since it’s been a while I’ll just try to run through the highlights.

1. As of yesterday afternoon, I’ve been finished teaching for this semester (yay!). I do have a special two-week winter class coming up in January, but it’s going to be with about 20 of the best English students at my school… and they’ve volunteered for the class. I am really excited for this class, because 1) it will be with students who actually WANT to be there, and 2) the class size is about HALF of my usual 40. I will actually be doing more teaching than babysitting, which will be nice. This also means, though, that since it will be 2 hours a day for 10 days, need to prepare 20 SOLID hours of lessons. It’ll take a lot of preparation, but I’ll be making some extra money, and I’m really excited about teaching a “real” class.

2. Rewind to Thanksgiving… We ate Thanksgiving at the Embassador’s residence (the U.S. Embassy) in Seoul. It was delicious:

Plate 1 of 2 (followed by pie, of course)

Note that there are several layers of food not visible in the picture. The turkey, gravy, potatoes, stuffing, chicken fritters, baked ziti, sweet and sour chicken (because sure, why not), etc. were piled densely into stratified layers. Imagine a geological rock formation diagram, but with food…

I said hello to the Ambassador, who remembered me from our previous meeting at the summer pool party, and she again complimented me on my “good, Irish” name (great choice, Mom and Dad!).

As always, it was a very fun weekend in Seoul, complete with some kind of Santa Claus convention:

3. THE NAIL GUY… he’s a new and much welcome addition to the already-crazy night life scene around 서면. Basically, his racket is this: pay for a chance to hit a nail completely into a piece of wood in three swings of the hammer, and you win a prize! Such as cigarettes! Or liquor!

4. I returned to the North Korean refugee English class, and once again it was a great experience. That’ll be it until March, though, when I hope to go more frequently.

5. On the southern tip of the island of Yeongdo-gu in Busan is 태종대 (Taejongdae), a beautiful natural park with rocky cliffs and great ocean views. It’s basically a must-see in Busan, and now I’ve finally seen it.

6. Last night I went to a very nice Japanese sake bar. The food was tiny but delicious, though the main draw was the huge, backlit Egon Schiele artwork on the walls:

7. Winter vacation plans: I’ve bought my plane tickets. I’ll be flying from Busan to Kathmandu, Nepal, via Bangkok. From Kathmandu I’ll be trekking around the Annapurna range in the Himalayan mountains:

For more information, Google/Flickr it. I should be back in Kathmandu for the Losar, the Tibetan New Year celebration, as well as Maha Shivaratri. As the Tibetan people in their own country are, well, let’s just say “oppressed,” Nepal, with its large population of Tibetan immigrants, is actually one of the best places to experience real Tibetan culture. And as for Maha Shivaratri, I really know very little about Hinduism, but Google helped me find this description of the celebration in Kathmandu:

Shiva Ratri is the night of Lord Shiva when He himself was created by His own Divine Grace and Hindus all over the world celebrate this day with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Shiva Ratri literally means ‘ the night consecrated to Shiva’. This auspicious festival falls on the fourteenth day of the waning moon in the month of Falgun, (February – March in the Gregorian calendar ). The temple of Pashupatinath in Kathmandu which is considered as one of the holiest shrines of the Hindus, glorifying Lord Shiva, thus receives more than 100,000 worshippers during the festival of Shiva Ratri. These worshippers come from far and wide to pay their respects and homage to Mahadev on his sacred day.

This guy will be there:

Sign me up!

After all the festivities, I’ll fly back to Bangkok, where I’ll have about a week to place bets on seedy, underground Muay Thai fights and bus over to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat.

8. I’ll be in Seoul for Christmas, but HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM BUSAN!

9. Photo update here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: