Gangneung, etc…

Wow, hi. Long time, no write.

Everything’s fine~ I’m still very busy but having a lot of fun.

Last weekend a bunch of us went to Gangneung beach, a four hour bus ride to the east of Seoul. The buses here are cheap and comfortable; I’ve never had a problem with them. There’s aircon, reclining chairs and they run often. In this case the bus went every 20 minutes and cost $18 each way. The scenery was fantastic as everything is vibrantly green right now. Lots of “mountains” (they aren’t very high) and rice fields. We stopped at a rest stop which are massive compared to the ones back in the States~ but the same basic idea.

I got to the beach just in time for dinner (everyone else headed out earlier; I had stuff to do). Korean meals are always a mass of side dishes. This time we ordered a seafood set menu of some sort and got a variety of raw creatures to pick at. There was definitely some squid and a heap of raw fish as well as some mystery items. I have picks on my flickr page. I’m not too picky with this sort of thing so I enjoyed the meal thouroughly. The last dish was a stew made basically out of what was left of the things we ate in the first course. mmmmm….. fish spines!

We finally made it to the beach which was beautiful. The rest of the time was just having a blast in the sand! We rented these little four-wheel things, rode speedboats, had abonfire, set off fireworks…. we definitely packed it all in! I actually slept in a motel, it was right off the beach but faced the other direction, over a cute little lake. I love the opportunity to sleep in motels as they have aircon and BATHTUBS! I miss bathtubs a lot. More than aircon.

Some people saw seals but I didn’t see them.. Maybe next time. It was definitely a great trip though.

Other than that things are the same. I love it when my students begin to catch on to my humor. I have kids saying “Holy Cow” and “Bummer” haha. They also laugh now when I say sarcastic things like “prepare yourselves as this will be the most difficult quiz you will ever take in your life.” This used to freak them out a lot (to my amusement).

I don’t feel like I had a particularly hard time adapting to life here although there are a few things that will probably always bother me. I hate the gawkers~ being stared at gets old. I get really steamed when a cab driver refuses to pick me up because I’m foreign. (This usually happens at night; they think you will be drunk) I also get annoyed with service here (or lack therof) but overall, things are just fine. There’s always going to be something, no matter where you are.

My contract ends in August so I will either extend with my current school or find a new job here in Seoul. I plan on going back to the States in March to coincide with Mom’s B-day. I would also shoot down to Peru then, finances permitting. The only way this wouldn’t work out is if I landed a university job (which is what I really want). Then I would have to wait until the summer vacation to visit. We’ll see. I’ll keep you updated. I think most of you know his but I am not planning on moving back to the States anytime soon. I’m not enjoying a little “stint” here; I’m beginning a life here. I won’t stay in Korea forever. I would like to experience some of the other countries in Asia and of course intend to spend time in China eventually. Right now the relatively low pay there is prohibitive. OK, now you know the general plan.

Hey, weird thing…. next year is my 10 year high school reunion!?! Say what? Strange thought, huh?

OK, I hope you guys are all well. E-mail me and say hi!