Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 85: We've been in Korea now for almost 3 months and we still love it! We've had such a good time so far spending our weekends exploring the country and we always like sharing our stories with you. Since it's monsoon season right now, the rain kept us in Bucheon all weekend- so for once, we don't have any photos to share because, well we didn't do a hell of a lot. So instead, here are some pics of the kids that Shayna edited this weekend...Kate is looking very serious on top, Christina and Alex (angel and devil, lol) in the middle, and then Alex again on the bottom- pretty cute eh??
Anyways, back to our weekend...On Friday we came right home after work, made some popcorn and watched Bolt- which sucked! One of the worst animated films we've seen, but not as bad as Egore (if you've never heard of that, trust us you're not missing anything!) So Saturday, it was pouring rain when we woke up, so we waited it out for a couple of hours and then headed to school to meet up with our manager Danny to book our trip. We have summer vacation coming up this weekend, and although we planned on heading to Japan- the damn Swine flue ruined those plans. If we were to leave the country, we'd have to take a week off from work- unpaid of course to make sure we didn't get it. Pretty much, we'd be gaining an extra week off but losing about $800 so it's totally not worth it. So instead, we are going to go to Naksan beach which is said to be one of the nicest beaches in South Korea :) So that will be super fun and relaxing, we can't wait!
Later on Saturday, we met up with our friend Jenny did some shopping, helped her redecorate her place, and then came back to our place and watched Grand Torino, which is a must see! As for Sunday, we took a walk outside, did some grocery shopping, and tried to find a pool hall with pocket tables (with no luck). We spent the rest of the day watching episodes of Supernatural and just hanging out inside. So as we said, nothing too exciting...We hope you all are doing wonderful. We love you and miss you!

With love from South Korea,
Shayna & Brandon

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Day 80: So we've decided to add something to our weekly blog posts. Obviously as teachers, we have a lot of marking to do for our classes- and there is nothing more fun to mark then weekly journals! The things these kids come up with are hilarious, and so we of course it's only logical that we share them with you. This week's entry comes from a girl in grade one who has been in a "relationship" with a certain boy since pre-kinder. We were all under the impression that they both "loved" each other equally, until Brandon got this journal yesterday...enjoy! (Oh, and we should mention that- he is a boy genius (for real) and she is also pretty damn smart herself)...

My best friend is Prince.
He is kind and handsome.
I like him a tiny bit, like this dot (.) *she actually drew a tiny dot, lol
I don't love him.
We both like spaghetti...Mmmm!
We both like to play!
We met someday.
Prince's merit is he carefully listens.
To me His weak parts is not very strong, or strongless, or weak.
Even though Prince has a weak part, he is still my best friend.
See you later.

Poor Prince, he totally has no idea she does not love him :(
Many more funny journals to come, our kids are priceless!
Hope your day is going well.

With love from South Korea,
Shayna & Brandon

Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 78: Hey guys! Hows it going? Things with us are great, we are still really loving Korea and exploring as much as we can. This Friday, we went to the movies- we saw Transformers 2 which one of us loved (we'll let you guess which one of us that was, lol). Then we went straight home to rest up for our day in Seoul on Saturday.
On Saturday morning, we met up with JD, Jamie, and Jenny for a day of clothes & shoe shopping for the girls and electronic and video game shopping for the boys. First we took the subway to Bupyeoung which is an underground shopping mall type thing. Being the tourists that we are, of course we spent the ride taking photos...

of this girl's awesome sparkly headphones
Jenny (above) and JD and Jamie (below)Once we got there, we dragged the boys around a million shoe stores that all looked the same for about two hours. After finding some super cute flats, a really nice dress for $10 and some flowers and bows for our hair (we're trying to fit in, lol) we agreed to move on to let the boys have their fun. We got back on the subway and headed to Yongsan which is a huge indoor/outdoor electronics market. Here's a shot of the boys trying to figure out how to navigate the place...
After we walked around a bit in the blazing heat, we decided to stop off for some lunch. We went to a food court type of place. Food courts are very different here- instead of going up and ordering your food at the restaurant you want to eat at, you have to go to a main booth in the middle of all of the restaurant and place your order there. You get a number and then when they ring your number you go to the station to pick up your food. They do everything a bit differently here, but we've gotten used to it~
After we ate we headed back outside for the boys to do some more video game shopping (Brandon got the new UFC game), while the girls took some photos...
By the time all was said and done, we were pooped, and we went home. On Sunday it poured all day so we developed some photos and just hung out inside and watched Little Miss Sunshine. It's a good thing we were able to rest Sunday, because the kids are always super crazy on Mondays and today was no exception. We hope you guys all had fabulous weekend!

With love from South Korea,
Shayna & Brandon

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 70: Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. We started off our weekend by going out for dinner on Friday with the new teachers, J.D. and Jamie (a couple), and Greg. Greg's been here for a couple of years but it was J.D and Jamie's first time having Korean BBQ and they really seemed to like it. It was nice to hang out outside of school to get to know them better. After dinner, we grabbed some drinks and hung out a little more before calling it a night.
Then on Saturday, we slept in a bit and decided we would head into Seoul to a huge electronics market called Yongsan to check out camera equipment and video games. The selection was insane and because all of the stands are competing, it's a great place to get deals! We didn't buy much yesterday, but we'll for sure go back again to do some bargaining. After that we took the subway to Myeong-dong to make our way up to Namsan mountain. Getting up the mountain can take two hours by foot and since it was crazy hot outside, we opted to ride the cable car :) Besides the convenience, the views were awesome!
Once we got off the cable car, we went up to the tower where there were cute little restaurants and shops overlooking the city. There was a fence surrounding the food court area which was totally covered in locks that people bought there, and wrote on. North Seoul Tower is known as a very romantic spot and the locks have become a tradition for visiting couples. There must have been a million locks covering the fences, it was pretty unique sight. Although we didn't spend $20 to get our own lock, we wrote our names on the tables in the cafe that were covered in love notes.
By that point, it was getting dark out and we went to the main area where there was a 10 minute light show. This wire figure looked awesome all lit up by the lasers, and the tower was lit up in all sorts of colors and even had photos of flames going up and down the side of it.
After the light show, we made our way to the elevators to go to the top of the tower which overlooks the whole city. The line up was sooo long and by the time we got up to the top, we had to hurry to make sure we didn't miss the last subway home. The views were beautiful with all of the city lights~ Unfortunately, the thick foggy glass, made it nearly impossible to get any good photos- but trust us, it was gorgeous! Its good we made sure to hurry since it took us almost an hour to get back down to the cable car because of another huge line up. Luckily, we were able to run and catch the last subway for the night back to Bucheon!
After that long day yesterday, we spent all of today just relaxing in the park, enjoying the sun and taking some photos. As we were walking around the park, a reckless old woman came speeding by on her bike and ran into Shayna! It's hard to yell at someone who doesn't understand your language but we tried to tell her to slow down and watch where she was going as best we could. Thankfully, she held on tight to her camera and it didn't get damaged. That is of course until about an hour later as we were walking across the street and Shayna slipped on a very slippery and slanted part of the sidewalk and sent her camera flying into the crosswalk! Luckily no cars ran over it and someone grabbed the flying lens cap...and by some miracle, the only part that got scratched were the lenscap and the filter. By that point, we decided it was a good time to call it a day and we made it home without any more accidents :) Hope you all had a good Canada Day weekend!

With love from South Korea,
Brandon & Shayna

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Day 66: So we are a little late on our posting, we've been pretty busy! This past Friday we had a going away party for two of the teachers- Melinda and Mike at our friend Carissa's apartment. It was a potluck and we brought wine that we had gotten for teacher's day which was still unopened. It was a pretty laid back night, Brandon played his guitar and Mike played the ukulele and we all had fun singing along to some Jack Johnson, Sublime, etc. Carissa brought out these wish papers that she had gotten back home- the idea is to write a wish down on the paper, crumple it up, then uncrumple it and roll it loosely so that it can stand on its own- then light it on fire, and when the fire gets to the bottom of the paper, it flies into the air. The papers kinda looked like tissue paper, they were made specially for this activity by a family friend of hers. A few peoples just burnt out, but Shayna's got some good height and it was alot of fun. Below is a photo of our friend Kristina writing her wish...
We had alot of fun that night, but it was sad to see them go. Since Mike was leaving, he gave his cat to Carissa to take care of, her name is Bella, isn't she beautiful...

On Saturday, we decided to head into Seoul on our own to check out some palaces and Seoul Plaza (which can hold up to 100,000 people) which is right in the downtown part of Seoul. First we walked around the palace grounds which were gorgeous (our pictures don't do the place justice). they had a mixture of Korean and Roman architecture made in the early 1900's.

As we were leaving the palace, we noticed a HUGE amount of police and riot squad groups covering the entire area. It made us a little worried that something bad was about to happen but we were told that they do this every so often and it is normal. Here's a photo of just a small amount of the police guards in front of the palace gates.

We crossed the street to get to Seoul City Hall plaza and there was a huge area with water shooting out of the ground that children could run through. It was an extremely hot day, so there were tons of kids running like crazy through the fountain. We wish we could have joined them!

We walked around down town Seoul for a bit and came across an amazing block of camera equipment stores, that I will have to go back to and do some bargaining! After that, it was getting late and we were exhausted from the heat, so we headed home. Sunday was rainy so we just relaxed, played some scrabble and went for Korean BBQ. We hope you all had a great weekend and are enjoying the summer. Monsoon season has just started and so it will be rainy here for the next few weeks :( Anyways, that's all for now, we will leave you with some Happy Canada Day messages from our kids.

With love from South Korea,
Shayna & Brandon