Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's 6pm on Dec 31st. Paul and I just enjoyed our last meal of 10 (spicy shrimp sandwich) and are awaiting guests to arrive. Pregame here followed by dancing in Hongdae. And the best part, we found Sam Adam Winter Lager at a foreign food mart!

Happy New Years!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

merry christmas!

I am typing this from my classroom at Cheonpa Elementary school. The kids are all circled around Paul's laptop (he had the movies) stuffing their faces with cookies and chips. Oh did I mention it's Christmas Eve!? And we're at school!? Lame. Anyway, there's not much for me to do, so I'm playing on facebook and updating my blog. I just got a text from Paul, "There's a santa suit on my desk." hahahaha sucker.

For a country that claims to be predominately Christian, it's interesting to see their take on Christmas. They go to church Christmas morning, but then everyone either goes to the sea or to Carribean Bay which is a waterpark. It's not really a family celebration. Just kind of a day off school. Most schools dont even have off next week!!!

For my Christmas I am doing a lot of celebrating. Tonight a bunch of us are heading down to the Intercontinental hotel for a wine buffet. Its usually 30,000 won from 6-9 and its all you can drink wine, beer, magkeolli, and they have a hot bar and cheese and salads. It's a deal. Tonight we're going and it's 60,000 won but we were told they're be steak and better food, and whiskey. Nothing says happy birthday Jesus like whiskey.

Tomorrow morning I'm getting up and unwrapping all (tons!) of my presents with my family via Skype. Theyre going to open their box from me as well. I got cinammon rolls from base and I'm sure my family will be sipping on Bailey's. Then in the evening I will head over to a suite in the Ritz Carolton for dinner. My friend Donnie has kindly booked the room and catered a feast for 25 of his closest friends...even though we aren't that close. Should be a blast!

I wish I were at home with friends and family, but if not, this is a close second. I love you all and wish you a Merry Merry Christmas and a safe and happy new year!!! xoxoxo

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I love this little netbook. I for sure thought with internet access anywhere I would be better at keeping up this blog. FAIL. Ill try, Ill try, its hard during the holidays. Too many parties and not enough typing time!

Things are great here in Seoul. The weather finally warmed up a bit, there were a few days of -10. I do not miss it! Now the countdown to Christmas is on. We did our Secret Santa exchange yesterday. Of course everyone knew who everyone had, to be fair there were only 6 of us. I got Emily a photoalbum of Seoul memories, Sarah got Paul a bottle of wine, Emily got Joe a bottle of tequila, Joe got Nicole "The Kite Runner" (it was hers) and a bottle of wine, and Nicole got Sarah eyelash serum (which she asked for). What did my secret santa get me you ask. A big fat nothing! haha Paul had me and didnt have time to find what he wanted to get me. I already warned him this secret santa would not be a detraction from my Christmas present, it would be a bonus. Then I guessed what it was he wanted to get me....a wallet! I look like a homeless person everytime I go to pay for something now. There's a huge gash in the side and it looks pretty raggamuffin as my mom would say. So now I get to go pick one out with Paul.

Today I didn't have to work. Markus and I switched, he usually has Monday off and I have Friday off, because he's going to Switzerland on Thursday night to visit his brother and new nephew for Christmas. And thank god I didnt work today. Sunday Funday was a little too fun yesterday! Tonight I'm going down to Suseo to tutor blowfish kids, then taking the subway down to Bundang (not even in Seoul) to tutor a middle school boy and his little sister. Then itll be an hour an 1/2 trek home...shold be back 11ish. This Bundang thing is going to need to end.

Oh also in exciting/what am I thinking news, I am officially a candidate for the June 5th CFA Level 2 exam in Seoul. I did it. I'm locked into Korea for another 6 months. Ahhh the studying/guilt ridden hell begins again.....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

merry christmas to me!

I have the best parents in the whole world! I got my Christmas packages this evening from America!! I open the first and there are a couple of wrapped gifts and then a stocking stuffed with goodies and a ton of food; pop tarts, crystal light, cookie mix, hot chocolate (godiva!), marshmellows, yogurt covered raisons. Oh my. I open the second larger box and there's a ton of wrapped gifts and 2 that say "Open now."

The first is a Christmas CD. Emily and I have been rocking out to Christmas songs since Thanksgiving, so we were in need of a new playlist. Then the second box. A netbook!!! I know I broke the last two and probably don't deserve a new one, but it rocks. It's tiny, red, and super cute. Perfect for carrying around while I'll be studying. I love this thing!

I wish I could be home for Christmas this year. The whole family will be wihout but me :( I will definitely be home next year. At least this year I'll be in a country that celebrates Christmas, and I'll be with my friends. We're going to do a secret santa exchange, lunch at a neighbors, and a hotel party at night.

Merry Early Christmas!!! And thanks again family, I love you!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Back to Busan

This Saturday Paul and I embarked on a trip down to Busan. My previous Busan experience was great, one day of awesome sun and beach and two of rain, but that just led to screen golf and other rainy beach day activities. Paul's last trip was a total disaster. The first hour he and his friend got there, his friend fell into an abandoned elevator shaft in the middle of an alley. To make matters worse, said friend was being ultra cheap and wouldn't go out to any seafood dinners, or do anything that cost more than $10.

Start trip 2. My friend was going to host her birthday party at the grand opening of the Wolfhound Busan, but ended up bailed the Wednesday before. I had already signed up for a bus trip and a hotel, so Paul and I figured we'd still go. The bus left 10am on Saturday, and there was only one other person I recognized on the bus, and I didn't know him well. It was the normal large group of 20 somethings. There's the bitchy girls, the dude who passes out early, the dude who hasn't slept in 3 days, the bros, the girls who don't drink, and then the rest of us who fall somewhere in the middle. The 7 hour bus trip was a total shit show. Started out calm, but come 5pm at Busan, things were saucy. I think most people went straight to the wolf, but Paul and I wanted to change and go out to a nice dinner. Our hotel room was amazing!! Definitely the nicest I've stayed in since I've been here (which really isn't saying much), but it was clean and had a sweet jacuzzi, and our trip dominated the entire floor of the hotel, so there was no room for noise complaints as we were the ones making all of the noise. Paul and I found a nice little seafood restaurant which was right next door to the WOlf. We ordered sashimi (who knows what kind). First came the sides; it had the normal ones like salad, kimchi and seaweed, but the we got bondagee. Theyre little silkworm babies. I personally really like them, but it seems I'm the only one. When my parents came my dad tried it, and I got my friend Rohan to as well, but usually people just look at me with a disgust in their eyes and say "hell no." Paul was a good sport and tried it though. Perhaps it was the previous 7 hours of drinking on the bus that persuaded him, but he still didn't like it, or woudn't admit to it at least. Then the brought out live octopus. I guess it's not really alive, but its raw and wiggles on the plate and in your mouth. We'd both had it before, but thoroughly enjoyed picking the pieces up with one finger and watching it hang off before munching it. The sashimi was awesome as well.

We finished and head to the Hound. What a mess. Everyone from the bus was 4x more wasted than the last time we saw them. It was a riot. Day 2 and Paul and I head out of our room, with pounding heads, and made our way to the little fish alley. We stopped and had spicy freshwater eel which was awesome, then went back to the Wolf where we were given free drink tickets. A decent bloody mary in Korea is hard to come by, so it was a welcome post breakfast beverage. The guy who organized the trip, Marty, was a waste case the night before, only to be outdone by his wastedness the morning after!! It worked for me though because he was passing free drink tickets out left and right. Sadly, the afternoon flew by, and come 5pm we had to make the long journey back. After a couple fights were broken up on the bus on the way out, everyone sort of chilled out ad enjoyed (passed out) the ride.

I <3 Busan and cant wait to go back with warm weather!! Did I mention it was in the mid 60s!!!??

Thursday, December 2, 2010

life plans parte 300

I've been kind of stressing recently about finding a job, the end of my contract, and planning my upcoming trips. I can't do much for Christmas, but would like to meet Brian in Tokyo in February and take a week with Paul in March; I'm between Bali and somewhere in Thailand. Then I get an email from a lady at my company saying my contract officially ends February 15th. Hmmm. At the end of my contract I will get a flight anywhere. This presents a lot of options.

After some plotting, I think I have devised a new life plan. Originally it was leave Korea after a year. Then it was leave Korea and move to Argentina or Australia. Then it was stay til March. Then it was move to Hong Kong, or Singapore, or anywhere in Asia. Here's the new and improved plan. Finish my contract in Feb, hope they'll keep me on through the end of March (that's when the school will pick a new company; I'm guessing not mine) then do private tutoring until June. This will allow me lots of free time to study for the CFA Level II exam. I can take this June 5th, right here in Seoul. Krissy is leaving after 5 years in June, and Paul's one year contract will be over then as well. So after I finish the test we can go travel for a month or two. Then when fall rolls around, start the hardcore job hunt again. Right now I'm thinking an India-> Prague trip sounds nice.

PS boo to December and snow. I hate cold and my school still hasn't gotten a heater!!!

Saturday I'm heading down to Busan for the opening of Wolfhound Busan. Party bus with 45 people. Wooohooo, road trip!