Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

This was my third Thanksgiving away from home however it was my first time actually hosting a Thanksgiving feast. While I miss my biological family dearly my expat family helped make my first Thanksgiving wonderful. I began preparing early in the week to make sure that everything would be ready. It was pretty interesting to create the entire menu from scratch with 2 pots and one frying pan. The first guest that arrived really set the homey feeling for the day. I was able to wrap my arms around someone from my home town for the first time in 8 months. 
Jordon fit right in with my ROK family
We ordered the turkey from a company that delivered it completely and beautifully prepared. I had never had the honor of carving a bird before and it was a nice feeling. I felt like the head of this great family I have here in Korea. 
There was not an ounce of meat left on that bird
Our menu was as inclusive as could be to everyone in our ROK family. Classic Thanksgiving favorites like turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and dressing for the 'Mericans. Lizzy prepared Yorkshire pudding and shortbread for the Brits aka "Pilgrims fathers" and we had vegetarian shepherds pie for our vegetarian buddies. 
Liz's perfect Yorkshire Puddings..
I know.. pudding? Who knew..
Delicious regardless!
The other items on the menu were corn, home made apple sauce, broccoli salad, Parmesan coated zucchini and carrots, a green bean casserole that didn't quite come out right but thanks for the effort Carl. Maresha made macaroni and cheese and Claire and Wade hand whipped our whipped cream for the tollhouse pie. I can't forget the outstanding effort put forth by Laura who slaved over the canned cranberry jelly. Cheers Ms. Walker the shape was perfect! Josh and Sophia made sure that there was plenty of wine and beer to go around, although I'm not sure I let anyone else drink any.
The spread
Carl kicks off the feast 

Sophia, Cat and Ben can't wait for dinner.
Nice Photobomb Carl
Nothing says Thanksgiving like a little post dinner arm wrestling
I deserved a cocktail (or 10) after my hard work.
Baby Monkey

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh Korea

In Korea there is something called Konglish. Konglish is almost a sublanguage of Korean and it is when there are English words used in Korean as if they are Korean words. One good example is orange. The Korean word for orange is o-ren-ji 오렌지. The Korean word for Christmas is  keu-ri-seu-ma-seu 크리스마스. There is a much more entertaining part of Korean language which is when English words are used in the completely wrong way. A lot of times the words are used on accident because the way that the word is said with a Korean accent sounds so close to the actually word in English. Here are some gems I've found along the way

Strawberries : a nice tasty FOOT

Is that anything like a PORK cutlet?

Yum Yum stir fried POKE

Pretty sure Todd Cole said this to me 500 times
before I left for Korea.

This is the gem of all weird English I've found since I've been here. I wonder what occasion this greeting card is meant for.
Yep you read that correctly it says Good Cock.

Sunday Funday

The last two Sundays I have gotten together with my buds to play. Last Sunday I started my Sunday Funday at the last FC Seoul game of the season. It was the championship game and the energy in the World Cup stadium was amazing. I was in rough shape for the first part of the game due to a little too much fun the night before in Hongdae. There were thousands of fans there clapping, chanting, singing and in general just enjoying the merriment of a championship game. Not the most comforting place for someone with a killer hangover and a headache that made every inch of my body hurt.

Brittny, Sophia and Barbara
Me and Lizzy
The FC Seoul Fan club
The fan club really helps to make the day a great time. They chant and sing and wave these huge banners. Can you imagine a sporting event in the states that would allow a fan to light up a flare in the stadium? That shit would get shut down in a second.

Flares and all
The team won the championship and although I didn't follow them the entire season I was very emotional when it became clear that they won the trophy. To thank the fans the team and their coaches bowed all the way to the ground showing the fans the ultimate respect.

The team giving the fans the ultimate bow. Very nice.
Not to worry though my hangover subsided and I joined the rest of my friends at the Wolfhound for some pitchers of Cass, yummy pub food which is always wonderful for a hangover. We laughed with each other, shared stories, mended strained relationships and made fun of people. Making fun of people is one of the things that we do best. Not just in a mean you don't deserve it way but in a "You haven't worn shoes in 6 years? You are a fucking freak" kind of way. Of course we took the time to make fun of this girl who passed out at around 7:00 pm.

Who hasn't been there.....

Yesterday we got together at the Wolfhound again to celebrate Sunday with some pitchers and laughter. This time Laura and Carl were able to join us for the entire day although some of the girls were missed because they had to be responsible and stayed home to do report cards. I really love my life here and I am so lucky to have found such good friends to have fun with. Sunday Funday can make Monday a rough way to start the week but I wouldn't trade it for a second.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Would the real Cassie Andrews please stand up

Today was a day that was so amusing I am going to have to write many posts about it. I have decided to start not at the beginning of the day which was my trip to my doctor (i'm fine by the way). When I arrived at school one of the Korean teachers and I had a very humorous conversation, well for me anyway. Jennee is a pretty hip Korean she wears the super short skirts with the super high heels ( yes that's fashion not hooker wear). She always has on 2-5 different types of animal print and an excessive amount of lace to garnish her cheetahzebratiger wear. She doesn't hide her feelings for the shortcomings at our school and whenever she looks at our boss her eyes impersonate Weebles. I saw her in Hongdae on Halloween and she was partying it up with one of her buds who declared to me upon our meeting " I just meet Jesus". I informed her that Jesus was wearing a one of a kind Cassie design.  Anyway as far as female Korean co workers go Jennee is a pretty fun one.
So here's tour conversation.
Jennee- Mowning Kessie
Me- Hi Jenny
Jennee- You know Illauohabitch
Me- What?
Jennee- You.. You are Illauohabitch

Now at this point I really just think she is trying to make a joke about me being a bitch that I don't understand. Ravi who is our head foreign teacher turned to me and asked if she was calling me a bitch. He then rolled his chair over to her and whispered that is sounded like she was saying I am a bitch.

Jennee- "ohh NO NO NO OHMYGOD NO"

She then turned to her computer and was feverishly typing. She then pulled up the following photograph on her screen.

Jennee- Do you know her?
Me- Umm.. No she's a model or something I think.
Jennee- Who is she?
Me- I don't know her name
Jennee- No you know who she is. Who is she?
Me- ummmm...
Jennee- Illaohabitch (Milla Jovovich)
Me- Oh ok
I was looked at Ravi and he looked at me and we were completely at a loss for what the hell was going on.
Jennee- Yoo ahr Illaohabitch ( which i now realize is "You are Milla Jovovich"). You look just like her. Same hair. Same eyes. Same smile. You are so beautiful just like her.

I politely thanked her and smiled. Now I know that all white people look alike to Koreans but seriously. This was as funny as when one of my dad's friends who hadn't seen me since I was a baby said I looked like I could be Drew Barrymore's sister. Now i'm not lacking self esteem here I know that I am a beautiful woman. I know that I am better looking than a lot of people ( whatever I believe it so I said it) but let's get real. I don't look like Milla Jovovich. I mean I look more like her than like Drew but wow. I am thankful for the compliment I just wonder how funny it will be if I ever meet one of her friends who believes they are going to meet a Milla Jovovich look alike. I mean I don't even know if I could say i'm a fatty version of Milla but hell maybe she'll use me for her doppelganger photo the next time that comes around on facebook.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where's the weed?

In the shadow of the recent election and the sadness that has swept through California because marijuana hasn't been legalized I want to share a story that one of my students recently wrote. This story would be taken completely differently with a western point of view than from a Korean child's eye.

When Oliver asks his friend Nate the Great to find his lost weed, Nate can't say no. This isn't just any weed. It's a super weed that Oliver bought from Rosamond's ADOPT-A-WEED sale.  First Nate must figure out where to look for the weed. With his trusty dog, Sludge he searches for clues in the woods and the Park and even the library! But is the biggest clue right under Nate's nose?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm exhausted

I am seething and mercurial
Climbing higher, I am starting to burn
Do not ignore me
Let me catch your gaze
Look in my eyes when you sputter such ignorance
My mind is on fire
The flames both devour and ignite my responses
Idioms are fuel t like alcohol-laden tinder
You are exhausting
My coals are still white
I am exhausted 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

This year was the first in a long time that I recycled a costume for Halloween. Well two actually. For school I wore the Mario costume that I created for Liz for my 30th birthday bash. I felt like The Beatles must have when they touched down in NYC. The kids were going crazy for Mario. It was difficult when we played charades though and they thought every clue was something about Mario Bros. Picture me in the Mario costume trying to act out The Korean War ( thanks to my boss and his "creative" imagination) "Mario kill" "Mario guns" "Mario breaks" "Mario Korea" it was ridic!
My kids called my "Mario teacher" all day
For Halloween fun with my friends I revamped my Rainbow Brite costume to make it fit better. Only a few people knew who I was supposed to be but I wasn't offended since most of the people we saw were Koreans or under 24.
Hanging out at Beer O'Clock
Love me some bagged drinks! 
Don't Stop Believin'
Liz's costume however was brand new. We were not sure if her costume would be offensive or not to the average viewer but no no... She was the hit of Halloween I mean how could she not be? Who is cooler than Jesus? Yes that's right my love went as Jesus and everyone loved her costume. She really hammed it up too which was awesome.She was blessing people and "saving" people all night long. Our cab driver thought it was especially funny when I said "Jesus" and Liz responded " Las Vegas". We are completely ok with going to hell if there is one because this was a damn good costume.
Yes, even made some water into wine
We has to walk a couple of blocks to get to Beer O'Clock and the looks and comments were really funny. One girl simply looked at Liz and in a very aww filled voice said " Jesus Christ?" It was really great.
That lady is about to slap you for making
her sell fruit at the subway entrance.
It was hard for me to look at her because I just kept laughing.

Jesus saves yet another Korean Cowboy

Jesus and Rainbow Brite get a photo
with Buck and Go-Go from Kill Bill aka two of our
best buds

Jesus getting his groove on

Jesus even had enough time to dance with some nuns
Overall it was a really great Halloween. We had a fun time as usual and even though there was a fair bit of drama the combination of rainbow stars, a spiked weapon, Long Island's in a bag, kebabs, a vixen, a male nurse, a ninja, two awesome cab drivers and... well... Jesus made for a great time with great people.Thanks Y'all.
Yep pretty much the best costumes ever!