Friday, December 10, 2010

good morning from south korea! it's already friday here...which is good enough news on its own. but to add to the goodness, i woke up to this marvelous sunrise today. it instantly put me in a wonderful mood. wherever you are in the world, i hope this post finds you sipping from a mug of hot cocoa by the fireplace. winter has officially arrived in korea and we had our first snow of the season this week. i happened to be teaching 3rd grade that day and all of my kids went absolutely crazy, shouting "선생님! 눈! 눈!" or "teacher! snow! snow!" needless to say, that was a less than productive class period. :/

things are well here as 2010 comes to a close. i absolutely cannot believe how quickly this year has flown by. sometimes i look back on the past 11 months and think - "there's no way that actually happened." life is an interesting adventure.

last weekend, i stayed at my own place instead of traveling north to seoul...but my cousin came down to visit. i picked her up from the train station and we had an awesome indian feast of a dinner, courtesy of my big brother seong-bae. he heard sun-mi was coming to visit me so he gave her some money to pay for our dinner. what a guy! afterwards, we went to a singing room to work off some of the calories...where we found these awesome wigs.
out of gratefulness for sun-mi's willingness to speak mostly english for the weekend, i subjected myself to the embarrassment of attempting to sing a few korean songs. i'm pleased to say that it wasn't the train wreck that it could have been, but let's just say my korean still has room for improvement.

the next few shots are a little old. a month or so ago, i nabbed some free tickets to a NANTA performance. NANTA is a long-running musical here in korea that has been making it's way around the world. i hear it was performed on broadway in NYC awhile back? anyways, they sponsored a day for foreigners so some friends and i were able to see it for free. it was such a fun day...i'd suggest taking in a show next time you are in seoul!
several weeks ago, i visited the 63 Building in seoul with my aunt and cousins. it is a beautiful skyscraper overlooking the han river that features some restaurants, an aquarium, and an art gallery, among other things. a really cool place to visit...we had a great time there. (above) with cousin so-mang. (above) at the aquarium with 큰고모, which literally translates as "big aunt." i'm supposed to call her this because she is my father's oldest sister, but i always feel awkward addressing her. blame it on my americanized brain, but i don't feel like my aunts back home in the states would appreciate being called "big aunt."

quick story. ever since i came to korea, i've gotten a lot of facebook friend requests. that sounds cocky, but i don't mean it that way. i realize that it's not because i'm an incredibly cool person - but because people hear through mutual friends that i live in korea or that i met my birth family and they think the story is cool. honestly, i mostly ignore these requests. for the most part, my life is an open book but i guess i feel like "friend requests" give me some sort of control over who has access to my life. that probably sounds stupid. anyways, the other day, i got a friend request from a korean and the profile had no picture. i didn't recognize the name, but i saw that one of my cousins was a mutual friend. that should have been the first clue. in hindsight, i see that i'm not exactly the brightest crayon in the box. so i posted on my cousin's wall in korean - something like, "who is this person?" she replied with "he's your cousin. don't you remember?" hahahaha. i had a big family in the states before i came here and met my big family in korea. i swear i need flashcards to keep up with everyone. aye, aye, aye.

i'm currently in the process of making some big decisions for my future. so if you're the praying type, your prayers would be appreciated. it's a lot of pressure to have to make the best decision for yourself, your american family, and your korean family. fortunately, i tend to work best under pressure! :)

i'm off to seoul again this weekend to visit with my family. my best to each of you. i pray that you stay warm, healthy, and enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones. i look forward to christmas 2011 when i will be able to eat my mom's casseroles and celebrate the season the way it was intended to be celebrated...american-style! :)


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