Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Ultimate Adventure

If you really want to live on the edge, go into a restaurant where you can't read the menu, and choose something to eat based solely on tiny little pictures. And you have already committed to yourself that you will eat whatever comes out. Ya, now that's on the edge baby.

On my way back from Church today, I once again just popped into a restaurant. I looked at the menu and thought, well, that looks like it might be good. Thankfully, when it came, it didn't bark. lol

What I thought was a platter of something, turned out to be a bowl of soup. Ha. It was pretty good though. It had some pastry floating thingys, big big long noodles, and half a boiled egg as well as some kelp I think. The soup was a beef stock with just a touch of a fishy taste to it.

I've never heard of a beef fish before!? What, a holstein fish, or maybe an angus fish? I heard that the red ones aren't quite as fishy tasting as the black ones. :-P How do you catch one of those things, put a little hay on a hook? lol Here fishy fishy fishy.

Seriously though, I think the fishy taste came from the see weed. Overall, the soup was pretty good. Ever eat soup with a pair of chopsticks? Well I have. :-)


A Lost Art

We in North America, thanks to the persistence of our mothers, have lost the art of noodle slurping. This really is a delicate and tricky procedure. You can't purse your lips around the noodle, or you will end up wearing the soup or gravy sauce that your noodles are in as it runs off your lip, down your chin and well, you know the rest. I'm not talking about spaghetti either. I'm talking about big honken juicy suckers. Every soup that I've had so far at a restaurant has had these wonderful plump suckers in them.

Now, if you bring the noodle up to quickly, you get the loose, crazed fire hose effect. Both ending with the same results. Their contents are spewed chaoticly all over the place. I've even managed to hit my eye brow with residue. Not fun! It gets all over the table and even worse, your SHIRT! This is why I felt it necessary to post this blog. We need to learn the proper method of "The Slurp" I should warn you though, for the first several attempts, you will have this strange sensation of your mothers hand coming for the back of your head. This is post traumatic childhood syndrome and will pass with time. It does give you the jidders for a bit though.

The trick to the slurp is in creating an airflow strong enough to bring the noodle into your mouth without your lips really making contact with the noodle. Done properly, it's quite noisy. What you need to do is get your lips almost closed around the noodle and slurp. :-) If you get too much of your lip on the noodle, it comes in like a bullet and the aforementioned occurs. Use lots of napkins.

Unfortunately, I have not yet mastered this ancient technique. I find the noodle to be so long, thick and heavy, that I just can't quite do it. I think my problem lies in the fact that I'm a quiet slurper. I just can't get over the noise that it makes and I see phantom images of my Mom standing over me. I shudder just thinking about it.

I really recommend you give this a try. But like I said, it can't be spaghetti. It's got to be a big thick long heavy noodle. If you know someone who is Korean, you should invite them over for a demonstration. I think you'll really get a kick out of it, especially if your mom happens to be standing there.


Friday, February 25, 2005

Another Week Gone

Well, I'm combing to the close of another week. Next week will be a huge challenge for me as I start teaching at Lila Elementary. The school gets it's name from the school founders daughter. Her name is Lila. From what Mr. Lee was telling me, her father was very rich, and he wanted his daughter to go to a private school. Things didn't work out at one place, so he started a school himself.

The school is celebrating it's 40th year and they are rebuilding many rooms and aspects of the school. My room is brand new, or newly remodeled. I saw it just the other day. I'll have a brand new desk and chair, bulletin board, computer and printer, walls and floor. Wow! Guess who the administrator is. Yep, Lila herself. She's a pretty nice lady and she's really looking forward to my being there. I'm in for long days though. Time to kick it into high gear.

Mr. Lee told me that if I want to work more, he'll pay me overtime. Hmmmm. I told him I'd have to wait and see how I handle what I already have. I'll be working from 9 am till 7 or 8 every night already. Not sure I want to take on more.

Welp, my weekend is just starting. Your's is yet to come. I'm going to bed.


That's a ton!

I was playing scrabble (fun game) with my students today and the only word that one of them could make was ton. They didn't know this word (I was helping them) (oh, and keep the spelling comments to your self Angela, Kathy, and any other wise _ _ _ persons thank you very much) and so I looked it up on Who knew there was a ton of definitions for such a little word. Kinda funny actually, such a small word denoting such a big thing. :-)

6 entries found for ton.

ton ( P ) Pronunciation Key (tn)n. Abbr. t. or tn.
A unit of weight equal to 2,000 pounds (0.907 metric ton or 907.18 kilograms). Also called net ton, short ton.
A unit of weight equal to 2,240 pounds (1.016 metric tons or 1,016.05 kilograms). Also called long ton.
A metric ton. See table at measurement.
A unit of capacity for cargo in maritime shipping, normally estimated at 40 cubic feet.
A unit of internal capacity of a ship equal to 100 cubic feet.
A unit for measuring the displacement of ships, equal to 35 cubic feet, and supposed to equal the volume taken by a long ton of seawater.
A large extent, amount, or number. Often used in the plural: has a ton of work; gets tons of fan mail.
Used adverbially with a or in the plural to mean “to a great degree or extent” or “frequently”: felt a ton better; has seen her tons lately.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Another Mystery

Ok, this foreign language thing is creating some confusion. I have recently discovered that Myung Sung Pres. Church is not the largest church in the world after all. The Church in question is a Pentecostal Church, or as we call it in the US, Assemblies of God.

Now herein lies another difficulty. How many people are said to be attending said church. Getting the correct # I have discovered is a bit tricky. See, are they saying thousands or hundred thousands? Which brings in to question the numbers of people attending the Church in Bogota that I was at in 2003.

In Bogota, I believe it was being said that 250,000 people attend this Church, with an additional youth group of 85,000. Now I think the #'s that I'm getting for the largest Church here in Korea is 55,000. If this is the case, and all my data is accurate, (doubtful), than Bogota would have the largest church in the world. I can't remember the name of it though.

What I have discovered is, that even though you think the person has understood what you were asking, and said person thinks they understand what you've asked, no body really knows what's going on. Sound like any conversations you've had lately. Thought so. But it's even worse when you don't speak the language.

So now this is really bugging me. It has been since last Sunday when I was talking with a US Pastor at Myung Sung. He told me about the other Church and the name rang a bell. Pastor Kim, from Myung Sung, is very famous though, and that's why I had heard his name before. His Church is the largest Presbyterian Church in the world.

When I get this thing figured out, I'll be sure to pass the information on. Why does it matter you ask? Well, it really doesn't except that ever since I was at Bogota, I've been wondering about # discrepancies. I thought, if what they are saying here in Bogota was accurate, then this is the largest church in the world. But even they were saying that they weren't. ??????????????????????

I have a feeling that #'s were messed up in translation. I've noticed with my students that thousands can become tens of thousands really easily. This only strengthened my suspicions as it was my theory for the discrepancies noted earlier. But the translators were so sure in their statements, and the expenses that were being funded could only have been so in that economy with #'s like they were saying, that I have to believer that they were accurate in what they were saying. AAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now you can enjoy this puzzlement (which has been going on for 2 yrs now!) that just doesn't go away, always sitting in the back of your mind, wondering to yourself, nagging at your conscious mind, no peace with no answers, with me. :-) Your welcome.

I'm Out

Monday, February 21, 2005

Sad News :-(

Today I morn the loss of a good friend. Friends of mine in Port Huron Mi just had to put Tora, a wonderful German Shepherd, down. I am very sad. It brings tears to my eyes even as I type this message.

Good Bye Tora. You were a wonderful dog, and I will cherish the memories and fun that we had with you. You were more than just a dog; you were a friend who I always enjoyed seeing again.



No Competition

For those that don't know, Angela Richardson also has a blog site. I must say, it's pretty funny. But it is nothing compared to the glorious viewing before you. She doesn't even have any pics yet. What a simpleton.

Seriously though, it's a very good read. If you are in need of a few good laughs (few because she needs to post more blogs!), check it out. It's Be prepared to enter a warped and twisted world.

Any other bloggers out there that I don't know about? Please feel free to post your blog spot addresses with this posting. Oh, and don't let the intimidation that I know you feel keep you from sharing. :-) I really want to see your sites.

(Don't tell anyone that I said this, but any advice or comments on how to make my site better is appreciated. I'm still pretty new at this.)

Mr. Blog

Please View The Pics From Bottom to Top

I forgot that I needed to post my pics in reverse order. So you have to start from the bottom and work your way up through them. Sorry. I have several classes in a day, so each pic is one class. In March I start teaching at a private elemantary school. The class sizes there are around 30 students each.

On another note, still haven't found anyone to play Catan with yet. Have started praying about this.


Saturday, February 19, 2005

Uh, No, I'm Over Here. Ya, The Guy With the Camera. Posted by Hello

Finaly. Now Don't They Look Nice? Posted by Hello

Ok, Ready, Doh! Posted by Hello

Come-on, Just Let Me Take A Picture Posted by Hello

Fun Little Kids, They Are So Serious It Makes Me Laugh Posted by Hello

A Good Class Posted by Hello

Eager Students, Just A Bit Camera Shy Posted by Hello

Another Shot. They Are All Boy. :-) Posted by Hello

They Are A Very Active Pair. Posted by Hello

The Bottom Girl Need Rydallin (spelling?) :-) Posted by Hello

A Fun Little Class Posted by Hello

A Mixed Leval Class. Keeps Me On My Toes. Posted by Hello

The Director's Daughter, Esster. A Very Good Student. Posted by Hello

A Fun but Challenging Class Posted by Hello

My Class

Well, here is a long awaited entry. My Class. They are really great kids. It is really interesting at times to try to communicate. Body language is a very helpful tool. Sometimes I feel like I'm playing sharades. My students are very delightful, sometimes trying, but full of energy and laughter. It's hard to tell when they are just being kids who really don't want to be in school, (I can certianly relate. I hated being in school as a kid too.) or simply being really confused with what is going on in the class room. Most times it's easy to identify, but sometimes it's really tricky. One has to be extremely patient and not quick to react. I caught myself a couple of times. It's good to remember that if you become impatient, and it's because they don't understand, they will be afraid of you and you might as well forget getting any participation from them. There are times though, that it's fairly obvious that they just don't want to cooporate. They are after all, just kids. I don't let them get away with it though. :-)

As you can see in some of the pics, they are quite camera shy. It was a challenge at times getting a good shot. Thank goodness for digital cameras.

Enjoy the pics,


Friday, February 18, 2005

Time Zone Whackos

Many people have asked, and are asking about the time difference between them and myself. So here it is. I am 14 hours ahead of the EST (eastern standard time zone). Thus, if it is 8:00 am your time, then it would be 10:00 pm my time. I have left the time listing on my blog site as EST so that you will feel better about not being up as late as I was. :-)

Now you have risen above the masses. You are no longer one of the whackos. You have been elevated to a new status; a new day is dawning for you. Take pride in knowing that for you the world just became a little brighter. Yes, you are among the elite, the chosen few, the destined ones, who actually understand this thing called, The Time Zones.

I do what I can. Thank you and good night.

Mr. Blog

Thursday, February 17, 2005

It's Me Again Margaret!

For those who don't know, it's a famous song from Ray Stevens, a very funy song writer.

I would like to thank you again for your many comments to my postings. I quite enjoy them and they make me laugh. :-) I just wanted to let you know, that if you post a comment, I will answer your question in the posting area in due time. Thus, if you check back to your comments, you should find a response from yours truly. For those who are new at this blogger thing, comments appear in chronological order.

That is all for now. I just had a student walk in.

C ya

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Myung Sung Posted by Hello

Myung Sung Posted by Hello

Myung Sung Church Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Lost in Seoul

Here's the story.

Mr. Lee, my School Director, gave me fairly good directions on how to use the subway here in Seoul. He didn't however, give nearly as clear of directions as to how to find the subway. Minor detail.

I start out on my trip Sunday morning, walking, walking, walking, thinking, the subway should be closer than this. I remember seeing it as we drove past it the other day. (Note, distances in cars may be shorter than actual distances in miror, I mean, on foot.)

With some more vague directions from some people on the street pointing and saying something in Korean, I'll assume it was "the subway is over there" and not something else like, well, you know. ;-), I eventually arrived at an entrance. Now, it should be said that as I was walking looking at the sites around me, I walked right past a subway entrance. Not sure how either, kinda hard to miss, but, if it can be done, I'll find a way.

The entrance that I found was on the other side of a busy road and I needed to cross under an over pass. So I thought, should be easy enough to remember when I come back out and find my way back home. Fatal error # 1.

I went down the stairs, most subways are underground you know, and was given a most wonderful english map of the subway system by a worker, and I was on my way. All of the signs are written in both Korean and English so I could find my way with relative ease. Relative, hmph. I had to transfer trains a couple of times but that was no big deal. All was going well until I got to the split in the line on train route 5. It goes north and south and depending on what train you are on determines which direction you go. Well, as fate would have it, I was on the wrong one. I thought, no big deal. I'll just get off at the next station and catch a train that goes north.

Suffice it to say, after transferring three times, (going north and then heading west back towards home again, getting off and going east and then south again), God sent an off duty engineer my way who put me on the correct train for my destination. See, the trains destination is written in Korean. I don't read Korean, do you? Ya, exactly. :-)

I finally made it to the church, though I missed 3/4 of the service. I"ll write later about the service. Then, after the service, I spent a wonderful afternoon and evening with Mr. Lee and his family. At around 8:00, he walked me to the station entrance, and back on the train I went. I now, thanks to my earlier experience, knew how to distinguish a trains destination by the little symbols on it. They call those funny little symbols Korean. Go figure. All went very well with my return trip.

Then it happened. I arrived at my exiting station, and I had no idea what exit/entrance I had used to enter earlier that day. I took that one that said Sinsadong, which is where I live, and hoped for the best. Well, if what I discovered was the best, I would have hated to see the worst. It makes me shudder just to think about it.

Now, I have never been lost before in my life. I've tried before, seriously, just to see what it would be like, but I have never been able to do it. At best, I've only been temporarily confused. I even went into the Alaskan wilderness by myself for 4 days and 3 nights without a compass. I didn't even come close to getting lost. I had a topographical map and the sun, no watch, and that's all I needed. It was fun by the way.

But when I stepped out of the stairway coming up from the station, I had no clue, let me rephrase that, NO FREEKIN CLUE, where I was. I was lost. Completely lost. It wasn't that bad actually. I didn't freak, I did pray though. I walked around for a bit hoping that I would see something familiar. Ha! fat chance. You see, there are 6 entrance points for this particular subway station. I had no idea which one I had used. Oh, and that busy road with an over pass, well lets just say that it's more common in Seoul than trees are.

So I thought, no prob, I'll call Daniel, one of the other teachers, and ask for directions. No answer. Ok, call Mr. Lee, even though it's hard to understand him over the phone, it's better than freezing to death. My phone died. Great! Now what. Oh good, a taxi driver. Excuse me, "Could you take me to this place, Singu Elementary School". I hand him my home made map from Mr. Lee. "No, you have no idea where this is." Ok, thanks, and thanks for just driving away like that.

Hmmm, some people come over and tried to help me as yet another Taxi driver was clueless and drove away. (I thought taxi drivers were supposed to know everything.) These really nice people are just as clueless and call a friend who says there is a school just down the road from where I am, but it is a midle school not an elementary school, so I know that it's not the way to go, inspite of there insistence.

To there dissapointment I climbed into a taxi who's driver was sure he could get me where I needed to go. He called his base and they gave him directions. Funny thing is, he ended up getting lost, and I told him how to get me where I needed to go. Ha. Once we got going, we turned a corner onto another busy road and I began recognizing things and had to tell him where to turn. Go figure.

So, I actually was lost for the first time in my life. Moral of the story, I have no idea. I just know I made it home a ok. I have to say that to keep my mom from having a heart attack.

Me :-)

Myth Buster!

Ok, I've been wanting to write this blog message for quite some time now. Another myth is blown out of the water. Boom. Kinda like a recent test that a friend of mine (anonymous though she angela remains) took. Just kidding. She did fine. I just like playin with her mind. But you didn't log on to read about other people so back to the point.

I've always been under the impression that everyone in Korea, Japan, and other such places lived in really cramped small appartments. Not so. The appartment that my Director, Mr. Lee lives in with his family is a 4 bedroom, 2 bath appartment. It's very nice and roomy. Through my incessant questioning, I have learned many Koreans live in comfortable housing, though not many actually have houses. Boy, what I wouldn't give to own some of these appartment buildings. I'd be out of the rat race in no time. (for my cash flow game buddies).

Apparently, my appartment is considered to be a single appartment or newlywed appartment at best. Not many people with a family live in as small of an appartment as I have. Many may not have as nearly as nice of an appartment as Mr. Lee, but neither are they crammed on top of one another.

So there you have it. Another Asian Myth busted. Say, doesn't that sound like it would be an interesting show, "Myth Busters"? :-)

Friday, February 11, 2005

To My Fans :-)

Ha, just kidding. I really appreciate your comments. I wish I could address them in this site, but it wont let me. I don't know why because there is a button for me to comment to your comments. Grrr. I look forward to checking my blog just to see what comments have been made.

I'll try to answer your questions. Yes, I have my luggage. Yes I'm cooking for myself, as well as ordering carry out. Now that's an experience let me tell you. It's fun shopping. I can't read a single thing, so I'm not getting to crazy with the things I buy.

You have asked so many good questions, I can't think of them right now. Oh ya, thanks Darren for the language lesson. But in America, we do say walla (please don't hold it against us, we try). Although, I would much prefer to use the French word voila, I can never remember how to spell it. I got it now though, lol. 8-P

I think my comments to your comments is now working. I just tried it, so we'll see what happens. As to the pictures, as I said, when I get my internet, you'll get your pics. :-)

hello, Are YOU Still There?

Sorry it's been such a long time sice I have updated my blogg. I can't always get to a computer right now. When the school is closed, so is my internet options. The last 3 days have been a lot of fun. It's been the Lunar New Year and all of the businesses are closed for 3 days. Man the food was good. :-)

I should be getting my own internet connection next week and thus I will be able to make more regular updates as well as post some pictures. Yaeh!

Last Sunday I went to the largest Church in the world. It's only about 1 hr and 20 mins subway ride from where I live. I plan on going back again next week. In a future post I'll tell you about my experience and how I got lost. Yep, for the first time in my life, I was really lost. I've tried to get lost before, but all I could accomplish was to be temporarily confused. Well, not this time. :-)

Speaking of time, I'll catch you up next time. I'm hungery and it's been a long day teaching.


Saturday, February 05, 2005

Other Stuff

I went for a walk last night around the neighborhood. My quest was food. I simply prayed and asked God to once again direct me as I went. You know, not speaking the language here has it's draw backs. ;-) God is so good. I walked around looking for a carry out place and was getting close to turning for home when I saw it. A quaint little place with a nice elderly women making food. I walked in and wouldn't you know it, no one there spoke english. Ha. But, she quickly jumped up and grabbed a truck driver outside working on his load and he came in and interpreted for me. They all were very nice. Man do they have good food here. Oh, and I'm actually using chop sticks and really getting the hang of it. I've never been able to use the darn things but it just clicked and food started making it's way into my mouth instead of every where else. :-)

As for my luggage, well that's another story. Suffice it to say it came to me at 2:00 am isntead of the schecualed time. But I'm happy, very happy, to say that it all arived safely and in one piece. I have clothes again! Ya for me.


My Appartment

You know, I have to say that I'm impressed with how well the Korean's utilize such a small space. My appartment is quite small but not cluttered. My shower is my bathroom complete with a toilete and sink. My water heater is a small wall haning on demand unit. It's also my sorce for hot water heat. I have infloor radient heat. My washing machine is also my dryer. Just switch the modes and walla. Pretty impressive what can be done with such a small space. You could fit my entire appartment in some peoples kitchens. It would fit in my parrents kithchen and walk in area from the garage, which isn't that big of space. :-) Oh well, it's like an extended camping trip. It's really not bad. Thankfully I live alone! I couldn't imagine sharing an appartment like this with another person, even if I did love them. But there you go. I know in some parts of the world, two ore three families would live in my appartmen. What's that say about how spoiled, or blessed, we are in North America. Just a thought.

Friday, February 04, 2005

I Made It!

With all of the complications I've had to contend with, I made it through in good spirits. I arrived in Seoul Thursday night, Feb. 3, 05 and my luggage should be ariving tonight around midnight. What can you say.

I am teaching my first class today at 3 pm. That would be 4 am for all of you good people in the est zone. I have five classes today of 55 mins each. With being awake for well over 30 hrs yesterday traveling, I'm a bit tired today but I had a wonderful Korean lunch today with the Director and his family.

Did you know that it is also a Korean tradition to sit on pillows on the floor. I did not. I thought I was in Japan for a moment. Show's what an American boy knows. Any way, it was mmm mmm good. I wont go into details of what all was there (mostly because I don't know) but we had duck, kimchi, and many other wonderful things. They had these pickled pepers that were wonderful. Very hot they were and I enjoyed them emensly. How wonderful it is not to have to beg for spicey food in a resturant. :-)

Thanks for checkin in.

Love and Blessings,