Archive for August 2006

That’s it, the savings are gone!

well, I had a very successful time at the Antiques market on Saturday. When I told dad that I had spent almost all my savings from selling the car on shopping, his reply was predictably grim however, when I mentioned that I spent it on antique pieces of furniture…..”Oh, that’s not shopping, that’s antiquing and that’s okay to spend that much”. Guess where I get the gene from? So here are some photos of what I bought. All the pieces will be delivered on Saturday so I can’t wait.

My favorite pieceThis is my favorite piece. It is Tibetan from 1820 and I will use it to put my TV on in my living room. I absolutely love this one. I probably walked past it a million times touching it and opening the doors. Eventually I gave in… after all, what’s a credit card for?

Computer deskThis is a Chinese Altar Table from 1875 and I will be using it in that small extra room as a computer desk. There is some faint painting left on the surface too. I did have a small battle over this one piece. The idea is that as you wander around, if you see something you like, you place your business card on it to claim it. Well, I was looking at it and Deb, another teacher, came and was looking at it and commenting how beautiful it was and how much she would like it. I slapped my card down as fast as I could to claim it. Then, another teacher begged me to take my card off so she could have it but I was strong!

Coffee tablesThese are two stools that I will use as my coffee table – either together or separated. They are also antiques from China but I don’t remember the year. Most of these pieces are made from Elm. You can see my card slapped down on the top of these.

This next piece is really cool. It is called a step chest and stands about 6 feet tall when put together but it also comes apart into 3 different pieces. It is also identical on each side so that the drawers and doors work on either side. The drawers are also reversible so that if you want to take one piece, turn it upside down and attach it to another (i.e. piece 1 and 3) you can put the drawers back in the right way up. It is really cool and will be my bedside table, vanity in the bedroom (storing clothes, keeping jewellery), and side table in the living room beside the couch.

Part One                Part Two                 Part Three

Part OnePart TwoPart Three Isn’t it cool?

These were my major purchases. I also got a bamboo ladder to store all my scarves when they arrive and an old wooden basket which I will put next to my hammock to store books, puzzle books and magazines (I can’t be expected to get up for things when I am laying in the hammock!).

LunchThis place was great. Not only a huge selection of stuff from around Asia but they provided the bus each way (one hour) and lunch. The lunch was amazing – Thai food. We had green curry, red curry, peppered shrimp, thai chicken salad, fried rice and oranges for dessert. They just laid all the food out over the antiques and we sat down wherever to eat. I chose an antique chinese throne to eat in of course!

So much stuffMore?Here is just a small sample of other things they had there.

baseball-game-august-076.jpgMum, this piece made me think of you. Something about the bright red. It is a great piece but didn’t have a place for it in my house.

My warriorsReally wanted to buy these – wouldn’t they be cool???? But they might be a little scary placed on either side of the bed.

baseball-game-august-079.jpgWouldn’t this be cool? It is beautiful bed and even has bird cages hanging inside! What do you think Brian?

On a slightly more serious note, you may have noticed in the photo with the two warriors that I am holding a walking stick. That is because I herniated a disk in my lower back on Wednesday. It happened at school and I really was not doing anything other than walking to my classroom. I suddenly couldn’t walk and had shooting pains down my spine and into my legs. I had to go to the ER and get xrays and some injections for pain and swelling. I am now on pain meds and anti inflammatories (yes, they are strong enough to make me loopy!) and have to use a walking stick to take the pressure off my left leg which is the most painful. Hopefully with lots of rest this weekend, I will be able to walk normally on Monday or Tuesday and then I see an orthopaedic specialist in two weeks time to determine why this all happened. I will keep you all updated about progress but in the meantime THIS SUCKS!!!!!!!


1 comment August 27, 2006

Let’s play catch up

NOw for some of the photos that I forgot to put in earlier and some redo’s of photos now that we have the fancy enlarging capability.

IntestinesThese are the intestines that I mentioned earlier and really hope never to see again. They don’t look too bad – no worse than sausage, which is why I was ready to try it. Learned my lesson the hard way there!

Here’s some better photos of my house. Hopefully these will be updated again soon because I will buy lots of beautiful things for the house. On Saturday we are headed to a big furniture warehouse. They provide a bus, lunch (BBQ) and a discount. Should be good.

My bedroomMy bedroom. Like the photos on my wall?

Best place in the houseMy favorite place in the house….my hammock. This is on the balcony off the living room but it stretches the length of my bedroom too. There are glass screens and netting so it is a great place to lay out, enjoy the sun and read a book.

living roomMy living room which is awaiting my oriental rug (it will fill that entire room), and some art which of course can only be garnered through travel.

kitchenThe kitchen. THis is open plan with the living room and leads out to a back balcony where I have a washing machine, and then on the left is a door into a random tiny room which will eventually be a little study.

bathroomEveryone wanted to know about the bathroom so here it is. A true western bathroom with shower and bath. I was disappointed initially that I didn’t get a Korean bathroom (all tiled, one shower head that is detachable to clean the rest of the room) but based on my activity level, I wouldn’t have time to clean it anyway. Thank god for cleaning ladies.

This last photo was taken in the subway. They all have these huge stations with gas masks and instructions. Although there have never been any accidents or acts of terrorism here, they are definitely prepared. Have a close look at the photos, especially the last one as it is pretty funny.

Can you believe this?

Add comment August 21, 2006

Now for the Sunday exercise

So here is the place that we climb. It is not very wide, there is only one more wall that is not shown and it is a complete overhand the entire way. It is pretty high – 60 feet and has a great view of the mountains from the top. I have already led up one of the routes. Ain’t I fancy?Climbing

Here’s another look at how far I have to climb!

Still climbing

This is hard work!This is hard work and we obviously need plenty of time to relax. This is Marshall, the head of the climbing team.

the close upHere’s a close up to give you an idea of the surface. It really does lean out quite a bit (5feet) with lots of these undulations.


Add comment August 21, 2006

This Is Important!!!

Okay, I wasn’t able to sequence my night properly so please read the last two, or three postings in reverse in order to fully appreciate my night! Thanks.


Add comment August 21, 2006

And the night continues…

Look what we found! A shisha bar here in Korea. It was fun and a nice relaxed way to actually get to know some of the teachers that I hadn’t been out with before.

The Hukah bar

Lindsey and Lindy then tried to talk me into going to the pool bar round the corner. I said “of course not” since I don’t like pool and didn’t want to hang out all night at a smoky pool bar. Boy, was I wrong. This was an actual pool bar where you sit on mats at the side and dangle your feet in the pool. Oh...the POOL barHow did I miss out on this opportunity???


Add comment August 21, 2006

More Photos

The crowd wasn’t that huge but there was still a good cheering section including cheerleaders, drums, banging stick things and a cheer leader.

The Cheer LeaderHe was hilarious. He wore white gloves to make sure everyone could follow his actions and a whistle to get everyone’s attention. He taught the crowd cheers, told them where to look on the field, when to be quiet and when to cheer. The Koreans are extremely good at following directions. The funniest part was during the 7th inning stretch when the Cheer Leader led everyone through a full set of stretches – rolling the head around, swinging your arms, shoulder rolls, quad stretches, hamstring and calf stretches. Even the baseball teams were out on the field doing the same thing.

baseball-game-august-053.jpgThis is me, Robyn and my 1st grade Head of Dept Denise.

Well, eventually the beer ran dry and this is what we were reduced to- bagged wine snuck in by our administrator. Yes, my administrator.Uh Oh

Lindy and I were far more classy and put our bagged wine in a cheap plastic bottle. See how much better that is?baseball-game-august-032.jpg

This is the group of boys that dragged us all out. I forgave them after I found out that the club we went to had good gin and tonics.right before the trouble starts!


Add comment August 21, 2006

Latest Escapades

This was an exciting weekend!! Okay that’s a lie, we went out to a baseball game on Friday night followed by a club and some bars. I was out till 4 am and was so hungover that I didn’t leave the complex until Sunday at 4pm when I dragged my butt up a wall to climb. So, here are the photos…

The Olympic StadiumThis is the Olympic Stadium where the game took place. If you look closely you can still see the Olympic rings. We were there to watch the Doosan Bears versus the Samsung Lions and according to my boss, I was supporting the Bears. GO BEARS!!!

The GirlsThis is us inside – Laurie (my ESL head of Dept.), me, Lindy, and Colleen.

We bought the gear and enjoyed our beers through straws. We Love The Bears!

The part of the evening that I had been gearing up for was the dried squid. It was worse than any jerky because it is almost impossible to chew. I made sure to try a tentacle and part of the body. Both pieces tasted equally fishy and took most of the game to chew. Glad I did it but won’t be doing it again. Squid Jerky


Add comment August 21, 2006

Call Me!!

Okay so I forgot to put down here that you can, and should, all call me! Parents and Jen and Brian know but to all else – especially Melissa, Laura and Ms. Ficker – I have this great skype system set up so that phone calls are really cheap. So, if you haven’t called me yet, you need to and you need to use this number – 651 674 3159. It’s great because it is a local call for most of you yet it comes through to me here in Korea and even has voicemail set up. Great eh? (sorry, lots of Canadians around!)


Add comment August 21, 2006

Believe me now?

The storm clouds comingOkay, I am sure that most of you didn’t believe me about the extent of the humidity here so I tried to take photos. Now granted, the photos were taken on a day when it did end up bucketing down for 2 hours but at least they look more dramatic then. Also included are some photos of our first attempt at cooking. We were craving nachos of all things. The sad part is that there is no way to get lime or cilantro. Still, we struggled through and ate a great meal (at 10:30 at night aaagghhh). Finally there are these dessert things called something bap (bap means rice). It is a rice dough filled with nuts and honey and cinnamon. They are really good if you can get past the texture because they are very doughy and chewy. Mum, you probably should leave them be.

And finally, a few photos from our first night out at the bars. We ended up in a gay bar in Itaewon because Angela has a lot of gay friends and it turned out to be a great night. Cheap g+t’s, lots of good music and we actually met our first out of school friends. Aaawww.

It's so thick!Nachos!!Weird dessert thingies that are now in the trash!Our friend AngelaCan you see him?


2 comments August 18, 2006

Market day

Tuesday we had the day off and went to Naemdaemun market. It was exactly the type of shopping that I wanted to do. Carrefour and Costco are great but you don’t really get the feeling that you are experiencing the true Korea. Just as we arrived, it started to rain. And not just a little rain but an open the heavens and flood the streets rain. It was awesome!! I was drenched even with an umbrella because I was constantly being hit by the koreans passing me by. For little people, they move fast. They will knock you out of the way, push you to the side and take your eye out with the corner of their umbrella. Lindy even had a hole poked in her umbrella by a passer by’s. I found all of this hilarious because it was just what I had been looking to experience. The street is crowded and narrow and the vendors are constantly yelling at you to buy from them. When I get ready to send parcels to all of you, there will be plenty of great little trinkets from this market. Anyway, we decided to grab a bite while we were there and headed for food vendor alley (it really is called this. There is also an angler fish alley but I will not be trying that as it is far too scary to even contemplate eating!). We pointed to the food we wanted and then sat down. We were the only white faces around and the food was delicious. I had Bibimbap (rice with meat and vegetables) and Leah had Sundubu Jegge (tofu stew). In the middle of our meal they plopped down this dish with something that looked like sausage. Now I knew that they eat intestines here and after haggis, how much can you be disgusted by other meat.  So I grabbed a big piece and popped it in…..and promptly spat it out. The texture was so rubbery that my teeth actually bounced off it. So I cut a smaller piece and tried again…….and nearly threw up so had to swallow it whole with a mouthful of beer. It is probably the most revolting thing I have ever eaten. I have no idea how or why the Koreans choose this dish but at least I can say that I ate it. By the way, I think I have figured out this photo thing and I will definitley get a photo of the intestines on here later. Until then, enjoy these lovely views…

 Crowded streets and rainHow you really spell the nameThe old gateMmmmm, very happy right nowThe delicious part of the meal


Add comment August 18, 2006

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