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Teach Travel Play gets a facelift!

We will be blogging now from the wordpress domain, because this is where all the cool kids hang out, and it is easier to access. Monday afternoon here and it is nationwide school testing. These tests happen frequently and without warning  so here I am blogging away at my desk while my middle schoolers no doubt are thinking “Man I should have listened to that superheroes lesson last week where we learned the future tense!” It is actually a really nice break to get my classroom in order, catch up on lesson plans and do some much needed studying of the Korean Hangul I still have not mastered!

Playing doctor with my students...

Playing doctor with my students...

This weekend I can sum up as very…Western. Not that we wore cowboy hats and spurs and ate over a campfire, but that our comfort zone was not as stretched as it has been in the past two months trying to fit into the Korean culture. We took a trip to Costco for starters and bought two gallons of peanut butter, a block of cheese, microwave popcorn, tortillas, salsa and marshmallows. Now you may be thinking that this does not sound like the old health and well being conscious couple who could on occasion be seen biking downtown to gnaw on sushi rolls and micro brew, passing the Starbucks with disgust and an elitist ere, but we travelers alike will sympathise that when away from home there are things in your crave stricken mind that you would never go near when in easy reach of. The marshmallows have already proven to be well worth the shame of their purchase. We made a huge batch of rice krispy treats last night and brought them into our teachers. I came into the teacher’s office with a Tupperware filled with goey Americana and no more than 30 seconds of me setting them down the vice principal was on the loud speaker beckoning staff in to try this curious treat. The way food works in Korea is if you walk an inch, you will grow a mile (is that the saying?) anyway when I have extended a piece of gum, satsuma or even a crumb of cookie here, the Koreans have always reciprocated, so I can only imagine what will show up on my desk tomorrow.

Matt competed with his principal and fellow teachers in a volleyball tournament this weekend, not placing but making it far enough in the season to be invited to the event. In true Korean fashion there was about an hour of play and three of food and drink.

Matt with principal and volleyball team ready to play!

Matt with principal and volleyball team ready to play!

We headed down the coast last weekend to the Pusan firework show, which after hearing rave reviews I expected nothing less than spectacular. Little did I know the night would include riots over people trying to get a good view, four hour waits to get on a bus home and the most incredible 45 minute, 200 million dollar firework display I have ever seen. For those wanting to visit next year’s event held on the third weekend in October when the weather here is romantically chilly meaning a fleece blanket on the beach makes all the difference; I would reccomend arriving well ahead of time. The event is free although I would suggest it not be to cut down on participants, and begins at 8pm. Finding a spot on Gwang-an Beach around 2-3pm is advised and once the crowds really start pouring in by 6pm, DO NOT LEAVE as it is very difficult to get back onto the beach. If possible get some brave souls together and drive a car atleast to Hyundai beach becasue the underground, buses and all taxis are impossible resources for anykind of across town or out of town travel. And finally don’t forget your soju to share with all of the sweet old women who will insist that you snuggle on their blanket with them, which they have had staked out since noon.

This weekend reminded us once again of how lucky we are.

Enjoy the new blog and let us know what you think!

-Matt and Emily                                                              

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ron Ruzzamenti permalink
    November 11, 2009 4:41 AM

    The bunny I recognize as it looks a bit like one of our past thumpers. On the other hand Em, I have to look at you and say “oh yeah she has a new doo” and then I remember seeing “the new look” at Elizabeth Park. You look smashing darling. love you, dad

    • teachtravelplay permalink*
      November 11, 2009 1:43 PM

      Yup, that’s me, and I think our little monster/bunny resembles Domino, and if I remember correctly they have a similar disposition: Un-ruly

  2. UtibOxingig permalink
    January 21, 2011 6:52 PM

    I love! Here I always find a lot of helpful information for myself. Thanks you for your work.
    Webmaster of and
    Best regards

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