Monday, July 1, 2013

Has 1/3 of a year already passed?

The last few weeks have been up and down for me.  As you may have gathered from my last post, there was a bit of homesickness and feeling really out of place.  But luckily I've met a lot of amazing people here who keep me busy and having fun.  The month of June went by really quickly it seems.  I've experienced a lot in that time, including attending my first Korean wedding, seeing my first movie in Korea, going to a noreabang for the first time, my first church service in Korea, a few baseball games, my first trip close to the border of N Korea, a trip to the Korea War Memorial, learning first-hand about Korean dating culture, and another term of teaching is in the books.

My first ever taste of duck

The countryside of Korea, one of my favorite places

One of the most popular things to do in Korea is to go to a noraebang.  It's basically karaoke in a private room.  You rent the room for a while, then you and your friends get to act a fool singing and dancing.  I had a conversation last night with a Korean friend who told me that for a period of a few years, he went to a noraebang  Sometimes more than once.  A lot of people see it as a great stress-reliever. For people like me who are vocally challenged, it can create unnecessary stress!

At the noraebang!

I've really grown to love going to the baseball games in Korea.  While the baseball is maybe a step below what we're used to back in the U.S., the crowds at the games here bring their A-game and they bring it from start to finish.  MLB crowds have nothing on these people.

If you need me on a Friday night, this is where I am

No idea who these people are, get out of my picture!

I got invited to a wedding a few weeks ago which was also a great experience.  A lot of what they do is very similar to an American wedding, but with more traditions and culture interjected.  My favorite part was when the couple took time during the ceremony to walk down to each of their parents and pay their respects and give thanks.  I am now used to seeing people bow as a way to show respect, but until this day I'd never seen a full, get on your knees and go down to the floor bow.  It was really amazing to see. 

The couple paying their respects to his parents

The mother of the bride in traditional clothing

The Korea War Memorial was a great experience.  Throughout Korea's nearly 5000 year history, they've endured a lot of war.  It was quite an eye opener to see how much this country has gone through to get where they are today.   

And, of course, there has been plenty of random shenanigans with my friends.  This weekend I got to spend a lot of time with my good friends from Ireland and Oregon.  It was Debra's birthday so we got to celebrate her and make a lot of random friends on the streets of Itaewon.  

And this pretty much sums up the night