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This weekend

Woke up at 5:30 a.m. to catch a ferry to an island in the middle of nowhere, slept in the tiniest little room ever, almost didn’t get home because one of only two daily ferrys was cancelled due to fog, and ended up getting serenaded on the boat back by a swarm of Korean kindergarteners.

And so much more. Details and photos when I’m not so exhausted.

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So you know how if you open a box of Peeps you have to eat all of them at once so they don’t go stale? Yeah, I’ve never been good at thinking ahead on that one.
Luckily, some of the ones my dad sent me are these fancy strawberry chocolate Peeps, which are not only super extra delicious but also come in packs of three which makes me feel a little better about realizing I ate the entire thing in 10 minutes.

So you know how if you open a box of Peeps you have to eat all of them at once so they don’t go stale? Yeah, I’ve never been good at thinking ahead on that one.

Luckily, some of the ones my dad sent me are these fancy strawberry chocolate Peeps, which are not only super extra delicious but also come in packs of three which makes me feel a little better about realizing I ate the entire thing in 10 minutes.

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lizziesroklife:

“Home became sweet to me because it was so far away for so long. Distance gave me perspective. But I don’t have it down perfectly. I’m still learning to be where I am, whether that’s near or far, home or abroad.”

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Not even lunch time and I already

1. Walked to class in the middle of passing time even though the bell obviously hadn’t rung yet.

2. Told my coteacher to go ahead to lunch first since I had to send a few emails…except we still had one more period before lunchtime.

3. Dropped a chalkboard eraser covered in white and yellow chalk directly onto the front of my black dress.

4. Took about three tries to spell “independence” for one of my students.

Why am I so out of it today??

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He’s Back

Yesterday, I got out of my long afternoon club class and had five missed calls from the same number waiting for me. Thinking it was probably relatively important, I called the number back.

It was my principal - the one from last year. The one who I can easily say is the quirkiest person I have ever met. And he wanted to meet for dinner.

If you haven’t been following me long, let me summarize. This man was completely enamored with me from the moment I started at my school a year and a half ago. I don’t mean this in a creepy or threatening way, just in the sense that he introduced me at length every time we met someone new (or even when the person had gotten the whole spiel before) as our wonderful native teacher who is from Minnesota and who used to do synchronized swimming and uses videos in class very effectively. He knows this because he used to attend my classes a few times a week, diligently repeating words aloud along with my students.

In any case, after he was transferred to a nearby high school this spring, things have been a lot quieter. Honestly, I can say I kind of miss him - even though it’s super awkward at the time my coteacher and I could always bond about the great stories afterward (plus I have a feeling my blog was a lot more interesting when he was featured on a regular basis. So even though I knew it would be awkward, I accepted the dinner invitation. The fact that he never takes no for an answer might have played a part in that decision as well.

So after school today he dropped by to pick me up. But we didn’t go straight to dinner - no, he wanted to show me his new school, since I teach in a middle school and might not know what a high school looks like (spoiler alert - it’s basically a middle school but the kids running around are a bit taller.)

But this basically turned into me awkwardly standing there while he introduced me to every teacher we ran into and kept praising me like he always used to. Now, I do try to do my best and I feel like I’m a good teacher. But I’m not an amazing amazing amazing teacher, nor do I want to hear someone tell random strangers that I am. Also…that school has a native teacher too. I don’t know who it is, luckily we didn’t run into her, but I know I wouldn’t appreciate some random other teacher showing up and seeming to show off in my school. I felt really bad, and tried to get out of there as quickly as possible.

I survived, and we went off to a really delicious galbi restaurant for dinner. His English is not amazing, but he’s very enthusiastic, so dinner wasn’t too awkward.

Then, as he’s driving me home, he makes a sudden turn into the EMart parking lot. “I will buy you some fruit!” he said. Not a question, a statement, thrown over his shoulder as he was already halfway out of the car. I really should have seen this last part coming, of course. When I moved into my apartment, he made an impromptu pit stop at the store to buy me toilet paper and orange juice as a “housewarming gift.”

Of course I protested, as always, and as always it was futile. At some point, you realize that it’s more awkward to keep saying “no” than to just let your former boss buy you orange juice.

And by orange juice, I mean a ton of random other stuff. In the end, my haul was: a box of cherry tomatoes, a bag of apples, a bag of oranges, three bell peppers and a box of Froot Loops (or, as they call them in Korea, Froot Rings).

I’m really going to miss Korea, if only because this crazy stuff makes life so much more fun.

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Awesome cafe in Cheongju where the tables are in little cubbies and you’re encouraged to leave your mark. 

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This is my 1,000th post

It’s a little bit insane. I started this blog with a picture of all my luggage, packed and ready to go to Korea.

Now I’m nearing the end of my two years here.

I’m not done yet, though! Look forward to plenty more Konglish signs and funny stories about my students and photos of trains.

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So many pictures

I feel like I’ve pretty much only been posting photos lately!

Sorry if I’ve been bugging all of you by constantly uploading closeups of flower and shots of apartment buildings.

Since I fixed the settings on my camera I’ve felt the need to get out there and take as many pictures as I can before I leave, since the last year and a half of pictures are useless. Of course, they’re not actually useless at all, just still mad at myself that I haven’t been using my camera to the best of its abilities.

Couple that with the fact that it’s constantly beautiful out and I’m leaving in two months, which means I’ve been running around travelling and getting outside more than I have since September.

Anyway, bear with me! I went to Cheongju to hang out with some friends this weekend and we took advantage of spring to take a walk around the river and downtown.

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Finally caved and bought Korean glasses. Finally I have glasses that I can wear outside of my house!

Finally caved and bought Korean glasses. Finally I have glasses that I can wear outside of my house!

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I will never ever ever understand…

…why nylons are still a thing.

It’s finally warm enough to put away my tights for the summer, but I do feel kind of uncomfortable having completely bare legs at work since all the other teachers wear nylons. So I pull on the nylons that I bought last night, careful with my nails, rolling them down to the toe like you’re taught, and they still manage to get a run all the way from my ankle to my knee within the first ten minutes of leaving the house.

From experience, I can conclude that it is physically impossible to wear nylons more than three times without getting a run and having to throw them away. Even buying “nicer” brands (aka more expensive brands) doesn’t make them last any longer.

Since when is it acceptable for a non-disposable product to break within three times of using it?? You would think that a completely defective product would have figured itself out by now (it’s been decades since women started wearing these things regularly. Come on.) Is it because women are still (often) expected to wear nylons, and therefore they have to buy them even if they are somehow engineered to break the first time you put them on?

Am I totally crazy and just somehow doing it wrong, or do all of you have this problem too?