We were busy at work and busy with friends. It was a bitter-sweet month. December was full of really high, highs and some low, lows.
Work was stressful. Even when we told each other to relax and just go with the flow, the little things got to us more often then either of us would like. We missed our family and friends from home. Yet, on the bright side, we had some wonderful Skype conversations. We had packages arrive at school and our apartment full of wonderful goodies from home. We spent some quality, outside of work time with our co-workers. Josh and Leah had us over for both Christmas and New Years. MaLeah made a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner, and we got to meet some of her friends over in Suji.
The break down: Work news for the month of December
The kindergartners put on a big musical performance. All of the teachers were in charge of a group of kids. I had the lowest level kiddos. We had to memorize a book to recite to the parents and I had to choreograph it. The kids had SO MUCH to memorize! I felt really bad for them. I tried to keep in mind how stressed they must have felt. We had snack parties after "rehearsal". It seemed to help them relax and have a bit more fun with everything going on.
I was given a part in the musical!!!! I love to sing and dance with the kindergartners. I love how excited they get when I am really "into" a song. When Ms. Flora asked me to make a "cameo" in the musical I couldn't help, but be excited. It was a very last minute idea and most of my lines were ad-lib. A few of the kindergarten girls I would be singing and dancing on stage, with taught me the dance moves and practiced with me the day before the performance. I even got to wear a costume! A traditional Korean dress called a Hambok. Ms. Flora had tried to rent one for me, but couldn't find one on such short notice.
When she finally got my costume she came to me and said;
Ms. Flora-"These is your traditional Korea clothes."
Me- examining the clothes and a shrink wrapped bag. "Looks good to me."
Ms. Flora "...well....I try find clothes for you size but.....they no have....these is clothes for really fat little girl....you try on now."
Me- "OH!! hahah, ok"
haha I am glad I can laugh at myself. This dress was wider than it was long. A hambok is not supposed to be fitting by any means. They are floor length dresses, with 400000 pieces of undergarment and not flattering to any figure. This dress was a treat. Good thing I would only be wearing it for a few minutes.
|Eugene and Dorothy before the show|
|Did I mention that I also had to sing and dance...?|
We also had a handful of new students and more changes. Its not as if we are not flexible with the changes its that the changes are always last minute. Or even worse the Korean staff knows about changes and have neglected to communicate. For me the lack of communication is the hardest part of my job.
We worked up until December 23.
That Friday was THE best! All of the teachers and students were looking forward to a week off. When Joe and I got home that evening we had a note on our door from the door man.
We went to my favorite door man and showed him the note. He spoke in Korean then pointed to the other side of the building. We walked around the building to the other door man and showed him the note. He spoke to us in Korean and pointed us back in the direction we came from.... So back to the first door man we went. Luckily all of this run around was worth it.
|This box weighs about 1,000 lbs! It was packed full!|
|Hello sugar coma!!!|
I knew that my Aunt and Cousin had been busy baking. They make goodies every year. But WOW! I didn't expect to get some of everything!
Joe and I had zero self control and proceeded to taste test everything! In less than 15 minutes we had eaten ourselves sick! But it was worth it. My favorites were the chocolate mint cookies, the rocky road and the almond park...... and the fudge. :) Joe liked the peanut butter balls, the chocolate crackle cookies and the rocky road. We took a few zip lock bags and put our favorites in the freezer so that we can enjoy them for a little bit longer. We took some to MaLeah's house on Christmas Eve and then took some to Josh and Leah's house on Christmas. Everyone LOVED the treats. Baked goods are hard to come by here in Korea. Ovens are hard to come by and so are some of the ingredients needed to bake.
Thank you Aunt Debbie and Sarah for all of the wonderful treats!
On Christmas Eve we headed to Suji. MaLeah had invited her co-workers and friends over for dinner. She made a few different sauces and spaghetti noodles. It was great to spend time with MaLeah and get to know and talk to more people in Korea. It seems like she has a good group of people at work and near her apartment.
On Christmas day we Skyped with Mom and Dad Randall. They sent us a package earlier in December. Joe and I had promised not to touch it until we could Skype on Christmas. (although technically I think it was their Christmas Eve). They spoiled us! The US flat rate international shipping boxes look small, but M and D always find a way to stuff it full of goodies. It was a bitter sweet Skype date. We missed being home for the holidays, but we also decided to book a trip to Hawaii for Christmas 2012! We all decided being apart for Christmas was no good. Joe and I have a time share in Hawaii and we decided that we would book it and meet M and D there! We invited Sara and Will but they are going to Hawaii for their anniversary in August. I am already counting down the days until Christmas in Hawaii 2012!
Joe also surprised me with tickets to the Nutcracker! We had agreed not to give gifts this year, but he broke the rules!
We spent Christmas evening at Josh and Leah's house. Josh and Leah made a delicious prime rib and the company was wonderful. We had a white elephant gift exchange. I found some couples clothing (couples in Korea wear matching clothes to show that they are a couple. It could be clothes that are the same color or clothes that have half of a comic on the boys shirt and the other half of the comic on the girls shirt. It is hilarious to see grown men and women in matching clothes!) Joe was original and gave a gift card. It was fun. I walked away with a huge container of hot coco mix and Joe got a handful of mini liquor bottles. It was a great way to spend Christmas here in Korea.
I had been talking about going to see the Nutcracker in Korea for all of December. I had tried to get tickets with MaLeah and with Leah, but it seemed like non of the days or times worked out for everyone. I had given up on the idea and was okay with that. On Christmas day, Joe woke up early and tried to convince me to get up to "open presents" knowing we didn't have gifts for each other. I told him we should just go back to bed and wait until our Skype date with M and D to open gifts. He got up and started making noise around our apartment convincing me to get out of bed. As soon as I sat up in bed he handed me a small stalking. He had got me tickets to The Nutcracker! I felt like a little kid! I was very excited to get my surprise gift! The tickets were for the following Thursday.
The day of The Nutcracker Joe and I dressed up and went out to dinner at "On The Boarder". The famous chain has very popular restaurant in the COEX mall in Korea. Besides the location you could convince yourself that you are back in the good 'ol U.S of A after a margarita.
After dinner we hopped back on the subway and headed to the theater.
|We met a very kind mother and daughter and we took turns taking each others pictures.|
|I was REALLY excited.|
Joe got us "couples" seating. We assumed it was just a guarentee seat next to one another. We joked on the way there that knowing Korea we would probably have to share a small Korean size love seat.
When we got to the theater I was shocked at how beautiful the theater was. It was decorated in gold leaf and red velvet. Joe checked us in at the box office and got our tickets. We got a small gift with our couples seat (a small phone charm) and free coffee and cookies. As we made our way upstairs an usher showed us to our seats. I guess we should have knocked on wood....our couples seating was a small love seat.
It was a great night out! I don't think I can convince Joe to go again. I think he would have fallen asleep if he could have gotten comfortable.
We spent the rest of our winter break relaxing around the house. I found a dresser on Craig's List that I wanted. It was only a few subway stops away and the girl selling it said that it might fit in a taxi. We went with the assumption that it would fit in the taxi. Boy were we wrong. It was WAY too big for a taxi, but I wasn't about to give up. Lucky for me, Joe was more than willing to do whatever it took to get that sucker home. Our closet was over flowing and I was so tired of having to share a sock drawer! We ended up carrying the dresser from the girls apartment to the subway, through the subway, onto the subway, then from the subway to our apartment, then up to our room.
We also got a mirror, rug and a small night stand for Joe's side of the bed. (we picked up the other stuff a few days later) Carrying this thing through the subway we met tons of very kind Koreans. People opened doors for us, pushed elevator buttons and even slid our subway cards over the pay machines.
I think that's all for December......