Tuesday, February 21, 2012

UDC and Happy Birthday Antonio!

 * I wrote this a few weeks ago and am just getting around to posting it. Sorry! *

Joe and I have been lucky enough to make some wonderful friends here in Korea. Almost every Friday night we meet up and have dinner and drinks together. This usually means we stay up too late, drink too much and laugh until our bellies hurt. These are wonderful people and we are over the moon that we get to share so many wonderful Korean memories with them.

A few Fridays ago the guys were playing darts at the bar. Joe got lucky and beat everyone. It just so happens that James is a huge dart player and even has a really nice dart board and darts that he plays with at home. Joe beating James did not sit well. On Sunday we got this picture text.....

This is where the Ultimate Dart Championship was born. (Joe and I are the only non-military couple so no one knows our last name, that's why he is "Joe-X" on the poster.) Jame's wife, Myriam is studying to be a graphic designer so she put this poster together to announce the tournament.

During all of this tournament planning our Puerto Rican friend, Antonio, mentioned that the 9th was his birthday! Everything was coming together perfectly. We would celebrate Antonio's birthday and have the dart championship. James and Myriam kindly offered for the festivities to happen at their place.

Happy Birthday Antonio! 

Antonio is a stand up guy. He is a tad bit older than Joe and I but he can drink/party us both under the table. He has a Spanish accent and a great sense of humor. When he has had a few shots of tequila he sounds a bit like Borat.

To celebrate his 41st birthday we went to a Korean BBQ restaurant. We sat on the floor and BBQ-ed until our hearts and stomachs were content. Leah made the cute "41 Sucks" sucker flower pot, it was a hit!

After dinner we headed to James and Myriam's place.
It was a great night! We all took turns playing darts. At one point Leah and Myriam convince me that I should try to roller blade in the apartment. It was a great idea. And I stand by my decision to blade indoors.
Myriam being a good friend and helping me but on my blades. :)
The next day I could hardly walk up stairs because I had landed on my right knee several times while indoor blading. I laughed SO hard I didn't even care about the pain.

The dart tournament turned out to be a bust for Joe. He lost to almost everyone. I think Leah beat me, and Antonio forfeited at one point. I'd say it was a successful Friday night.

Sometimes Saturday mornings are rough but it is worth it for our Friday night fun. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mr. Joe....Kind of a big deal

A few weeks ago a newspaper reporter and photographer came to our school. In Korea, if you want to advertise in a newspaper it is VERY common to hire and pay for an interview. With a new school year approaching (Korean school goes year round, starting in March and ending the second to last week in February) our owner/principal decided to spring for a full page add in the local paper.

Joe was teaching a class and I was on a break. I was in his classroom hanging out when Ms. Flora, one of our Korean staff, came into the room with a photographer. She pulled me aside and told me that the photographer was going to take pictures of Mr. Joe teaching.

Ms. Flora- "many beautiful foreign woman teacher.... no many good teacher be foreign man.... you know this? ....only Mr. Joe take photo with children."

Joe would be star of this photo shoot.

The photographer took a few pictures then Joe and I started to have a little fun. I was shouting out questions to the students, easy things like 2 + 2, the kids all raised their hands and Joe would pose funny and point to a student. The photographer was loving it, and would take a picture then say "good!, one more time". It was a fun little ten minute adventure.

Well now that it's two weeks later Ms. Flora shows me the news paper article! I understood that we would put an ad in the paper but I never expected a full page article with a picture of Joe.
He is a pretty big deal around school these days. I have shown the article to all of my classes.

This is the first article that came out last week. 

The Korean woman in the top right corner is our boss/principal/part owner, Ms. Karen

close up of the picture of Joe teaching

 Today at lunch on our way home I saw a stack of these newspapers in the lobby of our apartment building and grabbed a few. (we are sending a few packages and I needed some stuffing to go in the boxes) As I was ripping through the paper to wrap a glass bottle I stumbled upon another article.

In the second article the picture of Joe is MUCH larger.

If anyone wants a signed copy just let me know. I took the entire stack of papers from the lobby on our way back to school after lunch. :)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Room 831....

Joe and I live in an office/apartment building. Some of the rooms are for people to live in and some of the rooms are used as offices or small businesses. Our apartment is 831. We are squished between a college aged guy, a family of four and a travel agent.

We have seen a handful of other studio apartments and ours is actually quite large in comparison. Although our building is not as nice as others it is more spacious. (We had some issues with the electrical outlets when we first arrived, the electrition that came to fix it told me that "Bundang (our city) is about 12 years old, but our building is 13 years old". What a comedian.) It is small, it is old, but is is home.

During the work week Joe and I go home for lunch. The school is only 2 blocks away from our house, on the same street. It is SO nice to get a break from the building and the kids.

Last week was like any other. I believe it was Wednesday. We left school in a rush to make the best of our hour lunch break. We quickly got to our building and got in the elevator. I vividly remember pushing the "8". We were playing around in the elevator. I am sure there was some pushing and shoving involved, regardless we were both distracted. Moments later the elevator door opens and we both hop out. Joe ran to our door, but suddenly stopped. On the gas meter outside our door was a weird bag. Joe looked at it but neither of us has seen it before. We joked about reading Korean....then moved on.

We don't have a key to our apartment, each door just has a number pad and you put in your 4-16 digit door code. When you put in the correct code it make a funny little ring. When your door is already unlocked and you try to put in your code it makes a different sound. There is a manual lock switch that you pull when you want to lock the door from the outside. It basically clears the digital pad and bolts the door shut.

Joe grabs for the number pad and starts to punch in our code when it makes the funny sound when the door is already unlocked. We both froze and looked at each other.

Joe-"you didn't lock the door?"
Me - "was I even the last one out? I don't know... I think so?!?"

Joe pulls hard on the door and swings is all the way open. I scream! The loud Ijustsawaghost kind of scream. Inside the apartment was a Korean woman cooking in the kitchen! The lights were all on, shoes at the front door, old woman at the sink! My gut told me to run, and I did! Straight back to the elevator, Joe was on his own.


I pushed the elevator up button but wasn't about to wait for it. I looked around and saw that we were on the 5th floor. I ran for the stairs! Close behind me came Joe.

Joe- "What the hell just happened? Why are we on the 5th floor"
Me- " I don't know, just run!"

We got to our apartment and I double checked we were at the right room.
I locked myself in our apartment in fear that some Korean would come hunt me down for breaking and entering.

Lucky for me no one came.

I honestly was freaked out for the rest of the day. My heart wouldn't slow down. The adrenaline was pumping.
It was definitely my first breaking and entering experience and hopefully my last...

Happy Groundhogs Day..?!

We have had temperatures with highs of around 10 degrees and lows that are negative numbers(!!!).

I am a VERY unhappy with the weather. I like the temperature to hover around 80F. These sub zero temperatures are making life miserable.

Eddie doesn't like the weather these days either.....

 We got him a fancy bed from Costco so that he had his own bed to sleep in......But its been way too cold for the little man.

 Eddie and I have been sharing a pillow and putting in some extra cuddle time.

  It's Groundhogs day.....but let's be honest.... I don't need a groundhog to tell me winter is going to hang around for 6 more weeks.