Sunday, November 4, 2012
Celebrate We Will
The temperatures are slowly dropping, thankfully a bit slower than back home, crisp fall mornings have begun. The frigid air has added a new twist to my morning runs, although I do enjoy the head nods, thumbs up of approval and "초워요!!" coming from the soccer players. I must admit I love the change of seasons: changing of the leaves, cute layers and snuggly sweaters, fall treats (okay this are kind of missing in Korea - pumpkin spice latte please?), and most importantly - the holiday season! To kick off the season we have nothing better than, my birthday of course!
Only a few students at school remembered that it was my birthday so there wasn't much happening, although I did get scolded by a few co-teachers who found out the day after. To make up for it they insisted on dinner and ice cream the following week, okay by me - keep the celebrations rolling! After school I visited the boys at the orphanage who did remember and congratulated me with a flick to the forehead - guess that's a normal "Happy Birthday" here, never-the-less, thanks boys! Afterwards I made my way to Terra 5 where I was meeting some friends for my birthday dinner. A small group of us shared a few bottles of wine, good food and cake (thanks to Sara and Joonwo [yes, I got two cakes!]) and lots of laughs. No birthday is complete without more drinks so we headed over to Corona for a birthday drink. Well, the bartender wanted me to get my one drinks worth byt giving me a birthday "Adios Mother F!@#er" and thanks to him the next day at school was death. Oh there was also the lovely lit on fire birthday shot - I think it was liquid poison.
With the first (and most important) holiday of the season finished it was time to move on to my
favorite holiday of the season, Halloween. I guess I would throughly enjoy this holiday if I actually prepared for it like I say i'm going to every year on November 1st. There's always vows of having an awesome costume the following year but, of course it's a week day before Halloween and i'm left scrambling for ideas. This year my costume would have been a complete failure if it hadn't been for my friends Sara and Sam who provided me with the essentials: face pain, ears and a tail, yeah, I went as a cat. I told a few of my students the following week and one of them said, "oh teacher that suits you" I'm still not sure what he meant by that.
There was a costume/halloween party at Corona bar (same place that induced my feeling of death the previous Thursday) so we decided to get a group together and go. There was a 5000won entry fee but you were given a free shot so I guess it was worth it? Also a chance to win 100,000won for best costume, trust me I didn't have high hopes for that.
So with the Holiday season upon us, yes I spotted my first Christmas tree in a department store last week, some might think the homesickness has finally set in. Well, despite hating the cold weather and threat of winter, I couldn't be better. If anything i'm having more fears about leaving than thoughts about wanting to come home. Just yesterday, post run, I was standing watching a group of men play soccer thinking to myself "how am I going to leave this place?". Despite my tiny town (in the boonies) and some of the frustrations that comes with it, I've grown to love it here and will most likely cry when I have to leave. Especially when I have to say goodbye to my students - okay, let's just not think about that yet. Now someone send me a pumpkin pie in time for Thanksgiving :)