Video from the fish market.

I’m trying out this embedding video stuff. Here goes…

Christmas in Korea

First of all, Merry Christmas everyone!  We hope you had a great Holiday.  It was nice to skype with many of you, but also sad to miss out on our normal festivities.  We didn’t sit at home alone in a bland white room for Christmas though.  We were lucky enough to have some family and friends to spend Christmas with and many cards to decorate with.

our living room full of Christmas cheer.

Christmas tree 🙂

we wanted to share some Christmas cheer with the whole neighborhood.

We went to Austin and Victorias Christmas eve and had dinner out.  They were kind enough to even share some of their Christmas cookies and candies with us.  The next morning we followed tradition and made sausage scrambled (With bacon instead of sausgae) and mimosas. Victoria made some wonderful cranberry scones to the meal.  Then we had our book exchange.  Eveyone got great books in beautiful handmade paper wrapping.

pure goodness!!

Victoria's yummy homemade scones.

post gift exchange

We spent the day relaxing, talking, and cooking to prepare for the nights festivities.  The food included, homemade pita bread and hummas, stuffed mushrooms, purple potatoes, home-made eggnog, chrsitmas cookies, and other wonderful eats.  We enjoyed talking with folks and singing songs, Christmas and others too.

Lane kneeding the pita bread(maybe a little too much....it's not clay lane!)

a little music

the gathering

Best of all, we got snow on our way home that night. Too bad we had to work the next day 😦

You can visit Austin and Vic’s blog to see more photos:

http://seoulomon.blogspot.com/

Two large markets, one fun Saturday

Last Saturday, Lane and I made our way to the Seoul Folk Flea Market.  It’s a large market with many vendors mostly selling clothing(new and used) hiking gear, tools, antiques, and other random, totally awesome stuff.  Unfortunately it was so cold on Saturday that we couldn’t properly enjoy the market.  Though it’s indoors, it is heated only by space heaters throughout the large two story building.  So I bought warm socks and Lane got a nice pair of micro-fleece thermal underwear, both of which were immediately worn.  We left the market half way through to go warm ourselves in a coffee shop and then returned to finish our shopping.  We definitely plan to head back to this market…when it’s warmer.  Here are some photos:

a shot looking down one of many aisles in the "antigue" section. Some of it was just junk, but still...

Did I say it was COLD?

glasses frames

flea market mascot?

After the flea market we headed to Noryangjin Shijang, Seoul’s oldest and larget fish market.  And it was BIG!  See for yourself:

a whole lot of seafood. Seemingly endless

There was quite a selection.

crab

lots of fish

We joined Austin, Victoria, and Caroline there.  We were in search of a King crab for our dinner.  After doing some exploring in the market and price checking several large crabs, we realized it was way out of our price range($150) for dinner and chose an alternative main dish.  First we bought two kilos of mussels and then we chose our very own tom tom fish from the tank.  My students told me that it is a Chinese fish…who knew!  The Fish butcher then sliced it up into a plate of yummy sashimi and included the head, and bones in a small bag.  Why include the head and bones? you ask.  We we weren’t sure either.

fish butcher ( I don't know what else to call him)

That is until we took our loot down to the market restaurant.  This is no ordinary restaurant. We were seated and handed our food over to the Ajumma(older woman).  She took the bag of fish parts and said “fish soup” (In korean).  She then took the mussels and departed.  In thins restaurant they have no seafood, but that’s what they serve.  They only provide the kimchi and other traditional side dishes, was well as drinks.  We had some soju(korean potato liquor), Makolee (not sure what it is, but it’s a tasty drink), and our sashimi while we waited for our next course.  The food was brought out in big pots and one on a  burner so that it would stay warm.  I must say that having food cooked at your table is one thing I really enjoy about Korean food.  The mussels were delicious and boy are we glad we had those fish parts because the soup was excellent.

The hweh club (That's what we're calling ourselves now) Austin is in the club, but behind the camera. And our yummy food too of course.

We plan to make this a monthly gathering and try something new each time.  Maybe we’ll get that crab on another day when we’re feeling wealthy.

Handsome Teacha

Or so I have become known to the kids here at SEV over the last couple of weeks.  “You handsome teacha, very tall.”  You’d think it’d be all the Korean girls but the boys call me that too.  All the girls ask me if I have a girlfriend, and are devastated when I tell them I’m married to Mandi.  They usually say something like, “Oh…..she pretty and have small face,”  or “Mandi teacha? wifuh(wife)?” and then run off giggling.  At least they don’t call me Grandfather teacher or Pikachu teacher, as they do to two of the other teachers.  One teacher gets called a mix between volleyball teacher and olive oil teacher, because they can’t say his real name, Oliver.

In post office class the kids can write a letter to the teachers.  We all have a mailbox with our name on it in that room.  The other day Mandi and I went to check our mail as we  heard there was quite a stack.   In reality there were only like 5 letters, but it was fun anyway.  Here are a few choice examples:

to Lane from Charlotte

We’re seeing White

We’ve been seeing white a lot lately, in many capacities.  It snowed not too long ago.  There were beautiful white flakes falling all around us, but none seemed to stick.  We listened to Christmas music and admired the snowy mountain tops.  At least the snow stuck there.

Then, to get more in the mood of the Holidays we went ice skating at Lotte World.  It’s an indoor amusement part which has an ice rink on the bottom floor.  Lane and I forgot how bad we are at ice skating.  Though we were able to stay on our feet, it wasn’t always easy.  We saw a lot of white ice, with a bonus laser light show at the end of the night.  We also saw some amazing child speed skaters practicing on the ice.  Pretty impressive.

The first snowfall left us with not much down here. But Beautiful white mountains to look at

sorry about the blurriness

big flame shooter things all around the top of the rink during the lazer light show. You could feel the warmth. At the end they shot a few fireworks in the air even. I don't think I've ever seen fireworks in an enclosed space before. Pretty cool.

laser light show

kid speed skaters

One last piece of white. Lane got is first grey hair. How exciting.

A Little About School Life

Unfortunately, things have slowed down here a little bit in the teaching department.  Lane and I have been doing a lot of “programming.”  Programming is planning lessons.  Lane and others, are planning 28 lessons about art.  I and another woman are planning 28 lessons focused on leadership.  These are no small tasks.  Though it is a nice break from kids, it’s pretty boring.  I did manage to get a few good photos from in the classrooms.  I wasn’t able to get Lane teaching his two favorite classes: restaurant and ultimate frisbee, due to inclimate weather, and scheduling difficulties.  But this is what we’ve got:

This is where the kids sit in their team lines every morning, after lunch, and after dinner. Then they are whisked away to their class by the teacher. It's pretty amazing how well they behave for sitting so close together with little supervision.

Sometimes we have group activites with multiple teams. Above relay races. That's Lane in the corner, guiding children in the right direction. and below is jeopardy in the theater. That's me on the mic.

My favorite class to teach is cooking class. We make chocolate chip cookies. A perk, is getting to eat a few of the cookies, and the kids love it.

peace sign is big in pictures 🙂

yoga class 🙂 Mandi has observed this and is anxious to teach it. what fun!

This has nothing to do with teaching, but is my new favorite tea. It looks similar toa jam, but is used as a sweet citrus tea. It's made from citron and is supposed to be good for you.