babies & show dogs

Last Friday night I went to eat Galbi (Korean bbq) with a few coworkers after staying late to work on my lesson plans for the next week.  I was too exhausted to cook anything, and it's always nice to talk and destress after a long work day.  After dinner I went home and crashed.  Saturday morning I talked with my family who were all still together in St. Louis for the Thanksgiving holiday.  It was wonderful to see their faces! 

That same morning, SaeRom picked me up around 11am and we headed to a town north of Seoul called Pocheon.  We went to visit her show dog's handler and his wife.  They have a 6 month old baby girl named NaRae.  She loved me.  I'm not sure if it was my blonde hair or my funny accent, but I played with her for a good 2 hours.  I also cuddled with their standard poodle, Apple.  It made me want to get a puppy! 
I don't think it's actually in my contract,
but I have a feeling wearing hats while
teaching is frowned upon...too bad.

This week one of my home room kindergarteners, Charlie, started making scary faces and the other boys quickly caught on...

Ooohh Charlie...

My baby asian spock - Tommy

Gordon as T-Rex - which happens to
be his favorite dinosaur, go figure.

Then the whole class wanted to act like statues.  For some reason "statue" means Lady Liberty.  I'd like to think it was in honor of their American teacher ;)

My little lady liberties

Kai - Such a little punk
sometimes but he's so darn cute

Lady liberties + 1 Charlie scarecrow

Lucy wanted to take a picture with her medal.
I can't remember what she said it was for...

And this is what they start doing if I look away for a few seconds...

Kai & Gordon


I also caught up with a few close friends last weekend on skype which made me a little homesick, especially with Christmas coming up.  On Sunday I relaxed most of the day, but in the afternoon I went out to AK Plaza to explore for a few hours.  AK Plaza is a shopping center located right next to the Seohyeon subway station, which is about 4 stops away from Ori and my apartment.  It has all of the upscale, classy brands like Gucci, Prada, Chanel, etc.  I had to really bundle up because it has been below freezing here lately!  Luckily I got a warm hat last weekend, and it was actually a nice distraction to walk up and down the shopping center amongst a million strangers.

Until next time,

~Miss Jones


Spicy octopus, Thanksgiving, and Indiana Jones

My week started out with bang.  The octopus I had on Tuesday night was spicy to say the least.  I was invited to go with a bunch of the korean girls I work with.  When we were on our way to the restaurant they were all talking about how spicy it was and how we needed to stop somewhere and get some milk.  I thought they were kidding, but sure enough we stopped at a convenience store on the way and bought some plum juice to take to the restaurant with us!  The food is called  Nakji bokeum - 낙지볶음.  They take pictures of your group and put the polaroids up on the walls of the restaurant and the waiter took an extra one for me to keep ^_^

<3 Our "hot" Korean night together <3

Kristy and I - the least experienced spicy eaters

After we started eating, all of us were definitely feeling the burn with our tongues on fire, eyes watering, and our faces sweating and turning red.  All the while, the korean girls are saying "so yummy!" and giving the thumbs up when they clearly look like they are in pain, haha.  I did pretty well at first, but I had to stop when my tongue started boiling.  I felt like I had swallowed a bunch of icy hot afterwards, on my walk home.  Overall, it was pretty good though =) Apparently painfully spicy food is pleasing, even sought after, in Korea.

My polaroid =)

I was also given a Korean name that night.  The girls asked me what my middle name was and when I told them Rachel, Elly blurted out "Seo Yoon!" and the others immediately agreed.  Apparently it is a very pretty name and not very common.  My complete name is Kim Seo Yoon 김 서윤 because Elly gave me the name (My korean coteacher) and her last name is Kim, teehee =)

I totally fit in now =P

The next night, Wednesday, I walked out of the elevator into the lobby of the first floor of my building and I ran into a few of my coworkers and their Korean girlfriends.  They were heading out to have Sam gip sal for dinner and invited me along.  I was so exhausted but I hate going home and doing nothing every night after work.  Also, I didn't have much food at my house, so I gladly accepted.  Sam gip sal 삼 깁 살 is like huge, thick pieces of bacon you cook on a grill at your table and you wrap the meat along with other veggies and spicy sauce in lettuce leaves.  It is so delicious!  We had soju with dinner and let's just say I was feeling warm and fuzzy.  That was my first time to have soju since arriving in Korea!  Everyone else was used to drinking it but I'm still a newbie, and my how I giggle.

My coteacher, Ted, had his home room Kindergarten class (whom I also teach) make Thansgiving day cards for Julie (the Korean teacher) and I.  They were so sweet!  I took some pictures of a few of them for you to see.

Ted is so thoughtful and kind.  He has helped me so much during my first month at POLY.  He can also be a big goofball and jokester.  I walked into my other Kindergarten class on Wednesday morning and all of the Taurus kids were giggling.  "Look Dr. Jones!" they screamed as they pointed to the projector behind me.  Sure enough, there was an Indiana Jones picture with my face pasted on top of it as the desktop background for the computer.  Of course it had to be the picture in which I was wearing Hanbok, the traditional Korean wedding dress, and all of the kids were asking if I had gotten married, haha.  Ted was apparently having too much fun in Art class that morning =P

My other Kindergarten Class - Taurus
 That night (Thursday) our boss, Johnathan, ordered a huge Thanksgiving meal from the military base for us.  We feasted on turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and even pumpkin & apples pies!  We all gathered around the kiddie tables in the library and sat in little chairs to enjoy our food while listening to Frank Sinatra Christmas tunes.  A feeling of Thanksgiving was in the air in the library that night, and we felt like a normal, dysfunctional little family.

Our Thanksgiving spread


I'll post more about last weekend soon.  I am thinking of you all <3