Tuesday, November 29, 2011

facetime with dougie.

surprise video chat with the fam and my little man DOUG. and the first thing he says was," hi kylie. I'm in a pussy cat fight right now with my sister."

in other updates: sam, another kid in his class at school is still crazy, he's upset that i wont be home for  christmas, but made me promise to be home for valentines day, the chicken he just ate was nasty and that he wishes glue sticks actually stuck so they could be mustaches. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

one lucky girl.

i once asked my grandpa what his favorite meal was. he answered, "probably a sandwich." and until tonight i thought he was crazy. i mean, out of all the potential combinations and options available he would pick two slices of bread and some meat? for real? and i thought, poor grandpa. maybe he really does only eat at arbys off the dollar menu.... but today i have a new found appreciation for sammies and my grandpa's best food ever choice.

my first sandwich in exactly 121 days was a grilled cheese with sharp cheddar and sourdough bread. the lengths my ma and pops went to to get some goodies from boise, idaho to south korea was extensive, but the lengths i had to take to get the package from seoul's customs to goseong, south korea was nuts. it included 10+ phone calls to korea fedex, a couple of emails, and an hour at the bank trying to transfer money to pay for a new box. even though it was incredibly frustrating and exhausting (the language difference did not help.), it was 100% worth it in the end.

tomorrow: scrambled eggs with melty, gooey cheddar cheese. yeeesssssssssssss.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

chanksgiving weekend.

thanksgiving = good food and good company.
and this is my korean take a few days late.

a couple friends and i rented a room in this pension "by the ocean" 
(which really means a 20 minute walk) for saturday night. 

foods came from costco. all sorts of american novelties present included PUMPKIN PIE, apple pie, potatoes and gravy, apple cider, and fresh roasted chicken and ham. it was quite the experience cooking food for 7 with one stove top and two baby toaster ovens. but it worked! the food was delicious.  

the group: anthony and albert from california, jamie from alaska, alison from south africa and courtney from texas. total band photo right?

while we were walking to the beach, i spotted this lil gem from afar. ABANDONED AMUSEMENT PARK? hells yes. i convinced the gang to go explore the place. it's amazing how gutsy you get when you know you can just claim ignorance to get out of trouble.
 "hangul mal mutayoh" i can't speak korean and "molieoh" i don't know! ???
anyways, the only things keeping us out of the park were measly ropes closing off walkways. 
aka: they most likely would not mind us exploring. 

after countless movies with plot lines that involved zombies in amusement parks and groups of friends getting murdered in the country, we decided that this would most likely be our demise. we'd slowly disappear one by one until we were all abducted and murdered by the mysterious korean ahjuma that haunted the place. after losing to a game of nose goes, i was voted first to die. what a great mood setter right?

everything was very high tech. as you can see by this peptobismol control headquarters. 

there was also a haunted house with a zombie michael jackson on the outside. that had drapes for doors so of course we went inside. 

and apparently korean haunted houses consist of mannequins in clown costumes splattered with leftover paint in cages decorated with silk ivy wearing. HORRIFYING.

turned out to be a great weekend with lots of scum playing, settlers domination and so so so much laughing. what a way to spend the holiday. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

merry thanksgiving!!!

tis the season ladies and gentlemen.

even though i didn't have a grand ole party, or my grandma wana's sourdough rolls, or any pumpkin pie, i am following through on my favorite thanksgiving tradition (most usually performed in a line around the dinner table while munching on delicious foods) of saying some things i am thankful for.

in the order they came to my mind:

1. my life. i have so many good things to be grateful for. (see below)
2. my family. holy moly i loved em before i left, but i love them even more now.
3. my friends. i totally took for granted easy breezy relationships i had at home where conversation and adventure were easy.
4. crystal light. the easiest and most delicious thing to remind me of home and so many sweet memories.
5. love notes. all the emails and messages that friends and family have sent me full of support and encouragement. these are my daily pickmeups.
6. school lunches. i get a hot meal everyday and get to enjoy it with my kiddies.
7. my moleskine of memories and my camera. without them i would be lost and would remember nothing.
8. this american life. for making my copious amounts of free time enjoyable and educational.
9. npr's alt.latino music program for giving me hours of dance parties in my kitchen.
10. peanut m&ms. nuff said.
11. korea. for all the adventures, friends, good times, and self discoveries uncovered so far.

a giant, big, enormous, ridiculously huge, gigantic thank you to my ma and pops, my brothers, all my cousins, aunties, uncles, grandparents, my friends from home, and my friends from abroad for being so much sunshine in my life.

girls after my own heart.

every thursday and friday i have story time with some 6th grade girls. we sit in the library for an hour and they read books to me. today was a normal day like every other thursday and friday until su bin.... okay wait. su bin definitely needs an introduction.

 oh gosh, where do i even start? when i first met her in september i thought she was mentally handicapped. i would like to think that i have a small "eye" for that kind of thing after working with students who have disabilities for almost two years. and i just sensed it. she had a blank look in her eye that was borderline devious. she never paid attention, couldn't sit in a chair for more than 20 seconds and was kind of wild. she refused to pick any of my english names the day when all the other students picked new ones. she just stubbornly kept repeating "ET" over and over. i let her keep her ET name. in my head i secretly thought it fit her/was so sad that she picked the name of an alien and other people called her by it. like an overweight kid picking the name piggy/tubbs/fatty. so sad right? well this went on for a while until i found out that instead of ET standing for 'extra-terrestrial' like i thought, the kids meant for it to stand for 'elephant-tiger.' equally as confusing right? fast forward to mid october. ET went through a coming of age period and wanted me to start calling her by her korean name SU BIN. i quickly agreed because i felt bad/weird calling her ET/xtra-terrestrial/elephant-tiger.
she is the only student, well mostly the only student, that mimics everything i say, but intentionally mumbles it and wiggles her head so she and therefore i look like a fool. i don't mind though because if i were in her shoes i would totally be doing the same thing, except in my head because i wasn't as gutsy as her when i was in 6th grade. so in short, i have begun to think she is less handicapped and more endearing.

so anyways, back to the story. we are reading a story about three little goats and i follow along and tell her the words she doesn't know (which is about 90% of them). and every word that i say she intentionally changes slightly.
K: goat
SB: goap
K: mother
SB: muffer
but then she gets gutsy because the other girls are laughing.
K: goat
SB: hymoney (korean for grandma)
K: mother
B: bulgogi (korean for barbecue)
and it's at this point where she starts slipping in culinary terms that i fake faint and fall on the table moaning and fanning myself in the most dramatic way possible. "bulgogi!??!!" i point to the drawing of the mother. "BULGOGI!!!????" and then the three 6th grader girls are under my spell and are giggling until the cows come home.

they stand up and start squatting while motioning things falling/gushing out of their pants. imagine a mime giving birth while standing up. this completely threw me for a loop. dah hale? until they say "bathroom." and i about die. they were trying to tell me that su bin was laughing so hard that she was going to pee her pants.
it was a grand moment, this teaching opportunity where i could tell my little ladies how to 'say pee my pants' (a phrase i have said well into the millions of times) and it was one of my most favorite korean moments to date.

the lovely miss su bin:

(previously known as ET.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

happy birthday mr. principal?

today was my principal's birthday. he is quite possibly the skinniest man i have ever seen in my life. at about 5 feet 3 inches, he is easily 65 years old. and today we had cake in the school office. i was eating my cake with chop sticks minding my own business when the vice principal, a kinder version of cruela deville, stood up and said in perfect english, "we will now listen to kylie teacher sing the birthday song."

my jaw dropped. cake crumbled out. i may have peed my pants.

okay, okay, this is a mild overreaction, but if you know me at all you know that i hate singing. i only sing when the music playing drowns out my voice and even i don't have to listen to my off key beyonce impersonations.

but of course i responded like a boss and stood up, spread my arms and sang in my most beautiful voice the birthday song. (it was nothing like the kingsbury/armstrong/baucom version, thank goodness) and i must say considering i know all the words to happy birthday (compared to my embarrassing rendition of holy holy seen here. ) it was okay.

- i don't actually know my principal's name, because i only ever nod and say an-yay-hah-say-yo. i panicked when i got to the part in the song where you slip in the birthday boy's name and used "mr. principal." lame right? i know. but i don't think anyone picked up on it.
-mr. principal said my singing was better than the cake. sneaky old lady killer. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

korean greyhounds.

i have a dream of taking a greyhound from idaho to georgia. most think it's nuts, but i find it romantic. regardless of my opinion or your opinion on the issue, i think we can both agree 26 hours is a longass ride. as preparation i have been riding the korean buses like crazy. it's a fairly common thing for koreans and a lifesaver for foreigners. i take one usually once a week. the buses themselves range from completely pimped out with color coordinated curtains and carpet, flat screen tvs, and neon lights with plush uber-comfortable seats to better than average american buses. put simply, they are fantastic. 

coming back from seoul this weekend was a different story. i was minding my own business, listening to a this american life podcast, when the bus driver took a corner way, way too fast. you know those tight turns were you body immediately tenses up as if preparing for a barrel roll the length of a football field? yeah, well thats what i felt. it was pitch black outside and most people on the bus were sleeping. i relaxed and reasoned it was probably just a freak moment. not true. ten minutes later, the driver swerved/changed lanes to pass a slower car. i put on my seatbelt. another quick turn, more seatbelt clicks. holy hale. terrifying. 

on another note, one time i was legitimately the only passenger on the bus for a good chunk of time. felt like a pimp/taylor swift. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

perfecting the art of being a tourist.

let me just say that this may well be my favorite picture taken in south korea so far. 
1. it makes me laugh every time i see it 
2. its not too often that a pose like this can maneuvered at historical sites
3. this will be the cover to my book/really long list of reasons ima nut
(some background: photo taken in the heart of seoul. the us embassy is to the right, theatre playing korean "annie" to the left, below is fake green turf, giant korean palace straight ahead and giant statue of Yi Sun Shin, korean warrior who conquered japan in 1500s is right behind that image of poise in the brown.)

i went to seoul this weekend with my ladies and spent all day sunday doing touristy things. which is a real nice break from trying to be a fancy korean in goseong. 

it was full of:

epic jump shots!
really low ceilings. 
some wildlife.

and the only intercity buddhist temple in seoul!!!

there was apparently some sort of holiday or festival going on in the city (note the giant collection of flowers), but of course we had no idea what it was. things like this happen a lot. especially in sokcho (my big sister city). parties or parades will be going on and i get really confused but quickly very excited because it means extra street food. 

miss jordyn 

delicious pancake bites with red bean goop. SOOO tasty. and five fo only a dollah!!

just to add to the day of touristy adventure, jamie and i wore matching outfits. we are so cute.

prognosis: mini disasters left and right (losing my metro card twice and having to buy new ones, stepping in an ogre size wad of gum, ridiculously cold weather with speedy mcgee winds, trying to convert inches to centimeters to women's shoes to men's shoes with koreans and calculators, 3 day old stale waffles strong enough to crack molars, and oh yeah,  fake jimjibangs) were not enough to dampen a weekend of delicious food and good company. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

screw clubbing, screw going out on the town. it's friday night and all i want is a sandwich.

ma and pops i love yah, but sandwiches are the number one thing i miss from home. like desperately. you may think that i googled these photos just for this post. but no. i have been collecting them over time. aka: add this to the laundry list of new crazy kylieisms. (1. dancing in elevators 2. talking to myself  3. color coordinating my clothes dryer 4. collecting photos of sammies.) 

my only defense is that sometimes if you look at a pictures long enough and and focus hard enough, you can kinda, maybe sometimes taste the mayonnaise, feel the crunch of the toasted sourdough, detect the juice of a ripe tomato, and the favor of some sharp cheddar and provolone. my drool alone could water all the potted plants from here to china. 

my weak attempt at defending my crazy is futile, the last nail in my coffin. kylie is a freak. (AND I'm talking about my self in the third person!! help meeeeee)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the hokey pokey is SO overrated.

my kids requested the "hamster dance" every day during class and of course i couldn't say no, so we watched it every day for a week. i started to think that it wasn't the most professional thing for me to do so i decided to make dancing hamsters educational. now my kiddies know the lyrics to party rock. not quite true to most pedagogies, but most definitely culturally relevant.

party rock!
party rocking in the house tonight.
everybody just have a good time.
and we gonna make you lose your mind.
everybody just have a good, good, good, good time.
whooaaahh ohhh ahhhhhhh.
everyday im shuffling.

Monday, November 14, 2011

kylie "budding adrenaline junkie" kingsbury

 holy moly. bungee jumping is fantastic. let's just start the story by saying that immediately afterwards i was considering buying another ticket and doing it again right away. i enjoyed it that much. here's the play-by-play:

(travelled about 8 hrs to get to the WORLD FAMOUS, okay, not world famous, but definitely korean famous bungee jumping land. fun fact: with a 62m drop, it's the biggest bungee jump in korea. this i was not particularly interested in. what excited me more was that it only cost 30,000 won ($30). let me just tell you. being a budding adrenaline junkie and a cheap ass is not easy or common. but anyways, my friend susan and i both really wanted to try it out so we convinced a group of friends to come along.)

(at the bottom, i was thinking, oh gosh, that platform doesn't look very high. i wish it was taller. more exciting that way. elevator to the top, i start double taking. )

(at this point i was wishing i had peed before coming up. there's something about heights that tests my bladder control. ah. ah. ah. )

(once i got to the edge, i was stoked. and a little upset that i couldn't get a couple step head start and leap into the air. swan dive style. but no, i had to stand right on the edge. first try jumping, i tried to get good liftoff and the korean man grabbed my harness. "no! no! hands up" apparently this approach wasn't okay. but i must say, that moment where i was mentally and half physically jumping, but was then pulled back, the moment when i started to think i was going to fall 62m instead of jumping 62m was so so so much more terrifying than the jump itself.)

( all the other ladies i went with had to be pushed off the platform. i take full pride in jumping all by myself. i was talking to another english teacher today at work and told him about my bungee jumping glory. he said that he most definitely would have to be pushed off too. and that jumping would go against all human instinct and is totally abnormal. apparently i am some sort of mutant. )

(I'm real glad i never wanted to be an olympic diver. i have terrible form.)

(slightly more graceful)

( when i was just hanging at the bottom waiting for the rowboat to come and get me, i was so pumped i started wiggling around trying to swing around getting my moneys worth, yah know? well the man got a bit upset and said i needed to calm down if i ever wanted to get off. i contemplated making a scene and avoiding the boat, but the blood rushing to my head called trump.)

(these were the guys that were running the place. slightly terrifying that boys who were younger than i am had my life in their hands, but whatcanyahdo? secret love for the kid in the hat. he was such a hamball. he told be in his best english that he was an olympic athlete and a comedian. precious right? and most certainly a lie.)

(i asked him to take our picture and this is what he gave me. 100% what chandler would be doing if he worked at an amusement park. seducing the ladies with his goofball charm. )
(kinda like when he sneaks into my bed and takes pictures of himself)

(the group. iowa, iowa, idaho, alaska, michigan, canada, and texas)  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

my life never quits being embarrassing.

so today, i splurged and bought a doughnut on my way to the grocery store. it was delicious. not as good as the banbury cross chocolate cake ones you can get in utah, but pretty damn close. interesting huh? okay, okay, it's boring i agree. but it will all make sense soon. chillax.

living in korea and especially in the boonies means that there aren't a lot of whities. (whitey = foreigner. i know that this is not politically correct, but i've become attached to the term and use it frequently. and i mostly only get weird looks when i call korean americans or black people whiteys. which also happens more often than you would think). annnyways. in korea there are not very many whities. so naturally koreans look at me thinking, "what the hale is this whitey girl doing out in freakin goseong, south korea? and why is she talking to herself and dancing in the elevators?" it happens all the time. I'm standing at the bus stop and 95% of people in passing cars take a long glance at me as they pass. some even wave. every other person that i pass on the street makes eye contact.  kids point and give me the nicest compliments in korean. (i cannot understand korean). i notice ajumas staring at me on the bus. when i first got here i used to think people would look at me because my clothes were a hot mess, or i had freaky reverse blonde roots, or i spilled kimchi juice on myself. but nope, it's just cause of my freaky eyes and pasty skin.

so today I'm walking down the street (a maybe 5 minute walk) from the bus stop to the grocery store and people are looking at me left and right. okay, normal. they always look at me like I'm a weirdie. but people are looking at me longer than usual. and focusing on my face. dah HALE? what is going on? i start to give them weird looks back. a creepy smile with eyebrows raised. this does not deter them. i think everybody else is being so weird until i walk up to the e-mart glass doors and see my reflection. chocolate frosting. on my face.

for once, koreans looked past my cultural and biological differences to stare at my real, normally embarrassing self. and it felt good. :)

K-POP baby!!!!

k-pop = korean pop music. and it's pretty addictive/delicious. here are some of my favorites so far.

i love everything about this. their attitude, the beat. their style! and people really dress and act like this in seoul. ahhh!!! i swear this almost has a reggaeton/latin flavor. which makes me like it even more. side note: if i looked as good as top with cotton candy purple hair, i'd straight up leave my boring brown hairs in the dust.

2NE1 (pronounced 21) "I AM THE BEST"
these girls are so badass. nega che cah la gah = i am the best.  this song plays all over the place, from clubs to the family mart across the street from me. favorite part? 2:26. i need me that hairstyle. :) could you imagine the horns in purple!!!!??? ohmgeee. and every korean girl i know LOVES this song. i have seen multiple renditions of the dance moves during lunch break by the 6th grade girls. i also credit k-pop for making all my kids say "ohmygod." in that ridiculous voice, heard at 0:39.

does korea have the best music videos or what? i'd say hells yes.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

lil baby discovery.

apparently this is my "dance" face. also, new dance move in the works? I'm dubbing it the stein. frankenstein that is.