Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another Mountain Trek

Another busy week in Suji, starting with our late arrival back home on Sunday night from Taebaek...and then the wonderful feeling on Monday morning that my body had been run over by a truck...I guess hiking a real mountain will do that to you! There were plenty of distractions this week that once again made the workweek fly by: Grace's birthday party on Tuesday (one of my kinders), our LCI hiking field trip on Wednesday, and a VERY eventful Friday night out!
Our hiking field trip was definitely a memorable experience- the Korean staff had informed us that it would actually be more of a "nice, easy stroll" than a hike. Nope- it was a real mountain, just a 10 min bus ride from school, right in the middle of metropolitan Suji! The students were mostly all wearing their yellow and gray LCI sweat suits (that they wear for P.E. each week), but the weather turned out to be hot and humid- within 5 min of hiking, we had over 100 sweaty, crabby kindergarteners (and teachers!). Apparently, the Korean supervisor leading our big group took the wrong trail up the mountain...I believe it was the equivalent of a double black diamond back home?? We were literally shoving kindergarteners up the vertical incline, catching them when they slipped on the loose rocks and tripped over the tree roots. This was especially difficult, given that every teacher had a minimum of five kinders hanging onto their hands, arms, and clothing. This hike really helped me to practice that virtue of PATIENCE!!
On Friday, Christine's uncle visited her at the school and accompanied us to our favorite little Korean restaurant near school. This restaurant is run by a cute little Korean man and his wife who get really excited when we come in...even though we always ordered the exact same things, because they were the only dishes we knew were on the menu (this is important info that gets passed along from teacher to teacher at LCI- your selection at restaurants near the school can be pretty limited, depending on what knowledge past teachers pass along). Christine's uncle speaks fluent Korean, though, so we were very excited to have him translate the menu for us! Cheesy Ramen and Bibimbap are great, but we were all feeling the need to expand our palates!
I ended up ordering a beef rib soup...which was not so great, kind of disappointing. It looked like a clear, thin broth with a few green leeks floating around and random chunks of bone (with a bit of meat attached, depending on the bone piece!). Oh well- it was only 4,500 won, which is about $3 US. I'm excited to go back to our place and order other new things, though!
Afterward, Christine, London and I had a pretty extreme night out in Suji and can't beat the price for fun here, $5 for a few bottles of soju, the traditional hard liquor here! There's a little "hut" across the street from my apartment that sells drinks, snacks, alcohol, etc- very convenient for going to grab another bottle of soju if necessary! We met up with some of the other LCI teachers in a nearby town, at a German pub, then ended with norebong. This norebong was pretty floor hallways, a little "stage" in each private room, and giant teddy bears on the benches in every room! Some things about Korea like that, I will never understand!
This week should go fast, too- only school on M-W...then October break! It's a national holiday, somewhat comparable to a Korean Thanksgiving, when everyone returns to their home village. I'm going with Christine and Shauna to her uncle's house in Cheonju- I'm very excited for another little trip!!

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