Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wanted: Spring!

LG Twins baseball stadium in Seoul!!

Korean baseball game snacks sold outside the stadium: seaweed & rice kimbap, dixie cups of dried squid and octopus, hardboiled eggs, and flattened dried pollack
Korean baseball fans...typical scene, take off your shoes before sitting on the picnic blanket at the baseball stadium...

Cheerleaders dancing on top of the walls...pretty sure this will not be seen at the new Twins stadium in MN!!
The stadium was PACKED with red, white and blue for the LG Twins!
Their uniforms even look similar to the MN Twins...weird
Oh you know...just a typical Korean man enjoying a can of Cass beer in his business suit at the baseball game...
The stadium! Makes me excited for MN outdoor baseball!

Outdoor baseball stadium, I love you!!
More snacks and goodies sold outside the stadium, beer and squid and such. Yummy...
Baseball game: LG Twins vs. the Doosan Bears

Jamie: you make me happy :)
Kelly...I think she does her own hair every morning
Vicky: such a little sweetheart
That's a super-stylish little twisty-bun you've got on the top of your head, Jessica! Not to mention the "earrings" she made from little stickers I had given out...she's a bit of an "individual" in my class... Chris, making his "surprised!" face...we had just been reviewing emotions and expressions, and the students loved to show me the "surprised!" face best of all!
Britney Teacher's little spring frogs, on the windows of my clasroom
Britney Teacher also made ladybugs for her walls...wow, what a creative and hands-on teacher!! :) My classroom is all ready for spring...now we just have to wait on the WEATHER!
I know I've been falling very behind in my blogging, but I can only blame it on the more tempting opportunities to experience everything Korean possible in these last five months...that and the fact that I've also been sick for the past few weeks! I'm pretty convinced my illness was the result of a combination of wonderful factors, including the delightful springtime phenomenon of "yellow dust." Basically, dust storms from China and Mongolia kick up intense clouds of dry soil particles which then collect a variety of harmful pollutants, including (but not limited to) the following: sulfur, soot, ash, carbon monoxide, mercury, chromium, arsenic, lead, zinc, and other carcinogens. But wait- the fun doesn't stop there! Also accompanying this airborne dust might be viruses, bacteria, fungi, pesticides, antibiotics, asbestos, herbicides, plastic ingredients, combustion products, and hormone-mimicking phthalates. Yellow dust has been found to aggravate asthma and cause sore throats and respiratory infections in "otherwise healthy people."

Not sure if I qualify as "otherwise healthy people," given my history of strange illnesses, but I'm pretty convinced that yellow dust has been a factor in keeping me sick these days...

Bridget: still sure you want to come visit Korea, bearing in mind all the wonderful pollutants floating around here? :D

Our Korean staff at school had informed us in the past few weeks that the government had issued a "yellow dust warning." I read in the Korean Times online that the entire Korean peninsula had experienced "its worst case of yellow dust ever recorded."

Well, excellent. Not only is Korea experiencing a much colder and snowier spring than usual, but it's also enjoying the effects of the worst case of yellow dust ever! Which leads me to my next point...

April: Snow. Wind. Temps in the 40s. And outdoor baseball. Is it Minnesota, 2010?

Sadly, it is KOREA! While Korea has been welcoming springtime torrents of yellow dust and snow flurries, Minnesota has been basking in 70 degree spring temperatures and actually enjoying (rather than freezing and suffering, while enjoying) the opening-day festivities of the Twins stadium and outdoor baseball season?

Rewind to last weekend: Britney is in Seoul, watching the LG Twins (truly, their name is the Twins...just to add to the irony here) take on the Doosan Bears. Outdoor stadium in Seoul. Temperatures hovering in the high 40s, wanting and waiting to dip back down into the 30s. Windy, cloudy, overcast, threatening rain. Many layers, and even wool socks, necessary.

Rewind to Monday in Minnesota: NOT freezing, as expected for MN in mid-April. NOT snowing, as expected for MN in mid-April. NOT even sleeting, or hailing, or blowing dangerously cold gusts of winds, also as expected for MN in mid-April.

Despite the difference in weather...and temperature...and airborne pollutants...at least both of our Twins won their games!

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