Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Konglish = English spelled out and pronounced in Korean

So, I had some really good topic to write about on here, and I was going to write yesterday...then I didn't, and now I can't remember what I was going to write! Also, this might get interrupted, because I'm helping kids with this poetry reading contest thing-helping with a more natural sounding influxuation and such.
So, Konglish...I'm getting better at the Konglish side of things here in Korea. First off, it's something that makes reading in Korean very satisfying, because it's one of the few things that can be understood when you don't know many words. I think maybe my first Konglish that I read was "Cap hey lot eh." I read it and was like "hmmm...Whoa~ cafe latte!!" So, this dear language was getting easier to learn with random Konglish words thrown onto signs and on menus. The only problem with that was that when there wasn't any Kng on the signs, it was very was like "I just read that whole sign and have no idea what it says."
Now, reading is one thing, pronouncing is another! I, at times, have gotten so excited when I saw something in Kng, then walked with confidence up to the counter and said "hazelnut white mocha." "Pardon?" "Hazelnut white mocha?" "Ummm...sorry. What?" "Hazelnut white mocha?" "Ummm....." "Uh, hay-ee-jul nuh wah-ee-tuh mo-ka?" "Ah!! Hot?" Lol. That's about how it goes. It's really entertaining when you're NOT the person experiencing it. However, I'm getting better at pronouncing things in Kng. and anticipate being a semi-pro before I leave. I can't kid myself into thinking that I'll know the language well, BUT, I sure will be able to speak Konglish.
Well, that was the bell, so I should probably go now...I have class in just a bit. I will try to get on here again soon and write...maybe if I end up thinking of whatever topic it was I was going to write about before!! :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

꿀호떡, the downfall of my healthy Korean diet...

So, in Korea, there's lots of street vendors and such selling random things out of trucks on the side of the road. Now, as some of these seem appealing, none are quite as addictive as the one that says 꿀호떡 on the side. This is pronounced "gool ho-duck." It's a pancake sort of thing, cooked on a grill (with plenty of oil) and inside this wonderful pancake-esque substance is brown sugar, crushed nut and a little bit of cinnamon. Now, this is one of the hardest things to eat while's hot and a bit crispy on the outside, but it's ooey-gooey on the inside. I've spilled on myself at least twice trying to eat them. And yet, I still get them. Why? Because they're so stinking good!
On the flip side of this, I had a tasty American treat the other day that made me so happy! We had a little bonfire with the youth group at church, and we made smores. I was a little skeptical about how our Korean smores might turn out, but I ended up liking it more than smores back home! The only difference really was the crackers...we had the closest thing to graham crackers here, but they were circular crackers with a sweet glaze on them. They tasted like Teddy Grahams. Just think....marshmallow, chocolate, teddy graham....yum!!!

Ok, now that I've sufficiently made myself sound like a dessert enthusiast, I'll say that life is going well here. I have somehow, even while living in a different country, managed to book myself up 4 nights out of the week. I'm pretty good at keeping my life busy. :P And although it's busy, I'm really enjoying it. The things that keep me consistently busy are as follows:

Monday nights: After school, I play badminton with some teachers at my's gotten some of them to open up a lot to me, and it's good for their English and my Korean. After that, I teach piano to a 6 year old Korean ends up being a dual piano/English lesson, as some of the things I teach will be a LOT easier once she knows some simple English words.
Tuesday nights: Bible Study with some of my friends from church....we're studying the Old Testament which is good for keeps me challenged.
Wednesday nights: don't freak out when you read this, lol...Korean lessons from some new found Mormon friends. They are missionaries here, and they know full anf well that we're Christian and don't have any intention of converting to Mormonism, but they have to do community service time for their they're teaching us Korean. It's two Koreans and two's actually a lot of fun and really helpful for my Korean vocabulary.
and Thursday nights: free talking with a former teacher from my school. She's a friend of mine, but she wants to get better at her English. So, I talk to her in English, and she buys me dinner....I think it's a fine tradeoff. :)

Ok. Well, now that I've told you a little more about my schedule, I've got to go teach a class. My 2nd grade (8th grade) students are talking to my friends on Skype this's been really fun so far, and hopefully it will continue to be! Anyway, enjoy, and I'll be back on sometime next week to write again! ^^

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's about time...

It's about time I put some pictures up on I'm going back through pictures I've taken (or that others have taken) and showing you a bit of where I live. Please enjoy. :)

The picture above is the building I live in. It's called 믿음관 ...that's helpful, right? Haha, it's pronounced Mee-deum-gwan, which means Faith Hall.

The first picture below is my kitchen. It's kind of small but not bad considering most people in our program don't have their own at all.

The second picture is of our shower. Most bathrooms in Korea don't have a shower curtain up, but most also don't have a shower head that's separate from their sink head.

The third picture is of the rest of our bathroom. Please notice the pink heart rug given to us by the program. :P
The fourth picture is a view from the bedroom. The huge sliding doors look out over a park on campus. The wooden cabinet there is my wardrobe. There's a cabinet just as big as that one by the front door for shoes. Crazy!
The fifth picture is of my may not be the cleanest thing in the world, but it's got lots of space! Without a desktop computer, I kind of don't know what to do with all the space of a regular desk. Directly to the right of my chair is Julie's wardrobe. That's super convenient because anytime I'm sitting at my desk she can't get in her wardrobe's awesome. :P

Next time maybe I'll post some pictures of my town and such...but for now, I'm off to cilmb a mountain with the teachers at my school! ^^

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Random Thoughts

I've had lots of random thoughts cross my mind today. I should've written them down as they came to me, but I didn't. So, you're going to get a completely random compilation of thoughts from Korea. Please enjoy. ^^

*The smell of icy hot now makes me think of bug bites before sore muscles (there's a med here for itching that smells like icy hot).
* I enjoy the adventure of not having access to, nor the appropriate Korean vocabulary for reading, a lunch menu. I really do enjoy going down to the cafeteria everyday and just hoping for the best, knowing that exactly what's on my plate might be a mystery to me right up until I put it in my mouth.
*This ^^ looks more like a smiley face to me now than this :)
*I am still processing the fact that, aside from brain blood, the thought of cooking live shrimp in a pan in front of my face, then eating right afterwards was not an issue for me.
*My camera, the one I saved up and spent so much on (along with money from everyone else) is absolutely nothing special here...everyone has really nice cameras. I think they're cheaper here.
* I feel like my phone is more useful for the dictionary within it than to actually communicate with people. That dictionary saves me SO often.
* Coffee...REAL makes my heart so happy. I think I started to take advantage of it back home. Here, I appreciate real coffee so much, especially when drinking it halfway up a mountain. ^^
* As much as I love real coffee, I've actually started to embrace Maxim...iced is preferred.
*I have learned so much recently to appreciate my language, and have been challenged to be able to explain things about it that I've never had to explain before. For example....give me words, not motions, to describe fold, dot, dimension, believe, accept, mind, etc. etc.
*I don't understand how in the same moment I can feel so homesick and ache to see the people I love back home, and yet completely fall further in love with a culture that I'm embracing here. I feel like it should be one or the other, you know? Like if I truly like Korea, I'm not allowed to miss home....or like if I truly miss my friends and family, I'm not allowed to really like Korea. It's silly, but that's how I feel.
*I never thought I'd be using myself as an example for the definition of strange...I was explaining to my kids that strange sometimes just means different or not normal to what you're used to. I then went on to talk about how most little kids in Korea stare when they see me on the street. Why? Well, I'm a little strange.
*I had a teacher talk to me yesterday that hasn't spoken more than 10 or 20 English words to me in my 3 months here. All of the sudden, he said "Tori?" "Uh...yeah?" "I want to speak to you often. But my English is problem. I will help you Korean and you can help me English. I want you to come badminton every week [he is my badminton coach] and we will talk. My girlfriend tells me....cheer up!" [cheer up is what they translate one of their phrases to that means something like work hard/you can do it/i'm cheering you on...that kind of thing]. All of this to say, I was baffled. I am pretty sure that he's been rehearsing that speech for a while. I was super excited that I got another teacher in my office to come out of their box a little to talk to me. Next mission: the teacher who sits across from me and hasn't spoken a WORD of English to me....
* Fall is coming, and the weather is getting cooler. I really enjoy being able to walk to school without breaking a sweat. Sometimes, I even drink coffee when I get to school!!!

Ok, the bell is about to ring. During passing period, I am NOT able to concentrate on anything...too much motion! But, I'm sure there will be many more random thoughts to add to the list at some point. I'm hoping to write at least 5 blogs this month. I know, watch out, I'm armed and ready to go! :P