잠시만요 (wait a moment, please!)

광안리 해수욕장

Moroccan Mint Tea Latte

work-beach-home-yoga= great day!

red umbrellas line the beach!

New daily routine: water fights with the neighborhood kiddos! Chasing me down the path on my way to yoga- soaking wet met with fits of shrieks from the kids when I cupped water from their bucket and got their already dripping selves wetter! Water guns, water bottles, garden hose, and a mini pool! Summer is wonderful.

July 26th

Morning schedule started today, even though I’m a “morning person” it’s still hard to get up knowing I must forego my morning nap and instead catch the 7:53 bus bound for Gimhae. Arrived to Gimhae at that awkward “do I make a run and grab coffee or be 15 minutes early to work?” time. Coffee won today… I figured I could catch a cab to the school. Oh. My. Gosh. 90 degrees and about 100% humidity- drenched just walking. The stillness is stifling. Only breeze is when cars whiz by. Entered Starbucks. Modified my drink without a problem, and even ran out to catch a cab to see if he would wait 5 minutes and it worked! Score. 잠시만요 (just a moment please!) then held up five fingers. He ended up turning at the wrong light so I redirected him and he turned off the meter. I paid him full price and gave him my bag of market crackers… He said in perfect English- thank you very much! Yay!

I love morning teaching…the kids are just too funny in the mornings— Teacher, I wake up 5 am- me: to do what?!?! Play computer games!!! Teacher- I eat 3 ice creams for breakfast- 2 at my house, 1 from friend. Teacher- I not awake I like after school program better- I mean afternoons! Teacher- I don’t like vacation- it’s too hot. 

Decided last night to just go to the beach after work. The light rail is literally across the river path from my school-almost there- and it only took an hour and 15 minutes!!! It was glorious. The perfect beach day…no wind, hot sun, and cooling waters. Love!

July 28th

 5 a.m. run before beaming sun. Saw my friend (the one I met a week or so ago when I was at the stoplight…the one that speaks great English…that one!) and was met with a chipper Hello! Do you exercise at this time everyday?- No, only 2-3 times a week. What’s your name? -Megan, and yours? My name’s Rock. I am very happy to meet you. Have a great day!

THEN watched the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremonies LIVE from LONDON with my good friends Neil, Brit, and Sarah. It was sooo awesome to see all the countries and London’s productions. Dubbed in Korean and Hangul reading of the countries’ names…very entertaining!

Skype convo that went like this: NE Football Team is wearing all red and black helmets for the Wisconsin game- really?!, Penn State Football Scandal- disgusting!, Colorado Batman movie shooting devastating!, and… the Smash Cake Phenomenon! Alright mommas your single friend now knows what a Smash Cake is! Impressed? Maybe I want my own Smash Cake photo sesh…thank you Allison! I love you! Laughing til I cried, she is the best friend and cousin and still loves me and calls my decision to move to South Korea logical and sane.

Waved hello to my neighbor- I think she’s the mother of the water fight boys- while crossing the street. Brunch with the girls. Orphanage this afternoon.

chicken sandwich!

Brit and I’s red velvet cupcake!
Aunt Kim’s red velvet cake is still the best!

aren’t these kids the cutest??

they love pictures!


delicious Korean food!

Today’s Orphanage afternoon was one of my favorite times! The office lady’s son was back for the summer from college in the states. His name is Anthony. We (Brit, Sarah, Anthony, and I) took three (a boy and two girls) 4-5 year olds to the library. The orphanage has minimal, if none AC. At 90+ degrees it was worth the library afternoon! The rest of the kids were at camp. Libraries in Korea…aren’t quiet, it’s basically a family gathering in the AC reading, playing, taking naps, or studying, some of the books are in both English and Korea, shoes come off, and everyone sorta just hangs out in this big room. We just played, read, and cooled off. The girls were adorable and so giggly. We looked at picture books and were just silly! Afterwards, Anthony took us girls to eat dinner at a nicer kimbap restaurant. So delicious- iced noodles, mandoo, dukk bokki (spicy rice cake/fish cake in hot sauce), and kimbap. He was so nice to talk to (great English), opened our taxi/restaurant doors, and paid! What a cool dude. 

July 29th

On a bus by myself to visit a friend from Nebraska, I haven’t seen Ann in three years and decided to go visit her in 안동. So I’m on this bus- John Denver or some old time American artist is playing on the radio- I’m listening to my iPod but can still hear it. Through the mountain roads and green fields- it’s a beautiful trek. Decided to go through the notes I can make on my iPod… From 320 days ago! I read a couple and started tearing up- what a year! What an adventure and how I’ve grown in this country beyond what I could ever imagine! Even just reading a few sentences and how unsure and anxious I was; unsure how I would even make it a year… How far I’ve come since then. Amazing. And now I’m on a bus for three and a half hours by myself because I could navigate how to tell the taxi to drop me off at the bus terminal, but then found out the building terminal was only for Seoul, so then I had to walk to the actual bus stop outside the GS convenience store and read in Korean when the next bus would be arriving, luckily I had five minutes. About ten and a half months ago I never would have guessed I could be doing that. 

What a fun day! It was so great to catch up, talk about life, Korea, travel stories, and vacation plans! Such a dear friend and role model to me. It’s so crazy how life works and how our meeting spot after so long was in Korea!! We went to cafes, ate some Korean food, saw the river/dam of Andong, and walked around her quaint neighborhood.

green summer countryside

“Cherish your solitude.
Take trains by yourself
to places you’ve never been”
-Playwright Eve Ensler 


I can read this…it’s how I know where I’m going!

on the highway into Andong!

under this temple-like tunnel decor thing…

so much fun!!!!

찜닭 – famous Andong chicken dish! Delish!


view off “famous” bridge

see those buildings? that’s Andong!

my dear Nebraskan friend

and all of a sudden water started sprouting from the bridge!

Speaking of role models and time to think and reflect about how I ended up in Korea..or who influenced my interest in other countries (maybe I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, but this has just been on my mind and I wanted to share again)…this lovely woman I met in 2nd grade when I started riding horses. She is the daughter of my first grade teacher. My first grade teacher would take me riding on her quarter horses after school; one day she mentioned her daughter was studying abroad in Australia I was fascinated! Australia! Her daughter wrote me postcards (thus my constant inquiry- can you send me a postcard? thanks you to all who have picked up a postcard for me on your journey- it is greatly cherished!) 4 or 5 times throughout the summer and it was so special to receive such an exotic piece of mail filled with stories of adventures in the “Land Down Under.” I knew I was going to study abroad in the 2nd grade. This woman has been through a lot in the past 10 years and sometimes I wonder if she knows the amazing and incredible life-changing impact she had on the second grader who loved to ride horses in small town Nebraska. 🙂 

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