Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Old World Meets New World

Korea is quite obviously in a state of change from the old to the new which makes it such an interesting place to be.  The younger, better educated, more liberal generations are all about takeaway coffees, trendy clothes and K-pop (Korean Popular Music).  They seem to spend their days looking 'cool' while they chat away on their android phones, drinking Starbucks coffees and oozing an air of entitlement while the older generations are stuck in time, squatting on the side of the road selling vegetables or roaming the streets with carts collecting cardboard and other recyclables, that they no doubt exchange for a few bob (but I imagine, not nearly as much as a coffee in Starbucks!).

You could be anywhere in Asia when looking at those older people, but they seem so out of place in this fast paced, technologically advanced, developed society.  They really do seem to have been left behind.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Fallen off the blogger bangwagon and onto the Christmas cheer one!

It appears that the festive season has got the better of me here in Daejeon!  We might only have arrived here two weeks ago but already we've been swept up into the full swing of things and as a result I've fallen off the blogger bandwagon!

Last Saturday was the Daejeon Annual 12 Bars of Christmas....lots of english teachers, mainly from Ireland and The States, all dressed up like eejits, entering fully into the festive season!  We were under the impression that everyone went all out costume wise and the louder and brasher the we entered into it in full spirit only to realise that not everyone took it as seriously as we'd been led to believe.  BUT....we did come third in the costume competition...not bad seeing as we hardly knew anyone there!!

Apparent from that, things have been a bit quieter since Su and Steve left to head off on their well earned travels...there were an awful lot of farewell dinners and drinks to be had...but now its just us, settling into our new apartment in a new city, going to our new jobs!

Blue Tack

It seems that you can get pretty much buy anything you might want here, even things we're used to using at home that aren't common just pay a bit more! Things like deoderant, wine, nice coffee, vitamins, decent bread (that isn't sweetened) but you cant get blue tack!  I've looked in tonnes of stationery shops and 'euro shop' type shops and then today, i googled it!  It's just not to be had!  They might have buzzers on the tables in restaurants and cafes to call the waitress over and they might have super fancy atm's that let you lodge money as well as withdraw it but they don't have blue tack!

On another odd of the kids came to school yesterday wearing a jumper that said "Kolon Sport".  Pity it wasnt a 'c' but funny all the same!!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

My New Bike!

Old Downtown

The 'shoe' bridge, downtown Daejeon 

The track down by the river there goes all the way along the city...i think you can get 20 odd miles out of it on either bank, its a class running/walking/cycling track

Yesterdays Lunch....Dead or Alive??!

No idea what this stuff on my lunch was....i reckon it was moth wings minus the moth!!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Subway Signage!

Warning! Play your music too loud and the Ninjas will get angry!!

A Welcome Lunch and a bit of Teaching Practice

The couple (Brian and Jennifer) who own/run the school (Lexis Foreign Language Institute) Nick and I will be working for took all the staff out for lunch today as a welcome to the two of us and a farewell to Susan and Stephen.  We went round the corner and up to the 3rd floor to a deadly little buffet style place.  There are so many restaurants and bars etc on the 2nd and 3rd floors of buildings that you just have no way of knowing about unless you can read Hangul (the Korean Alphabet)....which surprisingly enough, we can't do yet!!  Its such a strange feeling, wandering down a street and having no idea what any of the buildings are 'cause you cant read the signs....its all loud and neon and flashing but its all squiggles and therefore meaningless!!

Check out all the fliers on the gound....thats 'advertising'!  People are employed to just throw fliers on the ground, hundreds of them, and then someone else comes around in the morning and sweeps them all up!  Pure madness!!

Anyway after lunch, Jennifer waned us to shadow Susan for her first 3 classes, so from 3pm til 4:30.  It being her last day of work though, there wasn't too much teaching going was all games and party food!!  Great craic! If only that was the way it was going to be everyday, we'd be laughing!  The two of us whipped out some white board markers and started drawing things...classroom pictionary, and the kid who guessed right got a dollar -  A fake dollar! They seem to have this dollar reward system going on in the classrooms....the kids get stamps when they've done their homework well and 3 stamps amounts to a dollar.  Every so often then throughout the term the school throws 'dollar parties' where the kids can spend their hard earned dollars to buy stuff like pens and pencils as well as sweets and chocolate etc.

Getting up for lunch today was a bit of a struggle...we'd a pretty late one last night.  Everywhere seems to stay open as long as there are punters willing to keep drinking which is a bit dangerous!  Anyway we ( Myself, Nick, Susan and Stephen) went out for dinner and then on to a bar called 'Santa's' for a few drinks. It's apparently called Santas 'cause the owner's name is Mr. Ho!  Anyway next thing we knew it was 4am....disaster! Santas seems to be a regular haunt 'round these parts so no doubt we'll have plenty more merriment in Mr. Ho's over the coming year!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Our New Abode in Daejeon

 The bathroom is in to the left there just before where the hoodie is hanging out of a light fixture!

 The kitchen's at the end of the hallway there, and the bedrooms are down to the right.

The sitting room, with its mad decor! Apparently it was a bar of some sort before it became an apartment hence the mad lights and funny little brick wall with inbuilt flower box!

And the best room yet....

The bathroom!!  Directly opposite these two shower heads are two more! And a mad lookin' free standing bath tub in the middle of it all....the apartment might have been a bit more than a bar in its previous dark life!!