Sunday, June 27, 2010

World Cup 2010

After losing last nights game, S. Korea is officially out of the cup. The past few weeks have been a blast in this country. Everyone in Seoul has been sporting bright red t-shirts, bandannas, glowing devil horns and face tattoos.

I was able to catch the first game vs. Greece at City Hall Plaza among thousands of others shouting, “dae-han-min-guk!” (Korea!) Luckily, Korea defeated Greece 2-1.

City Hall Plaza

I watched the Argentina game in my apartment writing report cards, listening to the shouts outside.

The Nigeria game aired at 3:30 AM and I was awoken at 5 AM to cheering and yelling and for once I wasn't angry about being woken up.

Last nights game was spent in Apgujeong, sitting in front of a 711 on plastic crates because all the bars were full in the area. We decided to ditch City Hall due to the pouring rain. At half time, we snuck into a bar and we were able to catch the rest of the game standing in the back of the room. Luckily, we were able to see the goal scored by Lee-Chung-yong. Everyone was screaming, jumping up and down, giving high fives and hugging each other. There was so much happiness in the room I didn’t want it to end. Although, South Korea ended up losing, the game was intense and exciting and the love these people have for their country really is what means the most.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

oh the convenience

After what seemed like forever, it's finally summer in Seoul. With the warm weather, comes the plastic chairs and tables flooding the streets. All of the popular convenient stores such as, 711, GS25, Buy the Way, and Family Mart have plastic tables and chairs outside of their storefronts. Not only do the stores bust out the plastic, but most of the restaurants offer outdoor seating as well.

Every weekend, I find myself parked in front of the 711 that is half a block away from my apartment. A family runs the 711 near my place and they could not be any sweeter. We have taught the woman a few English phrases, and she always asks about our day and what we are doing. "See you tomorrow!" she says, as we leave.

My favorite part of the weekend: grabbing a cold canned coffee, and sitting in the neon green chairs and recapping the previous blurred night. Simple, I know, but sometimes there is nothing better.

Some nights when I'm not in the mood to hit the bars or drag myself to Hongdae, you can usually find me and a group of foreigners sitting outside of the 711, drinking beers and soju. As long as you keep buying, you can sit there as long as you please. What's not to like?

Best part is, if you stay all night you are only a few steps away from drunk munchies like ramen (there's hot water available so you can eat on the run) or squid chips. oohhhh yaaaa!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


A group of friends and I were approached yesterday by a frantic Korean woman in the street. "Barbie! Barbie! Barbie!" she exclaimed, caressing my hair and rubbing it against her face. "So beautiful!" She was walking 3 small dogs who were all conveniently tied to one small leash. The woman was hugging me and kissing my face and saying, "so beautiful, just like Barbie." We all know I am far from a Barbie. And in my opinion, being called "Barbie" is not a compliment. The woman was beside herself, I didn't think she was going to let me go. The 5 of us stood there in an awkward circle, while this woman went on and on about my blonde hair and how the 4 of us looked like sisters. Hey- is that cause we are all white? All of us have such distinctive features, any fool could tell we are NOT related. She hugged all 4 of us again, and wrapped her arms around me even tighter and once again rubbing my ponytail against her cheek. I know having blonde hair in an Asian country can cause a bit of a reaction- I mean, I stick out like a sore thumb. But this reaction left us all speechless.

My kids often refer to my hair as yellow or gold. One of my students, James, asked me the other day, "Teacher, why gold hair?" "Um... I don't know?" was my exact answer. Before I came to Seoul I was told Koreans would approach me, complimenting my hair, but, this is the first time its actually happened. Recently, I've been aching for some highlights, but given the recent compliment, I guess my hair is fine how it is.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Happy Fathers Day dad! I know you aren't the biggest fan of this holiday, but I just want you to know how much I appreciate you! Being so far away right now, makes me miss you even more on this day. Thanks for all that you do. I miss our weekends together, eating at our favorite spots, Ruan Thai, 2 Amy's and your fabulous home cooked meals. I also miss lounging around Belvedere listening to music, reading and watching cooking shows. Although, you don't love this holiday, I just wanted to give you a little shout out, and tell you how much I love you!

Enjoy your Korean meal tonight with the fam! When in doubt...

Happy Faja's Day Snodgrass!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


so, I just bought a new camera. a canon eos kiss digital x (eos 400d in America). since i'm going to be doing a lot of traveling in the future and i still have 8 more months in Korea, i figured it would be worth buying a higher quality digital camera.

i've always needed a hobby, and have always loved taking pictures. putting 2 and 2 together, this is perfect. i'm very excited about this new project and hope to develop an eye for photography.

here's a few to start...

on my rooftop
my neighborhood

after spending most of my paycheck on this baby, looks like i'll be eating lettuce for the next month.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pat Metheny

Just a note: thanks to my dad, who has exposed me to so much incredible music. Without him, I probably wouldn't have appreciated this concert so much.

Last night I had the pleasure of going to see Pat Metheny, The Orchestrion Tour. I was simply blown away. Pat Matheny stood in the center of every instrument you could think of, but only played the guitar. He was using solenoids to control the other instruments with sounds from his guitar and pedals on the floor. So, while this man jammed on the guitar, the drums, pianos and the percussion were all robotically operated and playing alongside Metheny. Sounds confusing (I know) and I really can't explain it any better, but it was fascinating. An amazing concert, leaving everyone in the room (including myself) speechless.

Metheny had some trouble saying thank you in Korean, and said he was nervous to thank his fans. No worries, Metheny, it took me a full month to feel comfortable saying, 감사합니다 (kamsamnida). Now, it is one of the only Korean words I know.