Sunday, January 31, 2010

Train rides,baby perms and transit

So as Kate and I take our weekly ride on the blue line toward Seoul we always encounter strangee characters. I'm usually un-phased but when I see children with perms I have to say something. I'm not sure if you are aware of this fact,but Koreans LOVE their perms! I said "Oh Kate look at that curly haired baby!"  " Tiffany you know that's a perm.. .right?" " No that baby's not even walking yet" I said " Who would perm a toddler's hair?" I asked " It's Korea, Tiffany!" Kate scoffed.
Really? Now, correct me if  I'm wrong but I dont think a three year old looked in the mirror and said " Oh-ma I'm not feeling so fly... how about a perm and a dye jo to give me a little something extra, I want to be the it girl at the hagwon".
PSA:Dear Korean parents please stop perming and dying your toddler's hair. It is  unhealthy and unatural! Even though some Koreans turn up their noses at processed hair they all know deep in their hearts they will eventually succumb to the undeniable pull of the Perm.It's so bad, that I've seen the balding adjuma with over processed perms  which looks like dog fur as a result of dying and hardcore perming since preschool. It is an epidemic and it needs to stop.
One of my favorite things about riding the Korean metro is the appearance of multiple " transit entrepreneurs" selling everything from sunglasses, gloves, tights, to AM/FM radios with USB capabilities. I think if I get more Korean under my belt I may indeed take up a weekend job as a transit entrepreneur selling various Korean goods such as cell phone charms, purses, squid snacks and all things sparkly.  I think I could make a killing. An agishi was pimping am/fm mp4 players with USB capabilites for only i man won! What a steal! He even broke out his jazzy pant suit letting his potential customers he meant business. Asaaaaa! Maybe he and I culd go into business together selling discount children's perms to Korean mothers...What do you think?

Confucius say: If it breathes... it can indeed be permed

All -Star Basketball game Stalkers,,,definitely not the bueno!

Dear Korea,

I know I find many things about you magical and endearing... however let's take a moment and talk about Korean stalkers. Yesterday a few friends of mine and I went to an " All-Star" Basketball game in Seoul yesterday. In true Korean fashion , the game was lackluster . I was entertained by the cheerleaders and the half time extravaganza consisted of strangee adjuma relays, a dancing spectacle by various team mascots finished off by opera singing b ya woman who I think was a man, dressed in a sparkly tube dress, silver metallic tights, and what seemed to be a blinged out cape with a train. Yes... it was that ridiculous. Right before half time a group of younger Korean men sat in the row in front of us. We smiled... well I smiled, said hi and they sat down. The odd fellow on the end glanced back at us a few times, looking unimpressed by our loud disposition as foreigners. He would check his phone periodically throughout the rest of the game and look back at us. " He is not impressed with us" said Kate. Eliana and I agreed. " He's kind of strangee, I think he might be a Korean serial killer " said Kate " Def fits the profile" I murmured. Then came my favorite part of Korean sporting events.... the prizes. The goal is to make as much noise as possible to win edible prizes such as beer, sports drinks, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and Dominoes Pizzas. So of course me being me... I went hard screaming and doing Korean dances, and wouldnt you know it I won a pizza! Asaaaa....Eliana laughed as I hi-fived Kateuh, " And that's how it's done ladies" I said. So as we sat down and I opened the pizza box ready to share with my friends, our new Korean friend turned around stared me down.. I chuckled and managed to say " would you like a piece?"...without hesitation he bowed and almost snatched the slice from my hand and gobbled it down jail... oops I mean Korean style. The girls and I each ate piece and I shared the rest of the pizza with surrounding patrons. All while eating my piece of pizza my "friend" is eyeballed the piece in my hand.Aishhhh.. Back of my pizza... stalker! As the game ended and everyone filed out the the stadium doors the girls and I sat for a while recalling the ridiculousness, and who still sitting, and staring as us. wtf? He then hovered around our section as if he was waiting for us to leave.  As left the stadium we laughed and said bye. We then made our way towards the metro stop which was a pretty good hike.As we walked we noticed our " friend" bobbing and weaving between the crowd. " Is he following us?" asked Eli.." Ewww.. he's definitely creepy and definitely following us" said Kate " Nooo...he's just making his way towards the metro stop like everyone else!" I said. We neared the metro stop our " friend" let's call him Chin Ho. Chin Ho looked back at us numerous times. Kate pulled us behind a parked van. " See! he's looking for us!" " Oh no!" Eli and I chimed. We darted from behind the van, thinking we had outsmarted Chin Ho "friend turned stalker". To our surprise he scurried down the steps before us. We made our way the train and exhaled sighs of relief for having lost him. This day the trains were not in our favor... while recalling our stalker escapade we missed our stop, we hopped on another train, transferred and 45 minutes later we were on the brown line on our way to dinner in Itaewon. As we sat down in our seats, who but Chin Ho made his way through our car to the next adjoining car and peered at us through the window. " Omg, what a coincidence" said Eli.... ( so Canadian) " Ummm.. noo says Kate we missed our stop, transferred AND missed a train...he DEFINITELY followed us!" " Ugh! don't make eye contact or say hi" I said. Our stop approached he made his way back to our car... Eli said " Bye!" and he as suspected got off at our stop. We double timed it to the escalator. I said  " Yeah he definitely followed us, he just stayed 30 clicks more talking to strangee Koreans", " Maybe he's a professional tracker" said Eli, "Maybe is is just crazy" Kate laughed. With a concerned look Eli peered back down the escalator, but Chin Ho was no where to be seen. So Korea I will now be war of your seemingly friendly country men. I definitely dont want to end up in someone's kimchi freezer.


Ps. I am not impressed...where is homeland security when you need them?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Norebang...what, what!

Dear Korea,

Sorry I've been away for so long. I'm back and I will try to make sure my time spent away from you is limited.
After three weeks of ridiculousness in Thailand and two weeks of winter camp with my students I've barely had time to tell you how much I've missed you.
Let me just say I love the fact that our school year runs from March to December. Right now I get a chance to veg out, work on my Korean and I'm  thinking of taking up Tae Kwon Do. My work schedule for the past two weeks consisted of two and a half hrs of teaching starting at 2:30. Now if that isnt a cake walk I dont know what is. Over winter camp a few of my students asked me to go to norebang with them. Of course any chance to send to spend time with my strangee Korean students I jump at. So today we made our way to norebang and sang our hearts out to K-pop, the Black Eyed Peas, Brittany Spears, and Lady Gaga. It was definitely good times. Afterwards we made our way for samgapsal for the lunchee. Mashisoyo! Over lunch my students said " teacher you are so beautiful, you are of mixed blood?" " We are the envy!" I smile and say thank you and giggle. Did I mention I love my students. We exchanged words for things on the table. I told them the English they told me the Korean as we stuffed our faces. As we finished and went to the register  to cash out. I pay as is the Korean tradition because I am the eldest students say " Oh Teachuh you are so generous! So, we will take you for the beverage" and they took me for coffee at a nearby cafe. All in all it was a good morning. Asaaaa! Now off to Seoul to get my hair did. Until next time Korea. Chalga!


Ps. please tell your fellow country men to stop requesting Michael Jackson's Heal the World every time they go to norebang!