Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pictures, Hot Pants and Man-Holes

This Sunday, Carrie, Elaine and I met to go to the National Museum of Seoul. We decided to meet at 2PM, so we could factor in the fact that, due to public transportation taking forever, someone is always at least 20-30 minutes late. I did not read my book, just in case I accidentally read past the stop again. I realized that my problem last Sunday was that the stop was several stops from Hapjeong, where I had transferred, but I probably just didn't look up for ONE stop and that's how I missed it. While on the subway, the girl sitting next to me took a picture of a woman's pants with her phone. Or her butt, but I prefer to think that she was taking pictures of her pants. I made it to the subway station for the museum, unusually on time. Elaine had also just arrived. Carrie was running late due to all the transfers she had on the subway.

Elaine and I spotted an interesting bug. Beetle perhaps? Who knows.

While we were waiting, this man, 51 years old (we know because he told us his age) came up to us and "Hello, let's be friends." He asked us the year of our births and explained the meaning of each of our Chinese animals. I am the dragon, which is much cooler than Elaine's pig. We were having a lovely conversation about various things, since he was waiting for his wife, until he looks at Elaine and says "You have very large...You know" and then gestures to her bosoms. aka her boobs. Three things went through our minds. Or at least mine 1. Who says that? 2. How exactly do you react to that? 3. I'm surprised he only said it to her. I believe I responded appropriately by standing off to the side laughing hysterically. Silently. But hysterically. Carrie arrived immediately after "the incident." He looked at her and asked us, "Is she Japanese?" Elaine said, "I don't know, ask her." And that was the end of the conversation with Mr. Creepy.

It also spurred a remembrance of my second day of class when one of my students, to avoid answering a question said, "But Teacher, you're so beautiful, you're so....AMPLE!" complete with emphasis and I thought "Good heavens, how do I respond to this" and just said "Answer your question." He said it one other time and I said "Don't say that to me ever again."

So after Mr. Creepy, we headed to the Museum. Due to extreme humidity and heat, we bought water bottle(s) at the nearby Family Mart, where we discovered this on top of the garbage cans:

Then went to go to the museum.

We were immediately surprised by the deafening sound of locusts/crickets/cicadas. I wanted to see one but I could not find it. There is a video of the deafening sound here. It's not as loud on the video, but considering the fact that you can hear them on the video, I think you can see how loud they were.

We then noticed some flowers:

and a dragonfly that was interesting (Black and White!)

And then we saw a path with some statues and said, "well we're outside, might as well see everything now then go inside to the air conditioning"

That path lead to a little waterfall called "Dragon Falls"

and this little butterfly.

Then, it lead to a little exercise park.

Then, to another little pond that had this heron:

(You can really see where Birds and velociraptors are related)

which flew up to this statue as the King of birds:

Which, when it looked at me with it's evil little eye, prompted a brief relapse into a childhood memory of being chased by a goose and being bitten on the butt, which then prompted me to tell the story in secret to Carrie and Elaine, but Carrie got the entire story on a video, which has now been posted on facebook and she and I are no longer friends.

Then, we found a giant hand.

And a pond with some enormous coy. and children feeding the coy

and some Lilly pads.

and some gourds hanging out underneath a fence.

This weird plant:

and enormous foot (just for you Kellie)

and more flowers.

this enormous bumblebee:

This woman talking on her phone with Namsam tower in the background.

and a guy hanging out upside down in a different exercise park (He immediately noticed I was taking a picture of him).

Several Korean flags:

This bell holder:

and the Museum from this point of view:

An almost 90 minute detour later, we finally made it to the museum. Luckily we met at two, because Elaine and I know each other well enough to know we need some "Lets get distracted by weird things" time.

The next blog post will be about the actual trip to the museum and the awesome things we saw.

For a preview, check out this picture:

But for now, hold yourself over until another post with some more funny student stories:

Today, I played a game with my students where I put words into Tic-Tac-Toe and they have to use the words correctly in order to get an X or O (or flower or star or triangle as they wanted.) One girl realized that her team was going to lose and she said "Oh crap" which lead me to ask the questions, "Where did you learn THAT word?" But she didn't know.

A student said "Yesteryear" by accident, but it was very Jane Austen-y/Shakespearean.

The same two students who said "crap" and "yesteryear" were discussing boys. They were discussing how the boys at their middle school were all really ugly and really short, but the boys at another middle school were all tall and handsome. One of the girls said "I am very sad all the time because there aren't cute boys at my school" oh the woes of being a middle schooler.

The same two girls created a party idea where the girls dress up as boys and the boys dress up as girls. They said the required dress for boys was "Hot pants and High Heels" and yes, they used the word "Hot pants"

This same Middle School class, when asked what embarrasses them gave three great answers. Aka 3 students gave three great answers.

Number 1: When I shoot a basketball and it bounces back and hits me in the face, I feel embarrassed

Number 2:"When we are changing from our school uniform into our PE clothes and a boy walks in, we feel embarrassed" I wonder if this one has actually happened...

Number 3:"when I write a love letter to a boy and he says "ewwww no way" then I feel embarrassed"

Considering that their English is very low level, I was very impressed.

I will try and remember others and continue to post them.

In the meantime, Seoul is in the midst of a huge, huge rainstorm. There have been a couple deadly mudslides and much of Gangnam (where I stayed for training) is flooded. Tonight, we walked to dinner for Queena's birthday and on the way there were battling winds, rivers of water and the most treacherous thing I'd seen: the water was flowing so powerfully and rapidly through the sewers and the street that the very heavy metal man-hole cover had literally been lifted up and out of the hole and was sitting next to the hole, which was gushing HUGE amounts of water. We replaced the man-hole, but it was still kind of shocking! Be happy Seattle friends that it's not insanely humid and raining as much as it is here!

1 comment:

  1. This post was pretty darn entertaining ... I will say that I liked your format ... but now find it distracting when I'm trying to look at your posted pictures and the beautiful background of blossoms is also in the background. My brain apparently doesn't know what to choose.... or that's just me. I don't know. But as always, I enjoy the pictures ... and I enjoy the fact you and your friends appreciate everything you see and do ... it's great to read.
    Stay dry!