Monday, October 10, 2011

Streams, Gongs and Clowns

Sorry once again for not posting in a long time. I have been busy and exhausted from Korean class, which is requiring extensive studying. I had great fantasies of being very good at Korean, but it's rather difficult. It's been a month and the only things I can comfortably say are "My name is Lauren" and "I am an English Teacher." I cannot say those things when I am being asked in class, but rather respond in a panic, "JUICE."

Not really. But practically.

Somehow I managed to level up to the next month, under the condition that I study verbs, adjectives, particles, answering questions verbally, question words, listening and reading. Aka everything. I am hoping my studying will eventually lead me to be able to say other things, but we shall see. But for now, 제 이름은 로렌 입니다.

So a couple weekends ago, Ben, one of the new teachers, and I went to Cheonggyecheon Stream in Seoul. It is a man-made stream very close to City Hall, but it was still pretty cool.

They had stream performers along the way, which were pretty cool. It reminded me of Victoria, except that the street performers were doing Korean things.

Here's the beginning of the stream:

There were lots of people there, but it wasn't as crowded as the website said it would be.

The first performance was a clown:

His performance was pretty good. It started with a bit of a clown fail:

But, then it got pretty good:

And that little boy was super adorable.

We then moved on to the next street performers. I was minding my own business taking pictures, when suddenly Ben had my camera and I was sitting playing the gong.

Then, I'm not sure how it happened, but some random guy had my camera and Ben was sitting next to me playing another instrument. Here is my first try at playing the gong, which I have repeatedly referred to as the "bong"

It made me nervous, it seems.

Here we are sitting:

So we're playing away

I'm thinking it's going very well, but apparently the leaders of the musical instruments did not think so and thought I need remedial gong lessons. Here he is coming over:

And now he is helping me:

Apparently I am a gong playing failure.

We then kept walking. There was some wildlife hanging around the man-made stream.

Some ducks:

Large fish:

and a crane:

Next up was the wall of pictures of the Joseon Dynasty:

Then some more of the river, bridges and buildings:
Notice the water artificially flowing into the stream

Then, there were some traditional dancers:

That was pretty cool.

Then, I got thirsty so we went to get some water next to the stream. I figured we could walk a little bit down the way and go back down to the stream, but we couldn't find other stairs and ended up having to take an elevator down to the river. Very authentic to nature.

Next up, more river.

Then, a wall with tiles that people had painted.

Oh and there was a carriage and cute bench:

And what seems to be a shack

The shack was the end of the stream.

It was a very lovely day.

In other news, the temperature in Seoul has dropped dramatically. Last Wednesday it was about 85 degrees, then Thursday it rained and Friday the low was 42. Yikes.

I had another student refer to a person who is a vegetable as a "Plant human and who only drinks air." I'm thinking in Korean they are called Plant humans, since this student was a much lower level then the other one.

I saw a car crash into a motorcycle. The driver was ok.

I was on the bus recently, when suddenly he stopped the bus and the bus driver got off the bus. He returned about 2 minutes later with a sandwich.

I learned "Draw O coward" is a palindrome.

I saw two shirts. One said "Be a water warrior" and the other said "Omg what the balazees" with a picture of a hippo on it. Unfortunately I did not have my camera.

Also, I learned that my students pronounce zoo as "Jew." One of my students said "The animals feel like they are in jail in Jews. They feel stressed in Jews." and referred to the zookeepers as Jewkeepers. Hmm.

Reminds me of 3rd grade when I came home from school after having my first lesson about the Holocaust. I asked my mother why the Nazis were so interested in the Juice people hid in their cupboards, because I misunderstood my teacher.

Then I found this on and it seemed fitting:


  1. Hello, I've just taken another trip through Seoul as though I'm there ... thanks for the pictures, the videos and the commentary. Always fun.

  2. What a Cinderella moment in your gold carriage.
    Are you practicing your gong playing so you can go professional. LOL Great pics. Looks like you
    are still having a great time.

  3. this one was pretty hilarious. jew keepers hahaha. so glad you are having a stupendous time!

  4. Here, here, your a great gong you can do the gong show...loved the photos...and for a man made stream, wow that was amazing. Your always out there and exploring! And we get to see it through your eyes. Thanks, I am enjoying it. Looking forward to seeing you soon.