How swine flu nearly stole Halloween (better late than never)

•November 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So, my laziness rears its’ ugly head once again as my Halloween post comes after Thanksgiving.  My aporigies.  But, I did have a fun time of it, especially with Halloween being on a Friday, giving us two days of revelry.

I of course had a kindergarten party for the Halloween kids.  It was actually the Wednesday after Halloween as my school’s Thursday and Friday classes Halloween week were canceled due to swine flu fears.  We’ve had a couple of kids get it, but thankfully everyone is fine and no teachers have gotten it.  The kids had a “costume contest,” which was more like a fashion show where all the kids showed off their costumes.  My biggest disappointment was the lack of Napoleon costumes this year, we had two last year.  However, we did have a kid come in a homemade shrimp costume, so I’ll call it even.  After the “costume contest” the kids broke into groups and went around to stations.  I made marbled paper with one of my Korean teacher.  We had the kid “bob for candy” (trying to grab candy off a string) and had a haunted house, which lead to a couple of kids crying.  They also went around trick or treating, which was cute, but also left some bad blood between my class and another class who told them to “go away” when they came to the door to trick or treat.  I’ve been collecting chains and sawed off pool cues for the street fight.  I think my class will win handily.  You can see pics from the kindergarten Halloween festivities here.

As for the “adult” Halloween celebration, we had two nights of that.  Both were in Itaewon (the main foreigner district).  Friday was also one of my Korean co-workers.  She is a really nice lady and will be sorely missed, but she’s taking time off to start a family with her husband.  Friday night I went to a Democrats Abroad in Korea (DA-ROK) party.  By the time we got there, it was pretty much over but that did not stop us from having a good time.  Saturday, it was back to Itaewon, only this time it was in full Halloween force.  We saw a lot of good costumes and had a great time overall.  My 70s detective costume came off nicely, with a strong assist from my mustache/mutton chops as well as the ugly 70s tie I got from the Korean dollar store for $2.  For pics from the madness, click here.

 

In personal news, time keeps on ticking here in Korea.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here for sixteen months now.  I think two years in Korea will be enough for me and I’m planning on heading home for a bit to try my hand at grad school.  So, in July the Strange Seouls will go dormant (i.e. not be that strange), but myself and perhaps all of us will be back out into the fray at some point.  I’m heading to a Thanksgiving buffet in fancy town (Gagnam) today and will do some kind of Thanksgiving post soon (before Christmas).  I’ve also been hitting the gym a lot lately to get rid of my “teacher baby” (what the kids call any kind of stomach fat).  If you’re lucky, I’ll post some before and after pics here in a few weeks.  Thanks to everyone who sent Thanksgiving wishes to me on Facebook, they’re very appreciated.  Happy Holidays to one and all from the Land of the Morning Calm/Dynamic Korea.

 

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Chuseok, 2009. . .

•October 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment

IMG_2484

So, I’m into my second year in Korea and just finished celebrating my second Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving).  Though there were no trips to Hooters (see last year’s Chuseok post), I still had a lot of fun.  This year, my school brought in Hanbok (traditional Korean dress) for all the foreign teachers and we played games with the kids.  You can see my Facebook pictures here.

Other than Chuseok, the big excitement at ECCs across Seoul is upcoming open classes.  This is when all the parents of our kindergarten kids come in and watch a class.  It’s all staged- we practice for weeks.  My class is doing the solar system.  It’s been a hassle as all the staff are really stressed, but everything is finished for my class and my kids have been doing well.  After open class is of course, Halloween.  I’ll be sure to post again with some pictures from school and the aftermath/parties I go to.

I posted last time about being single again.  Getting dumped has been really rough, but I’m getting better with each passing day.  Once again, thanks to everyone back home for their support, as well as my wonderful cast of co-workers, you have been excellent.  I would also like to send out a hearty WHO-DEY to all the Bengals fans out there.  I’ve been keeping up online, thanks to the NFL Network.  As a lifelong Bengals fan, I keep waiting for the bottom to fall out, but I have to say this is the best Bengals team I can remember seeing.  Now only if a meteor could take out the entire Brown family. . .

I promise another post after Halloween.


My apologies. . .

•September 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Brothers MortonSo, people may have noticed that Colin Teacher hasn’t posted since February.  Being lazy is the main culprit.  But, I’m going to make a go of posting again.  As the last Strange Seoul in Korea, I will do my best to carry on in the tradition of my good friends.  I’ve really enjoyed the past six months.  I resigned a contract with my ECC and took a vacation to Ho Chi Minh.  Most recently, I came back to America for a week to go to my brother’s wedding in Asheville, NC.  It was a great time and a wonderful ceremony.  Here’s a link to my Facebook pictures.

Here are my pics from Vietnam:

Ho Chi Minh

The Mekong Delta

The Saigon Zoo

The Vietnam War Museum

Unfortunately, I also have some sad news to impart.  I am now single again, though not by choice.  I want to thank everybody who’ve already given me a lot of support.  It’s pretty rough right now but I’ll get through it and solider on for another year here in Korea.   I promise to post again in less than six months!

PS- It was brought to my attention that the link to the pictures from my brother’s wedding was bad.  I’ve fixed it, sorry for that.

Farewell to our Home Away from Home

•July 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Crew (1)The fantastic folks and friends of Seokkye ECC gathered for a last hurrah as the Strange Seouls bid a fond farewell to Asia and head back to the states. Held at the illustrious ACE Noraebang, we started the evening with huge pitchers of beer and lots of sidedishes. After a few hours of talk and picture taking, we got the party started in the Noraebang! There were K-pop hits and American standards, stunning performances and screaming fans. An awesome time was had by all as the party raged on for more than 8 hours! We have had the time of our lives here in Seoul and we will always keep close to our hearts the many friends who made this experience possible. We love you all so much and will miss you terribly. We hope however, to stay in touch and keep our friendships strong no matter how far apart we may be. Thanks for Everything!  To view photos from the evening click ==> H E R E

CandyCaneSammy and The Dragon bid Farewell to Bibimbop and Soju

•July 20, 2009 • 3 Comments

At Cheers

The Serenade 2

The Strange Seouls recently had a visit from some very special world travelers: JT Dragon, Educator to the Chi-town Munchkins, and Sire Sammy, Holder of the Candy Cane Camera.  These two college colleagues spent two weeks taking in the sights of Seoul. They visited palaces, a baseball game, a kindergarten song festival, and, best of all, the Strange Seouls. 

Spending Sire Sammy’s birthday in Itaewon, the Strange Seouls gathered at a popular hookah bar with some Korean friends.  It was a good beginning to the journey, as it would be filled with booze, laughter and adorable photo ops. 

After a few more nights in Seoul, the couple headed off for Jeju Island, the land of romance.   The island was a very special trip for the two and they returned with a lovely souvenir, even if it was at the cost of some sandals.  They then returned to their Strange Seouls and continued the sight-seeing and entertainment.  After a Noraebang in a small setting, the Strange Seouls invited their Korean co-workers to come and join Sire Sammy and The Dragon for a few drinks and a sing-song.  It was a magnificent night that included Ace of Base, The Village People, New Kid on the Block, Madonna and much much more. 

Thank you very much for your visit, worldly travelers. We enjoyed your company and the reminders of Chicago that came with your visit.

Take Me Out to The Bawrl-game-uh!

•July 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

To pay homage to the birthplace of George Washington, The Bill of Rights, and Twinkies, we thought we’d spend our nation’s birthday patronizing the greatest of American pastimes: Korean Baseball.  It was a scorcher with the top rated LG Twins taking on the 2nd place Doosan Bears. The Twins took the early lead scoring 8 runs in the 4th inning to overtake the Bears’ paltry 2.  As the sun went down and the beer cans emptied, the Twins decided to really kick-ass taking the game to an 11-2 finisher. Luckily, on their way into the stadium, the Strange Seouls had arbitrarily selected to support the Twins based solely on the hilarity of their spirit wear.

P7040040Mags in Twins shirt

No hotdogs or peanuts and if you want a beer you need to stumble down the narrow stairs and through the crowds to get it, making this an altogether different ballgame. But you can leave the stadium to visit the Domino’s Pizza, KFC and Burger King just through the gates, and best of all you can bring in all three at the same time, in copious amounts that just scream, “Hey Look at me. I’m a fat Democracy-lovin’ American.”  Then you can gorge on said American delicacies while knocking back more Korean beer and doing the wave. They do indeed have the wave here. They also have a chant to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon!?! We added a little Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the nonexistent 7th inning stretch(they do theirs after the 5th) and badda-bing-badda-boom we’d made a little bit of the good ol’ USA right here in Asialand. Thanks to all the fans who didn’t understand all our horrible English heckling and to the makers of Hite beer for making this wonderful 4th of July possible. See ya soon America!

What Defends Both Freedom and The Sex-Trade?

•July 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Humvee with Mags

Jason with food

Now the Strange Seouls have really begun to mark off some of the sites to see where the American Military is concerned.  Visiting the DMZ and crossing over to Commie North Korea and God-fearing Seoul, traveling around Commie China, sight-seeing in Commie Vietnam, the Strange Seouls decided it was time to stop by the army bases that defend our freedoms from cruel communist encroachment. 

Already having been to the Yongsan base in Seoul thanks to a freedom fighter who is now working hard in Afghanistan, the Strange Seouls made their way to the Osan Air Base, south of Seoul.  The base is in Songtan a small town filled with the necessary amenities for our American troops serving abroad: prostitution dens, nightclubs, hookah bars, street hawkers, and American fast-food restaurants.  Plus, each business is fully staffed with English-speaking Koreans waiting for you to spend the American taxpayers hard earned dollars.

Our freedom fighter at the Osan Air Base is a gentleman who goes by the name “Princess.”  It’s a long story…  Needless to say, he knew all of the best restaurants in the area and then took us on base to breathe fresh American air.  Of course, there is the usual overwhelming joy when a red-blooded Hoosier steps onto an army base and sees Taco Bell, KFC and other 5-star eateries providing their cuisine to the troops, but to have the opportunity to purchase American underwear was the real cherry on top. 

After spending American money on American soil, the Strange Seouls headed out to the streets of Songtan for some good ol’ fashioned army town antics.  A local hookah bar where customers blew smoke bubbles around the bar was the first stop.  Then, Princess took us to a club and we spent the rest of the evening with loud bass music and drinks.  It was a lovely journey made all the lovlier thanks to Princess and his Canadian overseer, Nadine “The Bully” Monster.  Oh, and one extra little note Ms. Monster hurt her arm recently and is resting up.  The Strange Seouls wish her a safe and speedy recovery, even if she is a cold-blooded Canadian Monster.