Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Halloween.

In our small experience here, we have seen many western traditions morphed into glamourized Korean versions because, let's face it... if there's one thing the younger Korean generations like more than western wear and attitude, it's western wear and attitude with sparkling over the top accessories.  One example, in Korean weddings the bride rents an over the top, sparkling princess dress. The vows, candle lighting ceremony, cake cutting with sword and group photos are all crammed into a 22 minute, bite-sized celebration in semi-western style. There's an emcee and flashing stage lights and sometimes, if your lucky, a shag carpet runway. 

Halloween is celebrated much the same way with the kids at our school. All regular curriculum is put on hold for the party day. All morning the kids took photos, watched a pumpkin carving demonstration (put on by Shane Teacher and Myself Teacher) and participated in bat pins and Halloween card crafting. Most of the teachers dressed up and ALL of the kids did. We bused over to stand in front of a busy home goods store and stood in lines while parents bombarded the kids. Dozens of moms and aunties were cramming their children's sacks with lollipops and jellies. Well, Korea's got the gist of it. After more picture taking we went back to school for lunch and afternoon activities. It was quite the spectacle. 

Ryan as "Hair-lee Pahter"

Shane showing pumpkin guts to Eric "Spy-dah Man"

"Princess" was a very popular costume.

"Trans-poor-mah" and "Bat-uh Man"

SAME, SAME! They're twins.

The cutest witch in the world.
After a fun Friday of kid wrangling, we spent the weekend with a few close friends... and another few thousand spectators. We were die hard fan who endured the dreary Halloween rains to see the International Fireworks Festival final show. It was totally worth it. I was lucky that my costume came with a built-in rain protection dome... aka umbrella. 

I could try and describe all of the extravagantness of the show but I think I'll just cheat and link you to a video that shows the best parts from the night. 

Occupying some time and space at Gwangan Beach. 

Tigger and Jellyfish

I shared my jellyfish.
Grand Finale

After fireworks, the 8 of us headed out for for a Halloween night out on the town. It all started at this bar, with the flaming alcohol bottles and fire spitting show, then ended... hmmm... ended... well, we know we made it home safely. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Year. New Hair.

Happy New Year!

We have had a fantastic season of holiday fun and friendship, from Halloween through New Years... all things I will get to in upcoming blogs. 

In the spirit of a newness to the year (and perhaps difficulties in the shower*), Kent has decided to get a hair cut. It's the kind of hair cut that provides a donation to Locks for Love. It's 10 inches of luscious hair that I had to bundle into 4 separate ponytails to be able to manage. 

We're so cheap that we decided I should do the cutting.

One ponytail to go. This look leaves Kent
looking like a deranged Scotsman.

All gone, left with nothing but a dragon ridge in
back and hipster bangs in the front. 

That's all from one head. Kent's donation should provide 47 wigs.

Happy New Hair.
*The shower difficulties are due to the broken hand, rendering Kent one-handed to suds up a huge mane of hair. "How did that happen?!" you ask. Well, over our winter break friend Samuel Dunlop came to Asia for a visit. On his first night we went out for traditional drinks and food. Then we went to the noraebong/karaokee and on the way there was an arcade with a game that tests punching strength. Yikes! Our friend Joe went first, then Kent then me. Sam opted out having already been familiar with hand-arm casts. Immediately after Kent hit the deflated punching pad, reinforced with a steel plate, he said "On no, I broke it." He flattened out the bone that was sticking up and we carried on at the Karaokee room. 

The next morning, an hour and 30 dollars later, he found out that he had broken the 5th metacarpal in the right hand, in his pinky. Whoops! He said they took x-rays and told him he would need surgery. The head doctor said he could reset it. 3 doctors braced him on the table for some Korean, hand cracking magic. The new x-ray said the resetting worked and Kent said it was the most pain he's ever needed to tolerate. Oh, painful man-lessons! They sent him home with pain meds and an injection in the bum. He wasn't sure why they gave him the injection. Personally, I think its because of his bum's a nice shape and they wanted to get a little closer. Now he has a hard cast for 3 weeks. The medical care has been so efficient and affordable. 

When Kent retells the story to inquiring students he plays up the part where he saved me from 10 evil ninjas. Not true. So, we are already enjoying some 2012 surprises, planned and unplanned. Kent gets a good story and I get to finally sign a boyfriend's cast. In middle school I always thought it was cool when girlfriends got to do that.

Happy New Year!