I haven't written in a while for 2 reasons: #1- we have gotten into a very unexciting routine #2 - we don't want to bore you.
I feel though that we should check in with our audience to let you know we are still here, happy and healthy, but no excitement at this time.
It has been raining a lot. There is a typhoon at the southern edge of Korea but it should dissipate by Friday. School is going well. I have spent a lot of time in the elementary building lately. Stacy is staying busy with his classes. He has LOTS of grading to do and I have been helping him with his power point presentations.
Most days consist of getting up before the sun, getting ready and out the door by 7:05. Visit with our KIS neighbors while waiting for the bus. Days can be long or short depending on what is going on. Lately we have been staying until 5:20 because of meetings, after school activities, or to just catch up. We arrive home 5:30 and then the domestic goddess comes out in me. I cook, do laundry, help with homework, wash dishes, etc. Stacy continues working or plays with Ethan. Ethan is in bed by 8:00 which is early enough to give Stacy and I time to catch up on our days.
Next week Ethan starts after school swimming lessons and Stacy and I begin Korean lessons. We are going to be very busy but hopefully by next summer when we visit we will be able to speak Korean!
This week is Curriculum Night for all the different grade levels. Tuesday night was elementary so I went to see what Ethan was going to be learning this year. He is going to learn a lot it looks like. He has a great teacher, Mrs. Carscadden. I met several of his classmates' parents. There are only 10 students in his class. What a small class!
All the women/mothers in the Gungnea-dong neighborhood scheduled a ladies night out last Saturday. Susan, Kristin, Kris and myself were going early and meeting up with Melanie and Jen later. The four of us met at the local bus stop and jumped on the 5500 to Itaewon. The bus was full so we had to stand. Normally that wouldn't be a problem for a 20 minute bus ride but considering the bus driver guns it until he absolutely has to stop in which case it feels like he breaks hard, it made ME car sick. I was sick and the girls are asking me if I want to get closer to the door. I was focusing on NOT vomiting all over the other passengers. The moment the door opened and I got off...I let it go. Once that was over with, we moved on to hailing a taxi. 3 were stolen from us but the 4th one Susan fought for. Well, she walked over and jumped in the front seat while another guy who clearly saw us standing there waiving down taxis was trying to get in the back seat. Yeah Susan for being brave!
Kris Feller, who is our go to person for everything, was our "tour guide." She got in the front seat of the taxi and told the driver "Hamilton Hotel" because it is the nearest recognizeable place to where we actually wanted to go. I think the driver and Kris repeated themselves 4 times and finally the driver started driving. He seemed confused but probably got the gist. We were less than a block from Hamilton Hotel when we decided to get out and walk the rest of the way since traffic was kind of tight. Kris tells the driver, "here is okay. We'll get out." He looked up and pointed to Hamilton Hotel. We ended up just all getting out instead of arguing with him. Kris handed him the fare and left him confused. Poor guy...
We made appointments at a place called The Green Turtle Spa. The choices were manicure, pedicure, half hour massage, full hour massage, waxing and hair except for the hair was booked. I can't say that the mani/pedi was better or cheaper here but I needed one really bad so it was fine. No massage during the mani/pedi. No foo-foo treatments. Just cut, buff, soak, nail color. For the combination I paid 55,000. Next time I am getting the one hour massage. I heard it is amazing!!!!
After spa time, we did a little shopping. Itaewon is the most international place in Korea or close enough. Just looking around you see more Americans here than anywhere else. Stacy needed basketball shoes in a size 12. In Korean sizes he would have needed a 29.5. Everywhere we looked in our area they carry up to size 29.0 but many didn't even have that size in stock. Found him some at the Nike store. They were very snazzy! This is definitely the place to do some good shopping. The next time we go back I'm going to pick up some souvenirs. We went to an English bookstore called "What the Book?" where I purchased The Calligrapher's Daughter for book club.
We entered this grocery store that was mainly Indian food but I found some staple items that I thought I would never find in Korea and it wasn't too expensive either. I purchased worcerstershire sauce, cumin powder (product of Karachi), what I believe to be pinto beans, and trident gum. Will I ever find this place again? I don't know but I took a picture of the front and plan to print it out the next time I come to Itaewon and show the taxi driver. We'll see if that works. :)
We walked back to the bus stop and hopped on for the return journey at like 11:30. I didn't realize that we were going to be gone from 2pm to midnight. It was a great night though with girl time. Ethan and Stacy were asleep when I got home. I think I failed to mention that it was raining off and on while we were out. Well I had a nice paper Nike bag with Stacy's shoes and my new book, my LV purse, and my groceries. This whole time the shoe bag was getting wet, not soaked but just lightly sprayed. Walking up the hill with these bags to my apartment, I feel the bag shifting. I am literally 20 feet from my apartment entrance when the bag gives and everything hits the WET ground. I juggled the umbrella, grocery bag, purse in one hand while I am trying to pick up the stuff on the ground before it gets too wet. I was happy to make it inside with very little damage to our new stuff.
Sunday, it rained ALL DAY LONG! We stayed in, cleaned house, worked on some stuff, and by dinner time we were ready to get out of the house. Luckily the rain took a break long enough for us to hop the bus, get dinner and return home. That was one of the first times fast food was FAST. Hahaha! I love this place!