Posted by: evedlewis | November 14, 2009

Halloween In Korea

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Halloween in Korea was pretty amazing.  I was invited to several parties, but I decided to go salsa dancing and to a late night movie instead with Alex and Jasmine.  I went to a wonderful all girls Halloween party the Thursday before Halloween.  Had a great time there with some great ladies and ate a LOT of cheese!  I wasn’t really in the Halloween “dress-up” mood on Saturday, so I’m glad I was invited to the Salsa Club.  Let me just back up and say that CHEESE in Korea is a rare treat.  Most of the Korean dishes do not call for cheese, and the cheese served here is very different from what we have in the states – just tastes very different – hard to explain.  For example – I bought a small bag of “Cheetos” here – Uhhhhh – yeah.  I threw away the entire bag – the cheese flavoring used tasted more like a spicy Ramen noodle seasoning mix and almost nothing like cheese.  You can find high quality shredded cheddar cheese on Pizza and on certain dishes, but it’s not a large part of the Korean diet.  Therefore, it’s a pretty big deal to have a meal with “REAL” cheese – even if it’s just cheese and crackers.  Cream cheese is also not so common.  So – I bought a few blocks of cheese while I was at Costco as requested by my “foreign friends,” and I was really glad to help eat it!!!!!! 😉

I graded papers on Saturday for a few hours (from around 2pm-6pm).  Then I went to Outback for dinner, because I was CRAVING some meat and potatoes!!!!!!!  My meal was FANTASTIC!!!!!!!  Afterwards, I met up with Jasmine and Alex later in the evening for Salsa dancing at a place in Gaeksa (downtown area).  The music was wonderful, there were several good dancers there, and I had a great time.  This was my first time “dancing in Korea,” so – I really enjoyed myself.  Dancing is one of those things that I MUST DO OFTEN.  I know that I am an extremely physical person.  I must partake in physical activities to avoid depression.  Some people are more mental, and others are more vocal/talkative.  I have realized that being physical IS REQUIRED for me to feel happy and complete.  You will notice that many of the activities I enjoy are physical, such as: hiking, jogging, walking, tennis, dancing and exercise.  I enjoy mental and vocal stimulation also.  However, I know that I must have constant physical movement to maintain a high energy level and a healthy frame of mind.  With all that being said, I am still working on being more physical during the week.  I have been to the gym, and I have been jogging a few times during the week.  However, I have not been consistent enough with a physical “ROUTINE“.  I was much better with daily exercise in the states, and I have not yet managed to get on a daily work-out schedule here. 

Creativity is also EXTREMELY important for my happiness and mental stability.  I am REALLLLYYYY starting to miss my life as a professional photographer.  I have started to offer my services to people here in Korea, because I am longing for the creative outlet and satisfaction.  I have been taking some photos of my daily experiences, but I really miss having photography “assignments and projects.”  Okay – so —– I have gotten completely sidetracked with this entry.  I should be talking about my Halloween weekend!!!!

Soooooo – After Salsa Dancing, the three of us went to the movies.  We saw Pandorum, and I was thoroughly impressed.  I thought I would be yawning and falling asleep in the theater, but I was surprised that it was a great movie that held my attention.  My weekends seem to get booked very quickly, even if my every intention is to do work, stay indoors and be domestic.  My weekends NEVER SEEM LONG ENOUGH!!!!!!  One thing I have noticed is that I do not get as many breaks here, and it’s beginning to wear me down. 

Typically – I would have a long vacation for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  However, in Korea, the private academies (Hogwons) do not really take breaks.  I get ONE DAY for Christmas and ONE DAY for New Year.  No Thanksgiving break at all.  I am accustomed to having some down time around the holidays, so this constant work schedule is tough for me.  I have already requested to have five (5) days off after Christmas, so that I can have a bit of a winter break before the New Year starts.  I will take my last five (5) vacation days sometime next year.  So far, I have decided that I will not be returning to the states for a “visit”.  I will just wait until my year is up to go back home.  I plan to use my last five days to visit Jeju Island and Tokyo next year when it’s hot again – can’t wait until the Spring and Summertime!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have also been invited to visit England with Joy.  However the flight to England is SOOOOO LONG!!!!!!!!!!   I’m simply not interested in spending that much time on a plane again until I leave this side of the world.

I may have to somehow negotiate more “time off.”  Hmmmmm…….I also want to stay in Korea for a few weeks AFTER my contract is up.  We shall see how all that works out.   Sooooo – back to

HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!  I honestly can’t remember what happened on Sunday – after my fun Halloween night.  I’m sure I spent the day sleeping in and being domestic.  I normally do my shopping, cleaning and laundry on Sundays.  My weeks are starting to become a blur, as time continues to speed up.  It’s already the middle of November now!!!!!!!!!!!  GOODNESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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