Children’s Day – (el día de los niños)

Forget Cinco de Mayo (:(). In Korea, May 5 is all about the kids. That’s right, it’s Children’s Day — a national holiday where parents shower their children with gifts and bring them out on fun adventures!

Monday, May 4, 2015

In honor of Children’s Day, our school hosted a fun event day for the kids. Instead of classes, we had a craft making session, a rooftop obstacle course, a popcorn station, 4 foreign teacher activities, and for elementary only, an opportunity to “buy” rewards with their lemon stickers (we give out “lemon” stickers when they do well). There was a lot of pressure leading up to this event to plan something fun for the kids. I ended up doing a Candy Bucket Challenge, where the kids were split into 2 teams and had 2 minutes to race through [chair] obstacles to transfer as many candies from one bucket to another. The kindergartners used ladles to complete the challenge and elementary used chopsticks. It went off without a hitch and the kids had fun. For that, I am grateful! Unfortunately, I have no photos of it because I was running it the whole time. Bummer!

Here’s a photo of 4 of my kids with the little chickens they made. The wings flap when you pull back the straw. (The 3 kids that weren’t in class had parents who made a 4-day weekend out of the holiday….smart).

children's day orion

 

After school, we had a staff dinner at a really fabulous barbecue restaurant. It was our first time eating at a restaurant with floor seating! I was excited. It wasn’t comfortable throughout the whole meal but at least I fit well enough under the table. Our ~6’4″ co-teacher was quite uncomfortable. Anyway, we had the galbi and it was probably the best meat we’ve had in Korea so far.

myeongjang

Not all the tables have floor seating…apologies for the blurriness…tried to take it while walking

 

myeongjang dining room

Half of our dining room. The red cushions are for sitting on.

 

 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Our first holiday off from work – how exciting! We were going to go to a picnic in Daejeon but Kevin felt like “doing nothing” and I figured it wouldn’t be helpful to my rash if I am out in the sun all day. Bummer. It was nice to sleep in, though! I ended up meeting the other female foreign teacher downtown and we went shopping! Her boyfriend joined us for lunch and then sat in Starbucks and Kevin came around later.

homies

I feel like this shirt really defines Korean fashion, and it got a chuckle out of us. It’s the last one in the store so you better get it while it lasts, homies! We saw a ton of shirts like this today – plain with black writing. Some of the shirts we saw had written on them: StreetSweatshirt, and my favorite, Butter. I don’t think I’ll be getting into this kind of fashion hype. I did get some giraffe gypsy pants though.

v-line

 

Saw this in Artbox… it’s a patch to make it look like you have the famous Korean “v-line.”

Sidenote: For those that don’t know, Korea is a very superficial appearance-oriented country. Many men and women opt to get plastic surgery if they don’t live up to the standards of beauty here. There are ads for plastic surgeons everywhere you go. As foreigners, we bring into the country a variety of looks, shapes and sizes that the citizens here, particularly the children, are not used to seeing. The children, having no filter whatsoever, then ask you questions about it, such as: [While hitting your tummy]”Teacher, why you fat?” “Teacher, why you have big nose?” “Teacher, you are pregnant?” I, a US size 2, got the latter once last week. Unbelievable.

I think this plastic surgery website illustrates it well: “If you want perfect facial contour, V Line surgery is the one for you.”  “Before: a round, wide chin. After: From top to bottom, a perfect V.” Light bulb moment: This is the reason that in so many pictures we’ve taken with random Koreans, they hold their face. They try to emulate the V if they don’t have one.

There is a manager in a local restaurant who all the expats find very handsome. He has cool, beachy hair he can fling back with a head shake, and a very square jaw line. He looks like an Abercrombie model, haha. However, it is quite possible that the Korean locals do not find him so attractive because he doesn’t have a V-line. I wonder…It’s interesting.  I wish “Dare to be different” were a thing here. Even people without V-lines are beautiful!

Anyway, maybe I’ll buy this patch sometime and do a before and after post on it to see if it works!

 

Kevin and I went to Pizza Hut for dinner. Pizza Hut is a nice sit down restaurant outside of America. It was my go-to when I was studying abroad in England; I absolutely loved it. And you know what? The pizza I had there tonight tasted like home. My only complaint was the operation of the salad bar. We paid almost $4 each to add the salad bar to our meal, but you have to use 1 plate per 2 people. And by plate I mean plate the size of an appetizer plate. Maybe this is my gluttonous American coming out, but I feel as since we are both paying for the salad bar, we should each get our own plates, even if they are small plates?

By the way, I wish that all these little girl shoes came in adult sizes. The girls here get such cute shoes!!!

cute girl shoes

 

Here’s my sock haul for the day – each for just 1,000 KRW, or 92 cents!

socks

I am not positive what animals are on the last one, but they have our initials on it! K & A for Kevin & Ashley!! I had to get them. It says they are men’s socks but they are not that big and I’m sure would never fit Kevin, so they are mine.

And lo and behold, now with sparkly shoes AND a sparkly barrette, I am really a true Korean resident!

sparkly barrette

 

Hope everyone has a great Children’s Day/Cinco de Mayo/any other holiday/May 5th!

 

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