airplane gif

I regret nothing

Lately I’ve been thinking about the the fact that I have almost lived in Korea a year.

That’s so crazy to me because it seems like it was a month ago I hopped on a plane and jetted off to this country that I had never before set foot in, nor spoke a word of the language.

I flew to Korea exactly like this. No lie.

I’ve also been thinking about all the things I have seen and experienced in the past year, and thought about what some of my other friends have been doing (or not doing) in the same span of time.

I am happy that I have an independent and adventurous spirit and that I am willing to do whatever it takes to pursue my dreams, instead of feeling I am living a life full of regrets.

I hope I will always maintain this sense of wanderlust and the desire to do daring, unconventional things.

fast-talking-hank-o

Storyaday2013: Same, Same

When I am in my Korean class and my Korean teacher is talking super fast :

I’m like:

Then:

My students feel the same when when I speak English to them.

I feel the EXACT same as them.

So I ask my teacher in Korean: Slow down.

But she thinks I am asking something related to the lesson and keeps talking super fast :

So I’m like:

what year it is

When you wake up from a 8 hour Nap

I legit thought it was 2:30pm and I slept through the whole school day. I jumped out of bed in a panic before taking a look outside and realizing it is still pitch black.

I think this is partially due to the fact my watch has the AM/PM flipped and I’ve been too lazy to change it for the past 3 months.

The Birth of Panera (looks painful)

What prompted the creation of this image??

A few days ago my friend happened to be talking about “The birth of Panera” an odd phrase which reminded me of the clay sculpture I had seen weeks earlier on Jeju-do island.

 

 

I thought it would be so funny to see a woman birthing bread rather than a baby.  What I find SO strange about this scuplture is the look on the woman’s face.  She looks so dazed as if she isn’t sure if she should be happy or sad.

Oh the Incan culture.

 

shocked

Dear Cellphone gods

Step 1: Shock and Denial

Dear Cellphone Gods,

There’s no way my phone can be screwed up. I need it for tonight ASAP. I was just about to read the most important text message I will have EVER received in my entire life when you started acting funny.

This.

is.

not.

possible.

You have to fix this.

Horrifiedly yours,

Sarah

 

 

Step 2: Pain and Guilt

Dear Cellphone Gods,

I am sorry I kept 2,000 photos and videos on my phone along with countless apps and over 100 notes to myself about miscellaneous things that, in the scheme of things, don’t matter at all.

I really didn’t need to put 40 Florence and the Machine Songs on my cellphone earlier tonight (even though that band in amazing and I am in love with all their songs).

It hurts me to think my phone might never turn on again. It pains me to think that  all my pictures and vides could be gone and lost forever.

Regretfully yours,

Sarah

 

Step #3 Bargaining

Dear Cellphone Gods,

You can’t really be this cruel to me.

If you recesitate my phone from the land of the dead, I promise to be kinder to my phone.

I will be less clumsy.  I will be the best cellphone owner you have ever seen. I promise.

I will make sacrifices every day in your honor. Restore my phone to me.

Faithfully yours,

Sarah

 

Step #4: Anger 

Dear Cellphone Gods,

What is your problem!?!? Seriously!!

WHY ARE YOU PUNISHING  ME BY MAKING ME LIVE MY LIFE WITHOUT MY PHONE?

I LIVE IN A LAND WHERE HARDLY ANYONE SPEAKS FLUENT ENGLISH. GOOGLE TRANSLATE IS MY BEST FRIEND. HOW DARE YOU TAKE GOOGLE TRANSLATE AWAY FROM ME!!

And Kakaotalk!

I NEED IT TO SURVIVE. I HAVE TO SEND PEOPLE PHOTOS OF WHAT I AM DOING AT EACH AND EVERY MOMENT ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADORABLE EMOTICON.

PEOPLE ARE DYING FROM BOREDOM WITHOUT MY CONSTANT TEXT UPDATES!!

I HATE YOU. I WILL ALWAYS HATE YOU.

Hatefully Yours,

Sarah  

 

Step 5 & 6: Depression, Reflection, & Loneliness, 

Dear Cellphone Gods,

I might never see the light of day again. People probably think I have died. And part of me did. My soul died when my phone and my pictures were taken from me. Who am I without my phone?

Lonely. I’m Ms. lonely. I have nobody for my own…. Lonely. I’m Ms. lonely. I have nobody— I’m too depressed to finish this. I let this song tell you my feelings.

Sadly Yours,

Sarah

Step 7: Acceptance and Hope

Dear Cellphone Gods,

Whatever. What’s done is done. I can only be bitter and angry for so long before I have more important things to worry my pretty little head about.

Let’s let bygones be bygones and let’s move on with our lives.

Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. I probably didn’t need all those photos anyway. It can be a new start. I can learn from my mistakes and make sure I upload my photos to a safer place more frequently and regularly.

Hey, maybe I can get a better phone.

Peacefully yours,

Sarah

 

–> as of now I haven’t quite gotten to step 7. Maybe when my phone is fixed or I get a new one I will feel at peace with the world.

whattt confused

Day 126: Is it the UMW Effect or Living in a Non English Speaking Country?

Maybe it’s the fact that I studied at UMW or maybe it’s the fact I am currently residing in a non-English speaking country, but lately I find myself eagerly wanting to read academic writing.

Case in point: a month ago at a party one of my friends, Erin, was talking about her favorite book series “The Queen’s Thief” by Megan Whalen Turner. She told us that she wrote her 15 page senior thesis paper on it.

I immediately demanded that I read it. It sounded interesting.

Erin looked at me as if I was crazy.

Erin: Why would you want to read my 15 page paper I wrote forever ago?

Sarah: Why wouldn’t I want to read it?

Everyone else: Really? You want to read an academic paper???

Sarah: Yes! It sounds wonderful!

Cue more strange looks all around.

I really don’t know when exactly I morphed into a person eager to read book analyses. Maybe it is due to the fact  I graduated college two years ago. Shocking!

Or maybe it’s because I actually feel inspired lately to write my own an academic paper simply because it sounds like fun. Double shock!!

Anyways, Erin told me: If you are going to read my paper, you have to read the books first. Otherwise it will ruin the books.

Challenge accepted.

I dropped $20 on the trilogy and started reading them on my Kindle. Kindles are quite possibly the best invention ever, despite my love affair with real paperback books.

Personally,  I am not the biggest fan on the “Queen’s Thief” series because I think Turner has issues with pacing. Sometimes I would be reading and I would feel really bored, other times the action was great and I couldn’t put the books down.

I feel like this was an issue in all three books and the only thing that kept me reading was the fact that I wanted to read Erin’s analysis.

When I finally finished the book series and finally got to read Erin’s paper (despite the fact she kept insisting that I really wouldn’t want to read it) I have to say I felt an enormous sense of satisfaction.

One downside of living in Korea is that I don’t always get to discuss books and literature and various other things with people as in depth as I would with my friends back home. I feel like most of the time here I don’t have time to read and even if I do, most of the Koreans I interact with would be overwhelmed/incapable of speech if I suddenly tried to do a literature/ cultural analysis with them.

I think my intellectual/academic interests are sometimes swept under the rug here, so the opportunity to engage the analytic part of my brain is enticing to me.

Being a huge fiction nerd I never thought I would say that that I thoroughly enjoyed reading academic writing. But enjoyed it I did. I think my time at UMW has rubbed off on me.

 

 

awkward

Day 92 Part 1: Overview of Korean Names

In the interest of sparing people from information overload, I decided to split up #92 Storyaday into 3 parts.

Part 1: Korean Name Overview

Part 2: I attempt the Impossible

Most Koreans have three names: Family name and two given names. The family name always come first.

Example: Kim Min Ju

Kim= Family Name

Min Ju= Given Names (note that the names are 1 syllable each)

Korea is the land in which everyone has very similar or identical names. Here are the 5 most common surnames in Korea.

 Just because a person has the same last name “Kim” does not mean they are directly related to another person with the last name Kim.

For me, it is impossible to know who is related to who unless they specifically tell me: “That girl is my sister. That boy is my cousin.”

I might think two kids look similar and are brother and sister, but then it turns out they are NOT related and they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Vice versa: I think they are dating, but they are brother and sister. That is an awkward mistake to make.

Now let’s look given names:

 There seems to be a set of given names that Koreans like to use and they deviate from the names very slightly.

 For example, in one class alone I have 8 kids (mostly girls) whose given names starts with “Ji”

Oh dear. That is a lot of Ji’s walking around.

Also, Koreans tend to like to have similar given names but like changing the order of the given names. So in a class I might see students with names like this:

Sometimes the names are very similar but different by one letter:

And, to top it all off,  most of the times it is hard to tell who is a boy and who is a girl by looking at the names.

In America if you see the name “Sarah” and “James” you are going to know that Sarah is a girl and James is a boy.

Likewise if you see names like “Ashley” and and “Dylan” you are probably going to assume “Ashley” is a girl, “Dylan” is a boy. You could be wrong, of course, but more often than not the results will be as expected.

But here in Korea many names seem to be gender neutral which is a problem for foreigners.

For further reading on Korean names I suggest you read these posts. I find them really fascinating!!

Now Read Part 2: I attempt the Impossible !!