Happy (Actual) Halloween!

So, real Halloween was definitely better than hagwon Halloween.

Yesterday, Steve and I sat in bed and watched Hocus Pocus and the original Halloween. To my surprise, he had never seen either! Hocus Pocus is my absolute favorite Halloween movie and I watch it every year. I also bought Snickers bars and popcorn. Definitely off to a good start.

After a lazy morning/afternoon, we decided we to go for an early dinner. We are both pretty sick of Korean food right now, so we picked an Indian restaurant downtown called Namaskar. We’ve met the owner several times at some of the festivals around here and always get his delicious samosas, but we had yet to go to his restaurant.

It. Was. So. Good. We started off with naan and vegetable raita. I got the tandoori chicken salad and Steve got a spicy chicken dish in a thick red sauce with rice. We probably could have sat and eaten there all night.

Our Indian feast.

Our Indian feast.

After dinner, we both went home to get ready. I was dressing up as Roy Lichtenstein’s “Drowning Girl,” the famous pop art piece. Doing the benday dots on my face alone took nearly an hour! I did the rest of my makeup and waited for Steve to bring me some paper so I could make my speech bubble sign.

I'd rather drown than call Brad for help!

I’d rather drown than call Brad for help!

After, Steve and I went to Hailey’s apartment to have some drinks with her and Nick. She was Raggedy Ann and he was Harry Potter. Steve was… Steve so Hailey let him borrow a mask that she had made. Our friend Vanessa also made her way over.

Vanessa, Hailey, me.

Vanessa, Hailey, me.

We took two cabs to Old Downtown to go JJ’s Bar where they were having a big party. The live music was much much much too loud, so Vanessa, Steve, and I made the executive decision to go to Cima Bar in New Downtown instead.

A much better choice. There was a smaller group of people and we got to take turns picking our own songs on the sound system. We had some drinks (and some chocolate) and mingled. I met a lovely couple from Ireland with whom I spent the majority of the evening talking to.

I don’t think I could have lasted at JJ’s. I am less and less inclined to spend time in noisy rooms with too many people.

I had an excellent night and it ended at 3 AM with Steve and myself eating tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes) on my floor.



Happy (Hagwon) Halloween!

Everyone who knows me knows that I love Halloween. Like, a lot. I love costumes and makeup and candy and spooky movies. Literally everything about it. (I’m already getting really excited just writing about it.)

I wasn’t sure if Halloween was a “thing” in Korea. I was getting a little apprehensive as it drew nearer because I wasn’t sure how I was going to celebrate.

At the beginning of the week, though, my head teacher came up to me and said that there was going to be a Halloween party on Friday. She also asked me if “I could costume.” Oh, yes, I could certainly “costume.” So, the next day, in the pouring rain, I dragged Steve with me to a little costume shop up the street. I bought a cat ear headband and a blue wig.

On Friday morning, all the hagwon teachers in Ulsan were required to attend a mandatory seminar. This was quite possibly the biggest waste of everyone’s time. I had to be at school at 9:30 AM along with Hailey and Nick. We were driven off to some far away center and had to sit in an auditorium.

The first presentation was about child abuse. It was a very long, uncomfortable PowerPoint presentation set to Josh Groban’s rendition of “You Raise Me Up.” It featured key phrases such as “secret sins” as well as examples of child abuse cases (half of which were from New Jersey). The presenter ended by telling everyone “most children love you! I trust you!”

The next part was interesting. It was about Korean history, specifically focusing on astronomy. We watched a video that mostly featured Gyeongju, and it showed nearly all the places I had visited when I was there. I can always get down with the moon and stars.

There was another video about industrial things. I found that particularly boring, so I talked to Steve on Facebook (his boss forgot to pick him up, so he didn’t actually make it to the seminar).

Next, the presenters discussed how supreme Korea’s technology and internet speeds are to the rest of the world’s. Then, they couldn’t figure out how to get their slideshow working. They tried for about fifteen minutes, failed miserably, and the next presenter read off a printed script instead.

Blah blah blah. Seminar over. Got a free lunch.

Fast forward to school.

I did my makeup and went in early to help set up. Nick and I got put in charge of face painting (which I could not have been any more ecstatic about). Nick played music, spooky sounds, and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I had fun.

Costume #1!

Costume #1!

We did this from about 3 PM until 7 PM. I didn’t have any of my evening classes due to testing, so I literally sat in the office and read Huffington Post. It was a good time.

Two Month Update

As of today, I’ve officially been in Korea for two months! It feels like I just got here.

The past week has been a little difficult, especially since Halloween is just around the corner. It’s weird not to see the leaves changing color, or going apple picking, or pumpkin picking, or sitting around drinking cider. Autumn is my absolute favorite season, and I feel like I’ve taken these things for granted.

It’s still 70 degrees during the day here. The leaves are still green. The pumpkins here are more like plain old squash. It frustrates me because there’s a feeling I always get this time of year and I’m not feeling it.

I miss my mom. She’s in Greece doing Greek things. I miss my friends, although I do try and talk to them on messenger as much as possible. And I spent a long time Skyping with Razor last night, which really cheered me up! It’s not the same, though. I want to see my friends and hug them, and go for coffee, and go for long drives late at night while we sing silly songs.

I’m adjusting, though. I’m glad I finally got to meet Hannah. It’s nice to have one girl friend here who I can talk to on the phone.

One of the teachers who lived here before me left behind a glittery Styrofoam pumpkin, which I have prominently placed on the table in my apartment. It helps.

Also, I get to dress up for a Halloween party at work on Friday and I am going to a party at one of the expat bars on Saturday. It should be fun. I went out and bought some costume pieces yesterday!

My Saturday morning/afternoon will almost certainly consist of watching Hocus Pocus and whatever other Halloween movies I can find online, eating chocolate and other junk food, and doing fun makeup!