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The past couple of weeks I’ve had to squeeze in studying Rosetta Stone between teaching. I’ve been trying to get in the habit of doing a lesson or two before going to work since after work there’s almost no point. I don’t get back to the apartment until 10:30pm at the earliest and by then I can’t focus enough to feel like I’m actually learning.

But it seems like I am learning! Last week I overheard my students telling one of the counselors saying that the classroom we were using that day (we couldn’t use my normal one that day) was too hot. I was going to (and should have) turn around and say in Korean that the room is too cold.

And today when I was riding the bus, I noticed I could read all of the station signs very easily and could find Suwon Station (수 원 역) and the Yeongtong Bus Terminal without needing the English. I’ve known Suwon Station for a while but being able to recognize the Bus Terminal and other stops just by looking at the signs and not necessarily needing to sort out all the letters is definitely nice.

But the funniest thing I’ve learn has been from Karen and her friend Annah when they came to visit us in Suwon. Karen and Annah have just started taking Korean classes in Seoul and they were telling us about their first class, which sounded pretty interesting. Rather than teach them hangul or something basic, the teacher taught them how to say ‘Kakae juseyo!’ (I think -가 개 주세 요), which apparently means ‘Give me a discount!’. And the teacher kept saying that you need to say it whinnier. A very useful phrase, but I haven’t yet had a chance to use it.

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This probably should have been my first “A Day in My Life” post. I don’t suppose I’ve actually talked about the levels and such at Chung Dahm. But I figured I should go over those really quick before I talk about the classes I teach.

First of all, there’s April Institute and there’s CDI, which are both Chung Dahm schools. April Institute is the lowest level, for kids just starting to learn English. Their levels are Seedbed, Seedling, Sprout and Sapling and those levels have a couple of 1,2,3 levels within them. And that’s about all I know about April, because I don’t teach there.

Which brings me to CDI. There are three basic levels, E-Chip, Memory English and Interactive English, and then those have more levels with in them. Here’s the basic break down:

1. E-chip

2. Memory English (named after megabyte, gigabyte, terabyte)

  • Mega
  • Giga
  • Tera

3. Bridge (a no-man’s land between Memory and Interactive English!)

4. Interactive English (named mostly after golf terms, oh yeah)

  • Par
  • Birdie
  • Eagle
  • Albatross
  • Albatross+

5. Masters (I don’t know what the deal with this level is)

I’ve been trained in Interactive English, although in all likelihood I’ll end up teaching the other levels at some point too. In all the levels (… or at least all the Interactive English levels…) there’s a reading/writing class and a listening/speaking class. With that said! Here is my schedule (for the next 3 weeks, at which point this term will end):

Monday 4pm Bridge Reading (elementary schoolers); 7pm Bridge Reading (middle schoolers)

Tuesday 4pm Birdie Reading (elementary schoolers); 7pm Birdie Reading (middle schoolers)

Wednesday 4pm Par Reading (elementary schoolers)

Thursday 4pm Bridge Listening (elementary schoolers); 7pm Bridge Listening (middle schoolers)

Friday 4pm Bridge Listening (elementary schoolers)

Generally speaking, I like teaching the listening classes better because there’s significantly more discussion and significantly less skill theory teaching (which is pretty boring, at least for me). Also, generally speaking, the elementary school kids are easier/ more fun to teach because they are more eager to participate and strangely enough they’re more fluent, even when the middle schoolers are on the same level. I imagine this might be different if I taught E-chip or Memory English but I don’t teach that (yet) so I can’t say for sure.

But the fun part of all the classes is that they end with a Critical Thinking Project, where the kids break up into group and design a discussion/talk show/skit/whatever around the theme of that lesson, which they then present. And sometimes, if we have enough time and if my classes are small enough, I let them draw a picture on my board to go with their presentations. And then I take pictures of the pictures, because they’re adorable. Here is such a picture (from my 7pm Birdie class when they had to design a CTP about saving an endangered animal):

Critical Thinking Project Pictures!

Aren't they adorable! Especially the pink dolphin one (... not that I pick favorites...)

Wow. I’m still exhausted from yesterday, even after gulping down a large coke that came with the pizza I had for dinner. Hopefully I can detail my Saturday adventures in Itaewon in a coherent manner, but I have a feeling I’ll end up forgetting most of the information. Well, here goes:

Quinn and I were meeting some of the gang from training in Itaewon, Seoul’s district of foreigners, at 1:30pm on Saturday. We decided to leave early and it’s a good thing we did because it actually takes a long time to get to Itaewon from Suwon. The bus ride to Suwon station is 30 minutes with traffic (which there always is once people start waking up) and then the subway ride is another hour or two, depending on exactly where in Seoul we’re going and how many transfers we have to make. There were two transfers to Itaewon, which is on an somewhat inconvenient line, what with us living on Line 1 (which itself is inconvenient, but I’ll get to that later).

We got there may an hour before the others were there, which was nice because I was able to do a small amount of shopping, thinking correctly that once people started arriving we’d be so busy doing stuff that I wouldn’t have a chance to shop again. I wanted to get a good Korean-English dictionary and maybe some postcards. I did not manage to find a good Korea-English dictionary anywhere in Itaewon but I did FINALLY find some postcards. Some of the others got postcards too because for some reason you can’t find them anywhere in Korea. Lots of stationary and cards. No postcards.

After everyone arrived we wandered around Itaewon for a while, slowly making our way to the international market and the nearby English book store. The international market was a little smaller than I anticipated but it was definitely very international. Food from all over the world. Spices. Chocolate. Parmesan cheese. Worchestershire sauce. A lot of Indian and Middle Eastern food I can no longer remember. It was tempting to buy somethings but I resisted, since I didn’t want to carry it around for the rest of the day.

After that, we move on to the bookstore, which definitely had a nice selection of fiction books but sadly I was not in the market for fiction. I was in the market for a Korean-English dictionary. And their translation dictionary section was severely lacking. It was really shocking for an international area. There were basically two Korea-English dictionaries, a couple Korean-French ones, and then I think a Korean-Russian and a Korean-Arabic one and the rest of the reference books were encyclopedias. One of the Korean-English dictionary had the words written in hangul instead of romanized Korean (which is basically how most of the Korean-English dictionaries I found are organized and that’s not a good thing) could have worked but I didn’t want to shell out the₩10,000 (about $10) for it when it didn’t completely meet my needs. I think we might be planning a trip to Gangnam (the district in Seoul where we stayed for training) soon since a co-worker in April said it has a huge bookstore and an only slightly less huge English language section.

After the shopping, we met up another one of our training buddies in Myong-dong to take a trolley up to Seoul Tower and watch the sunset from the top (or as high up as you can go). It was pretty awesome but unfortunately I don’t think my camera captured the sunset very well. The only downside of the adventure is that we all realized Seoul is VERY smoggy. Here are some selected pictures!

That trolley is shockingly fast.

This pavilion, like all similar Korean architecture, is so detailed and beautiful.

After coming down from the Tower, we had some delicious beef and pork barbecue and eventually ended up at a noraebang (노래방), or karaoke bar, called Rookies. And indeed most of us were rookies. But we still rocked the mic, earning probably an average of 95/100 for most of the songs we did. The highest score was 99/100 for Lady Gaga’s Poker Face, a song that we pretty much all knew the words to. Okay, for my own amusement I’m going to see how many songs I can remember from the two hours we spent there:

  1. Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer
  2. Lady Gaga – Poker Face
  3. Six Pence – Kiss Me
  4. Metallica – Master of Puppets (HILARIOUSLY sung by two of the guys)
  5. Michael Jackson – Thriller (Sadly, we did not dance to this.)
  6. Aqua – Barbie Girl
  7. The Killers – Somebody Told Me
  8. Lady Gaga – Paparazzi
  9. Mc Hammer – U Can’t Touch This (And indeed we couldn’t touch this – this song won us probably our lowest score: 85/100)
  10. Lou Bega – Mambo No. 5
  11. Journey – Don’t Stop Believing (Another song that everyone knew basically all the words to)
  12. The Foundations – Build Me Up, Buttercup (Also, very popular)
  13. Backstreet Boys – Everybody (We had to.)
  14. Cher – Believe
  15. Grease – Summer Nights
  16. Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl
  17. Lady Gaga – Just Dance (Okay, this was our final Lady Gaga song).
  18. There were a lot more but they’re not coming to me off the top of my head right now… I’ll go back and flesh this out later. Like I said, tired.

After almost two hours of noraebanging, Quinn and I had to bolt because it was 11pm and the subway stops running around 12pm. Which makes NO SENSE in Seoul, because that city basically doesn’t sleep. So we bolted back to the subway and when we got there a train was pulling up. A voice announced this was the “last train of the night” so we hopped on and HOPED it would take us to Suwon.

That last sentence needs some explination. So here’s the deal with Line 1. Line 1 has three branches and they end in Incheon Airport, Sinchang and Soroyan. The three branches separate at a stop called Guro, with the Soroyan branch heading east, the Incheon branch heading West and the Sinchang branch heading south. Suwon is the on the branch ending with Sinchang. When we want to visit Seoul, we head towards Soroyan and there’s absolutely no trouble because (to the best of my knowledge) no train goes from Sinchang directly to Incheon. Unfortunately, it seems the normal train also doesn’t run from Soroyan directly to Sinchang, which has caused some problems for me and Quinn (and I’m curious to know if it’s also caused problems for our friends living in Anyang, which is also on the Sinchang branch).

Last weekend, when we were coming back from Yongsan, Quinn and I hopped on what we thought was the train that would take us to Suwon. Neither of us was paying attention when it breezed past Guro and DID NOT go to the next station south but instead went to the station to the west. Luckily there was another American on the train that said we were on the express train to Incheon Airport. Oh no.

So we got off at Bucheon, which coincidently is where one of our training buddies, Karen, now lives. We got another train back to Guro, then got off and made sure this time we were on the correct train to Sinchang. And we vowed to never make that mistake again. Except we did.

When we heard that the bus yesterday was the “last of the night” (note the quotes) we just got on it, realizing it could very well be a Line 1 train that goes to Incheon and NOT Sinchang. We basically prayed it was going the way we needed it to and then started making plans for if it didn’t. We decided to call up Karen to see if we could stay with her in Bucheon for the night and then catch an early subway back to Suwon Sunday morning (I had to be back to 1. Feed Sherlock and 2. Prepare for next weeks classes). And wouldn’t you know it, after we passed Guro we found ourselves going to Incheon. We were very sad.

We had to call up one of the others we left back at the Norebang to get Karen’s number. Which is when they told us they had just caught Line 1 back to their home… WHA?! As it turns out, the train we got on WAS NOT THE LAST ONE OF THE NIGHT, even though it totally said it was in a friendly and official voice. Stupid lying train… So we called up Karen and she happily let us stay with her for the night.

Okay, before I finish up the story, let me just make a quick note about how I think Line 1 works. I’m thinking that it works in one of two ways. In the first way, the trains run in pairs, with the first Line 1 train coming through heading along the Incheon branch and the second of the pair heading towards the Sinchang branch and it’s just a matter of waiting for the right one (We didn’t realize it until AFTER this debacle but the train we were on said Incheon on the side so theoretically the second train would read Sinchang). The second way is more annoying and unfortunately this is probably the right way. Basically the only train the runs directly from the end of one branch to the end of the other is the one from Incheon to Soroyan and to get on a train that branches off towards Sinchang we’d have to always get off at Guro, cross the platform to the side that’s specifically for the Sinchang trains and get on one of those. But in any case, in the future, we should not get on the train that says Incheon on the side if we’re trying to get back to Bucheon.

The other thing we need to figure out is the express trains. One of the reasons our travel to Itaewon took so long was that there are so many extra stops between Suwon and Guro. LUCKILY there are two express trains that run along the Soroyan branch and end at or around Suwon (with both stopping there) and they 1. DO NOT got towards Incheon and 2. Skip the majority of the stops on Line 1. We need to find these trains.

And now back to adventures with Karen and Quinn. And boy was this an adventure. Karen gave us directions for how to get to her apartment once we get off the train and they basically ran like this. Leave the station and cross the street, staying on the right. There should be a castle to the left. Walk for about 5 minutes until you reach the bus stop and get on bus 70, 70-2 or any bus with two 6’s in the number and it’ll take us to her apartment.

Well. We were wandering around for an hour, if not an hour and a half, in the weirdest little neighborhood ever (It seriously looked like a movie or musical set), calling Karen every five minutes trying to figure out where we were and only getting more confused because the landmarks she was giving us were not ones we were passing. We almost got a taxi back when Quinn suggested maybe we went out the wrong exit of the subway station. And as it turns out we did. Karen doesn’t often use Bucheon station so I guess she didn’t realize there were two exits and neither did we.

As soon as we exited the correct way, we CLEARLY saw the castle – it’s a giant European-style castle (I think it’s a bowling alley) and you cannot miss it even if you tried. And from there we found the bus stop pretty quickly. Unfortunately the buses had stopped running (It was only 12pm!) and we had to get a taxi anyway.

Once at Karen’s, we watched the Golden Globes until we feel asleep. Then, she accompanied us back to Bucheon station so she could see for herself the exit we used, and we hopped a train back to Guro and then transfered on one to Suwon. I ended up getting back around 9:30am, filled up Sherlock’s water then fell into a pleasant sleep until she decided to start walking on my face.

Tomorrow promises another adventure, but hopefully this one will go easier. Monday through Wednesday I have to completely change how I teach the classes because the students are taking practice final exams. I’m pretty sure the reading portion of the classes are prepared correctly but I’m not sure about the listening portion. Looks like I get to go to work early to see if I’m missing some information.

This morning I woke up, started my laundry and took a shower. I noticed the bunnies were not running around in their cage like they normally do. Because I don’t let them out when I’m showering, they were in there for maybe a half an hour before I checked on them. And to my sadness, I found that Snowball-Irene-Gerund-Watson had died during the night.

Sherlock is still doing fine, but Snowball is gone. Quinn and I aren’t sure what happened. Last night she was eating and drinking fine. She was friendly (I was even able to get her to come when I called her!). There was nothing out of the ordinary. But I think the problem was she wasn’t gaining enough weight. It seems like Quinn chose the runt of the litter and maybe she would have died anyway.

In honor of the late Snowball, here are some pictures of her:

She liked to lay on the heated floors.

And she loved to eat.

And she loved following Sherlock around.

RIP little bunny.

I was planning on writing a post about my classes today. I think I’ll put that on hold for a little bit and instead talk about another aspect on my work. Thus, here is the first installment of the A Day in My Life series, tales about my work as an English teacher.

So in addition to native-speaking English teachers, Chung Dahm also has counselors. The April Institute has native- Korean teachers, but CDI does not. For all eight of my classes, I have two different counselors. After working with them for three or four weeks (I had a different counselor when I was subbing my first week), I can’t say that I’ve developed a super awesome rapport with them. Or at least the guys at April and some of the other teachers at CDI seem to have better rapports with their counselors. But at least today the counselors called me by my name, which I don’t believe they’ve done before.

I have two major issues with my counselors. Issue One: we teachers (for both April and CDI) have to complete daily reports for all of our classes that basically explains whether the class went well or poorly and why. Then we present them to the counselors so they know what’s going on. The other teachers seem to discuss the classes a little with their counselors and the counselors ask them questions about the students etc. Mine… do not… I don’t really know if I’m not writing the correct information or what, but only once did they ask me about a student and they actually referred me to another counselor to talk about him. In recent days, this has gotten a little better because they’d told me “insider” information, if you will, about problem students and gave me suggestions for how to handle them. But there is still room for improvement. Today I wrote a message about one of my students doing very well and how she’s improved so much from when she started and I really expected my counselor to say something about that or ask me how she’s improved. She did not… Today’s Daily Report for the Counselors: my rapport with them is getting better, but it is room for improvement.

Issue Two: This one’s kind of a big one. The counselors come in and talk to the students during break, which isn’t a problem (although they do leave my door open so the class looses all it’s heat – my classroom is obscenely cold sometimes). However, they sometimes go over my head about the heating of the class. Basically, I have the crappiest heater in the building and 7 windows, which equals one of the coldest classrooms. The teacher before me would wear his jacket through the entire class because of the cold. About a week ago, I tried to turn up the heat… and the heater broke… I think one of the students told the counselor about how cold the class was and the counselor came in to check the heater. Then she told the students to move to another teacher’s classroom because that one was empty and had heat. She did not tell me this. So one minute I’m putting grades into the computer and then I look up and all my students are leaving. Uh… not cool. And the timing was awful because I had notes on the board that we needed to finish the rest of class, so basically the rest of the lesson for the day was screwed up because I had to change classrooms. In the future, they brought a space heater to my classroom so I could stay in the room (which is what they should have done the first time around).

The reason I decided to write this post was because issue two happened again today. There was construction outside my room today and I went to ask if anyone knew when they would stop, because it was really loud and would definitely be distracting to my students. When I got back, the room smelled a little smoky and I figured it was from the construction. But it wasn’t a bad small. My students start coming in and the counselor brings me the homework check sheet (oh! issue three – they sometimes don’t bring me the homework check sheet so I can’t check all the students’ homework… uh, okay… not good). She must have noticed the smell because she came back in with the other counselor and they started looking around my room and being a little strange. And then they turned off my heater. Without asking me if they can or telling me that they would.

I’m getting ready to start class when they come in with the space heater and Mr. Park. They tell me my heater was making my room smell and Mr. Park needs to work on it. I would have to move to my neighbor’s classroom because she doesn’t have class now. I tell them I can’t do that because she does have a 7 o’clock class and so do I. So they tell me to go to another classroom, and figuring that certainly this teacher doesn’t have any classes today, I grab all my things and go over there. Luckily this time I had enough time to get all my things together instead of just bolting after my class that it didn’t really screw me up.

UNFORTUNATELY, that room is used for tutoring at 7 o’clock so I had to scramble to get back to my other classroom – which now smells REALLY STRONGLY of some kind of floral thing (the students thought it was perfume – maybe if someone dumped an entire bottle of perfume in the class…). The smell was way worse than the little smoky smell the heater was letting off. We had to leave the windows open for 3o minutes to get rid of it… Not cool. But it was cold…

First of all, I need to start building a rapport with the counselors. Second of all, they need to start giving me the things they need to give me so I can check homework. Third of all, this heater stuff needs to get sorted out. Now.

And that is a Day in My Life: Working with the Counselors.

I think I’ll procrastinate on prepping my Tuesday classes by posting about today’s adventures (complete with pictures!). Alex, Quinn and I were visited by some of our fellow newbie teachers from training. They live in Seoul (Pyoncheon, Jamsil and Bucheon) and Pyongtaek, and live maybe 30 minutes to and hour away via subway.

We met them at Suwon station and decided to visit Hwaseong Fortress. We were told we could take Bus 13, but not told which stop to get off at… so we breezed past the fortress and went up Mt. Gwangyo. We thought bus 13 was going to let us off at the South gate (Paldalmun -팔 달 문) but bus 13 actually lets off near the North Gate (Janganmun – 장 안 문).

So we drove up Mt. Gwangyo and low and behold – we found some of the Suwon toilets! Quinn and I have been trying to visit one of this toilets for a while and were dismayed to hear they no longer had a tour for them. But via bus 13 we drove past the Firefly toilet and ended up stopping (and using) the Hermit Toilet (apparently officially known as the Daeseulgi Toilet – 다 슬기 화 장 실)

And then we road back to Hwaseong Fortress. I’ll let pictures tell the rest of the story.

These snail thingies sure do make me want to use their mountain john.

Upon arrival, of course we had to take a group picture. Two people are missing (because we were taking pictures).

So beautiful!

Here's one of the beautiful turrets (and eventually I'll get its name) which Richard and John are exploring. Note the sign: I did not take off my shoes. Because although I teach English, I apparently cannot read it.

It's shaped like a dragon! We managed to get the last trolley of the day and I'm glad we did because it covered way more ground than we could on foot.

I'll have to go back when the weather gets warmer!

Yay! A productive Saturday! First, I FINALLY got a cell phone, an adventure that took just a little too long. I kept waiting for various Korean people to help me get it, but after those plans fell through one after another, Quinn (one of the new April teachers) and I decided to just go get one by ourselves. We went last weekend. Unfortunately, last weekend was apparently a holiday (which one, I do not know) and they were apparently unable to sell us cell phones during this holiday… Oookay.

So we went on Friday after we got out of work at 7pm. Only to find that we couldn’t get a charge phone after 7pm on weekdays. And we wanted a charge phone.

Soooo we showed up at T-world to get a super cheap, used charge phone and the bright and early hour of 10am, when they said we could get the phone on Saturday. And I left with a brand, new (old and slightly outdated) cell phone! It cost me ₩20,000 (less than $20) and then I was required to put on ₩30,000 worth of charge on it. Which gives me about 4838 minutes for 3 months (unless I’m calculating that wrong, but I think my math is good).  Which is waaaay more than I’ll need. So yay!

Here's the cell phone I got. Clunky, but small and it gets the job done. For a size comparison, that plastic in the corner is a case for an SD card.

Then we went over to Yongsan, Seoul’s electronic’s district, to check out some electronic stuff. And they weren’t kidding when they said this was the electronic’s district. Oh my god. So many cameras. So many i-pods. Well now I know where to go if my i-pod finally dies (2 years and going strong – knock on wood). The initial prices they tell you can be pretty high, but with the right haggling skills you can get them to drop the price by a lot and they’ll throw in accessories and stuff. The only thing is, most places will only offer the discount if you pay cash. BUT we only explored a small area of Yongsan and there were several other buildings we didn’t go to where I’m sure they were selling other electronics, or had better deals, or had some really crazy electronics we didn’t find where we were.

Honestly, it’s a little overwhelming and it would have been nice to go with either someone who had shopped there before or someone who spoke Korean (or both!).

I had such glorious plans for last weekend! I was supposed to finally get internet in my apartment! I was suppose to go to Yongsan, Seoul’s electronic’s district! I was supposed to get a cell phone. I even accounted for the fact that I had to make up one of my classes from Monday! It was going to be fantastic!

Sadly only one of those plans panned out – I made up my 4pm Monday class on Saturday at 4pm. I didn’t mind coming in to teach on the weekend because I like the students in that class. They’re a lot of fun.

However, I did mind waiting around Saturday morning for someone to come and set up internet in my apartment, as I  was told would happen on Friday, only to find out on Sunday that this weekend was *in fact* a holiday, which meant that not only would no one be coming to set up internet until Monday but Alex, Quinn and I could also not buy cell phones over the weekend.

The plans to visit Yongsan also had to be scraped, unfortunately. It was a little disappointing but it was probably for the best because we wouldn’t have been able to by cell phones as we had planned and it wouldn’t have been fun to go by myself, what with Quinn being sick. And I did get something out of it – free books and a dresser. Someone had tossed them into the street so when I was coming back from lunch on Sunday, I claimed them. Which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I were in Yongsan. The books are in Korea so I can’t read them but they fill up my otherwise empty bookshelf. And a (free, in working-condition) dresser (that happens to match my apartment) is actually just what I needed, so yay!

So last weekend: not so adventerous. But it looks like today I might ACTUALLY FOR SURE be getting internet. They’re setting it up today while I’m at work, which is a little unsettling, but whatever. It’s something I need. The class I’m teaching today I really needed internet access to prepare for (I’m playing a Youtube clip!). Luckily I was able to get all my internet stuff done before class but it would have been nice to do the stuff at home.

On Monday I left my apartment around 9:30am to run to the grocery store – and found nearly a foot of snow on the ground with snow still coming down. It ended up snowing until 3:15pm. They cancelled classes at ChungDahm (or at least CDI, the April teachers, like Quinn and Alex, still had to teach). I ended up going to school anyway because I needed to get prep materials for my classes later in the week… only to find my room locked. Oh well. At least I could ask Mr. Park about my Alien Registration Card.

Unfortunately it looks like Alex, Quinn and I have to wait until Friday for our cards. Which is really frustrating because we kind of need internet and cell phones. Quinn ended up walking all the way to work at 9am because they couldn’t reach him by phone to tell him his morning class was cancelled. Plus, I need internet access to do certain aspects of my job and since I can’t do it from home, I have to stay around after class and do it. Which wouldn’t be a problem except that the building closes after my 10pm classes… I hope we can get internet and cell phones soon after Friday.

But the adventure to the school wasn’t a complete loss. There’s a mountain-hill (too small to be a mountain, too big to be a hill) right behind the area the school’s in. You can see a red pagoda-esque building on the top of it and for the longest time I was wondering what it was. So I my snow day, I hiked the mountain-hill to find out.

Turns out its an exercise pavillion and there’s a water fountain (with really tasty water) about a hundred feet away. There were actually quite a few people hiking the mountain and using the equipment even in the snow. I didn’t have my camera with me on this hike, which is a darn shame because the view of the city blanketed in snow and the pavillion with a giant snow hat was really pretty. I hope it snows hard again so I can go back up and take a picture.

I mentioned HomePlus in a previous post but didn’t describe it. Basically it’s a five story grocery store/department store. And it’s pretty nice/cheap/close to my home/work. And I really need to get a point card for it since I’ve been shopping there a bunch. They sell almost everything – including hedgehogs which I was very briefly thinking about possibly buying… Until I saw it cost $150… yeah… not paying that.

So New Years day I went there to pick up a few basic office supplies and it was shaping up to be a pretty harmless trip. I went with one of the guys who came here with me – Quinn (the other newbie is Alex by the way. I figure I should probably post their first names, at least, at some point). Quinn and I made our usual stop by the hedgehog/exotic fish/stag bettle/rabbit/lizard section of the store after I picked up the supplies I needed.

And we walked out with two rabbits. That’s right, rabbits. I am now a rabbit owner. It was a pretty cheap endevour (at least for now and it doesn’t look like it’ll be too expensive to maintain them). Splitting the cage and accessories cost with Quinn, I ended up paying 32,000 won (or about $27).

My rabbit (who I think is a girl) looks like a britannia petite, which grow to about 2 and 1/2 lbs.  – a perfect size for my apartment. She has an awesome two-tone face, half black and half brown, which was why I liked her. And she’s SUPER energetic. She spent the first hour or so in my apartment running around. Unfortunately, this makes her “not a lap rabbit” I’ve found out, but that’s okay too. Because she was so inquisitive, and because I just saw Sherlock Holmes, I named her Sherlock.

Quinn’s is a dwarf hotot ( pronounced hoe-tot or oh-toe) and is pretty cute. He couldn’t decide on a name for her so right now she’s Snowball Irene Gerund Watson. She’s significanty more shy/reserved than Sherlock.

Unfortunately I can’t post pictures of them at the moment but in the future, pictures will definitely be posted.

PS On Monday we’re supposed to get our Alien Registration Cards. And I will be trying to set up internet as soon as possible after that. And get a cell phone. You never truly appreciate the convience of a cell phone until you go for three weekends in a foreign country without one.