Okay, I’m going to start by saying that November has not been the most exciting month, so I apologise if this is not the most exciting entry to date, but there have still been some interesting happenings, so here goes:
MISSION FOR GREEN DAY TICKETS:
Well, I won’t keep you in suspense and so will tell you now that the mission was successful!!
Basically (I could go on forever on this, but will keep it brief) the official ticket release date was back in October which is when my search began. After some help from Jong Sool and Jin Sun and the very helpful English speaking Korea helpline I found out tickets were going on sale on November 24th.
I also found out that I could get tickets from Kyobo bookstore so off I went on the 28th (a Saturday) to Kyobo on my mission! Despite the very helpful lady I spoke to not knowing any English we managed to get through the process of me buying a ticket. I will also point out that the ticket is completely in Korean so I am relying on this nice lady that I actually do have the correct ticket!
I will be checking it out with Jong Sool next week to be sure at the same time as asking for time off to actually go!
THE ‘BEEFET’ RESTAURANT:
Oh yes, the ‘beefet’ restaurant. At the beginning of the month Jong Sool asked me on Friday night as I was leaving school what I was doing the next day. I explained to him that Jill was coming to visit and we would be going into Seoul.
He then announced that we would be going for dinner at 6:30pm the next day in Uijeongbu (there were a few additional exchanges in between, but that was pretty much the result). As ‘no’ was not an option I said ‘of course’. He then asked me if I knew of the ‘beefet’ restaurant and me thinking this was the name of the restaurant said ‘no’. He then started to explain that its where you have lots of dishes to chose from and you go and help yourself, at which point it all became clear and I said ‘ahh, buffet’ which was met with great appreciation and nodding!
I should also explain that the day before was Jong Sool’s birthday so I had assumed that the meal was for his birthday - ‘never assume’!!
Anyway, me and Jill arrived at the cinema in Uijeongbu as instructed and were met by Jong Sool who took us up to the restaurant. It was a really posh looking place which turned out to also be a wedding hall. It also turned out to be not Jong Sool’s birthday meal, but Sarah and Mrs Cheung’s mothers 84th birthday dinner with the whole family!
The evening was pretty good and the food was also good, lots of choice which meant that was lots for even me to choose from.
BOOKSTORE, BOOKSTORE AND BOOKSTORE:
This month all I seem to have done in Seoul is go to bookstores - I can now say I have been to the main three bookstores in Seoul.
The first weekend (well Saturday) spent in bookstores was when Jill came to visit and we went to Young Poong for lunch and a look around as they had started to do some renovations and hence things had moved around a bit. We then went to Kyobo bookstore and spent a few hours wandering around there as I was looking for Christmas present ideas and Jill was looking for some books for the university she now works at.
The second weekend of bookstores, I had planned on doing something other than going to the bookstore, but I had seriously underestimated the coldness of the day and after being outside for a short amount of time gave up with my outdoor plans and……… yep - went to the bookstore. This time, however I went to the other bookstore in Jongak station which I hadn’t been to before and there were some xmas decorations up which I was quite excited by, so at least it was a little different.
This last weekend shouldn’t really count as I only went to the bookstore to get my Green Day ticket (just had to mention that again!) and I also went to see the completed renovations at Young Poong which were really impressive. They had a lot of new things for sale including candles and jewellery etc.
That just about sums up my month of bookstores!
MORE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING:
My Christmas shopping is now complete, thanks to the above mentioned numerous visits to the bookstores.
I have bought English books for Grace, Sunny and Jin Sun, a CD for Jong Sool and candles for both Sarah and Mrs Cheung (thanks to the new look Young Poong).
I am pretty happy with everything I have bought and now can’t wait for Christmas to get here!
Next job is decorations, but that will have to be one for next month!
I think there are only 3 school updates worth mentioning this month:
1) Sunny failed her interview for international school - this was not really unexpected for me, but she was obviously disappointed at the time. She seems pretty happy now though and we are working on things ready for her to try again next year.
2) New Students - well we have 3 new students I think. One, Ben in the Fantasy 1-5 class who is fitting in pretty well. Then there are 2 brothers who only started last week, Dennis and Mountain (yes, I did say Mountain - he insisted that be his name and who am I to argue!).
3) Comical quotes of the month - I will try to stick to the best ones as there are always so many! The most recent is Peter in my Kindergarten class who while doing his introduction (which he was doing so well) said ‘my favourite animal is mommy, daddy, sister and me’ - oh dear - and now he just won’t change it!
Another is Grace, who to be fair I think was at least half joking when she said this, who when asked what Christmas celebrates said ‘my mother’s birthday’ - well at least I found out when Sarah’s birthday is!
The last couple are from Will who had one lesson where he just seemed to mishear everything I said much to everyone’s amusement. The first was ‘volcano’ which Will looked confused at and said ‘potato?’. The second was while I was explaining what a nightmare was and said it’s a ‘bad dream’ to which he replied ‘bathroom?’.
WINTER IS HERE / FIRST SNOW:
Sometime over the last couple of weeks of November winter seems to have officially begun. This has been celebrated with the mass heaters appearing in school. These are no ordinary heaters, in fact when I first saw them I thought they had all gone mad getting the fans back out. After closer examination I found that instead of the propeller in a fan it had heating coils - they were in fact heaters!
I even got my own for my office, although it’s a little different and in my opinion doesn’t quite meet the definition of a heater as it doesn’t really give out much heat!
The other exciting winter thing to happen this month was the first snow!! It happened the other Friday when I had a 7pm finish and I left school to feel something hit my face. I looked up and it was SNOW!!! It only lasted a few minutes but it was still snow, and it must have snowed again over night as there was a thin layer of snow the next day when I went out - I have pictures to prove it on the blog!!
Sadly it hasn’t snowed since, but I have my fingers crossed for a white Christmas!
Another adventure for this month was transferring some money back home for the first time.
Thankfully Jong Sool took me to the bank this first time and helped fill out the paperwork and that was it - easy and it was in my UK bank account the same day - very impressive!
Well that’s it for November - December is promising to be a much more exciting month with Christmas, New Year, more snow (I hope) and who knows what else!!