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Showing posts from 2008

Oh yeah, and one more thing....

Due to the fact that I am no longer Stephanie in Suwon, and plan on keeping my blog despite this turn of events, I felt the need to rename it. Thus the new heading. And I like it. I plan on staring at the stars a great deal in the coming months, lying on torch-lite beaches, sipping pina coladas, and staying out way past my bedtime. I remember wishing on stars when I was a kid, and by kid, I mean up until I was in university and even for sometime afterwards. I remember frozen winter nights in my hometown, when it was clear and the sky seemed to explode with thousands of them. I remember warm, drippy summer nights at camp, lying on the dock, eating cake we’d stolen from the kitchen, and trying to find Orion’s belt. I loved how quiet everything seemed, how small we felt, how safe.
Living in Korea gives you plenty of opportunity to feel small, but not a whole lot of quiet, and you can forget about feeling safe. Not in the literal sense of the word, just the very nature of being here can s…

Tell the fat lady she's on in five, four, three, two.........

According to the customized countdown I have programmed into my computer, I am apparently leaving for Thailand in under a week and will be closing the door, pardon me, dramatically slamming the door a la Steph-Morris-throwing-a-hissy-fit-at-age-13 style, at my current place of employment. I’m going out with a mutha-fuking bang bitches and am blowing this Asian pop stand I’ve called home for the past fourteen months. Here’s how it’s all going to go down:

For some reason, mostly having to do with the fact that the school I’ve given my blood, sweat and tears to over the course of the past year could probably be better run if a group of monkeys took the wheel, has decided that Dave and I need to work on Monday and Wednesday, but not on Tuesday. This is nonnegotiable for us, not that I would normally mind being given an extra day to pack, but in this particular instance, is also giving them the opportunity to not give us our full paychecks for the month of October, even though we have worke…

It's not what you think...it never is......

.....I hate to talk like this
I hate to act as if there's something wrong
But I will say I have this dream at night, almost every night
I've been dreaming it forever
It's easy to remember
It's always cold, always day, always here
I always say, I'm alright, I'll be okay
If I can keep myself awake

I get up early and look around me
And can't help but wonder what you mean
But when I'm sleeping, I'm so deep in
It's so much more real to me
Closer than reality

It's always cold always day always here
I always say, I'm alright, I'll be okay
If I can keep myself awake

I get up early I look around me
I'm buying coffee by the pound
But when I'm sleeping so deep in it
I can't keep myself awake

Personal Space and lack thereof...

There are many things about Korea I will miss.
This particular blog is not about any of those things.
There is a little concept we Canadians like to call “personal space” and while I understand that by growing up in the second largest country in the world, I have been afforded a tad more of this then someone who had the providence to be born in, oh I don’t know, Calcutta perhaps? Understanding this fact does not deter me from wanting to shove back when the old Korean woman elbows me in the stomach in order to ensure her place in the subway line, or the violent urge to throw my coffee at the driver of the motor bike that just clipped me….because it was driving on the fucking sidewalk. A year in Asia has neither lessened my urge to kill regarding these people who have clearly never seen or even considered the idea that SOME people might think it’s fucking rude to invade their fucking space never mind assault them in some manner while doing so.

Nor has it diminished my response of incredu…

Blah, Blah, Blah......

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I was on the phone with a dear friend of mine yesterday, wishing for the ability to hug through phone lines, as I have so often wished for during my sojourn here in SK. If I could have one superpower I think that would be it, the ability to give physical affection regardless of distance, time and space. Imagine the comfort and strength one could give and gain from this prospect. The possibilities are damn near endless. This act of superhuman ability could change the world as we know it. Just think of our world leaders on a conference call deciding the fate of our insignificant planet. Voices are being raised, hands are shaking in righteous anger, fingers poised over the buttons that will activate the nuclear warheads that will reduce out world to a smoldering pile of radioactive waste and then….suddenly…..a warm embrace envelops them all, kind words of comfort whisper, “It’s all going to be ok……shhhhhhhh….” Their hands slowly drop to their sides; eyes close against the tears welling u…

Thoughts on Mother Nature....

Dee wants me to die in a fire every time I say this but I am so happy that it’s finally cooling down outside. Seriously, after 3 solid months of extreme heat and humidity I am ready to kiss summer goodbye, a sexy french kiss with lots of tongue that will leave him begging for more so as to ensure his return at the appropriate time next year though. Yes, him. I’ve always thought of summer and winter as male and spring and autumn as female, although I’m not sure what this says about my views on gender. Dee? Thoughts? Summer and winter both being seasons of extremes while spring and fall remain more temperate, a slow shifting from one extreme to the other, cushioning us and controlling the transfer of the seasons. Being a female, I know that’s how most people see me, a restrained and judicious force of nature, soothing and reassuring.
No?
Maybe ever-changing and transformative, always ushering in one extreme or the other with little to no regard as to what people are actually ready for? S…

One year later........

Walking home tonight, I was waiting to cross the street when a stray breeze ruffled the branches of a nearby tree, showering me with a fine coating of dust and debris. I was in the middle of thanking Mother Nature in the four-letter kind of way when I brushed a yellow leaf out of my hair and watched it fall to the ground.
I stopped dead and looked at it. It’s the first one I’ve seen so far, and I know there will be more soon. Many more. Very soon. The seasons are changing once again here in Korea. From summer to fall. I’m watching the seasons change here again and I know that means I have been here, in Korea, for one full year.

Now before you say anything, I’m not an idiot. (Shut up Angelo….) I realized and recognized this fact late last month and thought back with a reflected smile to my first week here, my first month here. How so many of the things I take for granted, that are common place to me now were shiny and new then, how so much seemed to shimmer with possibility and everyth…

Japan

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Japan was nothing like I expected, but more than what I hoped for. It was expensive, tiring, and confusing at times. It was enlightening, humbling and thrilling as well. I was disappointed by the things I thought I would appreciate the most, and taken aback by things I expected to smile politely at. Tokyo was jarring. We arrived at night, well after dark, exhausted from a day of delayed flights, bad airline food, and a humidity that rivaled my first few days in Korea. The air was soupy, thick and wet. Yuck. Word to the wise, if at all possible, when traveling; try to NOT arrive at your destination after dark. It does nothing but confuse you of your surroundings and increases your sense of disorientation. We were up at dawn the following day, regardless, strolling through temples by 10am, breathing in the heady incense that permeated that air. We made our way to Shibuya crossing, and joined the oceans of people that swarm the street the second the lights allow. The fashion in Tokyo is …

5 days left........

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This month cannot end fucking fast enough.
If any of you happen to read about a teacher in South Korea who put a kid-sized hole through the wall of her classroom when, after busting her ass to make it through all the bloody material her school requires her to get through while keeping the children’s rapt attention for two hours discussing photosynthesis and adjective clauses, one of her unwilling, sassy-ass minions called her a bad teacher for never playing games in class, please believe me when I say I tried to restrain myself.
But working 12 hour days while prepping for 7 different classes does funny things to one’s perception of right and wrong and I know that most of you, of the three of you who still read this, will understand the sentiment when it comes to something that you know is wrong, but at the time, feels very very right.
Alright, alright, so I’m not going to be chucking kids through walls…..probably. Besides, they might not let me leave the country if I started acting on …

Why I haven't been blogging....

I have been living and breathing work. I am tired. I am sick. I am currently living on approximately $5 per day as the money I have been earning has been eaten up this month by travel plans, exciting but exhausting and doing nothing to diminish my To-Do list, and/or the debt I am trying to pay off to the soul sucking sponge known as the Canadian Government, who I have yet to receive my tax refund from. It is nearly August yet my skin is the color of a cadaver on account of the fact that the majority of my days are spent cooped up in a classroom with a virtual army of unmotivated, unappreciative, Ritalin deprived children who have the audacity to ask me exactly when I am leaving Korea and cheer when I answer, soon. This could be a side affect of the 14 pages of homework I am forced to give them each class in order to keep up with the ridiculous curriculum set by the baby-sitting business I currently work for…oh, I’m sorry, “school”. I can kiss the gym goodbye for the next month, one o…

Bye Roxstar

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Thanks for making my month away from school such great one. Thanks for Frankie's and La Merche. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, feelings and laughter with me. You helped make all this a little more real.
Cheers to you my fellow Albertan, say hi to the Spolumbo's crew for me! :)

Catch ya on the flip side, mkay?!?
xoxo

Confusion Vs. Confucious...or something like that....

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I’m so confused.
Allow me to elaborate.

Last Friday was the culmination of a 6-day-1-day-break-5-day-work-week. Even after the weekend, I’m fucking exhausted, and it’s only Tuesday, but am finding solace in the bottle of wine I purchased from the 24 hour convenience store located less then a block away from our apartment. Australian Shiraz, on sale.
There are times that I love Korea☺.
But back to the confusion.

My last class on MWF consists of a group of 6th graders who have the camaraderie that can only happen when a group of individuals has been together for an extended period of time. In their case, this particular group of kids has been together for almost a year now. They’re lazy, loud, rambunctious, sarcastic, opinionated and ADD. I fucking love them. But don’t tell them that. Their last teacher let them get away with bloody murder so I’ve been a royal B-I-T-C-H to get them to be more serious about their class work. And they’re getting better (because I’m a fucking rock star teacher,…

The Heart of the Matter

Cherry blossoms in my grape slushy.
White butterflies dancing in the sunlight.
The smell of the subway, balancing on the edge of the platform and feeling the rush of wind as it arrives and you push your way on while trying to avoid the high heels of the Korean girl in front of you.

It’s official. We’ve extended our contracts until October. My feelings regarding this remain dichotomous, as always, ever divided. On one hand, I am excited about this opportunity as this will afford Dave and I the chance to travel more extensively, and travel plans currently include Japan, Thailand (again), possibly Cambodia, and Laos as well. I’m on this side of the globe, I’m damn well going to take advantage of that and it is with great anticipation that I plunge myself into this next segment of this thing that I’ve gotten myself into. On the other hand…I do miss home. I miss my family, I miss my friends. I miss acting. I miss dancing. I miss tea at Steeps and rehearsals with KGB. I miss dinner at The Cou…

Climbing Soraksan

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Weekend hiking in Soraksan with Ashley “Sometimes I am VERY confused” Adamson and Jamie “Fuck you Darwin” Sisler.






















Thanks guys. I needed that.
I'll miss you.