This Home Sick Swing: Holidays

Another diary-like entry:

It wasn’t Thanksgiving, the food, or the weather that created my first major homesick pit. It wasn’t a specific conversation or a fantastic dream… It was last night while I was sitting at a friend’s church’s Christmas ‘Party’.

Performances were great all evening. Children danced. Drummers did an amazing ‘black light’ special. Both Korean AND English were used. (We, English speakers actually knew what was going on the entire time!) The ballroom venue was gorgeous, warm, and very Western with wedding or holiday ‘feel’.

My friends smiled and cheered. They were absolutely thrilled that it finally felt like ‘Christmas’… but that’s when I slowly started to really feel the missing presence of my family.

We don’t celebrate Christmas. If any major religion, my family would be closely related to Judaism. We have Chanukkah parties, eat matzah for Passover (Pesach), and keep the fast of Yom Kippur. So, being surrounded by Christmas decor has always made me feel a bit foreign. However, most of my friends are Christian. So, being in a Christmas atmosphere wasn’t the tear jerker. Continue reading

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My First Snow Fall

As I sat at my desk brainstorming for winter camp lesson plan ideas, the blanket of cloudy skies once again caught my eye. I sighed at the realization that the sun probably would not return until tomorrow… but then, small pieces of white stuff caught my attention. They were lightly blowing in the wind. As if I was part of the Matrix trilogy, I slowly rose from my chair, grabbed my American phone and walked to the window. Two nights before, I was hit by this ‘stuff’ in the face for a brief minute or so… but this time I could see it:

*~*~ Snow ~*~*

First Sighting of Snow from Office Window

Little pieces of lint blowing through the air. My weather geek-ness understood exactly how it formed, why, and its origin… but my mind was boggled. I watched in amazement. How could this stuff come from the skies? Is someone sitting on top of the school’s building dumping “Made in Korea” cotton balls into a warehouse fan? (Talk about ultimate ‘fan death’…) Continue reading

Three Month Anniversary in Korea

December 1st, 2012!!

That was my 3-month mark living in South Korea. ‘Experienced foreigners’ have been warning us (newbies) about getting homesick around the 3rd month mark or growing tired of the new culture immersion, but I haven’t had any major mood swings yet. Since I believe that if you focus on getting homesick, it may actually come. So, I don’t feel like thinking about it… Instead, I wonder what have I become accustomed to since I moved here three months ago…

Let’s compare 🙂

Our 3 Month Mark in Korea

Our 3 Month Mark in Korea

No Longer Foreign/ Strange

  1. Having three major different types of shoes just to walk around (outdoors, indoors, and bathroom shoes)
  2. The non-existence of flare jeans. Skinny jeans galore!
  3. My arch-nemesis: kimchi. I have conquered thee. Continue reading

Tae Kwon Do in Korea: Final Lesson as a White Belt

This week has been eventful. I think that’s the reason why I completely crashed (slept) tonight,  but one highlight has to be:

The Tae Kwon Do Belt Test

I’ve been in and out of martial arts/ kickboxing for years. It’s just something about kicking and sweating in a place which smells like feet that makes me a happy gal. So, one of my top ‘things to do’ in Korea was… study Tae Kwon Do in its home country.

Our first day in the uniform

Our first day in the uniform

About 5 1/2 years ago, I learned the basics from a Korean master at my university. We studied it as a class and practiced once a week. Two-three evenings a week, I attended a Tae Kwon Do club for extra practice. I remember moving quickly through the steps. So, when I joined this Tae Kwon Do class, I expected the same. Boy, was I wrong. Continue reading