Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Somewhere Over the Sea, Koreans are annoying here too!!

I really wanted to write this blog entry when I was on the plane, because I was completely crazy with rage and Korea/Asiana Airlines, as I thought it would be funny to reread in the future, but I was too tired/sick to stand up and take the laptop out of the overhead locker - it's a hard life!

I'm now back in the UK, but the flight home was a nightmare! No real delays (about 40 mins) but it was just like  a cross section of Korea amplified in a tiny, claustrophobic space! I was hoping that I would get some seats to myself as the plane seemed quite empty on the online seat selector, unfortunately, I was very wrong! Two massive tour groups of Koreans barged onto the plane and guess who was sat in the middle of them all - that's right 'Lucky Katherine'!! I really have to get some new Karma or something!

Asiana = EVIL!!

As soon as I got on the plane, some Korean woman was sat in my seat - apparently mixing up the letters 'H' and 'G' as you do! After I got her to move, so I could sit in MY seat, she spent the whole 12 hour journey glaring at me and gurning in her Korean way! Obviously, I was a total criminal wanting to sit in my own seat, so she wanted to punish me at length, in addition to that I committed the crime of being white, shock HORROR! (Asiana is a shitty Korean airline and there were about 3 other white people on the whole plane). This woman was part of the big tour group so she got all her mates glaring at me and talking about me the whole time! The couple sat next to me were particular annoying ( I assumed this was because they were sat next to me, their annoyingness was amplified as they were literally sitting ON me at some stages of the flight! The woman kept hitting me on the arm, standing on me, and talking to me in Korean when I was trying to sleep! The woman behind me kept standing up and moving around (Koreans cannot sit still on transport!!) and pulling my hair and hitting me on the head when she stood up! The tour leader AND flight attendants seemed to think it was perfectly fine to stick their heads in front of me when I was trying to watch TV and talk to the annoying couple and the bloke in front of me kept trying to suffocate me by squashing me!!!
In addition to these darling people, I had to put up with the usual Stinky Korean food that actually made me physically sick at one point, and the world's worst on flight 'entertainment'. Never again!! This airline was awarded the top airline industry award and god knows how - maybe they were all sleeping with the judges, I can't think of any other reasons!!!


 Luckily, I am flying back on the actual World Class KLM airlines, and vow never to travel Korea again!!! Now I am back home and massively jetlagged, but got the best hug ever off my best twin so it's all good - I hope this week lasts for a very long time!!


Monday, 25 April 2011

Temporary Respite for a lovely London Wedding!!

[Katherine]: I've been very lax with writing in the blog recently, mostly for the fact that I have had nothing to write about. We are both on a major budget binge in preparation for our summer holidays, and I have also got a big expenditure with Chrissie's wedding (plus the fact that I was meant to not have a summer holiday, which has now become a luxury holiday in Borneo, but hey, you only live once, mwahaa!!!!)
Anyway, this week (tomorrow) I am off to the bright lights of London town, to attend my very own Royal Wedding  - my fabulous twin and her fabulous fiancee - who needs Will and Kate?!
Oooh civilisation!!
I am very excited about seeing my womb buddy, Chrissie getting wed ( I can't believe shes all grown up!) and of course the rest of the family and some dear friends! It will be great to be involved in a wedding for my best twin sister and dead romantic! It will also be amazing to see everyone again and do some cheesy dancing!! However, I must admit that there are some other things I am looking forward to in my speedy trip to the UK......

1. NOT being in Korea - yes it's not secret that I hate Korea, the place, the people, the food, it will be a lovely respite from this hell hole, and will hopefully make me appreciate life (or something equally deep)
2. FOOD!! - The food (as mentioned) in Korea is beyond dire, you've never seen a TESCO like the Tesco in Korea - its a live fish market mostly and stinks!! So fish and chips, ham sandwiches, sausage rolls and proper british food will be a BIG draw this week!! I'm also bringing back some supplies for my lovely Greg so that should make our last few months here slightly more bearable!

mmmmmm tasty!!
3. Being able to walk down the street without being gurned at, glared at or generally shoved out of the way!
4. Not having to teach the Borstal Boys for a whole week!

Borstal! :(
5. Being able to buy clothes that actually fit me!
6. Being able to drink nice wine that doesn't cost about 50 quid a bottle!
7. Being able to hug everyone that I love!

This trip will be really good, I think it will be good for my health and also be a good divider of the middle and the end of my time in Korea! I will miss Greg, but hopefully all the food we get will make up for the separation trauma!! It will be weird to be away from him for a whole week!!

 After this break, I can focus on completing my time here, hopefully not murdering the borstal students, and looking forward to getting back to the UK and spending the money I have saved here!! Maybe I can even write some optimistic things about Korea upon my return - yeah right!!!!

Anyway, I will write on the blog when I get back, and let you know about my wedding adventure!!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

The beginning of the end...

[Greg]:  We've been here for 8 months and, at last, we finally feel like our Korean adventure is winding down.  There's still 4 months to go but we're well passed the half-way point and much of the summer will be taken up with summer camps and desk warming instead of actual teaching.  The reason that we feel better might also have something to do with the fact that we've just booked our summer holidays.  Kathy and her mother are off to Malaysia for 2 weeks in early August whilst, in a change to my plans (owing to communist China refusing to give me a tourist visa) I'm heading to Singapore then travelling up the Malay peninsula to Malacca before joining them for a few days in Kuala Lumpur.  Fun!

The weather has also picked up in Korea.  As I mentioned before, the awful, bone-chilling winter has now ended and the sun has been beating down.  Unfortunately, today the rain is also beating down and the air is clammy.  I think it's only a matter of weeks before the all-too-brief spring leaves us and the horrible, tropical summer hits.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Spring has sprung!

So after the longest, most horrific winter ever, the weather has finally broken.  There's been a few false dawns where the temperature has risen above 3 degrees only to plummet to -5 again the next day but I think it's now safe to say that winter is officially over in Korea.  We even have the pink-flamingo-esque sunburn to prove it.

This weekend we went to Seoul.  Not for any particular reason but just to get out of Buan.  We headed to Lotte World on Saturday and we finally bought our matching Lotty and Lorry tshirts (photo entry to follow later).  Now we can match like Korean couples do (one of the few things I actually think is great about Korea is the fact that most couples seem to wear matching clothes - Kathy has yet to be convinced).  The amusement park was dead so we got on lots of rides and discovered a new and delicious hot dog stand.
After getting our roller coaster fix, we went to Gangnam to try out the new Johnny Rockets diner inside the Shinsegae department store.  We'd tried to eat here a few weeks previously but were thwarted by Korea (again) when they closed the doors early.  This time we had better luck and managed to eat Johnny Rockets goodness, although the tables are squeezed in so tightly that we were practically sharing meals with the people next to us.  Still, it was cheap(ish) and delicious and makes a change from McDonalds (our usual weekend meal of choice) or nothing (our usual weekday meal of choice).

On Sunday we visited Insadong to buy some bits and pieces and stuffed ourselves with enough fast food to sustain us for a week in the culinary wasteland that is Jeollabuk-do.

Monday, 4 April 2011


[Greg]:  Last night, to my horror, I discovered that our kitchen has been invaded by hundreds and hundreds (yes, really!) of tiny spiders.  At the moment we're managing to keep them in the kitchen but it's only a matter of time until they break down our defences and infiltrate the bedroom/living room.
Kathy and I were hoping that David Cameron would impose a no-fly zone and bomb the invaders but apparently he's a bit busy in North Africa at the moment so it looks like we're going to have to take care of this ourselves.  We're well-armed with mosquito repellent but how effective it'll be against spiders remains to be seen.  We're planning to launch a surprise assault on the 8-legged enemy at sundown.  An update on the success of the operation will follow...if we survive.
Katherine preparing for battle
The enemy