Mistakes make you stronger

Long time, no post. Hopefully many of you are on my Facebook or at least subscribed to my Youtube. As many of you know by now I have a daughter  (Lily) who is currently 8 months old. She is everything I could have ever asked for in a child. Many ask me about her father and all I can answer is that he is Korean and somewhere in Korea. So yes, I am a single parent now, but that should not ever be considered a negative. I’m happy that I have her. The challenging part is returning to Korea with her.

I have interviewed with some recruiting companies and can only pray that they find a place that would be okay with me having a child. It’s so sad that they view a child as a negative due to illnesses that can occur with you missing days of work. I can understand that, but many teachers are female in Korea and they have children. One of my previous co-teacher would leave early some days because her daughter became sick. Yet she did not leave during teaching hours. She left when it was her office hours to take her to the doctor . Sometimes she even waited until the end of the day because she was swamped in work. Yes, she was married and sometimes her husband couldn’t pick her up. Even when I feel sick I go to work. I always did for school too, except twice. Once for chickenpox and once for mold poisoning  (my bro got it too). I’m not one to miss days because I feel like I’m letting someone down. I would try my best to find someone to get her for me. I have a wonderful network of friends/parent/students who I’m sure would do their best to assist when necessary  (many have already expressed this).

Now I think things will be a tad better/easier once the last of my paperwork is complete. The CRC returning and apostilles are left to do. Sadly the FBI told me they were about a month from my submission date. On a positive note Lily’s passport should be here around the same time.

There is one thing I wish I would have done differently when I found out I was pregnant while in Korea and that is to have asked foreigners for advice. If I would have I believe I would have finished my contract and had a healthier pregnancy than I did due to all the walking. Even though a mistake was made in not completing my contract I can’t let it hinder my return. I won’t focus on the past any longer and what I coulda, shoulda, or woulda done. I’m charging forward.

So now what can I do? The best thing I could ever do.

I put it all in God’s capable hands because I can do nothing on my own. And boy has there been a wonderful peace in my heart since I gave it all to him. I just have to trust in him.

 

 

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First Goodbyes and Exciting News

So yesterday I said my goodbyes to my church people. It was very surreal and I felt like I was in the twilight zone. I was zoning out the whole time trying to make sure I didn’t cry. I knew I would miss them all so much, but I don’t like crying in front of people. There was another member who is also leaving and headed to Japan to have her second child. Her husband is in the military and will be deployed so she chose to go back home to have the baby around her family. I think that is an absolute wonderful thing and I will probably do the same or pay for my mom to be with me wherever I am. 

The best news I got so far was the email last night with my FedEx Tracking number telling me when my contract would arrive. I immediately checked it and it said that it is set to arrive at my parents house around 10:30 am on Tuesday. I am so excited and have planned my whole day around that. Since I have still yet to sell my car I informed my dad that I will need the money to get my visa done among some other things. He said that he will try to get my sisters car fixed so that I can sell my car on Tuesday and run my other errands. I really hope that it happens because it’s rough still having to do shopping and having no money to do it. I love helping my family, but this is a huge stress on me. I’ll just keep praying and hoping that everything happens with enough time to relax with friends before I go. 

I also decided that I will get a sew-in done. It will be kind of long…I had a sew-in done before and everyone really liked it. I had LOVED it, but as I’m not really one for wearing fake anything and I sort of have issues with hair touching me it was a challenge. I had to get used to the length and feel. I did it again and liked it for a month and then wanted to get rid of it. I realized it was because I asked for the part in my hair to be in the wrong place. A hair part is an important part of any style and I’m very particular about my hair part. hahah The first time I had it for almost 3 months and watched it two or three times. The second time I had it for less than two months and took it out faster than lightning. My natural hair is not bad and that’s not why I am choosing to go this route. I’m choosing a sew-in because I want to make my days easier. I want to be able to just get up and go. I will probably buy a bun roll thing so in between hair changes no one would really be able to tell. HAHAH, not that I really care, but I know students my freak out seeing hair go from long to short and then back to long. 

I asked my coordinator about leaving early and they said that we have to give them our flight details and let them know if we will still be using the shuttle buses. I think it’s strange to tell them when I am going because it is really early, but I guess they want to keep track of the people. They also informed me that the first pickup time has changed from 11 am to Noon. I really do appreciate my coordinator. They keep me up to date and I have been in discussions with many people and they have done nothing but complained about theirs. I think it is sad because the coordinators work break their backs to get the stuff done for people and to keep them updated. They have to answer all those ridiculous questions on the multiple social media pages and in the emails. I know it drives them crazy to continually repeat themselves because it drives me nuts to see people asking the same questions again and again too. No matter how many times they ask people to use the search function they do not. Please Please Please, If you want to apply for Fall term search the page before you ask. I don’t mean just look at the first 10 questions. Use your CTRL + F (find) option and search for hours before you ask. I did a ton of research beforehand and I’m so grateful I did.  *** I did not originally intend on writing this much in this section haha ****

 

Anyway I am more than ready for this adventure and as it gets closer my relationships with some of my Korean friends gets more and more interesting, but that story is for my other blog page. 

Gangnam Style and other things

Well yesterday was quite fun. I started off moving as I said in the other post and it’s kind of sad, but I needed to move. I got to know the roommate I will have and she seemed really nice, but she will be leaving tomorrow I think. It is so strange to be in this place because there is only one other person. Also this hostel seems very quiet and dead. I may have to suggest something to them to help boost popularity or something. I know that people enjoy their peace and quiet, but they should also not feel like they are in a ghost town. 

I got dressed 4 times trying to decide what would be best for the weather and then realized that I was going to be late to meet my new friends. I was 30 minutes late!! I really couldn’t believe myself and I was devastated by the distance of the train. I guess I just didn’t realize how long it was going to take to get there. I was expecting maybe 10 minutes, but it was longer than that. First thing I saw off the subway was a huge Gangnam Style sign and that is already up on the Facebook page. Felix and Danny took me to some restaurant where we got to know each other a little better.  It was an amazing restaurant and I will be sure to get the name of it from one of them later. It was a similar style as the night before, but it tasted so much better and was less expensive with more rice!

At the lunch/dinner table we decided that we wanted Ice cream so we made a plan to go to Baskin Robbins. This Baskin Robbins was delightful. The design was superb and it made me feel so cheery in there. The Ice Cream/ Dessert items really blew me away. I wish that the ones in the states had that many choices of items. You can view the delicious looking menu on blog page. 

Around 7 we left and went to the language exchange locale and had an enjoyable time mingling with the people. I like that there was a smaller group of people at this one compared to the other one. Of course sadly at 10 we all had to leave and go our separate ways.

My way home was not fun. The subway was so packed full of people it looked like a can of mashed tuna. 

 

I wanted to inform you that there are Homosexuals in South Korea. The subject is pretty hushed, but my area is one of the larger homosexual communities. You can’t come to S. Korea looking for homosexuals because you will think that almost everyone is if you did that. Men and women both hold hands, lock arms, and do other things that may be associated with a relational partner, but that is not the case. A lot of Koreans display that kind of behavior and they are just friends with each other. It’s interesting to hear other Foreigners perspectives on Korean males. Many of them are shocked by the type of clothes and the level of male feminism displayed through ads and such. I will admit that if you are not used to this kind of behavior that you probably would question everyone’s sexuality. You have to also understand that here in S. Korea they go the pretty boy route. “A man’s skin should look as good as his woman’s, or better”  HAHAH I actually think it’s a great thing. I think that men should spend more time caring about how they look for their women. Ha. They should shave, use some under eye cream for those late nights of gaming, and get there dirty nails done every once in a while. Why are American men so afraid to show any sign of Feminism? I have noticed that it is changing, but I don’t think enough men are getting the memo that many women like that. 

Oh well…..time for me to finally get some rest. 

Friday in Korea: Definitely interesting

Before I start here’s a late vlog from Tuesday! http://youtu.be/NSCuTnGG4KI

Alright, do you remember how I told you that I was going to meet a friend yesterday? Yeah, that definitely did not happy. When my friend messaged me I thought that it said Seoul Station, but in reality it said Samsung Station which turned out to be about an hour from me. I was quite sad because he also traveled an hour, but I offered to still meet him. It was early in the day and I’m sure I could have found my way. I believe that I have finally figured out the Subway, but I guess I will really know today if I make it to the Latin American Festival.

Since I messed up that trip I ended up meeting this really nice security guard in the Subway station who used his translator to help me. He told me that I should go to Lotte Mart area to get some food since I was so hungry. Don’t know what Lotte Mart is? It’s okay, neither did I! Info: Lotte Co., Ltd. is a multinational food and shopping corporation active in Japan and South Korea. Lotte was first established in June 1948 in Tokyo, by a Japanese businessman of Korean descent, known as Shin Kyuk-Ho in Korean or Takeo Shigemitsu (重光武雄 Shigemitsu Takeo?) in Japanese. From Tokyo, Lotte expanded into South Korea with the establishment of Lotte Confectionary Co., Ltd in Seoul on April 3, 1967 (read more on the wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotte_(conglomerate))

Because the security guard told me to go to Lotte Mart, I went there first and was shocked to find out that it was more of a Walmart type grocery store. I was so confused because I was super hungry, but as I walked around I realized there were a ton of food choices. I did not grab anything to eat, but instead I went straight to find “Baking Soda!!” Why? I do not like the smell of the laundry detergent and the one I have at home has baking soda in it. Plus I used to sometimes put baking soda in my regular laundry before they started making it that way. 

After I left that place I went to Lotte Outlet only to see their ridiculous prices for everything which reminded me of North Park Mall in Dallas, but there isn’t anything wrong with that, it’s just that I don’t want to spend that kind of money on clothes…EVER. In the outlet area I went upstairs to find out there were food places and the KTX train (fastest train system, but also pricey). I ended up eating some Burger King. What? BK. Seriously? Yes! I was feeling sick to my stomach from not eating the whole day and so I stopped at the first place that looked like it was okay to eat alone at. That happened to be Burger King. I got my usual Whopper no cheese and I asked for an ice cream cup. I was given all of it within 5 seconds with a cup of what I found out was coke. No drink choice at all! I sit down to eat and had to figure out that the strange paper thing on my plate was the ice cream spoon that had to be folded. I actually thought it was quite clever and I wouldn’t mind some of those. As I bit into the burger I hoped for the best, but was sadly disappointed. It did not have that great of a taste. No, I did not forget the taste of a Whopper, it is my all time favorite burger, right next to the Whataburger! I know how it’s supposed to be and this burger just felt…so empty to me. Maybe it’s a healthier version of meat, but wow, I want my fatty fat fat burger Hahah. 

When I was done eating I was very much ready to head back. I actually meant to go back to  see if the security guard was there because I wanted to get a picture of him with George. I’m hoping I will see him again and that he will remember me so I can get that picture. I felt like it took forever to return, but it could be because I waited outside the exit I thought my friend was at for more than 30 minutes. 

When I made it back to my Hostel I met one of the new people coming here. A French girl named Annais who knows a good deal of Korean. We ended up talking with the employees and manager pretty late into the night. Around 11pm I had Mcdonald’s delivered to me and Jin helped me order it. Anyway I thought it was quite strange that my meal came out to 11,900 KRW, but I didn’t really give it that much thought. When it arrived I had two meals! The first one that I tried to order, but Jin told me that they said they were sold out of it and so then I decided on the Big Mac because I know how that should taste. I gave one of the sodas to the owner of the Hostel and I tried to pass off the other burger too but there were no takers. I decided to go inside to the basement and eat the food. THEY WERE BOTH DELICIOUS!! Shanghai Spice Chicken (I think that’s what it was called) and a Big Mac. I did not finish both of them, but I did try both. WOW, I actually think Mcdonald’s sandwiches taste much better here! I really wish I could have eaten both, but I just did not have the room for that, nor did I really want all those cals on my body so late. The fries were stale and so I ended up tossing the majority of my food. I don’t think it was a waste considering I had such great sandwiches and it made me feel much better. 

Tips:

1: UMBRELLA! Did I mention this yet? If I didn’t I am crazy because you definitely need one here. I carried mine around yesterday and it came in handy. That sun will try to wear you down fast, but with the umbrella it takes a while longer. 

2: Check your order! I should have known better than to trust phone orders, so be sure to double check anything you order on the phone or online to make sure you’re getting what you actually want.

3. Bug Spray/zapper: I really wish I would have brought my bug spray. I’m pretty sure it was on one of my list, but I just didn’t get it. I completely forgot to pick some up at Lotte Mart too.  I actually have not seen very many bugs outside, but it’s INSIDE that I keep seeing them. It’s like they love the indoors here and want to hang out. I CAN’T STAND bugs and it’s driving me crazy. In my room someone keeps opening the window bugs come in. I have 4 mosquito bites on various parts of me now and there are nat type things that keep trying to go in my eyes. The front desk gave me some sort of bug thing for the room, but I don’t think that it is working. I feel like there are more bugs now. Just remember to bring your bug spray and bring me some too!

Today’s plan: 

Eat! 

Latin American Festival during the day and Myeongdong Night Festival later. I am quite excited for both because my Korean friends will be there! Yay!

 

Korea-Gangnam Style?

It was great to wake up in the morning and have someone who was also hungry. My new Canadian buddy Lucas and I went to some adorable sandwich shop to get a “Hobong?” breakfast sandwich. It was super AMAZING! I also bought a kiwi smoothie which was all kiwi and I felt the health of the drink engulf my body. It was quite a magical experience and I am so glad I bought it. We then went back to our Hostel and just hung out in the room until later because it is quite hot here. It’s nothing like the Texas heat at all so I should be fine, but with all the walking my body has not been okay. It honestly doesn’t feel that bad to me when I step outside, but then when I have to walk to the subway station and then sometimes you don’t really feel air in the tunnels it can drain you quite quickly.

So I know that a lot of you are probably quite curious as to how Gangnam is or what it looks like there due to Psy’s music video, but I can only tell you what I saw. Lucas and I left around dinner time to go find food and then to head there. We passed so many delicious looking food places, but we stopped at a “Two-owT” Chicken bar place? I’m not exactly sure what it was, but there was a bar inside and it was very….interesting. Luckily the owner knew how to explain the food in English because his menu was in all Korean without any pictures. We just got the regular fried chicken and boy were we blown away! I mean this chicken was the bomb dot com! We were loving every bite. I realized something here though, I have not been able to consume as much as I normally would back home. The food is just so filling. I love it! 

After we were finished off we went to the Subway station to take the 11 stops to get to Gangnam. It was quite magical to be there. As soon as we stepped off the subway there were so many shops! All down there. OH and before we went down to the subway we say a gorgeous movie theater! Who would have guessed we had one so close. I definitely would love to see a movie in all Korean. I think I would enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out if I understood everything. 

Down in the shopping area I had to purchase some shoes. Not only because they were extra cute, but because they were super cheap at 9,900 won which is pretty much $10usd, which is quite nice. The main reason I bought them was because I kept slipping out of the heels I was wearing. On the streets they have these weird bump things and I did not see them and came out of my shoe 3 times on the same food. I ended up with a purple bruise (no I will not shoe a picture, so gross) on my big toe and it was quite painful. 

Once we made it up out of the tunnel area we were blown away by all the bright lights and neon signs. We just walked down all the streets that looked interesting. We ended up stumbling upon a Jamba Juice which I definitely had to jump on that because we don’t really have those in my area anymore. I believe it cost 5,600 won or maybe a 1,000 won more, which is about the same cost in Texas anyway. We didn’t really do anything else there, but on our way we saw a ton of bars and pubs. I was actually shocked by how many were so close together, but it didn’t seem like there were that many people out last night.

The heat definitely wore us down and with an 11 stop trip back we were exhausted. When we returned Lucas clunked out on some other persons bed and I went to go do laundry which was quite interesting. Then I returned to shower and sleep! 

Let me say that I find it quite strange that I keep waking up around 5:30a every morning. I’m not sure why, but I just feel so awake at that time. Also, I have found several bumps on my body and I’m not sure if they are just mosquito bites or if they are something else. I do know that they itch like crazy so I put band-aids over them.

 

Tips:

1. Women- Considering bringing heels that are super easy to walk in. Actually my heels are new and it was my first time in them so maybe that’s why I had trouble. I am not in anyway shape or form new to heels. I used to model for Sears when I was younger, I have chased people (sprinted) in heels before, and I have many pairs of heels. It could be the fact that they were wedged, but who knows. Please just think about shoe choice. 

2. Stretch!! I think I said this last time, but it really does help! Stretching needs to be an everyday routine. 

3. I know a lot of people say they don’t want to try the food that’s also in their country, but what if it tastes differently? Wouldn’t you want to know that you didn’t miss out on the worlds best tasting Papa Johns pizza or something? I mean I know I don’t want that to happen. I was told that the Mcdonald’s here tastes much better than in the States. You think I will pass up an opportunity of great tasting food!? NO WAY! lol. I do have an issue with things that are alive and I won’t eat them, but if it has already kicked the bucket…as long as I don’t know what it is, I will try it! HAHAH, Actually I still may try it even if I do find out what it is.

Today I shall go on an adventure with a friend from a Language Community site called http://www.tt4you.com You should go check it out and make some friends! I’ll be there. 

Coex Mall here I come! ^_^ Of course after I eat! lol

Photos on my facebook page as always:

http://www.facebook.com/musicalseoul

Oh and I am forgetting. I order food and bought things by speaking Korean! Go me!