Thursday, July 22, 2021

Tit for tat, Korea. Tit for tat.


Story time

After living here for several years, there is one thing I can honestly say. Korea will change you for the worse, if you let it. I'm an assertive person but only when needed. I avoid conflict unless you start disrespecting me then the issue will be addressed directly.

The city buses in our area are almost always packed during rush hour. Even the handicapped seats are taken. These seats are usually taken by healthy young men who play with their phones and avoid the glares from the old people standing above them.  I sit in those seats but easily get up for old people and pregnant women, even women with young kids. I was sitting in a mostly filled up bus on the ride home last night, in one of the handicapped seats. 

A few stops later, two young Korean women in their twenties get on. One has on a loose, black dress with a tied wrap in the front side of the dress. She is chubby so I can't tell if she is pregnant or just overweight with a big belly. Both of them stand right above my seat and are chatting right above my head. I go back and forth with myself, is she pregnant or chubby? If I ask her to sit down, will it be an insult since she might just be overweight? (Not being skinny is a crime in South Korea.) After five minutes, I still can't decide so I just stay in my seat.

Well, then the young lady in the black dress moves up two feet towards the front of the bus and fiddles with her phone. There is no loud SNAP for a picture but my gut tells me that she just took a picture of me, sitting in the handicapped seat. After she fiddles with her phone for about 30 seconds, she then moves back to stand next to her friend, right above me. She says something to her friend like, I got it.

Now, let me tell you how it is when you do NOT speak a language in a foreign country. You have to rely on observing body language and social gestures to decipher information. You become pretty good at it.

Watching her body language and observing the interaction between the two women told me that she was upset that I was in the handicap seat and did not give up my seat to her. But....she did not exactly look pregnant, she looked chubby. Even her face was round and soft.

A few people got off  and the two women moved and sat down in the back of the bus. My mind was racing with angry thoughts. How dare she take a picture of me without my permission. What about the other people who were seated in the handicap seats? Where were their silent sneaked pictures? Usually after a negative interaction with a local, I would be upset for a few days, going over and over in my mind what I could have done differently in the moment to confront the person. 

Well this time, I had plenty of time to make up my mind. I decided to take a picture of HER, tit for tat. My anxiety was telling me to change my mind but I said NOPE. NOT. THIS. TIME. 

Tired of these mfs getting away with the bullshit.

This country will force you to push back. 

I got up two stops before my stop, held onto the backdoor's post, slowly put up my camera, zoomed in on the faces of the seated women and took a picture. Then I took another one. Then I slowly took another one. 

When I had gotten up and moved to the back door, one of them gestured to the other one that I was not getting out of the seat, Look! She is finally getting out of the seat. 

 After I took the three pictures, I slowly put my phone down and made direct eye contact with them, stone face, no blinking. The women first looked shocked then looked away, avoiding my eyes. When the back door opened, I walked off slowly, turned around and continued the steady eye contact with them through the window of the bus, stone face, no blinking. I stood still at the bus stop and kept the stone faced gaze while the bus rolled away. 

See? Now we both have pictures of each other. How does it feel? If I feel bad so will you, b@tch. Let's feel bad together, friend.

Not today, Satan.  

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Celebrating Korea's Independence day



celebration of Korea's independence day in Suncheon, Jeollanamdo Province.

Traditional Korean dance video

This dance video is from the annual UNESCO dinner a few year ago, pre-Rona.

Gwangyang's annual family festival fun


This video is from my city's annual family festival at the river park.

It was always well attended with my families visiting from nearby cities. 

It was such good clean fun for all family members. 

Friendship camp activity videos


Some of the most fun I've had in South Korea was during the Friendship camps in Damyang. So much fun for both the students and the teachers. 

Vietnam 2019 trip videos


Visiting Vietnam was one of the highlights of my time in Asia. 

It was fun to visit Jaime and his new family.

I rode a moped, saw dog meat on the street and visited a historical museum. 

Many people have visited multiple countries while living abroad. 

Because of financial responsibilities I have only visited Japan and Vietnam. But I am still grateful. Both times were a blessing. 

Seoul beauty queens


That time we all got dressed up and made a music video wearing beautiful hanboks at the historical Seoul palace. 

It was a gorgeous day with sweet memories. 

We fell in love with Jeju 2019

Jeju makes you fall in love with it every day. 

Neck air fan


A neck fan because we are too lazy to fan ourselves now.😂

Over consumption. Too much.


Only after all the bees and birds are dead and every drop of water has dried up, will humans stop developing nature's bountiful land. The only thing saving this land is that the country is seventy percent mountains. It would take several generations of this kind of development to consume all of nature's resources. 

Thank goodness.

Sooooo pretty and sooooooo blue.

This is so blue and pretty! 

I usually believe in using money to purchase land and real estate but....this is soooo pretty and soooo bluuuuuuuuuuue.

If wishes came true...

This color just speaks to me.

Isn't it gorgeous?

Lettuce carry you away!


Okay, okay!

I was so inspired by all the fresh veggies, I decided to grow my own lettuce. All the fresh fruits and vegetables in the market convinced me that I could do the same on a smaller scale.

So, there are way too many lettuce plants in one pot but hey, first time. The color is so vibrant and beautiful! I love it.

 I'm telling you, my green thumb is growing.

You're corny!

This corn was too fresh but the others were tasty. I loved it. 

Look how beautiful it looks. Mother Nature is amazing and so perfect in her creations.

Korean icies!! Yay!!

These were in the fridge in my teachers' room, flavored frozen pops. But I think these are more jelly. I remember eating frozen pops every summer as a child. Great memories.

Inedible? Or normal eating habits?


Tell me if this looks healthy for our bodies.

There is  a reason why there are so many diseases on the rise.

Look at the fast food on the market and ask yourself- what the hell are we putting inside of our bodies? The water, food and air are all slowly and painfully killing us. We all need to reduce the amount of unhealthy things we consume physically and mentally. Take control of your health. Exercise and slowly change your eating habits so you can be healthier as you age. Good luck.

Friday, July 16, 2021

My gorgeous little countryside town

My little corner of the world. Lots of flowers, beautiful and open sky and peace. 

I love it.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Low class habits

So when I first moved into my building, it was clean and the neighbors were not trashy.

Several years later and things have changed.

The low class tenants spit in the hallway, drop trash in the building and basically act like they have no home training. Ugh!

I hate when people don't take pride in where they live. You should see how the trash bin looks on the weekend.  Disgusting. 

As a landlord back home, you have to be very careful who you let rent your house. But there are so many studio buildings being built in this area, over the farmland, the building owners just wasnt their apartments occupied. You can see the difference in quality tenants.

Restaurant English lesson - Grade 5

Restaurant English lesson - hands on experience for grade 5.  We taped it and showed it to them in the next class period.

The students loved it. They loved seeing themselves roleplaying on the monitor.