Monday, May 24, 2004

sandals, sandals, sandals.... finally

Hello world,

Hope that this email finds you all doing well and enjoying spring, I hear that it has finally sprung in the east. Spring is here too and has been for a quite a few weeks, it was 23 yesterday... thus the need for sandals... yes those would be the ones that I did not bring from Canada. Those of you who know me well know how much I dislike wearing socks and thus I long for the time when I can discard them and live in my sandals until the snow flies again. Well that great time of year arrived here almost 3 weeks ago and I had no sandals to wear. Why? because I was so sure that I could get sandals in Korea that I left mine at home in a box in Amy's basement. Well I was so wrong...sandals here are not easy to find and when you do find them they all have heels! You all know how I feel about heels - only if my life is dependent on them will they be worn - convocation was the last time a pair graced my feet and that was only so that I could actually be seen as I walked across the stage!

Anyway I have spent the last two weeks wandering in and out of every shoe > store I have seen looking for a pair of sandals that did not have heels. The sales staff thought I had lost my mind as I tried on men's shoes and kept > telling me that they were not women's shoes. They could not understand why I did not want to buy a pair with lovely spaghetti straps and 2 inch heels... > anyway to make a long and frustrating story short I did finally find a pair on the weekend in this great area of town called Myuong-Dong, it is a huge outdoor shopping mall that is literally 8 or 10 blocks wide, it is and amazing shopping experience. ( it is also the sight of the only catholic church that I have found in the whole city) So I was there on Sunday and I must of walked into 30 or 40 shoe stores and then finally I walked into this sports store and there they are... the sandals I have looked all over the city for (it is a big city) just sitting there all by themselves, the only ones in the whole store and needless to say after a happy dance I bought them and my feet are much happier now. The Koreans that I work with think I am crazy because they are not very pretty to look at, just practical and they do not understand why I would spend all that money for something that is not high fashion... ha ha ha they don't know me very well.

Moral of this story - if you want sandals in Korea bring them from home!

It is amusing to find a catholic cathedral in the middle of a huge shopping area, talk about contradictions. Anyway the guide book says that if you are shopping and need a break that you should head there and take a rest - okay whatever. Regardless of that it is quite the sight to see an old stone cathedral in the middle of this cement jungle and a courtyard that is packed with people taking a break from shopping. I could not get into the church as there was a wedding but there are English masses, a bonus, but they are early in the morning which takes away from the bonus factor. We'll see how life unfolds and if i manage to et up early enough to sit on the subway for an hour at 7 am.

So the last 2 weeks or so have been pretty uneventful with the exception of my sandal shopping I have not done to much. I have had weekend staff meetings and workshops... there is nothing as exciting as spending your Saturday morning learning about word walls and high frequency words ( I went to teacher's college for that, it's not why I am in Korea... I was so bored and I could of taught the workshop myself and saved them a lot of money!) So here I am spending my Saturday at this workshop that would have been useful to me 2 years ago ( before I paid to learn about it at school) and they ask me what I what kind of sandwich I want for lunch. I tell them it's ok they don't need to order me anything as I can't have a sandwiches ( this is not news to them as we have had this conversation before) and they say I can have a salad and so I say okay, a tuna salad - meaning a salad with tuna on it - would be fine. Lunch arrives and guess what they ordered me - a tuna salad sandwich! man was I annoyed, it just made a long day that much longer and more frustrating. There are moments when the language issues are the most frustrating part of this experience.

Moral of this story - if you want a salad make sure that they order an actual salad!
Not much else to tell you I am heading into a long and busy week of lesson plans and report cards... fun, fun and more fun! On a brighter note the gang and I are heading to Everland on Sunday, it is a huge amusement park and it promises to be a long and fun day of roller coasters and cotton candy. Yipee! Looking forward to the weekends makes the week go by so much faster. Hope you are all well and keeping yourselves busy in my absence - ha ha ha.
Miss you all.
PS sorry, no really witty story this week but I did have to explain "born in barn" to a 10 year old who thought that standing on the table was acceptable behaviour!

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