Tag Archives: cats

Happy Birthday to Me (feat. Cats)

17 Apr

It’s April 17th, and birthday wishes are still trickling in from around the world. This leads me to conclude that it’s not so bad, celebrating a birthday away from home.

The story starts on Friday, when my women’s English group took me to an art gallery in Yanggu.  Imagine my delight when I learned all six of us would be cramming into a car with a capacity for 5. Now, Yanggu is about a 40-minute drive from Chuncheon (at least). Joy. Canadian sensibilities quashed (along with my hips), I reasoned that should we get into an accident (and I was sincerely praying against that), maybe the four of us wedged in the back seat might just keep each other in place. The good news is that the rides there and back were uneventful save many stories, laughs, joking, and one serious discussion re: North Korea (which this trip brought us significantly closer to). The point is I came home to see another day.

Speaking of the DPRK and living to see another day… I’ll remind all you worried folks out there that recent events are better understood within an ongoing dialogue between North and South. Tensions are currently higher, but this, too, shall pass. When people ask me about the political situation, I have two responses. The first is: do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will worry about itself! The second is to think about the millions of Koreans who won’t be able to leave in the event of an attack; it’s them you should worry most about, not me!

And now that’s cleared up, back to the fun! The other YALTers visited this weekend. That’s significant because it’ll be our last meeting until the week we leave Korea. That’s right people – less than 100 days until I’m home! In fact, I think I may even post a count-down on this blog…. Am I looking forward to it? Mixed emotions, really. I can’t wait to see my family and friends again, but it will be hard to say goodbye to my Korean family and friends. ANYways…Friday dinner posed a mini birthday celebration because, surprise!, my ladies secretly bought me a beautiful cake in lieu their missing my birthday due to a couple cancelled classes. One awesome thing about Korea (and the list is extensive) is buying cakes: not only are they pretty affordable, immaculately decorated, and yummy…they also come with complementary candles, matches, and confetti crackers. How cool is that?! Impromptu pre-celebration!

On Saturday we relaxed, shopped, ate tons of junk food, had the first patbingsu of the season, and Cindy even made us some delish Indonesian food! That evening we watched a Korean film (with English subs). It was a tearjerker and I loved it.

Sunday and Monday were meh, and there’s almost nothing to report except that Alex stayed one more night in Chuncheon and that was fun. Also, we wore the same sweatshirt.

That leads us finally to Tuesday, which is what this post is really all about. My 25th birthday!! The big XXV. The quarter-century. Of course, in Korea, I was already 26 on New Year’s, which sucks megabigtime. But if we’re using my language abilities as an indication, I’m really not  Korean, so we’re good. (It’s a different story if we’re using my chopstick abilities… hmmm….) The day was delightful, if pretty normal. We had a nice lunch at the office, and in the evening Jiwon and Yunju (our new roommate!) took me for a night on the town. We were gonna get pizza, but then a “Mexican” restaurant called “Dos Mas” caught our attention. Mexican it was not, and we certainly did not order dos mas. When will I learn? Good Mexican food does not exist in this hemisphere (save the one outlier in Busan, but there’s the definitive proof that every rule needs an exception). After the sketchy dinner we…drum roll, please…visited a cat cafe! As in, order something to drink whilst petting one or several of the cats who mill freely about the place. There were at least twelve at this place. Everywhere you looked: cats. Basically…Heaven. Cats are so wonderful! I can’t even. I’m just going to dedicate the whole rest of this post to cats everywhere. Please feel free to find some inspiring instrumentals to go along with the following slideshow:

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Thanks also to every human who made my birthday extra sweet!

Love and kitty-kisses…until next time,



How Psy Misled Me…And Other Adventures from Life’s Path

31 Dec

So, about Christmas. I got the whole week off, which meant lots of free time! Christmas eve day was spent relaxing, watching A Christmas Carol, and attending church. The service was oddly similar to the smorgasbord of free-wheeling praise and entertainment I’m used to at home. There was the children’s song and dance which participants took on in varying levels of seriousness (ranging from the keener who knows every action to the kid who does nothing more than to stand right were their parent plunked them). There was the requisite touching song sung in sign language, made interesting since this was Korean Sign Language. There was the church choir with lovely harmonies (low on men, which I take it is the worldwide standard). There were skits put on by middle- and high-schoolers, full of laughs and confusion (mostly on my part). There was the black light and neon dance portion…wait – that’s not typical, is it? And neither was the Christmas dinner that followed: ordered-in pizza, bucket chicken and dokboki (globby smoushed-together rice in a spicy/sweet sauce). Oh well; ho ho ho!

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