Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Life In Seoul Continues... The June Edition

Saturday, June 6th: The newest addition to la famille Boire was born today. Welcome to the world my beautiful niece, Hayden Marie Boire! Can't wait to meet you, little one!

Saturday, June 13th: The idea of having a SLP picnic had been brought up and suddenly, we were told that we'd be going to play paintball. No one's really sure how this decision came to be made, but the decision was made and that was that. I admit, I wasn't all that excited. Meeting at 9:00 on a Saturday morning didn't make for enthusiastic participants, especially knowing this would be an all morning/afternoon ordeal. I was a tiny bit happier because Jane told me that I could bring AJ. I wanted to bring him along because I knew he'd have a blast, not to mention I wanted to be on his team... Who best to have on your team than someone with intense gun training! Bwahaha! We met up at school and were surprised to see a huge blue travel bus waiting for us. I was expecting a SLP bus, not something so cozy! The ride there was fairly quiet, mainly because several people who will remain unamed had been out drinking late the night before. Some may or may not have woken up still intoxicated... Haha! Let's just say those individuals were especially entertaining *cough*Laura*cough*. We traveled for about an hour and found ourselves in the middle of nowhere. It's always interesting leaving Seoul and seeing houses. Trust me when I say that houses are a rarity here... It's apartment living all the way. Anyways, we were given instructions, safety rules, everything we needed to know to have a safe and happy paintballing experience. Some of us were still slightly relunctant about playing, myself included. Not exactly a fan of guns, even the paintball kind. Well, let's just say that our attitudes changed pretty much the minute we started playing. It was so much fun! We ended up playing 3 rounds and it was one of the funnest things I've done in a while. First of all, I loved running around in the forest. I've missed that and it reminded me of being at the cottage. And it was just so funny watching people hiding, scrambling around trying to take out the opposing team. Here are some pictures that were taken during the games:

I'm totally in the zone, trying to stay unseen but take people out at the same time. Turns out that I have terrible aim. *pouts*

My partner-in-crime, Amanda, and I. We discovered that we're pretty good at hiding out and staying out of the line of fire. We were the only 2 survivors on our team in the first round and survived round 2 as well. Go us!

The best team around: Team Mean! From left to right: Jay, Amanda, AJ, Stephanie, Lindsday, Danny, Tara, Me, Dan

The whole crew (well, everyone who showed up, that is.).

After we finished paintballing, we hopped on the bus and headed for lunch. We spent a few hours at a galbi (grilled pork or beef) restaurant, eating and hanging out. And no, I didn't eat galbi. I picked at the veggies and had some bibimbap. After lunch AJ and I found a trail that brought us down by the river and we walked along the water until it was time to leave. Everyone was spent from events of the day, so it was a very quiet bus ride home. Pretty sure everyone went to bed early that night!

Friday, June 26th: On our third field trip of the year, we went to the Gyeonggi English Village:

"The Gyeonggi English Villages are places where people can use the English language in a variety of contexts as well as experience English-speaking cultures. All this can happen right here in Korea.There is now an alternative to traveling abroad for this type of experience. The English Village offers a similar environment that students, families, and teachers might experience in a foreign country, all right here in our own backyard." (http://www.english-village.or.kr/)

If we'd had lots of time to spend here, I'm sure it would have been a great. The buildings were beautiful and there was a lot to see, but you'd need several hours to actually enjoy it. We were there for may an hour and a half and I have to say I was pretty disappointed. All we did was quickly walk around and take a few pictures by a parked train:

We ate a quick lunch and then saw the last 30 minutes of the cheesiest English musical I've ever seen. Even the kids were less than impressed, which is saying a lot because I can normally make them laugh by doing practically nothing at all. The only good thing that came from the musical was the plot, which had to do with a little girl going into the Land of Monsters. The kids weren't even a tiny bit scared of the monsters in the show, so I asked them to show me their scariest monster faces. These were my favourites:

Jenny L's the smallest, silliest kid ever, but she's got one mean monster face!

Surprisingly, I feel that the girls were better at monster faces than the boys! Jinny and Juddy were pretty fantastic at it!

...With the exception of Joel, who blew all the other boys' monster faces out of the water. The fact that he used props to emphasize his ultimate monsterness automatically makes him fantastic! This kid takes being a monster seriously!

The kids all said that they really enjoyed the English Village, so while it was my least favourite field trip thus far, it's their opinion that matters. If they're happy, I'm happy!

Saturday, June 27th: Today was the day that I never thought would happen: Everland!!! We'd tried 2 times previously to go, but woke up on both those days to torential downpours. Needless to say, I pretty much did a dance of joy when I woke up that day and saw the sun shinning in the sky. AJ and I met up with Laura and Amanda at 8:30 that morning for an early start to the day. After a subway and bus ride, we finally arrived at our destination at around noon. Amanda and I were so happy that we skipped towards the Everland gates, dragging AJ along with us:
Once inside, we didn't delay in taking a group shot. Kimchi!!!
From then on, the fun just kept 'a comin!

We had some silly photo ops (I love AJ for not only dealing with my silliness, but encouraging it as well! He's such a good team player.)

Had our faces painted. This was long overdue for Amanda and I, who had wanted to get our faces painted together at the Cherry Blossom Festival in April. Sadly, we weren't able to find the face painting booth then, so when we saw the table upon entering Everland... BAM! We were all over it! Yes, we're both children at heart and proud of it!
We rode as many rides as we could find, including the ferris wheel, carousel, spinny rides, a flume ride, a roller coaster that scares me but causes me to giggle hysterically the entire time, a fun house, a laser ghost hunt, a room that appears to spin 360 degrees (that was messed up!) etc, etc, etc. Oh. We also upset some Koreans by showing them how you're REALLY supposed to ride the bumper cars. We couldn't believe it when we were waiting in line and saw them dodging each other, trying their best not to hit anyone. It looked more like go-karts than bumper cars. Isn't the point of bumper cars to BUMP into each other? So we made it our mission to hit as many people as possible during out alloted time. It was funny seeing all the shocked expression clearing saying "WHAT?! YOU HIT ME!?!" It was great!!! The poor locals never knew what hit them! We also went on a Jungle Safari in which we got to ride in a tiger bus, as seen below:

Just being inside that bus made me so happy! We got close up and personal with lions, tigers, bears, oh my! Also from a distance, some giraffes, zebras and an elephant. It was pretty amazing actually and not as depressing as I originally feared it might be. You know how some zoos are... they're standards are less than awesome and it's always sad seeing animals having to live like that. But these animals seemed well cared for and had lots of room to roam and stretch their legs.
Once it got dark, a parade of lights drove through the park. There were many floats, but this one was my favourite:

Isn't it beautiful! I wish my house could look like that. That'd be great. We spent this busy time hitting up a few more rides before the park closed down at 10:00pm. While AJ and Laura went on one last ride, Amanda and I visited the gift shops and treated ourselves to a few things. I bought myself a small stuffed white tiger and moose ears. They make me feel very Canadian. I also bought myself a panda shirt after the Jungle Safari. Amanda bought the same one, so we're happy to finally have couple shirts!
Speaking of couple shirts, I'm going to go off topic for a few minutes to explain to you the phenomenon that is couple shirts and outfits. In a display of their love for each other and as a symbol of their relationship, it is common for Korean couples to wear matching shirts. When I say matching, I mean the exact same shirt, just in different sizes. It's become an ongoing game to take pictures of as many couples we can see wearing couple shirts. On this specific day, I do believe we saw at least 10, but it could be more. I lost count after a while. This game started early on the day as we saw 2 couples in couple shirts as we were waiting for the bus to Everland. I also feel the need to point out that both sets were of the pink variety. I find it interesting to note that Korean men have no qualms about wearing pink, purple, or any of the so-called "girly" colours. Some couples take this trend to an extreme, not only wearing the same top, but the same bottom as well. Here is an example of quite possibly the best couple outfit I've seen since living in Korea:
Please note the matching shirts, shorts and shoes. Oh yeah... they're serious about this couple outfit business. Just yet another thing that makes Korea such a fantastic country to live in!
Anyways, we stayed at Everland until the park closed at 10pm, then made our way back to the bus, then back to the subway, then back home. It was about 12:30am by the time I walked into my apartment door and after a loooong shower to wash off the grime of the day, happily went to bed. I forgot to mention that it was a hot day, reaching the mid-30s, so I felt less than fresh. I'm so happy that I got to experience Everland a second time during my stay in Korea. I had a good time the first time I went during the weekend of Chuseok, but we spent most of that day at the zoo and I really wanted to go on some rides. I'm happy that it finally happened! And I couldn't have gone with a greater group of people. The 4 of us had a blast that day and were all fantastically random and silly. Too much fun!
July - to be continued...


Crys :D said...

matching: awesome!!!!!!

p.s. how do you pronounce "juddy"??

Janique said...

Same as "Judy", but with 2 "d"s.

Figured you'd get a kick out of the couple outfits!