It has been a while since I have posted about life in Korea. I know, I know.

안녕하세요!! (Hi!)

낤시가추워요!! (The weather is cold!)

The seasons have changed and we are well on our way to winter! No snow yet, but water in the street by my apartment is frozen!

Heat in Korea

It might be cold outside, but my apartment is nice and toasty with heated floors. The Koreans have been heating their homes this way since ancient times, but I’m not sure if it’s oil or water that circulates in the floor to produce the heat. In my apartment it was a little crazy to figure out how to turn everything on.  I found the pipes in my back closet with the help of a neighbor and then had to open each one manually. They made a lot of whirring and hissing sounds and I thought I might blow the place up. . . but now that the pipes are open,  I can control the temperature with a thermostat in the living room. It’s fabulous! Still waiting for the first bill, though, to see how expensive it will be.

Thanksgiving

The sad thing about living outside of the US is that the same holidays are not observed. Koreans celebrate a different Thanksgiving- Chusok- in early October. In Korea everyone goes home for Chusok, there is mass exodus from Seoul and the major cities as people go to their hometowns. When I described American Thanksgiving to my students and colleagues as “American Chusok”, they all asked me in complete seriousness, “oh, are you going home to the US?” . .  Oh, so funny!

My cousin, Paul, lives in Japan and made the trip over to Korea for 4 days at Thanksgiving. I couldn’t go “home” but it was great to have family here. We spent the day with my friends Peter and Sarah and has an AMAZING Thanksgiving dinner together. Even though I didn’t have an official holiday from school, my normal schedule does not have class on Thursday. It really felt like a holiday. . . except the 9 am class on Friday morning was a killer!

End of Semester

December is the end of the semester AND the end of the school year, so the seniors are totally checked out and everyone else is anxiously counting the days. . . pretty much the same as happens in the States. End of the year = many celebrations. So far we’ve had the following:

Senior portraits/Class portraits/Exhibition group portraits

Fall semester Exhibition dinner

Graduation Exhibition- opening

Graduation Exhibition Faculty party

International Faculty Dinner

Graduation Party (Complete with a student “hip-hop-break dancing” that was the FUNNIEST thing I have EVER seen!)

Every party/exhibition/event has a certain formality that I am unaccustomed to- ribbon cutting at the exhibitions, speeches, toasts, etc. I am learning, but it seems like every time we have an event I am surprised by something I see or am asked to do. I’m good a bowing, though. I think I’ve perfected the technique!

By the numbers:

2- plants I now own- one in my office, one at home

3- packages I have received from the US in the last couple weeks. I L-O-V-E packages!! and after the confusion over my address I am really glad they are finding their way to me!

9- days left of school

10- weeks of winter vacation!!

hundreds- of channels I now have with my new cable, complete with news and many programs in English!