Monday, September 17, 2012

What's Going On Across the Pond

First things first, we survived Typhoon Sanba. The last typhoon to roll through this area was a huge disappointment even though I did get the day off. Poor Al, he didn't get the last typhoon day off nor did he get this one. I work for the elementary school though, so when they close, I don't go in. This storm, on the other hand, was just what we (the foreigners) wanted. Both storms seemed to have been the strongest overnight/into the morning/afternoon and end up fizzling out mid-afternoon, which is unfortunate since we all kind of wanted to be blown away at the beach by pounding wind and rain but we'll take what we can get.

When Al left for work today around 2 I headed to the coast with a few friends who also had classes canceled. The rain had already stopped about an hour previously so by the time we all made it down to the beach it was just incredibly windy. If I were to take a very unscientific guess at wind speed I would put it at about 25-30mph sustained with some pretty good 40-50mph gusts thrown in. Not too shabby.

After playing around in the wind for a while we went to a BBQ place for a late lunch where they happened to have a TV on the news. They played a constant loop of footage from the storm and although I didn't see/hear of any damage or flooding in our area, other places across the country got SLAMMED. There was a lot of flooding, mudslides and damage from the looks of things, though I have no idea where any of these places were. By the time we finished eating everything had calmed down quite a bit and the sky was clearning up. It was still pretty windy but nothing like it was before. I came home kinda early to do some cleaning (still sitting in front of the computer...) and wait for Al to get home at 10.
There hasn't been a lot going on. We have a 5 day vacation coming up in a few weeks and we're gonna head up to Seoul for a few days. If it were up to me I'd be taking a plane straight to Vietnam or Beijing or someplace awesome but Al wants to pinch pennies and stay here. Boo. So off to Seoul we go. The holiday is called "Chuseok" and it's kind of Korea's version of Thanksgiving. It's a big travelling holiday and everyone goes to visit family and yadda yadda so all the trains to Seoul were completely sold out for the weekend (and there are like 30 or 40 trains a day or something) so we're flying. It's only an hour flight so that will be nice. Just a shame because usually when I'm in an airport it means I'm going someplace awesome but now it's just heading up to Seoul. Oh well, it'll be fun anyway.We decided to stay in a fancy hotel (very out of the way) because it's our 7 year anniversary weekend (dating, not wedding) and wanted to spend a bit more on someplace nice instead of a cheap old hostel.  I totally need out of Busan for a few days. We get a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesay off (Oct 1, 2, 3) but after this holiday there is not one day off work for ELEVEN weeks. The next holiday after this is December 19. Yikes.
Al and I have officially decided to go back to Japan after our year here in Korea. Before coming here all I read was "if you want money, go to Korea, if you want a culture experience, go to Japan". Boy were they wrong. If you want money, do NOT come to Korea! We are making pennies compared to what we made in Japan. Now, if you want to live in Tokyo (or the surrounding area) or even Osaka then you'd probably not be able to save too much and the salary would be comparable to here. But if you are willing to live outside the huge cities then you will make a TON more than coming anywhere in Korea. We have now saved in our bank account after 9 months of living here what we had saved in 3 months in Japan. Now, I know there are exceptions. The couple whose apartment Al and I took over saved a crapton of money living here but really, for the life of me, I do NOT see how they did it. I am very, very excited to go back to Japan. I was never really sure about this place to begin with. Granted, it has grown on me but all in all, I still think I prefer Japan. Yes, the country and its people are...backward...and just straight up weird and illogical most of the time but there are more good things about there than here, in my opinion. Al and I have our sights set on Fukuoka. We have friends there (a married couple) that happen to be leaving in the exact time we need to get a job. I am interested in her job and I hopefully have a good chance of getting it with my experience and a reccommendation from her. We just need to find Al a job! I've never been to Fukuoka but I only hear great things. And there's Forever 21, Ikea, H&M...all the things that keep me from going insane.
After this next year in Japan I'm going to be ready to come back to good old America. I think if we came back after our year here in Korea I'd regret it because there is still a lot more travelling I want to do. Once back in the US and living out a normal life there, overseas travelling opportunities will be much more slim. So while on this side of the earth I'd like to get a lot done before coming back to the grind of trying out the "American Dream". If I ever had a teaching job that I absolutely loved, like if I happen to die over the one I will get next then I really wouldn't be opposed to doing it one more year but after that, I'd definitely be finished. After that it's just running away from real life instead of simply teaching abroad for a few years. The girl whose job I may take over loved her job so much they stayed for two years, so maybe I'll like it too, if I get it. Oh, by the way, all this would be going down in March. My contract ends in December but I'm going to work two more months (Jan and Feb) and then go home for a visit in March until Al finishes his on March 31. Then hopefully it's back to Japan we go!
Last weekend Al and I had a photo shoot with these two amazing people and photographers, Jill and Aaron Osteen. They had advertised that they wanted to pad their portfolio before heading back to the US to start their photography business in Charleston, SC and wanted to shoot some couples, so I jumped on that! We had an amazing time and here are a few of my favorites:

If you love them (which of course you do, because they're awesome) visit their photography blog: and be wowed. They are fantastic!

Nothing else going on! School is the same. It's all a bit monotonous, still have the wretched kids who make my days difficult. But, I really do have a better job than most teachers. I just keep telling myself that and it puts everything back into perspective!
Off to do some cleaning! xo


  1. Awe, I love your blog... especially this post, but I'm partial of course! :) Excited to start following all your stories! :)

  2. Thanks! It's in need of a revamp. I'm gonna be on that very soon!