Friday, July 2, 2010

Dr.Fish and Korea Fighting!

Since first hearing of the "Dr.Fish" phenomenon a few years ago, the idea has been locked in the ever-present, weirdly-grotesque-but-insanely-interesting file in my brain. It just seems to unnatural and wrong, but it IS natural and actually good for you. However, I only heard about it, so getting my feet eaten was never a possibility. 
Until SPAVIS. 
They had three jacuzzi-sized pools of the little guys, a freshwater breed from Turkey that feed on dead human skin cells. They supposedly give one hellofa pedicure, and can cure skin ailments like psoriasis. At the spa, you can submerge yourself in for only 6000Won.. less that $6. One woman was completely under except for mouth nose and eyes, and a fish was going at her chin. I didn't participate that day, but once I got back home I found a place in Osan that offered it. "Dr.Fish," the sign says. 4000Won. Jade and I took the plunge.
Once we took a seat on the ledge, the fish saw us and clustered directly below our toes. They knew what was coming. Freaking. Freaky. The first 5 minutes consisted of dunking my feet, panicking, and pulling them out, often with flopping fish caught in the shallow depression where my toes meet my feet. At about ten minutes, I was able to feed them (gross) for more than a minute at a time, and after ten, it actually started to feel pretty cool. Like a hundred mini vibrations. There were awkward points, like the dude who kept trying to wriggle between my toes. Honestly, I can't wait to do it again.

The World Cup ended last weekend, which is pretty sad. The team spirit here is crazy - different from sports at home, I guess maybe it has something to do with the whole nation rooting for one team - everyone. I was even given off school for a game. The Korean Soccer team's color is red, devil horns are their thing, and for weeks leading up to and all throughout the WC every other Korean I saw was wearing one of the two. Most wore both. I watched the last game at the Pyeongtaek City Hall, through a sea of glowing red horns. 

My Favorite Monsters 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I finally figured out how to add slideshows to blogger!

This makes me very happy.
(The adver-ons, do not. I must keep searching for the perfect show...)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

cell phones and little monsters

I have conquered the beast: I am now contracted with a Korean cell phone company, QOOK. Or Sky. Cell phone companies seem to overlap here. It is quite bizarre. In one intersection, there are three stores, all with different servers. (Think, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint.) Around the corner from THAT, a store with all three on their sign. Ordering dinner here is difficult, imagine signing a year-long contract with numerous variables and a generous dose of fine print. I must admit, I'm still pretty worried about that first bill. But I love the constant access to long distance voices <3 
The phone itself puts crappy American devices to shame. I got the free model, and it is pretty amazing. Standard: (good) camera, video, Korean-English dictionary, Korean subway map, (with programmable routes,) and thats about as far as I've gotten. Although I'm pretty sure, for additional cost, I could get live streaming TV. Seriously. 
ONLY downside?
It's pink. vom.
Internet, that's a different story. Our building is new, as are the majority of buildings around it, so there aren't any cable lines yet. I had to struggle through a few painful korenglish conversations, (including the three cell phone stores that days prior had dealt with my complete lack of their native language) before I finally got a company that reaches us. Interestingly, after a couple coworkers helped us make an appointment, I got a text from QOOK - my cell phone provider - with a confirmation of my appointment. I just don't get it. But, by Friday night, I will be online. And right now, that is all that matters. 
I love my job. My students, for the most part, are awesome. I've just about built up the courage to bring my camera to class. This is due in part to Jake, a 10- or 11-year old of mine, who came up to me with his fist clenched around his thumb, a small character of a boy drawn on the only visible knuckle. It's head is located just below the bottom knuckle of his pointer finger, on that little fleshy spot. The crease between these two areas was filled in red, so that when he releases his thumb, the little guy gets decapitated in a sea of bright red bic blood. It's no secret that I am not the gory type. But it was funny.
This week, my lower level classes are learning the parts of the body. I had them all draw monsters (the text's idea, not mine) and label the body parts. I collected them, half because I wanted to hang them in the hall, and half because I want to keep them for myself. My favorite is "cute monster," "cate monster," (a misspelling of cute, which makes me like it more,) and carrot monster. Wait, and soccer monster. Oh and Terminator Goblin. 
I need to photograph those. 
Also, I got a plant. Now I need more. ASAP.

This weekend, 
my mission is the beach.