Well, fear not, I am alive and well. Very well, actually. I know it’s been a long time since my last post (2 months to the day, to be specific). I’ve actually had a couple request I keep better writing habits. That’s kind a nice little ego boost. Here are some highlights from the past two months:
Halloween at Kid’s College was pretty awesome. We did pumpkin carving and the Friday before Halloween we had our all day Halloween party. Together with another teacher I was in charge of the haunted house. I was afraid with the time and materials we had to work with that the haunted house would be lame, but I was very pleased with how it turned out. We got creative and it was successful. So much so, in fact, that four of my six students flat out refused to even enter the haunted house after one peek inside.
For the adult portion of Halloween, Friday night was a huge party at Dolce. I was super lame and wore my hapkido uniform again. Pretty much the same costume as last year. I think I exhausted all my creativity on the haunted house. Saturday was a long, crazy night in Hongdae. I went sans costume, but it was one of those perfect nights when everything is going your way.
Thanksgiving at Kid’s College wasn’t quite as eventful. There was only a special lunch. I actually liked it better than a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Each class was assigned a country, and the parents brought in food from the country for a buffet style lunch. I’m not a huge fan of most traditional Thanksgiving foods (cranberries, mashed potatoes, stuffing, anything heavy on cheese or cream, etc…). I didn’t do anything super exciting. I didn’t attend any of the Thanksgiving dinners other people had. I think for dinner I had tuna curry. Saturday after Thanksgiving I went to Songtan and had Brazilian barbeque, which was basically just an all you can eat steakhouse. I think I ate meat for a solid hour and a half before I called it quits.
I remember there was a bit of a “to-do” last year for me and Thanksgiving. For some reason, I think I was a bit homesick and looking for a bit of comfort from the familiar and not getting invited to a Thanksgiving dinner kind of upset me, but this year I kind of forgot about Thanksgiving all together. It snuck up on me and I was just like “Oh, I guess it is Thanksgiving today.”
3. Weight Loss
I had been steadily losing weight since I joined a gym in May, but since I went to Beijing, my weight loss stagnated. I was still going to the gym, but it just wasn’t as effective as it was before, so I enlisted the help of a personal trainer. I’ve been doing the new workout plan and diet she helped me with for about three weeks now. On Monday I had my two week progress check, and I was shocked. I lost about 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) in two weeks, including a 3.4% drop in body fat, an inch off my hips and chest, an inch and a half off my thighs, and two inches off my waist. I was down to 82.5 kilos earlier this week, but I just weighed myself again a minute ago and I’m up to 83.5, which was where I was at Monday. I strayed a bit from my diet this weekend, but I’m back on it now. I wasn’t rewarding myself for doing well, which can lead to a dangerous habit, but the past two weekends I’d been very strict and pretty much had no fun. I needed to blow off some steam. I’m thinking that might happen once a month.
4. Rubber Soul
Rubber Soul was this weekend. It’s a big event to raise AIDS awareness. A $10 fee got you into six different bars and there were 20 bands performing. I was really excited to see Wagwak. I went with some new friends to show them around Hongdae. We had a nice dinner in Itaewon at a good Greek place, then headed to Hongdae to bar hop a bit. We saw Wagwak at Freebird. They did a great show. After that, we just went to like six different places. I ran into at least 15 people I know from various places, Cheonan, Bucheon, Gongju, etc… Even went to a club that was playing dubstep and danced like crazy. It was at this club I met someone who mentioned that she read my blog, and is honestly a big part of the reason I’m writing this. I stayed out all night and ended up at Seoul Station at 5:30 AM getting a train ticket home. Finally made it home around 7:20 AM and slept until noon. Got out of bed at about 1 PM. It was just another one of those nights like Halloween when things were just clicking on all levels and everything was turning up roses. It was a night you can’t really plan. Halloween was great because the whole weekend was anticipated for weeks and it lived up to expectations, but this was one of those great weekends that popped up out of a decision to go to Seoul on a whim.
Anyway, meeting with a friend tonight to recap the weekend and really bask in it, I was confronted with the realization that I’ve changed immensely in the past year. Probably within just the last six months. Most of it is directly tied to my weight loss. I’m also actively trying to change the person I am. I heard some criticisms of my character and decided that I didn’t want to be that person anymore. Some of it has been keeping some of my snarky comments to myself. I think some people misinterpreted them as hostility or standoffish-ness. The other, larger, part of my personality change has been that I’ve been very active about putting myself into situations that make me uncomfortable to get used to doing things. For instance, six months ago I never would’ve danced at the club, unless I was extremely drunk. Now I’m much more able to go out and do stuff that would’ve made me sefl-conscious before. I’m just a lot more able to relax and enjoy myself. It’s beginning to not feel like I’m going out of my way to do something fun just to prove I can do it. Now I’m just doing it because I enjoy doing it.
Lastly, today I went to a English meeting I found out about. I wanted more Korean friends because I’ve been really lax with speaking Korean lately. I was not expecting to see 20 Koreans. Usually the groups are much smaller. And most of them spoke English quite well. I was impressed. We went out for dinner after, and I told them I wanted to speak more Korean, so they were very accommodating about that. I’ve told Koreans before that I want to speak Korean and they would insist on talking on English, which made me feel like speaking in Korean would be unnatural. Dinner was like 90% Korean and 10% English, so I was definitely challenging myself.
Anyway, I figure this is long enough, and I’m pretty tired. Gotta rest up and get ready for the gremlins tomorrow.