Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Then.... some idiot turned on the lights

So despite my best intentions to actually stay on top of blogging this month, I've had a lot of other things on my plate and on my mind and so my little adventures have been moved to the back burner. But! This was Halloween month, possibly my favorite time of the year, and that means that some sort of post is entirely necessary.

Halloween in Korea was much better than I was expecting. My local Lotte Mart put out a pretty decent Halloween display that included decorations like pumpkin lanterns, glow-in-the-dark skeletons, banners, and window decals as well as kiddie costumes, masks, accessories like wands and pitchforks, and a range of witches' hats. It was nice to decorate my apartment since I always do the decorations at home and missed out big time this year for holidays.

This weekend I went into the city to celebrate and naturally the areas that are always crawling with foreigners were decorated up and there were tons of people in costume. I went as Minnie Mouse which was very easy to pull off and meant I could wear my red sneakers which made dancing for three hours a much more comfortable experience. We got some looks on the subway ride in but hey, as a non-Korean I get stared at all the time here anyway so I'd rather for once it be for an interesting reason.

At work yesterday we celebrated as best we could by wearing either costumes or at least funny ears or hats (our boss isn't big on anything that involves either teachers or students or staff enjoying themselves so we were lucky to even get away with that). I gave my students treat bags and they went crazy. You should have seen them with the candy corn. They've never had it before and had no idea what to even do with it. I had to explain that yes, it's edible and no, I have no idea what it's actually made of (I'm afraid to read the ingredient list to be honest, some things are best left a mystery). They really liked it though.

Probably the only flop of the Halloween season was carving a jack-o-lantern. A few weeks ago I managed to track down pumpkins at a local vegetable market but man, Korean pumpkins are not a pretty picture. They're a dull orange-brown color and very squat and awkward. I made the mistake of waiting too long to carve it (as well as leaving it on my coffee table which sits directly in the sun) and found it molding pretty fiercely when I finally decided to take a stab at it. Blech. So I didn't clean it out and put a candle inside because it was too nasty but I did still carve a face just for fun.
And then I promptly took it outside and threw it in the trash.

Now I'm just recovering from a candy coma and trying to wrap my head around the fact that it's November. November! Almost a year exactly since I came to Korea! It's been a big year, an amazing year, and sadly a year that is quickly coming to a close. I'm officially leave at the end of this term and I have mixed emotions about everything. I had wanted to stay on for an extra six months but things didn't quite work out with my contract renewal so on November 28th I'll be on a plane home to Massachusetts. I'm so excited to see everyone at home! But I'm in love with Korea and I'm going to miss it here immensely.

Recently I've been buzzing around between trying to clean and pack things up here, establish work and school plans for my return home, and experience as much of Korea as I can before I have to say goodbye. It's been exhausting and I've been feeling guilty about not being a better blogger because I think it's a great outlet for me but you know, priorities. Besides, I started this blog before I got here so I may just hang on to it for a month or two when I return home and have some time to share pictures and things that I didn't get a chance to post before. And post my version of the ultimate Korean packing list because I must have read dozens of those before coming here and they were really useful.

Stay tuned!

Trivia of the Day: Korean horror, sometimes referred to as K-Horror, is the term given to horror films made as part of the cinema of Korea. Korean horror features many of the same motifs, themes, and imagery as Japanese horror. Korean horror has been around since the early years of Korean cinema; however, it wasn't until the late 1990's that the genre began to experience a renewal. Many of the Korean horror films tend to focus on the suffering and the anguish of characters rather than focus on the gory "blood and guts" aspect of horror.

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