I asked my students when Christmas was today. They said, “Tomorrow tomorrow!” I laughed and said, “Sure. We’ll call it Christmas Eve Eve.” Today was the last day for my Monday, Wednesday, Friday students, so we sang some Christmas carols and learned Christmas vocabulary. Christmas isn’t a big deal here in Korea, but the kids really get into it when they know that their teacher is excited about it. I explained how much snow there is in New England and I’m not sure they really believe me... so tomorrow I’ll bring pictures that my aunt and uncle sent from Connecticut... then maybe they’ll understand what it means to “clear off the snow from my car” which was a phrase used in one of our stories today.
Tomorrow after work I’ll be leaving for Daegu to celebrate Christmas with a bunch of people who work for all the different MoonKkang branches. I’m sure it’ll be a fun time, but it definitely won’t feel anything like Christmas. Nothing can top family and a home-cooked meal... but I’m really thankful to have Jaime here... another Mainer. Maybe we’ll make pancakes and maple syrup to make it a Maine Christmas! (If only we could get some needhams and moxie over here!)
Last weekend I actually got a chance to catch the later train up to Daegu to spend time with Jaime (for her first weekend in Korea!) We had a good time roaming the downtown streets of Daegu (I actually found a pair of skinny jeans that I fit into...) and we pretty much fell in love with every pair of shoes we saw in all the little shoe shops. We also had a subway adventure, ate some Korean food and Italian food, went to E-Mart (which is like Wal Mart at home.) We got a lot of walking in and were exhausted by the end of every night.
On my way home early Monday morning, I took the Mugungwah train back to Gupo station, and took the subway home rather than taking a taxi... so I feel like a native to the country while sitting amongst everyone on the train and subway... I mean despite the fact all I can say is “hello, thank you, and -- can I have a beer, please” ... and I suppose I don’t really look like I fit in either. But Korea is feeling homier than I expected it to be. I might even miss kimchi when I leave :-)