Tristan and I had the perfect day yesterday! We made a resolution to go to Caribbean Bay this Saturday, no matter how much we wanted to sleep in or if it threatened to rain. For those of you who don’t know, it’s the world’s largest water park. We ended up sleeping in a tiny bit… but it didn’t end up affecting our experience. We arrived at around 10am and the crowd was big but not overwhelming. We got to ride every ride in the park and the weather was absolutely perfect! It’s a fantastic water park and is so well organized and put together. To top it all off Tristan brought along his new waterproof GoPro, a tiny HD video camera. We got some awesome footage of us on water slides. As soon as Tristan learns how to edit some video footage, I’ll be sure to share the results with you!
After we had our fill at the water park, we went next door to Everland, which is free with a Caribbean Bay ticket! It was a pretty action-packed day. Then we headed home, ate delicious tuna melts from Hungry Dog, and fell asleep watching Supernatural. A perfect end to the day.
The weekend flies by SO quickly. On Saturday I met my conversation partner as I usually do, and he helped me work on my second article. I’ve submitted it so it should be posted by the end of next week. Then we met up with our friend Erin and her boyfriend Ron and some of their friends for Brazilian BBQ in Gangnam. Erin worked at our school our first year, but now she’s living in Jeju and rarely gets to come up to the mainland or Seoul. It was really nice to see her again and meet some new people too.
Today was spent straightening up a bit (we have company coming over tomorrow for game night!), and I bought a lamp on Craigslist so I can now read before bed and then turn out the light without getting up! It’s a minor thing but it’s a major life improvement, haha. It’s the small things in life… one of our coworkers Susan had a housewarming party in our neighborhood too, so I stopped by that and got to meet some more new people. There’s been a lot of that lately, meeting new people, though none of them have become more than acquaintances yet. It seems like there are plenty of nice folks in my area but I just don’t get out enough and I’m not that social. And I’m pretty satisfied with what I have going on.
Anyway, now it’s Sunday night already and I’m about to head to bed and start another week at school. Already things seem different, the week doesn’t seem so daunting and I’m able to look forward to weekends as if they aren’t that far away. I have a feeling this school year will fly by as well. But I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, for my life to be flying away. I’m trying to be more productive with my time this year, so we’ll see how that goes.
Happy weekend everyone, and enjoy the week leading up to Easter :)
Okay, so I didn’t actually get to meet the man, but an exhibit of his work has come to Seoul and Tristan and I finally went to check it out at the Seoul Museum of Art on Saturday. My recommendation? Go during the week, or get there early in the morning, because it was packed! People in this city really appreciate their artists. We bought tickets for 12,000 won outside and then had to pull numbers to wait to go into the exhibit. Once inside there were hundreds of works to see.
The gallery split up his work into three sections showing the development of his work through different periods of his life (pre-professional, professional, personal works). I was very impressed by everything he did for himself, particularly ink drawings. I enjoyed seeing his projects for art school because you could see there was no interest and the quality seriously went down… sound familiar? It was fun to see his take on so many of the kinds of projects I had to do myself. And there was so much to see! There was a huge gallery dedicated to the sculptures and props from his films, too. My favorite part was seeing Jack Skellington’s wire frame under his costume, and there was an array of Jack Skellington heads all with different facial expressions. I could have done with more Nightmare Before Christmas stuff, and I was surprised to find how many films I didn’t realize he’d worked on. There was a lot to see and so many different mediums that he’s worked with. There were drawings, paintings, sculptures, writing, and even screenings for his independent films (and famous ones too). It was worth every penny and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Afterward we even bought a print :)
Usually I leave these things feeling pretty discouraged, but I actually felt really motivated afterward. His strength isn’t his drawing ability so much as his creativity and his persistance creating works. He just continues to make art in massive quantities. Now I just need to start creating work again!
This past Sunday was my coworker Susan’s 30th birthday, and instead of doing something common like go to a bar, she decided to go to the ballet! We went to the Seoul Arts Center again (we’ve ended up there several times this year). This time we sat pretty close to the front. I haven’t had a lot of experience with ballet except for the annual Nutcracker performances around Christmas, so this was an interesting experience.
The stage opened with a very simplified set design of large white, slightly curved shapes that moved around the stage to create different spaces. The whole effect was so subtle and beautiful. I was really impressed with the choreography– it was a nice combination of refined but also humorous at times and included some modern dance. The fight scene at the end where Tybalt and Mercutio die was amazingly done in slow motion. The dancing was all flawless and impressive. I was surprised at how easy it was to follow the story without words (I’d forgotten many details). It was an experience well enjoyed, and I hope to go more often this year.
Afterward we went to the Outback Steakhouse! A place I look forward to as a treat, here. Unlimited warm bread with honey butter, meals served without kimchi or rice as the main ingredient. It was a really nice evening.
The trip to Okinawa this past weekend was fantastic. I was lucky enough to get a couple of days off to stay for a long weekend. It was just so nice to have the family all together and be in each other’s company. We didn’t do a lot of touristy stuff since I already visited last year and did a lot of those things. Mostly we ate good food and spent time together.
On Friday my sister took us to get pedicures. It was my first time ever getting one, and it was the whole works– massage and nail art too. It was a great treat. On Saturday we celebrated a late Christmas, and on Sunday we went to the cherry blossom festival. I got to eat some fantastic sushi as well as some home cooking which was all that I wanted!
When I came back my students were so excited to see me, which felt great. I prepared a short powerpoint with pictures from my trip and used it as an opportunity to teach them about Japan and Okinawa. I also brought some candy and treats for them which made them even more excited about the whole thing. To top it off I also brought them a new book from an illustrator/author I loved growing up: Graeme Base. His illustrations are rich with things for kids to explore and investigate, so they haven’t put the book down once since I brought it. Now they’re crazy about Japan– success!