Friday, January 03, 2003

Well, we've rung in 2003 in Korea and being 17 hours ahead than most of you on the West Coast, we got a jump start on the Year of the Goat. Allthough officially, by the Chinese calendar the year 4700 doesn't begin until February 1st.

Thanks to everyone who sent us pictures from the various celebrations that were happening. I hope you all had an amazing time. From the look of it, some of you may have it enjoyed the New Year slightly more than others...

Our celebration in Ulsan was fun. My sister Joanna was here from Jeonju to visit so we all met up with some of our Korean co-workers and went out for dinner with our Hagwon's director and all of our bus drivers. Dinner consisted of barbequed pork, and as is Korean tradition, many varied side dishes. As with most meals it was accompanied by large amounts of soju. And, as is Korean tradition, it also meant that a fight had to break out as well. Two of our bus drivers took it upon themselves to stir things up, and after some pushing and shoving (and smashed glasses) we all beat a hasty retreat from the restaurant.

Myself, Joanna, Amy and our Korean co-workers headed over to the Royal Anchor, Ulsan's popular ex-pat pub. We met up with some other foreign teachers and partied through the New Year - complete with countdown, but without Dick Clark. From the Anchor, we proceeded to another popular foreigner hang-out, the Asshole Bar. Which, wins my vote for best name for a drinking establishment. At the Asshole we danced the night away - well, at least, till I punched out at about 3:30am. Way too much soju...

New Year's day was relaxed and we spent much of it recuperating at home. In the evening, we met up with our Korean co-workers again, and headed out to one of the many Nori bangs (rooms) that populate this city. Nori bangs are similar to Karaoke, but you get your own private room where you can make a complete ass out of yourself in relative privacy. We sang an ecclectic mix of tunes, ranging from Korean ballads to Eminem and the Sex Pistols. I'm proud to say I butchered pretty much everything I sang. And for the record, we have it all on CD, so if you're lucky enough I may even share some of them with you...

Work has gotten crazier now, as Korean students are now on a two-month winter break from school, which for them simply means many of them just have to go to more Hagwons. We all have extra classes to teach, but thankfully we have another foreign teacher who is working part-time at our school for the next month to cover the extra workload.

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