Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Thankfullness

With this being my first Thanksgiving away from my family and friends back in Iowa and the United States, I have been able to experience one of my favorite holidays in a completely different way.

Thursday night, I went out to eat in Itaewon (the international district here in Seoul) and enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving style buffet. The Thanksgiving spread included most of the traditional dishes: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Also included were oysters, smoked salmon, steak, chicken, apple pie, rolls, and salad. It was a delicious meal that definitely fulfilled my Thanksgiving hankering for this year. Granted, I did miss the corn, homemade chicken and noodles, and German chocolate cake that comes with my Thanksgiving feasts back home, but it all worked out.

Of the 8 of us that went to this meal, only 3 of us were actually from America. 4 of the others were from Britain and and other person was from Canada. The British folk were enjoying their first Thanksgiving meal and were extremely pleased and left stuffed and feeling sleepy. It was a fantastic way to spend the holiday. The next morning I was able to Skype with my parents, and the rest of my dad's family, which was a great time (even if my brother and cousins did insist on eating their Thanksgiving cuisine in front of me).

To finish up this post, here is a list of some of the many things that I'm thankful for this year.

1. The many friends that I have met while here in Seoul from all over the world (Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, etc.) and America

2. My co-teachers and the staff at Seoul High School for all of their support and help in making me comfortable during these past three months

3. Public transportation - it has been a nice blessing to not have a car to worry about (even those times that I am smashed onto the subways at 7:30 in the morning with about 100 other Koreans)
4. Korean socks - I am still amazed at the different styles/designs that my students wear while in my class (including Starbucks, Kakao Talk (a Korean text messaging application), Simpsons, Angry Birds, and others)
5. Korean holidays - I have never had so many random days off during a school year in my entire life and it has been very nice! Finals, midterms, Chuseok, school anniversaries, festival days, testing days - you name it, there's probably a day off for it here in Korea

My time here in Korea so far has been an awesome experience and I can't wait for the upcoming months. Here's what I have to look forward to:

- The end of the semester (which means not having to teach for the majority of the month of December)
- Winter English camps (I am super excited for these actually! 3 weeks, small classes, fun materials)
- Christmas parties (complete with ugly sweaters, eggnog, and jolly good times!)
- New Year's celebrations, Korean style (not quite sure what to expect, but I'm stoked to find out)
- Possible trip to Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, or the Philippines in January (still pending)
- 2 week trip to Thailand and Cambodia in February (riding elephants, laying on the beach, island hopping = best vacation EVER!)
- Start of a brand new school year in March with new kids and new experiences awaiting me

Hope everyone had a glorious Thanksgiving holiday and are refreshed as the end of the school year/calendar year approaches!

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