Debbie's Doings

When two people sing together, they're in love; when two people dance together, they make love.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A man named Dan, and other Irish tales

Me enjoying bread and cheese--what I've been dreaming of for two months now!

Ok, I'm sure you all want to know how my Irish holiday is going. Well, maybe you do! If not, then I'm not sure why you're reading this! I've been here long enough now to find my way around downtown Cork without getting lost. Today I went to Penneys for some wellies so I can walk where I want in the country and not get my jeans soaked and I'm proud to say that I made it there and home without getting lost! Unlike yesterday.

Yesterday I decided to go to Cobh. This is a small town on the coast that is only about 40 minutes away by bus. I left Siobhan's flat armed with a city map and an idea of what direction I needed to go in order to reach the bus station. For those of you who have wandered around Seoul for hours with me will know that I have no sense of direction. AT ALL. Yeah, I got lost in Cork, with a map. Turns out I was going the completely opposite direction. So an hour later I got to the bus station only to be redirected to the train station to catch my bus to Cobh (don't ask why, I'm not sure). Finally I get to Cobh and visit a nice museum, walk around the town, get a bag of chips for a mid-afternoon snack, purchase postcards and then groove out to my music waiting for my bus back to Cork. The bus driver thought I was amusing with my music. So why did I go to Cobh? Oh yes- I should tell you that. Cobh used to be called Queenstown and was the last port of call for the Titanic. It was also the destination port for the Lusitania. Quite an important little town if you ask me. The museum was pretty interesting. Full of artifacts and knickknacks from the two ships and the early 1900s. I liked it, even though I was caught in the rain two times. I fixed that today though by purchasing boots that I can tuck my jeans into!

On Monday I went to Kinsale...well, I was dropped off by Siobhan on her way to the beach to go surfing again (crazy girl). It's a nice little harbor town here and the weather was getting along with me well that day. I remembered why I like museums when I went to the old tower museum in town- mannequins. I really liked them when I was in the UK and am happy to report that museums in Ireland have them also! Really they make great photo opportunities. Anyway, the museum used to be a prison which held American prisoners during the American Revolution. Also in Kinsale I stopped for lunch in a pub and while I was listening to jazz music by a couple of musicians I met Dan. A man named Dan grabbed my hand on my way in to tell me how much he liked my hat. He really liked it alot (so do I, so I'm glad he didn't ask for it!). He told me he used to have a hat, 27 years ago. He liked his hat alot, but it got wet and he lost it (I'm not quite sure if he lost it because it was wet or if these were two separate incidents). In any case, he hugged me, told me the hat suited me very well and then asked if I would hug him for 27 years. I told him I was really hungry and wanted to eat. So poor, drunk Dan without a hat let me go to eat my sandwich and drink my pint.

Lastly I'll add some of my favorite pictures so far. I haven't edited my photos from Cobh, so none of those are here. But you can look at the rest of them on my picasa page: beach at Garrettstown

bench at the park in Cork- finally some Fall colors!

This painting is titled "Economic Hardships" I'm not kidding!!!

Siobhan at the art gallery we visited

Boats in Kinsale

Kinsale from a museum window

Fountain in the park

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Irish weekend

SO, I made it to Ireland. It's been a whirlwind weekend. Fighting off jet-lag and adjusting to an english-speaking country again have been what has taken control of me this past weekend. I think I have kicked the proverbial bucket on my jet-lag though. After passing out in the early evening hours for two days in a row (only to wake up before dawn the next morning) I forced myself to stay up late and was able to sleep past 7 this morning! yah! Anyway, Ireland is beautiful. I really like it here alot. Yesterday my friend Siobhan took me with her to the beach where she went surfing (I did not surf). I spent the next two hours walking around the beach and countryside there taking pictures. I took almost 300 pictures yesterday! So I have a large amount of editing to do before anything ends up online for you all to see. I actually should be going soon because apparently she's going surfing again and dropping me off in a nice town nearby for me to explore for a couple hours while she acts crazy and goes into the cold ocean to surf. I'll put up pictures as soon as I get some edited this evening, I promise!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

down to the wire now.....

It's my last day in Korea. It's my last day in Korea. I have to keep telling myself that as if it's going to magically sink in that in 10 hours I'll be on a plane heading away from the home I've had for two years. Nope, still not sinking in. I'm trying though!

Ok, so really. Yes, I'm leaving here today...I have a couple more errands to run before I catch my bus to the airport. I have been unemployed for two days now and homeless for five days (staying with a friend). My suitcases are packed and I'm hoping for an uneventful departure at the airport. Though, with the luck I have, it will be anything but uneventful. I remember last Christmas when I was going home and it turns out that my visa hadn't been renewed for me to come back into Korea, so I frantically ran to immigration to fix it so I could finish my contract after vacation! Nearly missed my flight, running through the airport, crying for God only knows what reason, but finally catching my flight to Japan and then home. You might be able to see why I'm hoping for nothing eventful today! I also have a bad history with security at airports. Apparently I look dangerous. I often get pulled out of the line for a more detailed security check or I happen to forget about the "dangerous" items I've packed in my carry-on and then have to plead with the security guy to let me keep my velveeta shells and cheese sauce in my backpack. These are the times when my absentmindedness does not help me at all!

I'm heading to the airport soon. I'm heading to the airport soon. Whatever, I don't believe it.

I'm catching an 8pm flight to Hong Kong where I will transfer to another flight to London. From London tomorrow morning I will hop over to Ireland on yet another flight. I'm staying there until November 12th. Then it's over to Chicago and then a couple days later I'll catch a train down to Effingham where a family member will be waiting for me hopefully. Otherwise I'll just hang out in Effingham with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Nah, they'll be there. Anyway, that's my plan for the next few weeks. Hopefully I'll be able to update on here while I'm in Ireland. I'm going to take tons of pictures and see people I haven't seen in a really long time. And if the accents in Ireland are like what my british friend Ed does, then I will be laughing alot the next three weeks. That's a good thing. I'll see you in Ireland!!

The pictures here are from my last night out in Hongdae...weird. But I got to see the friends left here and celebrate one last night. Of course, I got sick later and the whole night ended much earlier than we planned. We are such a bunch of pansies.

Friday, October 10, 2008


It's weird really. I am not quite sure it's possible to describe fully how I'm feeling right now. Detached, despondent, worried, overwhelmed...those are good words to start with. As I'm sitting here looking at my clock, I am realizing that in less than two weeks I will be on an airplane headed towards my connecting flight in Hong Kong (don't think I'll have time to shop though). Which means tomorrow when I get up, I will be two weeks from being in Ireland. WTF!?!? Sorry for that, but there's really no expletive that is appropriate here. I can't believe it.

I'm leaving so soon and yet I'm almost in complete denial of my imminent departure. I'm only in my own apartment for 8 more days, then I'm moving to Mina's in Hwajeong. Dahlia's got a home (well, in theory), I'm writing up a list for the next teacher at my school, I went to the Pension office to request my refund, and I at least started the packing. Tomorrow night is the night I do a test pack. I need to know if I can actually get everything home from here! If not, I'll go through it again and purge, and possible ship one last box home (it'll be small, I swear!).

I'm so scared to leave what has been my home for two years now. It's comfortable, I know what my day consists off, I have a comfortable life and I know I can get to a huge metropolis in less than 30 minutes. When I leave here, I'm going back to central IL where the population is less than my neighborhood in Ilsan. Wait, so WHY am I leaving again? Oh yeah, I'm trying to get to London and back into theatre.

I've loved working with kids here the last two years. Granted, I'm starting to lose my mind I'm sure. I am in need of mental stimulation beyond "What color is this?" and "G is for gum." Severe need of that mental stimulation. I always thought I'd work with kids, but somehow never thought I'd be a teacher. I'm not the teacher type, from the look of me. I'm not terribly traditional, clean-cut, or any of the other adjectives I'd give a teacher. But I do know that I have a rappore (sp?) with kids. I can relate to them and get them to open up. I am creative in my teaching methods and willing and able to humiliate myself to get a response out of a surly student. This apparently has made me a good language teacher in a foreign country. But that's not what I wanted from life- not this forever. I went to college for theatre. My heart is there and in fashion design. Two passions of mine that I haven't really done much with in the last two years.

I needed a break from the life I had in the US. I felt like I was lost and drowning in the world. I wasn't sure of who I was and of who I was becoming. I was afraid of who I was and what I was doing. I had to get out of what I knew in order to find myself. I know that's so cliche, but it's honestly what I felt like I needed. Korea was that escape for me. I don't regret anything that has happened the last two years here and I know who I am and I'm alot more OK with that person. I never imagined I'd be who I am today - a liberal and a skeptic- and imagined even less that I'd be ok with that. I had very different ideas of what would happen when I came to SK, but I'm glad it turned out the way it has. I've found some amazing people who have become part of my heart and know that the growth I've had here is because of them.

So here I am, on the downswing of my time here and fighting all sorts of conflicting emotions in regards to it. Relief because I need a vacation, joy because I get to see some of my favorite people very soon, anxiety because I'm not sure about the next step, loneliness because I feel like I'm walking alone, comfort in knowing that people all across the world love and support me, and probably just about every other emotion! Anyway, enough of this. I just had to get it out of my system and now I'm going to go watch Countdown with Keith Olberman and enjoy my liberal mind! Haha.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

19 days

I'm down to 19 days left in the place that has been home for two years now. It's still weird packing up my stuff and figuring things out. Today I was watching tv and I saw a strange commercial. Granted most commercials are pretty weird here anyway, but this was was a real treat.

I saw a kid running on the beach towards his mother. The child, not sure if it was a boy or a girl, got to mom and ran into her. The young age of the child made his/her head hit his mother's chest. Mom's chest wasn't miniscule like typical korean mothers, but neither was it like Pam Anderson's, if you get my drift. Then, as the child's head bounces in slow-motion, the image cuts away to an inflating airbag. Yeah, an airbag. So an airbag is like mom's boobs. That's what I got from this commercial. Awesome.

In other news, yesterday was my last holiday here. Mina and I planned to drive up to Panmunjeom, the DMZ tour that actually takes you into the DMZ. Sounds cool, huh? Well, I'm hoping it was cool because we weren't able to go there because it was a national holiday. Oh well! But we did go to a stop on the tour that was 7 km from the DMZ. It was a park/memorial area called Imjingak. There were alot of people there, but it was still nice. Though we got a snack when we arrived from a vendor and it was really gross corn and chicken. Blech. So much for being hungry!

We walked around and took pictures and, I got a kick out of this, the announcer who spoke about the railway bridge as we were walking up to it switched to english. I think he must have noticed that there was finally a white person there (that was the weird thing- it's a tourist spot and I was the only whitey?) and sounded very enthusiastic about telling the information about this place in english over the loudspeaker. So I felt obligated to stay 'til he was finished. It was interesting though. Imjingak is the site of a railway line that used to connect both North and South Korea. In 1950 it was destroyed during the war after being used to transport refugees both ways. It was rebuilt in 2000, though I'm unsure if it's actually being used. Maybe it's just waiting to be used again. Anyway, after wondering if the land across the river was indeed DPRK all day, I did some research at home. It's not North Korea across the bridge. It's not even a river I was looking at. The river is a little further off (we rode next to it on the way home) and what I was looking at was a stream connected to the river. So there you have it. I was thrown off because there didn't seem to be nearly enough security if we really were that close to the DMZ and DPRK. I have seen North Korea while I've been here, though. But it looks like visiting the DMZ isn't going to happen for me this time around.

This last picture is of the two bridges- on the right are the ruins of the original bridge. On the left is the rebuilt bridge.