Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olympics, Dentists, and Singing with Soldiers

Korea is going well. The last couple of days have been really nice here – almost all of the snow has melted, and I almost didn’t need a jacket this afternoon.

Today I had my second of two dentist appointments (just for cleaning). The total cost was about the equivalent of fifty dollars. It’s an interesting experience, not being able to follow the simple directions, but somehow it works. We also made friends with the manager, who has invited us to dinner next week. She’s very nice, but it’s still kind of strange – go in for a cleaning, come out with dinner plans.

I’ve been trying to watch as much of the Olympics as I can. However, between my lack of a television (and the language barriers when I am by a television) and the time delay, I haven’t seen much of the games live. Additionally, the Koreans have certain events that they care more about (speed skating and figure skating), so their programming is heavily geared toward those events. While we were at the dentist’s today the whole place stopped to see Kim Yu Na skate.

It’s also interesting seeing their coverage because they highlight their own accomplishments (replaying speed skating victories again and again) while showing the missteps of others (showing Vonn crash). I wish I could actually understand what they are saying when they do all this.

Last weekend was my co-worker’s birthday, so we had a girl’s night out. After dinner, we met some soldiers who were on their night off and we ended up singing at the noraebang (karaoke) with them until early in the morning. It was another one of those experiences you never imagine happening. I have a number of pictures (and videos) of this, but I'll wait to share those.

This weekend I’m off to Seoul to see my friend there, and maybe do a little more sight-seeing. We have Monday off of work, and then it’s the start of a new semester. This marks the sixth month point of my stay here. Hard to believe that I’m halfway done!

This week has been extra difficult though, because one of my co-workers is on vacation. It's only an extra class or two each day, but it makes a difference! A couple of nights this week my classes don't end until 10:30 at night. But there are only two more days left, so that helps.

1 comment:

  1. So cool you posted about the Olympics--I was wondering what your thoughts would be as I was watching Kim Yu-na skate last night and they did a puff piece about her Celebrity Status in S. Korea. I was, like, "hmm, I bet Krista would tell me what the media coverage is like there" and you did! How's the short track speed skating coverage--besides wall-to-wall, which is a given. How did people react to that epic wipe-out by the top two S. Korean dudes that first night of short track competition? And what's the media's take on Apollo Ohno? Just curious...