Our Wedding

I’M. SO. EXCITED.

Our fantastic, amazing, brilliant photographer has just put up a video of

our wedding, and it’s beautiful. We’re so excited! She chose all the

photos to put in it, the song, everything.

Our Wedding

I’ll try to put up photos as soon as I can, but I would really love to hear

what y’all think!

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Fresh

Ummm. Wow.

Really fell off the wagon there. Sorry about that.

Now that I, slowly, painfully, have dragged myself back up here and am getting my bearings again, I really need to get caught up!

MUCH has happened. First, I figured I’m feeling a fresh start, time for a new blog name. I no longer live in Korea, so the “Korea” title wasn’t very appropos. Actually, I’ve hit my six month mark in Oklahoma.

OKLAHOMA. Who knew that’s where I’d be? Not this girl.

Josh and I are living together in a fantastic little apartment not too far from base, where he works, or from the university I started attending for my master’s, or the high school where I do sub assignments. (It’s pretty convenient.)

Alright, now that the basics are thrown out there, let’s get into the juicy detail!

So Josh, that boy I met at the City Hall stop in Seoul, South Korea? He turned out to be…the man I married! Yes, married! He and I had been living together for a few months when, right before Christmas, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Most of my family actually met him as my fiancé. We were planning a big July wedding, but were told about three weeks ago that he would be deploying before that would ever take place. His unit is preparing to leave, but we don’t know exactly when. Actually, I should be finding out more tonight, so I’ll see what the deal is.

So basically, they said, “Hey, you only have one week guaranteed leave before you deploy, so wrap up whatever you need to do.” So…in one week, we scrambled to completely change plans and get married here on post with only immediate family. It was crazy! Because there really wasn’t time for a wedding dress, I decided to go in a different direction; since he was going to be  wearing his dress blue uniform to the ceremony, I would go with something 40’s inspired! I wore a traveling dress, a birdcage veil, and bright red lipstick. The whole thing turned out to be really beautiful and special, and once I get the photos, I’m totally putting them up! We’re still going to do the big ceremony we planned so we can celebrate with everyone, it’ll just be when he comes home.

Then, since family had flown in, we spent our honeymoon with relatives. I’m not complaining, it just seems really funny to me. He still had to be back at work on Monday, so it wouldn’t have been anything elaborate. Since we couldn’t have romantic, we decided to go ridiculous.

This would be my brother, Luke, enjoying the heck out of some ukulele.

Basically, this sums it up. Sometimes it was a little difficult to play hostess because it’s much different here than it was in Korea; here, I have to kind of search for random adventures, as opposed to just wandering into them. (I blame this entirely on the lack of a comprehensive public transit system. Places with subways are always chock-full of strange things waiting to happen.)

Other than that, the families, which had never met before, snuggled up in our little apartment and hung out, had some dinner, definitely had some drinking. That part was all hilarious, especially when Josh’s very polite, Southern lady-esque grandmother was drinking peppermint schnapps straight from the bottle. Needless to say, I think they all got along swimmingly.

I have to say, although most people don’t seem to like it here, it’s been pretty good to me. I have my husband, the apartment, started school again, and got my foot in the door at a really great school. I’ve had some amazing experiences working there, and my next assignment starts up on Monday, so I’m getting nervous/excited about that.

And, to top it all off, Josh’s parents brought us his dog they had been watching over while he was deployed.

Meet Q, the lovable 3-legged pup!

Tailor Made

Exciting news…

Over the past couple weekends I’ve been heading down to a tailor in Songtan to have….a dress, *cough*, custom made. Not only are the custom tailored clothes in Korea cheap, but  they’re really well-stitched (which is much harder to find in other parts of Asia, specifically China I’ve been told.)

And compared with home, the price difference is staggering. And this is a dress of my own design while the dressmaker made suggestions based on my body shape and personal style. I won’t lie, it was occasionally difficult trying to figure out how to say, “I’d really rather not have a fleur-de-lys gemstone pattern,” when I don’t speak Korean and they didn’t speak any English.

They did a fantastic job and the seamstress was incredible. And also very personal. I understand that they need the right measurements, but it was a little jarring. When they first pantomimed that I should undress and try on the garment, I didn’t understand that they wanted EVERYTHING off. With deft hands one had my tank top over my head and the other had unsnapped my bra with one hand, ONE HAND, leaving me now with the strange experience of being almost completely undressed in front of Korean women who talked rapidly to one another while smoothing the dress onto me and reaching under the garment to tuck something, pin something, or tape-measure my chest.  Not that I really minded. I just placed my trust in their experience and let them do all the decision-making beyond the original design we discussed.

And I love it!

Dress: $350 (America: $1000-1200)

Veil: $40 (America: $100-200)

ADRIA Custom Tailoring Co.

Owner: Y.T. Shin & Mrs. Shin (wife)

#298-157 Shinjang-dong Peyongtak City

adria391109@yahoo.co.kr

010-9049-2656

Sex Ed

After work the other night, my co-worker Kate and I decided to go downstairs and get a drink. She told me that she had a curfew, as her husband was NOT excited to pick her up at 2am the last time we had drinks. I’m slightly concerned he thinks I’m a bad influence, especially since the only time he sees me I’m pretty well-liquored up. (In a completely unrelated note, I teach one of their kids as well. Fantastic.)

Honestly, I want this guy to like me because I like him. We may not really speak to one another because of the language barrier thing, but I know a LOT about him. A lot more than I’m sure he knows I know.

When Kate and I get together, EVERYTHING is up for an open table discussion. So when we got to talking this time around over a pitcher of cocktail soju, which I’m proud to have introduced her to, and the bar snack you’re required to order, we talked about sex. In depth.

Kate came from a fairly average background, living on her parents farm and helping out with her brothers and sisters. She went to school and studied hard, where children fought to sit close to the furnace in winter and bartered for pieces of ham and wheat during lunch time. Growing up, she worked and studied hard but always had a lot of friends to play with, so she remembers a happy childhood.

She didn’t really enter the dating scene until college, where she met her husband. Before him, she had never seen a man naked, “not even a picture,” and he was her first and only. Both sets of parents urged them to marry as, due to events, it looked like they were going to suddenly have a lot of time together unchaperoned. They got married and now have two kids, and now she enjoys teasing our co-worker, who is about to get married, about her wedding night since it will be her first time. (The woman about to be married is 30 and has been dating her husband-to-be for 3-4 years.)

Whoa. Then I get on a roll and tell her that most girls I know became sexually active somewhere around 15-17 years old, whether they really wanted to or not, because there’s a lot of pressure. But once it’s done, every single girl talks about it with each other and madly reads women’s magazines so that you can pick up tricks before word gets out that you’re a novice and erotically uneducated. My God, the horror.

So I said to her, “Really, if you don’t have sex in high school, people pressure you and maybe wonder if something’s wrong with you,” which I know is not the case for everyone, as I know a handful of people that waited and there’s nothing wrong with them, but that’s the fear in high school.

red panties

She said, “Oh, it’s same in Korea.” I paused. “Wait wait wait. Same? If you DON”T have sex?” She gaped at me. “No, if a girl has sex in high school and people know, they will have to leave that school. Some girls commit suicide.” My turn to gape. “What?!”

She asked me what it was like to have Sex Ed, and what they actually taught. Kate thinks it would be good to have in Korea, but can’t see that happening really soon. I told her that my Sex Ed was a joke, we learned everything from Cosmo. She was interested to learn some of the tricks. I think I’m going to get her a subscription right before I leave so her husband can really think I’m a bad influence. But by then, it’ll be from afar. She also just ordered her first pair of red panties online, and I swear I had nothing to do with that.

Jesus

Korean Jesus: Still white, but fierce.

Jesus, he looks good.

Dr. Fish

Saturday was a nightmare. I trekked out in the rain because I had been told that in order to refund a flight ticket, I needed to go to the airport directly.  I was planning on getting to the airport, getting my money, and heading to some shops in Songtan because I wanted to get some clothes tailored.

This plan went all to #@#*!@#!@&*$. First, I decided to take a bus instead of the train. This bus claimed it was going to Incheon, and wouldn’t you assume it would circle in close to the airport? Yeah, me too. I guess we don’t think like bus scheduler-guy people, because this was not the case. I was shuffled off at the last stop, the only thing in the area a small local bus stop and an old lady eating kimbap under a tree in the middle of a downpour. I had my umbrella and decided to make an adventure of it, trying to find the place myself. Finally I found Incheon station, only to go backwards on the subway to get the connection at Bupyeong.

Whatever. So all these people are staring at me, which normally is fine since I understand I’m foreign, but I was just NOT in the mood for it. Another crazy old lady sidled up to me, speaking little to no English and looked directly at me. I thought she was benignly eccentric, until she got off at the airport and started following me. And not at a stalker-like distance; I mean I could hear her breathing as she tried to keep up. Then, because she thought I couldn’t understand her Korean, she kept telling the Information Desk clerks that we were together, and they started giving her all my information. Now this already had me working up into a New England ice-bitch frenzy, which froze over the unsuspecting airport workers when they told me that they couldn’t help me here, I would have to go home and call the US.

Needless to say, Saturday was frustrating, so Sunday I decided to have a day for myself.

I went back into the now-nostalgic routine of getting to the area around Osan Air Base, as I still wanted to meet up with a tailor. The ride was smooth, the tailor was fantastic, and I showed him some sketches of what I would like and he says he can do it for a reasonable price.

Dr. FishHappy with that out of the way, I wandered around in the nice weather and found myself wandering not-so-aimlessly to a beauty parlor (what’s the modern rhetoric for this, by the way?) that I have spied a few times before. I walked in to a busy shop with American, Phillipina and Korean clients. I decided to treat myself and get my nails done, which I haven’t had in years, so I was excited.

My manicurist and I were chattering back and forth, and she was shocked when I laughed at a joke her friend made in Korean. She asked me, “You can understand?” I nodded, and said, “Chogum.” (A little.) She thought that was great, so her friend and she would talk to me and tell me jokes, or make fun of the guy at the cash register. Soon, other Korean clients were starting to talk with me, and it was a little strange. I didn’t speak to another American, and I felt like most of the clients were clueless about all the drama going on in Korean right in front of them. I was really excited and surprised that they let me in to their circle. It got to the point that, at dinner time when one woman was walking around and popping kimbap into her co-workers’ mouths, she asked me if I wanted some and poised it over my mouth.

While I was getting my nails done, I saw a group of people head over to a small tub and sit on the lip with their feet in the water. I couldn’t figure out what they were doing until my manicurist (goes by “Julie”) told me it was Dr. Fish.

I had heard of this. Dr. Fish are these little fish that give you a pedicure in a ticklish and creepy (fun adjective to put together, I think) kind of way. It feels like pin pricks with a blunt needle, but they look like they’re kissing your feet.

Basically, they eat your dead skin. And it’s hilarious!

fish eating me.

American Embassy

 

Someone just called me from the American Embassy since I had called earlier in the week with some questions about North Korea. After getting some solid feedback (thanks everyone!) about the situation and having a few things cleared up, I thought it would be a pretty quick conversation since I’m not all panicky now. However, my embassy friend is a slippery devil, and in his slipperiness, slipped this in:

pig sick

“By the way, are you a teacher?”

“Yes.”

“Has your school, um, mentioned anything to you about the H1N1 virus?”

“No.”

Pause.

“Should they have?”

“Oh no, no, we, um, have heard, ah, that some schools have, well, um, been told they will, you see, need to be, um, quarantined.”

“Is this something I should be concerned about?”

He laughed, “No no, just a ah, rumor. You know.”

And here I had laughed when my co-teacher told me the other day she had the Pig Sick.

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