November 2017: Fall Foliage + Busy Weekends
Okay, in case you haven’t noticed, my #Korea series paused for a bit. I was just overwhelmed with work, some personal things, and life! Anyhow, I thought a more productive thing to do was to move this to more of a monthly review and since I know for sure I’m not going to be here for more than this year, I should phase out the #Korea portion sooner rather than later.
November 2017 in Review
November has been a pretty busy month! This last weekend (aka the first of December), I actually spent the whole weekend vegging out. I got back from work Friday afternoon and basically didn’t leave my apartment until Sunday afternoon. It was so worth it, though, because I was exhausted and now I feel about 100% better. Anyhow, here’s what I was up to in November (and that October Weekend I forgot to update you guys on).
- October 28-29 – I finally visited Seoul again! I revisited two favorite spots which I wrote about in this post and this post. I also met up with a friend I haven’t seen since I left the first time. We grabbed some Vietnamese food and just hung out in Sinsadong.
- Nov 4-5 – Went to Naejangsan, Namwon, and Jeonju – I really should have gone to Naejangsan Friday night and found somewhere to stay overnight. I waited too long to leave Suncheon, so I got there towards the end of the day when it was crazy crowded! Still a beautiful place, though. I then went to church in Namwon on Sunday and met another old friend afterward for brunch. We went to Jeonju to walk around the Hanok village and so I could buy sweaters at H&M. :p
- Nov 11-12 – Ran a 10k – I guess I did veg a little that Saturday, but I also woke-up early and ran/walk ed a 10k at the Suncheon Marathon Sunday morning! I hadn’t trained at all, so I was really debating just quitting all the way up until Saturday night. I even emailed the organizers to see if I could change to a 5k. Well, I sucked it up and actually finished under time! I think it was a 1:20 something, so, you know, just barely made it under the 1:30 cut, but better than I thought I’d do. I did have to nurse some horrible chaffing afterward, so I guess that was my punishment for not preparing properly.
- Nov 18-19 – We usually have book club on Friday nights, and I leave right from work to get a bus to Yeosu and stay overnight at the Hedgers’. It’s always fun and we wind up staying up quite late talking about the book and catching up. November’s book was All the Light You Cannot See.
- Nov 25-26 – Thanksgiving weekend! This last weekend was our belated Thanksgiving dinner. I got up early to make spinach lasagna rolls and then grabbed a bus to Yeosu where the Hedgers were hosting. Of course, my life being what it is, means Friday night my laptop charger just stopped working and my eatin’ pants ripped on the bus… -_- I was fully planning on letting my food baby digest in my PJs on Sunday, but I wound up having to go to Gwangju, about 90-minutes away, to get a new MacBook charger. I did grab dinner at Pho Bay, so I can’t complain too much…
Luckily, December is going to probably be a quieter month. I don’t have many plans, and I’m honestly a bit exhausted (I feel like I say that a lot, which probably means I need to exercise and get more sunlight…). I’m looking forward to relaxing and planning for winter vacation, which I’ve officially requested off + booked my flight tickets for (more on that later)!
It’s been a weird month of ups and downs. One thing I didn’t even think of when I took this job was how more directly the parents have a say. Usually, with public schools, you have a few buffers with parents, so, for the most part, I’ve never had to deal with them. Korean parents, just like many parents in the US and around the world, are generally lovely and kind. But, of course, you have the crazy, helicopter parents that want to complain about everything…
I’ll probably write more about this in a much later post after I’ve finished teaching in Korea for good. On the plus side, I finished the month on an “up,” and I feel like my kids and I are finally clicking for the most part.
And, of course, as I said before, I love my adult classes x 1,000.
I’ve actually started this nice weekly thing with two sisters I’ve become friends with. Every Wednesday we get together for dinner, either home cooked or at a restaurant. It’s actually really nice! I’m an introvert, but even I need to socialize regularly. This last week we went to a Vietnamese place and then saw Justice League since movie tickets were half off and it was the only English option. Plus, I mean, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is #goals.
I have a LOT of opinions on how either Snyder or Whedon chose to direct or shoot Gadot… -_- I don’t normally notice the “male gaze” in movies, especially superhero movies, but this was just so painfully obvious, especially compared to Wonder Woman. I mean I’m talking multiple close-ups of her butt, ridiculously low V cut tops with focus on her cleavage, constant panty shots of her when in costume, AND so many low angle shots of her throughout the movie. Let’s not even talk about how she was tossed into the “mother” role, and we need to stop with the weird “will they, won’t they” with her and Affleck’s Batman. There’s literally 0 chemistry there.
What I’ve Been Reading
I actually managed to read 4 books this month! I’m kind of in shock since usually I manage maybe one book, and that’s also because I listen to it. Whelp, I finished 4, and it’s a pretty diverse mix!
- All the Light We Cannot See – This was Stephanie’s pick for November and my designated “heavy” book of the month. If you cried reading The Book Thief, you’ll like this one. It’s about the lives of a blind French girl and a smart Germany boy leading up and through World War II.
- Flowers from the Storm – I got this during an Audible sale, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I mean, it’s very much in the romance genre, so if that’s not your thing, then you might roll your eyes. The Duke of Jervaulx is a typical rich, playboy type who’s also extremely mathematically gifted while Maddy Timms is an enormously devout Quaker woman who helps her father, a blind mathematician. While their paths cross briefly because of this, the real story starts when the Duke has a massive stroke and is sent to a sanitarium Maddy’s uncle owns. Like I said, it has some of the typical romantic tropes, but it really does tell a good story!
- Crazy Rich Asians – I’ve had this book in my Amazon wishlist for a while, and once I found out it was going to be the first all-Asian movie in a long time, I knew I had to pick it up to read instantly. I chose it for next month’s book club and finished it within a weekend. Trust me, this is not going to be some in-depth or thought-provoking novel about Asians. It’s a fun romp of a book taking you all around Singapore, Malaysia, and other, random, Asian locations. What I really like is how Kwan brings these places and people alive with the different foods, descriptions, and little footnotes. I think I read someone said it was a bit like reading a juicy gossip column, which I think is definitely fair.
- China Rich Girlfriend – Obviously, I downloaded the sequel as soon as I finished Crazy Rich Asians! If you liked CRA, then you’ll like CRG. While most of CRA was in Singapore, most of CRG is in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
So far for December, I’m reading the final book, Rich People Problems, hopefully, finally, finishing All the Missing Girls, and to read more about my winter vacation location, I downloaded a book called Rose, Rose I Love You. ;) As for Audible, I got Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close a while ago, so I think I’ll listen to that finally!
What I’ve Been Watching
This is kind of embarrassing… I mean in my defense, I multi-task like crazy, which is why I watch so much TV. Washing the dishes… cleaning…blogging…editing photos… I always put something on! Here’s what I’ve been watching:
- The Good Place – Kristen Bell has gone to the “good place” after dying on earth, but the problem is — it looks like they mixed her up with another person of the same name who died at the same time.
- Rick + Morty – I mentioned this in my October update, and I’ve since finished it. It’s absolutely hilarious but also has oddly deep moments.
- Broad City – I finally started watching this the other weekend, and it’s amazing. Ilana + Abbi are friendship goals. If you liked “Girls,” it’s a funnier, even wackier version with a touch of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
- How to Get Away With Murder – I know this show can get kind of annoying at times (i.e. literally the whole last season with Wes + Laurel, who both had 100% more chemistry with Rebecca + Frank respectively), but it’s still one of the Shonda shows I watch regularly. “Scandal” jumped ship for me when I realized Olivia Pope was written to be a badass bitch unless it came to her vagina, in which case she makes actual, idiotic decisions (remember the booty call she brought to Jake’s top secret life-saving surgery?!). I stopped watching “Grey’s Anatomy” after Mark died because he was my favorite character, and every time I’ve looked in on what’s going on in Seattle Grace, it just gets crazier and sadder at the same time.
- This is Us – Excellent at making me ugly cry as always. Weirdly enough, I actually sympathize with Kevin the most this season, especially after his solo episode. I think we’ve all been at that point where we’re in a lot of internal pain, emotionally or physically, but it’s not as bad as what everyone around us is going through, so we just bottle it up and suffer in silence. It really sucks, so I’m interested to see what they do with him.
- Shameless – Honestly, this might be one of my favorite shows ever. Watch it! Maybe not with your family and always with headphones… I actually really like that Fiona and Lip aren’t in toxic relationships this season, and actually seem to be focusing on improving themselves. Still kind of hoping Mandy and Mickey come back soon, I miss them… Also Sheila, she was the unsung hero. St. Francis is cracking me up, and it’s so weird to see Liam have an actual plot line instead of being the cute baby!
- Stranger Things – Guys, I’m on the wagon. This show is so friggin’ good. I watch all 2 seasons over the weekend of my 10K, and by the end I was in love. I couldn’t even tell you who my favorite character is because they’re all precious.
- Bullet Journal Videos – I went through this phase at one point, but I went back in one weekend. I just really like crafty/organized things, so watching bullet journals is so relaxing!
What I’ve Been Writing
Here’s what’s been on the blog:
- Changdeokgung + It’s Secret Garden
- How to Get an Aerial View of Deoksugung
- Why I Love Audible for Travel
- Gift Guide for the Homebody Wanderluster
- 10 Things Every Budget Traveler Can Relate To
Any other writing:
I think that’s about it! Happy December!
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