This past week at school has been pretty exciting because we are off for Chuseok most of this coming week. Chuseok is the Korean Thanksgiving. It is celebrated on September 22. What I've been told is that older people give younger people allowances and presents on Chuseok for showing respect. The kids dressed in their Hanbok (Korean traditional dress) a couple of days this week for their Korean classes. They looked so cute!!! A lot of the parents sent in food for all of the teachers as well. Parents also sent in gifts. One of my students gave me some bath gel and body butter from the Body Shop. Another one of my students gave me a 100,000 won gift certificate to one of the department stores. I was shocked!!!! I just thought Chuseok was celebrated the same way we celebrate Thanksgiving with food and family. I did not expect any presents! Crazy! It was definitely a good week!
As good as the week was, the weekend was even better!!!! Friday night, Douchi and I went to Mr. Chicken and Beer (of course), and then we hung out for a bit at our endcap. We called it an early night at about 2 since I had Jiu Jitsu testing on Saturday.
Saturday morning, I woke up early and made a high protein breakfast. Then, I took some cold medicine and went back to bed. I've had a cold this past week, and I wanted to feel well and be well rested for my test. When I woke up, I made a high carbohydrate lunch so that I would have energy for my test. I don't think my body is used to consuming so many carbohydrates because along with the energy boost it made me really nervous and shaky. Hahaha. Really, there was no reason for me to be nervous because Kwangjungnim already told the entire gym that it was 99% chance that I was going to pass because I always come to class, but I was so nervous I was emotional. I kept looking at everyone walking into the gym so calm, and I started wondering how they were so calm. Then, I realized that they had probably spent the morning with their family which would make me calm as well. So of course, I started missing my family and thinking that this is my first birthday away from my family which made me cry a little before I even started testing. Then, we started the test, and of course everything was in Korean, and everyone kept forgetting to translate for me. Normally, it's not that big of a deal, but I was super nervous. We started with technique, and San Ha and I did well with that. I still had no idea how many techniques I was supposed to show him. So, I just did as many as I could remember at the time. After technique, we had to spar for about 45 minutes straight one after another. It wouldn't have been too bad except our lineup consisted of Tae Su, Seung Young, and Seun Gil. These guys are huge, not too mention really good at Jiu Jitsu. Seung Young and Seun Gil were pretty nice with their spars, but Tae Su was MEAN!!!! I think he just got caught up in the fight, but he kept choking me really hard. One time, I said tap three times before he finally heard me and let go. I think it really scared him, but it served him right!!!! Then, another time he sat on my ribs really hard. He is REALLY heavy!!!! Hahaha. I wanted to tap just so he would get off of me, but it was my test so I couldn't. Kwangjungnim finally told him to get off me, and slow down. After my second spar with Tae Su, we were finished, but no one told me so I was so confused! Everyone saw me sitting there and they started laughing because I was confused which made me start wailing!!!! I ran to the bathroom. San Ha came in and helped me calm down. Then, Kwangjungnim came in to tell me not to cry because I passed the test. I wasn't crying because I thought I had failed...really, I love Jiu Jitsu and everything, but failing one test isn't worth crying over. I mean I'd probably be angry, but I don't think I would cry. I was just emotional from missing my family. After I calmed down, I walked back out and watched the end of the testing (Ki Jin had to test for his fourth stripe). While we were watching, Seun Gil noticed that I scraped my toes on the mat so he went to the office and got some bandaids and ointment. It was so sweet. He doctored me up. But seriously, I have no skin left on my big toes and the toes next to them. Not to mention, I probably have close to 100 bruises all over my body including one across my nose, one above my eye, and another on my chin. It was rough, but it was still fun. It was totally worth it! San Ha and I both got our stripes! So did Ki Jin and most everyone else.
After the test, we went out to eat. We were all starving! Douchi met up with us at the restaurant which was definitely good because I was still kind of emotional. Song Sok met up with us too. I had my two best friends!!!! I started cheering up a bit then. It was definitely a good day and a good night...even if I did cry my eyes out! Hahaha. I'm such a baby! I used to never cry. Now, I cry during music videos! What has Korea done to me? Hahaha, just kidding. No matter how emotional I get, I still love this country, and I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything. I miss my family and friends back home, but I don't want to go home...I want them here with me.
Today, I went to get my haircut. I went to the same hairdresser as I did last time, but this time she did not cut it as well as she did the last time. I came home and fixed it, but I spent too much time (it took 5 hours) and money for me to have to fix what she messed up. I will not go back to the same hairdresser, and I probably will not go back to the same salon.
After the salon, I came home and started packing for Taiwan. I am leaving in two days on Tuesday (my birthday). I am celebrating my birthday this year in Taiwan with Douchi!!! I am super excited! If I have to spend my birthday away from my family, this is the best way to do it! So, that's all I have for now. Happy Chuseok Everyone!!!! Hopefully, next week I'll have some fun stories to tell from Taiwan!!!!