Thursday, September 23, 2010


So far since arriving in Taipei, we've done a ton of shopping! Seriously, the markets are amazing, and I love the jewelry. I cannot believe that I have bought so many bracelets. I swear, I must have bought 50 bracelets this week. I love it!!!

However, shopping is not the only thing we've done this week. We went to the beach yesterday. It was nice. The water was gorgeous, but the sand was disgusting. We got in some serious tanning, but I think we got a bit of our tans walking around the markets.

Last night, we went dancing at this club called Luxy. There was a group of girls that started crowding around us and asking us to dance. Asian girls are like that though. They'd rather dance with foreign girls than guys. How do I know this? I tried to get one of them to dance with a guy instead of me, but she kind of got a little mad. Hahaha. Whatever. Luxy had some really good performances. The bar tenders did a fire show that was pretty sweet! They had a group of girls that danced a few times throughout the night. Then, they also had a dance crew do a performance. The club was fun until they started playing all techno in the hip hop room. Who does that???

Today, we went to Taipei 101. It's the tallest building in Taipei. We did some shopping in the mall there. They had a pretty sweet bookstore there where we were able to find some post cards and stuff. After, we went to the largest street market in Taipei. It was nice. We found a lot of gifts for friends and family. I am excited about giving gifts!!!

So far, we have had a very relaxing week. It has been perfect!!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Special Posts for Taiwan

Now, I can't promise I will update everyday that I am here in Taiwan, but today I have a little time, so...

Yesterday, we landed in Taipei. I didn't check the weather or anything (probably stupid on my part but hey whatever right?) Apparently, a typhoon hit Asia this past weekend. We actually flew out of Korea at the tail end of it. However, when we landed in Taipei, it was beautiful, sunny, and 85 degrees!!! Sweet! We have been told that the typhoon ripped through the island, and that there has been a lot of damage mostly to the southern part of the island. They also told us that we roads to the south are closed. So, Douchi and I are going to one of the northern beaches today.

Last night, we went to this really cool restaurant called Modern Toilet. The entire restaurant was decorated as a bathroom. The tables were bathtubs with a sheet of glass over it. The seats were toilet seats. The cups were shaped like miniature urinals. The dishes were toilets. Even some of the food was shaped like poop! Oddly enough, the only place that didn't have a toilet seat was the was a squat pot. The food was very yummy! It was an all around fun experience!!!!

After, we walked around in a few of the night markets. I got some really cute sandals for $6!!! I also got most of my Christmas/birthday presents for family and friends!!!! The stuff here is amazing! I love the jewelry and stuff! I'm super excited about the rest of this week!!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This week and weekend

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!!!!

First of the last two weekends

Alright, as I said a few weeks ago, last weekend was super busy, and I didn't get a chance to make a post. Sorry!!!! This weekend has been pretty busy, too, but I'm going to try to make this post worth reading! It would be a super long post if I did both weekends together so I am breaking them up.

I'll start with last weekend. Friday night, I went out for a bit with some of the guys from the gym. It was pretty calm because Kwangjungnim and one of the older guys at the gym went out with us too. It was still fun though! I really enjoy hanging out with the people at the gym. They are such amazing people!

Saturday was fairly chill. I went to Costco for a few things in the morning. Korean class was canceled so I didn't have to go to class. So I did a few things around the house. Then, I met with the people from church to practice even though I didn't sing with them on Sunday; they wanted me to come and practice anyway. After, I did a little bit of shopping in Dunsan before coming home. I decided to have a movie night since I had to be up early on Sunday morning for the Kickboxing Tournament.

Sunday morning, we met at the gym to catch a bus to the tournament. The tournament was in Sintanjin, about 30 minutes from the gym by bus. We got to the tournament early so we went for some lunch. We had bone soup. It was very yummy!!! We still had a bit of time before the tournament after we finished lunch. So I talked a bit with the guys from Daegu MMA. "Sex Machine" was there. Hahaha. For some reason, he wanted to take a picture with me...which was fine, but he wanted me to stand in front so that his head wouldn't look too big standing next to me. Hahaha. My face was bright red for the picture because they kept talking about how small my head was. I'm sure it was a horrible picture. Oh well, I don't have to look at it! Hahaha. After the picture, he introduced me to his brother, "Sex Machine 2". I'm not making this up. I was dying laughing until...he asked me to tell him who's head was bigger. Who does that? I'm in trouble no matter who's head I say is bigger. I tried to tell them that they were the same size, but they wouldn't let me slide. So I asked my English speaking buddy who I should choose, and of course, he would not help me!!!! I decided to go with the truth. The original Sex Machine's head was slightly smaller so I chose him. I hate answering awkward questions like that. Hahaha. Anyways, shortly after the tourney started, and Song Won was up first. I really wanted him to win mostly because he's the coolest kid ever, but also because he lost his first kickboxing tourney. He fought the same kid as last time, and he lost again. But, he did a lot better this time. I was very proud of him, but he was still pretty bummed. Next up for our team was the guy we call "The Driver". We don't know his real name so that's what we named him because he drove us home from the last kickboxing tournament. He was awesome! He won his fight. After "The Driver", San Won was up. She's one of the high school girls at our gym. It was her first fight, and she went up against a girl that's been training since she was 12. San Won didn't do well in the first round, but after some advice from Tae Su, Yu Noh, and one of the coaches from Daegu MMA she did better in the last two rounds. She still lost, but she put up a good fight. The last fight of the tournament was the best. Mostly because it was Song Sok's fight. He's the sweetest guy ever!!!! Plus, he is an awesome kickboxer. So, of course, he won his fight! After Song Sok's fight, Douchi and I took pictures with some of the guys from Daegu. I wanted a picture with my English buddy. He told me I had to stand in front...hahaha. So, I did...

Hahaha...he was embarrassed so he closed his eyes! Hahaha. But Sex Machine called me a play girl for posing like that. I told him it was only a picture. I have no idea why I felt it necessary to defend myself against a guy that calls himself Sex Machine. Hahaha. Actually, he's one of the Kwangjungnims at Daegu MMA so what he thinks kind of does matter since when I test for some of my belts I have to test through them. Hahaha. Anyways, next we took pictures with one of the top amateur fighters in all of Korea. He's such a sweetheart...with Douchi:

But of course with me...

Hahaha...he was goofing off! Really, he didn't want me to stand next to him (the whole big head thing), and he didn't want me to do the same thing to him that I did to my English buddy. It didn't matter to me. I think its a good thing that they feel comfortable enough with me to goof off like that. It means I making progress. Korean guys are so shy around girls! It took me a few weeks to break in the guys at Daejeon MMA, but I think the Daegu boys see how I act with our guys so they feel more comfortable with me. That being said...our next pictures were with our boys Song Sok and Tae Su. Of course once again, they were nice with Douchi's picture (it's on her camera, I don't have it), but for my picture...

I asked Tae Su to turn around for the picture like 10 times before I made lemonade. Hahaha...he didn't like it. He kept saying, "delete, delete". Hahaha. Oh well, maybe next time he will listen.

After the tourney, we went back to Hannam and ate dinner together. It was so much fun because the Kwangjungnim and one of the coaches from Dunsan MMA came out with us. The coach's girlfriend and the Kwangjungnim both spoke fluent English. We had an awesome conversation. We are definitely going to hang out again. I'm excited!!!!