Wednesday, January 30, 2013

a real update.

i haven't posted much lately because i don't feel like i have much to post about.

winter has been miserable this year, with too much snow/ice and single-digit temperatures. i've basically been hibernating for the past two months, leaving my apartment only when necessary. which is fine, really. i don't mind being a homebody, and i have to admit that corey and i have crossed a respectable number of movies and tv shows off of our to-watch list. (by the way, omg, downton abbey.)

however, there's been one unfortunate side effect of being a part-time hermit in a grey, cloudy, freezing winter: i'm extremely SAD. as in seasonal affective disorder. i was actually beginning to worry about myself and my decision to stay in korea longer -- i'm not happy, i'm not depressed... i'm just here. i was worried that i was actually unhappy and somehow just not registering or accepting it. then i realized that everyone else seems to be in the same mood. you'd think it's an actual infectious disease at my school -- nearly all the teachers (aka my friends) are just gloomy right now.

last week, the sun came out. the past few days, the temperatures have actually stayed above freezing during the day. and i've noticed an incredible change in my disposition.

winter sucks, y'all. like a lot.

so, with all of the general bleh i've been feeling, it was very exciting to realize that i'll be home in less than a month! scheduling my time, planning activities, and dreaming of eating all the mexican food i can find has cheered me considerably. i've been on a psycho budget lately so i can afford to enjoy myself when i'm home. (which basically means: eat. eat everything. all of it.)

since this is a convenient way to communicate to a lot of people, here's a rough guide for my time home:
february 27 - arrive in tulsa.
march 6 - head down to austin.
march 7-17 - sxsw!
march 26ish? - head up to the dallas/ft. worth area.
april 4ish - head back to oklahoma, where i'll bounce between tulsa and norman.
may 18 - fly to san francisco.
may 20 - leave for south korea.

some of these dates are flexible, obviously, so let's start making plans! i want to see everyone! and do fun (cheap) things! things which should be planned and scheduled around eating (mexican) food. :)

whatcha wanna do, family and friends?!

oh, engrish, volume one.

i love engrish. i first discovered its existence back in high school when i was studying japanese and the internet was becoming a thing. i remember finding a website dedicated to engrish and i would check it regularly. and now, since i am in asia, it is everywhere.

back in the late '90s and early 2000s, chinese and japanese characters were on everything. it was one of the cool trends back then, and i owned quite a few shirts with something i couldn't read or understand scrawled down the side. at the time, i remember wondering what on earth it actually said, and being amused at the prospect that it possibly didn't make any sense at all. i imagined chinese and japanese people passing these shirts in the stores and laughing or rolling their eyes at the horrible misuse of their language. and i hoped they felt amused by it, rather than annoyed.

now i find the situation reversed -- everywhere i go, i see english. well, engrish. or maybe even konglish.

often, the grammatical awkwardness comes from a literal translation of the korean. it technically makes sense the way it's phrased, but it isn't actually how we would say it as native speakers.

sometimes i see interesting misspellings, which comes i'm sure from the different languages having different sounds. a good example is the lack of 'z' in korean, meaning my name is spelled with a 'j' instead. or the oft joked about "rice" vs. "lice."

and then sometimes, i see a phrase or a paragraph that just doesn't make any sense whatsoever. someone just found a blurb from an article, the bible, wikipedia, the side of a cereal box... and then slapped it on their product or storefront.

so at this point, finding strange english has become a hobby when i'm out and about.

this will be a new series of photos, just a handful at a time, of the interesting english i've found here and there in korea. it will range from the slightly awkward to the nonsensical, and i hope you enjoy. :)

(sidenote: in no way am i trying to be disrespectful or mocking of koreans or their culture. there is nothing malicious about my intentions here, so do know that i'm not trying to offend.)

this is actually an accurate representation of how i feel about milk. 

the best part of this was it was a sign for a seminar for english teachers...


appropriately on the side of a love motel.

best. shirt. ever.

after diseases part?

just thinking about this sends me into fits of giggles. 

that's all for this round! i've got another batch of photos queued up for the next post, so expect that sometime soon!