Here it comes... our monthly update!
November, it was a good month :-)
First of all though, Halloween! We wore costumes to school; A = lion, L = mummy. We went trick-or-treating (to parents' houses) with our kindergartners, and then scared them in a Haunted House... well, it was a dark room with spooky music playing, but for 6-year-olds it was quite frightening - a few even cried and many tried to escape out the door! The rest of the day we did Halloween-themed activities, passed out candy, and generally had a laid-back school day. That night, there were Halloween parties at all the foreigner bars, and Anderson DJed at The Basement. The bar was packed, so people danced until dawn - but that wasn't the highlight by any means: Liz, going on stage on a whim due to a plethora of shoddy costumes, managed to win the top costume prize (160,000won in bar prizes - about $125 in food and alcohol) with her reasonably-authentic mummy costume! Anderson's costume, Barack Obama b-boy, wasn't quite as well received :-).
The next weekend, Liz's old coworker from The Sanctuary in Iowa City, Matt Steele, came to visit us. He's been teaching ESL in Gumi, a small-ish industrial town located around 2 hours north of Busan by train. We went out for a delicious pumpkin dinner at this appropriately-named restaurant called Pumpkins, that serves baked pumpkins stuffed with all sorts of meat, vegetables, and cheese. And they have flavored soju, which is quite delicious... We also cashed in on Liz's Halloween prize, so we had a free-to-start party for all of our friends and coworkers! Sunday we spent some time relaxing at Haeundae beach, drinking coffees and watching kite-flying Koreans.
Now, mid-month, Anderson journeyed north early Saturday morning to Ulsan, about an hour away from Busan, to play with DMZ in a soccer tournament. Twelve teams showed up, from all over Korea, making it the biggest tournament outside of Seoul for expat soccer. While DMZ did well, placing 3rd overall and winning 5 out of 6 games, Anderson's tournament was cut painfully short towards the end of the first game when he was brutally headbutted, and knocked unconscious by an opposing player. With a badly sprained ankle, and an ear cut in two places - and bleeding everywhere - a hospital trip by ambulance was necessary, although thanks to the tournament and Korean health care that was entirely free. Twenty-plus stitches later he was back on the sidelines, but even now three weeks later his ankle is still not totally healed. Thankfully the doctor did a truly fantastic job on the stitching, so now with stitches out it is virtually impossible to tell where the cuts were. A consolation prize, and a decent one at that, was the DJ Shadow show that same night in Busan. DJ Shadow was the first real international artist to come to Busan during our time here, and it was great to hear some real music for a few hours. Most of the crowd didn't really know his music, so in that aspect it wasn't the best show ever, but nonetheless it was a great change of pace from the usual musical choices.
Another week of school flew, or limped by in Anderson's case, so up next was a trip to Gumi, where Matt's from, to share a DJ gig with him at the local expat bar, The Waegook Cook. It was definitely a small-town party, but the food was great, the people were appreciative to hear new music, and overall it was a very interesting and enjoyable experience, plus it gave us insight into what life in a small town as a foreigner is like... we're glad we picked Busan! Anderson also sold (for charity) his new mix CD, selling all 20 copies that he brought and raising over 100,000won to send to BBAS Memorial School in Nepal, which was quite sweet.
All right, moving through the busy month pretty quickly!
This past weekend, Anderson hosted a party at The Basement to raise money for Nepal. Perhaps due to Thanksgiving :-(, the bar wasn't as busy as hoped, but another 150,000won was raised for BBAS, our Korean kindergarten co-teachers surprised us by showing up, and a lot of friends of ours came as well, so in most ways it was a true success. On Saturday we had a Thanksgiving-esque potluck dinner with about 10 friends, which meant we enjoyed a fantastic feast and good times all night long - including a great game of charades!
So now it's December, and to continue our series of busy weekends, our cousin Reannon (who we traveled with in India/Nepal) is coming to visit us for about 6 days en route from Japan to America. She's flying standby, so if she can get on the flight that she wants to then she'll arrive here late Friday night. It's going to be very fun to catch up, and to see her insights on Japan vs. Korea.
If you want to download Anderson's mix CD, called One Friday Night In Busan, you can do so here: O.F.N.I.B. - enjoy!
We are currently uploading a bunch of photos to our Kodak website, you should be able to view them within the next few hours.
Hope all's well, only 3 short months until we're Stateside - and we can't wait!
We'll try to make our posts more regular as we begin wrapping up our time here in Korea, we promise!
Peace, and much love
Anderson & Liz