Saturday, September 21, 2013

Teachers Trip day 1

Last Friday night, I went on my first ever teachers trip.  Every year the teachers at my school go on a trip together.  We don't do this in Texas, so I was a little skeptical.  The teachers at my school are extremely nice and welcoming, but traveling with someone is a different story.  I had nothing at all to worry about.  I had a fabulous time.  Simply fabulous.  There's just something about bonding with your co-workers outside of the work environment.  You can be yourself, let loose, and have fun.  And when I say let loose, boy do I mean let loose.  Details on that later....

I took so many pictures that I'm having to break it down into 2 parts: Day 1 and Day 2.

School ended about 1:00pm Friday afternoon, and we took off in our chartered disco bus (yes, it was seriously a disco bus) at 2:30pm.  Our first stop was the rail bike ride.  I have never heard of a rail bike ride and was curious as to what it was.  About 1/3 of the teachers at my school are visually impaired, so the activities have to accommodate that.  The rail bike ride was this big quad bike that was set onto a railroad track.  It was really a lot of fun.
The rail bike had a blue top so it made all the pictures blue.  We all look smurfs. 
Our rail bike
The scenery on our bike ride.  It was gorgeous.
Top: my partner on the bike ride was the bus driver.  He was hilarious and had me in stitches pretty much the whole time.  He spoke great English too.  We sat in the back and let the front do all the work....but we didn't tell them.
Bottom: The view from the front 
We rode our bikes until the end of the trail, and then we all got out and had a break.  They turned all the bikes around, so we could go back the way we came.  At our break, my co-workers then realized that I had a nice camera AND I knew how to use it.  So that started the photography posing.  "Angela, come take my picture." "Angela, over here."  Boy, do Koreans know how to pose!  I never even had to say "smile" or anything.  They just automatically do it.  Here are some of the photographs I took.
These two men fought over me and who was going to get their picture taken with me.  They would shoo each other out of the way and tell them to get back...that I was theirs.  They were making me laugh.  I've never been fought over.
There were these bird carvings made out of wood that we saw on our ride.  I don't really know what they were for, but they sure were cool.

And the little Korean cowboy....he was one of the workers there.  Love the cowboy hat!

After our rail bike ride, we got on the bus and headed to our hotel in Daecheon, which is on the west coast of Korea.  Now the bus fully became a disco party karaoke bus.  This was a first for me.  And yes, I loved it!

As in true Korean karaoke tradition, the videos on the screen never match up to the words from the song.
And the answer to your question is yes....of course I sang a song!  A microphone was thrust into my hands, and I had no choice.  Not that I minded of course....  I sang Dolly Parton's "Nine to Five", and I even got up and danced down the aisle.  My co-workers were apparently pretty impressed...of my singing or dancing ability, I have no idea.

After we arrived at our hotel to drop off our stuff, we were off to the fish market to have our dinner.  I've never seen so many fish in my life.  And the fish smell.....ugh.

Dried fish anyone?

Our restaurant was right above this place
Gayong, my co-teacher, asked if I ate raw fish, which I replied that I did not.  Well, that's what everyone was having at dinner.  So she ordered cooked fish for me.  I got a whole platter!
The raw fish.  Yes, I actually DID try it!  And it wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be.  Of course, I did smother it in sauce.
This whole platter was mine.  Funny story....I've had shrimp before but the heads and legs and everything had already been removed.  I had also never had crab before.  So I didn't exactly know how to get started on my platter.  So my co-workers helped me out, and the waitress came by and pretty much took care of everything for me.  I'm sure she thought, "Dumb foreigner."  Sorry!  There's a first time for everything, right?
The proper way to have someone pour you a drink in Korea.  You hold your cup or glass with both hands.  That's my principal pouring a drink. 
As if I wasn't full enough after my huge platter of food that I couldn't even finish, here comes the 2nd part....bony fish head soup.  I didn't name it that.  The guy I was sitting next to named it that.  I don't know if you can see it, but it had a big fish head, fish bones, and a crab in the soup.  The gentleman I was sitting next to gave me the fish head and insisted that I tried it.  So I did (I'm trying to be brave in trying new foods in Korea).  It was actually quite tender.   

I thought Aussies could drink.   Wow.  They got nothing on Koreans.  This was just a few bottles that we had at our table.  The one good thing is that you only get a shot glass size glass to drink from, so you have to keep refilling your glass.  The green bottle is Soju, THE drink in Korea.  I don't like Soju.  It is basically straight Vodka.

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel to freshen up.  More fish to see and smell!

After freshening up, we went to the ocean and had firework sparklers in the rain.  That was one of the coolest things ever.  Then we went to this little restaurant and had shells over a hot grill.  They fire up the grill right at your table.  Shells, Soju, beer, and more Soju.  I had about 3 little shot glasses of Soju to be a part of the group, but that was it.  That stuff is awful.  I was simply amazed at the amount of food Koreans can eat.  They ate all this food AFTER a huge dinner.  And they are all so small!  Pretty much everyone was drunk at this point (except me).  It was a hoot to see how they all behaved when they were drunk.  Several of the men hit on me (who knows if they will remember me come Monday morning).  

After the eating of the shells, we walked in the rain to a karaoke place.  Now all of this was included in the trip - I only paid $20.  What a cheap trip!  We sang "Gangnam Style" - they were surprised that I knew the dance.  Then I sang "Call Me Maybe", which is Gayong's favorite song.  I danced, sang, played the tambourine, and had a great time. 

Part 2 will be continued....

I am: tired from my vacation
I feel: grateful for this experience
I hear:'s 2:00am in the morning
I love: being home after a vacation


  1. You are a great storyteller Angela! I love the rail bike! All the photos are awesome..........btw, what do you do with dried fish???
    Love you friend,

  2. Thank you Karen! As for the dried fish, I have yet to try it. My friend, Julie, has it a lot at her school for lunch and hates it. It just sounds nasty.