Monday, September 6, 2010

Rainy Labour Day

Tomorrow everyone is heading back to school and getting back into a different cycle now that summer is pretty much officially over. Saturday and Sunday were beautiful here and I played loads of tennis and went to Van Dusen Gardens - where I saw an owl! Actually, I saw two. One was sitting high up in a tree and another one flew over (very close to my head!) - it was pretty magical. They were so huge and almost mystical looking. I've always wanted to see an owl in the wild so another one of my dreams has now come true :-) I tried to take photos but the zoom on my camera isn't very good...blurriness does not good pictures make :-)

Today, however, it's raining and cooold! The only tennis available to me is the U.S. Open on TV. That's okay, a cozy day filled with hot tea, relaxation, and attempting to learn Korean is always welcome. Speaking of learning Korean, I highly recommend this hilarious romantic comedy adventure TV series: My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. There are English subtitles of course. A gumiho is a nine-tailed fox originally featured in Korean folk tales. No knowledge of this is required to enjoy the show though - you can just sit back and enjoy an entertaining, original, and absolutely delightful story :-)

This photo was taken at a Korean restaurant near my school. This dish is bibimbap - rice with assorted vegetables, a little beef, and egg on top. Oh, and spicy sauce of course! I've gone to this restaurant a couple of times and will probably go again. The food is like real, homemade food and there are loads of great, healthy choices. The only problem is that they give you sooo much, including many side dishes. It's wonderful to share and go for a long walk afterwards :-)

I feel like I'm becoming more and more interested in Korean culture. Who knew that getting this job would open a door into a completely new world? It's all so rich and fascinating and just a joy to experience directly.

I also have to admit that in North America, it feels to me like people are kind of drifting without much of a culture or community or traditions to ground us and connect us and give more meaning and pleasure to our lives. I really miss that about Russia - I still have so many memories of community, family gatherings, feasts, togetherness, and connectedness and I haven't found that anywhere else yet. I think it's amazing that in Korea they still uphold so many ancient traditions, ceremonies, and that people really take care of each other and have more of a group-oriented rather than individual-centred society.

Well, I'm going to do a little bit of lesson planning - it's back to school tomorrow for me as well after three lovely days off.



  1. I'm so impressed that you're learning Korean! It's a difficult language - are you learning how to write as well? What a great experience going to Korea will be, and to work there will be even better because you will be immersed in the Korean culture for a long time. Korean culture is so rich - American "culture" just doesn't compare. I can't wait to see pictures from your trip.

    Have a great weekend! I hope you get to see even more owls in the wild!! :)

  2. It is definitely a difficult language, but every time I learn a new word or phrase it's so satisfying and enjoyable, it always motivates me to keep going :-) Right now I don't think I'm learning it 'properly' though - I'm just learning some useful things to say and working on pronunciation rather than analyzing the structure or learning the alphabet. So the writing looks like sticks and circles to me, but eventually I will try to tackle that as well. I think working on speaking and listening is most important for using the language in a functional way though - like for actual real life communication :-)

    Have a fantastic weekend!

  3. Great photo! I tried Bibimbap just last year and really enjoyed it. Dishes where there is a variety of tastes and textures are the best.

    Being Canadian, I know, and at the same time don't know what you mean. On the one hand, I can definitely relate to the feeling of being without a culture. We have special traditions and meaningful activities in my family, but it's not the same as it happens with some nationalities/ethnicities/cultures. I sometimes feel like my life is missing a bit of that, although I can't exactly put it into words since I've never experienced it myself.