All the places I’ve been

In a recent conversation with my dad, I realised that in his 70+ years, he has travelled to a huge number of countries, (34 and counting!) so I thought it was worth listing all of mine out too to see how we compare!

My dad also pointed out that the majority of his travelling happened in his 20’s and 30’s, as like most people, once you settle down and have kids you tend to travel less often, so here is our combined list:  Continue reading

Arrived safe and sound!

Sunday 11th December 2005

Hello everyone,
Sorry I’ve been so lame – the flight was very long and I didn’t end up getting any sleep, so I’ve been pretty wiped out for the last few days (I actually woke up naturally at 7.30am this morning!!! Shock horror!!).
However, it’s lovely to see dad, and I have met my gorgeous nephews at last, who are just the cutest and most well-behaved babies in the world. Jack is the quietest baby, he just eats and sleeps all day, and occasionally opens his big blue eyes to make bizarre scrunched up faces!
Ollie is much more active, he’s toddling about and can say words like daddy and beer already!! He’s adorably cuddly and I could quite literally spend the rest of my life giving him cuddles and kisses!!
Quite the besotted aunt I’ve turned out to be! Continue reading

The most inappropriate field trip ever…

Tuesday 29th November 2005
Hello everyone,
I am now just over a week from my flight to Australia, and I’m very, very excited about meeting my nephews (for those of you who didn’t know, my second nephew, Jack was born on Thursday November 17th, weighing in at a whopping 9lbs or so!!).
So I am very very excited and I have already drowned myself in cuddly toys and cute books and clothes for small people for xmas!!!
Anyway, moving on, we had the most inappropriate field trip ever on Saturday, which was nice. We took thirty kids aged 6 to 11 to Seoul to look at dead bodies. Actual, real, human, dead people with their skin peeled off.
It’s supposed to be a really famous exhibit by some German scientist dude, and it was fairly educational and everything, but seriously, six-year olds, and dead bodies? I just don’t see that as appropriate! Continue reading

Puppy in the corner…

Wednesday 9th November 2005
Alright, I’m afraid I’ve had a hell of a day today, and I’m going to recount it for you lucky people in full, unedited detail.
Prepare yourselves!
But before I do, I need to add a bit of background to make sense of today’s events.
I usually say goodbye to everyone when I leave the office, like you do, but a few months ago I was on a rush to get to the supermarket before my Hapkido class, and I couldn’t find Jenny, the director. I had looked in her office, asked Olive if she’d seen her, checked the classrooms and the staff room, and then, as I was in a rush, I asked Olive to tell Jenny I had gone, and I left.
Twenty minutes later, I was madly dashing around the veg section of the supermarket when Jenny called my cell phone and said “Maya! Where are you?” I explained I was shopping, and she said “Oh, but you didn’t say goodbye to me.” I told her I had looked but couldn’t find her, and she said “But I was just in the bathroom. You shouldn’t leave without saying goodbye. It’s not polite. I might have wanted to talk to you.”

“I’m here to rescue you”

Friday 4th November 2005
Hey guys,
Ok, so I had a really hectic but really fun Halloween. School was a nightmare of last minute organising and planning, but it all came off really well, and we all had a blast.
On Saturday before Halloween, me and the girls got all dressed up to go out in Seoul, and it was really fun.
Finding a costume was hard, because there aren’t many costume shops here, and they don’t have any second hand shops either! Of course, I had already decided what I was gonna go as months ago – I mean anyone who’s ever gotten a free Jedi lightsaber spoon in their Frosties really doesn’t have a choice!!

It’s Biblical.

Wednesday 26th October 2005
Ok, so I’ve had a weird couple of weeks, prepare for a slightly frustrated onslaught!!
I’ve had my fabulous haircut – pictures attached, fear not, and me and the girls went out on the town in Seoul to celebrate!
I’ll admit I was looking exceptionally ravishing, so that may explain the number of men that kept hitting on us, but sadly most of them were far too young or completely weird!
There were an awful lot of young American military lads out and about, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve met tons of lovely, intelligent Americans, but all the guys that came over to our table were under twenty and seemed to think that “WOOHOO!!! BEER!!!” was a good pick-up line.
That and they were so excited about the beer they kept spilling it down my back (although thank god they missed my lovely hair!
Another guy came over, asked me my name, and then deliberately dropped my lighter into my drink and asked me if I was gonna slap him! (I’m serious! He really did that!!). So of course I slapped him, and then told him to bugger off, but it didn’t have too much effect as he enjoyed getting slapped far too much!

The one with the really nice mullet…

Thursday 13 October 2005
Hello hello,
Well, I’ve now been in Korea for a whole year, Cal is finally leaving on Saturday (yay!!), and I’m entering my last couple of months here before I move on to Australia, the next stop on my world tour!
As I was walking to my Hapkido class the other day a girl walked past me, and my first thought was “Wow, that’s a really nice mullet!”, which was immediately followed by “Oh my god I’ve been here too long!!”
 (n.b. – any of you oldies who don’t know what a mullet is, ask your kids!) Continue reading

When dictionaries go wrong…

Monday 26th September 2005
Hello all,
I thought I’d dedicate this email to the fabulous diversity of the English language, because since becoming a teacher I have discovered some wonderful things about it!
However, before I start I should point out that while I find a lot of these things really funny, many of you will actually just be bored, because frankly I have a pretty odd sense of humour.
(Those of you who’ve ever said “A brown stick? That is the WORST joke ever Maya!!” should probably stop reading now!!)
Firstly, dictionaries should only ever be used under supervision, as things can get extremely interesting otherwise! We quite often come across kids that have their own English dictionaries at home, and you can usually spot which kids have tried to spice up their diaries by writing things like “Sunday is good. I my friend computer game and funny. Is meticulous ate rice.” etc. Continue reading

Me and Johnny…

 Tuesday 6 September 2005

Hi guys,

Am overdue for an update, but I’m afraid life has been fairly mundane recently, so there really isn’t much to report!

Betty, one of our Korean teachers has been ill, so we’ve all had extra classes to cover, and then there’s exams, and marking and all sorts of boring stuff like that – although Cal did have another classic moment last week! He’d watched me trying to make and photocopy all of my exams for the kids all week, and I’d ranted and raved because our ancient photocopier breaks down every fifth copy, which requires the receptionist to call out the repair guy etc. Anyway, after a week of me going “The fucking photocopier’s buggered again!!!!” I had finally got all my exams done in the nick of time, and when exam day rolls around, I strolled casually into the office to find Cal going “You won’t believe the bloody photocopier’s broken!!! I can’t get my exams done!!” Hmmm, well Cal, actually I’ve done all mine, so good luck with that!!

God I love being smug! Continue reading

The wonderful world of tax evasion!

Friday 19th August 2005
Hello my cheeky wee monkeys!!
About time I did another update, and my plans have changed so much in the last month or so I’m almost afraid to even put down a provisional plan in writing in case it all changes again!

However, it seems only fair to let you all know my new plans at the moment, especially as so many of you were so helpful with my tax questions! My contract finishes here in December, and I’m planning to go to Australia for xmas, and I was originally going to head home around mid-January. However, a number of circumstances, primarily tax-related have forced me to change my plans! Basically unless I stay out of the country until April, I’ll have to pay lots of tax on my overseas income and stuff. There’s some other stuff too but thats the gist of it, so I’m planning to stay on in Oz for a few extra months and do my CELTA course, get a bar job or something, and then head home around mid-April or May-ish. That way I can happily evade my taxes in a slightly more legal sense!!