“Teacher, go-go-ssing!”

This has nothing to do with someone finding my blog by searching for “grannysgettingiton.”

But I thought I’d throw that one out there.

It’s sunny today.  I’m happy(er).  May/June/July officially dumptruckloads better than December/January/February, mood- and energy-wise.   Even when I’m all alone in my apartment, and I should feel lonely and unsettled, I just don’t.

“Go-go-ssing” apparently means “hurry up,” “get moving,” “go go go.”  A cheeky little student said this to me one day as I left the office after the bell rang (which is normal, if you’ll remember from this post).  Um, ‘scuse me li’l miss–are you in class?  No?  Pot and kettle, lady, pot and kettle.

You may be thinking, “Oh, Rachel’s had lovely adventures in Korea.  But everyone has to settle down at some point, so in a few weeks it’ll be back to the ‘real world’.”

Psshhhh.  I will never never ever “settle down.”  Wait, is that a double negative?   Add another “never,” then.

Oooh, hot-off-the-presses: apparently there will be a fire drill today at 1?  But don’t most students leave at 12:30 because even though it’s summer vacation the principal has required they come for morning classes for two weeks on account of their low test scores?  Mehhhhhhh

I’ve started training for my triathlon.  You read that right.  “Triathlon.”  By training, I mean using Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred to countdown the days until I hop on a plane, which is officially less than 30 days.  So it’s really a 27 Day Shred, but I don’t think that would have sold as well.

Every time I see a plane I get adrenaline rushes to my heart and feel like jumping up and down.

Oh, right.  Triathlon.  I’ve wanted to do one since four years ago, and I’m finally moving forward with it!  You know me, takes me time to settle into an idea (different from “settling down,” which, again, I will never do).  Two years to get to Korea, two years for my college decision to stick, three years to move to Pittsburgh…yeah that’s how it goes!

I just need a bike.  And a pool.  That’ll be one adventure for the coming year.

Other adventures!

My first two weeks in the States will include six cities, a road trip with my sister, and two weddings.  Chicago, Charleston S.C., Charlottesville, Fairfax/NoVa, some beach in Deleware, and, of course, Pittsburgh.  I’ve never been to Chicago.  Or Deleware.  Yay new!  Wait, I have been to Chicago…I vaguely remember going to the American Girl store.  Or is that one of those created-memories?  Yo Mom, have I been to Chicago?

Sometime in either September or October, I’ll visit Cleveland because even though it’s the arch-nemesis of Pittsburgh in all things and habitually pops up on “worst cities to live in the U.S.” lists, it contains one of the loves of my life and my first-choice grad school.  *sigh*  Not much can be done about that.  My undergrad school didn’t have the hottest location either. Heh heh no pun intended.  I crack myself up.   (For you people I’ve met since then: the entire month of February of my freshman year was a steady 0°F, with a wind-chill that set it around -15°F to -20°F.)

Oh, right.  Cleveland.  Saving grace: Melt Bar & Grilled.  I’m close with the family of the owner’s brother–which unfortunately won’t help me avoid the long wait that there always is–and have dreamed of gourmet grilled cheeses and their amazing beer selection since, I don’t know, FOREVER.  As the aforementioned-love-of-my-life put it, “You gain weight just walking inside, but it’s DELICIOUS.”  Sold.

For the rest of September, I’ll be adventuring around the West Coast.  Have I mentioned I love road trips?  They’re glorious.  Wind-in-your-hair.  Another life-love took all of five minutes to convince me to join her.  I’ve always wanted to visit Portland and Seattle, and we will!  We’ll start in Vegas, and work our way up via Highway 1–which I love and have longed to go back to–redwood forests, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco.  I’m excited to see more of San Francisco than just their airport.

A friend of hers will also join us, and this is my favorite so far of what I’m sure will be many memorable moments: “His car’s kind of junky and unreliable which is why we’re not taking it the whole way, but i have AAA so we’ll be fine.”

See why we’re friends?  Same haphazard, oh-everything-will-work-out approach to life.

In October I’ll start looking for some sort of “normal” employment.  But since I’ve got friends and family out my ear in Pittsburgh, I’m not too worried.  Worst case scenario–sell my car.  Which I may do anyway.

Living in Korea has made me hate cars.  I wish the U.S. had more trains and fewer planes and automobiles.  Wait, does that contradict my love of roadtrips?  Whoops.

*sigh* I’m entirely inconsistent.

In Korea, I averaged about one “big” or out-of-the-ordinary adventure a month.  I don’t see why that has to change.  I may take October to rest…but then again, I probably won’t.

I know repatriation can be a struggle, but I have a plan: keep living life the way I have been.  Chatting with a friend the other day, I said I planned on approaching Pittsburgh the same way I did Korea.  It’s a new city (mostly), and a new place (in some ways), with new people (aside from everyone I know).  I want to get out, explore, go to events and places and just, you know, live.

So that’s my plan.  So far.

Anyone wanna train for a triathlon with me?


I’ll beat them yet

They think they can keep me ignorant, but I have GoogleTranslate.

Welcome to the new transfer school teachers welcoming the Wed, March 9 is. The magazine’s promise to drink ..
Mutual Aid is running late, welcoming feeling that is a little late.
Reception takes place later than the hot (Keke) I’ll welcome. ^ ^
Time and place will be contacted in the future.

I’m going to go ahead and assume that means after school on Wednesday we’ll have a dinner to welcome the new teachers. Which is splendid because I’m leaving Friday to get my eyes sliced up with a knife/laser combo.

On a similar note, I’ve also hijacked a calendar, and deduced that the purple blocks are my vacation days. Oh and lookit, now I know when the semester ends, instead of constantly being told, “I’m not suuuurrre…”

I’m onto you, Korea. I’ve got you figured out.

Four-day weekend in May, here I come!


I almost killed an old man with my groceries

Sometimes I think I’m the most ridiculous person I know.

And then I remember who my friends are.

But that’s getting off-topic.

I decided to do a massive trip to Costco, because the only way to do Costco is in massive trips, and because the only food in my apartment was some rice, some cornmeal (awaiting being made into hush puppies), and the ingredients for chocolate chocolate-chip pancakes.

In preparation, I packed a few good-sized plastic bags plus my drawstring-sports-bag into a backpack, and headed off to the store of bulky bulk purchases.

I meandered through the aisles, eventually deciding that I didn’t need 136 oz of ketchup but I would take the 8-pack of canned olives thankyouverymuch, and checked out.

And tried to cram everything into my bags.  Which I did almost successfully, but was left to carry the 8-pack of canned tomatoes in the crook of an arm–an arm that was shaking halfway through the trip.

They were heavier than they look...my back is really sore today!

A grand total of 1 1/2 people offered to help me through my 10 minute walk, 50 minute subway ride with two transfers, and bus ride home.  Yay Korea!

(I say 1/2 because I set two bags on the ground when I tried to maneuver my way through the subway turnstile, and a woman handed them back to me, shaking her head and probably muttering about how crazy foreigners are.)

Oh, the title.

So at the first subway transfer, there was a mass-rush of people coming down the stairs as I was trying to go up, so rather than get jostled and pushed and generally swung around by the 6 bags hanging off of various body parts, I nestled up to the side of the very-wide stairwell and let everyone pass.

Then an old man tried to go around behind me, got his foot caught on a grocery bag, and splayed out diagonally in front of me.  In my defense, I’m pretty sure he was already drunk.  Mostly because he was carrying a little meal-box from McDonald’s.  He was also really out of it but that could have been from the fall…

As a reward–for making it home, not for almost breaking the man’s legs–I made myself a smoothie with my newly-purchased frozen blueberries.

Yeah, I spilled. It's what I do. Gracefulness is overrated.

Costco! Oh yeah, and North Korea’s bombing us again

I think I’ll plug my fridge back in

I need a pumpkin pie. Rumor has it, Costco has them. So I got a membership.

They are out of pumpkin pies, but still, I’ve never been more excited to be in a grocery store.

Blocks of cheese.  BLOCKS.  Of CHEESE.

And spinach!  Oh, leafy, green, salad-making vegetables!  I’ve missed salads, man.

They don’t have Life, but they have the next best thing:

If anyone wants to go with me, I’m allowed a guest. Or two. I’ll check.

North-South relations

In other news, yes, North Korea bombed South Korea. Funnily, if you look at the map included in that article, the closest city named in the South is…can you guess?

Incheon!  Yay!!  (That’s where I live, if you’re just joining us now.)

Chess & I often talk about how our little home here would probably be a main target, if anything significant ever happened.  Seoul is next door–which is obviously a big deal–and then, we have the airport.  Also kind of a big deal.

If you were too lazy to click the article link, and are otherwise oblivious, the short version is: Yeonpyeong island was bombed, the 1200ish civilians evacuated, with several military injured and possibly a death–awaiting confirmation.

Interesting because…

a) at what point do people admit that the cease-fire agreement has been broken?,

b) NK just revealed a “uranium enrichment facility” to the U.S. (kind of like a taunt? I think so),

c) this makes the second time in a month that there has been an exchange of fire,

d) this is (probably) the second time this year that South Korean lives have been lost at the hands of their former countrymen,

e) and the NK military fairly significantly outweighs the SK military–although SK has the U.S., but then NK has China, and it’s just all a big mess.

At any rate. Tomorrow, I’m going back to Costco to see if they’ve restocked pumpkin pies like they said they would.  And I’ll see if my co-workers are worried.

Video of my “house”

I’m not even gonna try with a clever title. It is what it is!  The first one is my studio apartment, the second is what happens when I do laundry. It’s quite nifty.

(This is from when I first got here–only took me a month to actually upload!  It looks slightly different now, still working on making it a little more “homey” :))

It’s pretty much the basic setup for most teachers–although there are a decent amount with slightly bigger places, or actual living rooms, or extra bedrooms, or sick views, or couches, and other various luxuries.  I pretty much got your basic setup.  I love my little neighborhoods, and I’m walking distance to a main bus and subway terminal–which is clutch when you’re car-less.  So it works for me!