So we ended up having a white Christmas here after all - it started snowing around 2.30 this afternoon, and by about 7pm, everything was coated in a fine layer of powdery white icing-sugar snow. And this time I liked it!... Because I was inside and keeping warm hehe :)
Christmas in Korea is not really much of a holiday. Actually, it's more of a couples day than a family day, like a second Valentine's Day, so people might do something special for it with whoever, but things don't really shut down like they do at home. So shops stay open (although usually for shorter hours) and traffic is predictably terrible and because of the cold weather and it being a weekend, catching a taxi was tricky.
With Chanel at the C.o.E. dinner
So this is a quick run-down of what I did for Christmas. First of all, we had the Chungbuk Office of Education end of year (Christmas) dinner on Friday, Christmas Eve. As my friend Lara pointed out, not everyone is Catholic or Christian, so calling it a Christmas dinner straight out might have been a little exclusive. Our co-teachers were told it was a 'workshop' however, so I guess we were just told whatever they thought would make us want to come. It was kind of fun though - an ok buffet dinner with some pretty good oysters! and an orchestra, photo slideshow and Karaoke competition which was .. interesting... :) Luckily, after the dinner ended Lara (who lives a street away from me) and I cadged a ride with one of the co-teachers and didn't have to walk home in the minus 16 degrees or whatever it was.
With Lara and Teresah
Christmas day started with a morning skype home and opening presents with mum, dad and Fran at 7am (9am Wollongong time). Floss was in her reindeer suit as usual, and looked miserable, as usual, but looked slightly happier at the prospect of her and Henry's new doggie biscuit bottle. Cute! Needless to say, I was very jealous at missing out on the traditional stewed fruit, yoghurt and bagels. Next came a call to my grandparents, and I accidentally confused my grandma by telling her that I was coming home on the morning of the 18th and making her think that I was coming home TOMORROW morning - sorry nan!
MMMMM!! or as they say here "nom nom nom!"
Then, the big thing that so many of us Cheongju-ites were looking forward to - Christmas breakfast at Chanel's! Everyone brought something delicious - we had orange juice, cheesy scrambled eggs, crispy crunchy bacon, sausages, french toast (with mandatory maple syrup), croissants, fruit salad, kiwis and strawberries, yoghurt, nougat Christmas pudding, tim tams (thanks mum, dad and fran!), bread that turned out to be cream-filled... YUM!!! It was all delicious ^_^
We also watched 'Love Actually' too while we ate - the perfect Christmas movie to watch with a group of your best girlfriends ^_^
Getting home turned out to be a bit more difficult than we thought though - I read the bus route map wrong, so the bus Lara and I caught ended up at the Eastern bus depot (동부종점) with no taxis or information on buses in sight, but luckily the driver of the bus we were on helped us out and helped hustle us onto a bus that was going our way and luckily was the only one that went right to my front door. A quick dash inside to drop off my stuff and then I was back out into the cold again and off to the Cheongju Sports Complex(Chaeyukgwon or 체육관) to see "B,Boyz and Ballerina". My co-teacher Ms Shin had an extra ticket so she was her usual awesome self and invited me to come see it with her, her son and her school friend Ms Kim. And it was awesome! I thought it was going to be a kind of stage version of one of those fancy ballerina meets tough street boy love stories with some speaking, and it was, but today it seemed like a kind of dancing pantomime because there was Christmas bit where they threw presents (candy) into the audience (I actually hid because some of it was being thrown quite forcefully). And I love pantos! Haven't seen one since I was in year 9 or something, and Ms Shin really enjoyed it too so we clapped and cheered and had a great time. Luckily we were in the centre, about ten rows back from the stage so we had a great view, and when they asked everyone in the audience who was "solo" (meaning single) to put their hands up and then picked people to come up on stage and be a couple or dance with them, we were far enough back that neither I nor Ms Shin's son got picked, even though Ms Shin tried her hardest to get them to choose me by yelling out and waving at them. It was so much fun! And completely worth going outside for on this chilly minus 14 degree day, even having to walk through falling snow dropping into my face. I was actually supposed to drop by and see Super Onni and her family today too but when I got home I ad a quick nap that ended up lasting until 10.30, so I think I kind of missed that one. Luckily they are Buddhist anyway, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't going to be anything especially Christmassy.
So that's about it. Oh, I have one more Christmas thing to look forward to! Lucy is coming to see me! Yay fo stopovers! ^_^ So hopefully in a few days time I will be adding a post about what an awesome time we'll have and the snow won't be too much of a buzzkill.
****P.S. All photos here from Lara's much higher quality collection and ability at photo-taking than mine :)