April 24, 2005

A Bit of Guilt and Korea

I should be sleeping but the overnight schedule adjusted for vacation did not seem to work out all that well for me this time. I fell asleep for about 5 minutes at 2pm but Jed's heartfelt Gloria Estefan serenade gave me a second wind that I couldn't shake. So, I decided to be lazy and selfish and risk the raise I might get to take a day off. Hopefully, I can squeeze in some overtime to rid myself of the guilt I feel for skipping a day.

Anyhoo, it is time for the usual way too long summary of our vacation. Jed supplies the pictues and I am going to supply the text. Make yourself comfy:

It began with a call from Hiroki the very nice man at the travel agency. He was so upset to tell me that our flight was cancelled I thought he might cry. He did everything he could to help us and was able to get us on a flight a few hours later with a layover. It turned out to be nice to not have to rush from work, so we could come home and relax, etc.

We were actually a bit excited that this new flight had a layover in Pusan. Our filthy childish minds were thrilled to have conquered Bangkok, Phuket and Pusan, in only 2 months. However, let me inform you that Korean airports are quite possibly the worst I have been in, and I have been in a lot. They literally just dump you on the tarmac and you find your way to the terminal. Interesting.

Without the added benefit of first class this time, we made our connecting flight early to Cheju-do. We arrived at our hotel and were informed that it was happy hour. We were both pretty hungry and since happy hour was free we decided to make the most of it. Thus began the theme of our vacation: free food.

Yes, to the average visitor Japan has great food. But to the average American who cannot eat out everyday and who has only the 3am supermarket leftovers for a choice, the food is horrific. Nothing is identifiable, melons can cost upwards of $25 a piece and virtually no one owns ovens. Not to mention the whole Japanese packaging. Cooking is difficult for me in English, judging by the time I set the paper towels on fire, so obviously I shy away from Japanese labels. Hence, the glory of the free happy hour. The hors d'euvres were delicious, real cheese, fruit, wine, beer, etc. We ate our weight in food and skipped dinner. Jed made friends with a few people, primarily the lounge singers and I fought to stay up until 9pm.

Up at 6:30am we couldn't wait to get our hands on the breakfast that came as a part of our package. Again, we ate ourselves ill but walked about a million miles around the island that morning visiting a waterfall. The island is chilly right now and reminded me a bit of an off season Cape Cod, which I like a lot. There is something nice about having a place all to yourselves even if it is cold. We returned for lunch at the restaurant followed by a trip to the beach and then a binge fest at happy hour. Good times.

I developed a new hobby while at the beach. Ever since I was little my poor mother had to endure me picking up every little tiny insignificant, unoriginal shell and proclaiming its unmatched beauty. Now Jed gets that pleasure. However, I went for sea glass instead of shells. I was busy collecting while Jed was off saving beetles and catapillars from the rising tide.

The next day was more of the same. A visit to one of the few waterfalls in Asia that falls directly into the sea. This was filled with children. Jed and children are a wonderful mix. They absolutely love him. He must be the most unusual thing they have ever seen. They all run up to him practicing their English and giggling while they completely ignore my existence and I have to sulk off to the side while Mr. Popularity entertains the troops. My social skills really shine with the old people. Yes, much like the Japanese they love to line up and they love to cut you in line. They love to spit. They love to push. Our lovely submarine ride nearly took a rough turn when I started getting nasty with the elderly. They cut us for the dumb picture in front of the submarine so much to their dismay I was able to re-cut them by skipping the picture all together and holding on to both sides of the rail so they couldn't push past me to board the submarine. Jed must be so proud of me.

We returned from the submarine ride and had some lunch and then decided to take a dip in the pool. Only the indoor pool was open and both of us were forced to wear swim caps. I have tons of hair that seems to fall out every time I move but come on, Jed??? He has WAY more hair on his face than on his head yet they insisted he wear a cap. We looked pretty dorky and then to completely top off the feeling the water was too cold for us to even go in so we just dangled our legs off the side while sporting our shower caps.

If it sounds like we didn't do much on our vacation that is exactly right. We were so happy to have a real bed (not a futon covered in mold) and real food and 2 free meals a day that we felt no real reason to do a whole lot. We ventrued out for some mini-treks to waterfalls and on the beaches and through a big mess of volcanic rocks. Overall, we had a great time hanging out together outside of work, something that doesn't happen too much anymore since we work nearly everyday.

I am so tired and completely unable to sleep and extremely jealous of Jed who is sleeping soundly. This entry probably reflects all of those emotions and I cannot wait to read it when I've had a bit of sleep. I hope it makes sense. I am not really sure what I wrote about. Okay, enough....I have diarrhea of the fingers.

Posted by karen at 03:28 AM | Comments (1)

April 13, 2005

I Finally Belong!

My teeth are clean and in tact.
I speak English.
I walk normally.
I have breasts and green eyes.
I hate Hello Kitty.

I am a sore thumb to the Japanese.

Until now.........


In all seriousness, anyone who truly knows me knows my absolute disgust with this product and the fact that EVERY Japanese person has one. The premise for this disgust is that they will spend hundreds (some thousands) to buy this crap to help their "image" yet they have a mouthful of rotten teeth.

So, my friend Rebecca recently went to Vietnam and saw this knockoff for all of 5 cents or something ridiculous and decided it was a must-have. The perfect keepsake to remind me of these peoples' screwy priorities.

Posted by karen at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2005

A Very Special Anniversary

If only I could be the casual puker that Anni and Kaycee are. Instead, Meghan and I share a phobia that proves we are far from mentally stable.

Today (April 6) is the 17th anniversary of the last time I threw up. I had a scary bout of dry heaves 3 years ago next week but they remained dry.

I am proud but also know my time is coming. I hope you will all be there to support me when that time comes.

Posted by karen at 05:22 PM | Comments (1)

April 02, 2005

Stolen Ideas

I am stealing this idea from Juliette who stole it from our friend Susan. I have nothing else to write so hopefully this will be somewhat amusing.

10 Random Things About Me
-I have a Care Bear pillow case (my boyfriend has He-Man)
-I had a rare tumor in my leg twice
-I with one of my college classes met Fidel Castro
-I can't swim though I like to pretend I can
-I technically went to 6 different colleges (though only attended 5)
-Spitting is my biggest pet peeve
-I LOVE The Golden Girls
-I split my lip open when I was little because I literally ran into a Dairy Queen building and was subsequently put into a straight jacket while receiving the stitches
-I tested Maxi-Pads for money while in college
-I was a competitive (though horrible) basketball player as a child (I've been this height since about the 2nd grade)

9 Places I've Been
-Spent my 23rd birthday at Carnival in both Rio de Janiero and Salvador, Brazil
-Cuba (I had special permission but I like to think I broke the law)
-The Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (The place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet)
-The Taj Mahal New Delhi, India
-The Coloseum
-The Corn Palace South Dakota
-on a ship through the Strait of Malacca (the most heavily pirated place on Earth)
-The Great Wall of China
-The Eiffel Tower

8 Things I Want to Do Before I Die
-go to every country in the world (and state) at least once
-speak at least one other language fluently
-own a refrigerator with an in-the-door ice cube maker/crusher and water filter
-go on safari
-fly internationally on first class (I did get one glorious hour!)
-get married (I'd like a rock, but the person's more important)
-write a book
-take my nephews on a fantastic trip somwhere cool

7 of My Favorite Personal Items
-my little packet of worry people Meghan gave me when I was 19. I never fly without them!
-the portrait of Bert and Ernie my mom made me when I was little. It has hung in every bedroom I have ever had (except on the ship cause we couldn't hang things on the walls as they would become projectiles)
-a small stuffed giraffe Jed's mom gave me, because like Jed, giraffe's are really tall
-a picture of my nephews in their little Radio Flyer wagon
a teddy bear my friend Robin gave me
-an email Jed sent me on my birthday (we were living in different cities at that time)
-my "I Glimbed the Great Wall" T-shirt
-my photo albums
***to be fair I haven't been able to unpack most of my stuff for years because of my habitual moving so I am sure the list will change once I remember what I have at home***

6 Things I'm Afraid Of
-vomiting (knock on wood the last time was April 6, 1988, though I did have traumatically massive dry heaves 3 years ago this April)
-bugs of any kind, especially spiders
-panic attacks (this is connected to vomiting)
-earthquakes (i recently learned this)
-being alone (not at home but in the larger sense of the word)
-getting fat(ter) (horrible but at least I'm honest)

5 Things I Miss About Home
-Joey and Tommy (my nephews)
-Dr. Elvis Bartakamous Scattergood MD (the cat)

4 Things I Will Miss About Japan
-the super heated, self-sanitizing, musical toilets
-being able to talk about people right in front of me and know that they either A) don't speak English or B) won't do anything about it
-the breaking news stories like the subway being 3 minutes late because a boy was late and going to miss his exam and the train made a special stop for him. (PS...he made the exam on time)

3 Things I Do Everyday
-play a horribly addictive game on my Palm Pilot called Bubblet
-make fun of something Japanese (I am going to hell)
-eat something sweet

2 Things I Am Trying Not to Do Everyday
-be so lazy
-eat so many sweets

1 Person I Would Like To See
***they are so little I count them as one person***

Posted by karen at 07:13 PM | Comments (2)