Monday, November 14, 2011


This past weekend, I went on a retreat with many of the teachers from my school, including the principal and vice principal.  Needless to say, I was intimidated.  I had a suspicion of how things would go down, but I tried not to let my pre-conceived notions of Asian relaxation activities get the best of me.  Unfortunately, my pre-conceived notions, in this case, were waaaaay below the mark.  I had no idea what was coming for me.  In case you are unfamiliar with these rumors, there was a lot of drinking on this trip, and I will leave it at that.  But, not to worry, I stuck to my scruples and maintained my morals (how's that for alliteration... I've got to prove my worth as an English teacher somehow, especially since my spelling is not cutting it today).

Unfortunately, it was this weekend that my mind chose to alert me to the severely introverted side of me that likes to come out on the weekends.  (If you already knew that, feel free to gloat now.)  I'm still hesitant to fully label myself introverted, but I'm definitely seeing the tendencies.  So, the Friday night 2-hour dinner and 노래방 (Which is very nicely defined on this page after hitting control/apple-F and searching "norebang') proved to be my definition of stress.  However, the Saturday morning hike up 선운산 (산 means mountain, 선운 is its proper name) was almost perfect.  I would have preferred it to involve a lot less chatter, but I'm finding that my Korean friends have a lot to say.  I'm debating if that's a cultural thing or if it's a my-friends thing.  I'll get back to you on that if I come up with a decision.

As with many mountains here in Korea, the hike ended at a Buddhist temple, and I found my friends to be correct: once you've seen one Buddhist temple, you've seen them all.  This one was not nearly as peaceful as the other, though, and I was struck by how many Hindu symbols were all around.  I'm beginning to think that the two have gotten mixed here, as Buddhism was turned from a lifestyle into a religion.  But I'm no Buddhism expert; I'm just making an observation.

All that being said, I think my photos (which will enlarge when you click on them) can speak for themselves from here. ;)

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