Archive for July, 2010

So you want to sound like an Ozzie, yeah?

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Then try this lingo!

Petrol= instead of Gasoline because “Cars don’t run on Gas!”

AirCon= Air Conditioning

Bogen= for trashy, loud people aka rednecks

Singlet= Tank Top

Thongs= Flip Flops

Budgie Smuggler =Male Speedo

    • The Budgie Smuggler is way HOt

Rangers =Red Haired people- short for orangutan. Calling them this can be a joke or an insult

Spotto= When you see a red head and punch someone -like punch buggy

Ute= short for a sports utility vehicle

Hey and Eh= like the Canadians

Roo Bar= Bar on Car to prevent Kangaroos from busting through the window when they get run over

Bloke= Guys

Fair Enough=Okay, Good

True= similar to Fair Enough above

Heaps = A lot, really: i.e. my hair is heaps wet

Chips= French Fries

Derro =Short for Derelict – is those wannabe gangstas, the hobos

Gimp = Someone (Guy) with a limp

Rubbish Bin= Trash Can

Adidas= said like Add-e-das than A-did-das


Hungry Jack= Burger King (why they changed the name is a mystery)

H = pronounced like hach

Z = pronounce like zed. So its a Zeb-bra and not a Zee-bra.

Push bike or treadly = bicycle

Stingers= jelly fish

Mozzies= Mosquitoes

Good on you= great job!

Op shop= opportunity/secondhand shop

Full on= intense/ hardcore    i.e. “This class is going to be FULL ON!”

Footy Show= Australian Football show/ comedy show.

Grey Nomads= Older people who come over to OZ and travel around the country.

Hen/ Buck Nights= Bachelorette/ Bachelor party

Fairy Bread= for little kids  parties. White bread with butter on both sides and covered in Sprinkles.

Chemist = Pharmacy

Off their trolley= completely drunk

Sunnies= Sunglasses

“How you going?” more popular than G’day among the younger generations. Is their version of “What’s up/ How’s it going?”

Megan is pronounced like (Mee-gan not, Meg-gan) and they would never shorten that name to “Meg”

Shire Skank= A loose woman from the Shire, a Suburb of Sydney, well known throughout Australia.

And just in case you wanted to know some Kiwi lingo:

Say “Shape” if you want to talk about Sheep.

Sheep Shagger= someone who has sex with sheep.

Choice Bro= good idea.

Sweet As= Sweet as anything or sounds great!

Reflections on OZ part 2

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

5) Whenever I tell people I am from the US, more specifically from Washington D.C., whether these people be Kiwis, Aussies, Canucks etc, they always refer to as me being from Washington. However, whenever they say that I think of Washington state not D.C. So I ask them why they always say that and apparently it’s just how they know it. Well if it works for them and if they know roughly where it’s located that’s okay.

I myself never knew Canberra was the capital of OZ until a few weeks after I got here, but now that I know I can definitely put it on a map!

6) People driving on the other side of the road- When I first got to NZ and stepped out the airport and looked at how the cars were set up, the first thing I thought was “Weird”. But after 18 days in New Zealand I got pretty used to it. Still, there are times when I’m walking in a parking lot, for example, and a car is coming towards me so I instinctively move to the right because I think they will also go the right. However, they are going to the left so I just end up in their way. The same also happens when walking on a path with people coming in the opposite direction. Hopefully, I will adjust to staying on the left side soon!

It’s ironic how long it took me to get used to the left side and just when I did, I had to come back to the right. The right side of the road threw me off for a bit and seemed strange, but now it’s almost back to normal (I wrote more but it got deleted THREE times, so if you want to hear more about this, just ask me!)

7) People’s view on Americans. I met a lot of Canadians and Aussies on my NZ  tour and many of the them told me something along the lines of being “one of the good Americans” aka not the Loud and Stereotypical Americans they have met/ expected. Also on my tour was a girl from NY who had a loud voice, smacked her gum incessantly and was generally an obnoxious party girl. Clearly, I was a much more appealing American than her (except for the manwhore guys on my trip who just looooved her!)

The opinion about Americans still varies drastically depending on who you talk to. I’ve had people tell me to my face that “Everybody in the whole world doesn’t like Americans because they think you are stupid. True Fact.” and that “You are a typical American… loud, self centered, only cares about herself.”

Now I obviously don’t hold much value in these judgments given that the first was from a drunk Norwegian Uni Student who is ridiculously pompous and I hadn’t met a single person who knew him and didn’t recognize that. The second was my roommate who was angry because I didn’t want to go out with him.

I heard some nice things about us, including from a very sweet South Korean High School boy I met on my plane back from LA who told me that “I think… American girls are…. a lot prettier than Korean girls” as he looked over at me from behind his thick framed glasses. Overall, its all about who you talk to and how absorbed they are in themselves and their culture.

Reflections on OZ

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

I was meaning to post this while in Australia but apparently forgot about it. These are from the early days in OZ with my new thoughts in BOLD

1) The Money looks like Monopoly money. The notes are smaller than American bills and for some reason the 50 and 100 dollar bills, even though they are different colors than the 5,10, and 20 notes are longer.

Also, the coins are really strange. There’s a 50 cent coin that is huge, and is dodecahedronal (12 sided) and this is so much bigger than the 1 dollar coin and the 2 dollar coin. I really don’t understand why the 2 dollar coin is smaller than both the 50 cent coin and and 1 dollar coin, because I would assume it would be bigger because it’s worth more. Although, I suppose size doesn’t always reflect worth.

OZ coins (notes the first two coins displayed are no longer in circulation)

I have to say that after returning to America, it took me a few days to get used to the money. I believe I have mentioned this before in a post, but I couldn’t believe how small are coins are to the OZ ones. Even their 20 cent coin is bigger than our 25 cent! Now I am used to it, but wanting our money to become more colorful! Psh green. Oh and Pennies which I once claimed were awesome: no they are just a pain. I am now for abolishing pennies in favor or rounding to the closest 5 cents.

2) The toilets, both here and in NZ have a 2 button flush system. The first is a half flush, just for pee and the second button is a full flush for poop. This makes a lot of sense to change the water pressure based on what you are flushing and I wonder if America will pick it up one day. It certainly conserves water!

3) Vegemite: Half of the Aussies I’ve talked to love it, the other half hate it. I have yet to try it (hopefully will try it sometime this week) but most Aussies agree that I will hate it.

I tried Vegemite and it was a mistake! So disgusting. The thought of it now makes me gag. Whatever you do, if you ever try this nasty product, do not try it on a sailboat you will remain on for over 24 hours. You will regret this moment if you do.

4) During my first couple of days in Australia, I had two different people tell me they thought I was Irish because I have an “Irish Accent”. No idea where this is coming from, except when I was talking to these people I had a bit of a cold so my voice sounded off. But Irish? I think not.

I also towards the end started getting a lot of people thinking I was from Canada instead of US, which I encouraged because its fun to pretend you are from another country!


Saturday, July 24th, 2010

So, it has momentarily stopped raining. It is so clear out that you can see not only Cotopaxi and all its magnificent snow-topped glory, but also Antisana (rare, except in summer to see from quito), and one other wayyy in the distance also snow-capped. It´s fabulous. Ecuadorans are like, yeah, if you see Antisana for three days in a row, you may not see rain for six weeks or more. And I have to ask, after almost 3 weeks of nonstop cold and rain, is that a bad thing???

Anyway, last week I had a great time leaving Quito for the first time and heading to Otavalo. How did we get there?? LUCK. April and I (the girl I went with), must have been pinched by leprechauns at some point because I have no idea how we managed to get there at all.

So, we left our school about 6:45, and it was raining (of course), and dark. We got on the trolley to the last stop. From there, we needed to take a special bus to get to the northern bus terminal. We didn´t see it. We left the trolley stop and went to look for a taxi. Somehow, we looked around and managed to see a bus going where we needed to go, arriving just at the right moment (25cent bus ride, so much cheeper than a taxi). We got on, it was absolutely packed, but somehow April managed to hear the bus driver talking about the two americans on board (i don´t know how because i couldn´t hear anything). So, April struck up a conversation and BEFRIENDED our bus driver. In doing so, she managed to realize that the bus was not, in fact, going where we needed to go. But, in befriending him, the bus driver stopped, specifically to be like – that bus, on the corner, RIGHT THERE outside will take you to Otavalo. I have no idea how we managed to somehow be on the right street at the right time for a bus passing through Otavalo to Ibarra. So, we asked the new bus driver and he said, yes, he stopped in Otavalo before moving on to Ibarra.

So, we got on the bus. Then, the next leg of our adventure. As the bus started to move, the driver put in a video. No joke, it was the second Twilight, dubbed in Spanish, and recorded/bootlegged in a movie theatre. It was hilarious. Well, then we realized that the driver does not, in fact, let you know the town he is stopping in, you have to just kind of know where you are. So, we figured, in 2 hours we´ll ask the driver to let us know when we get to Otavalo (the trip is supposed to take 2.5 hours per the guide book). Yeah. 1.5 hours later, April is sleeping and i happen to look out the window and see a sign that says “Otavalo, 3 km”, another “Otavalo” with some kitchua, and another which said “Bienvenidos a Otavalo”. I was like, April, wake up, we´re here. She was like, no we´re not, you sure. At which point I said “I saw a sign that said bienvenidos a otavalo, that´s pretty damn sure”. So we got off (but not before april double checked with the bus driver). Again -LUCK. And, we happened to find a really nice, cheap hostel, really close by. So much luck.

We got up the next morning and headed out to the Otavalo market at 7:30 the next morning. The market is one of the biggest and best in Latin America. It was AMAZING!!!! I am soooo going back with money and buying stuff. There´s all sorts of bread, produce, food, clothes, and, or course, indian crafts (art, leather, textile, you name it). It´s really amazing, and i´´m def. going back at least once or twice.

After two hours, the hoards of toursits descended, so April and I hopped a bus to what we thought were the lakes. Not. We ended up in the middle of no where. But, it was a beautiful walk back and an excellent view of how the majority of Ecaudorans live.

Then, we hopped another bus to the Lago San Pedro. And, even though we ended up in a city that had San Pedro EVERYWHERE, April didn´t believe we were there and made us stay on the bus. So, we missed our stop. But, we ended up taking a fabulous bus ride through the beautiful equadoran countryside. Completely worth it and fun. We got back to San Pedro and had an authentic almuerzo ($1,50 for soup, salad, seco, and juice), and went to the lake (though it was raining). There was an awesome resort there where you could Jet ski, swim, blob, kayak, canoe, etc – that was aimed to Equadorans rather than american tourists. it was great.

So, Otavalo, awesome. I def. am going back and going exploring (other markets, the lagoons, etc).

TESOL  – intense. taken over my life. At least i´m learning a lot. One of the funniest moments was when a student surprised us with ” the orange is more delicious than the pinneapple”- We had no idea he knew delicious, it was fabulous. sooo many great stories.

So, one word on Quito culture. Fried Chicken. They LOVE their fried chicken. There are more KFCs here than McDonalds. There are entire KFC PALACES. No joke, these KFCs are like twice the size of my old house. I don´t know whether to be amused, or offended by the overbearing globalization. And it´s not just KFC – there are tons of other fried chicken restaurants. It´s really interesting. Which is good, because i love fried chicken. And after three weeks of comida tipica, i did not feel bad eating fried chicken when my host family bought some for lunch.

One more week of TESOL!! I should have a working contract signed in two weeks :)

The End

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Okay, I know I said I would finish with Brazil but let’s take a pause first. Because it’s my last few hours in Buenos Aires. I’M SO SAD.

So here I am six months later. I know you may expect some kind of inspiring conclusion to my journey but I am not sure I can muster that. (And, let’s be real, it’s me, you were not expecting that!) I am first of all surprised I have written 43 entries. Anyway…

Allow me to be superficial. I am really looking forward to eating waffles, bagels, sour patch watermelons and chocolate chip cookies, lemonade, Dr. Pepper, french toast, and tacos as soon as possible. I am looking forward to driving, using ziplock bags, having coffee to go (and food!) and wearing sweatpants. I am looking forward to using my heated rollers. And doing my own laundry (except for folding.) And good customer service. Ah, the comforts of home!

I’m coming back and making as much money as I can before I settle back in Fredericksburg in a few weeks. It will feel nice to be settled. At least until May 2011…They say college isn’t real life, so I don’t know how you would describe studying abroad because this definitely hasn’t been real life either. Everything has not been on pause? It’s summer again? The world doesn’t revolve around me? Ha, just kidding. But really things might be strange. I’ve had a great time and I’m so sad but I guess as Maria told me “things come and things pass.”

Well, I guess that’s it then. I don’t think I have much else to say. See you soon!

Dale, bueno, chau, besitos,


Seoungbuk-gu Multicultural Village Center

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Coming soon

Seoungbuk-gu Multicultural Village Center

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Coming soon

Han Ji, 한지

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

한지 is traditional Korean art. All of these hand-made projects are made of paper. From late this winter and into early Spring I would attend the free Hanji art classes at the Seongbuk-gu Multicutural Village Center. Together, other foreign women and I would create these beautiful tradtional Korean pieces. The pieces are created by paper forms, tradtional Korean paper, and glues. This is very long art making process.

princess hand mirror


Thursday, July 15th, 2010

So, felt my first temblor yesterday…that was a shock to the system. At first, when the building rumbled a little bit we all were like, ¨is that an airplane flying too close??¨…then, it got a little stronger. Not a lot, just enough to rattle us a bit and make David a little worried that it could be an earthquake and not a temblor. So, we just kept on going with class.

Again…rain. thunderstorms. Sunny in the morning and then the clouds slowly creep up over the mountains and engulf the city (really cool looking) and it starts to rain about 3pm. sigh…i much prefer the sun.

TESOL….is really, really intense. I have no time to do anything but study (i´m only writing this because it helps me procrast working on an assignment before class starts :) ). I´ve taught twice now for an hour each…it´s rough. Especially since, in my teaching group there are two really experienced teachers and me and another guy (David) with no experience what so ever. It makes our learning curve need to be steep and our incredibly green status much more apparent. It´s rough. Plus, lesson planning time…practicall nill. Worse since i have practically no access to the internet and know almost no teaching activities. I don´t see how Sarah can do it all the time…it´s hard.

So, the job search goes on. There are quite a few schools (primary and secondary) looking for teachers. So, we´re making lots of inquiries. I may end up at a primary…or, a middle school. It makes me panic a little, but we´ll see.

This weekend, i may actually get out of the city. Yay

Also, I met Paola and Jacobo yesterday (i´ll next be living with Paola´s mother). They´re wonderful people, really nice. I´m going over to see the condo on sunday. Yay.

ok…now i´m just late for class. ttyl

Blind Dates

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Blind dates are very popular within Korean culture to finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. Koreans live very busy lifestyles, so they are set up on blind dates by friends, family members, or co-workers. The night consists of drinking games, plenty of laughs, lots of eatting, and O’-  did I mention ALOT of Soju.

In this night inparticularly, the girls and I went on arranged blind dates of a Korean girl friend we had. She was able to arrange us blind dates through a friend. Her friend set us up with special Korean military soldiers. We went to a very popular bar/resturant and played drinking games and had plently of laughs.

Drinking games.. coming soon.