Tuesday, February 17, 2009


For a while during our travels, I was able to soak up so many new and beautiful things that my creativity urge felt mostly fulfilled. Since arriving in Australia, and having a lot more down time, that hasn't really been the case. I was able to get some new and interesting books by australian creative types that I may not have been able to find in American libraries at all, but I have had no idea where to go to find supplies, and fully aware that I would have been unable to use a lot up in the time I had, and no place to work, in any case. {Wow, long run on sentence, that one} So, tomorrow I leave Australia and my urge to create SOMETHING is driving me nuts. I won't really be able to work in the US due to time and space constraints, or the first week in ROK due to the same problem. I really hope we end up with a space that gives me some creative space-and fu space for my sweetie too. First on the agenda is not creative, per-se, but is making something. A blankie for the next addition due to join the ever expanding Stiley clan. Then, I'm thinking I need to learn to crochet. My friend Jen has made some of the most amazing items, though she has years of experience. Then....and then.....and then......

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It just took me about 2 hours to get this whole new blogger password BS sorted. Not that this gets read much, but still, they really need to stop changing this set up~really!

OK, so with all that time sucked up, I really don't want to bother with much of a post. So, long story short:

I'm in Australia.
I'm leaving Australia in a week.
I'll be in America for a week.
I'll be in Korea thereafter, with Aaron, otherwise known as the onion cutting man in so many photos.
Wow, things have changes.
Things have changed for the better.
Except the won-dollar value. Not better. Ah well.

Things have changed a lot since I used to do this regularly!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Well, October is almost over. I'm actually somewhere with internet, a computer, some spare time, and the inclination to post. I see blogger has changed a lot since I was last on. I've lost all the people I was linked to, so if you stop by, please leave your link info so I can try to figure out how to click back and see what you are up to.

I'm outside Sydney, headed to the Gold Coast soon. We're gonna have to find a new job soon. Dang wallet demands it. Being a couch surfing bum has been great, tho I can't sleep on most of the "beds" I've had. It's been noce to splurge on nice hotel rooms occasionally. Hong Kong Novotel has very comfy digs!

For some reason, everything fails when I try to upload photos to any website. I'll blame Mattie's Aussie internet connection (I'm told that Telstra is too blame, so...take that Telstra, you suck!).

I really do have a good excuse for not posting besides WOW and hot Aussies....give me a second to remember, I just got sidetracked thinking about a hot Aussie. Thankfully I have one to keep me warm and look out for me. Australia has actually been cold!

So, what have we been up to?.....

So, we bought an around the world ticket. I took Azza home to America. We stayed with my Dad, who now lives
on the Olympic Peninsula in Port Ludlow. After a while there, we drove down to Oregon for my Jay's wedding. We flew to Boston and stayed with my Teri on Cape Cod. Then we flew to Sweden to stay with the Länjes there. We had nice digs in Gothenburg to ourselves (Jonas & Co.were at their summer cottage helping Magnus build his next door!) After that we went to Magnus & Christina's place in Stockholm. They are very trendy people, so we had an apartment in the most popular part of town. It was walking distance to everything, so we got lots of exercise! Public transport in Scandinavia is expensive!

We took the train down to Copenhagen for the weekend. One of Aaron's friends is Danish and his folks live outside the city. They drove up for half a day and gave us a high speed tour of the city. The next day we took the train back up to my host THomas & Kertin's place outside Gothenburg. Then we flew to Hong Kong. We stayed there 1 night two different times but we were too tired to do anything there! It was ust a layover to Vietnam and then to Thailand. We were in Vietnam for 10 days and Thailand for 10 days.

Vietnam was striking but very very poor. Hawkers are everywhere in the city. On the Mekong Delta, cute young kids are the most sought after accessory for the boat people plying their wares to tourists. Traffic in Saigon is the most insane traffic I have ever seen. Motorbikes everywhere. The traffic moves, but very very slowly, and crossing the street in Saigon is considered an art. Pick your timing to start well, then do no go too fast, but above all DO NOT STOP moving. The motorbikes will simply go around you. We saw a number of accidents. Shopping there is cheap and can be even cheaper if you know how to do it-but I do not. I can not bargain, but I look like an expert compared to Aaron, poor guy. We learned to use each other to improve our bargaining skills, though. Also, sometimes, when you are too tired to bargain, and you think about how
cheap it really is, and paying "whitey" price doesn't really matter, except when someone is trying to rip you off, like a taxi driver. We lucked out and caught him, though. Most people are lovely and friendly.

Thailand was next. Bangkok is insanely polluted, but it is clear that Thais are much better off economically that the Vietnamese. For starters, there are not so many motorbikes, and the cars are newer. Japanese cars are most popular. Bangkok traffic is also insane, but unlike Saigon, it simply does not move. Getting in a taxi is usually a bad idea. Taking the river ferry is your best bet. We got out of Bangkok quickly, and headed up to Chiang Mai. Thais are very relaxed and Thailand is called the land of smiles, and rightly so. When bargaining with a Thai, expect laughter. It is to keep anything from getting too serious. I learned well not to take myself to seriously there. The Thai people are so relaxed that it made it much easier to
feel that way. The heat will slow everything down as well.

After relaxing, swimming and shopping, and a last night of great performances of local dance, we headed to Sydney. Azza's best friend, Matt, lives an hour and a half outside the city with his partner, Alicia. They have a small house here. The differences between here and America are subtle. Shops look similar, but houses are different. Cool nights and no heat in Sydney homes has led to no shortage of cold feet for me! The thing that gets me here are the palm trees and the birds. All throughout SE Asia and Australia I've made Azza laugh when I look at the palm trees and say that they are fake! It's like when it snowed while he was visiting me in South Korea.

In about a week we will go to the Gold Coast, where he is from, near Brisbane. We will stay with his family while we look for new contracts.

It'll be more interesting when I can get pics up, so I'll try to do that once we hit the Gold Coast.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I'm back. For how long remains to be seen. :) Not sure who stops by anymore, considering that I don't! I didn't realize it had been quite so long.....

I have a million and one pictures, but neither the time nor the patience today. So, long story short....I am not renewing at my school. Aaron and I want a contract together and Samyook is definitely NOT the place for that, although they asked me if he would be interested in joining the staff. He most certainly is not. It was not a bad place to work when I started, but it has become an 'us' vs. "them" type of place.

It got really bad after some of the foreigners made plans, even buying tickets (out of the country, mind you) for the scheduled eleven-day vacation. Well, leave to the school to cancel two days in the middle, expecting everyone to cancel all plans-without complaint. Suffice it to say, they had a fight on their hands, and they have made working conditions more difficult each at least monthly.

I am happy to leave, and one teacher has already left (Meredith :( That sucked) Two others will be leaving this summer as well, one other choosing to leave (without problems, with an LOR) during the contract.

I am very much looking forward to (and a little apprehensive about) an extended vacation Aaron and I have planned that will include Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, Sweden, Thailand, Vietnam, and Australia. More to come.....but who knows when. ;)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Guess I should come in for my monthly check up, huh? Yeah, I definitely don't have as much blogging time on my hands. That's OK, I'm keeping plenty busy. Thanks for all the birthday well wishes, all. I had a lovely, mellow birthday weekend. Saturday was dinner with friends, Sunday was lunch with Azza. I got breakfast cooked for me both days. Not bad, huh?

The actual school work is going pretty smoothly. Things with the school......leopards don't change their spots, right? Thankfully theere are other things that make up for it! We have some new teachers at the school. Meredith is a lovely Canadian with attitide for miles. So, yes, we get along fabulously. The school FINALLY hired some non-North American teachers, which I think is good for the kids. I really think that they need to realize how much more broad the English speaking community is, world wide. Speaking of world...it cracked me up when tons of the kids spelled the "world" as "wold"

See, my new English co-teacher is Ian, an Australian who has started teaching at the school with his partner, Vanessa. The are a lovely couple from Australia. As a matter of fact, they lived for the last two years on the Gold Coast, Azza's home town. They are as laid back as Azz and so far teaching with Ian has been easy and enjoyable. Vanessa is teaching 1st grade with Edvish.

And, because pica always make posts better:
Chris came out of hiding to join us for dinner, and get Edvish talking. Aaron and I posed for a few pics, then it was time for Meredith and I.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sorry y'all, I'm still not posting regularly. I got very sick over this last week an I am still getting over it. I was getting over it, then work got very stressful. Now I am expected to put together lesson plans without knowing work book pages. I was told, "Oh, you can add that later," and the idea that I only want to do this once.......oh wait, it's not even in my contract! The fact that I STILL refuse to do work that will extend beyond my contract (because, you know, it's BEYOND MY CONTRACT) is being ignored. Even by the western member of the admin. This last part makes me laugh. Everyone is using phrases as if I am going to go ahead and do it. Which I am not, even if I am sure I will renew. Which I most certainly am not. Aaron borrowed a phrase from the movie Blood Diamond, which was TIA (this is Africa) and we now say TIK, this is Korea.

Went to the doctor yesterday, as I had been so sick over the weekend. Aaron was so good to me, though. He basically took care of me all weekend long, while he was here. I am lucky, no? I am just not used to all this attention, but it was nice to not have to worry about too much stuff.

OK, folks, I'm still really beat so I'm gonna call it quits for now. I want to end on a positive note, though. These days, that means something usually means something not Korean, but I will try to think up something Korean, too. Here goes.

(Korean) 1. My co-teacher from last year, Amy is wonderful.
2. My co-teacher this year is Kim Yoon Soon, and she embodies her English name, Grace (I need to learn this from her). She wanted to change it. I told her it was perfect.

Not Korean: 1. Aaron sent me a huge bouquet of flowers for Valentines Day.
2. He happily took care of me when I was sick.

My camera is not happy with me, so here is a not-so-great picture of the flowers.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Yes, yes, I know I am very overdue for a blog post, but I haven't been knitting at ALL and...I'm heading to lunch. That's my excuse. Brannew....Korean take on Italian with large glasses of house wine. Aaron and I have been very busy doing nothing and enjoying our boredom. And he got me addicted to World of Warcraft (henceforth known as WOW) and we've been playing tons, now that we finally have it downloaded on my computer. Leopard is next.

Lunch time! Pictures of Japana and all to come..........eventually! ;)