Friday, January 17, 2014

Back at it!

Yay, back to The List! I've been collecting these items for a while now, but I've been a little lazy to sit my butt down and write. By the way, I've been trying to find the list I made when I was in Paris, but for the life of me I can't! ...and Myspace isn't making it any easier. Yes, I know, Myspace, what is that? That was soooo 2006. I know I posted that list somewhere there, but damn website changed completely, so everything is in different places. You would think that it'd still be all organized, but nooooooooo; I hate you Myspace gods (aka Tom).

Anyways, back to this list ...
Fortune teller booth (outside Starbucks)

77. Fortunes Tellers ...EVERYWHERE! Ok not everywhere, but you don't always have to go too far to find one. My experience so far with Korean culture is that Koreans can be very superstitious (HA! one more reason Koreans and Mexicans are alike, more on this coming soon). I don't know how serious people take fortune tellers, but if they are that common, I'm going to take a wild guess and say they do.  

From what I've learned is that there are various types of fortune tellers. Some use Tarot cards (cheapest option, under $10). Others read your face and/or hands. Others use your birthday. Others use spirits, yikes! (which I think are also the most expensive).

I haven't gone to one myself because I would need a translator, AND I will not waste my money on that (sorry, I don't believe in it). But a couple friends have gone and to be honest, from what my friends reported back, whatever they were told, it all just sounds like it could've been said to anyone. 

Side note #1: My mom went to one when she was younger, and they told her something really creepy. They told her that she would die at the age of 60 in a car crash with one of her children in the car.  So naturally she has vowed not to have one of us in the car after she turns 60. 

I also have heard about fortune tellers for couples. Before a couple marries, apparently they go to a fortune teller to see if they are indeed a good match ...I have yet to hear of a couple who won't marry based on the fortune teller's advice though, that would be cruel but fun at the same time haha. 

Side note #2. When we took the graduating class' picture at DWU, I was very surprised to see that the girls did themselves as if ready to go out to a night club: makeup, hair, clothing, heels, everything! When I asked one of the senior profs whether the picture was a big deal, she said yes because the girls are likely to use that picture for the couple fortune tellers. So does makeup help make a better match? 

Though I'm not very interested in listening to what a fortune teller has to say, I am interested to see how a person's life turned out after having his/her fortune told. I guess I'll have to wait and see with my mom too, great.

78. Tons of books at home. This is just from pure personal observation. When I think of books, I think of going to the local library and spending a few hours browsing and taking up a comfy chair to read, and of course to support the local library ...and because books are expensive so I don't like to buy them. Growing up I don't think I ever went into a friend's house and saw that they had a huge book collection. Maybe their parents had a book case with a few books, but nothing extravagant. 

When I started going to people's homes, I quickly noticed that most families, especially with young children, have at least ONE WHOLE wall covered in books. They'll have all kinds of series, ranging from encyclopedias to English grammar, to the Magic Tree House. It's pretty spectacular to see this because I'm not used to it. I love books, so to see parents having that available for their children amazes me.

Now, are these book actually being read? Who knows! But it's nice to see that parents are making an effort.

79. Moving. This is new to ME, ok? I come from a sprawling city where if we need to move houses, we rent a truck, call our friends, and buy them beer for helping us with the heavy lifting. If there are stairs involved, it's usually no more than a floor or two, so the job is doable with just our feet and hands. 

Most of the population in Korea live in apartments ...high apartment buildings. Each building does have elevators, but trust me, you cannot fit a couch even if you wanted. So how do people get their furniture all the way up? After doing some googling, I found out that they are called ladder lift trucks. As you can see from the picture, the ladder can reach as high as it wants. You just load up your stuff on to the platform and up up it goes to your balcony. Oh yeah, all the apartment have a small balcony with a huge window, so that when you have furniture coming in, pop open the window and anything will fit through it.

bubble wrap anyone?

80. Bubble wrap as insulator. Oh poor girl from sunny California how naive you are. Seriously, don't laugh at me, I just found this out. For the harsh winter here, people put bubble wrap on their windows to keep the heat in, or keep the cold out? Meh something sciency like that. Anyways, I noticed it a friend's house, and then when I went to the supermarket, I saw all the bubble wrap being sold in bulk. Like I said above, apartments have huge windows which makes it hard to keep them warm.

...I can only imagine the bubble popping party when winter is over.

81. Turning 20. I only found about this by reading my students' journals when I was teaching the freshmen. At first I thought it was only for women, like a Quinceñera or Sweet 16, but after asking my Korean friend, I learned that it also applies to men. Turning 20 is somewhat of a big deal because it symbolizes that a person becomes an adult, whatever that may mean. From the information on the journals, the girls celebrate by going to a nice dinner with their family and they'll get gifts like flowers and perfume. I'm hoping though that they also go to a booking club or something fun like that hehehe. I still don't know how the men celebrate it, strip club perhaps? 

In other news. I've been planning my upcoming trip to Cambodia, and I realized that this will the most south I've gone (I don't know how grammatically correct this sentence is "most south"? "southest"?). Though it won't take me below the Equator, it's still pretty damn close.


...damn you OCD, I can't stop twitching from seeing "81"

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