꿀을 파는 날

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Since some of the soldiers will be going back to Korea soon, I went to a restaurant to eat with my boss and two other soldiers this morning. The restaurant was named after the typhoon Haiyan and it’s located 30-45 minutes away from the base camp.

I would have enjoyed it more if only I could understand what they were saying. They talk too fast and use a lot of slangs or dialects which I haven’t heard of before so I couldn’t keep up with the conversation most of the time. T^T Anyway, let me share two things I learned from them today.

“때려 빠쁠라”

When the waitress served the tuna sandwich, my boss suddenly uttered these words when she was out of earshot. I don’t know exactly what it means but they told me it’s a dialect that roughly translates to “I’ll make a juice out of you”.

“꿀을 판다”

It literally means “selling honey”. They use this phrase when someone is not doing anything productive but still earns from it. It’s like when you go to work but not doing the task assigned to you and yet, at the end of the month, you still get paid for doing nothing. One of them said, “What we are doing right now is an example of 꿀을 판다. It’s working time and yet, we’re out eating and enjoying a ride while sipping on mango shake.”

소풍!

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Days ago, one of the other interpreters asked me if I was coming for the outing. I was puzzled because my boss didn’t mention anything about an outing. That outing turned out to be for the other offices only and ours was scheduled last Sunday.

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I arrived at the base camp wearing shorts. How brave of me to wear shorts to a military camp bustling with soldiers. I was a little early so I stayed in our office while the soldiers were having their Sunday service.

My boss came and we left the office together. He handed a walkie talkie to me and told me to give it to the first bus’ driver. I was about to head to the bus but I quickly hid behind a car upon seeing the soldiers. But an order is an order so I did what I was told. Why did I even wear shorts in the first place? Well, they said we were going to a beach. Who on earth goes to the beach on a hot day wearing jeans? That’s just uncomfortable.

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I was told to get inside the car with my boss and two other officers then the driver. It felt like I was travelling with my dad because they kept playing songs that my dad usually listens to. My boss ended up telling the other officers about me and my family background. I think he regrets doing so because… well, in Korean culture, the youngest and the new employee must be the one to do the cooking and serving when eating out, right? But the two officers told me to sit down and just eat and let my boss do everything. Haha! Sorry, boss, but I’m just following the orders of the officers who, by the way, holds a much higher rank than you. XD

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Anyway, when we arrived at the beach, there were about 5 cottages reserved for us. 3 cottages on one side for the soldiers, 2 cottages on the other side (1 for the officers and the other was for the Filipino soldiers who were our escorts). I was pretty much disappointed because we travelled an hour and a half for it and the beach was like any other beach near the base camp.

Oh, did I mention that I was the only girl in the group? OTL

I’ve never had beer before. I just don’t like the smell of it. But today, I decided to have my first can of beer. Haha! It was… okay. I didn’t like the taste so I only consumed about 1/4 of it, or maybe even less.

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After having lunch, the soldiers started grabbing other soldiers and tossed them into the sea. The other beachgoers found it weird to see them wrestle in the water but it was totally normal for me since I know that is how Koreans are.

The two officers left to take a dip, leaving me and my boss behind. My boss cooked some shrimps and told me to have some but I wasn’t in the mood to peel shrimps. And I was still feeling full from the slices samgyupsal that he dumped on my plate. We decided to cook some more samgyupsal and gave it to some beachgoers near our cottage.

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Before we left, my boss and I finally decided to get into the water. He went far into the sea with the others while I just stayed near the shore where the water was just right above my knee since I can’t swim. Bad idea. I should have just gone back to the cottage. OTL

One soldier joined me and told me to hold onto his hands. I gripped both of his hands, totally unaware of what was about to happen. Another soldier was approaching. The soldier who were holding my hands turned me around and told the other soldier to grab my feet. That’s when I realized that they were gonna toss me the way they tossed the other soldiers earlier. WAAAAAH! I was screaming in protest, yet laughing because I fell for their trap. Lol! And they gave me a few swings before tossing me into the water. OTL I was out of breath and energy that the soldier had to hold my arm so I won’t trip (the sea floor had rocks, big rocks) as we headed back to the shore.

When I reached the cottage, I noticed I got scratches on my left leg when I tripped on a big rock. The soldiers cleaned up while I washed up and changed into dry clothes. In the car, my boss lent me his Adidas shirt to cover myself with when he felt my arm was cold.

I really had a great time even though I got tossed into the water and got hurt. T^T It felt weird that the officers treated me like I was their guest who they have to treat like royalty. T^T I’m an employee, I should help out but they didn’t let me. Oh well, I enjoyed eating and talking with them.

Thanks to my boss (the topless guy beside me in the photo) for inviting me and letting me have this opportunity to hang out with everyone. ^^

D-DAY: TOPIK Results Are Out

….but where is mine?

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I’ve been anxiously waiting for this day to arrive. I wanted to know how I did on the intermediate exam. I was counting down the hours and when it was finally 2:00PM my time, I was cursing under my breath as I try to visit the TOPIK website with the shitty 3G connection. I checked the result for the beginner exam first. I passed Level 2. Almost aced it. I wasn’t expecting to get 100 for Vocabulary and Writing and 100 for Reading. I was expecting I would get high scores for those two section but not a perfect score. Lol. Then I moved on to checking the result for the intermediate exam. Lo and behold. I couldn’t check it. I don’t know why but I have a feeling they entered the wrong birthday that’s why nothing comes out. Anyway, I, with a very thick face, asked my boss for help. He said he’ll look into it on Monday. I hope I pass and get even Level 3. I’d seriously be happy if I do get Level 3. *keeps my fingers crossed* 

Anyway, I survived my first month of work. So many things happened it doesn’t feel like it’s been only a month. It feels like it’s been a year already. I’m very thankful to my awesome boss for treating me nicely and to my coworker for helping me get familiar with things. It’s too bad my coworker had to resign to continue her teaching career. It would have been better if she could have stayed even just until the end of June when the 1st batch of soldiers will head back to Korea and be replaced by the 2nd batch. Yeah, I will have a new boss by the end of June because the current one has to go back. Hmm. I’m definitely gonna miss him. I hope the next boss is just as kind and fun to be with as the current one. 

Oh, I was at the presscon earlier. The media wanted some updates on the rehabilitation so they arranged a presscon at one of the hotels here. It was my first time to go there. I was scared when Lieutenant Bae (or was it Baek?) told me to go with them. The presscon started. The commander and his interpreter joined the reporters at one table while I and the other soldiers watched them from a different table. As the commander stood up from his chair, he looked at my direction and motioned for me to stand up and stay in front. 두근두근. His interpreter introduced me as “someone who is fluent in Korean”. O_O WTF! Run, Angeli, run!! I was told to introduce myself and say something in Korean but “안녕하세요! 앤젤리라고 해요” were the only words that came out from my mouth. I totally froze when I saw the cameras. Pretty much the same thing happened during the Real Men filming. *bangs head on the wall*

Moving on… After the presscon, the waiters started serving the food and I somehow ended up sitting right next to the commander (the boss of all the bosses in the camp). It was awkward to eat dinner with him sitting beside me. I was offering a silent prayer to God while having my meal. I was hoping he wouldn’t talk to me because I just can’t. I’m scared of him. Lol. But he did talk to me and showed me a photo of his daughter who is the same age as me. I was able to have a Korean conversation with some of the soldiers outside the hotel after the dinner. They kept praising me for being able to understand Korean but I wasn’t flattered at all because I know that I don’t deserve their praises because I’m still 부족해 and I still have a long way to go before I can finally have a more deeper conversation with them. Oh well, at least I don’t feel so scared to talk to them in Korean anymore unlike before. I hope that my skills will improve with their help but I haven’t been studying these days and they often talk to me in English so… ugh. ㅡ_ㅡ;; Anyway, thanks for reading. ^^

Hanging Out with Alodia

I woke up this morning feeling a little weak. I was so stressed preparing for TOPIK that I’ve been deprived from sleep for quite a while now. After taking both beginner and intermediate exam yesterday, I went to sleep earlier than usual because I was physically and mentally exhausted.

I really should have listened to everyone who adviced against me taking the beginner TOPIK. It was so easy, it didn’t feel like I was taking an exam. The intermediate exam was so-so. I don’t know if my skills have just improved or I was just lucky that the 34th intermediate was easier than some previous papers. If I do pass intermediate TOPIK, I’d definitely give myself a pat on the back for passing it without taking any formal lesson. Learning a foreign language on your own from the very beginning is not an easy task.

Before I went to sleep last night, I checked if the answer key was out already and it was. I don’t remember my answers so there really is no way to know how I did on the exam and I just have to wait til they release the results.

I mentioned in my previous post that I met Alodia at KCC yesterday but we didn’t get to talk much because the exam was about to start and I went home right after so we decided to meet up today at the McDonald’s branch near my place. I seriously feel sorry to my friends for making them meet up with me at a place that’s convenient for me since I am not from here. T^T

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디야 언니랑 같이 찍은 첫 사진.
내 얼굴이 엉망이네…

We met up at around 6PM. We talked about TOPIK and lots of other stuff while eating burgers and fries. We really did talked a lot, it didn’t feel like we just met. Lol. I honestly don’t remember most of our conversation and we were both enjoying talking to each other. We didn’t notice it was almost 10PM. Awww. I wanted to talk more but it was getting late and I didn’t want my sister to worry about me. I’m glad I got to hangout with Alodia before I head back to Tacloban. I got to know her more. I suddenly remembered that time when she organized a snack event for the crew of Kim Sun Ah’s I Do I Do. I’m so jealous of her for meeting Kim Sun Ah personally. I hope someday I’ll get to meet her too.

I am glad I decided to learn Korean through self study and started this blog. I met a lot of good people here and Alodia is one of them. I hope to meet more people who share the same interest as mine: learning Korean language.

Week at a Glance: Feb. 25 – Mar. 31

Note: This was supposed to be a “My Week at a Glance” type of post with more pictures and less text but it ended up the other way around and being longer than I intended it to be. Nonetheless, I’m still gonna use the title “My Week at a Glance” XD

I was planning to blog about this a few days ago but I was brought to the hospital on Friday night so I couldn’t. My copy of 2012 Big Bang Alive Tour in Seoul DVD arrived on the 25th of February. And now, I’m broke. Haha! But I doesn’t matter. I originally planned to save up first before getting this but I wanted the poster and I didn’t want to ran out. I find it odd that I’m always after the poster and yet I don’t even hang them up on my wall simply because there’s just no space to stick it on. ㅡ_ㅡ;;

I got a text message from someone I know who works at the post office telling me that there’s a huge box waiting for me there. I run an online shop. I sell kpop albums, Korean cosmetics, Korean textbooks etc. for young Filipinos who don’t have credit cards to use on Korean online shops. I’m selling stuff from Korea so I have money to spare for fangirling purposes and I am also paying for my phone bill. 헐.

I had ordered this concert DVD along with 10 copies of BAP’s One Shot album and 20 One Shot posters. One of the albums was supposed to be my copy but I had to give it to a buyer since she wanted to get her hands on the album as soon as possible. It’s okay. My copy will be arriving sometime this week or next week together with 20+ kpop albums. Heavy package, I know. TT__TT I just hope I get my favorite member’s photocard.

I didn’t get to watch the DVD on the day when I got it. I had to pack the other albums so I could ship them the next day. When I finally got around to watching the DVD, I started squealing even before I hit the play button. I was really that excited. I didn’t care if the maids could hear me from the kitchen. Believe it or not, my throat went sore by the end of the concert. I think I’m gonna end up losing my voice when I get to go to a real kpop concert. Well, that is if I don’t faint halfway through it. XD

I squealed for Daesung and Seungri. I screamed a lot for TOP but I screamed the loudest for my baby boy, Taeyang. I hated it when TOP appears on the screen. You gorgeous creature, why are you seducing me? Haha! I have high respect for G-Dragon. Although there are some people who aren’t really fond of him because of his attitude, I don’t care. Just because a person is not as nice and as innocent as a saint doesn’t mean he’s not worthy of any respect. Not everyone can be a great songwriter, composer, producer, rapper like G-Dragon. Hating on G-Dragon won’t make you a better person and it definitely won’t stop him from being the awesome person that he is.

When I say “I like [insertnameofidolhere]”, it’s most likely because he or she is really good at something like dancing, singing, rapping, playing a certain instrument etc. Or they have great fashion sense. Or they’re just simply handsome or beautiful in my eyes. I have never liked an idol for their personality. Why? Because you never really know what kind of personality they have behind the camera. I like idols for their talent, not because they’re nice, cute and adorkable human beings when in fact they’re secretly not even like that in real life.

I got sidetracked there. Sorry. I just needed to get that out of my chest.

Anyway, on the day I was brought to the hospital, I watched the Korean movie called “71: Into the Fire” or “포화 속으로” in Korean. For someone like me who fancies movies that were set during the World War II, I wonder why I didn’t watch this movie sooner. And on the top of that, TOP plays one of the lead roles in the movie! I should have watched this as soon as the English subtitles were released. BUT WHY DIDN’T I WATCH IT? Oh well, it doesn’t matter now. Haha!

71: Into the Fire is now my new favorite Korean movie. Prior to watching it, it was Sunny (2011) that was on top of my list. But everything changed since Friday. TOP or Kwon Sang Woo being in the movie doesn’t have anything to do with why I like this movie so much. Believe it or not, I had my serious face on the entire time I was watching the movie. No fangirling, no spazzing, no squealing. I was so engrossed with the story. I even shed tears at some point. Since this movie was based on an actual story, my thoughts were filled with sympathy for those young untrained student soldiers who died during that time. Can you just imagine your teenage self going to war without any combat experience or knowledge on how to use a gun? In the movie, the 71 student soldiers were left behind to protect Pohang Girl’s school from the North Koreans while the other soldiers went to Nakdong River to battle it out with the North Koreans with the help of US Forces. My hands and feet got sweaty when they were goofing around instead of training. I was like “You guys are in a war, your superiors are in danger in Nakdong River, you guys are gonna die in a while and you still have the nerve to goof around?”

TOP’s character was a wimp during the first half of the movie. Why didn’t you shoot that dude? You could have saved that officer if you had just shoot the guy who was attacking him. But how could you shoot him when you couldn’t even load the bullet inside the gun because your hands were shaking. Ugh! *rolls eyes* Hahaha! Kwon Sang Woo’s character was a jerk who refused to do things according to orders. He did whatever he wanted to do. He never listened to TOP. He shot the North Korean kid who was giving out an impressive patriotic speech while standing on a boulder even though TOP told him not to. He had a fist fight with TOP. Okay, that scene was heartbreaking. They were all losing hope because first, there were only 71 of them and about a thousand of North Koreans were against them. They were severely outnumbered. Second, what do they know about going into battle? Most of them haven’t even experienced firing a gun. Third, serious lack of equipments. I was speechless I could only just shake my head in frustration. Haha!

After watching the movie, I was brought to the hospital because my head started to ache and the pain was almost unbearable. Both of my doctors were out of town (Fantastic. -.-) so we had to look for another doctor. Long story short, I’m okay now. Haha! Don’t wanna get into the details.