Amritsar

After experiencing the intense poverty of Varanasi, my next stop was Amritsar. A city in the state of Punjab. Amritsar had proper roads, traffic lights, shops, and less people. It was a lovely city that was clean, and less hectic.

On our first day Grace and I went to a silly temple which reminded me of the fun house from Greece. There were tunnels, mirrored walls, animal faces to walk though, and even a random room of water we needed to cross. It was like a never ending maze. After the temple we went to the Pakistan boarder to watch the changing of guards ceremony. It was quite comical as the guards were unnaturally tall, and unnaturally flexible. High kicks, silly marching, and flexing of the muscles. It was quite a performance!

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The next day we went on a walking tour of the city. A local man showed us some really beautiful buildings that you wouldn’t expect to find in India, and taught us a lot about the history and areas we were seeing.

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At night time we went to the golden temple. This is a very famous temple for Sikh (seek) people. You are able to sleep and eat at the temple for free as it runs on donations. I didn’t eat there as I was feeling sick, but Grace and the hostel troops dug in. It was surprisingly very orderly. People sat in rows and were given food and water until their hearts desired. And once finished everyone cleared out and gave their dishes away to be washed. It was amazing how many volunteers were peeling veggies, dishing food, washing dishes etc. The temple feeds tens of thousands of people each day.

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We also visited the temple during the day.

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On our last night Grace and I sorted a train to take us to New Delhi. As the train pulled up, people were jumping into windows and through door ways whilst it was still moving. Me and grace looked at each other and questioned if the train would stop. Thankfully it did! Oh yea did I say we booked a sleeper class carriage? It was similar to a jail on wheels. We walked in and climbed to our top bunks quite quickly as an unimpressed Indian family glared at us (they were sleeping below). I stared and watch the men creepily walk past from my bunk. Once my rape watch was over I was asleep for most of the ride. 350 rupees and 8 hours later we made it to our new destination, New Delhi.

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My first stop, Varanasi.

After four plane rides, two airport massage lounges, and one airport sleepover, I have made it to Varanasi. Landing in at 35 degrees in almost 100% humidity, I finally made it.

Ive seen poverty, chaotic traffic, and beggars all before, but let’s just say that India is on a whole other scale. I don’t really know what to think about the start of this crazy adventure. A million things keep rushing through my mind when I sit and take in my surroundings. You sort of need to see it for yourself to understand and comprehend the reality these people live by day to day.

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I’ve seen burning bodies, naked children, have been asked for sex, and that’s not even the beginning. It’s full on. Next stop, Amritsar.

The last six weeks of my life, and India.

The last six weeks have been pretty hectic for me, hence why I haven’t blogged recently. My mum came to visit, my grandparents and cousin came to visit, and while all of that was happening i had 32 school reports to do.

It was so nice spending time with my family. Seeing a familiar face, being able to hear more of the kiwi accent, and showing off my new home city. Mum was here for 3 weeks. And as soon as she left my grandparents and cousin arrived. I took each of them to my school (my kids adored my family!). As well as show them a little around the area. I find that their isn’t a lot to do or that I haven’t explored enough, so I probably wasn’t the best person to get a tour from. I will have to upload photos later because right now I am on a plane to India!

I can officially say that I have completed my very first semester of teaching. That was a whole 21 weeks worth! In New Zealand the school terms are only 10 weeks. I am so exhausted, mentally and physically. However, I have learnt so much, and have such a passion for my job. I could not imagine myself doing anything else. Being able to watch children progress and succeed through my help is such an epic feeling. I really, really, really love my job. It was a hard but easy decision to make when I was offered my position, and I am so fortunate to have been given such an awesome opportunity. Not many people can say that they worked at a top elementary school in Korea. I’m not sure how long I will be here for. I have been asked to think about it over the break. Everyday my mind changes. Living here and doing my own thing, having awesome friends, and an awesome job is highly appealing. But then there are my friends, family, and guy I really want to be with back in New Zealand. Eating some real cheese would be nice too. I don’t know. All I know is that I want to be happy.

I went to carribean bay a few days ago. It was a super fun waterpark. While I was there I went on the scariest slide that I never thought I could possibly go on. Imagine, a capsule standing upright, water flowing, and a count down of 3,2,1,0 and the floor drops below you. With the addition of a 360 degree loop, and 7 seconds later it was over. Though I should probably tell you that the first time I got to the capsule I freaked out and left. My fear got the better of me. I did it eventually and am so glad I did. Go onto youtube and search for aqua loop carribean bay.

I am on summer vacation now. 3 weeks of pure adventure in India with Grace. It’s going to be crazy. Culture, culture, culture.

Well that’s it. My last six weeks in a tiny nutshell and a new adventure to follow.

14 weeks in Seoul!

It has been 14 weeks now, cray to the z!  My week has been super chilled out. Something I definitely needed as I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed out about life again.

DSC02812Last weekend I did a cloud bridge hike, green tea picking, a temple stay, and went on a cable car. I chose the same tour company I went with last time, Adventure Korea. It was another great getaway from the city of Seoul (I will make a blog post about it soon). I really enjoy doing temple stays. It is peaceful, spiritual, and super interesting to learn about Buddhism.

I had two days off this week. Wednesday was election day, and Friday was memorial day. On one of those days off me and my friends decided to check out a dog cafe. It was the weirdest experience I have had in Korea so far. I would never go back to one.

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Lets hope next week brings more excitement! My mum arrives on Friday, woohoo.

Jade

xx

I have been in Seoul for 3 months!

We can officially say that we are half way through the year! Man it feels just like yesterday that it was New Years Eve. Days, months and years go by so damn fast. It is so crazy to think  that I am 23 years old. That is like a quarter of my life gone! I have so much to do, so much to see, and so much to explore.

The last week has been really hot, hitting around the 30s. When I walk from the subway to school I sweat like an oven roasted slab of meat. When I go to the gym it is even worst as there is no aircon! Walking around my apartment with barely any clothes on seems to be the only logical solution right now.

And so my week went like this…

I am absolutely terrified of snakes and unfortunately there is one on my grade level. I thought that I better man up and live life on the edge. Here I am holding Alex the snake! Oh yea and here is another class pet. A huge giant snail, ew.

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My 12th week in Seoul!

Boy oh boy is it getting hot in Korea. Apparently this is just the beginning….ahhh shyte! I have caved and started using aircon at home as my little shoebox of an apartment is just getting too damn hot. But yay for the aircon finally being turned on at school. The government controls when schools can use the aircon and heating system so the kids and I were very relieved when we were able to switch it on. It is pretty awesome how I get two summers in a year, and then another one at the end of the year!

So the last seven days of my life went like this. At the end of last week, 2-1 did another science experiment. I am trying to make it as practical and as fun as I can, the kids are loving it. Our question was ‘Can I blow up a balloon without using my mouth or a pump?’. We filled a balloon with baking soda, and we filled a drink bottle with vinegar (not stressful at all to do with 7 year olds). Here are a couple of pictures of our end results.

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My 11th week in Seoul!

Its that time of the week again where I sit down and write what I have done in the last seven days of my life. This is going to be awesome to look back on I reckon. Well I am officially half way through my first school semester…jeepers! So this is what it feels like to live in the real world, have a job, be independent. Mhmm its kind of cool, but also routines are boring. Teaching is one of those jobs where everyday is a different day, so the routine of it all is not too bad. There could be a lot worse!

My weekend started off with a broken washing machine. I have a samsung frontloader which normally functions fine. It wasn’t until Saturday that the water was not draining out. My first thought was…omg how am i suppose to get my sheets out of here, they are stuck!! The machine would not allow the door to open at all since it was sensing water still in there. I managed to drain the water by twisting some weird tap thing. I pretty much flooded my whole bathroom and I was able to open the machine door, yahee! However, my second load of washing did the exact same thing! Luckily my dads a plumber, so I facetimed him and explained the situation hoping he could somehow help me….and that is what he did. He advised me to pull the filter out (the thing i twisted to drain the water out) as there could be something stuck in it. So there I was draining out all the water again. Instead of twisting it back into place I pulled the whole filter out. There it was, three coins and a hair clip. Thanks dad, you are awesome. I now have a working washing machine again. I am thinking that online plumbing could be a real trade!

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My tenth week in Seoul!

I think reality has set in. I am in South Korea. It is almost half way through the year. And the feeling of exhaustion, homesickness, and tears are kicking in. Ten weeks are down, damn. I have just got back from a six day break and after the way I am feeling right now, I think I would of rather not have had one.

photo1On my second day of the break, Friday (nothing probably happened the first day) I went on an adventure up a little mountain with Steph and Lauren. There I was sporting my cute as exercise pants and a tank top. That was until an adjumma (older korean lady) started pointing and yelling something in Korean about my shoulders being exposed. Mhmm yea my bad. I forgot that it is okay to have your ass hanging out, but not your shoulders. Anyways, the walk was really nice. A cat was even at the very top ready to greet us. It was sort of like a wtf moment…a cat at the top of a mountain. Uhhhh kay? Later that night we had a surprise birthday party for Luke.

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Eight truths about me in 2014.

Below I have written eight truths about me, myself, and I. I am not perfect, and I am definitely not striving for perfection. I recognise that some of these things can easily be changed, and are the results of my own doings. However, this is me in a nutshell for the year 2014.

  1. I am not sure what I want in life. Does anybody know what they truly want in life? Live for today, and not for yesterday or tomorrow. All I know is that I am happy right now. Sure I want to get married, have a family, and be successful. But if we know and plan what we want, will we ever be truly content and satisfied? A lot can change in a day, a week, a month, and a year. I never dreamed once that teaching in Korea was going to be apart of my life. Occupying your energy on the future is wasting energy on what you could be doing right now. Live like today is your last, and stop worrying about something unseeable.
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My South Korean Bucket list!

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Below you will find all the weird, crazy, and sane things I want to do this year in Korea. It is in no specific order and I may constantly be adding to it as the year goes on.

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