The election has passed, the worst of my cold has (hopefully) passed and most of the week has passed. Some things I’ve been meaning to put in here:

-For what is likely to be the first and only time during my stay in Korea, the Armed Forces Network (the only English-language channel I get) broadcast live election coverage. All day Wednesday, we got live news from ABC, which would have been infinitely cooler had anyone at home been watching Charles and Diane instead of Anderson and holograms. Anyhow, Charles Gibson caught me off-guard at 1 p.m. Korea time (11 p.m. EST and 8 p.m. in California) when he said the polls in the west had closed and Obama had won. I guess I just wasn’t expecting it that quickly? It was all very anti-climactic. Then again, I was alone in my room, not doing much aside from watching the coverage and occasionally Skypeing with people in the States, which is pretty much a 180 from last year, when I watched the wires, ate free food and had my ID badge confiscated by USA Today security. Here’s the Youtube clip of the second-most defining moment of my generation:

-Autumn here is a lot cooler than I thought. I know I already posted about this earlier in the week, but it got even better over the past few days. The colors outside my apartment are loud and vibrant and absolutely gorgeous. I snapped a few pictures during my lunch break today, will put them up this weekend.

-I got a great coat the other day–it’s sleek and black and (channeling Paris Hilton) totally hot. Sixteenish bucks on sale at a clothing store called Bang Bang isn’t a bad deal, but it’s still more than the $2.50 I paid for the sweet plum winter coat from the thrift store above the main train station in Prague. My friend Nick called it a “horse coat” and said it looked like something a rider would wear. Whatever, it’s really cute. We shall discover it’s heat-containing capacities within the next few weeks.

-There are some homeless cats hanging around near my apartment. I think they’re pretty young, and sometimes I can hear them crying, WHICH BREAKS MY HEART. A couple nights ago, Erin, Jeanette and I went on a late-night recon mission to find the kittens, but were unsuccessful. Pro: I haven’t heard them crying in a few days, though I did see one running around earlier. Con: That I haven’t heard them is a pretty good indication that most of them are dead.

-I really need to blog about the food here. That will also be coming soon. I’ve started to venture out and eat things besides made-in-bulk Korean camp food, something my tastebuds and immune system are very appreciative of.

-Still sick, but feeling a lot better than I was last weekend. Now I’m just congested, and I’m not sure if that’s A. because I tend to get sick when I leave the country, B. because I have a tendency to get sick in the fall and stay that way for a few months (2004-mono, 2005-tonsillitis, 2006-no idea because I was too afraid to go to a Czech doctor), C. because of the horrible air pollution here or D. because I work with germy children every day. My friend Mark gave me a huuuuuuge vitamin the other day, which had been given to him by one of the Korean staff. Possibly TMI: when I peed a few hours later, I swear to God it was radioactive. Despite the momentary excitement that comes from such a moment, I think I’m going to stick with my Centrum vitamins.

-Some news organizations have been coming in this week because we had a group of six Russian students here. I ended up getting some camera time today when a journalism group from Siberia came into my cooking class and recorded us making cupcakes. I’m pretty sure I was covered in batter and flour and wearing a dirty apron. Awesome.

-Last night, to celebrate the election being over (and a new America?), about a dozen of the teachers went out for a few hours to Penelope’s, the local pub that seems to be the go-to place for events such as this. Enter the beer, soju and wine. Plus of the night: I was only charged for one glass, even though I ordered two. Woot!

-So those Russians who were here this week? Their teacher speaks excellent English. A few hours ago, I was watching a movie in a friend’s apartment when she just knocked on the door and came right in. She sat down and ended up talking to us for nearly an hour. Oh, and she invited us to come to Vladivostok, a Siberian port city. We exchanged information and are tentatively thinking about going in February or March, when things are slow here at SEV. I’m hoping our trip will be the exact opposite of Transsiberian, which we watched last night.

That about does it for right now. It’s almost 1 a.m. and I have class in eight hours, so bed might be a smart move. I do have some fun ones lined up for tomorrow–I think two cooking classes, a group activity, a class of kindies and then two hours of graduation. I’m still getting called Melamine though, so that sort of blows. Something tells me that I’m not going to be able to shake that nickname until some new Chinese poison scandal rocks Asia.

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