Hello again

Hello!

I see it has been a year and some change since I have updated this blog. I officially fail as a successful blogger. My apologies.

Here’s an update and news:

The update… I have a weird last year (starting from Oct 2012). I went from a really horrible job which essentially ruined the last months of 2012 to laid off to finding a really great job. I am now the Editor-in-Chief of Latino Leaders Magazine, a great niche publication with amazing potential. I love it.

That being said… I have officially neglected this blog because of the job. I have been to Mexico, Germany, Romania and various cities in USA and didn’t even bother to write about them. I didn’t have the time. It sucks but it’s true.

I am also trying to understand this whole Social Media thing with the new job so I am putting all my energy in doing that.

So… most likely… no more blog. Well, no more blog in this form. Once I get settled, I’m thinking the end of 2013, I will probably be up and running again.

But until then, the Facebook page is still there and constantly updated. So I would just “like” my page to see what I am up to. Also, you can follow me on twitter @LLmag_ChiefSara and Instagram at the same handle — I like to keep it simple. And I am brewing up new things so you will see me pop up here and there.

So thank you for reading and I hope to see you following me elsewhere!

Ciao!

Sara

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Flying again

Monday, I flew for the first time in more than a year. It was only to Charlotte, North Carolina with a layover in Atlanta, Georgia but I found myself nervous. Really nervous. Insanely nervous.

And I didn’t know why.

My suitcases weren’t anywhere near the limit. No immigration check. And I have done layovers almost every flight. I didn’t get it.

And after the T.S.A. (Transportation Security Administration) check, my nervousness got worse.  Why?

Then I found myself thinking about my last flight — the one from Korea.

Now that one had me nervous. Really nervous. Near-panic-attack nervous.

I didn’t even sleep the night before. I was so afraid something was going to go wrong and then I would have to go back to Dongtan and continue teaching.

Once I landed in Washington (after a layover in Japan), I couldn’t get to immigration fast enough. If I passed that last checkpoint, I was golden. It felt like a finish line and that stamp was my prize.

The immigration officer was unamused by my enthusiasm. But he stamped my passport, which lifted all that anxiety off me. The figment chasing me couldn’t get passed immigration.  And that figment was big and ominous. I blame Narita Airport.

I got pulled aside because of my backpack. I couldn’t blame them — with all the various electronics and cords — it probably looked suspicious in that X-ray machine. But the man only scoffed at my Gameboy Color (I was trying to catch them all) before giving my backpack back. But before I could even put it on, another security officer pulled me aside again to ask me a bunch of questions.  I honestly think he was just wondering why I was carrying to empty Coke bottles in my backpack (good think both of my other bags were checked or he would have seen the other 5). It took less than 10 minutes for the whole basically-nothing ordeal, but it cranked my anxiety to super high.

But all of that panicky feeling disappeared in Washington…or so I thought. Three days later, I am still flabbergasted on why I had so much anxiety coming to Charlotte.

Anyhoo, though I am training for a new job, I will have time to sightsee and shoot some of one of the fast-growing U.S. cities. So be prepared!

Ciao!

– Sara

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56th Annual Greek Food Festival of Dallas

During the rainy day of last Saturday, we visited the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church for their annual Greek Food Festival. I’ve never been before, but I wasn’t interested in the food (ok…maybe a little). I wanted to go on the free tour of their church.

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Here’s a view of the beauty in the inside below: Image

For more photos, visit the facebook page!

Outside of the church was, of course, a plethora of Greek food, beverages and a marketplace. Since the rain was mucking up the plans, most people tried to stay in a dry place. But the food was amazing. Unfortunately, I wasn’t extremely hungry when we arrived, so I only got a Greek beer called Fix and “Greek Fries.” The fries were plain jane fries smothered in a great Greek seasoning. But the boyfriend was nice enough for me to try his Loukaniko Sandwhich, a Greek sausage in a Pita. Yay boyfriend!

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Unfortunately the rain kept the dancing away but overall, it was a good way to kill a Saturday.

For more information, visit http://www.greekfestivalofdallas.com/default.asp.

Have a good weekend! And see more pics at my facebook page!

– Sara

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Feed, Meat and Beef

So I have been slacking. I know this, and I am sorry.

In Korea, I figured out a good system with this whole blog thing. Unfortunately, no such system has been discovered Stateside. So bear with me as I figure out it.

A couple Saturdays ago, I tagged along with my sister and brother-in-law to a meat market and feed store I haven’t been to before. They told me that the feed store had alligator jerky (I love alligator but it is hard to find outside of Louisiana) and that the meat market had the best bacon they ever had. I was sold.

So we start toward these places and I find out they are both on the odd street that is Division Street/East Lancaster. This street has one of the weirdest vibes. Time has stunted its growth and what is left is the quirky remnants of a street deemed old 30 years ago. I love driving down that street as we approached the first destination: Handley Feed Store.

My favorite thing about the feed store other than Buffalo and Alligator jerky I purchased (which has beef mixed in, unfortunately) was the ads tacked the seventies wallpaper that wrapped around the cash bar.

Piano lessons? Check

Horse-riding lessons? Check, check, oh and check.

Any livestock you need? Maybe. I was too interested in the old horse for sell.

Not that I want it. Not only do I not have the money, my land is confined to a normal backyard size. And I am pretty sure my neighborhood is not zoned for horses.

Oh and my last trip to the rodeo told me that I am severely allergic to livestock and horses. So there’s that.

The next stop was the County Meat Market, which is exactly that — a meat market in the pocket of pseudo-country en route to Fort Worth from Arlington. I prepared myself — not only for the awesomeness that is local brisket and steaks but for the thing we had to pass to get there.

In between the feed store and the meat market is Rose Hill Memorial Burial Park, an old and prominent cemetery that is famous for one thing — Oswald’s grave.

And I know where it is.

The story of how I came about visiting Lee Harvey Oswald’s grave is long, so I will leave it for another time but I like to brag about knowing its location the two times a year I pass that cemetery.

The cemetery people (not zombies) wont tell you where the grave is located. But a man bought the site right next to Oswald’s and buried no one. He just added a nondescript “Nick Beef” tombstone to help people locate Oswald’s grave. So the theory was you could ask where Nick Beef is buried and find Oswald’s grave. The story is pretty well-known (at least around here) so I don’t think that works anymore. So good luck finding it!

Proof! It’s a very underwhelming tombstone.

Cheers!

– Sara

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Dinosaur Valley State Park (Glen Rose)

For the first day trip on hopefully many, I decided on something easier and slightly food based. We took a detour to a wonderful tiny town (which I talk about in a later post) and got some great kolaches (sausage rolls) before driving toward Glen Rose, Texas to visit Dinosaur Valley State Park.

It rained on and off all day making it a little difficult to shoot photos but stumbling across the scene below made up for the weather.

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Well kind of…

See, once we made it to the Dinosaur Valley State Park, a national park boasting of dinosaur tracks in the Paluxy River bed, it clicked that our trip was going to be a bust.

Instead of dinosaur tracks, we found this:

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Muddy water completely covered anything that would remotely look like the sauropod tracks we were supposed to see, but there was still the two slightly underwhelming but interesting fiberglass dinosaurs at the beginning of the 100+ acres that is Dinosaur Valley.

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The 70-foot Apatosaurus and a 45-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex were built, under commission of the Sinclair Oil Company, for New York World’s Fair Dinosaur Exhibit of 1964 – 1965, according to the park’s website.   As you can see, the T-Rex was injured or something and now needs a crutch. Poor T-Rex. But at least he  has the right head. The Apatosaurus’s head was originally incorrect then changed to a correct head, and it is now back to the original incorrect head. The owner rather have the original incorrect dino than an unoriginal correct version. Odd but I get it.

Anyhoo, the State Park is beautiful with oodles of land to ride horses, hike, camp or wander but it needs to be a dry day to see any of the well-perserved dinosaur tracks.

Admission is $7 a day per adult and free for children.

For more information:

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/dinosaur-valley

To see more photos, visit the facebook page!

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Hello Again!

It was been a great while since I have been on this blog.  I actually was going to let it die…coast into Neverwhere while I enjoy being in Texas. But I have been itching to travel (And my trip to Iceland in May 2013 is soooooo far away) so the boyfriend and I started being tourists in our own state. Why? Because, lets be honest: Texas is intriguing. From my travels abroad, I find that Texas is one of the states everyone can name. And most of these state-guessing individuals have questions about the Lone Star State.  People are curious.

Well be curious no more! I aim to learn more about this humongous chunk of land. South Korea could fit into Texas seven times. Seven! Think of the randomness I can find!

Yay!

– Sara

The number one question non-Texans ask me is “Do you own a gun?” I don’t. But I do own a Demarini.  Does that count?

Teaser to next post:

More photos will be uploaded to the Facebook page today, and I will be back soon!

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So here’s what has been going on…

Hiya!

I know it’s been awhile, a long, long while, but I had to make some changes.

For most of June and July, I was unhappy. Really unhappy. Not sleeping and eating unhappy. I hated my job. I missed people. I felt stagnate and bored.

So….

I left.

I am now in the States, happy as a clam.  Yay!

And now that I am not in Korea working for my hagwon, I can tell y’all some inside info for working as an ESL teacher in Korea.

Be prepared to have a lot of things lost in translation.

It was extremely frustrating to communicate when most of my superiors speak only a fair amount of English. Here’s a good example: My electric bill was taped on my door every month. The first time I saw it, I brought it in. They took it and told me that I didn’t have to bring it in anymore. Then four months later, they told me that I haven’t paid my electric bill and my electricity was almost cut off. This kind of stuff happens all the time to teachers.

I wasn’t allowed to color out of the lines.

There is a methodology you are taught and you HAVE to stick to it if you don’t want to be in trouble. I got in trouble multiple times for being too creative, teaching too well and talking too eloquently.

Don’t get me wrong, the system works well. But it was just too frustrating and disheartening when you get chastised for trying to make things better for a particular class.

I was a little too Wednesday Addams for them. 

I don’t think a week went by without someone telling me to smile more. They seemed to want me to be more buddy buddy with the kids than a teacher (but this might be a translation issue).

Hagwons are known for not being nice to unhappy employees. 

I was going to quit through the proper channels laid out in the contract but I was told that there are horror stories of people getting shafted for doing so. They are immediately fired, treated horribly and/or screwed out of some element of their contract. I don’t know if the particular branch I worked for did this, but I wasn’t willing to find out. My dad even pointed out that they could lock me out of my apartment and take all of my stuff if they wanted to (the apartment was under their name).

So I just left. I didn’t tell anyone. It’s not something I am proud of but I like my stuff.

Anyhoo, so I think this might conclude the blog. I have more stories to tell but now…I am not sure if I want to delve into them right yet. I’m kinda sick of my Asian travels at the moment. I love Korea and I don’t regret going but I would have regretted staying.

Thanks for reading!!!

– Sara

 

 

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