Friday marked our second ‘dollar day’ in school. The Dollar day is basically a day of no teaching and just a day of complete fun, movies and food for the kids.
During normal days at school our reward system is dollars, if a student is good in class or has good homework they will get a dollar. If they are bad or forget their homework or their books then they lose dollars. After 3 ish months we have a dollar party where the children get to ‘spend’ their dollars. (I should explain that these are not real dollars just laminated dollars stuck on with Velcro) however the kids LOVE them and they work so well at motivating the kids… and keeping them under control.
As it was Halloween this month it was decided that the dollar day would be a fancy dress party where the teachers HAD to dress up. (Any one that knows me will know this is my favourite thing to do so I had no problems doing this!!) I ordered a monster costume online and was prepared to go as Sully from Monsters Inc…. however my costume never arrived so I had to use the birthday onsie Andy bought me for my birthday and made the most of it going to the party as a panda.
The day passes in a bit of a blur with kids coming and going every hour, counting their dollars, going ‘trick or treating’ to Andy’s class and vice versa and putting on an array of Halloween movies such as Wallace and Grommet: Curse of the ware rabbit and Hotel Transylvania. The day was awesome and the kids loved it not to mention the welcomed break from teaching!
The next day on the Saturday Andy and I headed off to Busan to watch the international fireworks show on Gwangalli Beach with Halloween party afterwards! We booked through the WINK Korea group which is an awesome way to see some sites, meet some new people and not have to worry about arranging hotels and events yourself!
As they were coming from Seoul we decided to meet them there as Geoje is only 1 hour bus ride from Busan. By the time we arrived most of the 70+ people in our group had started drinking meaning we were the sober ones to the party. We checked into the hotel which was literally a 30 second walk to the beach and headed out for some Korean BBQ which was included in the trip. We were able to meet some new people and make friends before the show started.
As this was a Halloween party we ran back to the rooms to get changed before the firework show. I was slightly distraught that the costume I had ordered over a month before had still not arrived however who would have thought that the onsie Andy had bought be for my birthday would be put to such good use!!
We squeezed through the masses of crowded…. and there were thousands!! Just before the show started we were told to sit down. Might not sound strange but when you are in the middle of the main road it was!! To my surprise everyone on both sides of the pavement AND the main road all sat down. Couldn’t help but think that this would NEVER happen back home. During the show if anyone stood up there were shouts from the crowd to sit down!
As the show began my expectations were low and I was not expecting much. However to my surprise the show was incredible. For the best part of an hour we were dazzled by some of the biggest and loudest fireworks I had ever seen. Some being set off from boats, others of the bridge and even some really cool ones that burst into the Korean ‘ying yang’ symbol and even 5 fireworks that went off at the same time to spell out ‘hello’. There were love hearts and one that looked like rain and then what I am assuming were remote-controlled airplanes with lights on them to make them look like birds with a stream of fireworks coming from them. It was truly magical!
After the fireworks finished our group the ‘waygooks’ (Korean for foreigner) soon became the prime attraction. Halloween is not really celebrated here so having 60+ white people walking up the street in all different costumes made quite a stir, Andy and I were stopped for photos on several occasions… I felt like a star!! Haha
The rest of the night was a blur of bars in one of Busans busiest areas and checking out other peoples’ costumes. My favourite had to be the boy dressed as ‘fan death’. (For all those who are not in Korea… Many Koreans believe that if you fall asleep in a closed room with a fan on you will die, and it has been reported and ‘scientifically proven’ on the news!!)
The night was awesome and was an excellent way to blow of some steam (Some more than others… eh Andy?!) We even met the bosses of Tree House randomly in a bar and was cool to have a good laugh with them!! All in all a great weekend was had! If you ever get the chance the Busan Fireworks are a must!!