My day in two parts

I love Saturday mornings. They bring a sense of relaxation to my life. I generally spend Saturdays out and doing things, and then Sundays at home mentally preparing for my classes for the rest of the week. 

Part I: Tales from the Subway

Today was manicure day. I generally go every 2-3 weeks. Since the last time I went, we switched from gel to regular polish to let my nails breathe, I was in desperate need of nail care. The polish they put on lasted a week. Then I had to take it off. I was tired of the colour (a green colour that I hated after 3 days) and it was getting all chipped. So I was very excited to be going today to get a nice set of lovely gel nails.

The subway car pulls up in front of me, and I saw her right away. As the doors opened, she was just setting in a massive roller in her bangs. Because obviously the best way to get ready for the day is to get on the subway and then deal with your beauty routine. I sat beside her since there were a few spaces open, even though I was only going 8 minutes away. She proceeded to do a full face of makeup while sitting there. I’m not sure where she was going but she was going to look all done by the time she got there – as long as she remembered to take the roller out of her hair.

Coming home, the most entertainment I had was an old man starring the tattoo on my foot and scowling. Tattoos are still technically illegal in Korean but I’m not Korean so “it’s ok”. But it still rubs some people the wrong way, and I get a lot of attention because of them. Or at least the ones people can see.

Part II: The manicure

I can’t tell you how much I love my manicurist. She’s so nice and funny. And it’s great that she can speak English so well. Today while we were talking, she was playing Bruno Mars songs on her phone (since we both love him) and she stops what she is doing to flick through her phone for a minute. Then she shows me a video of her 18 month old son dancing to Uptown funk and it is the cutest thing ever!! He’s bobbing on his jelly legs like little babies do, and popping his head back and forth, sticking out his tongue – goodness it was adorable!

I wanted something a little different today and brought in this picture on my phone to see if she could do it (I knew she probably could since her nails always have the most intricate designs on them)

#nail #nails #nailart:

She said “oh sure no problem”, and set off to gather her gel polish colour charts for us to look at. She took a picture of it with her phone and pulled a few colours for us to try once we got to the painting stage.

And hour later, I walked away with this:

She was able to match the colours almost identically, if not perfectly. They are sooo cute! I’m so happy! But when I left, she made sure to give me a big hug because apparently this is her last day at the booth. She is moving to Canada with her husband and son in June so she’s finishing work this month. I’m so sad!! Not only does she get to be in Canada (I’m having a small round of homesickness this week) but she won’t be around to do my nails anymore. She had all the other ladies saying hello in English to me today and she’s introduced me to a few of the girls who can speak a little English. She also didn’t charge me any extra for the detailed work!! It’s normally 25,000 just for gel, plus an extra 5,000 for a second colour. So all I paid today was 30,000! She is so sweet. I will miss her so much, and envy her living in Canada


14 thoughts on “My day in two parts

  1. So do you live in Korea? Also, I’ve only gotten a manicure once in my life. I don’t even know what the gel polish is. But it sounds like you had a lovely time and your nails look great!


    • I do live in Korea! At least until the end of November and then I’ll have to see where life sends me. Right now I’m hoping back to Canada, but I’m in a bit of a homesickness bubble….

      Gel polish is this polish that doesn’t chip. You have to set it under a UV or an LED light, it takes like 30 seconds to set. It’s amazing!! And since its like shellac, your nails are stronger with it on. Except it does cause your natural nail to thin a little bit the girl who does my nails says every 3-4 times to just get regular polish. I love my nails!! Whenever I live in Korea (this is my second time) I find myself being more “girly” and stylish than I am back in Canada haha – designer products, manicures, wearing lipstick…it’s very strange

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s interesting, maybe because that’s the cultural norm there? I don’t know, I’ve never been. I just bought makeup yesterday for the first time since high school… I never really learned the girly stuff because my mom didn’t do it, but now I feel like I’d like to know how to do my hair or wear makeup or get my nails done. Baby steps!

        Liked by 1 person

        • It most definitely is the cultural norm here 🙂 Even wearing glasses makes me stand out. I’ll take them off to clean them and I get a chorus of “ooo soo beautiful!” haha! I was kind of the same, never really got into makeup or hair until after highschool. Thankfully there is youtube!

          Liked by 2 people

  2. How did you find this job? To go overseas and teach? Do you teach English? Also, tattoos are forbidden in Korea? I had no idea. I have 4, but only one can be seen and that’s if I’m wearing open shoes or sandals. What a suck ass rule. Hope you’re able to find an English speaking buddy when this one leaves for Canada.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I used the same recruiter from when I first came over. I applied right after university for a nanny on in Bermuda (random I know!) but I didn’t have my ECE so the company said “hey we’re having info sessions in Toronto for teaching in Korea, why not come to that?” So I did. It wasn’t an info session, it was basically an interview, I left and without them asking if I wanted to apply I was told to email/fax them all these documents. I went home kind of put off since I never actually agreed to anything but then decided to pursue it 🙂 I trust their placements (even if they annoy the happiness right out of me!) so I used them again. And I’m in contact with them again looking for a job in Canada. I already regret it but if it means a good job when I return then so be it. lol

      Tattoos are a weird subject. So many foreigners have them, and a lot of Koreans do to (although they hide them) and Korean tattoo shops do exist in like “the black market” or “underground” but still they are technically illegal. Think of it as like the 1950’s: people will HAD tattoos, but they were very much taboo and on the outside of society’s expectations lol

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes to both. I’m teaching English here in Korea (2nd time doing that) and I’m licensed to teach K-6 in Canada, with specializations started in Special Education and Kindergarten. But after spending 2 years in the education field in Canada after teacher’s college I hated it. I hated teaching, I hated the way that it made me feel, the system, the expectations, my life. I was in a dark place, so I came back to where I was last happy which was here! 🙂 There are SOOOOO many recruiters to teach overseas! The education website for Canada has a whole list of them

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hmmm I wonder if there are recruiters in the US? Do you make a living wage teaching English? I don’t know if I want to be in Asia or the Middle East, so I want to attempt to teach, teach in the UK. I would totally teach English if I wanted to be where the need is.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I make a living wage in Korea lol. Most contracts cover your apartment, so I only have to pay utilities, cell phone and internet. If you live in an actual apartment building, sometimes the internet is free! But I had to have it installed special haha. And utilities are really cheap! I paid like $240 at the end of January for one bill and haven’t recieved another one yet! 3 in a row haven’t come….after the first my school called the company and they said I hadn’t used enough to be billed. So I’m just waiting for that one lol, and the other one I’ve paid anywhere between $7-$13 each month. I make basically minimum wage (something like $12-13 an hour) but with such low expenses it’s all good. I send around $1000 home every month to put into my bills and savings in Canada. 🙂 If you wanted to email me ( I can send you some of the links I have saved for overseas teaching? I have a lot lol

          Liked by 2 people

      • What if you have a degree but it is not on education and you are not certified? I have an English degree. Writing, not teaching. Do you have to be certified to teach? What am I doing? I could never be brave enough to go halfway across the world all alone.

        Liked by 2 people

        • All you need is a bachelor’s degree. My first degree was in politics and religion – it had NOTHING to do with teaching. Some schools will offer a small premium (like an extra $200 per month) if you have your teaching degree but I didn’t get offered that this time. Teaching wages are pretty standardized now here for foreigners. And you never know! I didn’t think I was brave enough the first time either

          Liked by 2 people

            • Lots of different agencies, I used a recruitment agency based out of Halifax, they are super annoying like they won’t just email information they need to call you…long distance…GAH! lol but they have a good business rating. If I wasn’t using them, I’d use Dave’s ELS Cafe. You pick your own jobs that way.


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