Giggity Giggity

I’ve promised my friend Anna that I will write a blog post everyday for November, annnnnd it’s already November 3. Catch up time!

November 1

November 1st marked the day of my first real, proper, grungy, smokey, rock gig in a pub. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not cut out for this rock thing. I listen to classical music more often than not, I don’t particularly like sex or drugs, I wear flippy skirts and I like pink gel pens. Today I’m wearing a black pleather jacket and I’m concerned that I’ve over done the cool factor.

Nevertheless, when the lead singer asked if I would join the band as a pianist and female vocalist I jumped at the opportunity. The one time I had seen Malarkey perform I had the best night of my South Korean life. The crowd loved them, the band loved the crowd, and the covers they did were well chosen and fun. Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of that?

After a brief foray on the bass, I was finally back on the keys and knew what I was doing. I was so pumped for this gig. Practice and sound check went well and we booked out a motel room (jacuzzi with waterfall tap included) to get into costume. Costume. That’s right. This was Halloween. We had decided months ago that we were to go in drag. We had Lana from Archer; a female Mudkip; a man with a snake in his bra; a not-quite-spice-girl/not-quite-royal wearing the aforementioned pleather jacket; and my favourite, a bloodied up Beatrix Kiddo. I went as a punk rocker; faux-hawk, scary eye makeup, chest hair, bra-less man boobs, and stubble included. I looked decidedly feminine but overall it was effective!


I’m still on a high from the gig. Whilst I was a bundle of nerves during my first vocal solo, and the sustain pedal got stuck on sustain, once that was over I picked up and I really enjoyed the night. I love being in this band and who knows? Maybe I will finally embrace the inner rock goddess that desperately wants me to let go.

November 2

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so CLOSE. Going from a Saturday filled with high energy performances to a Sunday filled with directing high energy performances was a poor choice. And yet, it is the life I have chosen and the life I love. The day started beautifully. A sunny brunch, followed by enthusiastic practices and a script writing session until the late afternoon.  “Late afternoon” was the problem. By the time I had finished I was shaking from caffeine intake and hangry. I snapped at a friend, she pulled me up on it… the water works started. I am not a crier. This was weird. I was overtired. Everything is good justt… stressful.

Standing there in the bus terminal, crying like I’d just lost my love interest in a K-drama, we made our way to a cafe where my friend worked her magic and convinced the cafe to make my favourite drink, a minty hot chocolate! Coupled with a vent, cinnamon sugar pretzels and hugs it wasn’t long before I was feeling a lot lighter.

In the end the tears were worthwhile. I came home tired but determined to get myself on track and I’m going to be taking extra special care of myself this month to prevent another wet-eyed attack even though my to-do list looks like it was written by Obama on speed.

I’m super pumped about this blogging challenge. A lot is going to happen this month and I think it will be healthy and fun to write about it. I also want to reflect on the year that was, considering that I am now entering my 12th month in Korea. My next post will be titled “Luncheon in Suncheon”, something that I promised a friend I would write a looonnnng time ago.


A Summer to Remember

First an explanation: After a not so brief encounter with cyber stalking (for lack of a better term) I decided to take a step back from publicly detailing my life. I didn’t abandon social networks but I did decide to put the blog on hiatus for a while and kept in touch with only a few people. Now that ties have been cut as extensively as possible with said stalker, for a couple of months, I’m feeling nervous, yet comfortable enough to continue the tale of my marvelous life here in Korea.

It was spring time when I last wrote, and now summer – my first summer in 18 months – has come and gone. My poor skin didn’t know how to handle the pressure and left me sun-ripened for a couple of weeks after climbing Halla-san, South Korea’s tallest mountain, and lazing  about on Jeju island:

I also made my (assistant) directorial debut for the farce “Rumors!” by Neil Simon, which turned out to be a fantastic success and learning experience. Furthermore I wrote and conducted my own arrangement of “geek” songs, after a commission from the council of Alleycon 2014, a western style comic convention in Gwangju:

Gwangju, as I’m sure you have noticed has become my second home in Korea and I’m happy to announce that I will be moving there in just 7 weeks. 99% of my friends live in Gwangju and my “second job”, managing a choir/performing arts organisation, is centred there. Whilst working full-time next year I will also be studying a Master of Applied Linguistics online, with a part in literature, so that I can eventually come back to study Science and English education. After the stress of the last few months defined goals for my career, savings, and life in Korea have done wonders for my health, mentally and physically.

I won’t write anymore today. I just wanted to get back into the swing of it. My friend Anna and I are intending to blog once a day in November for the blogging version of nanowrimo (na-no-blog-mo). I’m sure I will have lots to write as my latest project is directing a cabaret and dessert night to be held at the end of November. I don’t have to time to pause and that’s just how I like it!

Oh yeah. I’m also in a rock band and was in a k-pop contest winning team. lol.

Rumors and K-pop contest photo credit to R. Kojic; choir to L. Crone

Adventures in Choral Gwangju

Those of you who know me well, know that it doesn’t take long  for me to find a project, or five, related to the arts. So it was, that I found myself becoming a “Player” (committee member) of the Gwangju Performance Project and starting a choir under that umbrella with a girl Caitlin, who has become a dear friend. This all happened rather fast, I had been planning to start a choir once play rehearsals were up and running, yet after Caitlin posted on Facebook asking whether a choir existed, I knew I had to get the ball running fast.

Approximately a month ago we had our first rehearsal. I’d planned a bunch of fun, easy pieces to get our new members excited and ready to create the relaxed Saturday afternoon activity we wanted. Of course, this is Korea. “Easing into it” is not a well known concept.

It didn’t start well. Stepping into a taxi I slipped and sprained my ankle worse than I had since my dancing days, and I ended up being late for the rehearsal! About 5 minutes after I finally arrived, Dr Shin of the Gwangju International Center walked in holding an ominous looking score. He asked us whether we would be interested in performing with the Hoshin Choir (a semi-professional choir in Gwangju) for the May Concert. My face fell; everyone else’s lit up. I was terrified; they were excited. Dr Shin gave me a 35 page score of Korean patriotic songs I had never heard and told me to conduct. I… stumbled through it. For a month we practiced these pieces, not really knowing if we were doing the right thing because we wouldn’t meet the Hoshin conductor until about a week before the concert.

I became an invigorated, stressed out, sleepless being. I was determined that we would get these pieces down. Terrified that we would fail; confident that we wouldn’t.

A week before the concert we discovered that we were to sing almost the entire score in Korean rather than the provided translation! I was also told that I was to sing the opening solo – in Korean!

After a month of pushing these poor choristers to their limits, the concert day arrived. It was an incredible event. A host of classically trained musicians performed throughout the evening and we were to close the concert. I must say, I’m not sure I’ve ever been prouder of myself or others. If anyone would like to see a video of the performance, just send me a message and I’ll send it along.

On Friday, for the first time in a month, I managed to clean, hang out the laundry, wash the dishes and prepare a meal at home. I was even able to test my ankle out with a short jog after work. I’ve been going non-stop. Even on my recent holiday to the East Coast of Korea, I had itchy feet and felt the need to keep moving. It may sound tiresome to some, and it is, but I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.

I’m starting to think I’ve landed on my feet.

It's all a farce.

It’s all a farce.

Korean Ferry Disaster

To the people of South Korea,

I am writing this using the most personal and public medium I know.

I am a bystander to your grief. I see your tears at the bus terminal; your shock as more negligence unfolds. I cannot tell you that it’s alright, because it isn’t. I cannot promise that everything will get better with time, because I’m not convinced of the translation.

For the most fleeting of moments, I am living in your country. I am teaching your children. Children who bring laughter to my day. Children who went on field trips last week, and are now home and back to the daily grind of exam preparation, solemnly aware of their good fortune.

Last night, in Gwangju, I had dinner with a large group of expatriates. We were celebrating the success of an event we had organised; attempting, in part, to bridge the gap between the Korean and Foreign community through a mutual love of the arts. We were high on success and relief. Yet with time, we began to take advantage of the present company, discussing the tragedy that has befallen this nation. Many, myself included, were hesitant to take part in the conversation – unsure of anything useful to say. However, sometimes vocalising your grief, your confusion, even your anger, or your blind hope for a miracle, is use enough.

And so it is, that I write to you. Hoping to express my condolences to the loved ones of the deceased or missing; passing on the words that were once passed to me:

All is well
by Canon H. Scott Holland

Death is just an open door,

I have only slipped away
into the next room

I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.

Put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Let my home be ever the household word
that it always was,
let it be spoken without effect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
Safe and Secure,

All is well.

May you find comfort and strength in this dark time. 

Happiness Tip: Face backwards the first time you ski!

Just a quick note: Sorry that I am late posting this. Having just completed my first week of teaching elementary students on top of my regular classes – around 6 hours extra teaching time – writing home was the last thing on my mind. This has meant that for over a week the first post you see on this website has been a fairly depressing, brutally honest piece about the trials of living in a new country, so foreign to your own. By the end of today’s post if I haven’t made you smile, I give you full permission to force a grin on my face – Joker style. And so: 


I was a scientist these past few years – I research any new project so thoroughly that every moment feels like déjà vu.


I was a scientist these past few years – I read everything objectively and with a grain of salt.

When I first started learning about coming to South Korea, as an ESL teacher, I inevitably found my way to websites and blogs that were far from positive. After reading some of these accounts I couldn’t help but wonder if it was all a scam; that I would get to Incheon airport, be thrown into a black car and sold to a very strange man with a fetish for slightly odd looking, mildly voluptuous, messy haired, 174cm, blue eyed, Caucasian women. It was a very small worry, given that the previous foreign teacher had added me on Facebook and was definitely short.

No, I am not usually this paranoid.

(That last sentence was probably a lie.)

Thankfully, my paranoia has so far proven unwarranted, and I was right to ignore the mindless drivel of cyber pessimism.

Over the New Year’s break I had the good fortune to be invited to attend a company workshop at Muju Ski Resort. When I first heard the term “Company Workshop” I was terrified. It sounded like I was about to spend the New Year sitting in a room, trying to concentrate on lectures whilst staring longingly out my window as skiers rushed past. How wrong I was! “Company workshop” was actually code for let’s go skiing together, eat amazing food and drink copious amounts of soju! I had a marvelous time and had a chance to build my relationships with my co-workers.

(I’m starting to feel that “copious amounts” is a redundant term when it comes to soju.)

On the other hand, I am less convinced of my relationship with skis. I think it is more likely skiing resorts that I am unsure of.  I just don’t really understand the appeal of repeating a carnival ride over and over again, and that is exactly what I felt I was doing:

Step 1: Waddle over to the chair lift.

Step 2: Sit in the chair lift

Step 3:  Admire the view (skip this if it is your 10th time (or 2nd) and just close your eyes to escape the glare)

Step 4: Ski down the slope

Step 5: Repeat

For me, skiing was maddeningly monotonous. I’d much rather go hiking.

Yet have no fear, my rant ends here! There was plenty of hilarity to break up the monotony.

As this was my first time skiing, I was sure that I was going to fall over countless times. In the end, I really should have had more faith in myself. Twenty years of dance training should not be discounted; I proudly stayed on my feet.

This is not to say that I was graceful off the slopes – my clumsiness outside of sport is unrivalled! The first time I went up the slope a coworker tried to pass me my phone and I slipped. Not a “slip and quickly gain balance” kind of slip, oh no, I slipped all the way down the slope…


Somehow, I stayed on my feet until the very end when I finally stopped screaming and realized that I had no idea how to stop! I was forced to skid onto my side to break. People came rushing towards me checking that I was okay; mistaking my maniacal laughter for a cry of pain.

Skiing backwards; watching our instructor try to have a conversation with us until he skied into a fence; watching a male friend ski straight into the gap of a woman’s legs, locked in a never ending hug down the slope; those are the moments I will treasure… not the wish washy, upy downy, time wasty nonsense, that was going up and down a hill for eight hours.

I’m glad that I got to do something with the company so soon after the norebang nightmare. It meant that I went in prepared for the worst, and was pleasantly surprised when, most of the time, I was free to be myself and speak my mind (politely of course).

Rest stop Muju

Not a bad place to take a rest

The Day Karaoke Made Me Cry

I knew it would happen eventually. That I would have “that moment” when everything became too strange. When the honeymoon was over.

It happened within the same amount of time when I was in China. I was in a city just outside Zhangjiajie National Park. It was an odd town to be situated so rural. There were high rise buildings and department stores, pubs and clubs, … and dog meat markets. That was the moment for me. When I turned a corner and all of a sudden I was thrown out of a city and into  something completely the opposite. The market was dirty, dogs were split in half hanging from metal frameworks, the stall owners had metal bins next to them containing the contents of their spitting addiction. It was too much.

It was fascinating.

It was too much. I walked back to the hostel. Sat down and chatted online at length to a friend who I knew would laugh it off and tell me to buck up. The next day I went on a two day hike and let off steam. It was fairly easy to get over. Nothing had happened to me, I’d simply overwhelmed my senses.

Zhangjiajie peaks

The beautiful sandstone pillars of Zhangjiajie National Park

My Korean culture shock moment was quite different. To start with I wasn’t expecting it to happen on my birthday. My birthday is usually one of the most delightfully uneventful days of the year; smack in the middle of the festive season, no one, not even I, can be bothered celebrating on the 28th of December. Yet there I was, celebrating the end of the year with my company. The dinner was delightful. I had a wonderful time, and I was looking forward to discovering the appeal behind booking out an entire norebang (singing room – aka karaoke house) for the next chapter of the night. It turns out,  norebangs and I don’t really suit each other. Especially when everyone around me is too drunk too speak English or even Korean slowly and clearly. Especially when every song is in Korean with a bad 80’s backing track. Especially when it lasts for more than 4 hours.

4 hours.

That was my limit. One of my coworkers asked if I was tired and well… I couldn’t help it… I started to sob. I tried to explain that no, I wasn’t tired, I was overwhelmed. That I was in shock. That my senses couldn’t handle it anymore. The smell of spilled soju and dried fish; the sound of the Korean language and flat vocals;  the touch of the tambourine against my hand over and over again to a never wavering beat; the sight of flashing blue lights and semi-naked women on the teleprompter; the taste of the air in such a smoke filled room. It was all just too much. I gained permission from the CEO to leave, and ran home. Before I even made it to my apartment the tears were flowing uncontrollably.

I felt like a failure, but I wasn’t worrying about that. I needed to hear English. Preferably a strong Australian accent. So naturally, I turned to the Hilltop Hoods. I blasted them so loudly that I probably gave the Korean’s culture shock. I let out my frustration, yet I couldn’t stay the tears.  Luckily, a close friend of mine was online:

H: I’m feeling massive culture shock tonight.

J: Why? How do they celebrate birthdays in Korea? Do they feed you live octopus and make you dance Gangnam Style? Do they make you play scrabble blindfolded? Do they play Starcraft with your name as a player character name? … Do they make you drink so much you pass out, and then they take a photo of you and put it on the internet?

H: I had to go to the company (the large company that owns the school) end of year party. Everything was great until we went to karaoke. I was fine for the first round of singing, but they started all over again because someone had passed out for the first round… yeah… that much drinking is involved at these things. Everything was in Korean. All the sounds were in Korean! For hours!!! I freaked out a bit. They could tell I was “tired” so I tried to explain… The big boss let me go… you can’t go without his permission. Partying is part of the job. Now I’m at home crying and listening to terrible English music.

J: What do you mean all the sounds were in Korean?

H: Music, conversation, etc.

J: Oh wow, that would be a culture shock.

H: All the tunes sounded like bad eighties hits because of the karaoke backing music.

J: That sounds like a nightmare I had a few nights ago.

H: What happened?

J: I was DJing and all I had were bad 70s/80s hits. Everyone got angry and asked me to play better music but someone had deleted all of my good music and replaced it with ludicrously bad music I’d never heard of before. I just kept on DJing hoping that a song I’d never heard would be ok. It never was. I got booed out of the club and my reputation was left in tatters.

H: That’s exactly what it was like…. for hours. I’m pretty sure we started at around 7pm… and I left at 11pm.

J: You sat through that for 4 hours?

H: Yes I did! To make it worse, there were tambourines and bongos!

J: You’re amazing.

H: Thank you. Yes I am.

J: Even those Guantanamo Bay prisoners caved after 3 hours.

H: I should be a spy.

J: “Sir, it’s been 4 hours. We’ve played 내 인형을 사랑합니다 on repeat and she’s still not broken.” “She is not human.” “She must be…..SUPER HUMAN” DUN DUN DUUUUUN <Cue heroic music>

H: I just made the Superman arms.

I laughed for about 10 minutes. I was definitely in hysterics.

I was made aware of a group of friends out playing “screen golf” for the night. I whacked that ball so hard. I laughed. I chatted. I watched the soccer. Just for a little while I was able to forget that the place I was in was new, exciting and foreign. I let go. I got home at 5am having had one of the most memorable of birthdays, feeling better than I had in days.


Whacking balls at a screen creates infinite happiness

I feel so exposed and vulnerable having written this post.

I’ve admitted that I’m not a constant force of optimism;  that I’m not always a party animal; that sometimes, I crave the familiar; that sometimes, adventure is the last thing I need to be happy.

I’ve admitted that I’m human, and that sometimes, just for a moment, humanity is too much to bear.

I think they’re starting to get used to my presence

My last class on a Monday night is a debate class, and as the topic of tonight’s debate was internet anonymity, I thought it was perfect timing to pen a new post on my rather conspicuously un-anonymous (nonymous?) blog.

I really love this class, it is one of three “special” classes that I have each week. The aim of these classes is to get the students speaking, rather than simply saying strings of words out loud like they often do when working from conventional textbooks. These classes really seem to build students’ confidence and furthermore, it allows me to focus on the students’ individual needs far more rigorously, as I only have a maximum of four students in each class. Not that my regular classes are huge either. The school is a so called “hagwon” – a private school that holds classes after public school is over for the day – and as such I think the largest class has nine students. Overall, I have a bit less than 100 students, out of 180 at the entire academy.

My students work hard! Their life is study. My hours are a blissful 2-10 pm and some of the students are at the academy from 4 pm until long after I leave. My heart took a leap of joy when the Head of the English Department divulged to me that “new research” shows that it is important that students take a more active role in the classroom. I’ve since spent the last week coming up with a detailed lesson plan for next year involving a different warm up game each class and far more partner work. They have also asked me to take on special reading classes in the new year and are encouraging me to get creative. We have a great textbook to work through, but we also want to get the students reading current articles and maybe even a novel. Yes, the students really are that good.

Craft supplies ahoy!

One of the extra activities I’ve had the chance to run – Christmas Cards!

I can easily hold a short conversation with most of the students, although most of the time it ends at their answer to “How are you?”. This isn’t just because most of these conversations occur on the devastatingly cold stairwell, held at sprint speed. No, it is more to do with the shock the students seem to have that I ask this question every time I see them (and my shock at their shock). To my students, this is a real question, and they want to take the time to answer it truthfully. This usually means I get “so, so” as the initial answer. When I ask why, it is often due to exams or disagreeable weather patterns. I’m not sure whether this is pessimism or realism on the students behalf. I like to think it’s realism. They aren’t telling me things are just plain “bad” and I feel that if I was a little less optimistic I would have to agree with them. They’re answer, if they were a little more confident, might be something like this: “The weather outside is frightful, however my mum will be making me some warm soup when I get home, and if I’m lucky she will make hotteok. I also have important exams at the moment, but I know that I will do well in them because I have been studying so hard. So, overall, I’d say that I am both good and bad; more concisely put, I would say that I am ‘so-so'”.

I have been lucky enough to get one student tell me that they are “bad”. Lucky? Lucky. The answer was adorable!

H: How are you today Amber?
A: Bad.
H: Oh No! Why?
A: Turkey.
H: You don’t like turkey?
A: I’m going to Turkey.
H:The country?
A: Yes.
H: You’re moving to Turkey?
A: No. Holiday.
H:You’re going on holiday to Turkey? That’s amazing!
A: No.
H: Why not?
A: History. Everything is history. Why learn on holiday? I hate history. And I am going with him *points to student on the other side of the room*
H: Oh, are you related?
Both: No!
H: Same school?
Both: No! Our Mothers. Friends.
H: Oh, so you both get to go on holidaytogether ?
Both: Not really!
H: So today you are “bad”?
Both: Yes!
H: *falls into a fit of laughter*

I think the students and I are starting to get used to each other. The fact that I always say “how are you?” is becoming more of a running joke than a shock. When the students stare at me they are no longer looking so deep into my eyes that I feel like my soul is being pulled to pieces. Rather, they are comfortable looking briefly and saying “Wow Teacher, you have blue eyes!”. If I see them in a store they don’t pull on their parent’s shirt and point. Rather, they yell loud and clear “Hi Teacher!” so that everyone in the store knows who I am.

Everything in Korea seems to be cute, from baby pink kettles, to koi shaped pastries and parrot shaped hand cream containers. It is not surprising that there seems to be a culture of clinging on to one’s innocence when you consider how mature the students must be and how hard they must work from a very early age. Yet, I can’t help but admire my students. School work takes up most of the day (and the night for that matter), so they manage their time effectively because like all kids, fun, play and socialising is still number one on their priority list.

I never miss anyone – and yet, I already do.

I feel it is only fitting to start this blog with an ending. It was after all, an ending that brought me here.

“Here” being the South of South Korea – Suncheon-si, Jeollanam-do, South Korea – where, as of last week, I am employed as an ESL teacher.


My new city, Suncheon, from the top of “Bamboo Mountain”

“…an ending that brought me here” refers to the end of a budding career as a Computational Chemist.

That story, is not the story I wish to tell.

It’s a rather contrived, boring tale of a girl who lost her way, kept going anyway, came to her senses and became, not lost, but free, ready for an adventure, and a god damned job! However, I must acknowledge, that it is the story that catalysed today’s tale. That, were it not for the experience and maturity I have gained over the past few years as a scientist, partner, and friend, I would never have seized the courage required to admit that I was not ready to settle.

In the true spirit of adventure, I’m sitting in my new home, already missing someone. Her name is Ashleigh. My replace-ee. A South African girl, ready to move back home to study after 18 months in Suncheon. I was lucky enough to spend my first week here eagerly following her tail. The kindness she has given, the laughter she has taken, and the memories she has created, have left me wanting so much more.

We have eaten our weight in Korean cuisine; taught the same “scary story” almost twice everyday yet still giggled when our students jump at us turning out the lights; we have let ourselves be blinged at a nail salon; exchanged possessions (by which I mean I bought all her stuff and am very grateful for it); shopped till we dropped; and partied like it was December 31, 1999.


Ashleigh and I at her (academy) going away party.

I am not one to miss people. I keep myself busy and I converse with my closest friends and family using the wonder that is technology fairly regularly when I am away. Or at least that’s my excuse. I think the real reason I struggle to miss others, is that I know that I will see them again. It isn’t really goodbye. There is no point wasting the time and energy it takes to miss someone, when you could be living a tale to tell later.

Yet, with Ashleigh leaving, there is an odd element of shock hanging over me. Her kindness has eased the burden of culture shock, only to create a new brand of surprise. I’m sure I will see her again, yet it may not be for a very long time when many of my stories are forgotten (maybe not, now that I’ve dived into the blogging world, hehe). I know it’s crazy, but I can’t help but have this odd pain in my chest when I realise that I can’t just knock on the door across from mine to ask for a spoon; I have to go to my own drawer for that one now.  It’s a shock I’m going to have to get used to. I will also be leaving eventually, and many more will leave before me. It’s a reality check I knew was coming, I just wasn’t expecting it so soon. For now, I will let myself soak it all in, with a promise that I will buck up in the morning.

I hope this isn’t giving all of you back home the impression that I am struggling, because the reality is absolutely the opposite. I’ve settled in tremendously! My students are ridiculously intelligent, and even more so, ridiculously cute. The staff carefully balance fun and hard work. I’m eating well and sleeping well. My apartment is ideally sized and could definitely fit an extra mattress (*wink wink nudge nudge*). I’ve met expats and will be going out with them again this Saturday. Autumn is still pretending to exist, even though the first snow of the season has already swept by. ‘Nough said really! (I’ll expand in the next few days)

I’m having a blast!

It may now be the end of this brilliant adventure,

with a dear friend I certainly will treasure (sorry, couldn’t help it)…

but what an ending to have, at the start of something SO NEW!


Getting our nails done – Korea Style!