“You’re on your own. and you know what you know. and you are the one who’ll decide where to go…” Dr. Seuss.
Im not sure why exactly it’s so hard for me to keep up with a blog, but I figured getting on a normal life schedule (9-6ish) maybe this can find some time too.
Korea. I’m here. Seoul. Surviving and Thriving on culture and the amazingness it has to offer. Each day gets better and better. Friday was my first day of school. I went in to ‘prep’ or watch the other teachers prep and speak Korean. I did a little work, found out I was teaching debate class Monday morning to elementary students. Had my head spinning. I never took debate until high school and now I was about to teach it to elementary students. I have technically had one week of teaching in my entire life before coming to Korea. That was when I went on the FijiDreaming excursion to the villages of Fiji and taught students basics, very basics, and how to brush their teeth/good hygiene. For some reason I always wanted to teach children English since then. Teaching is rewarding, that is the truth.
The weekend was nice. Got over my fear of eating out alone, was a funny experience. They wouldn’t take my order maybe thinking I was waiting for someone, so I took it upon myself to go to the counter and order. That was after I walked in and they said ‘take out?’ I said ‘No’ and held up my pointer finger, as in table for one. It was called the Frypan. The couples on either side of me (cute, right) both got their food. Literally a boat of chicken piled (balanced really) on top of these delicious homemade potato chips. I was like uhh what did I get myself into. Every dish was designed for multiples, and I chose this place… but it was delicious and have been enjoying the left overs (have also been enjoying heating them up in a frying pan, more on that later).
Saturday morning I had my medical exam, teeth, chest x-ray and all. I will pick up the results later this week dun dun dun.
Then I went to meet some friends in Itaewon, the foreigner neighborhood. First experience of culture shock to date. About 45 minutes later by subway i was there, back in the good ole’ US of A. I walked outside the station and turned around to find Taco Bell, Quiznos, a bunch of street vendors and all Foreigners. What a shock. I knew it was a lot of stuff like that, but I had to collect my thoughts before hailing a cab. We don’t even have those delicacies in Doylestown.
Went to my friends place up the road a bit, let’s just say it blows my ‘shanty’ out of the water. A washer/dryer combo deal (2 in 1, impressive), two burners, I tv with more than two channels, couches, roommates, multiple rooms, etc. Okay some of that I could live without, but it’s nice there.
Glad I don’t live in that area, but nice to know it exists not too far away.
Went to Insadong, this really cool artsy fartsy outdoor mall type thing. Really made me feel like I was here, in Korea with all the cute shit. Everywhere! Each store was like it’s own designer full of cute stuff. Hopefully I can figure out pictures and post them on here, for now this is a draft…
Did a little exploring, went to a microbrew, sweet stuff. Signed up for a booze cruise on St. Patty’s Day down the Han River. Should be interesting…
Made it home in one piece, and mastered (nearly) the subway system in one day, I was damn proud.
Sunday I went to meet my friend Mike at Coex Mall. We met at JFK airport, the only other non Korean on the plane (minus the Army dude on the phone) so was nice to compare stories thus far, etc. The coex mall is the largest underground shopping area in asia, i believe that is the correct statistic. It has a movie theater (16 screens), a hotel, a Kimchi Museum (yup we went), a grocery store, a million shops, a few department stores, place is massive. Had a good time. Found some stuff I had been looking for (a spatula, a pepper grinder, salt, an outlet converter, etc.)
Came back to my area and went to dinner on this road near my with a bunch of restaurants. Had a funny experience there, tried ordering and the man next to us chimed in ‘do you need help?’ it was pretty funny, but not embarassing at all.
So we ordered noodles. They came cold with half a hard boiled egg on top. and a side plate of cooked pork. Put some mustard sauce in the noodle soup dish and it was quite good. Hadn’t heard the best things about this dish, but I found it pretty enjoyable myself. Then stopped for gelato waffles after. Yum!
Today was school. Spent the day prepping/had a nice lunch (they ordered take-out for us had some fried pork cutlet w bbq sauce, rice, and some good salad thing). Then i sat through orientation (in Korean) for the other teachers. And then it was time,… the elementary students were arriving for their debate class. Nervous is an understatement, but I laugh now when I think about the built up anticipation I felt in my stomach.
Had a great time. First hour was 4 kids and we just hung out drew pictures. Cute as a button, except Thomas, I was warned about him, I fear for him growing up..
Second class was 3 kids, they were my favorite, Benjamin Estelle and Sunny 🙂 All missing their two front teeth. and friends so they like finished each others sentences hugged a lot and were very close. Loved em. Sunny has a pet hedgehog I found out, still interested in this. We talked about our families and pets, but she is the only one with a pet.
Anyway, school tomorrow. All the students come with their parents and I have to introduce myself or something to everyone, again makes me nervous but im sure it’ll go fineeee. Hope I can get pictures on here to make it all better. And wait till you see my shanty. My washing machine in the doorway the shower in the sink without a door. The “stove” the “fridge” oh and my massive tv. yup.
Goodnight from seoul. Much love xx