I sit here Tuesday after school with too much to write. I knew I was going to be a total slacker with this blog, so I told ya so. School is tiring. Kids ages 3-8, I’ve concluded today it’s more like a nursery school at times. The other kids are definitely my favorite, especially the 7 year olds, which is the only class I don’t have to teach twice. Then on Monday wendesday and Fridays there is a group of students 8 and 9 that come after school for English lesson. They are also on my favored list. There are two classes, 3 in the first and 4 in the second. And one boy in each, whom are both awfullllll.
I cant hate on the kids that much, I mean they are trying to learn a different language, im sure most of them don’t do it by choice, but once they get into it, they obviously want to learn, which is cool. Teaching is rewarding, ill say it again. So props to all you teacher folks out there.
As for my life outside of school, which isn’t much… I have been venturing out on the weekends and some weeknights meeting up with various people ive been connected to through other people. Definitely helps to know some people coming into this all. Ive realized I live way more on the outskirts of central seoul then I imagined/wanted so getting to foreigner neighborhood is an hour subway ride. I am going there for dinner tonight and wont get there till 8, so by the time I get home to get up at 7 again to teach/babysit im exhausted. Last night I came home from school with a microwave and a toaster oven. Definitely moving up in the world from my single camping burner stove ive been managing to deal with for the past 2 weeks. I tried to reheat leftovers with three different things (or maybe im weird about mixing things, I know, spaghetti on one side of plate, sauce on the other), but this was Chinese leftovers. Shrimp fried rice, this weird but tasty black sauce w onions and some sort of meat, and some fried pork dumplings. My single pan is approximately the size of one slice of bread so I really had no choice, heating up all that was a struggle. But I finally tried the Chinese food from the restaurant in the first floor of my building and was definitely happy with the results, ill be going there again for sure, and it took 4 minutes for all that to come out for take-out. Impressive. The service here is ridiculous. And no tipping. Score!
Some random facts about korea for all of those interested.
School. We wear slippers. We (students teachers parents EVERYONE) take their shoes off at the door and put on slippers (just teachers really) and the kids wear socks/barefoot at school. Guess this goes great with the heated floors too. But its nice, I don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable in boots/flats allllll day. I had a pair of flats that I pretend are slippers so they stay at school and I wear them daily. Not a bad deal.
Kids brush their teeth after lunch and were shocked when I told them we don’t do that in the U.S.
The first day of real teaching, I had to clean up puke and a kid pooped himself, that was fun, a good intro to what this job will entail. I would say teaching is the least of my worries haha.
Went to dinner w my coworkers last week at Olympic park and found out another fun fact. I mentioned how some guy was wearing shorts outside and it was frigid, they told me a hidden fact that ive since told other people who have been in korea for awhile and had no idea. They were like ‘ya but we wear miniskirts and tights’ and I said ‘yea, youre crazy, but I guess fashion is more important’ and proceeded to explain to me how women wear skirts, a lotttt of them. And they wear hot pads on their bodies that last 8 hours to stay warm. Like we would wear in our gloves for skiing or those therapeutic ones that people wear for cramps. They paste them on their upper bodies to stay warm, shoulders, arms, stomach, etc. how crazy! I was completely baffled. Its freezing here. That is the worst part I’d say, but I guess getting used to it, cause I was expecting it. This week the highest temperature is not until Thursday and that’s 48 degrees. And like freezing temperatures everynight, like 25 and lower. I try not to go out at night for this reason, but my ski-like jacket I bought before coming was definitely worth it.
Another fun fact, I broke one of my boots like day 2 and tried to go to the shoe cobbler. He said he couldn’t fix it, basically youre screwed, but I knew there was a way. I was just fascinated that there is such thing as a shoe cobbler, like in a phone booth looking thing. I bought tape and viola done and done. Go me.
My apartment is improving by the day. Today I got another pan and a pot to take home, guess it was worth the effort of going through tricia (who I may add is the most awesome person ever!) to get these small improvements. My fridge is tiny, but I will def try to cook more. Groceries aren’t very cheap, so its almost cheaper to eat out, depending, but I will def try more. I make eggs every morning (and toaster oven is def a huge improvement), and have free lunch at school during the week, and leftovers for dinner. But we will see how that goes.
I found the dollar store the other day, daiso. Was stoked. Three floors! Tiny floors, but im glad its just one stop away from me, def not going to e-mart anymore (8 floors of madness and a bit pricey sometimes). Ive also managed to have been to every mall in seoul. Two weeks here and that’s my biggest accomplishment haha. Woot, what an exciting life I live.
This weekend is st. patrick’s day, and although I would much rather be back in Singapore like last year with Maggie and sarah drinking green beer at a chugging contest on the river… I will be participating in a booze cruise through the one and only microbrewery in seoul from 6-9. Who knows what will happen before/after, but im trying to find some attire and get all decked out for the occasion.
I will try and post more, but I guess it just means life is not too exciting quite yet J I don’t mind doing nothing sometimes, always felt on the go at home especially the months leading up to leaving, so its nice to relax and watch trashy tv. I got Netflix/Pandora/hulu all the sites blocked from not being in the us, thanks to my friend Michael, so with my trickery and a few bucks a month, im hooked up to everything.
So that’s nice. My national geographic in Korean and history channel w reruns of American pickers and ice road truckers, were getting reallllly old.
Big shout out to my aunt gail whom I love dearly, sent me some irish potatoes should be en route now J I cannot wait for those sweet treats, love you!
Hi mom and dad and jake, love you guys too! Give rex a kiss for me.
Hope to write soon. xoxo
ps will promise to post pictures soon!