So I know that I am supposed to post on Fridays but today or technically yesterday was 1 month since I left my home in Ellicott City, Maryland.
To be honest it doesn’t feel like a month, rather it feels twice as long. I know the saying is “Time flies when you’re having fun” but the truth is time isn’t flying BUT I am having fun.
I have yet to really venture outside of my area just for monetary reasons. But with Seoul and Busan coming up I think I will be able to really broaden my horizons. But more on that on Friday.
This blog is solely devoted to leaving America for Korea.
Things that are great!
I am a person who does love to be around my family and friends but I also definetly love to have my own time. I would come home from a hellish day at PETCO-usually a jammed packed Saturday or holiday and the first thing I would need to do was be alone. OK shower all that stank off and then be alone. Usually this consisted of watching a K-Drama on my bed until dinner.
At my apartment it is my own place. Yes it’s small but I don’t really need a lot of space for just me. And yet somehow I still manage to make it messy. I have a routine to that some may seem really boring but when you don’t have a lot of money, the weather bordering on cold winter/nice spring, and the sunlight not completely summer time light yet, it works.
A typical day consists of going to work, coming home, doing errands if there are any, taking a shower, making dinner, relaxing with a DVD (I just finished marathoning modern family), and then going to bed. Yes, boring. I do change it up occasionally. Sometimes I go the the other grocery store or movies or go out to get dinner. Right now I’m even sitting in my favorite coffee shop “Yoger Presso” because I didn’t want to wash my dirty dishes. (I sound like Cam).
But it works for me at this time in my life. I live in a residential area so it’s hard to really go out and do things and meet people but more on that later.
I love how cheap somethings are-socks! Usually about the equivalent to 1$. There are so many designs I need more feet. My mom says “You buy socks so you don’t have to wash them.” While yes that is easier there are just too many cute socks in Korea!
All of my Korean facial products also don’t have that nasty import inflated price. I can walk down to the huge Lotte Market and pick up what I want. Also they always give you a lot of free samples. I may never have to buy a face mask ever again.
I will never be able to eat kimchi in the states ever again. I have now officially become spoiled. Not only is my lunch every week day a good healthy korean meal, but the kimchi is amazing! Every meal has a different kind of kimchi. I think my coteachers think I’m funny.
All of my colleagues have been very nice. My three other English teachers are very supportive and always there to help and answer questions. My principal always tries to practice his English with me which is very cute.
I had trouble at the bank and one of the other teachers who doesn’t speak English helped me get my Debit card (called check card here in Korea). Somehow it got around that I was sick and the Vice Principal cornered me and asked me why I hadn’t gone to the hospital-granted in the US i wouldn’t have gone to the hospital, I would have popped some DayQuil.
But it’s very comforting to know that the people actually give a damn about me and my well being.
About half of my 5th graders are amazing and great. They are willing to learn and eager to participate in class. In some classes I have students who are more advanced than others and occasionally will ask them to help translate things to their classmates. I know it can be annoying or boring for them to maybe relearn everything so I try to have them “help” others .
My day care kids are too cute. But I am grateful I do not have to teach a full class of them. They are in that stage where they don’t really follow rules or directions and are distracted easily. But the good thing is I get about half or less than half of a full class-about 8-15 kids. They love stickers and watching Disney parades and like to look through my cell phone. Today they got to choose English names.
It was cute watching some of them choose “old fashioned” names. For example: Herbert.
We took a picture today and the little girls made me hug them.
It’s a nice way to end the day despite the reality that it can be exhausting.
Just about everywhere has WiFi and it’s good WiFi. While I am impatiently waiting for my ARC (Alien Registration Card) to arrive-they said a month, April 3 will be a month)-I am relying on public wifi. It’s funny because I get the WIFI best in my bedroom but if I get up and go to the next room over it sucks. I am glad that I can get the public wifi but it’s unstable so I haven’t been able to watch anything on it.
Emily and Rob are great! We went to Osan last weekend to the outdoor mall “Sinjang Shopping Mall” right out side the ABF gate in Songtan. It was amazing. I bought a big thick black and silver fuzzy blanket, a white scarf with pale pink and purple butterflies, a black ski cap for next winter, a snapback, 5 pairs of socks (for $2.80!) and two knock off Chanel purses. Apparently the knock off purse industry is huge here! It was a beautiful day but the really nice part was the place was international! Because of the base there was so many nationalities there! It was like being back in America. Yes while I love Korea I do miss seeing different ethnicities.
Not so great.
Yellow dust. Apparently pollution mixed with dust from the Gobi desert hits Korea and it tints the sky yellow and you have to war a mask because it makes you sick. Luckily I’ve only seen one of those days. But somehow I’ve managed to become sick. When you become accustomed to sweet fresh suburban air, city air can seem nasty. Actually it is nasty.
But as much as I live in the “city” I don’t really. I live in the residential area on the outskirts of the city. While I do have a lot of stuff around me I have to take a cab or bus (which I have yet to try) to get to downtown Pyeongtaek which is where the train station is. I do wish I lived closer to the downtown area (heads up I’m trying really hard not to type Downton).
Because of my inability to really go anywhere outside my immidietate area I have become a little lonely. There was one Saturday where I went the say without speaking to anyone. It’s hard to make friends because my colleagues either live far away or are married with families. I don’t think I will ever resort to online things though. That’s just not my style.
So that other half of the 5th grade? They just don’t care. I understand that some of them might not know any English. But when I have 9 classes of 30 students a week it’s hard to remember which class is which let alone have time to help those kids who are struggling. I am now grateful that my parents sent me to private school I never understood the importance of having smaller classes until this very point in my life.
Missing Logan is so hard. There are times when I think to myself I can do it. I can stay here for 2-3 years but then I think of Logan. Yes he’s a dog and has no concept of time but I do.
So what is expensive is PEANUT BUTTER and HONEY! For a small jar of PB it costs around $9 and honey costs like $12!
While I’m not as annoyed as some people would be about the language barrier but it can be frustrating . I have found a solution though-google translate! I had to go to the pharmacy to get headache medicine-so I typed it into google translate and BOOM! Instant solution.
I miss having my care. The freedom to go where you want when you want. HOWEVER the driving here is INSANE! I’ve never seen anything like this before-it puts Jersey drivers to shame on the scale of psycho drivers.
So that pretty much sums up my first month so far.