Monday, September 27, 2010


September 27, you know what that means! I have been living in Korea now for exactly two months! Horray!

I’ve accomplished quite a bit since my last anniversary here, I suppose. I had to fight with the immigration office and almost beat up a punk kid working at the information counter, but I finally got my ARC card. I own a cell phone again, after surviving for over 50 days in a new country without one (surprisingly, not that big of a deal?). I have gone on my first hike here, tried my first dried squid, gotten pretty good with a set of chopsticks, mastered the subway system, learned to read hanguel, and visited not one or two, but five different beaches in this new country of mine. A pretty successful venture, if I do say so myself.

I have also discovered the one thing about Korea so far that makes me just plain angry, the fact that lots of places (i.e. restaurants, convenience stores, places I would like to go to in the morning) do not open their doors in the a.m. hours. Or even some of the early p.m. hours for that matter. It seems like such a minor thing that I should have just been able to shrug off like I do so many other things ridiculous things that happen here. Oh, that’s just one of the quirks of living here. A cultural experience. Silly Koreans. But no, the honeymoon phase has perhaps run its course.

I discovered in Jeju just how much it bothered me that I couldn’t go out to get food before, say, noon, and that even then only a handful of the restaurants would be open for my refueling needs. Even worse, the convenience stores (i.e., the places I could have gone to find some kind of sustenance to support me until I could find an actual open restaurant) were closed as well. Seriously, Korea? I understand that the culture as a whole is not big on mornings, but all I want is some kind of food in my stomach before afternoon hits! So frustrating, even the coffee shops around here open at like 11a.m., which in my book kind of defeats the purpose of a coffee shop in general?

End rant. It was about time for me to find something about living a half a world away that made me angry.

Good things my kiddies are super awesome. I already have a list of the cute ones I would love to bring back to the states with me. Angela writes me notes in my teachers book, Brock talks like a flight announcement, Seth’s whole face lights up when he talks in class, Crystal blinks with her whole face, Ann asks “Who, me?” every time I call on her, Christina tries and tries and tries to tell me stories about her life which I rarely end up understanding, Allison has never answered a question correctly but still tries every single time, Sungmin likes to hold my hands when she talks to me, and Tyler shakes his head “no” with his whole body. I love them all!

Some of my recent favorite in-class moments:

Me: Class, are you all ready to start the test?
Alex: I can’t take the test. I’m a human robot.

about muscles fly clothes robot legs I am create a muscles fly clothes robot legs I am very many muscles and I can fly and I have legsache, I will make short legs and I make robot legs. So I will comfortable
Direct quote from Steve’s paper about clothing design.

(working on “I like you because…” sentences)
Sarah: Teacher, I like you because you are nice and do the chicken dance.

Angela’s paper about Chuseok. Look closely at the last line, "Teacher, you may married your boyfriend Chuseok time. do this :)"

Moral of the story, I love my job. And I love Korea, even though we have our so-so days. Here’s to another ten months! Cheers!

- Christine -

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