I’ve been in Korea for NINE days!

Third day of teaching, not too shabby. So, I’ve taught for three days now. Today was the first day of two day classes that meet every Tuesday and Thursday. I was more confident for these classes than those that I taught on Friday. I even got ~two~ compliments today. I said, “고맙습니다” or “Thank you.” to one of the staff today when he came in to give the students a handout about their homework website and the kids were like 😮 “OH MY GOD BRITT TEACHER JUST SAID 고맙습니다!!!” So then I said, “나는 미국 사람이다” and they were like @_@ and didn’t speak Korean because they think I understand more than I actually do. Haha! Also, my name for the next 12 months will be, Britt Teacher, because that’s how the kids address you. I have a feeling I might introduce myself to someone that’s not a student that way.

Foods:
So there’s a supermarket right below my school. It’s pretty convenient, honestly. I usually leave my apartment a little early to dick around in the store and look and shit. Yesterday, for example I bought mold killer for my bathroom, a rice cooker, some rice, and the Korean version of Ding-Dongs. The Ding-Dongs are pretty legit. Some other foods I’ve tried, like Doritos, are gross and just taste wrong. They have more sweet/sugary taste and just YUCK! Hershey’s brand is pretty big from what I gather in my nine days of being here. The Hershey’s chocolate milk that I’ve had is to die for! It comes in a box, like a juice box, and omasdflsdflsadj omg so good! I have tried “regular” milk and it tastes too different than “American regular” milk; this could also be due to the fact that I don’t drink milk on a regular basis and am lactose intolerant. The grape juice is pretty bomb too. If you know me, you know I LAAAAHVE grape juice. I’ve eaten my fill of 만두, or dumplings, for a while now and don’t really care to eat them in the next few days.

I’m leaving tomorrow! alskjdflskjdf

I called the Korean Consulate for the 2394384th time this afternoon and was informed that my passport with visa would be sent out today and per my shipping method I will receive my stuff tomorrow morning by 10:30am!

14054563_10101141228356479_7524687911161355142_o

So a bunch of time goes by as I wait for my recruiter to call me about this news and he starts out with, “the tracking info states you should have your passport in hand by 10:30am. So, are you ready to get on a plane tomorrow afternoon?!” My immediate response was, literally, “oh shit!” He says he’ll contact the travel agent and send the flight info my way via email. I pay for the flight and yep. I’m leaving tomorrow and I’ll arrive in South Korea around 4 am on Sunday.

tumblr_nxbe8zqlsw1qj4315o1_500

At least I’m getting in a lot of Midwest thunderstorm action whilst waiting for my life to progress…

I called the Consulate in Chicago, as instructed by my uber impatient recruiter, to inquire about the status of my visa and when they feel like sending my passport back to me. As I expected, they probably won’t be sending my passport out to me until Thursday or Friday. So that means even with overnight shipping I won’t receive it until Monday at the latest.

Cool. So I’ll be a week behind all the other new arrivals at school as I was supposed to leave around the 19th. Of course this shit would happen to me because nothing in my life ever goes as planned. 😦 And, all of this malarkey about my visa and VIN is making me so anxious about how I’ll be treated when I arrive, what kind of impression this is making for me, etc.

Like, I just want to be there already as I should have been FIVE days ago. My contract technically started two days ago. Will I even have an adjustment period after my 18+ hour flight? #rage

tumblr_nfnkufibx81qdjbb7o1_500

 

 

There seems to be some miscommunication happening here…

So I applied for my Visa Identification Number (VIN) over four weeks ago and should have had it three-ish weeks ago – that being said, I only received it on Wednesday the 17th. I was told that I was not at fault for this taking place and that for whatever reason my application for VIN was taking ~way~ longer than expected. I was also told that the school that I will be teaching at was aware of this and that I was not to be blamed. So, I ship my actual visa application to the Consulate in Chicago expecting to get it back later than the date that I was originally supposed to leave, today the 19th, and arrive later than planned.

Today I receive an email from my recruiter telling me to call the Consulate and ask them when I’m supposed to be getting my visa back. I, having read the website, know that it states this process takes 5 business days – but I call anyway because that’s what I was told to do. I have a pleasant conversation with a man at the Consulate telling me essentially what I already know and that the person who issues the visas is currently on a business trip and if I need to speak with her to call back on Monday. No big deal.

I get off the phone and  anticipate replying to the recruiter via email. There is a new email from the foreign head teacher at my school stating she is expecting me to arrive at the school on the 22nd, this coming Monday, and issuing instructions on which train to take from my hotel and which stop to get off at. *insert panic mode* I write my email to recruiter relaying the info from the Consulate and telling him of this new email from the teacher at the school saying I don’t know if/how to respond to this as I was already told that the school was aware of my VIN application taking nearly a month to process. So now, just like every other point in this process I sit and wait, mostly annoyed because I feel like I can’t do a whole lot about what is happening, that I’m not getting all the necessary information, and that this whole process kind of actually sucks.

 

Yep, still don’t know what’s going on or when I’m leaving…

So, my documents that were submitted to the immigration office in South Korea somehow got fudged up and my visa identification number (VIN) should have been here on August 2…it is now August 10. I literally cannot answer anyone’s queries about my departure. All I know is that I am to sit here patiently until I receive my VIN and then ship my other set of paperwork off to the Korean consulate in Chicago.

I do know that my last day at good ol’ Target is this Friday, August 12; and though I won’t miss all the self important asshats that think their deli meat is the utmost importance, I will miss the friends I’ve made and all the gross deli innuendo we’ve formulated over the past (nearly) two years.

Unknowns and Anxiety

So, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about how I feel about my up and coming move across the world and it kind of bothers me that I don’t have a lot of the information that people questioning me seek. I don’t know specifically where I’m going to be living, what my address will be, what condition my housing is in. I don’t know much about the school other than its address and name. I don’t know if I’m going to only stay for a year or extend my living abroad after this. Shit, I don’t even know when my flight to go over to Korea is yet – just that I have to be there before the 22nd of August, which is the first date of my contract.

There are so many unknowns about this whole situation and it makes me anxious. Clearly it’s bearable because there are thousands of native English teachers living abroad and have survived to write, blog, or speak about it. I just have a problem with the unknowns.