Week 9, 2017

I feel like it’s getting more difficult to differentiate between days, weeks, months the longer I am here…does that mean I’m more comfortable because things don’t stick out as much? That I’m finally acclimatized to things and how they’re done here?

I have no idea what happened last Monday other than it was the last Monday of the 2016 Winter term.

Tuesday was our head teacher’s last day. It was really surreal feeling. It didn’t seem real; she’s been here the whole six months I’ve been in Korea and has been a super cool head teacher.

I got eyelash extensions before school because why not?

Wednesday we didn’t have work because of Sam-il which celebrates the first demonstrations and resistance against Japanese colonialism in Korea; it is credited with gaining momentum for the Korean Independence Movement.

I’m not 100% sure but I’m pretty sure I stayed home and watched dramas all day… I also sent 203943890 snaps to my friend Lee. They said this snapchat filter is my ~true~ form. I agree.

Thursday was the start of the new term. I have the lowest level of learners once on Tues-Thurs and they are so cute! I have a pretty good mix of students that I’ve taught the previous two terms and new students.

Friday I had two more of the lowest level classes right out the gate. I’m a bit more worried about my Mon, Wed, Fri classes because the the lower level classes keep trying to talk to me in Korean and I, obviously, keep talking to them in English then we reach an impasse where we just stare at each other. It’s so awkward! So cute, but damn, so so awkward.

Saturday I went with our new teacher to sign up for Korean class! I woke up at 8:30 on a weekend… *shocked* We took a taxi to Yeongtong Station in Suwon. It was such a hilarious trip because we had the most adorable, dad taxi driver. He picked us up and immediately wanted to know where we were from. After he learned we were from America he proceeded to unlock his phone and show us a photo of his daughter who goes to University of Kansas. He wanted to know which states we were from and why we were in Korea. He asked us if we were military and my mind immediately went to,”lololololololol, what you playin’ at old man?!” I told him we were teachers and he immediately rubbed his hands together to signify his approval of our money making ventures. Oh man, he was a hoot!

We finally arrived at Yeongtong Station and after the most ridiculous confusion we realized we were not lost and there was a sign right in front of our faces about the class we were looking for. We got in and registered for our classes. I suddenly understood how our new students feel when we ask them if they have an English name because that happened to me here. I was good because I already have a Korean name but dang that’s some pressure to put on someone. I’ve studied Hangul previously I was placed in level one. Asia was placed in Hangul class. Another teacher at our school, Olivia, registered also and will be in the same level as Asia. We were there for probably five minutes and finished; I was told I could buy my book that day so we made our way to the front desk. Come to find out I already have both the text and workbooks from attempting to self study. So yay! 🙂

After that, we hopped on the train to Suwon Station because Asia wanted to return some things she bought and didn’t need. We walked around, got lunch, and got her a SIM card for her phone. A pretty productive day so far if I do say so, and it was only about two in the afternoon at this point.

I had gotten home and I got a message from a guy, Sung, I have talking to saying we should go to the seashore. So he picked me up and we drove for about an hour to Daebudo, an island in the Yellow Sea on the western coast of South Korea. That was probably the longest I’ve been in a car since I arrived in Korea and took a taxi from the airport. We got to our destination, walked along the mud flats, looked at shells, and then Sung said he wanted to watch the sunset. So we got back in the car and drove to the western part of the island that is known for sunsets. It was getting chilly so we headed to a restaurant for dinner. He talked me into eating octopus. <_< We got seafood stew that had octopus, crabs, clams, and shrimp. It wasn’t that bad. He also ordered seafood potato pancake. I wish I would have taken pictures because this stew looked like a work of art. Then we came back to Suwon, he dropped me off and went back home to Seoul. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Sunday I planned on doing laundry all day. I got a message from a Korean teacher at my school asking if I wanted to join her and another teacher at the mall for shopping. That sounded a hell of a lot more fun than laundry so I agreed. Apparently it was their mission to find me a pair or two of pants because a comment was made previously in the week about how my pants are too big. While this was done with the best intentions, finding plus size pants here in a regular store is next to impossible. Even back home, finding pants to fit me in a store is difficult. She thought she found pair that looked like they’d fit… I couldn’t get them over my knees because of my chunky thighs. I appreciated the gesture and effort, but it just wasn’t meant to be. We walked around and looked at all the stuff in the mall, ate some pretty cake, and had coffee. I started to feel really tired so we parted our ways and I went home. I went straight to bed because I developed  a headache. I slept for an hour and then did some dishes and read for a bit.

Until next week,

B

Weeks 5 & 6, 2017

Uhh… *scratches head* not a whole lot happened in the past two weeks. We went back to “normal” work hours.

My student, Daniel, likes to make jokes about me in class. He wrote this in his book:

My student, Cathy, drew me after she finished a test. See Mom, I wear the shirt you got me… I kind of have proof.

Suwon is hosting the U20 Soccer World Cup this May and they are pretty proud of it.

Last Saturday, I met up with a stranger from the internet to go to noraebang (karaoke) from an app called meetup. I’m a horrible singer and can only sing Disney songs so that’s what I stuck to. The dude stranger though… was an excellent singer. He also turned out to be exceptionally creepy/needy/annoying and kept alluding to coming over to my house. Thanks, but no thanks. *shudders*


If you know me, you know I’m not really a planner. I’m more of a last minute kind of gal. I bought this book to help with that. I don’t really have anywhere in this hemisphere I really feel like I need to go –  so maybe if I educate myself, that will change.

Friday my coworker helped me get a ticket to a concert the following day. There was some stipulation, to buy a foreigner ticket I had to have an international credit card… well, I don’t have one of those and only use Korean cards. So she helped me and after what felt like forever I got a ticket confirmation! I was so excited I felt like I was high.


So yesterday I went to the concert. I swear it took years to get there. I made friends with a little girl on the train who was sitting next to me. She kept tapping my arm and smiling at me. She pointed to my hair and I tilted my head so she could touch it. I finally get to the stop I need and I take the exit that was listed… but I have no idea what direction to go in. The concert was held in Olympic Park where the 1988 Olympics were held. Because I had no clue where I was supposed to be going and had time to kill, I wandered around a bit. I finally got worried and stopped a kind looking man to ask where I should be going and he didn’t know either. Haha! So I just kept walking and saw a bike rental place and asked the lady that was running it. She was very helpful.

I got to where I needed to be but there was an hour before the ticket booth opened for me to pick up my ticket. I looked around and bought some extremely overpriced merchandise. I assume they were doing a final soundcheck/test before the concert because the ground was shaking when I got there and you could hear the glass on the building rumbling from all the bass. I was convinced I was going to go deaf before I even got inside the building.


The ticket hut finally opened and then it was time to queue up in accordance to your section and ticket number. I was very impressed with the orderly queuing. I was also equally impressed with the women who were wearing mini skirts because I was wearing jeans and a down coat and I felt like I was going to die. We finally were allowed inside and I was super close to the stage! Aaah!

Technically, you weren’t supposed to take pictures but who follows rules like that? The security dudes were going their best to stop people but, pffft, that obviously didn’t work. We stood there for about an hour before the show started. Ohmaigawd it was so good.


And then after three hours it was over. ☹️😭 so I made my way out and found a taxi to take me home because I didn’t really want to take the bus and it’s a good thing I hadn’t eaten for nine hours or I would have probably thrown up, he was such a crazy driver. Unless you count magic, there is no way I should have gotten home as fast as I did… and that’s after he dropped off the two other girls I was sharing the taxi with.

 

Later, Hannah messaged me to ask me how the concert was… this is our conversation… lol

Today I didn’t really do anything special. Woke up. Cleaned entire micro apartment. Took out the recycling. Went to Suwon Station to eat and walk around. Came home.

Week 4, 2017

This week was the last week of Winter Intensive classes so we go back to our 12:30 start time tomorrow. Woohoo!

I attempted to braid my hair but my arms got tired and I couldn’t see what I was doing so I gave up after only braiding a quarter of my hair. I didn’t take it out and wore it to school the following day. Did I look like a dumb ass? Probably, but I don’t really care. The same day, I was attempting to eat pineapple when I dumped the package all over my desk and self. That was fun. Spill was one of the vocabulary words that day, so it worked out. And my boss tried to make me feel better by telling me, “at least you smell delicious!”


Hangman is a really popular game with my students… I’m not sure why. Maybe because they are in control of the class for that time? Whatever, I’m not complaining, they participate and speak English; that’s all I really ask.


Tuesday I came home and I could hear a cat crying. I was confused if it was in one of my neighbors’ houses, outside, or if I finally went completely nuts and it was in my head. I opened the door and the crying was louder. Okay, the cat’s totally in my building. I call out, “kitty” a couple times and peek down the stairs. No cat. So I go up the stairs… four flights in all and there’s a small cat sitting in the doorway to the roof. Um, okay? I hold out my hand and it comes and nudges me. Obviously a friendly thing. I scratch its ears and pet it. Its so dirty and cold. I attempt to pick it up and it runs away. After I gained its trust, I picked it up and started carrying it downstairs. I was going to put it outside and shut the building door, but no, I wanted to feed it first. So I took it in my house. Turns out kitty was  a boy, so I gave him some tuna and I felt really bad. I gave him a wet wipe bath which he seemed to really enjoy. I kept thinking, “omg what are you doing? You can’t keep this cat!” So after playing and snuggling, I put him back outside. Before I could close the building door, he ran up the stairs again. Fine, whatever. I started to feel itchy so I decided that it was good that I put him back outside, but I felt pretty guilty about it. If I knew what I was doing with my life I maybe would have kept him, but I don’t and I like not sneezing every two seconds.


Wednesday I apparently put the incorrect actor in a flashcard for the word “handsome” and it caused one of my classes to have a meltdown. “Teacher, ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww!” “Teacher, he’s NOT handsome!” and “Yuck!” were said multiple times. I asked them who they preferred and got some interesting answers. Later that day, in the same level, a different class had the opposite reaction. It was so funny. It told them their peers didn’t like the man in the photo and they were AGHAST.

Thursday wasn’t really all that special. I went to Suwon Station after work and found more shirts. I ate at Banes Taco and it was delicious but I almost pooed when I saw how much the fajitas were. It seems that this is the normal price for fajitas around here. *sobs* After that, I met up with Sunny and we had coffee and talked for quiet a long time.


Friday we didn’t have work because it’s Seollal or Lunar New Year. So… I go on the bus and went to Suwon Station again. I was determined to spend the 60,000 KRW gift certificates I had to Shinsegae. I remember seeing one of these stores last weekend when we went to Jukjeon for the work conference. And, since that is the location that seemed to be closest to home, I went there. The train was so empty is was unreal. Well, that store was closed. I had already spent an hour and half in transit time to get there, I didn’t want to turn around and go home… even though I thought about it. So I looked up the main branch of this store and it happened to be in Myeongdong – cool I know where that is. So I looked up on my handy subway app how to get there. On this journey, I forget where exactly, there was a man harassing people to buy his Josh Groban/Opera/Classical music CDs. Well, three line transfers and almost two more hours later I arrived at my destination. All while relaying my adventure with CeeCee. I got there, it was pretty busy. Walked around, inquired about the largest size shoes the vendors sold, was disappointed and went on my way. I used my gift certificates to buy a new Coach wristlet because my collection isn’t big enough already. I got home at 7pm so it was a pretty busy day of sitting on trains and spending money.

 


Saturday I wasn’t sure what would be open so I didn’t plan on anything. I decided to go for a walk because it was warm-ish outside. A new supermarket had opened on a main street by my house and it was open so I went there. They had tanks with live octopi in them and I wanted to buy one…I didn’t because I’m not going to eat it and it would die. They had a pretty loaded beverage section – I was impressed.

 


Yesterday, Sunday, I didn’t really do anything but do some laundry, watch movies, and consume food.

Today was a bit disorienting because I thought I had to go to work. I didn’t… so I didn’t really do much today either. I did make Sesame Chicken from scratch and that was pretty good but created a disaster in the kitchen. Cooking here, in this house is a pain because there is zero counter space.

Until next week,

B

Week 1, 2017

This week we started “Winter Intensive” classes because the students are on winter break from their public schools. This means we start earlier at 10:30 am and end at 6:30. This also means that aside from normal classes, “fun,” extra classes are added. Normally, we arrive at work by 12:30 and start classes at 2:50 which gives us prep time; now we arrive by 10:30 and start classes at 11:05. Depending upon when your break is or if you have multiple breaks can make for a rather exhausting day.

Monday, I forgot we didn’t have the usual preparation time and failed to bring myself lunch. I think I had a bagel in my desk which was the only thing I ate until 7 pm. I made my way for some dinner and gorged myself on mandu. Afterwards making up a song about taking Courtney to the mandu shop to the tune of 50 Cent’s Candy Shop. Later that evening I went to the convenience store to get some snacks for the next day and I considered buying the Spam fried rice but it I don’t even recall if I’ve ever even eaten Spam before so I passed on that.


I don’t really recall anything of significance happening Tuesday and Wednesday… just the usual; wake up, go to work, eat, come home, repeat.

Thursday morning I was sorting my trash so I wouldn’t be the subject of the passive aggressive notes about the trash and recycling that are left in the common area of my building, and I found an important looking letter from the internet company in the bin. Checked my internet connection and wouldn’t you know, it’d been disconnected. So I went to try to pay it at the machine in the bank and that machine is turned off. Just my luck.


Friday I left early so I could pay the bill and/or express concern about the machine still being off. It was back on and the man at the bank essentially paid the bills for me save punching in my PIN and my phone number… I still don’t know how to do this myself. Get home from work after grocery shopping and my internet is still off. If I were smart, I would have gone to the store where I got my cell phone and asked them about it, but I’m clearly not. So my internet is still off and I’ve been using my phone as a hotspot.

Saturday, Nick and I went to Gangnam because I wanted to go to the Kakao Friends store. We left around 12:30 and were in transit for just under a hour and a half. We got a bit lost in the subway station because, as I’ve told you before, I’m directionally dumb. We got it sorted out and emerged from underground. Nick expressed excitement to see a Taco Bell so we ate there. Then we went to the Kakao Friends store. It was so packed in there I was being pushed about so much. I bought some junk and he did too, then we walked around looking for something else interesting. If you know me I’m not really a planner. I just like to go places and see one specific thing then see what’s up. There wasn’t a whole lot else besides the Taco Bell and Kakao Friends store that we can’t see closer to home so after I got some Jamba Juice, we headed back home… and it was still daylight out!


Later that night I went out to get food before the shop closed. As I was walking back I saw a former student of mine, Peter, walking with his parents. I waved and he seemed really shocked to see me. I said hi and bowed to his parents and went on my way. As I was getting ready to cross to the other side of the street I heard someone running behind me. It was Peter and he gave me some sweet potato snacks. Interactions like this make me smile. I bowed again and continued my walk home.


Today I decided to get on a random bus and go for a ride and get off at a place that looked interesting. I walked around in a park and looked at the shops in a hilly part of town. I came back to my point of origin and walked around more in my immediate area. I found the post office so I longer have that excuse and a hospital that I never would have known was in the area. I watched some dudes play soccer for awhile and came back home. I did four loads of laundry this weekend and had to bring my drying rack inside my actual apartment because the “chilly” 50 F wind wasn’t drying my clothes fast enough.

Over the past week I read two books – over 700 pages. Since I got a new Kindle for Christmas I decided I might as well make good use of it. I’ve set my reading goal for 50 books this year and I definitely have well over that number of books I’d like to read, the only problem is, as always, motivation.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah

It’s been pretty mild here, weather wise. None of that crazy snow and subzero temperatures you all back home had. In fact, it’s been so nice that the trees have become confused and started to bud again.

Wednesday and Thursday it rained quite a bit. On Friday there was snow in the morning but the only evidence was on the windshields of parked cars.


At work this week we started phone speaking, where we call the kids at home and ask them questions one would generally be asked when meeting a new person and some questions from their lessons. We talk to each of our students for 5 minutes. It gets a bit tricky because we hand out a schedule about a week in advance but of course, some kids lose them, never show their parents, forget; you know normal kid things.

Thursday and Friday we had Christmas activities for the kids which were balloon volleyball and writing three wishes on a paper ornament. The staff also handed out lollipops which caused whining of all sorts because kids wanted a specific shape and a lot of kids disliked how they tasted and some of them turned the kids’ mouths black.

Back: JiYoung, Nick, Andrea, Kathy, Summer, Alicia, and Sean
Front: Olivia, JiEun, Chloe, Jessica, Jinny, and obviously me

This is Daniel, he’s an interesting fellow. He asked me what my last name was and without thinking about it, I told him. Now in class for answers in class and in his book it’s, “Britt Hokanson…”

Thursday I went to eat Korean Barbecue with three of my coworkers after work. One of them paid and told us to pay her back whenever (because she knows where we work…) So after this, I went to the ATM to withdrawal some monies and the @#$@^##$@ ATM shuts off as it’s counting my money!!!!   zoom-in-castle-gasp-gif


I’m panicking and continue to touch the ATM like it’s going to “wake up” and continue it’s job. Luckily, there was an ajusshi (an older Korean man) and his wife waiting in close proxmity to my broken down ATM and I approached them to ask if they knew English and to ask them for their help. The wife pushed the husband toward me and poked him, so that was a good sign. I told him what had happened and asked him how to fix it. He tried the service phone the ATM’s little cubicle, but it was out of order… He then located the number and called on his personal phone to the ATM service people. During this time, hid daughter had come from her academy and they seemed restless to get home. He seemed a bit put out that the ATM service man said it would take 15 minutes to get there and I reassured him I’d be okay waiting by myself. So the nice family left and I was waiting…waiting… waiting… until I saw someone walking extremely fast toward me out of the corner of my eye. The ATM service man! YAY! He was really attractive. He opened up the machine and retrieved my card and I was like, giphy
“Thank you!!!” with the dumbest look on my face probably, I don’t know because I can’t see my own face.

Friday, I was rudely awoken by my doorbell. Luckily it was for a good thing… I got a package from my friend Carly! It included a super cool Christmas card and some random goodies that made me smile. Carly, that Cadbury bar was bomb!

Saturday I went with Sean to his friend Tim’s in Jamsil for a Christmas lunch/movie get together. There were lots of people there and everyone brought amazingly delicious things to share. We watched Elf, Bad Santa, and a good portion of Die Hard. Video games were played. Alcohol was consumed. It was good. I left with Nick, my coworker, around 7 or 8 I don’t remember, and we caught the train and bus back to Suwon.

Nick and me 

Me and Lizzie
Today I did nothing special; laundry mostly. I, of course, had the most traditional of Christmas meals today… grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch and McDonald’s for dinner. McDonald’s was poppin’ too. I got there right before a rush of people came through.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah,
Britt

The week my cat died.

This past week has been spent preparing for the new term at school. This also brought the departure of a coworker and the arrival of a new one. I’m no longer the “new” one, so that feels a bit unreal.

Tuesday we were told to come in early for a meeting which was implied that we would go over schedules for the new term. We all get there and there is a new director for our school! I had heard rumors about getting a new director but I didn’t really give it much credence. As with any management change, there are already changes in procedures and it’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out. And if any of these changes would influence me to stay here by extending my contract or not. Now that Sean and I have to have our desks in the directors room as of last Friday it makes me a bit more nervous than it did initially.

Wednesday I felt off and sad for no particular reason. After work I went home and just sat in my bed in the dark. I had a weird feeling that I should call my parents house knowing full well that they were at work. So I messaged my mom to ask about adding something to the box of clothes I ordered and had sent to their house. She responded that I should call their house because my dad was home sick. I called at around 1 am my time and I was informed that my cat, Emily, had passed away. After we talked about some other news, I hung up and cried until 3 am. I woke up again at 7:30 crying.  I don’t know which would have been worse, feeling guilty that I’ve been away from her in last three months of life or knowing that if she were living with me when she died I’d be even more of a wreck. Rest In Peace Emily 1995 – 2016. The last 21 years wouldn’t have been as good without your cuddles and company 💔😞

Thursday was the start of the new term and I had a bit of an anxiety attack when I got to work because my computer background is a picture of Emily’s cute dumb face. I was trying to quickly to change it to something else and was just getting more irritated. I was telling Sean about my cat dying and was crying – all while the new director is looking at me probably like, “what is wrong with this mess?” Sean was kind enough to tell her for me while I sobbed. Then I went to get something from the copy room and I ran into the foreign head teacher, Andrea, and she asked me if I was okay and I lost it and made the ugliest crying faces I’ve ever made. I am the world’s ugliest crier so that was probably a joy to see. Other than a couple tears leaking out, I think those are the only two times I cried at work, thank God.

My classes this term seem like they’ll be good. My classes are significantly smaller on Tuesday/Thursdays which I don’t mind at all. I feel it makes it easier to get things done and focus on extra things if needed. The classes on Monday/Wednesday/Friday are bigger but are older students for the most part. I had a new student on Friday who wanted to make an English name and I was caught so off  guard by that. I was not prepared to name this child! I asked the class for suggestions, added some of my own, and had her pick because she didn’t have a name in mind.

I had to work yesterday for “Open Class.” When prospective students come to our school and check it out – we give them an overview of what classes would be like and gauge their abilities. My experience was unique as there were only two students scheduled and only one showed up. The past two weekends, they’ve had open class as well and they had over ten kids both times.

After open class I walked around and then came back for a nap. Later in the evening, I met up with Sean, Brittany, and Nick and we went to Jamsil-dong in Seoul. Sean has a friend, Tim, who lives there from his previous teaching job; he and his girlfriend were kind enough to host us all for a movie night. We were supposed to meet up with Elizabeth at the subway station but it seems that some miscommunication happened and Elizabeth was at the incorrect station and decided to go home as she had been in Seoul all day. We watched Popstar, which I didn’t really have any desire to see but it was really funny and I enjoyed it a lot. Then we moved on to the The Good Guys, I was having a great time until my stomach started to get crampy and angry and that movie seemed like it was going to go on foreverrrrrr. Everyone else wanted to go a bar and I was going to catch a cab and go back home because I was not feeling well. Our gracious hosts gave me some tummy meds, got me a blanket, and let me stay at their apartment until they came back from the bar so I could split the cost of the cab fare with the others.

I can cross that off my lame bucket list…

I didn’t really do a whole lot this past week.

Wednesday was interesting; we learned the outcome of the Presidential election and the day was somber in tone.

gump

Last Friday, my ear started to get achy and I was hoping it was just because of the weather change. Wrong. It wasn’t unbearable until this past Thursday. Luckily there is an ENT doctor in the same building as my bank. So, I got to experience going to the doctor in a different country (check that off the lamest bucket list ever…). Anyway, I popped into the doctor’s office before work and I had a fever which was no surprise to me because I was drenched with sweat. I was surprised how streamlined this doctor’s visit was. No questionnaires about health problems or medical history, just tell me what your problem is and I’ll take a look. So the doctor does this and then puts a camera up my nose and in each ear canal to get a better look. Not only do I have a fever, but a sinus infection and double ear infections. Great. So he prescribes me some medicines and I go to the pharmacy. The pharmacist explains each of the pills in the little packets and when I should take them. Only after I paid for my medicine and left the pharmacy did I remember, oh yeah I’m allergic to like three different antibiotics. Below is one day’s worth of meds.


You don’t really get to call in sick here unless you’re dying so I got to wear a cool mask and sweat my ass off while I felt dizzy. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be but damn Friday went about as fast as a Galapagos Tortoise. After classes were done we had a rehearsal for the school’s festival which I’ll get in to below.


Friday was made better by the arrival of a huge box from my parents. I was super excited and I opened it right at my desk. I was nervous because it seemed like the box was purely filled with crumpled up newspaper pages but it was heavy. Then I got to the good stuff; Cheetos and Doritos! Yes, they sell Cheetos and Doritos in South Korea but they have a funky sweet taste to them and the “cheese” taste is super nasty. In other words, I’m a Cheetos/Doritos snob and will only eat those imported from The United States of America. Also in this box were some new shirts my mom picked out, my teddy bear, some shoes, and other items I requested.


Today, we had LangCon Fest which, from what I gather occurs to make teachers and staff irritated but is a good public relations/recruiting tool for our school’s company. Kids practiced and sang a song to “audition” for parts in this greater festival in the beginning of the year. For the past month or so, we’ve been working with teams of three to five students to get them ready for the school’s festival which was today. Then two teams will move on to a company wide festival in December (?).


So not only do I have the aforementioned illnesses but I have to be at work on a Saturday at 9 a.m. and an irritating part, I’m not getting paid for it. Awesome. Luckily by some random act of the universe, my part in this festival was pretty minimal and I just had to sit in a chair and pretend to judge the competition as we had already decided the results last night during the practice the night before. Every group did a great job and some were out of this world. After cleaning up, the staff and teachers went for lunch.


After lunch I took a four hour nap! I feel better but at the same time, I don’t. I did however feel well enough to walk to the grocery store to buy food as I only had a lemon and some cheddar cheese in my fridge. I bought bananas, clementines, and grapes because I decided part of the reason I’m in this state right now is because I don’t eat enough fruit. The other half being, shit otolaryngic genetics (thanks, fam). While at the store I found almond milk and I was so happy. So now I have Frosted Flakes and I can eat them without wanting to die afterward.

Shit kids say and other updates

I teach at a private language academy and the children I have contact with are ages 6 to 12. A lot of them seem like they’d rather be anywhere else but there because they come directly after public (regular) school or from another academy. Most of them are really well behaved but like always, there are a few trouble makers.

  • kid comes into classroom with realistic looking toy gun, points it at my head, makes shooting noises, laughs and says, “teacher die!”😳
    • I have had several issues with this child already and obviously was not amused.
  • multiple kids like to poke me in the belly like I’m the Pillsbury Dough Boy – probably because it’s not common to see people this fat here, I don’t take offense to this
  • a lot of the little girls give me hugs and tell me I’m “comfy” or “squishy” – again, not offended and I don’t think it’s meant to be malicious, also it’s true so whatevs
  • boy takes my picture as we’re wrapping up class – I ask him why, he says he wants to show his friends; um okay?
  • boy draws a heart shaped thing in his school book, tells me it’s my butt, laughs, and points from his book to my actual butt
  • the past couple of days had been cooler so I wore my hair down – several of the girls tell me, “teacher hair!” and give me a thumbs up
  • I had a cold this past week and some of the girls told me, “Britt teacher should have soup”

I’m feeling better about ordering food from restaurants and shops in the market by my house. However, tonight I went to get some Dakgangjeong (닭강정) but I forgot what it was called so I tried to read the menu. HA! I ordered something of chicken origin, but not what I wanted. I don’t know what I ordered but it is spicy and looks like mystery meat. Luckily, the shop next door sells corn dogs (핫도그)  that are in plain sight so I only have to say, “이거 주세요.” (please give me this) and the shop people ask me how many and if I want ketchup.


Ah, Dakgangjeong (닭강정), I’ll go back to eat you tomorrow I guess ☹️️

Had to bust out my fuzzy north face coat tonight because it’s getting chilly finally. I also tried on my down winter coat, unsurprisingly it fits better this year than last winter. 

Yes, I am a crazy cat person.

Lately I’ve been thinking about some weird things I didn’t think I would but I will undoubtedly miss while I’m in South Korea for a year and some things I won’t miss too much.

Things on the list I’ll miss:

  • My friends 😥
  • The excitement in my friend’s children’s voices when I go over to their house
  • Hay bales randomly plopped in fields along the highway
  • Miles of green seas of corn and soybeans
  • Iowa sweet corn
  • Seeing the giant tractors at the Farm Implement store on the way to my house
  • Culver’s ButterBurgers
  • My family, probably

Mostly, what I know I’ll miss is my kitty Emily.

Emmy Face

Seriously though, for those of you who don’t know, this cat is 21 years old. I’ve had her the majority of my life and she’s been there with me through all of my journeys to date with an exception of the four years I lived in Minnesota; two with my aunt and the two years went to Winona State University.

Mom and I took Emily in to the veterinarian this past Thursday and made me cry because I realized that I might not be able to be with my kitty for the final year(s) and adventure(s) of her long, healthy life. 😦 I’m glad that she has a home with my parents who will be caring for her while I’m away but I just wish she could come with me so I can snuggle her in the twilight of her life.