Weeks 23 and 24¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Uhhh so I guess I forgot to write two weeks worth of life? I have a bad memory so this doesn’t surprise me. 

As mentioned previously, we started the new term on June 1st. Things seem to be going ok so far. I like the majority of my classes. The Korean teacher and I have had some issues with one of the girls in a higher level class being rude to us and not being a pleasant person. I scolded her in class and my coworker called her mom. Another one of my classes is probably the worst behaved class I’ve had my entire time here. There are four or five students in the class that are angels and the others…well they’re just not motivated to be there or think it’s social hour. 

I asked the director at my school if she would like me to stay an extra term and she seemed shocked that I suggested such a thing. But honestly, this came about after I had talked to a recruiter for a different job I was interested in and even though I would have about a month between the jobs, I wouldn’t be able to go home. I thought about this and decided it wasn’t ideal for many reasons and let him know I would wait a term and apply later. So, expect me stateside ~December and January at least. 🎄✌🏻

Everyone in my family is/was on baby watch. My brother’s wife, Hannah, was due to give birth to their second child any day and being 14 time zones away is a bit difficult to stay in the loop. On Monday June 12th, Astrid Jean joined the Hokanson clan. 

This year is going to be interesting because three of my cousins and a friend are also pregnant, all due one month after each other… it will certainly make coming home in December all the more exciting. 👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼

Friday I went out with four of my coworkers. The first bar we went to had ladies night with half priced drinks. Anything other than beer or soju is generally expensive in Korea so we took advantage of that. Then we went to a dance club. I somehow lost my apartment key while dancing. I went to the dj to ask if they had a lost and found, they didn’t but he was kind enough to announce to the whole club I’d lost my r2d2 Lego keychain 🤦🏼‍♀️ and maybe 30 minutes later the bartender comes up to me with my key! I hugged her so hard. I’m honestly really lucky in the fact that the unlucky things that happen to me turn out waaaaay worse than they could. After that debacle we danced for an eternity. I ate McDonald’s breakfast before staggering home around 5:45am. 


Saturday I was not hungover! Yay. I didn’t do much because, although I didn’t have a hangover my body hurt from all the drunk dancing I did. I did laundry and tidied up. I met Asia for pizza and went back to doing nothing at home. I watched Supergirl on Netflix.

Sunday slept in and met Asia and Sharon for 샤브샤브  for a late lunch. I did not eat 샤브샤브 because it’s hot soup and it was hot out. I had a super huge and equally delicious salad for lunch. After that we decided to go walk around a different part of Suwon. I walked over 11,000 steps so I’d say it was a productive day. 

Until next week,

B

I’m so sick of being sick

Well, I’m still sick. Tonsillitis has been kicking my ass for the past three weekends now. Along with sinusitis and double ear infections that have milder than usual. You might be asking yourself, “but Britt I thought you had a tonsillectomy after high school…” and to that I’d respond, “I did but I’m apparently a salamander that can regenerate removed lymphatic tissue…” Totally uncool, right? Especially since I talk for a living. I’ve made friends with the good people at the ENT clinic – and I’ve found that Korean health insurance is pretty cool to have.

However, when I went to bed last night I noticed that I was developing hives. The last time I went to the doctor, my penicillin allergy must have gotten lost in translation so I made sure to confirm with both the doctor and the pharmacist that I was not receiving a type of penicillin. The good news is my nose and throat feel pretty normal now and it’s just my ears that are being bothersome – which is pretty much me back to normal…but with hives all over my body. On the way to work today my lips were swollen and throbbing and I probably looked like I’d come fresh from the plastic surgeon.

I worked on Thanksgiving which is nothing new to me because I’ve worked in retail. But here, it just seemed like another day because why would Koreans celebrate American Thanksgiving. Our company organized Thanksgiving dinners for us and that was really nice. Although, “Black Friday” seems to be a thing here but is not confined to one weekday but the entire week of American Thanksgiving. Curious, right?! I was a bit confused when I was walking around seeing shops with signs that said, “Black Friday Sale 11/23 -11/26.” Neat, huh?

I realized I need to mix up my food acquiring as I went to a restaurant on Wednesday and the owner, who isn’t even there all the time, knew what I wanted to order before I even got to the counter. Also, it probably helps that I’m not Asian and am glaringly different than 99.9% of the population here. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or embarrassed.

Next week on Thursday, we’re starting the winter term at school. I have been in South Korea for 1/4 of my contract now. My coworker Sean and I moved desks today to be in the Director’s Room which segregates us from the other teachers. This past term two Korean teachers were in there so it’s the foreigner’s turn this semester. We were joking about how we get to be to “those people” who have to pop in to the teacher’s room to say hi when we arrive now. I feel that since I’ll be desk neighbors with him, he’ll keep it hilarious, lighthearted, and entertaining.

Random Things:

  • One thing I’ve found beneficial to living in a studio apartment is that you can’t really walk to another room and forget why you went there… I can effectively see my entire house from my bed and don’t really forget stuff like that anymore.
  • Ondol (온돌)  water based Korean in floor heating, is amazing and I love to lay out the clothes I’m going to wear the next day on the floor so they are nice and cozy when I wake up.

Say what? Earthquake?!

Hmm where I do start?

Friday was a pretty bad day. I have three students in my first class that seem to be out to be the shittiest little kids in all my classes as two or all three of them are throwing a fit about something everyday. The girl is essentially a seven year old baby. She cried because one of the boys touched her pencil case. There is one boy in the same class that legit looks like a mini version of a middle aged man that’s hung over and always pissed off about something. These kids are like 7 or 8 and in that class all hell broke loose on Friday and I got yelled at for not controlling the class better. I agree it was a shitshow, however that was only my 6th day teaching so I don’t really know why the expectations are that I’m perfect and nothing goes wrong, like ever.

My coworkers and I went to a bar close to work and had some beer (ew) and they succeeded in making me feel better. Afterwards, two of us wanted to get pizza but it was closed 😦 So I was shown the walking trail as an alternate to taking the pedestrian bridge.

Saturday the head teacher, Andrea, showed me how to get HomePlus which is like a Target or Walmart. It’s about a 20 minute walk if you’re a slow walker like me. This store is near the baseball stadium. The store was pretty cool. I went with the intent to look for a desk or table lamp and of course I didn’t remember that when I got there. I did, however, remember to buy pillow cases and a fitted sheet. I also bought about $50 worth of groceries. We took a cab back home because I bought lots of juice and that shit is heavy and I’m not about to carry that for 20+ minutes. Hell no.

Sunday I was excited to put my newly purchased and washed sheet on my bed… I bought the wrong damn size! I got a single/twin and my bed is a queen! I was not surprised because I do this kind of thing all the time.

Today I had my M-W-F kids, the same little terrors. The two trouble some boys started a fight over one’s book being over the halfway line of the desk. One of them even did the “come at me bro” action. tumblr_lmfoyckhfk1qii6tmo1_500 meanwhile, I was like, giphy and then I realized that I was the “responsible” adult in the room and made the least troublesome of the boys move to the back of the room.

As requested, I made this video of my walk from school to my apartment. Yes, that is a veterinarian’s office across the hall from my academy. I always peep in there and look at the doggies.
My Walk Home

After shooting this video there was apparently an earthquake in southeast Korea. I didn’t feel it but a girl who works in an academy down the street from me on the 6th floor did. Kind of makes me wonder if I even know what an earthquake “feels” like.

I went solo

First off here’s a pic of the hotel all the teachers are staying at 


It has a wedding/convention center attached, which is bigger than the hotel and not pictured.

I, again, woke up at 5:45 am. #gross

So I only had one day of training at headquarters and today I’m off to see Suwon, my school, and meet everyone. I had to take a bus for 15/20 minutes to the subway station and then ride the subway for about an hour


At first I go on the train going the wrong way! 😱 Luckily I realized my mistake right away and got off at the next station and swapped trains. 

I got to my destination early and was able to walk around. I immediately spotted an Indian restaurant, three skin care brand stores, a Pizza Hut, Popeye’s Chicken, and Starbucks. My first thought: this is going to be ok. I slipped in to Starbucks and got a celebratory Frappucino for not getting too lost or dying! 

I met the current head foreign teacher who is leaving on Thursday and her replacement at the train station exit and caught a bus back to school where I was introduced to the staff and other teachers. 

The director of the school wanted to have a chat with me to get to know me rather than reading about me in a file. She seemed very impressed with the classes that I took through University of Iowa and King Sejong Insititute. She said that I have a really nice voice and that I have the dispossition for being an English teacher.

I only observed classes yesterday and honestly it was a bit overwhelming just because it was all so new. I also got my books and the schedule for what I’ll be teaching. I don’t have desk yet because the one teacher is still still teaching until Thursday and I’m  a bit in the way. 

Everyone at school is very nice and welcoming. Of the native English speaking teachers that are staying, two are Canadian, one is from UK, and one from Wisconsin. The director bought us lunch and told me a faster way to get home than I took. She also rode the bus with me and walked me to the hotel. Which was super nice because we had a meeting after classes were over and didn’t arrive at the hotel until 11pm. 

Friday is the big day. The director will pick me up in her car and take all my suitcases to school. I will start teaching classes on Friday. This is not a drill. I will start teaching classes on Friday. And after a full day of teaching I will move into my apartment. I’m moving into the apartment of the teacher that’s leaving so it makes it a bit weird right now having to come to and from the hotel everyday.