Week 21, 2017

This week is the last full week of this term Monday I spent the day ensuring I had my materials ready as I would be “on vacation” Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Tuesday I had a parents meeting with mother of one of the students from the lowest level class. I told her that her son is so well behaved and an angel. She laughed and agreed by saying, “I’m very thankful for him too!” It was a very cute response.

I quadruple checked my materials and handed them over to the director to check after classes. I got a message from her and I was so shocked I took a picture of it. She rarely gives out compliments, if at all – so I felt the need to document it. 

After work, nearly all of my coworkers went out to eat.

Wednesday was the start of my vacation. Because I’m lazy and don’t really plan things, I didn’t go away. I went to a multi room and played wii all day long and watched random movies. I was there from 1 pm until 7 pm. Then I went to eat spicy marinated chicken.

Thursday I went to Myeongdong to meet my former coworker, Andrea, who came back to Korea after three months of traveling around Asia. We went shopping and got haircuts. I bought Kyle a pretty awesome magnet for his collection but I lost it before I even got home, because I suck. 😞

The first thing I noticed about the hair dye below was not that it was Disney inspired, oh no. The fact that Rapunzel has become “Lapunzel” was the first thing I noticed. Fair enough though because “ㄹ” has a r/l sound so it doesn’t really matter to Koreans.

I got these sweet Marvel character masks and I’m so impressed. Also, if you think it’s a good idea to try to eat with one of these masks on you are sadly mistaken.

Friday I wasn’t feeling well. I had the worst headache I’ve had in years. I couldn’t force myself to get out of bed, I tried but it just wasn’t happening. I finally got up to go to the doctor. I’ve still been coughing up goo and having coughing fits. I was given five pills to take three times a day for three days. After I got my medicine, I got some food, and made my way to work to pick up a package that came for me from Modcloth. Sorry for the shitty photos but I don’t have a full length mirror. But here’s what I got:

Now you may be asking yourself, “I don’t recall Britt ever liking to wear skirts or dresses…” Well, that’s because, to borrow from 보라씨, I think I look like a potato in them. But I decided to say “fuck it” and just wear what I want because people already stare at me here. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Saturday I went to Korean class and there were only four students there including me. When the class first started it was full with thirteen students. We did a practice final exam. I didn’t do horrible but it wasn’t perfect either. I was asked to stay after class for the student council meeting because our class president was one of the people absent. I just sat there listening because I was not sure about what was going on. We were given kimbap and as hard as I try, I just can’t like it. I was able to force down four or five slices before I called it quits. After class I walked around Suwon Station for a bit and ate the spiciest thing I’ve eaten while in Korea. I got a “spicy” chicken sandwich and while eating it wasn’t that hot but, it snuck up on me and when I was about to finish eating it hurt to breathe. It was so painful. Omg I felt like I was cooking from the inside out.

Sunday I didn’t do much besides have a lot of water and consume my pills. I finally got bored with reading Reddit *gasp! I know right?!* and decided I should probably leave my house at some point. I tried my hand at setting up the movie theater app on my phone but I asked me for my login info from a points card I got when I first came to Korea – so of course I didn’t remember any of that. So I ventured down a journey figuring out my login id and resetting my password. Which of course is ~all~ in Korean. Then I set up Kakao Pay so I could save my payment info…again, all in Korean. I was finally successful with purchasing a ticket to the movies and I set out on the bus…only to realize I got a ticket at the other theater. Hahaha… of course I would do that, right? So I get off the bus, luckily in an area I’m semi-familiar with. I decided this would be as good of a time as any to try out Kakao Taxi, a service that reserves a taxi for you after you enter in your starting and finishing point on a map…all in Korean. I was successful after a few trial and error issues. I got to to the theater with ten minutes to spare before my movie. So I feel massively proud of myself that I was able to figure all of that out! 😎✌🏻

Until next week,

B

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Week 15

Banking in Korea still boggles my mind after six months… my American bank doesn’t care that my password has consecutive numbers but my Korean bank requires me to have no repeating letters or numbers, no consecutive numbers, not have the same numbers as my national ID card, phone number, or bank account number ~AND~ requires me to set up a digital security certificate. That’s only to bank on my phone; to use my laptop I have to use Internet Explorer (eeeewwwww) and download a shit ton of “security” software – which I did download but it tells me, in Korean, there’s a problem so I don’t even bother trying anymore. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Thursday:  I’m such an idiot. I left my bag with my house key at a restaurant but I have my wallet and phone… My coworker tried to call the restaurant owner but he didn’t answer. So, I had to ask my landlady to unlock my door and will have to have her son lock it for me in the morning when I go back to get my bag…

Friday: I had to leave my apartment two hours earlier than normal so my landlady’s son could lock my apartment. I went to the restaurant but they were still closed. So I decided to use this time wisely and go to the ENT doctor because my throat had been hurting, I was having chest pains, and coughing up mucous. I have bronchitis probably caused by air pollution. Woohoo. So I’m given a bevy of different pills to take. But to make my shitty day better I pet the nice street cat.


Saturday: I’m at Korean class and have no idea what’s going on because I missed last weeks class in lieu of the music festival I went to. During our break between halves of class my classmate comes up to me and gives me a backhanded compliment of, “Britt you are beautiful but a bit fat – please don’t eat these snacks and go on a diet.” My response: I know. Later during class I caught him blatantly staring at me and I said “why” and he was just like  ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)  being a creep.

After walking around HomePlus, I went home and cleaned – deep cleaned my apartment. I washed so much laundry; mostly linens. During this time, I got thirsty for grape juice and walked to the convenience store. The clerk there was really inquisitive about why I was there, what I was doing in Korea, and general questions of that nature.

Today: I refused to get out of bed. I finally did because I was hungry and also wanted to see about getting an eye exam and new pair of glasses. My prescription hasn’t changed in the last four years so that’s good to know. I got an exam and my new glasses in under thirty minutes. The optician, like the man at the convenience store on Saturday, was really curious about where I was from, why I’m in Korea, how long I’ve been here, and how long I intend to stay. I enjoy this new found curiosity but it makes it a bit awkward because the default to those questions is – where are you from, what about you… well these people are obviously Korean.

Until next week,

B

Week 13, 2017

This past week we had a substitute teacher as one of the NETs was on vacation. It’s always interesting to meet transient teachers and hear the stories they wish to share.

I literally have no news from the week…other than I got my eyebrows touched up and I look ridiculous because my eyebrows are too brown right now.

Yesterday, I went to the Korean Folk Village in Yongin with my Korean class.

I got excited because it smelled like straw and animal shit and it reminded me of home…

Garlic garden

Coooooorrrrrrrrnnnnnnnn

I was impressed with this fence

A solo cherry blossom

A sign telling about dramas shot here

Basket weaver

 

Wind dancer

Korean pancake. Kimchi, plain potato, green pepper

Only the cool kids from class came on this trip 🙂

A pretty bridge

 

A rope walker


This performer man looks like he hates life lol

 


We were late to see this performance because we wanted to eat ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Week 10, 2017

Monday… since I don’t remember what happened it must not be important.

Tuesday: On the way to work I saw the egg man. Legit. I laughed about it. The day was going well until my last class of the day and I somehow got confused about when break was. I ended up taking my break when it is on M-W-F, when I’m supposed to be in class on T-Th. So I was at least 15 minutes late to my class. The kids were cool about it and asked me if I was late because I was pooping. So that was nice of them. Immediately after class I went to apologize to the director because I felt really bad. She told me that it was okay, only because I finished the pages for that day.

Wednesday was tiring because of the two “baby” classes back to back. I am still trying to work out how to wrangle them and keep them all on track even though we don’t understand each other.

Thursday I went to break at the correct time and I will forever be paranoid about that now. After class, all the foreign teachers went to trivia at The Big Chill, a foreigner’s bar in Suwon. I got a bottle of soju and talked to the people one of my coworkers invited.  My team ended up winning trivia! I was so jazzed. I never win anything! yaaaaay me! Two random Korean guys came over to talk to the table and we had some pretty good conversation.

Friday, the second of the “baby” level classes made me so annoyed. There is a boy in this class that is, I think, 5 years old. He doesn’t know how to write in Korean let alone in English. He thinks this class is play time; it is not. He clutched on to the back of my shirt and wouldn’t let go for what felt like an eternity, but was probably ten minutes. When I said something to the class he mocked my tone of voice and thought it was the funniest thing ever and laughed until his face was almost purple. He hid under the table a couple times and I just started to ignore him. There is another child in this class that likes to instigate things with the aforementioned 5 year old. I do not enjoy that class because of those two children. I went and got a pepperoni pizza and went home.

Saturday was the first day of Korean class. I woke up at 8:00 and was upset I couldn’t sleep in.  The weather was super nice so that kind of made me less of a grump. I am just not a morning person. My class is pretty diverse; there are two Americans, one Irish lady, a Polish lady, a Mexican lady, three Indonesian ladies, two Vietnamese men, an Indian lady and a Pakistani man. I’m a bit nervous about how it’s going to go as it progresses because the stuff we went over was stuff I was already familiar with and it still seemed like it was a bit too fast paced.


After class I went to Suwon Station to meet up with one of the guys I met on Thursday at trivia. I told him I wanted to eat Original Pancake House in Itaewon so we hopped on a train and got to Itaewon but his app gave us a really unnecessary, illogical mountain climbing “long-cut” to get there. At one point we were walking up the mountain at a 45 degree angle. It was awful. I do not like mountains. We finally reached our destination and it was magical. After I inhaled my food, we left and of course we could have been there on level ground by just going around the corner. TL;DR don’t trust your phone when it tells you to hike up 45 degree angle mountain faces when you know you could be there in 5 seconds around the corner.

Today I did laundry and pretended to watch Netflix. I fell asleep multiple times but the show’s episodes I was watching are repetitive enough that it didn’t really matter.