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

Week 12, 2017

I seem to be having difficulty remembering Mondays… like it’s selective amnesia.


Tuesday after work Sean and I got pizza. I was introduced to the spicy chicken quesadilla pizza lifestyle and I don’t think my life will ever be the same. 


It seems like nothing else really happened Wednesday through Friday. 

Saturday I went to Korean class. There was an election for student body president. Four dudes and one lady; they were required to give a speech and all of the dudes were talking about how they were there to meet women. #fuckboyalert 

After class I went to HiMart to buy an external battery for my phone and was thrilled when I tried on a long spring jacket at uniqlo and it fit/zipped! On the way back home I got bored and got off the bus early to enjoy the weather. I took a wrong turn and got lost. The only reason I noticed was because I had to pee and I should have been home by then. 


This evening I met with Asia and her friends from orientation and we went to Beauty and the Beast. I had goosebumps the entire time because I remember being obsessed with the animated version. I enjoyed seeing the costumes and how they resembled the animated version very closely. 

Until next week, 

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.

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

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.