Weeks 27 & 28

Uuuuhhh… It’s been hot and rainy here. But looking back in one of those Facebook memory things – it’s actually around the same temperature here as back home. The only difference being the unrelenting downpours. At one point during the past two weeks I was awoken by the loudness of the rain, no not thunder, the actual rain. I’ve had to wear my Sperry Duck boots on more than one occasion on my five minute walk to work. 

We started phone speaking again. It’s really interesting to see who does a fantastic job on the phone when their parents are right there opposed to how they act in class. I got to call the second youngest level we have this term and it has mostly been painful because they can’t see what I’m doing and have to understand only verbal cues.

I figured out how to braid my own hair after 2+ hours of trying. My arms felt like spaghetti noodles afterwards. I was trying for a French braid but it turns out I made a Dutch braid… like I knew the difference hahaha.

Last Thursday, three coworkers and I went to eat and watcher Spider-Man. It’s waaay more fun to say in Konglish – 스파이더 맨. It was way confusing to see old Batman as the villain in this movie. My brain was so broken. But I guess Michael Keaton really likes to play characters that have an association with wings?

Last weekend I went to the NBA Buzzer Beat Festival in Seoul by Gimpo Airport. I left after work on Friday and stayed at a hostel right next to the airport. Again, I ended up sharing a room with someone with some lethal body odor and nearly had to suffocate myself with the duvet to sleep. 😦 😦 😦 It turned out a girl from Daegu was also staying at this hostel and was also going to the festival. She didn’t speak much English and I speak minimal baby level Korean so we communicated through translation apps and decided to go there together. It was hot and humid of course so everyone was sweaty and miserable as it was inside. There were so many people moving in and out from the two stage areas I thought I was going to be trampled a couple times. I found a chair and refused to leave it for the remainder of the festival. At one point, it was so hot I fell asleep. I didn’t find this music festival enjoyable until the last act, who I have already seen twice before. So it felt like a massive waste of time and I was miserable for 85% of it because it was so damn hot.


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The students seem to really enjoy drawing teachers on the board. It’s nice when they don’t draw me as the Hulk or King Kong. My student, Chloe, drew me with Mordor, my ball python, around my neck after we talked about pets in class.​​

I tested out all the different BB creams and foundations I own by swatching them on my arm because I was really curious how they compared to each other. Some of them make me question my sanity as to how I thought they’d be acceptable to apply to my face, but whatever, I guess.

Saturday and part of Sunday I had my first migraine in a long time. I believe it was because of the storms that were lingering around. I felt barfy and didn’t want to move so I didn’t with the exception, of course, of getting water and going to the bathroom. I did feel good enough to walk to a restaurant and get something more substantial to eat and it wasn’t as hot outside, so that probably helped.

Until whenever I feel like,

B

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 19, 2017

Monday and Tuesday the kids were absolutely wild and crazy. Whether from the long weekend or being off from school because of the election, their attention spans were not amazing.

Wednesday we got Indian food for lunch 😁 and we had term test. And Thursday was term test for the two day classes. One of the girls in my lowest level classes always smells my arms and I thought that was a bit odd. I asked my Korean co-teacher to ask her why she does this and her response was precious; “because I want to explore,” well okay, do your thing.

Friday… I got so frustrated, I cried at work. Because my normal ways of dealing with frustration aren’t acceptable in professional settings, the only way for the mass of emotion to exit was through tears.

Saturday I woke up and got ready for Korean class, talked with Hannah for a bit and started coughing again. I coughed so hard it made me throw up…on myself. I gave up on everything at that point and just went back to bed.

I slept for a fair amount of time and decided I should still accomplish my plan for the day. I stopped at one of the restaurants I frequent to get a bit to eat before conquering my mission and the man upgraded my meal and gave me extra food. I was trying to have a small meal and that wasn’t happening. I thanked him profusely. While I was eating it was pouring with a couple rounds of thunder and lightning. By the time I was finished, the rain had stopped enough for me to wait at the crosswalk and get to the bus stop. What very polite weather we had! I went to Itaewon to check out a store for people bigger than Korean sizes. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t it. Because my parents are nice and sent me pants I didn’t really check out that portion of the store, I was a bit disappointed with the selection of tops but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’ll get over it. The staff was super friendly and hilarious. I had to keep exiting the dressing room because there weren’t mirrors inside and at one point one woman gasped and said, “oh my god! Your skin is just so white!” I laughed and lifted the skirt of the dress I was trying on to my knees, and I think she almost fainted.  😂👍🏻

Sunday I went to the mall to get sunglasses but they were out of the frames I wanted. ☹️ So I decided to go to the movies while I was there. I saw King Arthur and since the only promo I saw of it was Charlie Hunnam kicking ass I did not expect it to be the way it was. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. It was a good way to kill two hours.

Until next week,

B

Week 18, 3017

Monday and Tuesday we had Children’s Day celebrations for our classes. Our campus had a Pokémon theme. We played bingo, stack the cups, had the students write cards for their parents, and did paper puzzles like mazes, and word finds. One of our classes on Tuesday gets an extra half hour of class so they got to play jeopardy. They also had “battles” against another class where they got to play games as a class. The kids seemed to really enjoy it. 

Wednesday was Buddha’s Birthday so I didn’t work! Thank you Buddha! It was hot enough for me to turn on the air con. It was 82 degrees  fahrenheit at noon today. I did extensive cleaning, garbage sorting, and laundry. Then I decided to go walk around the mall. 

While waiting for the bus to the mall, I saw a former coworker out of the corner of my eye. We used to hang out and haven’t talked for months. I found it amusing how much effort she was putting in to make sure I didn’t see or talk to her, or whatever the fuck she was trying to do. She sees me and stops dead in her tracks and starts taking selfies by a flowering bush next to the sidewalk, all while having her back to me but I can see her face on the phone screen. She moves into the bus stop area but still has her back to me, a very unnatural way to move. It just made her that more awkwardly obvious. Part of me really wanted to crush her obvious desire for avoidance but the other part of me was like, “nah, if I wanted to talk to you I would have before now.” So I just smirked at her awkwardness, got on the bus, and went about my business.

Thursday was back to work. It was so discombobulating. Because Friday is a holiday as well, there were hardly any students in attendance. My first class of the day only had two students of ten show up. For my next two classes, my co-teacher and I combined our classes and we played rock, scissor, paper to see who would teach first. 😂 It was quite a day. 

Friday was Children’s Day so again no work. I had plans to go to the arboretum with a friend but “something important came up…” while I don’t doubt this is a legit excuse, this is the second time this week it’s happened – it’s annoying. So I stayed home until the late afternoon because it was quite warm out. I took myself to the movies and dinner. I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2. It was a good movie. It made me stop thinking about dumb shit for the duration of it so that’s good. 

Saturday we didn’t have Korean class but I met two of my classmates, Claudia and Shabrina, and we went to Dongdaemun Design Plaza for an exhibition on Pixar 30 Years of Animation. It was very awesome. We were there for three and a half hours! Then we took the train to Jamsil and walked around in the Lotte World Mall. It was a great day – I walked 9.1 km and didn’t get home almost 12 hours after leaving in the morning. 

Sunday I went to a multi room near Suwon Station. I played Wii for two hours. I’m hilariously bad at video games so it was a fun time. 

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 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