Weeks 25 & 26

Haha. I sense a trend in two weeks in one blog post forming. I shouldn’t do this though because as already mentioned, I have a shit memory.

Thursday the 22nd, my smallest class composed of two boys with the same name – the Daniels, drew me and my co-teacher on the board. Notice how I have a new name and no arms in the rendering on the left. That’s from a boy who I taught six months ago. He still remembers my full name and how to spell it… I worked at the same company for three years and people still couldn’t remember how to pronounce, let alone spell my last name. I guess that just goes to show that my nine year old student is more intelligent that those people?

Saturday, June 24th, not one, but two of my coworkers got married… and not to each other. It was a highly interesting experience as every wedding I’ve been to, with the exception of one, were all with the same cultural background. Korean weddings, from what was kindly explained to me by other co-workers, last at most three hours. There is a short ceremony and then a celebratory meal and then everyone goes on their way. When I shared how long receptions go on in the USA, one co-worker was appalled and said, “if that happened here, people would be so offended and burdened!”

The first wedding we all went to was for our co-worker Kathy. It was a very grand affair with four forks per place setting and I was so happy to remember my home economics training regarding these types of place settings. When we arrived, we went to the “bride’s room” and took pictures with Kathy. She looked gorgeous, as always. She had a western wedding dress for the first half of the ceremony and then changed into a hanbok – her husband also changed from a suit to hanbok. They had a western style meal with, what seemed like an endless supply of courses. Unfortunately, we had to leave before dessert to head to the next wedding. ☹️

I’m sure we were all a sight traveling on the subway in our wedding garb. We traveled for an hour and a half to the next venue. I was a creep and took photos of two my coworkers sleeping on the train. hahahahahahahahaha. It was a long journey and I had to keep entertained, okay? We arrived at the train station and were running through it, I’m still not entirely sure why we were running but it worked our in the end because we caught the last shuttle from the station to the venue. We arrived just as the ceremony ended and they were taking group photos with family and friends. I’m sure it looked bad as a foreigner collective showed up just after the ceremony was over but just in time to eat the meal. This wedding seemed more modest and comfortable. I didn’t have to think about which fork to use for what. The food was Korean and delicious. The couple, again, changed in to hanbok and thanked everyone for helping them celebrate their marriage.

I got curious about cruises and accidentally sorted them by highest price… and stumbled upon a $30,000 cruise that lasts for 134 days. ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR days on a cruise boat floating around the world. I get irritated being away from my “home base” for more than three days, I can’t even imagine being on “vacation” for that long. Could you even call it that? Maybe if I were more monetarily inclined and didn’t have plans for the next, what, six months I’d do it… but that still seems too long.

My students got a hold of my phone and took this picture of me. I think it looks nice.

I swore for the first time in class on Thursday. In my defense, I almost shut and locked us in a room with a broken door handle. So as I caught myself automatically closing the door as class started, I said, “oh shiiiit,” rather loudly. My students were like 😮 “TEACHER! WHAT DID YOU SAY?!” and then started to chant, “oh shit! oh shit! oh shit!” It was really difficult for me to keep a straight face, tell them to stop, and apologize to them. After I apologized, they let it go…for a little bit. They also told me they wanted to call my mom and tell her I was being bad, but honestly my mom wouldn’t be shocked at all to hear of this. I’m just really proud of myself that it took ten months for this to happen. *pats self on back*

Friday my highest level class had to decide on a person to interview in their class and they chose me. It was was so hilarious because I made each student think of one question they wanted to ask me. They were mostly generic questions until we got to the only boy in the class who came up with: teacher do you like to exercise? I laughed and laughed at that and replied, “does it look like I enjoy exercising!?” and he was called out by the girls for being rude… I thought it was funny. His mind is very interesting because he tried to back peddle with, “teacher do you like food?” and the girls verbally attacked him again. Finally, he settled on – do you have a pet? The first question that was asked was, “how old are you?” and when I wrote the answer on the board everyone was so dramatic in their shocked reaction because my face is “젊은 얼굴” which they told me means young face. Shout out to my dad for giving me 젊은 얼굴!

Lately, it seems like the littlest accomplishments seem like the biggest victories to me. I figured out how to get an I-pin to verify my identity on the internet because Korean seems to like security protocols, which is in my best interest. I now have a point card that is usable at Baskin-Robbins so that’s an awesome thing that came from that. I also finally had to call my bank in the USA to let them know I can’t access my account because it wanted to send a confirmation text to my phone number that I no longer have and got it set up to send me a validation email instead. Woo-hoo being over 30 is so thrilling.

I finally got the results of my brother’s Ancestry DNA results back. And they probably the most underwhelming results ever. My mom did one of these tests a few months ago and both hers and my brother’s responses were identical – “well no surprises there.”

Until next week(s),

B

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

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 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 14, 2017

We started phone speaking this week. We have to call every student and ask them leveled conversation and speaking/reading questions for five minutes, after classes have ended. It makes the work week more hectic and rushed and everyone is so glad once it’s all over. I am a bit lucky because I don’t have to call the 36 students in the lowest level because that would just be disastrous. Buuut I do have 56 other students I have to call.

I got my eyebrows touched up last Friday and they’ve calmed down quite a bit since then, thankfully. They were embarrassingly too dark.

Wednesday I bought a ticket to the Hiphopplaya Festival in Seoul. I had been planning on going to this since February when I saw the tickets on a ticketing website but I had forgotten all about it and then I sent a majority of my money home so I wasn’t able to purchase a ticket and still pay bills and, you know, eat food. I was talking to my friend, 보라 , and she said I ~had~ to go. She sent me the money to buy the ticket!!! This was to be my birthday present. Ohmaigawd! Best birthday present in recent memory! So I ordered the ticket. I also asked my dad to take some money out of a savings account for me and put it in my American account so I could stay in Seoul and not have to worry about public transportation after the event.

Thursday I booked two nights at a hostel near Hapjeong Station in Seoul.

Friday my classes and phone speaking whizzed by and I was out the door, on the way to Seoul. I arrived at The Lazy Fox hostel shortly after 10:30 pm. I immediately took a shower because after taking a bus and two different trains, I was a sweaty mess. After, I went to the common room to chill and meet the others staying there. They were, of course, already several shots into soju. A majority of them decided to go out in Hongdae but I knew I had a full day ahead so I stayed behind.

Saturday came and I was nauseously excited. I got all my stuff and set out on my journey. I knew there was a shuttle bus but I couldn’t figure out where it picked people up at and I was too lazy to look into the matter further so I just took a taxi.

img_0960

The first set was Hash Swan, 김효은, and Changmo. I’m a bit sad I didn’t get more video of Hash Swan…

Changmo

The second set was Rhythm Power

After these first two sets, I got tired of being shoved and left the festival to get water because I was not about to pay music festival prices for bottled water…on the way back I saw this gem:

That is a little boy who doesn’t give a shit about anything and decided he’d had enough of skateboarding, plopped down on the ramp, and took a rest. I can relate to him.

After I reentered the venue, I claimed a plot in the picnic area and may have fallen asleep at some point. This was a great place to people watch though! I had a view of a man who was intoxicated beyond comprehension that was just feeling the vibes of the music.

I didn’t go back to the standing/shoving area until Jay Park and Loco came back on… by then it was dark and had gotten chilly so I was in need of the collective warmth.​

​ Jay Park, of course, did the ever predictable 몸매 where he takes off his shirt, shakes his ass, and does body rolls; but I’m not complaining – this is my second time seeing it in concert…

I left during the last set and caught the shuttle bus back to the subway and then to the hostel where a majority were planning on going to noraebang. I tagged along. It just added to the fun of my super long day.

The thing about staying at hostels is – you have to deal with other people’s bullshit. I stayed in a room with three sets of bunk beds. One of the girls kept ignoring her alarm so it would go off and automatically go to snooze. By the third time this happened at 4:30 in the morning, I swung down from the top bunk and screamed in her face that she should either get the fuck up or I was going to result to violently turning her alarm off for her. Another girl had the WORST body odor I have smelled in a long time. Also, when she took her shoes off at noraebang her feet were so rank… I semi-enjoy being able to pay $29 USD for two nights of sleeping in a tiny ass cot but that was just too much for me.

My olfactory glands had not yet recovered when, I boarded the train to come back home this morning I was again assaulted with b.o., poo, and feet smell. At first, I thought it was an old lady then I realized the train car was damn near empty further down. There was a homeless man passed out with his shoes off. He looked super dirty and had chunks of ??? idek in his hair. I had to put on my face mask to hide the fact that I was gagging. I did, in fact, throw up in my mouth on one occasion. Luckily, someone complained and the conductor came, woke the dude up, and got him off the train. Ooh did that smell linger though.

I made it home, got brunch, put some laundry in the washing machine, and took a two hour nap.

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 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 11, 2017

Last Monday was the Monday-iest Monday ever. I got bit by a child twice in the span of ten minutes because I wouldn’t let him open the door.

Tuesday was White Day – some sort of extra Valentine’s Day that some Asian countries celebrate. I still don’t know what it’s all about. Our director gave us a Beauty and the Beast chocolate rose lolly though, so that’s cool. Some of the kids in my classes also gave me candy; like this pirate’s gold!

Wednesday the child that bit me was a bit more calm because the Korean teacher scolded him. Nothing else of substance to report.

Thursday two of my classes had to write a report. Since the example was about Korean symbols, one class decided to pick American symbols.  They wrote about the American flag and what the components meant and the national anthem. I thought that was pretty cool.

I lost my pencil while grading book reports and when I looked in the mirror this is what I saw. I’ve officially lost my damn mind.

I saw this cool clown car.


Friday wasn’t that great.

Saturday I went to Korean class. I have to wear a face mask because the yellow dust and pollution are irritating my respiratory system. I think I look like a thief.


Our class was only one hour long instead of the normal two because we had orientation. I was trying to take a selfie and my classmates photobombed me.


We sat there for an hour on plastic stools that made my butt go numb. Then, my class went for lunch.

My classmate that can be seen in the center of the photobombing, Tien, sat next to me at lunch. We were chatting with other classmates. Tien made us guess how old he is…because, you know, that game always works out… I guessed that he was the same age as me. He confirmed that I was born in 1986 and was like, “so you’re 31?” My response was, “no! Not yet!” So he asked me when I’ll be 31. I said May. His eyes got big. “Me too! What day!?” “The 19th,” and his eyes got really big and he hit me on the shoulder. “Me too!” And come to find out he has the ~EXACT~ same birthday as me. He asked me what time! I told him I’d look at my birth certificate when I got home to let him know. We even whipped out our alien registration cards to prove it. So the class was making jokes about how we’re twins separated at birth and how we’ll have to have a joint birthday party. I’ve met people with the same birthday as me before, but not the whole month, day, year same! It’s pretty cool.

After all that, I went to Suwon Station to get a hair cut. The man who cut my hair caught me off guard by offering me money to help him with his English. I would, but my contract specifically forbids this and I don’t think it’s worth the risk of being fired/deported. Next I went to scope out one of my favorite stores and it was closed! I don’t know if it merged with the men’s store that was down the street but it definitely packed up and left its building. So I wondered over to LOHB which is an equivalent to CVS and I found the mother load of imported foods. I was especially impressed enough with their selection of Campbell’s soups that I took a picture. I got off the bus early and walked along the stream back to my house.

 


Sunday I didn’t do much. I did some loads of laundry and went to a Korean barbecue meat buffet with Asia.

I forgot to post this before… it’s official.

 

Until next week,

B

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