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 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 8, 2017

Monday our new teacher arrived at campus! That means I have been in Korea for ~six months~ it doesn’t feel like that long in some ways and in others it feels longer. The new teacher went with the current head teacher, who is leaving us on Tuesday :(, and I to get lunch and look around the area of our school. The new teacher informed me that she, along with the two new teacher at the Avalon down the road had read my blog. This was a shock to me as I never thought about anyone other than people I actually know reading this…

Later, my class of girls figured out that you can still take photos and videos even if my phone is locked… here is some of their artistry:

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I got another sinus thing this past week and it cleared pretty quickly…I take vitamins and eat more fruits and vegetables than I ever did back home, but I still get sick. 😦

Everyone has been anxious about the end of this term and wanting to plan for next term. We all just wanted to know what classes we’d be teaching. We got a semi-final schedule on Thursday and I was satisfied with it. Then scheduling errors had to fixed and we got a new schedule on Friday. I am so nervous! I have to teach the babies of the beginner level on three separate occasions.

Friday night we went out to a steak dinner and went to noraebang (karaoke) and sang our hearts out for Andrea’s last Friday hurrah. It was very fun. But also odd that the noraebang had many cats in the hallway living in cages…


Yesterday I worked in the morning for open class. This is where we have mock classes with kids to show them how classes will be if they sign up. As usual, there seems to have been misunderstanding and miscommunication about timing and supplies. While I was at work repairmen came and fixed my boiler so I now can have hot showers! ❤

I started a painting… not sure about it. I’m not confident in my painting skills like I am in drawing. I’ll post a photo of it when it’s completed.

Today I met the new teacher, Asia, and we went to Suwon Station and walked around Lotte Mall. She bought some things she needed and we looked around. We found this awesome juice shop in the basement of the department store and it was so delicious.

Here’s a scary Snapchat video I took.


Until next week,

B

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