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

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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 17, 2017

Monday was cool until my last class. There is a boy in that class that is known for touching himself, no, full on masturbating while in class. I made eye contact with him whilst he was rubbing away and said,  “uh what are you doing? Put both of your hands on the desk right now.” He complied but resumed as soon as I turned to write on the board. I felt so sorry for the boy sitting next to him 😳

Last week I received a formal invitation to my Korean coworker’s wedding in June. I was like cool! Then I realized I have the most casual closet in the universe and nothing appropriate to wear. I was voicing this concern out loud and one of my coworkers had the attitude of, “omg just get a dress…” Right, because I’ll fit into tiny Korean clothes. I don’t really understand how a person looking at me could think my butt could fit into Korean clothes. The top half, yes; but the bottom half…you’ve probably got to get your eyes checked.

Wednesday we had a campus dinner after work. We all went to eat Indian food. I was starving and decided to forgo the picking out of peas (a food I am allergic to) and eat the aloo samosa straight away. This was a very bad idea and I paid for it later on. The rest of the food was amazing and it brought back many memories that feel like a lifetime ago when I lived in Chicago.

Friday was chaos. My baby student who is four got hit in the face by another student… after he finished yelling at the offender, he looked at me with those “I’m going to start bawling” eyes, and raised his arms to be picked up. So of course I picked him up, inspected his face, and asked him if he’s okay. He cried maybe one tear and was okay.  Later another student in the same class was swinging between the tables, slipped, and hit his head on the floor after I told him twice to stop doing so. After that incident I made all the boys line up against the wall. 

After classes we decorated the campus for children’s day in a Pokémon theme. We were fed pizza. It was cool. 

Yesterday I went to Korean class… nothing special but I realized I’m exactly like my students that don’t really study English and show up to class. 

Lately I’ve been feeling a little more lost than usual, battling myself in my head, and being a bit sad. 

It’s pretty isolating living here. I have met some people staying at hostels, over the internet, at Korean class, and at work but those relationships don’t ever seem to be anything more than superficial. I’ve learned that when Koreans say, “next time” they are essentially saying, “fuck off, let’s not meet again.” So that’s been an interesting learning experience. 

I am not happy with my job environment but I like the main part of my job…do I stay in Korea and try to find a different job and hope it has better aspects than the one I currently have or do I go home and again become the miserable shell of a human I was when I lived there? Do I try to find a job in a different country? Fuuuuck if I know. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Week 16, 2017

Tuesday I received a box from my parents with pants I had ordered and some goodies they included for me. I was still not feeling the best so it made my day a lot better. They keep sending me tuna pouches and I died of laughter. I complained about the tuna here once, and so I’m tuna pouch rich now. And since I’m lazy, this is a ~really~ good thing.

The pants I ordered are already too big… I think I’ve learned my lesson now that I should order them a size smaller than I currently measure at. It boggles my mind that I’ve gone down that much in pants sizes because I don’t see it but the pants don’t lie so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .

A boy in my lowest level class told me he loved me during class. It caught me a bit off guard (I’m still not used to teaching this age and their sweetness) and I asked him, “oh really!?” To which he responded, “yep!” Later during the lesson I circled his page, he drew a heart in my circle, and wrote my name in the heart he drew. 😊

Today I met a friend at Hwaseong Fortress. We walked around and giggled at silly things we saw. A drunk elderly man came up to us and was mumbling things at us. We were both like 👍🏻 right on. We we both equally impressed by the lady narrating the changing of the guard at the palace for speaking Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese. I mentioned a goal of going to the post at the top of the mountain and was talked into doing it…with a couple of breaks and a stop for water we made it to the top. Then we went to eat mandu and I came home for a nap. 

Weeks 2 and 3, 2017

I had a cold last week and didn’t open my computer at all. I didn’t feel as miserable as the last time I was sick but I just didn’t feel like updating. Nothing of substance really happened anyway.

It’s snowed a couple times in the past two weeks though none of it sticks much.


I had to bring home a stack of book reports to grade last Thursday and I had a pretty good assembly line set up while I was watching documentaries on Netflix.

I had some issues with the delivery person not wanting to leave my packages at my door; I wanted them left there because they were big and bulky and I didn’t want to carry junk over the pedestrian bridge. My school’s director, Chloe, was very kind and talked to the delivery people for me to have the items left even though I wasn’t home.

I walked to HomePlus last Saturday; the weather was windy and cold. I went up to another level I had never been to before. It was like finding the entrance to a secret club or something. There was a bookstore, pet store, music/guitar store, cafe, and random clothes shops up there. I, of course was drawn to the pet store. I looked at all the fish and small pets. Then I saw it. The cat room. There was a mama cat and three babies in a small plexi-glass room. One of the babies had a cone on his head. I wanted to take them all home. I did not. See, I do have some self control!

After HomePlus, I visited Etude House for some skin care products and got a pretty good haul. Then I walked back home because all my purchases from the day could fit in my backpack. When I got home I rested on the floor to warm my body. That in floor heating is good for something!  I then put together one of the big, bulking things I had ordered. A five drawer metal cabinet. It was pretty easy to figure out how to put together and I only hurt myself once to draw blood.

Sunday I didn’t feel right but thought I was just hungry. I took the bus to Suwon Station and then walked to Lotte Mall. This mall is laid out like a western style mall with a central path to get to stores and the stores actually being separated and sectioned off into actual stores. I went to eat at the Mexican restaurant. Though it doesn’t compare to the delicious Mexican food back home, it was pretty delicious. I decided to humor myself and go into one of the clothing shops, Uniqlo, to see if I could find any tops. I went to try on four tops and three of them fit! I was so shocked. So that made me happy. My last stop at the mall was the big grocery store. There are some products that I can’t find closer to my house so I scoped it out and everything I was looking for was there. I took a cab home because I feeling kind of shitty and I didn’t want to be on a crammed bus.

Monday, I woke up with a cold. How nice.

On Tuesday I felt the worst but I had time to rest so it wasn’t so bad. When I got home I realized I needed to wash some socks because I was out. I put a load of laundry in the washer and fell asleep. I woke up about an hour later and was confused. I went to check the wash and it was stopped but the water hadn’t drained out. I was panicking. I went upstairs to the landlord’s apartment and typed in my issue to Google translate. He came down and looked around my apartment before scoping out the washing machine. Then he called his wife to go get the neighbor that speaks English to be our translator. So there’s three extra people in my apartment trying to figure out what’s wrong with my washing machine. They determined the drain hose was frozen and that I needed to wait for it to thaw. That’s not so serious of a problem… I can deal with that. Around 11 pm I finally heard the water draining and made sure to spin the remaining water out of my clothes.

I could fully breath out my nose on Friday so I was happy about that.

Yesterday most everyone in the company I work for had to attend a conference at Dankook University in Seoul from 1 pm to 5 pm. I left my apartment at 10:20 am to grab some McDonald’s before the other foreign teachers and I met to catch the bus for our journey. It was lightly snowing as I sat and ate my breakfast. We got on the bus and transferred to the subway. We we got off the train we ran into one of the Korean teachers from our campus, Kathy. When we got towards the exit for the station, we saw the Korean head teacher, Jessica. We took two taxis to the University then we had to split up as there were separate lectures for Koreans and foreigners. We had to walk up a pretty steep hill, I was so tired after that. It wasn’t as boring as it could have been, so that’s good. Though for the last speaker, talking about games that we were told about at the last seminar, it was really hard to focus. While all this was going on, the snow continued to fall and had accumulated. Big, fluffy flakes were falling and it made me happy.

After the conference was over, we met back up with Jessica and Kathy. We tried to get a taxi but because of the snow there were none to be found. So, we took a packed bus back to the train station. We decided we would eat some Indian food after we got back to Suwon. We met a nice lady, Jen, on the platform for the train from the campus in Busan. We chatted the whole way back to Suwon. After a very delicious meal of Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Samosas Jessica, Olivia, and I went shopping. We went to the cellphone place and got Olivia a prepaid SIM for her phone. Then we went to a clothing store Jessica suggested. I found more shirts! Then we just kind of walked around. We ate ice cream and then came home.