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

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 22, 2017

On Monday we got our schedules for the new term that starts on Thursday. There weren’t many surprises there for me… I also didn’t feel panicked this time; and frankly that’s concerning because there’s a lot to prep and I’m just over here like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ whatevs, man.

The new foreign teacher arrived at school and I was tasked with showing him how to prepare and organize the materials for one of the levels he’s going to be teaching which coincidentally I will be teaching too.

Tuesday was the last day of spring term for our two day classes. I bought kids that got a perfect score on every speech a snack. I have a lot of the same students next term especially from my lowest level, the cutie babies. 👶🏻💜 My desk was an absolute disaster and I took a lot of my materials home to get prepared for the upcoming units.

Wednesday was the last day for four coworkers 😧! Two of the Korean teachers, one native English teacher, and a support staff all are moving on to different chapters in their lives. It was very nice getting to know them and sad to see them go. I was very proud because I did not cry! This was the last day of thee day classes and again, I bought kids that got a perfect score on every speech a snack. This time, it caused hard feelings and made one student extremely upset.

Thursday, as you may have guessed, was the first day of summer term for our two day classes. Everything’s a mess and I feel a bit off because of the change in routine, but otherwise it went great. I have a lot of repeat students so that was nice. It was a bit weird in the teacher’s room because our three coworkers are now gone and new ones have joined us. I kept looking over expecting to see Summer and she wasn’t there. ☹️ I wore a maxi dress to work, the first time ever wearing a dress to work, and I got so many compliments. I got upset though, because my dress got stuck in the wheels of my chair and now has holes in the back. My coworker told me to just put holes all over the bottom to make it look like it’s on purpose. I might just do that 🤔 I got many of my previous students from Winter term back. Some of them have grown so much physically and mentally in our three months apart.

One student that I’ve had every term since my arrival, Olivia, was “very sad” that I’m not her teacher this term.

Friday I had an awesomely terrible sinus headache so that made the day fun. It felt like my eyeballs were going to shrivel up and pop out of my head. It was the first day of summer term for three day classes and it went rather smoothly, I think. I was previously invited to go out after work but I felt so gross that I just wanted to go home and sleep. So I did.

I slept so long I slept through my alarm for Korean class and missed the final exam and party. I felt extremely refreshed when I woke up because I had taken an extra anti-histamine pill before bed. I did absolutely nothing on Saturday except walk down the street to buy milk so I could eat cereal.

Sunday I woke up with a headache again and pain in my ears ☹️ and did laundry. I also seem to have acquired four mosquito bites during my slumber. I will, no doubt be going back to the doctor on Monday morning.

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 20, 2017

I don’t really remember much from this past week. I forgot to write it down as it was happening…

Thursday one of my classes told me they were hungry and that I should buy them pizza… I told them no I shouldn’t and they should buy me pizza (jokingly of course). They asked why they should buy me food and I said because it will be my birthday on Friday. One of the students, Ann, was so excited at the idea that teachers have birthdays too. She told me she’d give a present to her little sister, Lisa, who is also one of my students on Friday. After we finished our lesson, she called her mom to tell her it was my birthday the following day. These kids are so precious sometimes.

Friday I turned 31.  As promised Ann’s little sister, Lisa, delivered the goods before classes started for the day. A cute treat bag full of candies. When class started, Lisa announced to the class that it was my birthday and asked them to sing Happy Birthday for me. I was in awe. Our former coworker came back from a three month excursion around Asia. Some of the kids were so confused at first. Others seemed to go crazy at the sight of her. The day went by relatively quickly. After work I went for a steak dinner and walked around the park. The school got me a super delicious cake for my birthday. 😎


Saturday I met the majority of my coworkers at Suwon Station. We were traveling to Jeonju by train. I’d never been on an intended long train ride in Korea. It was interesting but not that much different than a bus. The ride to Jeonju seemed to be going by really fast. We set out to find our lodging – a hanok. These traditional style buildings are so beautiful and interesting. The hanok we stayed at was very simple and cute. We went to wonder around and look at things around the area. Everyone, even the two dudes, got hair ornaments. Everyone except me got hearts. I got this sick hair pinwheel which was helping me make energy and brain power.


I took a photo of a random couple looking a tree that had surrounded a granite boulder while dressed in Hanbok. I took quite a few random photos.

We went to the night market. It was dirty and gross, like how I envision urban markets to be but haven’t really experienced. There was a giant pedestrian traffic jam and it was making me so anxious because the people were not moving. Later we went to a noraebang.

On Sunday, we woke up and went to get outfitted in Hanbok. The lady in the shop told me they wouldn’t have a jacket in my size and I could dress as a man. I anticipated this and was against dressing as a man. I either wanted to look like a pretty princess or look like my normal self. So I said no thank you and waited on the stairs while everyone else in the group found costumes. I was getting ready to go to a different shop and see if they had fat people sizes when the lady came out with a jacket and asked me to come try it. So I was outfitted in a navy blue Hanbok and ready to party. Except, it was exceptionally hot in that thing! We went to eat and explore more. I feel like I have never taken nor had that many photos taken of me in an hour and a half before. There was this super cute man who owned a coffee shop we stopped at that insisted on taking our photos with his own phone and offered to take photos of us on our phones as well. At first it was really creepy but it got more endearing as he suggested poses for us. Soon, it was time to return the hanbok and make our way to the train station to come back home.

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 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 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 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.