Sunday, January 17, 2010

Our first few days in Korea

Tuesday evening- Exhausted after 26 hours of traveling, but relieved to have made it into Korea safely and finally with Kyle. First impressions of our apartment are positive. Scratch that, I am ecstatic! Two bedrooms, a living room with a pleather couch, TV and a real kitchen complete with a three set dining room and chairs. So we have two twin beds rather than one large double bed I'm not complaining because we HAVE OUR OWN APARTMENT!!! (this is the first time we have had our OWN place since we were first married.)

Wednesday- We are told today is the coldest day of the Korean winter so far. Yangpyeong as a rule is about five degrees colder than Seoul because it is in the mountains and the weather channel says Seoul is 10 degree with a wind chill of -3 F. My winter clothes are packed away at my old school in Bundang, so I am currently wearing Kyle's extra jacket and feel like an icicle in an oversized coat. Had the campus not been so beautiful, and surrounded completely by mountains, my feelings might have been more along the lines of "what have I gotten myself into!"
We are given a tour of what looks like colonial Virgina. Pine trees and snow, completing this perfect picture.
However so far, most of the teachers we have met are temporary help, only for the winter camp. I am anxious to see who we will be working with for the duration of our time here.

Thursday- We aren't really working yet. We have observed some classes, but basically that's it. That's fine with us. It gives us some time to settle in. We have been waking up early because of jetlag, but because of this, we have had plenty of time to use the on campus gym! That's right, we have our own gym. Gym memberships are SOO expensive in Korea, so this is a MAJOR plus.

Friday- We are asked if we would like the opportunity to teach adults at the other campus in Ansan. We really like the campus in Yangpyeong, but want to vary our skills so we agree since it will only be one month. The catch is, they are going to pick us up tomorrow. We are going to Bundang tonight to see friends. We will have to come back with time enough to pack to catch the van by 9pm. They have also agreed to pick up our suitecases at my old school in Bundang on the way to Ansan. I'm not looking forward to all this traveling. We were just getting settled.

Saturday- Last night we had so much fun visiting with friends. It was almost like I never left. They were all excited about meeting my imaginary husband. It was a running joke that I wasn't actually married and that I had just made up Kyle while I was working at SNET since no one had ever met him. Several people poked him to make sure he wasn't a figment of the imagination.
However this morning my stomach was irate with me. Wine mixed with not enough food, jet lag and spicy unsettling Korean food was a fatal mixture. I cannot travel like this. I can't even move more than a few feet without a battle raging in my stomach. He will have to go and pack us, and they can just pick me up with my luggage.

Sunday- 1:30am. We arrived in Ansan at 1:30am last night, and got up for work at 8am for a Korean breakfast of rice, kimchi and spinachy like soup with the director of the school. Seriously, all I want is cereal! Who can stomach fermented spicy cabbage in the morning.

The school has just been re-opened. Many English villages were closed during the H1N1 scare so this is it's grand re-opening. However it isn't very grand, and there are very few students or teachers for such a large facility. And we aren't even in Ansan really. We are on an island near Ansan. An island surrounded by frozen water. I'm not joking!

We have the option to live in an apartment 50 mins away or the dorms on campus. We are choosing both. The dorm during the week and the apartment for the weekend. Ansan is pretty close to Seoul, so there should be a lot to do, but I want to sleep in as much as possible during the week and would rather not make a huge commute. I hate commuting.
I'm not sure what to think about this place. They ask us to be patient as they are just starting out, but everything is disorganized and chaotic. We never even got a tour of the place. At the end we will be given the option to stay here or go back to Yangpyeong. My opinion is formed but I am trying to stay open and positive but that's hard when your grumpy. I'm grumpy because I am tired of running around like a crazy woman. I want to be in the same place for more than two nights, and want things to run smoothly. I have to remember, things don't run smoothly in Korea, just be persistent with what you want and go with the flow. Breath and go with the flow.

But what if the flow is frozen?

1 comment:

Emily said...

OOOH ANSAN!!! I will be in ANSAN!!! YAY! Not sure what Island u r at?