Good news! I am still alive! 🙂 It has been a very hectic and overwhelming week. I finally have access to the Internet since the teacher who just left had it set to cancel on Saturday. That gives me a couple days of use, woo hoo!
First things first, the flight was uneventful and the service was great. Asiana is probably one of the best airlines I have flown on. The seats were comfortable and the food was super yummy and plentiful. I was able to move seats so I could spread out across two seats and get comfortable.
There were tons of movies to watch and I ended up seeing, Tron, The Tourist, and a couple real bad ones that I can’t even remember the name of. They had Harry Potter but I wanted to wait and watch that so I could really enjoy it.
Oh! They also had Zuma! Thanks PopCap!
Arriving in Korea was a little more eventful. First the person who was there to pick us up had a sign that only had my name on it and not the other teachers. We found out that they weren’t expecting him until Wednesday. After waiting around about 45 minutes they finally found an apartment to put him in so off we went. His place was about 40 minutes away. Once we got there the code wouldn’t work on the door so we waiting about 30 or so minutes while the driver kept trying to reach people that could help on a Sunday night. It finally was resolved and off we went to my place. It took about an hour to get there and there were no problems with the code on my door! This apartment is on the 13th floor and kind of reminds me of a prison from the outside. I had trouble sleeping the first night (of course) so I decided to unpack all my stuff and start getting organized. I finally ended up getting a couple of hours of sleep.
The teacher who I was replacing showed up around one to walk with me to the school. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to get there and is a straight shot from the apartment so it is easy to find. The first day was long since I was observing classes all day. I also found out from my director Elina that the apartment I was staying in was temporary and would move into my new place on Thursday. ARRRgggghh! So guess what I did that night? Yep, packed everything back up so I could be prepared to move again.
The next day I did a little wandering around before work started.
I wondered around the main drag area with tons of shops and stuff which is located right off the main street where I live. So I just walk downstairs. turn and there I am.
I also wandered around across the street at Central Park. I saw some cool things like this tilted house and met a group of kids that came up to talk to me and ask me questions. The stick on the floor is a magic stick one of the kids was holding in case anyone was curious!
Thursday morning a Korean guy showed up at my door and after I let him in he started removing furniture and things. I was hoping this was the guy to help move my bags to the new place and not someone robbing me blind.
Not long after that one of the office workers from my school showed up and explained what was going on. One of the neat things I found is that the staff calls me Christene Teacher, or just Teacher outside of the school as well as in school. Teachers are pretty well respected and calling them by title is a sign of respect.
So I finally got into the place I will be living for a year and it is cute. It has everything I need. I am on the seventh floor and have a good view and I am right across the street from Central Park. The building is called Hansol Central Park One. Everytime I hear the name I think, “That damn Hansel, he’s so hot right now!” from Zoolander.
Here are the before pictures. I will have to show the after ones when I get organized.
So Thursday was my first day teaching all day by myself and it was exhausting! My first class is a group of first graders and is made up of all girls. I teach first and second grade the first half of the day and then sixth through eighth the second half of the day. This is nice because since I am the science and reading teacher, it is nice to be able to have it easy the first half of the day and then be prepared to have to really think when teaching the older kids. I really have to brush up on my science skills for them!
They are a really good class and pay attention (most of the time)
When I got home that night I was in pain! Oh my frickin’ gawd. My feet hurt so badly. It is tough work standing on them all day as well as walking to and from work! I could barely walk around on the wood floors back at my apartment! I woke up this morning feeling miserable and my eyes and face were all puffy and swollen. I think it is just everything catching up with me and luckily I only have three classes today and then I get to work on prep the rest of the day. I am looking forward to exploring more this weekend (I will wear my tennis shoes to save my poor feet!) and go shopping for some household supplies and FOOD.
Oh.. one quick note about food. I find that I keep going to the pastry shops to get food because all I have to do is put what I want on a wicker tray and take it up from and say ‘Latte” and they ring everything up and make my coffee. One day I will have to venture into a restaurant and order something, but it is scary!
I feel there has been tons more stuff, but this is already so long. I will have to start doing daily updates for a while I think!