Friday, September 9, 2011

My New Life in Korea

UPDATES:
The soup with clear noodles, eggs, and neck bones I had the first night I got here was called Gal Bi Tang (pronounced Kal-Pee-Tang).

Also I found out those two "channels" I told you all about are only available in my hotel/motel so they are not on public television. Thats a relief!

Hello everyone!

Hope all is well. This post will be short (okay im lying) but I will add to it later since my computer access is limited right now. I just moved to Korea Friday to teach English. I live in Samcheok which is kind of country and is about an hour or so away from Seoul by train, 3 hours by bus. It is Saturday here and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) is happening until Tuesday. Which means I dont have to start work until Wednesday!

Instead of making a really long post which I would be filled with all my adventures I will summerize them in bullet points and expand on them later. I will be back to updating my blog and such when I am able to find and purchase an universal plug so I can charge my lap top. This is also an update for my family and friends since I can't get a cell phone here until my ARC (Alien Registration Card) comes or when I my bank account opens (whichever happens first). Also this post will have many typos because the spell check doesn't pick up English typos here and I am paying by the hour to use the internet so I won't be on here long. (Also I cant use facebook right now because I'm in another country and can"t verify its me using my account because my US phone is now off. So for now blogging is the best way for me to connect with everyone.)
So without further ado!

  • I spent 9 hours at the LAX airport waiting for my flight. My only means of transportation was a taxi for the most part. I did hook up with a friend from when I came out LA for a kpop contest in May. She picked me up from the Korean consulate and drove me to the airport. We would have hung out longer but she had something already planned later on and she also didn't want us to stuck in LA traffic by the airport. Thanks so much Sarajane and I hope to see you soon!

  • In total I spent 9 hours at LAX, 14 hours on a plane, and a 3 hour bus ride to Samcheok. Crazy right? When I finally was able to get to go to sleep Friday night around 10pm here in Korea I don't think I had slept since sometime early Thursday morning. Its kind of hard to pin point the exact time since it was an international time change when we were flying.

  • I met the most amazing people on both of my flights. The first from KC to LAX I sat next to a woman named Jennifer who is the Senior Vice President National Account Sales for Sexy Hair (hair care brand). The entire flight we talked about fashion, from Forever 21 being able to expand so fast and afford to ship so much merchandise at a cheap rate to the new trends that were emerging. She also said they were looking for bloggers to work with at the company so we DEFINITELY exchanged business cards. She also said they were searching for a Director of Marketing so she is someone I will continually keep in touch with. Possibly when I am done teaching here in Korea I could interview and work for the the great company. She was definitely a fabulous woman who I was very happy to meet. God Bless you Jennifer and I hope we can work with each other in the future.

  • On the flight from LAX to Korea I sat next to MAMA CONCHITA! An amaxing 71 year old woman who practically adopted me on the plane. Anytime I want to come to the Phillippins I can come stay with her and her husband Sergio. She taught me how to say "I love you" and a few other words. "Salamo!" She said when she saw me she thought I was from MUMBAI INDIA. Which of course is a good guess but not correct lol. Her husband then began to guess and said Mumbai also, then mexico, then spain. Again incorrect! When I told them I was black they just said "OH". Very surprising to them. That just shows most of the world has one image of black women. But in actuality we come in many colors and thats what makes us so amazing!!! I told them about my German heritage on one side and Native American on the other to which she was more content with and undersood. She also thanked God for allowing her to meet me SHE SAID. She said she really had wanted to talk to me when she saw me sitting in the terminal. Mama Conchita thought I was very beautiful and she said when she saw my smile she knew that I had a good personality. She also said (sorry im using so many "she said" in this post) she tried talking to me earlier on the flight and thought i was ignoring her but she then realized i was knocked out sleep. lol She told me to call her MAMA CONCHITA from now on. She gave me her address and told me about her ENTIRE family, her 5 kids her parents 5 kids, her divorced daughter being a pharmasist and her daughtershusband being sterile and such lol. Very intriging indeed! I have her number and will send her my info and keep in touch with her. She also wants me to send her a picture of me and to never forget her. HOW COULD I? LOL
  • Im pretty sure i scared the sugar hunny ice tea out of MASEO which workes for my recruiting company that got me out here. He picks up teachers from the airport. He can speak english somewhat but Im pretty sure I tested and unintentially broke his confidence in speaking the language. He couldnt understand me 65% and i could understand him 55% of the time. I thought he was saying did i want go to "Toyland" but he was actually asking me if i needed to go "to the toilet". You all that know me know that I speak very fast so I think i scared the crap out of him. He was very sweet though and we cracked up the entire time because of our language barrier and me cracking jokes the entire time. He said i had a great personality and i was very smart because i kind of quessed what he was tring to say by using clues since i could really understand his english. I started to finish his sentences for him so he smiled and was happy i made it much easier for him. Also about the whole "toyland" "toilet" thing. For 5 minutes I thought he was saying he could take me to Toyland from which i replied "YES!" Come to find out the bus that i was waiting to board was going to be a 3 hour bus ride and he asked me if i need to go "to the toilet." They dont say bathroom or restroom here. Its just toilet *jotting down in notes*

  • Alright next would be the students at my school. All were very excited to see me. Were quite shy but asked me tons of questions. The school is very small and i only teach anywhere from 1 to 7 kids at a time elementary to middle school. They asked me about my family, WHAT AND WHERE the heck kansas was, and if i was married or had a boyfriend. They were very surprised that i knew about kpop. They seemed very estatic and impressed. Across the street is the high school part of the english academy. I went in there to use the computer and all the boys came to the window to the office and were staring and i think one of them were even taking a picture of me. Some of the girls were acting like I was a superstar or something. They were extremely giddy and were jumping up and down very excited. They really liked my style and that i had no lenses in my glasses. One of the boys were bold enough to come up to me and introduce himself and said that he LOVED PRESIDENT OBAMA. I told him I loved him too.

  • I ate my very first korean meal with the owner of the school and his longtime girlfriend. They are extremly nice people who I am very blessed to be around. I have heard horror stories of teachers experiences with some of these ESL schools. I prayed to God that I would be in a good school with good people and He answered my prayers. Also when we were eating the waitress at the resturant complimented me on how I held me chopsticks. WOW i have never in my life recieved that compliment so that was a first. So when eating at a korean resturant you take your shoes off at the door and sit on a pillow on the floor. I had some soup with clear noodles, eggs, and neck bones. You know I tore those neckbones up! There were 6 different types of Kimchi at the table but I only tried one. It is just way to spicy for me!

  • Today the owners girlfriend is taking me to the beach. Im not sure if its still going to happen thought because it is raining right now in Korea but hopefully we can still go. Like I said previously it is Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) in Korea this entire weekend and then two days off monday and tuesday. SO i got REALLY LUCKY because i get to chill for 5 DAYS!

  • I am the only english speaking teacher at my school. One of the head teachers here named Christine speaks pretty good english so she has been helping me around. She translates well and is a sweet woman. She is helping me find an universal plug to i can charge my lap top. Right now I am in a "PC Bang" which is where you pay by the hour to use the computer. All that are in here are boys playing online games. Who knows how long they have been in here. Christine took me to McDonalds out here. Which is very different. They sell ice cream like DQ, have shrimp burgers, cheese sticks, and waffels that are eaten for snack.

  • I dont know if Ive written this already or not but the korean people dont seem that shocked to see me. From readings online and talking to people they always spoke about the people being shocked to see a foreigner and very curious. I havent had many people looking/staring. Now there have been some dont get me wrong. One man said in english that i was beautiful. I should have asked him where Rain was...LOLOLOLOL kidding kidding! Anywho no one seems to speak english. The Dunkin Donuts out here you hand pick your donuts from the glass counter like at Quik Trip. I thought that was pretty cool. The only somewhat mall/shopping area/walmart type of place is a store called Home Plus. They sell everything from TV's to coloring books, to grocerys. Also on every corner is a cell phone place. Something that is very different is that all the young kids walk the streets by themselves with groups of friends. Im not sure where their parents are but they must trust them  A LOT! Its almost like how all the young folks hang out at the plaza. But of course the kids here aren't acting like dang fools.

  • Another big thing is (and probably number one) is the language. I already wrote about no one really knowing ANY english but the fact that i have to get used to people talking around me and me not understanding. Yesterday the kids and Christine and others were holding full conversations in korean and i just sat there smiling knowing good and dang on well i couldnt understand a thing. By no means were they trying to be rude but since english isnt their native language i can totally understand. And hey IM THE ONE in their country not the other way around.

  • I forgot to talk about the amazing 14 hour flilght! Asiana Airlines is an amazing airline. I had two meals and contiuing drinks. The first meal I had was beef with bean salad, caesar salad, a roll, cheesecake, potatoes, and mixed vegetables. There was also a choice of a korean food called Bimbipap The letter "b" is pronounced "p" just so u know!) Also they continuously served water, apple juice and orange juice. They next meal was breakfast it was either the western meal: an omelette, ham, fruit, and some other stuff or the korean meal: spicy octopus and rice. Needless to say I skipped the spicy octopus and opted for the omelette. Im adventureous but not THAT adventurous.

  • I know i said i wouldnt make this long but somehow it came out that way. I need to head out of this pc bang. theses dudes are coughing up a storm and not covering their mouths. Since i havent gotten my shots for over here yet i am too vuneralble to get sick. Also the koreans dont have a word to say when they sneeze like "Bless You" like America does. I can definitely see that girls dont go to PC Bangs lol. I am in a hotel right now for the next 3 days because my apartment is not ready yet. I dont have to pay for it thank God! Hopefully i can get my phone soon so i can be connected with people again. Also the apartment I am in I thnk is for people to get it on in because one of the light switches when turned on flickers red and blue like in a night club. Needless to say I didnt sleep in the sheets.

  • Speaking of sheets it surprised the heck out of me when flipping the channels to see a soft porn channel on cable. Im thinking "cant kids just turn this on by accident and watch?" And this wasnt even late at night when it was on it was the MIDDLE OF THE DAY. very wierd indeed. They do love the home shopping network like in america but one channel i flipped through had a woman selling a um how can i say this???.....dildo....and um....testing it.....Nothing explicited but again I AM SHOCKED AS HECK. I just use the remote to flip channels and this insane stuff appears. CRAZY!

  • I SWEAR I AM ALMOST FINISHED Lasty my hotel room is cool. when you walk in the light is motion sensored, then you take your shoes off and step up a step to the room. If you want to go to the bathroom their are bath shoes at the door for you to use. Pretty awesome!

  • Last but not least after my 3 hour bus ride my new boss was at the bus station to pick me up. I told him i had to go to the bathroom (which they called it the toilet instead of " i have to go to the bathroom" its "i have to go to the toilet") so when i get in there and open the stall door, there was no toilet but a hole in the floor and drain. It was like a toilet in the ground where u squat on the floor to pee. I just turned around and exited the bathroom I quickly made the decision that i could just hold it till i got to the hotel!

  • Okay im done, until next time! Hopefully I will be able to speak with my mother soon because I know shes probably really worried but she needs to go JUMP ON A COMPUTER BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN SENDING HER EMAILS. Mom go use grandmas computer! its our only means of communication right now so you got to get on it!! Anywho I love you family i love you grandma i love you brothers i love you abby and to my readers GOD Bless and have a great weekend!

3 comments:

  1. April! I'm so proud of you!!! You did it!
    You can do anything! While you're over there your strength will be tested but know there are people thinking about you, and you can get through any rough patches with communication and whatever you run into! You were set free from the Devils Den and now look how far you've ran.
    Hahaha.
    Keep posting, I want to hear about your adventures!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lolololololol Ahhhh! Devils Den is the absolute perfect name for that place!!! Because Lions Den sounds too soft....lol

    Thanks for the comforting words. I can't believe I actually did it. Its still surreal right now but its only the beginning. I hope much success for you to babe. You know your inner calling is modeling!!!! :P But I wish u success with your nursing also.

    Are you still at Devils Den? I think I heard you went down to part time. Hopefully you can leave the Devils Den too and fly free soon!!!!

    Thanks Ash and you know we will keep in touch!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You just shared this link on FB so I decided to check it out. Time flies..thanks for sharing your life on Youtube!

    ReplyDelete

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