A Year in Seoul - video by Maddy

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Whole World is the Same

My second week at school went a lot better once I started drinking coffee again. The past month I got by fine with just tea, but that was only because I had absolutely nothing to do with my life. I need a lot of energy to keep up with the kids every morning, so caffeine is a must. Koreans mostly drink nasty instant coffee with creamer and sugar already mixed in. I was not having that, so I managed to find black instant coffee, which while still kind of gross, does the trick. I have to put at least two packets in each cup to make it even resemble real coffee, however.

Friday was class election day, so all the kids were ridiculously roudy. I teach 5th and 6th grades on Fridays and I nearly lost my voice by the end of the day from yelling over them. Luckily we were only doing fun things like a Little Mermaid role play and a country game, so I managed to keep their attention. I was a little sad because I didn't get any candy for White Day. White Day was on Saturday and it is a lot like Valentine's Day, only bigger. In Korea, on V-day women buy candy for the men they like and on White Day the men have to reciprocate. Apparently nobody loves me. Oh well.

Friday night I went out with some people who live in my neighborhood. It was great to finally meet other teachers in Sanbon. A lot of them live in my building and have been in Korea for at least a year. They had a lot of good advice for me, the best one being an introduction to yogurt soju, which, if you know my yogurt loving ways, I obviously am obsessed with. It's clear, comes in a pitcher, contains two bottles of soju, and tastes exactly like a drinkable yogurt. Oh heavenly! They also showed me the elusive Pirate Bar that I had read all about before I came here but couldn't find. It wasn't as exciting as I imagined, but they serve beer in ice glasses which you then throw at a target on the wall. The ice smashes and if you hit the target you win free drinks. I'm all for smashing things and free stuff so I'm a fan.

On Saturday afternoon there was a huge St. Paddy's Day celebration in Seoul. I met Maddy and we spent the afternoon enjoying Irish music, free Guinness, and a whole bunch of cool Westerners. We had a really great time - a great time that extended from noon until 6 am the next morning. I ended up falling asleep on the subway ride home and waking up every so often because I hit my head on the metal pole behind me. Luckily I didn't miss my stop and managed to climb into bed by 7:30.

I slept it all off this afternoon and now its back to work for another week. I'm crossing my fingers that my alien registration card comes in the mail this week so that I can open a bank account and get a cell phone. I managed to pass my medical exam even with my hearing impairment, and I made it to the dreaded immigration office, so once my card arrives I will officially be a resident of South Korea for the next year. I've got absolutely no problem with a year of this...

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