9:05 p.m.: leave Jangyu in a cab with my friend Liz. 9:25: Arrive KTX station in Changwon 9:26: Buy ticket for Seoul 9:27-9:29 Run to Make That Train. (picture a movie scene cuz that’s what it was!) 9:30 Sit down in right seats just as train starts to move. And that’s how we roll…We made that train! In Dongdaegu Station I found a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (I thought of you Miss Mia!) and had a Chai Tea Latte. Loved it. Arrived in Seoul around midnight- right on time around 1:00 a.m. and then…proceeded to wait in the line for a cab for an hour and 45 minutes in the cold and dark…but we had made that train! 🙂 We arrived at our hostel Kim’s Myungdong Hostel with the help of Mr. Kim and the cab driver. Finally crashed out around 3 am.
We didn’t wake til 11:30 a.m. and then headed out to explore. First stop: coffee and Starbuck’s was just around our first corner. It was like walking into a corner of familiarity. You really could drop Seoul in NYC or L.A. or really any other major city in the world and besides all the signs being in Korean it could be any of the mentioned. Next stop: Insadong, the artisan’s nook of the city. Saw some really cool paintings and knick-knacky shops, wandered down a few back streets and found some beautiful pieces of work.
Once we paved the road up and down we headed to our next stop: The Dragon Hill Spa; internationally known and ranked one of the world’s best..it was time to strip down. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jjimjilbang) The best $25 ever spent. On a full body scrub. Naked. I think the absolute worst part of the experience was seeing my dead skin come off in clumps. The best part- I’ve never been so clean in my life! Ahhmazing and I would totally do it again! (My sister’s reaction: You. Are. Ridicules.) Maybe you should try it…I bet I’m cleaner than you right now! 🙂 After spending 4 hours at the spa relaxing, we ate dinner then went back to the hostel to find the other two beds occupied. Then two men wandered in (we were in a mixed dorm), one from Louisiana and the other (with his brother in the next room) from Mexico. They were…interesting and drunkenly talked to us til 3 am. again. (Ack I am starting to get sick!)
Happy Birthday to my lovely mother today! Thanks to the internet I was able to skype the flower shop back home and send her flowers. 🙂 yay!
I went for a walk in a different direction today and found a street that lead to another street that I was actually familiar with and I knew exactly where I was! Everything is starting to connect. Walking on the opposite side of the usual side of the street puts things in a better perspective too…discovering that new routes and views orient my mind and shape a place to be more like home.
Well today I found what I was missing. Flashcards. and more games…when I asked at the beginning if I needed to do anything…maybe they didn’t understand me or I misunderstood them or didn’t realize what exactly I was supposed to make flashcards of. So now it’s flashcard time…and find activity time. And I made a clock for the “time” unit. It’s cute. I’m kinda excited about it, not gonna lie. I’m never this creative. Except when I showed my friend the picture of the “mole” (long vowel O sounds) and said badger…I know I’m a terrible drawer and fingers crossed my kids will remember the vocabulary word associated with my awkward picture. Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!!! Longest shortest week…
Well today my co-teachers busted out laughing at my flashcards…but they really liked them. I think now that I’ve been here a month I will start to do more and they will give me more lea-way with the class. My director changed my hours to come in at 12:30 instead of 1:00 to plan lessons. I had asked about all this in the beginning, so I’m not sure why it’s all changing now…it’s beyond me their thought process, I guess I just do what I’m told. I just hope that they don’t think I wasn’t trying in the beginning and now they’re putting more work on me…I distinctly recall asking about my hours and what I was supposed to be teaching and they kept saying 1:00 and we teach from the book.
Tonight some friends and I made grilled cheese, applesauce, and pico de gallo. yummy! 🙂
Today I’m going to Busan with a my friend and her 2 friends that she knew a few years ago that just randomly moved to this area.
Back from the beach. I love it. AND it’s so convenient to get to- just a couple buses and a subway ride. for less than $10 round trip and only about 45 minutes for each way. 🙂 Fabulous. The view was amazing and…there were many coffee shops and restaurants along the shore. Including Starbucks and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Ahh…watching the waves and sipping coffee on an outside patio. Perfection. I can’t wait to do this more often.
I even made my way back to Jangyu by myself. I ordered my bus ticket in Korean and sat by the nicest girl who didn’t speak English, but we showed each other pictures of what we did that day- I had pictures of the beach and she had a brochure of pictures from a parade and festival she had gone to. She was really sweet and showed me what bus stop to get off at in Jangyu. Once back I was waiting for the bus and decided it was taking too long; it was kinda late and they don’t have as many running at this time so I got in a cab and told the bus driver exactly where to go in Korean and he understood me! (yay!) Home safe.
Even though I still have to ask people how to get somewhere or assist me with directions to a place I haven’t been before, my sense of direction and memory once I’m shown or told once or twice has definitely been enhanced. I feel more independent not having to rely on other people to go with me from point A to B…I like knowing where I’m at and feel very accomplished when I know exactly where I’m at during the night or day time. 🙂
October 10th will mark my one month in Korea…Crazy!