Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Last 10 Days

Hey there! Long time, no ... see! Haha.

What's been going on? I'll tell you.

Last week was pretty interesting. Wednesday was a national memorial day for Korea which meant no school. So on the Tuesday before, the school had a parent-teacher dinner. I'm not sure how it was set up, but I suppose a few parents RSVP'd to join the school teachers and administrative staff. I was invited, too. We took up the entire restaurant, minus two small rooms that were separated from the main room by a sliding door. We feasted on dak galbi (forgive me, I'll have to look up the correct spellings another time), nengmyun, mandu, and whatever else the host felt like lavishing us with. Of course, there was alcohol all around....

After the dinner, my mentor teacher's husband "appeared out of nowhere" (again!) with his two "outing buddies."  Yes, that is what I will now call them: The Outing Trio. They appeared in the parking lot across the street, and we all talked and laughed about random things explained in broken English and Korean. I suppose at some point my MT's husband's stomach growled because he asked me where the nearest chicken restaurant was. Of course, this is not my side of town, but thanks to the errand-running adventure with the third grade teacher the previous week, I was able to oblige. "BHC...." I trailed off, trying to remember exactly where down the street it was. "BHC!" he exclaimed excitedly. I had picked a good brand. He praised me and quickly urged our small group (the trio, my MT, and two other teachers from the dinner earlier) to start walking. The BHC turned out to be a delivery-only shop, so we turned around and headed to the next best looking chicken restaurant, Hoo-La-La.

On Wednesday, I'd intended to eat dinner with one of the teachers from last night (I really wish we could all hang out more often), but I ended up boarding a train and going to visit Nurse Linda from the TaLK orientation. She lives an hour away from me, and I really wanted another chance to enjoy her and her son's company. They picked me up at the train station, home to a nice-looking building despite the area looking almost as scarce as a ghost town. This was a country side town. Her son, nicknamed, "Optimus Prime," ran towards me as I crossed the tracks. To him, I am "Shannon noona" (older sister Shannon). On this trip, I got to meet Linda's parents and see their lovely home. We spent the day grocery shopping, eating, playing, talking, studying Korean, listening to music, taking pictures, browsing the internet, and visiting a Buddhist temple. All of it was truly a great experience, but part of me wished that I could do one more thing that day. I got home late. 9PM or so. I'd been torn between getting to know an old friend and getting to know new ones. The new ones are closer to home. Having dinner with them this night would probably have been enjoyable, too. Sometimes, I dislike having to choose between these kinds of situations.

The rest of the week went by nicely. There was a bit of trouble teaching the first graders, but the source of the problem is an old one that lies deep within me. It's completely a part of my personality, and one that will take more than a few lucky "good" days with them to overcome. On Saturday, I and the other foreigners of Jecheon set off to Seoul to see the musical, Wicked. The play was performed by an Australian cast, and subtitles were displayed on message boards on either side of the stage. My group had nosebleed seats. We couldn't see the actor's faces in any detail, but that didn't stop the play from being totally exciting!

A few of us also managed to visit a Latin festival for about 30 minutes before the play. My friend Lein and I did sooooo much walking Saturday and Sunday. Between riding the subway back and forth across the city and walking around exploring everything (in an attempt to escape boredom, kill time, or find food), this trip kept us quite fit! Our group spent the night at a hostel in Hongdae, and on Sunday Lein and I broke away from the group again to grab breakfast and go visit the Trick Eye Museum. I hope to make a video of the that part of the trip. As soon as it's completed, I'll post the link here.

Lein and I also went home a bit early so as not to feel totally exhausted on Monday. I've decided that sleeping on the train is no longer enjoyable. Too much anticipation thinking that you'll miss your stop. Even with a timer, it's just like trying to sleep on an airplane, seat-wise. ... I take that back. The train seats are spacier and recline better. Still....

'Til next time,

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