So, as most of my friends/family are probably aware by now, I am officially in South Korea. So far it has been pretty surreal. I definitely have a new appreciation for my international student friends and expats in Madison; it is SO hard being dropped in a foreign country if you don't have a good grasp of the language.
Anyway, my first few days were a mix of mundane and hectic. For the first couple of nights in town I didn't have a fan in my apartment, so that was hell. It is the tail end of monsoon season here, so in general it is hot and muggy (and usually rainy) ALL THE TIME. Today the weather has been a little nicer, but it was drizzling for a while when I was out.
My first night here had some funny moments; it's probably easier to just bullet point them than try to put them in any kind of order:
- the bus from the Incheon airport to Icheon was ridiculous. We were in Seoul's Friday rush-hour traffic, so a ride that would normally have taken 2- 2 1/2 hours took about four.
- the first place that my co-teacher, Mrs. Kim, took me upon arrival was E-Mart, which is essentially the Korean Wal-Mart. E-Mart has escalators that you can take CARTS on. It is crazy. Also, I looked crazy, after a thirteen hour flight and a four hour bus trip. We ate in the food court, and I realized that Koreans eat about 3x more per meal than Americans do. Interesting.
- the first few days in my apartment I didn't realize that my shower head, (which hangs on the wall in my bathroom opposite my mirror- no curtain or door) had a hook so I could hang it above my head. My first shower was definitely bizarre.
- when my co-teacher and I first got to my apartment (or officetel as she calls it) she couldn't remember the door code, so it took like ten minutes to get in. Fun fact: my building (called White Vill, ironically enough) has no keys. It's all code-pads, which I guess is nice. If you know the code, which we didn't. Now it's seared into my memory. And I'm actually kind of happy about never having to endure a lost-key crisis.
- Korean mattresses are FIRM. This is not an exaggeration. Even after a mattress pad and a comforter (pink, of course; thank you Mrs. Kim) it is still like sleeping on a board. Am currently looking into rectifying this.
Well, there is a lot more to say, but for the moment my fingers are tired of typing, and my time at the internet cafe is about to expire. I'll try to post more frequently; now that I have the controls in English instead of Korean that should be exponentially simpler. :D
Miss all of you in the States. Wish me luck; first day of school tomorrow!