Well I've been here for a week now, and I'm still not used to the time difference. I'm trying to get comfortable in my new apartment, but won't feel fully comfy until I put some money into this place. It's pretty ghetto, but I think I can make it work. One awesome thing is that I'm right behind the main road of Gangnam in Seoul, which is a pretty happening area. I still haven't gotten much of a chance to roam around and explore, but I will. I landed in Incheon last Monday, the 20th, around 4pm. The flight was good, but I was stuck in a middle seat between a vegetarian who ate nothing the whole trip and a Philippino man who ate way too may shrimp flavored chips. I can't sleep on planes, so I mostly watched the few movies that were available to me. If you haven't seen the Snow White movie with Julia Roberts, I recommend that you do. Since I could hardly move, my legs and feet swelled like crazy, which is not a comfortable feeling. So I landed and made my way through the airport...immigration, luggage, converting the little money I had into won. Then I went out and found a Korean man with a creepy smile holding a big piece of paper with my name on it. This was my ride to the school. During the ride, he tried to get me to teach him English, but it didn't go very well. He also tried to test me on my knowledge of Korean foods. Listen buddy, I'm no newbie to this place, don't try to trick me with your bibimbap and japchae trivia! Anyway, I thought I was going to the school, but the guy actually dropped me off at my apartmwent. A man named Chris was there waiting for me and he showed me where I'd be sleeping for the next year. It's not horrible, but it's not great. Pictures will come soon, I promise. I do have a full size bed, so I'm definitely cool with that. I also have a cute little balcony that overlooks the Best All convenience store at the corner. The biggest disappointment is the kitchen. Those who know me know that I love to cook, especially for other people. Well, doesn't look like that's happening here. A 2 burner gas range just isn't gonna do it.
The best part about getting to my apartment is that Chris handed me a map of the area and told me this was the way to get to the school in the morning...then he left. Great, I get to find this place on my own. Even though I was extremely jet lagged and it was raining out, I thought I better find that place that night instead of waiting til morning. I set out and thought I followed the map, but I could NOT find this damn place. My friend Paul had found it a couple weeks earlier, so luckily I was able to contact him through a random coffee shop's wi-fi. He met me and helped me find it. Apparently, the map I was given SUCKED, but at least I found the place.
I went to work on Tuesday and met everyone. My first week consisted of observing classes and working with my Korean co-teacher on getting the classroom ready. I learned that getting the classroom ready at GATE means stapling an immense amount of felt onto the walls, leaving no piece of the wall visible. My co-teacher June, is great. I think we're gonna get along very well. My kids don't start until the 30th, but I do have to give a presentation to the parents on the 29th...eek! I had to make a big powerpoint presentation and everything. So far, things have gone pretty well. I am slowly adjusting to being back in the land of the morning calm, and am looking forward to having some great adventures!
Love you all!