It has almost been one month since arriving in Korea to teach English for the second time. This time, I intend to post photo journals and a few words occasionally to document my experiences for those of you who have insisted on my sharing of photos with social media. I feel this platform is a better alternative to always posting pictures to Facebook or Instagram and clogging up newsfeeds of those who are not as interested in this journey. Hopefully, it won’t be as much of a nuisance to everyone. I mean no malice in these words, as I simply do not want to constantly post to those platforms. I know I get annoyed with seeing certain things being posted by someone on multiple times in a short period of time when I am not interested in the subject. Like, no Bertha, my interest doesn’t pique at the thought of seeing another picture of your dog doing the same thing on a different day. Yes, I love cuddling those cuddly pets, but one picture is enough for me to visualize his/her talent of lying on the floor. Ok, back from the rabbit trail. Sorry!
I flew into Incheon International Airport and rented a car for a day so I could drive to Daejeon and surprise my previous co-teacher at church. It worked! He was very perplexed to see me standing in the sanctuary that Sunday morning but was excited to see that I was there. After service, I had to put the car in drive and spend a few hours on the road to get to Daegu and check into the orientation venue, Daegu Haany University. Orientation was eight days of training, networking, and KPOP dancing. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and agreed to take a dance class. Say whuuutt? I found out quickly that my body doesn’t move like that and these hips do lie. Either way, it was a funny experience.
After orientation ended, we were herded back to Daejeon via a “limousine bus”. Don’t get wide-eyed just yet. There was nothing fancy about it besides the janky cup holder that folds down from the back of the person seated in front of you. Upon arrival, we were greeted with our new co-teachers and disperesed amongst the city to take care of administrative tasks and see our new homes for the next year. My co-teacher was smart. She knew the immigration office would be full of everyone who had arrived that day, so she simply said, “Don’t worry, we’ll go in the morning when it’s not busy.” … and just like that, I knew I was blessed with a co-teacher who had sense about her. Thank you, Jesus! She wanted to take me to lunch before taking me to my new apartment. I agreed even though I wasn’t hungry. She scowled at my decision to have kongnamul with beef (콩나물 불고기 ), which is bean sprout soup with beef. She caved and took me anyway. Thanks, Gloria. You the real MVP!
FINALLY! We pull into the parking garage of my apartment complex and it doesn’t seem dated or trashed. I was happy. Then, we walked into my apartment. I was no longer happy. It was bare. Completely bare of anything necessary to live as a human being. No broom to collect dust. No bleach to pour in the sink to give the illusion of a clean place. Most importantly, no fan to use for sleeping. No. I need a refund. Peace out… Oh wait, I didn’t pay for it. Okay, my bad. Thank you for your generosity! I appreciate a roof. After she showed me my new place and the directions to walk to work, she left me to it all alone. That’s when I started shopping for the necessities to live! Sidenote; I still haven’t purchased toilet paper, so I hope I have no vistors who need to conduct business in the toilet anytime soon!
It took a few days to finally get everything setup (bank account, alien status, phone plan, wifi, etc.) but it all worked out!
Since getting settled, routine has started forming and I have found somewhat of a normalcy to daily life. However, I do find that I am going to have to work harder to mold that routine into a more productive and responsible one as I have spent more money than necessary on meeting friends and eating out way more often than I should.
I definitely miss everyone close back home and wish I could hug a few necks right now!
Peace out! 나 먼저 가!