A Travellerspoint blog

Aug. 10th

This weekend has been really nice. I spent Saturday and Sunday at the beach, most of the day. There's nothing like the calming of the sea and atmosphere to chill any and all problems away. These past couple of weeks have been difficult, still getting adjusted and all. I've met a lot of people, but I haven't made a friendship of what I would like. Then again, I've got 10 and a half months left.

The class by myself is going okay. I've come to realize that having your own class, in Korea, while having never taught before, is not really my forte. I'm slowly grasping it though, but if I had a choice, I wouldn't do it again. Having a Korean teacher to back me up is far more easier for me and for the kids. I usually just end up ignoring the kid if they're being annoying.

I had an interesting look back into 4th grade the other day. Whenever I was younger, I would hum, and I remember it particularly in my 4th grade class. Not to be disruptive, but I sincerely thought that no one else could hear me. I had it set that if I hummed, no one else heard me. Obviously that's not the case. And while I was teaching one day, it dawned on me that my teacher just ignored me. I don't ever remember her telling me to stop humming, so I came to the conclusion that she just ignored me. Brilliant.

This country does surprise me almost everyday. Saturday at the beach, I saw an Asian woman with fake breasts. I would have never thought that I would see that. Apparently though, cosmetic surgery is popular here. I wouldn't have ever guessed it, but it's quite trendy to get fixed here. Also, most Koreans cover themselves up from the sun. They hate it. Going to the beach, they'll wear full clothes in the water. Although this weekend I did see a Korean woman oiling herself down. Those little surprises make my day most of the time.

It's the little things that count. Like going to see the new Batman in IMAX tonight.

Posted by almchenry 04:09 Comments (0)

July 30th

It's been a while since my last entry. A lot has happened, and I apologize to everyone who has been wondering about the blog and me. I'm still alive, so don't call the feds just yet.

I'm on vacation, not by my choice though. The school has shut down for three days - so I'm on vacation which I really didn't need. It's a bit annoying on how it worked out because these three days get taken out of my ten days of vacation. I've been here a month, so I don't feel like I need a vay-cay just yet. Oh well - I get one. My plans? Today I'm going to go visit the Busan Museum of Modern Art and maybe go to the beach. Finish laundry and hang out. That's about it. Who knows what the next few days have in store.

One reason why I've been so busy is that during the months of August and January (I think) the kids go on vacation. So my regular hours of 2-8 have been bumped up to 10-6. It's not too bad, but I've got a lot more work ahead of me for this month. I have been blessed (and I haven't decided if that's the correct word to use) with my own class. Let me explain: For the past month I have been helping a Korean teacher with the kids. The Korean teacher makes the lesson plans, what needs to be done and so on. I now have a class M-F to my own. Keep in mind, I've never taught anything in my life except for swimming lessons. Apparently I hit it off with the kids really well and the teachers really like the way I teach that I have my own class. The first day was nerve racking. Instead of being the sheep I am now the goat.

Other than that change everything has been pretty decent. I still haven't fully settled in, but I'm slowly getting there. I still feel much like a foreigner, and which I am, but I'm a foreigner who lives here. It'll come in time. No worries.

Posted by almchenry 18:37 Comments (1)

My Dedication Blog to Spam

Before coming over here, I had heard of Spam. I never tried it, but I always heard those nasty rumors. Then it seemed like Spam disappeared. I thought maybe it had went into bankruptcy, but I was proven wrong. Spam does exist and it lives on forever in its glory here in South Korea.

Koreans love their Spam. Their three food groups are rice, kimchi and Spam. That's all they need. In order to provide you with an example, I took a picture in one of the markets of the Spam isle. Yes; I have given that isle it's own name because of the abundance of Spam.


Spam will forever live on thanks to South Korea. Along with Kia and computer technology, you have given us Spam again! Thank you South Korea!

And yes - I have eaten Spam. I'll leave it at that.

Posted by almchenry 19:51 Comments (1)

July 18th

I forgot to add in my last entry in the Everland part, about one of the most awesome roller coaster rides I've ever been on. One of the times that we went (we were on the ride multiple times...) I took my camera with me, and was able to capture the awesomeness of it.

It's goes thru the jungle/trees/forest/nature.

It was absolutely amazing, partly because the US would never allow that. There are probably some laws and restrictions against it, but in Korea they don't pay attention to laws. One of the times we went on it, I did end up getting hit by a branch, but it was no big deal. I'm certain that if someone were to get hit by a twig in the US, some law suit would be filed as quick as you can say 5 million dollars. NOT HERE!

Here's the video. Be warned, I do yell in it and it gets loud. So at this point, I suggest turning down your volume a touch. Enjoy!

Posted by almchenry 17:41 Comments (0)

July 16th

A lot has been happening since my last post, so this is a bring you up to date blog.

Friday July 11th: It was a long day to begin with. I got up around 8ish, to go receive the results of my physical (and if you're interested, I'm okay in Korean health). Got the results, came back, went to work, and got off around 8:15ish. Then Absolut, which is a vodka company, was throwing a bash at a club in Haeundae and me, my foreign co-workers,W and some other people ended up going. We ended up leaving around 1:30am because.... (we totally had a blast too!)

Saturday July 12th: Got up at 6:30am. We had a school weekend conference in Seoul. So all of the teachers had to be at the meeting spot at 7:30 in order to make our train. Not everyone was there at 7:30. It was a mad house with the Korean teachers. (Let me say this, Koreans panic over everything, just about the way they panicked over mad cow disease. It's exhausting.) I was running down the subway, up the subway, get into an taxi, get out of the taxi, run back into the subway, turn left, turn right, ect. That's really how it went. On the way to Seoul I learn a new vocabulary word as well: Klogic. Klogic is Korean and logic mashed together. I'll give you an example; Women who wear high heels to an amusement park (the amusement park is coming up next) would be known as Klogic. BTW, all Korean women here wear high heels, no matter what, or with what attire. It really is a mind boggling thing to watch every day, but that's Klogic. Then we all get to Seoul, minus one because she didn't make it, and sit for 7 hours talking in a circle. It was a twiddle my thumbs moment, that lasted for hours. After that was over, we drank because that is what you do here. You get drunk with the head honchos and have a dandy time, and then you go to bed around 2am.

Sunday July 13th: Get up at 7:30am (this was the weekend that never ended) to go to Everland. Everland is an amusement park. I was dreading it before hand because I was told that in order to ride one of the 3 rides there, you wait in a line for 2 hours. Well me and my lets go attitude wasn't going to have that. The longest we had to wait in line was about 40 minutes and that was for the big wooden roller coaster. We had so much fun though. Oh! And Everland has a ski lift. Since it's based on a couple of mountains, they have a ski lift to take you one of the tops, to one of the bottoms. The lay out of this place is huge, but the amount of big rides that have lacks. Never the less, it was a free trip to an amusement park so I'm not complaining - too much. My only complaint was that all the foreigners sweated out a lake, and then we had to ride like that all the way back home. (Just to let you know, foreigners sweat so much more than Koreans. It's so incredibly humid here, that I walk around drenched most of the time. So walking around an amusement park in the middle of the afternoon was like swimming in sweat, and ultimately a death sentence for us all.) We get home around 9:30pm, and that is the end of the weekend.

Monday July 14th: Right after work, I went to the grocery store to grab a couple of things that I needed. Walking down an isle a Korean man is staring at me, and finally I've just gotten used to it. Most 60 year old Korean men stare at me. But as I'm walking past him on his right, and he's walking on my left, I see him raise his arm forward like a pendulum. I'm thinking Klogic. Turns out that when I past him, he slaps me on my ass. I turn around to look at him and he raises his eye brows, like "hey baby" kind of raising eye brows. I couldn't do anything but laugh and go on my way.

Tuesday July 15th: I named a kid in one of my classes. She is a new student, and didn't have an English name, so I was thrown on the spot to name her. It was weird. Ultimately, I named her Elizabeth.

Wednesday July 16th: Got up around 8am to finally go register for my alien card. Left for the subway around 8:45 and was on my merry way. In order to get to Busan Immigration, via subway, I had to switch lines. As I'm switching lines trying to find my way thru, one of the 4 foot nothing ladies starts screaming at me in Korean. Klogic. Eventually found my way to immigration, took longer than what I wanted, but in about 10 days, this whole alien card mess should be done and taken care of. Getting back on the subway was interesting. I happen to sit next to an old man, relatively 60, and he was praying the rosary. A Catholic Korean. It just struck me as peculiar. Then work it was off to work.

It's now Thursday, July 16th at 9:15am. I'm on my way to find HomeEver. I tried last night, but failed. I'm getting more and more used to trying to find a place, and failing at actually ending up there. I figure I'll find it at some point. I'm not running madly from mad cow disease or bird flu. :)

Posted by almchenry 16:38 Comments (0)

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