It’s November 17th, 2011 which means I have been living in freakin Seoul for exactly 3 months today. I remember that day quite vividly. On the 16th I was a damn waterworks show while saying bye to the Schaeffs at LAX, and all that I could think was “WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING?!” In the end, I grew a pair and whimpered my way through the security line like a little bitch. Here are the last known (and sexiest) photos of Rudolph and the fam before peacing out.
I landed at around 6:30pm in Seoul, and as soon as I walked off the plane and into the airport I was SHVITZING…and I hadn’t even stepped outside Incheon Airport yet. My plane buddy named Kevin (wow, I remembered that) was a skinny little Korean boy who helped me hoist my life-of-luggage onto my cart and we were on our way to exchange some dolla dolla bills for some wonios. I then meandered around the airport by myself for a bit trying to get oriented and figure out where the hell I was supposed to go to meet the EPIK/Korvia peeps. I found them after walking in a few circles. My internal compass needs some work, clearly. I met my plane buddy Casey in the flesh and met Henry Oh from Korvia who gave me my cell phone. I also thought my eyes were playing tricks on me when I thought “WOW. He’s cute.” Casey and I ended up talking talking talking and missed the memo to get on our bus to head to Kyung Hee University, AKA our orientation site. We got briskly shuffled out to the bus and I plopped on down next to little Miss Veny. Who I l.o.v.e. LOVE. The rest is 3 months of history.
Fast forward to now, 3 months in, and yesterday I took my first sick day. I never fully kicked my last round of sickness so I was bound to get sick again. I signed up for my first Yoga membership in Seoul after school on Tuesday with my co-teachers. For 12 classes/month it’s only 80,000won, which averages out to about $6/class!! What a steal! Tuesday’s class ended up being Pilates and it felt so good. It was really funny though because I was wearing the least amount of clothing, but I was dressed how we dress for Yoga in the states. Yoga pants, sports bra and tank top. I felt a wee bit out of place when everyone was in baggy pants over their tights, longer sleeved shirts and no cleavage whatsoever. Oh well! I have the gift of sweat and could not do that! Not to mention, the teacher paid extra attention to me. I think this is because I was the lone big-bootied Waygook standing out in a sea of skinny Koreans in the class. Needless to say, I felt amazing after, but as soon as I got home I started feeling shitty. I ended up going to bed super early (for me) that night, around 10:45pm, and when I awoke in a congested haze I was not about to get my ass out of bed and stand all day. I always take myself down that road and therefore I never get better. So I stayed home and slept literally all day, and caught up on some guilty pleasure television between naps. I also received my beautiful purple warm comforter, which coupled with the warmness of my Ondol (heating in my apartment that heats the floors!) made for an even better day of slumber.
Another first happened last week. I shlepped my ass down to Hongdae on Wednesday for my first tap class in Seoul. Well, that class was a rude and brutal awakening to my complete and utter rustiness. I SUCKED ASS. There were 4 of us in the class plus the teacher. My friend Woo Sik, who is the guy I originally met, was in the class, his brother and then one other guy. I can’t stress how awful I was. First, I haven’t tapped in probably 3 years or so, and even then it was like once a week since I began working, and second, they are legit Rhythm tappers which is a grittier style of tap than I am used to. The class was fun, but I was super frustrated and nervous, and my feet and head were NOT working together. On top of that, I was stressed about planning for my first Winter camp. I told the guys I would definitely like to continue classes and they thought it would be best to take them on Weds and Fri (which I was kind of bitter about committing to on a Friday). I told them I would, but then last night decided since I’m gonna be traveling it’s probably not the best idea to buy a whole month’s package (100,000won/8 lessons) when I will probably be missing a bunch of classes coming up. So, that’s out, but perhaps I’ll go take one off classes here and there when I feel like being made a fool of 🙂
On Tuesday was yet another first, and this was quite an interesting one. You know how at home we have fire drills to practice what to do if there’s a fire? Well, I found out in Monday’s meeting that in S. Korea they have War drills for if N. Korea and S. Korea ever go to war. Yep. Sorry mom. So yea, during my Tuesday after school class with my 1st and 2nd graders we had the drill. The principal said we didn’t need to go out of the classroom, but to just stay in the room and keep quiet. Everyone else had to go downstairs and underground. I’ve heard that not all schools have underground areas, but they go out on the field. How that would protect you, I don’t know, but my school has an underground. So, if anything happens I will be saved :). During this drill there was a radio announcement that was broadcast for 20 minutes in Korean, from 2:-2:20pm. It really felt like we were back in WWII or something. It wasn’t scary or anything, but just the foreign language and the way it sounded over the broadcast sounded very old fashioned. While the broadcast was going I gave the kids a worksheet to do, then when they finished they just went and read in the playroom to keep quiet. That gave Leni and I a chance to go over necessities for Winter camp. So yea, Bomb Drills. New and different thing to add to the ever-growing list!
Next week is Thanksgiving! This will be my first Thanksgiving away from home and it’s so weird! A group of us are planning a feast for this weekend so I can’t wait to eat lots of nomz! I’m also going to be teaching about Thanksgiving in my after school classes next week, so that is the perfect excuse to have kids make paper turkeys and bring in pumpkin pie for us all to eat. NOM NOM NOM.
In other FIRSTs news, I have officially booked my first flight out of the country for just before Christmas to New Years! After much harassing from my favorite morning wake up call, Cori and I are almost set to go. We’ve got our RT flights and hotel in Bangkok, just need to book the domestic flights, and we have an itinerary planned. I am SO excited! It’s gonna be so much fun. It’ll also be nice to get out of the snow that will be covering Seoul. Bret is also planning to come visit me end of January for my birthday, so I’m just waiting to see if he got the dates approved. Then hopefully we can start planning!
That’s about it for now. Sorry for no new pictures, but here’s a cute lil one of one of my munchkins and some creeptastic mannequins. Enjoy!