Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
1. A Korean “Kick Me” sign
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The most notable part of being here through this is that the country just kept going after the attacks. No one skipped a beat. I think that shows how much this is just a part of their life here. I was at Disney when September 11 happened and it felt like the entire world shut down. Walt Disney World closed it’s doors for one of only a handful of times in their almost thirty year history. Universities, airports, and a multitude of companies shut down for the day. The country literally stopped when the twin towers were hit. As a testament to the terror it invoked, almost 10 years later I am still getting emotional thinking back to that day even though I was only 20 years old.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
So healthcare here is pretty awesome too.
After being here a month I finally had my health check. This is required of everyone when starting a new job in Korea, alien or citizen. Most importantly for me, I need this to get my alien registration card, and subsequently get on payroll, get health insurance, open a bank account, etc. The hospital we went to was so pretty. The waiting area had these huge purple comfy leather couches, and the beds were all outfitted with colorful blankets and pillows. I am told there is quite a bit of competition between the hospitals so each will spend a considerable amount of money making sure their’s is not only the best medically, but also the most attractive and comfortable, far above American standards.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I met a new friend, Lee Ann, for lunch today. She was kind enough to come to my neighborhood since I am still learning my way around. We decided on a little hamburger joint nearby called My Father’s Sandwiches.
The last few days I’ve done some exploring to see what the shopping is like. Truthfully, I was on a quest for make-up and a hair dryer because the voltage conversion blew mine up last week. Nevertheless, it has been an exciting few days.
I was walking to Time World on Monday and I started to hear loud sirens. I figured it was police, ambulance, etc, but then it didn’t stop. It continued for at least ten minutes and even though I couldn’t decipher which direction the noise was coming from, it seemed to be stagnant wherever it was. As I approach Time World (which is this massive and fancy shopping area) traffic had been stopped in all directions. Most people had turned off their engines and there was a person on each corner with big yellow flags signaling to everyone.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I woke up Sunday with a To-Do list that was a mile long and my priorities firmly in order. After spending Saturday up in the mountains with temples and monks, and being exactly one month to the day of my arrival in SoKo, it was my mission. If nothing else got accomplished that day, I would still make sure that I found my happy place. And find it I did.
And true to Amy form, nothing else got accomplished that day.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Autumn in the mountains - CHECK!
It’s the day of all 1’s so it’s celebrated with Pepero, or as it’s known to me, the chocolate covered cookie stick you eat with coffee. There are several myths about how the holiday began in the mid 1990’s but it’s believed to be a corporate contrived holiday, as many of them are. Lotte is a huge corporation over here, something like a mix between Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and Pepsi Co. They seem to have their name on almost everything from an enormous department store, to a fast food chain, to a bag of chips at 7/11. Lotte is also the largest supplier of pepero. A lot of people deem it a conspiracy theory on behalf of Lotte to capitalize on a signature item created almost solely by them. I think that’s genius.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
After work last night I went out with some co-teachers. One of them had recently tried to move into my building and learned they have a firm No Animal policy. She has two dogs herself so she was unable to move in. Yet they told me to just ignore the letter. This isn’t ok.
I’m not the type of person that intentionally breaks the rules. I’m not the person that orders water at a self-serve restaurant to then get tea or diet soda. I’m also not the person that opts to use the automated ticket machine at the movie theater so I can take advantage of the senior discount. And I most certainly am not the type of person that lives in a building knowing they are blatantly against having pets on the premises. Especially not in foreign countries. I am not ok with this.
My director stopped by around noon and brought my new Korean cell phone (yay!), my first paycheck (in cash!), and some news about my illegal animal. Apparently in Korea passive aggressive is the way to go. Apparently in Korea it is ok to threaten the life of my animal with no intention to actually follow through. Apparently in Korea it’s all a contest of who can scream the loudest. A contest of which I have never lost by the way. But I’m in a different country now with different rules…
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I got home from work around 11:15 Monday night and there was a note under my door saying that the building does not allow pets. Not only does it not allow pets, but that I have 4 days to remove him from the premises or else he will be “disposed of” by legal force. Maybe that’s a translation error, but that is NOT OK. It also stated that “any death of the animal due to legal disposing” was my responsibility. Commencing meltdown…
Monday, November 8, 2010
I needed a barker collar for Charlie because his behavior has to straighten out over here. The people here don’t appreciate it and honestly, I can’t expect them to. It’s like being the person with the loud, out of control child that I always shoot dirty looks to. Not because their child is acting out, young children lack the self-control and understanding of society’s rules. I glare because the adult has no control over their child, or concern for social etiquette, and that’s a problem.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Daejeon is one of the largest cities in South Korea, however they have an incredibly low foreigner population. Unlike Seoul, I can walk around all day and see no other foreigners. I feel like I have complete anonymity here even though I have just the opposite. I am the only blonde hair, blue eyed girl for miles. Then add in the silly looking dog that tries to attack everyone and yep, I’m pretty much famous here. But in my mind I’m still completely anonymous. And I love that.
Monday, November 1, 2010
We had a very basic script written on the board behind my laptop. What you can't see is the boys that went first were slowly erasing every other letter from each word. By the time it got to the last student he just had random letters left up on the board and he couldn't make any sense out of it.
This poor new girl has no idea what to do in this class. She's so quiet and shy that I think the boys scare her. Welcome to Middle School sweetie, they only get worse from here!