Saturday, April 17, 2010

And so it begins...

I have been in South Korea for a week. An entire week!

Last Sunday, the first full day, involved my roommate for training and I conquering the subway system in Seoul.

Finally, we made it OUT! (Are those not the best subway steps, EVER?)


We ended up in a lovely place called Children's Grand Park:

This is the fairy garden...


This is how Teralyn and I felt after actually getting somewhere on the subway:


This made my heart sing:



















Everyone was doing it...



I don't know who this character is...but I wanted a picture. While I was shopping yesterday, he showed up on toilet paper packaging!

View from the highest part of the park...


This reminds me of the fountain in Seattle...with Celine Dion music played in rhythm with the shoots of water...

After wandering the park for a couple of hours, we were starving. Thus, the adventure of finding (1) a menu with pictures, as neither of us read Hangul or speak Korean, (2) a restaurant with tables, as I was the idiot in sandals with no socks, meaning it would not be respectful to sit on the floor, where you have to take off your shoes. 

We wandered for a long time...

Eventually, we found something! And I found something...vegetarian...kind of. The broth was made with cow's knee, but the vegetable dumplings were delicious! 

Cutting up kimchi (love it!) with scissors. We didn't figure this out until the people sitting next to us did it...up until then, we stuffed huge pieces into our mouths. Love it. 

Managing the metal chopsticks is something I have yet to master...but I was pretty excited to have finally picked up a dumpling!! Later, we found out from a gal in our training group that *ahem* we didn't need to eat soup with chopsticks......Oh you live and you learn...


One thing about Korean food that I greatly appreciate is the color!!! Every meal is a delightful array of bold oranges, reds, and greens. I love it!
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After that first day, Teralyn and I did not have any time for sightseeing. Luckily, I am living pretty close to Seoul and will travel up there often. 

We survived training by laughing a lot. As I am teaching for April English (the younger kiddos), and Teralyn for traditional CDI (older kiddos), we spent a lot of time comparing programs and the rigors of training. I was happy to be in my boat...she was learning about "skimming" and "scanning" readings while I was reciting, "The sun in YELLOW. What color is the sun? The sun is YELLOW." A bit tedious, yes, but much easier material to master.

By the end of the week, one (out of 7 total trainees, only two of which were there for April) guy gave up. Another guy did not technically pass, but is on probation for the next 2 weeks. The rest of us did it! Wahoo!!!

Immediately after training was over, we were each whisked off to our respective branches. I am the only trainee remaining in the Seoul area. Bummer! 

So, I make Suwon my new home.

The area I live and teach in is called Yeongtong. It is much quieter and smaller than Seoul (thank goodness!) and I live by a park! Wahoo! More pictures will follow, as well as updates about my first week as a teacher. 

Today, I am prepping for several classes for tomorrow.........wish me luck!

Oh, and an update about Justin! He has a job in another part of Suwon, probably about 20 minutes away(?) that will begin in the end of May. He sent off his contract on Friday and is now awaiting his visa code. I am so happy that he will be here soon!!



2 comments:

El Jefe said...

I hate to bring you down a notch, but Kimchi is not technically vegetarian, there's some kind of shrimp product. Are you going to try the vegetarian style here?

Katrina said...

Seriously?! That is so disappointing...

I am trying to stay veggie, but so far, not so good...I'm pretty sure everything consumed outside of my home has meat product in some way...