Published: March 14th 2007March 11th 2007
Castle English Village-y
The entrance to our humble abode, complete with port-cullis
We arrived at the airport at a frosty 3:45am! After negotiating customs etc we were out of the airport at 4:45. Our taxi driver greeted us with his "Darrell and Cathy" card and escorted us to his van. Someone in my family has just mentioned that it was a bit chilly last Saturday... well, you should know what chilly is! The minute we stepped onto Incheon soil outside the airport we were greeted by my (Cath) first -2degree C wind. Ahhh crazy cold!!! Although "Ahhh crazy cold!!!" were my first thoughts Darrell seemed to be flooded with his really great memories of his stay in America which kept him bubbling for ages :)
The driver seemed to be in high spirits considering he'd probably been up since about 3 to fetch two westeners whose language we doesn't understands and now he pretty much had to drive to the boarder to drop us off. He was great :) He put on some Korean Pop -I think more for our sake than his. Most of the songs were completely new until... dada dada daaaa... FUNKY TOWN... dada dada daaaa... FUNKY TOWN :) it was great!
We arrived at the English Village-y
A view down the main street of the village
about an hour later, according to the car's thermometer, at -6degree C! Everyone was still sleeping (it was 6am after all) and it was mostly still dark so it was pretty difficult to get an idea of our surroundings, other than everything was super big and super cold! We met one of the one of the ladies in the admin department whose name has escaped me and our boss, Andrew, who Darrell greeted as "Oh, so you're the guy we're supposed to be working for" .
Due to our oober early arrival our rooms hadn't been assigned yet so we were told we'd be bunking tempoarily in one of the dorms they use for kids tours. We were each given a warm welcome and a survival pack containing a small glass bottle of vitamin C juice, a bottle of aloe juice (Lani, you'd be so proud!!!), a toilet paper roll and an "Easy Korean" tourists book. And to our enormous relief we were told we could do whatever we wanted to do (sleep!) until 1pm. After what seemed to be the great trek to the third floor of our temporary dorm with all our bags and settling in as
That's lovely, just put it out front.
much as energy would allow there was just enough time to watch the sunrise, close the curtain and go to sleep.
We woke up at 12ish to allow us time to GET FOOD before our meeting with Andrew. This turned into a bit of a scramble and VERY rushed (Yes, my fault, I faff). We'd both recalled seeing a cafeteria as we came in so we headed in that general direction. It's a general buffet setup with a pay W4000 (about R32) then take what you want. The food here has been relatively interesting and pretty different to the food we're used to in SA. A lot of it is spicey and unrecognisable -aside from the rice and a few of the salad bar things :) This means it's more of a pot-luck-surprise meal with the 'surprise' bits alternating between good and don't-ever-do-that-to-me-again!
Andew gave us each a couple of pamphlets to read in our own time about the teaching methods and stuff (I haven't read them yet so I'm not really sure what they're about... could be anything... ) and sent us out to explore.
Everything here is set up to resemble an English town and
Our Braai area
Not bad, we'll take it.
they're spared no expense on detail at all! There're coffee shops, convenience stores, bakeries, a pub, a book shop and an Italian place... it's overwhelming! We even have our very own Stone Henge at the top entrance! It's actually one of the better henges we've seen...
As we passed by the bank there was a class, like the classes we're going to be teaching, about to begin and were invited to sit in on it to see how it works. It was very cute! All the little Korean kiddies all get super excited about 'deposit' and 'withdraw'. I think we're in for a great time!
We actually ended up spending the next two hours chatting to the teacher, Amanda, after the class about everything from French history to computer adaptor cables and music downloads!
We also found a really great 'braai area' probably at the highest point in the English Village. It has a gas braai, a few picnic benchs and a really great view.
The landscape around the English Village is mostly dry crunchy pale yellow grass with bare trees. It's really beautiful!
We caught up with Amanda and this other guy we met,
Sitting up at the braai area, a good viewpoint over the village.
Leon, who is also from SA and got supper at one of the food places in the Village with them. Leon was keen to try one of the bottles of white wine they sell at the local convenience store, but he got there 5 mins before closing (which was too late, apparently), so we all just went to bed.