An update on Korea


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Asia » South Korea » Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongsan
January 28th 2010
Published: January 28th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

So it's been a couple of weeks since I wrote in this thing. The last month has flown by. So much has happened and changed. I've changed and things around me are becoming normal. About a week ago I started to feel like a daily grind was in place. I'm now sick of Korean food and I am craving cheese and familiar food like crazy! At first all the fish, kimchi and mystery meat for exciting and exotic but now lunches are 30 minutes that I'm constantly looking at the clock till I can get back to my desk to eat home brought snacks. The teachers have to eat the same lunch as the kids. I eat with Green and Red class and Tamara Teacher. (That's what the kids call us. Our first name and then Teacher. I am Sarah B teacher because the vice director is named Sarah also. She is now called Sarah A teacher, even though her last name starts with a K). On the plus side, Korea has banana milk in every corner store. It is sooo wonderful. And it goes great with Oreos. Enough about food.

The party scene in Pohang is so much fun. Last weekend I went to a couple of the foreigner bars downtown. There are about 3 or 4 where just mostly foreigners go. Everyone knows everyone else. Since we are knew people came up to us to welcome us and say if we needed anything to just let them know. Everyone is super friendly because I guess we are all in the same boat in moving to a new strange land where we really know nothing. I tried a Hooka. It was pretty awesome. The down side of the foreigner bars is that when you are there you feel like you never left home, which is comforting but not really a Korean experience. So its not good to spend allllll your time there.

On Saturday, I went to Daegu. It is like the Milan of Korea. A huge shopping area and lots of restaurants. We went to a place owned by two Canadian guys called the Holy Grill. I think it is called that because it is quite a long quest to find it but it was sooo worth it to get delicious western food for lunch. I was on a hunt for sweaters since I didn't bring enough and Korea is perpetually cold both inside and outside (they don't like wasting money on heat). We were in one store and I was trying on a sweater and they sales girls, both Korean told us that we weren't allowed to try on shirts. I was really offended because I assumed that "we" meant foreigners. I've heard that can happen in smaller stores. There is a stereotype that North Americans are fat and that we might therefore stretch the clothes so sometimes sales people won't let you try on a small but will insist on giving you a large or extra large. I assumed that was what they were saying because they were laughing at us really obnoixiously too. So of course we left, fine if you don't want my money. Anyways, I didn't get a sweater in Daegue. I got a t-shirt of a model with an Andy Warhol quote on it which was like $8.00. Thus, I am still cold. Although now I just turn the heat on and be damned what my boss thinks. I found out today that I was wrong in my assumption about the sales girls too. Although sometimes foreigners are treating differently in stores because of, I don't want to use the word, racism, but for lack of a better word, maybe prejudice, I dunno....anyways, apparently no one is allowed to try on shirts in this store. You are only allowed pants and skirts. I don't know why. But that is the rule.

Tomorrow is field trip and monthly test day at school. We are taking about 30 kindergarten kids to the Science Museum. Hurray. This is either going to be a pretty sweet laid back day of no teaching or an exhausting nightmare where I loose my voice again from shouting at kids to stop touching that, quite fighting, etc. Anyways, it is Friday! And then there are two tests I have to administer in the after for the elementary schools kids. Any child with half a brain is going to know that this teacher is new and has no clue what she is doing and will cheat like crazy.

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