Monday, August 31, 2009

South Korea

I made it! After thousands of miles cramped in a tiny plane seat and becoming uncomfortably aquainted with my neighbor's eating habits and bad breath I finally landed in Seoul on a dreary overcast Wednesday evening. I live in an apartment stacked 19 floors up, in Doeksu, a bustling city one hour out of Seoul. Each morning i catch the 7:45am subway out to Guksu and then jump on a yellow bus that takes me back a potholed road to my school, Yangseo Elementary. I am writing you from my classroom which smells of new wood and hums with the sounds of cicatus outside my open windows. It's a tiny school surrounded by mist covered mountains, lakes, and rice fields. The textbooks are a jumble of Korean and English with an online element and a teachers manual that is almost entirely in korean. Figuring out exactly how their system works will take some work, but I am excited and the children are adorable and try to teach me Korean as I try to teach them English.
I have now been here a little under a week and am starting to feel at home. So many things are similar to the U.S., which makes me feel closer to home than I acutally am. Today I feel like a prized pet that was just taken to the vet and poked with a thousand needles! All alien's must be in good health to get their alien card. It's a strange feeling to be called an alien, it always conjures images of little green men, but I guess in Korea I am essentially a little green man -er woman. My height and size alone makes people stare at me and I swear the restrooms here were made for midgets. The sink barely comes to above my knees and I have to squat down to see anything above my elbows in the mirror. The bathroom also sings to me when I walk through the door in the morning. Classical music blares from the speakers, for what reason I am not sure, but it definitely makes the bathroom experience more zen!
Ok back to my original story, so yesterday I was taken to the hospital for a medical exam and they poked and prodded and dressed and undressed me looking for health imperfections.They took my temperature which apparently was one degree higher than normal and went bonkers. They put a mask on me and sent me to the h1n1 testing room. They got out their needles and sent there most inexperienced nurse to poke holes in me. Ok, she maybe was not the most inexperienced, but my viens thought so! Afterward as I was hobbling around trying to maintain pressure on the holes in both of my arms, they thrust a pee cup at me and pointed to the restroom. This would not have been so daunting if I had not been so recalcitrant about drinking water that day as well as still rediculously dehydrated from the 14 hour flight. I sat on the pot for hours counting tile, daydreaming about Yosemite rivers, imagining water drops...anything! But nothing happened. In desperation I started chugging cups of water that the poor teacher, sent to assist me, snuck from the waiting room in the hospital. And finally there was a dribble of success! =) After hours of tests and demanding bodily fluids from my stubborn body I was finally sent home where I crashed on the couch with images of needles and strange Korean symbols rolling thro my brain.
The first few days have been challenging, but in all this is such an exciting adventure!

Pictures to come, I swear! As soon as we figure out our internet situation at the apartment.


Tyler Orsburn said...

So freakin' cool! Have an amazing time and sponge bob it!

Mandy McConaha said...

Thanks buddy! By the way your baby is adorable! It looks like life is treating you well.

Andréa Mustaine said...

I can't wait to teach and I'm a bit envious you get to! Plus the whole exploring another country thing ;)

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