Sunday, June 20, 2010

"It's Under F, for Foreigner..."

says Hanna Teacher at our first Korean lesson Thursday night.

I don't know why I found this so funny, but it kind of sums up my life right now. File this one under F for Foreigner. And S for Stupid. No, just kidding about the last one.

I can't believe I've been in Korea for just over a month now. What happened to the time? It just flew away. Sure enough, there is a section in the Kilbo bookstore labeled F. That's where all the books printed in English are. No. Joke. I find this hilarious too. This is where I found my Korean for Starters book that I studied for over 2 hours today. Just basic consonants and vowels, nothing major, but wow this language is harder than I thought. My next lesson with the group is Tuesday. I'm beyond pumped.

I also had a foray out into the public on Thursday, and another one on Saturday. Thursday night after the Korean Lesson, I thought everyone was tired enough to go home and go to bed. I certainly was. But we ended up finding a cozy little joint in a new neighborhood to see the last twenty minutes of the Korea v. Argentina game (they lost) and be befriended by a local man who wouldn't stop buying beers. I was not in any mood to drink (having a cold and being exhausted) but that didn't stop anyone else. This man didn't speak any English, but that didn't stop him from mocking my decision not to drink. I'm pretty sure I was made fun of in a foreign language. Yup. Check that one off the life list. It was a pretty awkward experience had by all. I suppose I have many more of these to come as I stay in this foreign land for 11 more months. It's bound to happen sooner rather than later.

This week at work brought an interesting experience as well. A day known as picture day. One would think this would be relatively simple too. English teacher stands in the middle of the back row of two rows, 10 students line up in two lines, and the picture is snapped. Right? Wrong. These are one by one photos. Meaning, English teacher squats awkwardly next to one student as she pretends to read, and teacher pretends to help sound out words. No actual reading involved. And we took 20 minutes of class time to do this with 10 students. I haven't seen the photos yet, but I'm pretty sure I look pretty awkward in all of them. It's pretty amazing just how foreign this land can be sometimes.

Saturday night was Alex Teacher's birthday, so we all decided to go out semi-western style. Dinner at a pizza/pasta joint north of the river (which I prefer to south of the river I figured out) and drinks/socialization at a few western or semi-western establishments. One in Itawon (which is the foreign mecca I learned, the military base is there) so the first place we went to was a Canadian pub that had a World Cup game broadcast in ENGLISH! It was refreshing to hear for once.

Then we went to a louder place south of the river closer to where we live. I prefer to stay away from these joints. For one, you can still smoke in bars here, which makes it miserable for us nonsmokers. Second, they're incredibly loud, and while I don't do this scene much in the states, why would I start here? I mean, I'm glad I did do this for the experience and it was nice to see co-workers in a non-work atmosphere and socialize a little bit and blow off some crazy Korean workaholic steam, I don't think this will be a weekly occurrence. I've got to find some friends to pal around with in other ways that are more fun for ME.

Things I'm looking forward to this week:
1. My next Korean language class
2. Giving monthly tests in two classes makes it a relatively light teaching week because I only have to review the test material in those classes. Not so much prep.
3. No more phone interviews! (for another month, I suppose!)
4. Starting a new unit in both Kindergarten classes (means new songs! and new material!) Horray for teacher not being bored in class! Don't worry, I don't show it too badly!
5. Friday. Enough said. This place is crazy. I look forward to another weekend to myself to sight see around a bit.
Post a Comment