Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First day in Korea

The first full day has been exciting and fun-filled. We started early, but I was able to wake up at 7:00 a.m. without my alarm (which was a miracle in itself). Luckily I live a few doors down from the other American teacher, so we were able to make it out on time and we met one of our Korean co-teachers on a corner and she took us to Seoul.

Most of the day was spent doing an orientation. It started with the presenter having some kind of attack and being taken to the hospital. After that it was less eventful, with the highlight being a long lunch break where we got to walk around the area.

After returning from Seoul we stopped by the school. It's very cute - on the fifth floor of a huge building. Everything is very clean and brand new, so that's nice. I also received my signing stipend (so I have cash now!) and got to meet some of the other people working in the building. I've also been given the welcome news that my work hours will be from 1-8 p.m., so I'll get to sleep in!

We also made a stop at a grocery store to pick up supplies. It's a bit more difficult to do this part when you don't speak the language. If Jess (one of our Korean co-teachers) hadn't been with us it would have taken us more than two hours and we probably would have caused some kind of incident, so we got lucky with that.

I like my apartment. It's really close to the school, and to a number of stores and restaurants. When I arrived the school had already stocked it with furnishings and supplies, and it even has a washing machine. The only questionable part is the tiny bathroom with its make-shift shower (a showerhead but no curtain/space for a shower), but I can get used to it.

I have made some progress on deciphering Korean. Today in the car I figured out how to write and the pronunciation of about half of the sounds. However, this will do me little good if I don't know what the words actually mean, so I still have quite a bit of work to do on that.

Hopefully I'll have pictures of at least my apartment and school soon (I just have a little organizing to do here before it's presentable enough to show off).

Tomorrow I have to go to the mandatory health check-up at the hospital, so I should be off to bed soon!

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