Sunday, September 7, 2008
This last week has been really great. Everyone I work with is very kind and all of the children are very excited to have a new native speaking English teacher. When I walk through the halls all of the kids will say "Hello" and wave; my name to the children is "Steven Teacher." When I walk into the classroom they start asking all sorts of questions. Also I have been enjoying the lunches at school. They are simple, yet tasty. The other teachers are always very encouraging of my chopstick use. I am not horrible, yet there is a fine skill to using the chopsticks. Many of the Korean dishes still have the bones on/in the meat/fish; so advanced use of the chopsticks are required. But the food taste great, and I feel like I am getting an abundance of good veggies in my diet now.
This first week of living on my own has been nice, it already feels like home. It is great to be able to take the subway into town, but I always enjoy coming back to my smaller part of town. I have learned so much about Korean culture in such a short amount of time, its great. I enjoy checking out all of the different styles of restaurants around my area; by the time I come back I will be loving spicy food. At a small restraunt it is possible to get a huge meal with meat/veggies/rice/etc for under 4 US dollars or 4000 Won. There are many Korean BBQ joints where food becomes especially social because you grill your own meat and veggies. It is still hard to order food on my own, although I am starting to be able to read and write the Korean alphabet. The Korean alphabet is a rather logical and is a phonetically accurate alphabet, so people can pick it up relatively quickly. Although mastering pronunciation is a whole other ball game. There are lots of vowel sounds that are hard for a westerner to pronounce; but I have a year to practice. It's nice to have a few friends who speak Korean when I go out.
On Friday the other teachers surprised me with a birthday cake, and on Saturday I went out with some of the other teachers, whom I became friends with at orientation, to a neat part of town. It is near a large university so it has a cool vibe to it, lots of small music venues, cafes, and restaurants.
Earlier this evening I found another walking/running trail that is nice. (Thats where I took the picture above) Along the trail there are many mini parks to be found that have pull up bars or badminton courts. I still need to find a movie theater; when American movies play they use subtitles so I will be able to watch some of the bigger movies. Also I am interested in finding an art house cinema in Seoul; so I will keep you posted with that.