On the road again
Orientation has ended and it is time for all of us to leave the nest. For 9 days we were sheltered in a half-Korean/half-Western bubble. All of our class leaders spoke English, even though they tried to teach us Korean in 4, much-too-short, lessons. They provided us with invaluable teaching guidance and resources, and now it is up to us to become good teachers. Oh boy.
So, on the last day of orientation we were boarded up into buses to take one more trip. After a 3.5 hour bus ride we arrived at the Daegu Administration Office of Education. We were given a few more pieces of information and then sat waiting impatiently to be called to meet our co-teachers. Finally our province was called and we rushed downstairs.
Joel and I immediately find our co-teachers and they are both very nice, but they separate us and take us off to our respective apartments without giving us an address or means to find each other. On the car ride there I use the only tools I have to impress them, my excellent pronunciation of An-yeong-ha-se-yo (Hello), and my knowledge of K-Pop star, JYP. As we pass the Middle School I will be teaching at, my co-teacher notices a group of her students walking past. She rolls down the windows and tells them about me. They immediately scream “Hi Teacher!” “I love you Teacher!” “Look, I do tae-kwan-do, Teacher!” They seem very funny and endearing, I start getting excited to teach.
Then we get to my apartment. The outside seems nice enough, after we hauled all my luggage up to the apartment next door, only to realize it was the wrong one. Then the door opens into a large room with a TV on the floor. Hmm, I think. This must be the living room, ok, it’s big that’s nice, but where is the bedroom? I don’t see any other doors… The co-teacher and administrator look around and say sorry, but apparently there is no furniture and they’ll have to talk to administration during the first week of school. Lovely.
The first weekend is spent sleeping on the floor with blankets and pillows and trying to get situation in our new city. We take the subway to meet up with friends, we cook our first meal (and use my suitcase as a table), we watched Iron Man in English, and eat peanut butter/banana sandwiches. Ahhh, the comforts of home.
PS: Before and After pics of the apartment to come 🙂