Sunday, October 20, 2013

Two Months in Korea

We've been in Korea for TWO months now! Wowzy.

-We really like Korea.
-We like our jobs.
-We are learning a lot.
-We've grown closer since we are literally all the other person has.

Most awesome things we've experienced thus far:
-Being welcomed and embraced by our Korean co-teachers
-Slowly making friends on this side of the world
-Any time we've gotten outside and been able to go hiking
-Random Korean people who help us when we are lost
-Meeting people from all over the world: the U.S., Canada, Ecuador, the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, the U.K., Thailand, China, India, and South Africa.

Funniest moments:
-Standing stupidly on one side of a glass door waving my hands and dancing trying to get what I thought was a sliding glass door to open. The host at the restaurant roller her eyes, walked out from behind her stand and over to the door, pulled on the handle, and "let" me in. At that moment, you can't really explain yourself, because you just look like a fool who couldn't/wouldn't open the door for herself.

-Ordering bi bim bop at a restaurant, it usually comes in a large bowl with a collection of smaller bowls and side dishes. Upon looking at the large bowl, I asked the waiter, "Bop?" (which was my best attempt at asking, "Where the rice?"). He looked at me for second, trying to figure out if I was kidding, and lifted the lid on the only dish I hadn't looked at, and pointed: "Bop." Again, no explanation. No chance of redemption. Just foolishness.

-One day at lunch in our school cafeteria, I asked the co-workers I was sitting with, "How do I say I want more of this rice stuff?" Being that the lunch ladies, don't speak English I wanted them to teach me how to say in in Korean. They spent the next two minutes (at least) repeating over and over again the phrase I wanted to use. In the midst of this repetition and confusion, a lunch lady appeared behind me and exhaustedly plopped a big bowl of the "rice stuff" in front of me and walked away.

Random moments, that need to be shared somewhere:
-The lovely moment when I'm walking down the street and simultaneously I will say, "Anyoung haseyo" and they'll say, "Hello." We smile.

-For the assessment at the end of each chapter in our English textbook, there is a listening portion with a CD that the kids listen to. In between each section of the test they play Mexican mariachi music. Is this intriguing to anyone else?

-When I ask my co-teacher a question about how I should do something and she wants to say, "It's up to you" or "You decide" she almost always says, "It's your mind." I love it so much.

-A teacher at school comes to my office and says, "Can you teach me the correct pronunciation for this song?" It's "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." What followed was an impromptu performance that drew crowds (okay, three 6th grade boys) and earned a standing ovation. She directed me to sing melody (correcting my key along the way), ordered another on-looking teacher to sing harmony, and she chipped in with the "weembah-wops." It was delightful.

-When I got back to school the day after my hospital visit, my co-teacher said, "I'm so worried about you. I'm going to take you to the hospital after school."

I said, "Why? I'm feeling fine now. The doctor said as long as I take the antibiotics, I should be fine."

She didn't look impressed and said, "A blood infection is quite serious."

Huh? "I didn't have a blood infection," I told her. "I had a bladder infection."

"Oh! What's a bladder? I feel a lot better now."

-During class, we were learning the English words for parts of the body. Mrs. Che explained the English and Korean words for each. Now that she knew "bladder" she explained it in Korean and then turned to me and said, "What road? You know from the bladder? What is the road that it takes to get out?"

I looked at her in confusion and said, "The road? I have no idea."

A few minutes later she shouts, "Urethra. It's a urethra." The kids all repeat "urethra" and mumble it as they take notes.

The kids were so blessed to add that word to their limited vocabularies as well. Joy. I still give her a hard time about that one: "Mrs. Che, tell me about 'the road'!"


Shelby said...

I sure wish you were here to teach our Zumba class at the Y, BUT i'm loving reading about your time over there, so jealous!!