Something Please Save Me From Heroes

25 09 2007

The last few days have been kinda rough adjusting. Not only is jetlag a bitch, I have also felt isolated in my temp apartment and have had a hard time getting my bearings in the neighborhood. The highlight of my second day here was a trip to the grocery store, other than that all I did was watch episodes of Heroes back to back.

Lately I have been reminded of a sleep study I did a couple of summers ago where I was paid fat cash to stay in a small room at Rush Medical Center in Chicago and have my sleep monitored. At one point I had to stay awake for 36 hours straight and to occupy myself I watched 24 episodes of Alias almost straight through. Because of my sleep deprivation and the nature of the show my mind started to play tricks on me and days later even after leaving the sleep center I was dreaming in the style the show was shot in and having undertones of the show creep up while awake and influence my reality. The same thing is starting to happen now due to the combination of jetlag and my Heroes marathon.

More First Impressions:

  • Korean transportation is AMAZING. Fast, cheap, and clean
  • the mosquitos here are ruthless. Much more than back home
  • nobody told me not to drink the water. apparently the Korean’s don’t even drink it. oops
  • nobody wears seatbelts
  • PizzaHut is fine dinning here (just like in India)

Seoul Tower

25 09 2007

Yesterday I was able to get out of the house for an adventure with Jordan, one of my soon to be coworkers. He showed me all about the busses and the trains here and we ventured off to go and see Seoul Tower. About time I got out of the house!Seoul Tower is a communication tower in central Seoul. It is about 777ft, which sounds kinda short, but it is at the top of a mountain and offers a wonderful view of the city from all angles.

We got jammed packed into a cable car and rode it up the Mountain. What fun!

The city basically looked like this in all directions. Absolutely massive. There were also mountains in all directions with city strewn in the crevices.

my very own Korean love shack

12 09 2007

I made it. After exactly 24 hours in route I arrived at my final destination for the time being. A love shack pay-by-the-hour hotel in western Seoul. My recruiter/friend Sojin picked me up from the airport and we took a taxi to the school I will be working at- Kid’s College in the Mok Dong neighborhood of Seoul. It took about an hour given the Friday night traffic and an extra flux due to the Cho Souk holiday (similar to American Thanksgiving I’m told) taking place this weekend and early next week. It took awhile for the taxi to finally find the school. Sojin had never been there before and apparently there are very few street names and numbers in Seoul. Despite the fact that nearly every car has a GPS system in it, I would still hate to be a taxi driver in such a huge ass metropolitan area. When we finally found the school I was quickly shown around the brightly colored rooms and got to see my particular classroom too. For the first time I felt a bit of a rush of nerves flow over me thinking about my new job as a teacher. After that we got my stuff from the taxi and got in the car of one of the office employees from the school. Sojin had broken the news earlier to me that my apartment would not be ready for a week. I was having a hard time adapting to the idea that I would have a whole week in Seoul with no work and the whole city shut down due to a national holiday and I wouldn’t even be able to unpack and settle into my new apartment and neighborhood. The idea is particular frustrating because I feel as though I have been stuck in transition for some time now and have been quite eager to start my life in Korea. Looks like that will have to wait a bit longer as the transition is prolonged. So…both Sojin and I thought I would be camping out at another teacher’s place for the week but when we got in the car with the two people from my new job we were informed that I would be staying for 1 night at a hotel, three nights at a teacher’s house who will be traveling, then the remainder of the week back at the hotel. The only consolation in my mind for all the moving around was the fact that I would be in a hotel which would surely have internet. When we arrived at the little hotel Sojin told me that it was a pay by the hour facility if you get my drift. When I asked her why my school would put me up there she explained that other than 5 star hotels there is not really any other option in Seoul. I nearly started crying when we got inside the room and I found out that there was no internet. I was exhausted from all the travel and just wanted to be alone. I felt much better though after the people from the school left and Sojin insisted on staying around longer to take me out for dinner and help me find and use an internet café. I tried as hard as I could to stay up past 10pm and barely made it. I woke up at 8:30 this morning feeling pretty rested, so I think I did a pretty good job with the whole jetlag thing. We will see…

First impressions:
1. There are neon lights everywhere
2. Korean people are absolutely beautiful
3. Listening to people talk in Korean is lots of fun despite not knowing the language
4. Korean tv is crazy
5. You take off your shoes everywhere (so don’t fly there wearing socks with holes in them)
6. I really think I am going to like the food here
7. All sorts of products are supplied in the hotel room (shampoo, soap. Toothpaste, hairgel, lotion….) but they are not sample size, they are big bottles that different guests use till they are finished. There are also non-disposable bathroom shoes and hairbrushes supplied too. Interesting.
8. Less people speak English here than I thought
9. Apparently 1/3 of Korea is made up of Mountains. I like that.