Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Orientation Nutshell

The rest of orientation was great...
Went to a sweet buddhist temple- Brian got stung by hornets 3 times, and I tamed dragonflies.
Went to Hanok village in Jeonju- a part of the city with hundreds of traditional korean houses. We made our own fans, ate bibimbap and wandered the streets. I met up with a group of people and together our fans formed all four seasons, I had been the missing one. Serendipitous.

There were many, many, many lectures. Some of them were great, better than some classes I had at school- I majored in education, and these 40 mins - 1.5 hour lectures were better... That being said, maybe I just got more out of them because of my education background. Yeah, let's say that.

We were randomly assigned lesson presentation groups. My group consisted of a South African girl named Andrea, she was quite awesome, and a Canadian guy named Benjamin, people referred to him as: the Ghoul, the Creep, the Guy with Crazy Eyes, the Guy with the Sadistic Smile, the Guy that Sweats-a-Lot, and the Autistic Kid. I believe all of the above were and are true... Needless to say, our presentation didn't totally bomb, and we even had to go first. Right after the presentation Benjamin decided to leave the program, for good. So he went home. I'm truly glad that no kids will be near him.

BAM! Orientation is over! Most of us have overcome our jet lag and have acclimated truly well to our South Korean lifestyle.

Enter bus trip to Daejeon- we took a bus to Daejeon where we met our main coteachers. Super exciting moment. They marched us in to the auditoreum and we were put on display for a few minutes in front of the teachers. We had nametags so our teachers quickly waved us down. I just happened to be standing near mine, convenient. Her name is Younglan- she is nearly fluent in English (yes!) and she is super amazing. I.e. I got lucky.

She brought me to my apartment, which is rather tiny, but suitable for my pint sized self. I ran into Brian in my apartment building, our coteachers had coordinated! We live right across the hall from each other, applause!

We went out with our coteachers to register for our ARCs- Alien Registration Cards. They forgot to mention that we should bring passport photos so we ended up taking photos at a booth in the immigration office... Worst Picture Ever. I'll eventually get it up here... maybe. Anyways, I had no idea what to do- I just put the coin in the machine, I expected a menu with options to come up- nothing. Then BLAMSNAP! My picture is taken.

After the immigration office Younglan had to jet, so we said our goodbyes and I went with Brian and his main coteacher. By the way, she introduced herself to me by saying "My name is Kimchi". I didn't believe her, but it's true- I asked Younglan about it in an e-mail later that day.

Kimchi took us to a giant department store called Homeplus. The place had escalators! For you AND your carts! Like, escarampalators- which is really what they should be called. And the carts can turn in any direction at any time. In the US our carts are like cars- back, forwards, and wide arcing turns. In Korea the carts can go back, forwards, left, right, diagonal- like they're sitting on spheres instead of wheels... but they ARE wheels. Also, the carts have little stoppers on the wheels so it wont just slide down the escarampalators and take out everyone in front of you. Amazing.

So we bought some stuff, then went home. We unpacked and set up our computers- our landlord had the entire building installed with internet and we just pay him every month. Some people have to wait for their ARCs before they can get internet which can take as long as three weeks!

I made my bed, and passed out. End.


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