Saturday, August 28, 2010

Moving into my Apartment

Friday was the day I was supposed to leave he Love Motel and move into my apartment. The night before I came over to see what the guy who lived here before me left for me. We had talked for months about me moving in(he is an SLP teacher who is leaving). I asked him for the size of his bed so I could bring nice sheets from America because they are hard to come by around here.

So when I showed up on Thursday night, he informed me that he "forgot" that he said another teacher from SLP could have his new bed, and I'd be stuck with a coffin sized SLP bed. Then he informed me that he used to have a really nice brand new SLP TV but since he never watched it he switched with a girl who works for another school. So I would be stuck with the ugly small TV with no remote and no plug for a DVD player. As you can imagine I was LESS than pleased with the apartment I'd be moving into. I was expecting a big nice double bed and a nice TV with a remote that I could plug my DVD player into, and that's not what I was getting. I went back to my Love Motel very dissapointed and sad.

So Friday morning before work I packed up all of my things, and left my suitecases in the room for someone to come get later in the day and move them into my new apartment.

Friday after work I was walking into the apartment building with my new neighbor, a teacher from SLP who I knew from before I left, and she asked if Danny(our boss) had fixed the toilet... I didn't know the toilet was broken, let alone if it had been fixed. So even more annoyed I go to put my new key into the door of my new apartment, and it wouldn't turn and was stuck in the door. I couldn't get into my new apartment, and now my keys were stuck in the door and I couldn't get them out.

I ran downstairs to get the maintance man who speaks a little bit of English, and he was able to get the keys out of the door, but still couldn't open the door. Luckily the door also has a code that you can enter to open the door, so I used that to get in. Sure enough, the toilet didn't flush. I later found out that the guy who lived here before me had had his dad come visit, and his dad flushed a cigar down the toilet and clogged it. That was three weeks ago and the guy who lived here didn't tell Danny until two days before I was supposed to move in.

So after finally getting in my new apartment, I called Danny right away about the lock and the toilet. He said the guy was coming the next morning to fix the toilet and the fan in the bathroom(which was also broken) and he would 'concern' about the lock later.

I had a few of my friends come over and started unpacking. I took a shower, and found out that the water in this apartment gets warm on the hottest setting. So I called Danny again, and he said the guy who was fixing my tiolet would fix the water too.

After a rough day of moving in, it was time to go out for Jamie's last night out in Korea. She was here for about 4 years with SLP, and a very good friend of mine. We went to Hongdae, the area of the city that I spent every weekend at for the fist year and a half I was here! We went to Ho Bar, the gang's favorite starting place, and a few other places. I saw Shala, my favorite street meet vender! He was so excited to see me(I guess he was asking about me while I was gone). He gave me a huge hug, and then made me the fattest, most delicious shwarma! I wasn't used to the Seoul hours, so around 3:30am, while the rest of the group moved to another bar, I headed home.

Saturday morning a man came to fix my toilet and the fan in my bathroom. While I was looking for beds on Craiglist I came across a cordless phone that works with Skype, so I went about an hour away on the subway to meet some man to buy it from him. When I got home I plugged it in and it works great. If you'd like to call me sometime on Skype go for it! Just look me up by my email address!

I went and ate dinner with many people from SLP and the other schools around me, and then I came home and stayed in for the night. It's a little soon to be going out hard two nights in a row! I will get back into the swing of things in no time, I know it!

This morning(Sunday) I was able to find someone who needed to get rid of his queen sized bed quickly, so I lucked out there. I now have a really nice big bed, and my sheets look great on it! Overall things in my apartment look great, and it is really coming together. It was a rough start, but now I'm starting to love it!

Tomorrow(Monday) will be my first day with my new students. I know some of them from the first time I taught here, and I think I have some good classes. The material and overall organization of the class is a bit different than what I taught last time I was here. There is a lot more freedom in what I teach, which may be a good or bad thing.

Besides getting my new bed, the other great thing that happend today was I officially am the owner of a scooter! I bought it from my friend Jamie who is leaving. It was raining today, so I didn't get to drive it today, but I hope tomorrow it won't be raining so I came take it to work! I will be sure to get some pictures of it soon! When I was in Thailand I bought the coolest helmet for it. I'm really excited about driving it.

So now I've been back in Korea for almost a week, and I will say that when I first got here I was having a tough time because I didn't want to leave Thailand, and then it seemed like anything that could have gone wrong, DID go wrong. But now things are starting to smooth out, and I think I will be happy here for another year. It's great to see my friends again, and there are lots of new people for me to get to know.

One cute thing that happend...... There is a convient store downstairs in my apartment building(like a 7/11) and since it opened I've been in there about 3 times a day buying various things. A man and woman run it, and one of them or both of them are there 24 hours a day. They have two kids who are also in the store often. The man speaks a bit of English but the woman doesn't really speak any English. They know my schedule, when I go to work and when I get out of work, they see my buy beer on Friday night, and then come in in my pajamas the next day at 1pm looking haggered and buying junk food, Coke, and water. They just see me so often, yet we never really talk because of the language barrier. But anyway, I know the woman especially loves me, and when I came back to the apartments the first day, I walked in and both the man and woman were there and they were SO excited to see me! They both kind of screamed and had huge smiles on their faces. It was really nice to see them again and be so welcomed back.
In a similar situation, when I got back to SLP I saw my old helper teacher for preschool(the woman who passes out snack and lunches to my preschool classes, and just takes care of them in general) and we realized she was going to be my helper teacher again(each teacher is assigned a helper teacher). She doesn't speak any English, but I think she understands a little, or at least pretends to, so when she saw me she got so excited and came over and grabbed my hands and just looked at me and smiled and said "ohhh!!! Ohhhh!!!" It was also really nice and sweet to see her be so excited to have me back.

I will try and take some pictures of my apartment and scooter tomorrow to post them!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Well here I am, back from a long break from blogging!

I decided to come back for another year to teach English in Korea. I have been talked into starting up my blog again, and sticking with it this time!

As a little catch up... I finished my contract last February and traveled around Southeast Asia for 6 weeks with two of my very close friends that I worked with here in Korea. We went to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam and had a blast!!!
After I went back to the US I did a little substitute teaching, and a lot of hanging out and enjoying my break from work. I got to spend a lot of time with my family and got to see many of my friends from America. Overall my break from Korea was very relaxing and fun.

Before coming back to Korea this time I traveled back to Thailand, and had an amazing time! I was staying in Northern Thailand, but flew out of Bangkok(about 12 hours away) so I took an overnight bus on Monday night, and got to the Bangkok airport early Tuesday morning. I did a lot of waiting around at the airport, and finally boarded the plane to Korea in the afternoon.
I got into the Seoul airport around 9:45pm. Since I'm very familiar with Seoul by now, I thought I didn't need to be picked up by the service that picked me up from the airport the last time. But After getting to the airport with two suitcases and two backpacks, I found it hard to manage all of my stuff on my own on the subway. So at the last minute I decided to take a bus from the airport. It was a little stressful trying to contact my boss and get a meeting spot, but in the end it worked out and I got to my love motel around 11:45PM.

I am staying at the Love Motel because my apartment isn't ready yet. I have been here since Tuesday night and I will check out and move into my new apartment tomorrow night(Friday). A Love Motel is where lovers come to have some alone time, either because they live with their parents, or they are having an affair. I think mostly people don't spend the entire night here, just a few hours. Anyway, the motel is really nice! I have a huge bed with nice sheets and lots of nice pillows. I have a huge TV screen, and a computer, and Aircon and a bathroom with a huge bathtub with jets! It's so nice here, I love it!

When I got here on Tuesday night, it was my friend Alisha's birthday, so a few people were here already having a little celebration for her. The next morning I had to work at 11am. I did the typical meetings and stuff with the boss, watched a few classes, and then at 5 I got to leave with a few other teachers. I went back and saw my old apartment, it was strange to see someone else living in it! I went and ate Galbi, it was just as delish as I remember!!!

Today I did the same thing as yesterday at work, and tonight I will go and see the apartment I will be moving into, and I will decide what I want to take and what I don't want.
I will start teaching on my own on Friday.
I will post more after I move into my new apartment!!!