Thursday, May 7, 2009

We're here!

(This was written a few days ago but only posted now)

Chris: Well we're in Korea now! We arrived Saturday night and so far so good. I had 1 hour of sleep on Friday night then caught a 6:30am flight to Sydney. We just made our connecting flight in Sydney airport ....and I mean JUST. The woman at the counter told us we missed the flight but then let us board. I think she was trying to make a point and scare us. I reckon I had a total of 3 minutes sleep on the plane, despite taking an unprescribed sleeping pill. Rowena was listening to music through her headphones and still heard me snoring and woke me up. I felt a little too self-conscious to sleep after that. Once in Seoul we met some dude holding a sign with our names (just like in the movies). We were driven to a bus stop and sent on the longest 90 minute bus ride of our lives.
We were met in Chungju by our boss. He was younger than I imagined, about mid-thirties. First impressions can be misleading but he seems laid back and friendly. He showed us around the hagwon (private English academy, I think). Kinda small and very modern. I was impressed. He took us to a hotel becuase our apartment wasn't ready. Hotel was awesome ....though I would've been satisfied with just a space on the ground to pass out on. Big screen LCD, computer (all in Korean), two showers, big jakuzi, and a bunch of other unnecessary but cool stuff. The weirdest thing about the hotel was that just outside our door there was a vending machine full of ....umm ...."marital aids". Funny as hell. We'll put up the pic when we can be assed. I wonder if our boss had to pay for the room by the hour. When I thanked him for the comfortable room the next day he made a point of saying that he'd never been there.
Next day we're shown around Chungju. It bigger than I expected and quite pretty on the outskirts. We're taken to a Korean restaurant where you sit on the floor. I forgot this was going to happen. I have the flexibility of an arthritic giraffe but I tell the boss I'm fine. Rowena struggles with the super spicy food but she tells him sh'es fine. Our apartment is 5 minutes walk from our school but we're told it isn't available for 3 weeks so we're taken to our temporary accommodation 10 minutes drive away, near the university. It's very modest but it already feels like home.
I thought we were to start on Monday but instead we start Wednesday. Over the next couple of days we go out to bars, shop, eat great food. It's all good. I start to notice eyes on me though, especially from kids. In case you ddin't know, South Korea is a very homogeneous nation, in terms of culture/race. I stick out like a sore thumb ....a very sore, gangrenous thumb. Young kids especially like to stare. It doesn't bother me at all. That may change. I know it bothers some other expats. Rowena doesn't get the same looks. I tell her she dooks like a Korean with a tan. She tell me I'm like a D-grade celebrity. It's kinda weird to get so much attention for doing nothing else but existing. Now I know how Danni Minouge feels ....oooh take that Danni! No soft targets are safe when I've got my little self-indulgent blog. Watch out Paris Hilton and Peter Andre, you're next!
This has been a long post but there's still so much more to write. Every little interaction with someone is an adventure. I already feel like I've packed in so much living in such a short space of time, and that's kinda what this whole thing is about.


  1. Heheheh - It sounds like you stayed in a 'Love Motel' on your first would explain the 2 showers, jakuzi , and the boss making a point of mentioning he's never stayed there :)

  2. Chris: Yeah I was thinking the same thing. But it was a nice, multi story hotel with a concierge and everything so i dunno...