Korea Livin'

this is a new chapter in my life...let's see where it takes me...

Monday, October 31, 2011

New Friends! New experiences!

Dinner with the Korean elementary teachers...celebrating the new foreign teachers (me, Joe, Trish, & Em), Daniel's bday, and the remodel of our school!!

Emily aka Em from England...becoming one of my favs...

Suji crew + one (Mike from Bundang, Daniel's bro)

Jessie teacher. My one and only elementary co-teacher...she's my "Go To" girl for help!

Bowling for Daniel's birthday. Suji campus vs. Bundang campus. Suji crew WON of course!

Korean tradition - while making a toast, a beer has to have a spoon in it (kinda like a microphone). Mike is making a toast at Daniel's bday dinner after bowling

Korean women are so helpful. They helped care for Chris and Kellie's son so the couple could enjoy their dinner.

Daniel's bday cake! 

Brian on the left works in Bundang, Daniel is the birthday boy in the purple shirt (also my team leader for my work at Suji branch), and Em. 

Boss Man! Rene interviewed me and helped get me hired at DYB. An awesome mentor.

Just the 5 of us for dinner. Suji branch co-workers are awesome! From the left: Tricia (Trish), Joe, Daniel (Papa Smurf), me, and Emily (Em). Our conversations are always interesting, never dull. At the end of the day, we're like fam.

biggest korean man ive seen! in Suwon 

Happy Halloween!! - Suji crew - Daniel

the things I do to entertain my kids...and myself! 

A Wednesday night with Bundang and Daechi crews. From left: Cathy, Joon, me, Mario
dressing up as a student for Halloween was a success!

A night on the town for Halloween in Seoul. More people to hang out with!

towards the end of the night...getting tired...

a look at some of the sites and my apartment

 Don't leave home without an umbrella...it's acid rain
 One of my closets located in the living room area.
 A drying rack/closet in my bedroom
 As you walk into my apartment, this closet is directly on the right...good place for shoes, books, cleaning supplies, bathroom supplies...
 looking into my apartment from the front entrance
 my bedroom - looking at it from the "hall"
 on the other side of that wall is the front door lol
 small and cozy. no room for mess
 I'm standing in the living area looking towards kitchen/laundry
 a night in Suwon...bright lights!
 the building with the logo/sign is my apartment building. i believe this stream leads to the Han River...haven't checked my geography yet.
 first grocery shopping trip was painful...carrying all this for a couple blocks is rough. next time i'll take the shopping cart my apartment building provides...love learning the hard way...
 grocery bill. oh the joys of growing up. my costco trip will be twice as much...yikes!
 this is looking into the courtyard from my front door. i live on the 5th floor.
 a beautiful sunset by my house. the walking path is amazing!! and there is another path on the other side of the river that begins on the other side of the bridge i was walking on.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

First set of pictures from first exploration with Amy

This was a couple weeks ago when Amy and I went shopping in Myeong-dong...SO much fun!! Picture 1: literally, shopping on stage!! Picture 2: just seeing the shopping sites. Picture 3: Forever 21...expensive piece of America...much cheaper in the states...but worth it!! Picture 4: A bride just walking down shopping district lol Picture 5/6: FOOD!! Just for my friend Andy...gotta take lots of food pics for him!! Picture 7: Proof that I can use chopsticks! Picture 8: You can't see the guy, but I asked him if they had my size for that shoe...he said...and I quote, "Feet. TOO BIG!! No size. FEET BIG!!" Thank you Korea for establishing my BIG feet...size 9 for women...BIG!! =)

Monday, October 17, 2011


Hello, hello. I am FINALLY moved to Suji!! It feels so good to be unpacked and I have taken one trip to the grocery store. It takes more effort considering the Home Plus Express is a few blocks from my apt...when you have a lot to carry, it's tiring...In the morning, I plan on taking a cab to E-Mart where I can do some more "intense" shopping. Also, I want to do a little "dumpster diving" to see what kind of furniture I can find. I do not have much in my apt right now. And as I stated in my previous post, as soon as I figure out the picture situation, I will post pics of my apt. I still need to get a mattress pad for my bed since it is ROCK HARD!! I have not been sleeping well, at all. Also, I need to get a pillow...I plan on checking Craigslist to see what other foreign teachers are trying to sell...I need a couch, desk, and maybe a coffee table or end tables. OH, also having a small kitchen table (that seats at least 2) would be nice as well...we'll see what I can find!!

Classes are going VERY well! My kids are starting to open up to me. It feels good to have SO many kids walk by the native teacher room to come say Hi to me. It makes my day knowing that they like me and they like being in class with me. It is a hard balance to make sure the kids are interested, the co-teachers (Korean teachers) are happy with your lessons, and more importantly, the parents hear good things about school from their kids...and not to mention, making sure my employer (DYB) is happy with my performance, etc. Once I understand the balance, I am assuming things will come easy.

Saturday after work, a group of us went out for my team leader, Daniel's birthday. We went bowling then had another delicious dinner at a Korean BBQ place that I have been to before. Afterwards we went to a foreigner (they call them Western) bar after. There was a pool table and dart boards. It was fun to see other foreigners and talk to them about what brought them to SK (South Korea). And it was also nice to relax with co-workers from my branch along with others. PS. My bowling skills were AMAZING! =)

Since I have not been feeling well the last couple of days, I plan on laying low. Sinuses are acting up and a scratchy throat. Emily has a humidifier...I may have to get one. I have read that some people just can't handle the difference in weather here. Amy also said the same thing today when I met up with her at Suwon Station for dinner. Now that I can actually make my apt feel like home, it will be nice to just hang out. I am supposed to meet with Amy and other foreigners on Wednesday in Suwon. We will see how I am feeling...I am crossing my fingers that early bed nights and tylenol pm will do the trick.

This is all I have for now. Hope everyone back home is doing well!! The one day of rain we had this past week made me miss home a little. It felt AMAZING to walk in the rain...weird, I know! I guess I am a true Oregonian ;)


Monday, October 10, 2011

Almost 2 weeks into Korea Livin...

Good afternoon family and friends! I apologize for the delay in giving you an update. It has been a whirlwind the past week and a half. I think I have informed most of you that my blog turns to Hangul (Korean) when I go to post a new blog...and I have YET to figure out which one is "Post a picture..." BUT, I will figure it out...for now, I am posting pictures on FB (Facebook) and will do my best to send out a mass e-mail to share photos as well.

First getting off the plane, instant culture shock. I had no idea where I needed to go but thankfully everyone was so nice and could see the sign stamped on my forehead that I was clueless. A couple gentleman were able to point me in the direction of baggage claim to get my bags. Then another gentleman helped me find my way to buy my limousine bus ticket because I was not being picked up at the airport...instead COEX (airport terminal) which is about 45min away from the actual airport...definitely interesting. At this point, my laptop was almost dead, along with my phone! I was trying to keep Joe and Steph updated on where I was so I could let them know where I would be to come meet up. By the time I reached my temporary housing/apt, my laptop had about 10% battery left. It was a race to get them informed on where I was. I could not plug in my computer or phone because of the internat'l plugs...no converter! The three of us got REALLY lucky!! They are literally only two minutes from my apt. Seeing them was a little relief. Joe and Steph brought me a snack to tie me over then took me to Paris Baguette to buy me rolls, a sandwich, and water. We went back to my apt so I could show them where I would be for a week or two...then headed to their place to check it out. It was awesome getting to visit.

Next day, started work! I sat in on a couple classes to observe and then at the end of the day, I taught a class. Talk about being NERVOUS!! Then on Friday, I did the same thing. After work on Friday, Cory (also a foreign teacher at DYB) took all of us newbies out to dinner...Korean BBQ = DELICIOUS!! It was a lot of fun to get to know a few people that have been here a while and then also meet other newbies that are in the same boat as me. On Saturday, Joe and Steph took me to Insadong Street...awesome market shopping along with bargaining (I have come to find out that I am not good at it). At Insadong, it has a Starbucks that is the only one that is written in Korean...all others are in English (here's your FUN FACT). It was a FUN, but long day. I was able to buy a coin pouch, backpack for school, and a pencil pouch for school as well. Sunday, I went to Doosan Bears Baseball Game!! You all know me and I LOVE my sports! It was so much fun, and lots of people.  Then it was back to work on Monday for more training...I did this until Thursday.  Wednesday, my boss took me and a couple others out for dinner...then Thursday, went out with more people to have more amazing food and drinks. =)

Starting on Friday, I had my own classes at the school I will be teaching at in Suji which from my understanding is a district in the city of Yongin. It was a rough day as I think jet lag finally caught up to me. Circles under the eyes = not attractive! But I made it through...my kids are hard to crack. I have mostly middle school and 2 1/2 elementary classes. I only see my middle school classes once a week which means of the 20 middle school classes I teach, they are all different students. Then my two elementary classes I get to see twice a week. The half class I teach, I am sharing with another foreign teacher, Emily (you will also hear a lot about her as well). Needless to say, I have over 300 students!!! YIKES...but fun!!! Every day will be different, that's for sure!!

My weekend was fun (Sundays and Mondays)! I saw Joe and Steph for a little bit. But I mainly went site seeing, etc with my new friend Amy. You will definitely hear a lot about her. She's from Chicago and her and I seem to have a lot in common. We went to Itaewon which is like a little America! There is a military base there so there are more foreigners in this area...and...there's a TACO BELL!! =) This area is popular for foreigners to go out together. Then we headed to Myeong-dong for MORE shopping...AWESOME places there!! This was all on Monday. I forgot to mention on Sunday, we explored her city of Suwon together. We plan on going on an overnight trip somewhere once a month. Planning starts this week =)

Today I start my first full week of classes...I am REALLY excited because I was able to get more sleep than before. I have a couple lesson plans ready to go...and I actually need to get going so I can get back to work. I wanted to get everyone caught up on my life real quick. Like I said, I promise to figure out picture posting soon. And I will be posting more experiences soon..