Friday, February 23, 2007

I made it!


It took 28 hours for me to get from Princeton to Cheongju. All in all, it really wasn't that bad. I slept through a decent portion of the 15 hour flight from Atlanta to Seoul and was otherwise very comfortable. It also didn't hurt that I had two empty seats next to me and could spread out. A nice Korean man was sitting at the other end of my row and we had a pleasant conversation. He even gave me his business card so that I could email him if I encountered any problems or if I had questions. The Incheon airport is well organized and nicely designed and I had no problems getting through customs. My boss was waiting for me and it didn't take us long to get out of the airport. I arrived on the Lunar New Year (similar to Chinese New Year), which is one of the largest holidays in Korea. It took us three hours to get to Cheongju when it normally would have taken two.

First night:

My apartment isn't opening up for another week and my boss wanted me to stay with one of the other teachers for that time. Unfortunately, the three teachers were out of town, traveling because of the long weekend, and my boss didn't have access to any of their apartment keys. So he dropped me off with his relatives instead. *ahem* The parents didn't speak any English and the teenage daughter spoke only a little and begrudgingly at that. I ate as much as I could the first night so as not to seem rude, but I really wasn't in the mood for kimchi, fried fish, and beef soup with rice patties (it's about 5am my time at this point). My boss leaves and I was left to watch Korean television with the daughter.

Second day:

I slept well and woke up to the smell of fried fish. Breakfast is rice, fried fish, soup, kimchi and other side dishes. The father wanted to show me around and we ended up driving to Muju, a famous ski resort, an hour and a half away. There are mountains everywhere, but everything is pretty drab because it's winter. The ski resort is modelled after an Austrian village and the main hotel has murals of dancing Austrian milkmaids on the walls...

Third Day:

The mother made me fried eggs, spam and toast for breakfast. Spam! Apparently it's quite popular in Korea; they think of it as a representative American food. This was my first and hopefully last experience with Spam! Luckily the teachers were back in town and I could move my stuff to A's apartment. I spent the night with her and then moved in with B the following evening.


Blogger Colin said...

great posts haley! what's an international experience if it doesn't have a big glitch at the start. i would have been so uncomfortable with the relatives. you teaching sounds pretty nice too. some quiet pauses as the kids take some tests.

i hope to talk to you live sometime. and let me know what your address is once you're all settled.

take care


9:26 PM  

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