Korea: Basics Update

I am horrible with blogging my experiences! Hahaha.  Don’t worry, after several people asking me to update — I am now more motivated than ever to post, post, post. Although, it has been nearly a month since my last entry. Cough.

Well, here’s a ginormo update on my life in Korea thus far. I’ve been here a little more than a month. I definitely feel situated and more at ease with living here. It doesn’t seem as much of a “OMFG, I’M IN KOREA” experience anymore. Actually, I feel quite normal being here! Haha.

Facts of Life:

Apartment = I have my own apartment (they call it an officetel) on the most Eastern side of  Seoul. My place is definitely bigger than most people’s apartments. The key rule is that the farther you are away from the center of Seoul, the better your place is. I’m about 30 to 40 mins away from the best hubs of Seoul. Not bad, but going home is really annoying. I’m also about 4 blocks down from the subway station and therefore I get even more annoyed going home. However, this is definitely the only downfall because I like where I am and my school is amazing.  Oh, and it’s literally down the street from my school! So, every morning, I praise the heavens because I can literally roll out of bed and be there on time. YES!

Food = I rarely cook and  I’ve been eating out a lot with friends or just picking something up on the street. I mean, kimbab is a effing dollar here .. an effing dollar! Haha. On the weekdays, I eat lunch at my school (which I pay for) and then I usually eat right after school. I was eating a lot of ramen at one point — but, yes, now I am always booked with dinner dates during the week. What can I say, I am quite popular here! HAHAHA. Totally kidding, it’s more my fault because I hate cooking and I don’t want to lay in my room for hours. Actually, its not even cooking that is annoying, it’s the cleaning up because it stinks up my room, I have to separate my trash, and I have to do dishes. Yeah, I rather pay you a dollar for that kimbab there~ Hahaha.

Clothes = Wow, so clothes. For those who know me, you know I love to shop! However, I was really constraining myself, mostly out of fear, because sometimes it’s rude to ask to try on things or they expect me to haggle and I run away because I don’t want to speak Korean. Hahaha. Lo and behold, I have definitely gotten past my fears and honestly, I shop all the time — but, for tops. Buying pants here is near impossible if you aren’t like a size 2. Not to say that I don’t see bigger people with jeans on in Korea, but I have yet to go to a decent store and seen a decent size of jeans! Haha. It sucks because I lost a bit of weight being here (with all the seriously smaller portions in Korea) and I actually got all my business casual slacks altered. However, my jeans are huge! It sucks so much. I am glad to say that I got my parents to send me my winter clothes and I had to explain to my mother through skype on how I wanted her to alter my jeans from home — uhhh, let’s hope this turns out well. LoL.

Work = Sometimes I have to pump myself up to go to work because it is a damn battle to work with middle schoolers! Haha. I teach 1st and 2nd middle school graders (aka 7th and 8th graders aka prime hormonal adolescent period). I teach low to high level speakers and around 4 to 5 classes a day = total of 22 classes a week. Let me clarify, TWENTY TWO DIFFERENT CLASSES a week. I was definitely in shock when I found this out at orientation! It’s really not that bad since I have gained a lot of experience handling demons this past month. My techniques? SHAME, just out right shame them. Some of the boys (especially upper class lower level) are rowdy – they yell, throw pencils, hit girls, hit each other, or complain. So I started this “corner of shame” where if they keep effing around, I make the student stand and literally put their face in the corner for the rest of class + talk to them every now and then about how bad they are + tell the other students to look at him/her + yell at them after class + make them clean my floor. Oh, it works!

Work II = I think my school is pretty small compared to others. We only have 2 buildings with 3 floors, I think?Although, I do have my own ENGLISH ZONE aka English classroom! It’s awesome because I don’t have to haul my stuff to class to class. We don’t have a cafeteria so all the kids have to eat in their homeroom. The cafeteria staff brings out these huge tubs of food and they all have to take turns getting their tray in the middle of the hallway — as you can imagine, it’s CRAZY. LoL. My co-teachers are great! Well, there is one that I hate working with just because she doesn’t have any prominent English skills nor does she has any discipline skills — she has all my lower level classes and it made it HELL for me at first. Anyway, yes, the rest of the staff is great and they really take care of me, so I’m really grateful to them.

Social = Hmmm…. I think I’m just starting to understand what a balanced social life is (for me at least). At first, my entire goal was to make friends, make connections, and meet as many people as possible. Honestly, it was really draining. I did everything and anything that I was invited to or heard about even if I didn’t want to or when I just wanted to stay home. However, I started getting more cranky because I started to feel like I wasn’t in control of my own social life — which is entirely my fault. I was so eager to make friends that I forgot how to say HELL NO. Haha! At the end of the day, I found that I can do things on my own time and with a diverse amount of people. So, I would say that I kind of just hop around and when the occasion arises, I’m down to hang out but I’m not going out of my way to do something I don’t want to do. Seems like a simple life lesson, but at the same time, I got carried away with it all by being in Korea without my social support from back home. But am I having a great time? HELL YES.

Okay this is kind of like the basics I guess. I know I missed a lot! Being in Korea is such a learning experience but the most hardest lesson to me is just living alone. Not like literally, but emotionally as well. I noticed that I have this habit of grabbing on to people for support and even when I look at myself, I get annoyed. LoL. I’m definitely learning to let go, live, and trust myself instead of needing others to trust me.

Will update soon enough — Haha.

– Stella

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3 thoughts on “Korea: Basics Update

  1. Thank you for the update 🙂 I enjoy reading about your adventures…as well as seeing your FB pictures! 😀 I’m hoping I can make a trip to Korea a reality..soon. I’ll keep ya posted 😉 In the meantime. Keep us all posted! Miss you!!<3

  2. biggie! so proud that ur doing so WELL! haha
    i think we were more worried about u going there lol
    now that ur doing awesome, it’s better for us because u are more CONFIDENT and can show us around! lol
    introduce us to all of your many many many friends!

  3. Finally! An update!

    I love seeing that you’re adjusting to life there. Seems so exciting. I’m happy that you’re happy doing what you want. I miss you here though! I always get those “OMG. I need to tell Stella moments” but by the time I get to the computer, I forget. FAIL. You seem so busy so I understand the lack of updates. But I will be looking forward to the next one 🙂

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