Aug 29, 2012

The Whirlwind: Part 1

So. Moving in a typhoon is super fun. Yesterday I loaded my 100+ lbs of luggage onto the bus, bright and early. We hit the road for Seoul just before 9am. Stopped at a rest stop, where I got a little slice of home.

When I got to the district office, I was met by a rail-thin young woman sporting glittery eyeliner, fabulous heels and a designer purse. She introduced herself as my new coteacher, henceforth known as Coteacher. Coteacher's English isn't awesome, but we do just fine. She was accompanied  the school guidance counselor, who is very sweet, but speaks about as much English as I speak Korean (also known as practically none.) I have half a mind to see if she wants to do a language exchange with me.

Here is home, sweet home. If you zoom into street view, I live on the 7th floor of the building with the "Billiards" sign.

View Home Sweet Home in a larger map

As you may have been aware, there was a typhoon happening throughout all of this. Coteacher took me to my apartment, ran down the street with me to buy toilet paper and milk, and then was like "I gotta get home before the storm. The school is two subway stops away. You can get there tomorrow, right? K bye."

Then, I was left alone to unpack. 

I rearranged it a bit after I took these, but I don’t want to take pictures at the moment because A: it’s dark and will just look gloomy and B: I just did a load of laundry (IN MY APARTMENT. FOR FREE.) and don’t have a drying rack, so all my clothes are laid out flat on the floor. Korean floors are just as clean as anything else in the apartment because you don’t wear shoes inside. There’s a little sunken tile area right inside the door where you take your shoes off.

Great news—I have a neighbor!! Another girl from my orientation group is living two floors below me. When Coteacher dropped me off, she told me that she was pretty sure another teacher was moving into apt 505 today. It took me three tries before I stopped chickening out, but eventually I went and knocked on the door. It’s a girl who I'll call Neighbor. I never really talked to her in orientation (in fact, we barely recognized each other), but we’re so relieved to have a neighbor. It’s already working out well for me because she has a microwave (which I do not), AND her apartment came with a coffee maker that she didn’t want. So she…wait for it… gave it to me. For free. The coffee gods have smiled upon me.

Anyway, Neighbor and I ventured out into the storm, which was really just like an exceptionally blustery day (click the link for a perfect example of my impression). We got ramen from a convenience store down the street, and enjoyed our very first Korean meal in our new apartments. We even ate it on the floor of her apartment, Korean-style.

Stay tuned for "The Whirlwind: Part 2" in which I describe my first few days as an elementary school English teacher.

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