Friday, August 04, 2006
the cave, walking backwards, sweat
Today was a long, orientation filled day! I learned more information about various campus life here. Also there was a time for discussion of money and benefits. Good stuff although it begins to feel overwhelming with ALL the new information that is given. Recycling is the real deal here......all sorts of bins for all sorts of types of garbage----food waste, styrofoam, plastic, glass, cardboard, cans, paper......the list seems to go on and on. I am a little paranoid when it comes to throwing something out...."Hmmmm, which bin does it go in?" There are certain garbage bags I must use or they will not take the trash per the Korean government. The funny part is that the streets are covered with litter?!?!?! Not sure how they thought this through, but whatever. It will work out I am sure.
Just before lunch I got to see my classroom that is aka "the cave"! There are no windows which gives it its name. I like it! I will only be there until October and then will move to another room when the ES building is complete. :) My principal is awesome! He is laid back and easy going and seems to really love what he does. We got to visit with him a bit today during the tour of the ES. There are 12 new elementary school teachers.
This afternoon we all took a trip to a major store called Carrefour. This place was crazy and had everything. I bought some toilet paper, paper towels, a microwave, a laundry hamper, the cool Korean cookies (thanks Swaroop!), a fan for my bedroom, Paul got some new brown shoes, some plastic binis for leftovers, hangers, and a dust mop and trash bins. FUN! It was really interesting and the store is attached to World Cup Stadium! :)
After we made it home and Paul put together the fan and took care of the microwave we decided to take an adventure. We walked through the "back" gate of the school grounds through Yonsei University to an area called Sinchon. From what I had heard previously this is a hip and cool part of town with lots of young folks. Well, sure thing!!! Yonsei reminds me of Rice a little and the area is very busy and there are lots of young people. LOTS of them! The streets are crazy crowded and there is no such thing as personal space. We walked about 2 miles or so just taking it all in. We passed three Starbucks and many other coffee shops too. It was so fun! We ate dinner at Outback Steakhouse and then headed back in the direction of the school to have coffee at Holly's Coffee. This was an experience. I ordered my drink--"short, decaf, nonfat, iced vanilla latte"---I know I got a latte, but I am not sure about anything else. She started talking to me in Korean and I just did not know what to say or do except repeat my order. AH! I was able to check email on the computer there while we waited on our drinks.....this was cool. Then we went upstairs to watch the people on the streets. We could see a Starbucks across the street. FUN FUN FUN! Then we walked back to campus and I am sitting now updating the blog.
The weather has been hot and humid just like Houston. It might not be quite as hot, but I have been outside lots so I stay pretty sticky and sweat lots. They say it will be like this until September. Yeah.......just like home! :) I have been drinking lots of water and each week I can pay to have water delivered right to my front door. I bought a water pump for the big container that makes it really easy. I have been walking tons and tons. There are lots of hills. Again, if I do not lose weight living here there is something wrong with me. Not only do I have to walk a lot up and down, but there is an indoor pool that is open every morning and a gym for us to use!!! :)