So, yeah, I know..it's been a long time since I updated. I was gonna try and keep a weekly update but things got a little hectic and I got a little lazy...and so it's been like months...lol.
Summer vacation I went with a load of people to Jeju Island for five days...it rained the first day - like typhoon rain - but the waterfalls were amazing, the beaches were pretty cool and I managed to go up in a balloon, quadbike around Udo (small island) and climb god knows how many steps to see a buddhist temple. Thankfully there was drinking water when you reached the top. I even ate raw fish and some stuff that was still moving and very much alive, like prod it with the chopstick and it coils up.
I guess I've pretty much settled into work now...sometimes the language barrier makes it hard to understand what the co-teachers mean. Like they can't give you a direct answer but I've gotten used to it, it's not like they do it on purpose...and they probably struggle to understand me half the time. I've also realised that, no matter how awful the kids have been, it's always good to end the lesson with everyone smiling and happy...even if it means doing something embarrasing like singing Mama Mia. And, for the older kids...I've got into a habit of listening to K-pop...writing the English names on the board and seeing if the student recognise them...'Teacher, you like Taeyang? You know G-Dragon? You know Bigbang? Whose your favorite member? Teacher, you know 2pm? Teacher, you know Outsider? He's the fastest rapper in the world (this we debate on) Teacher, listen to this song (they write the name on the board and I copy it down then google it)' It's sometimes the only way I can get them to speak to me in English. Or soccer works with the boys and some girls...'Teacher, do you know Park Ji Sung? You like soccer? You like Arsenal? Arsenal is trash' And for my oldest students (15 yrs) 'Teacher you know Soju? You like Soju? You like Mekju? Teacher, you know about somek and one shot?' These are all alcoholic drinks that a 15yr old learns about from their fathers. (Soju is like a Korean vodka type drink, Mekju is beer and Somek is a shot of Soju mixed with Mekju.) The best comment I've had is 'My teacher likes Soju, Mekju, Somek, and spicy food. She is Korean, but she's English, but she's Korean.'
I've been to Seoul most weekends...clubbing on a Saturday night until 5 in the morning (Korean style)...and met loads of new people on the way...been to Busan, slept on the beach, watched fireworks and listened to some guys playing their guitar. I've stayed in a Jimjilbang (Korean sauna house), eaten Chicken feet, and even done Karaoke...
But the best thing was taking a ride on a friend's motorbike, just outside of Cheonan and finding this little temple in the middle of no-where, at 7 in the evening with the sun setting behind the city and Buddhists chanting in the background. It's the part of Asia I like. The part that's unexpected.