An-young Haseyo (originally posted 05 December 05)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Finally, I am surfacing to write another entry. South Korea is fantabulous, and obviously has been keeping me quite busy. It's a bit strange having a job again after almost 5 months of basically unemployed bliss. But I really love my job (most of the time). It's a completely different experience than teaching English literature and writing in the States, but I think I like it more. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE teaching poetry, novels, all that stuff, but it gets really LAME when 90% of your students don't give a crap. Here, my students (with a few exceptions) WANT to learn English. They're attentive, polite, and enthusiastic...of course, some of them are so shy that their enthusiasm comes out as a whisper.

The food here is great (for the most part) and I feel safer here than I did on the streets of the 'Couv.' I haven't been to Seoul yet, but from what I've heard, it's almost as safe in the city of 10 million as it is here with only 90,000. The people we've met have all been very helpful and understanding and our bosses have gone above and beyond our expectations at almost every turn. Matthew and I know enough Korean to get by: Hello, Please, Thank you, I'm sorry, Excuse me, How much is it?, etc. and pointing/pantomiming has gotten us through the rest.

The only thing that's given me any kind of anxiety is shopping for groceries. We have five different kinds of cookies in our cupboard right now. Why? Because cookies are safe. There are usually pictures on the front and you really can't stray too much from the American concept of a cookie. Other fairly safe items are juice, bread products, fruit, vegetables, and yogurt. Meat starts getting scary, as does any kind of canned goods. We've managed to find spaghetti and marinara-type sauce and we purchased some pre-seasoned beef that we cooked up and ate with rice. Other than that, it's been frozen foods that require frying (little dumplings stuffed with some meat and veggies), breaded shrimp, etc), noodle bowls, etc. Actually we eat out a lot because it's so inexpensive. We've found a few restaurants with English menus...oh, we even found a good Italian restaurant for my b'day dinner.


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I remember food shopping when I first moved to Korea. I don't think I bought any meat for five months. All I ate was rice and vegetables I could recognize.

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