Sunday, October 16
It had been a long time since we had our Sunday morning McDonald’s breakfast so Faith and I met up to enjoy some delicious McMuffins. Faith was running a little late so I got to have a nice chat on the phone with my Nana while I waited. It’s not often that I have free time to talk while my family and friends in Texas are awake.
I met up with Jamie and Shanna, two of my friends that live in my neighborhood, for dinner. We went to the local Kimbap Cheonguk. It means Kimbap Heaven in Korean and it’s a big chain here (there’s two on my block). It’s cheap and quick and they have a pretty big selection. To get an idea of what you can order in places like this, check out the translated menu from another kimbap restaurant… http://maryeats.com/2006/11/16/kimbap-nara-menu/
Monday, October 17
I had my weekly check-up at the ear doctor. I was almost in disbelief when he asked me to pop my ears. It had been about 9 months since I was even physically capable of popping my ears. When you have a hole in your eardrum and you plug your nose and blow, you can feel the air blowing through the hole. Before my injury, I used to pop my ears often. It was an awful habit. The only good that’s come out of this whole ordeal is that it’s helped break me of that. I don’t have to go back for 2 weeks and I think that may be my final visit. Hopefully I’ll be at 100% by then.
Tuesday, October 18
At lunch, one of the teachers mustered up all of the English she could to tell me that she thinks I have beautiful skin. I have to say that it is nice to be in Korea sometimes. I can walk around in shorts and skirts and never have to feel self conscious because I’m too white.
Wednesday, October 19
Most of the teachers left school at 2pm on Wednesday to go hiking, but I had an after school class so I couldn’t make it. The teachers that had to miss hiking met up with the other teachers after school for dinner on the mountain. The restaurant had a van and they came to school to pick us up. The drive up the mountain was miserable. I get motion sickness pretty easily and a winding trip up the mountain was torture. This wasn’t any ordinary mountain road. Every 100 yards there were 90 degree turns. I don’t know who designed this path up the mountain, but I hate him. I did notice something interesting on the GPS system in the van. It was so exact that it included every single speed bump. Impressive.
I had been dreading the dinner anyway because my school almost always goes to raw fish restaurants. We found out in the van that we were going to be eating meat. We got there at the perfect time because the teachers were walking up the driveway as we were pulling in. Dinner was so good! We had grilled duck. They brought out so much food and I felt like I ate a ton, but all of the teachers around me asked me why I had such a small portion.
The atmosphere was really lively. The 5th grade head teacher is always the entertainment at teacher functions. He goes to all of the tables to make sure people are laughing and having a good time… and drinking. Every table had soju (it’s sort of like watered down vodka), beer and makgeolli (rice wine). If you don’t want to get drunk, make sure you never have an empty glass around the 5th grade head teacher. He will see to it that you get a refill. He’s a funny guy and the principal was very impressed by his English skills. The principal wanted to know how I felt about the atmosphere of the dinner and I said that it was fun. The 1st grade head teacher was sitting between me and the principal. She asked me if I wanted to stay another year and after I said yes, I heard her talking to the principal about it. I hope he wants me to stay. Only time will tell, I guess.
The drive home was another rough one. Once I got home I was very worried that I was going to get sick. I did laugh a bit that it was so like me to get sick the one time my school actually goes to a good restaurant.
Thursday, October 20
My throat started getting sore before I went to bed on Wednesday night and by morning it was miserable. I took my vitamins without eating and that made me feel incredibly nauseous so I ended up staying home from school. Even though I have plenty of sick days left, I shouldn’t be taking them if I want to be renewed. Hopefully that didn’t cost me my chance. Oh well. I just couldn’t think of teaching. I did go to the doctor and he wasn’t very thorough. I feel like I have the only doctor in Korea that doesn’t over medicate his patients.
Friday, October 21
I was back at school on Friday and my co-teacher let me give speaking tests to the 6th graders so I could rest my throat. Maybe I’m a little delirious from being sick, but I found two of my 6th grade boys’ first names a little amusing.
1. 유범 – “You bum”
2. 영범 – “Young bum”
My doorbell rang late Friday evening. It was a postman coming to deliver a package from Mary, one of my co-workers at Curves. Her package made me so happy! It was so thoughtful and packed full of goodies for me and my students. I just loved everything about it and it was so sweet of her. Thank you, Mary!!!
Saturday, October 22
My sore throat is gone, but now it’s all in my nose. It’s was a rainy Saturday so I just rested up and got some things done around the apartment. After many complications, I finally was able to finish my 6 months in Korea video. You may remember that I posted my 3 months video a while back and I finally put together a video that shows some things that happened during months 4-6. Enjoy!
And if you missed the last video, here it is again: