Week 2 (Day 7 to Day 14 morning)

Hello everyone, sorry for the lack of updates, but here’s my entire week! lets see if I remember everything…

Sunday, after I finished my last post, I went out and grabbed a bite to eat at a dumpling house, because I figured Devin was still asleep after our night at Monkey Beach. As it turns out, he’d been up for a while, since Joe seemed adamant about getting him out of his place by 10:30. So while I’d been posting on my blog and leisurely having some cold noodles at the dumpling house, Devin was frantically looking for me to give me his keys while moving all his crap out of his place and over to his buddy Steve`s place.
When I finally arrived to find Devin at my soon to be apartment, I bumped into Alix, Brittney, Georgia, Christine and Joe. Joe informed me that they had been looking for me and that Devin had tried to reach me at the Hotel. Joe passed me a set of his keys to my apartment to use. (That`s kind of creepy. Apparently he has access to all of our apartments. I remember joking around with Amanda the night before about how he must be snooping about in her underwear drawer. BUT NO! Joe`s a nice guy, I swear! And at any rate, He works so hard, I should buy him a BIG present or something. I hear he likes Western or Canadian things, I’ll have to find him something.) Anyhow, the bunch of them were headed over to HomEver to buy more household supplies. Instead, I vouched for just moving in, since I`d been itching to unpack since I got here. 
So my first day generally consisted of unpacking and cleaning. I’m not sure if I did much else, Its been a pretty eventful week, so I forget details. I do know that it was at about this time that Alix discovered my blog and decided that she was a celebrity on my blog due to the amount of times I’ve mentioned her. Apparently her name comes up a lot?
Moving on:
So Monday was my first day of teaching. I work a late start and a late finish schedule, but I got up early since I knew I had to make lesson plans for my clases that day. So I walk to work with Britt, Alix and Christine, sit down at my isolated desk upstairs, and start working away. I soon realise how much work I should have done last week, because there is SO much planning to do. I gauged my work ethic on Devin`s work ethic and I realised he had been doing this for 6 months by the time I met him, So it took him NO time to do these things. That, and he knew the curriculum. I didn`t. 
Class was a DISASTER! we covered the material, but the children did NOT listen to me. My ACI clas was bouncing off the walls during my lesson (I found out that they just do that regularly) and I over-planned for them. They didn’t get my math lesson AT ALL, and then immediately afterwards, My brand new EAS1 kids showed up. They’re basicaly level one kids, some, supposedly know NO english. my kids, save for one or two, were dumbstruck. They stared at me while I talked, and NO ONE answered questions. This one kid, didn’t even have a name in English yet, or so he told me, so we decided that his name would be Michael. Upon the class’ conclusion, I realised that his name was Stepano. (yeah, that’s right. Stepano. The parents apparently just pick random names for the kids. One kid that Georgia teaches is named World. Apparently someone somewhere is teaching a kid named Jack Sparrow. but that’s all his FIRST name. Straaaange.) anyhow, I made a mental note to rectify that later.
Anyhow, Day 1 of teaching was just disheartening. I realised there was a lot more work to it. It didn’t help that everyone else’s classes went swimmingly. I felt WORSE. I think today was the day it rained all day, but I can’t be sure anymore. If someone can confirm that that’d be great. lol But if it was that night, then that means after work, Devin dropped by to give me his key and soon afterwards, Alix, Brittney and I went out for ice cream. That trip turned into an excursion to HomEver. Now I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but Alix is possibly the most hilarious person EVER when we’re ANYWHERE. I’ve decided to start making a quote book, because I completely forget the things she said, but she’s convinced that ever Korean here speaks perfect English, and so she sets out to speak to them in perfect English, with big hand gestures and her typical hilarious loudness. I bought a really classy looking umbrella and Big Jaws popsicles, which are possibly the best popsicles ever. They’re called Big Jaws, because they’re shark shaped. Afterwards, we stopped at an ice cream place wherein I think only Alix bought ice cream. (or did she? I don’t think so…my memory is fading!!) OH YEAH! Alix bought the most hilarious rain jacket. And apparently HomEver doesn’t have rain boots, because Alix mimed a person holding an umbrella and then pointed at her feet and mimed putting on a boot and the man said no and walked away. Also, Britt tried out some of their pianos in the store. I’ve decided that we have to go back when there are no people there or less people, and have her play.
Okay so after that, we either all passed out, or we hung out at someone’s place. or I hung out at Brittney’s. I forget. but night came, and i slept.
The next day was no better than the last. It didn’t rain, but my classes were equally hectic, and kids who were supposed to be advanced, showed me no signs of even registering what i was saying. After work, I forget what I had for dinner, but I ended up at Britt’s place listening to music and talking until we were both ready to pass out. I was supposed to see Devin that day, because Wednesday morning he’d be taking a plane out of here. (which reminds me, I need to say sorry and goodbye to the guy) I was supposed to see him that night, but instead, I got too tired and comfortable at Britt’s and just hung out. I think this was also the night that she finally had air conditioning.
Day three was interresting, because I woke up with an intense feeling of sadness and homesickness. Also, I felt like I desperately needed to be hugged. I wrote an email to my family (Craig and Adam and Vanessa included, because to me, they ARE family…Craig will be officially in my family in 11 months) and by the time I finished writing it, I felt HORRIBLE. I arrived at school early as usual, and worked my yellow ass off planning my lessons. and you know what? BEST DAY EVER. The kids got EVERYTHING i taught to them, everything went amazingly and I left work that day feeling like a million dollars. Everyone else had left at that point, so Gavin, Georgia and I went out to find a place to eat. We went out for Spagetti at this Pizza place, and t was VERY good. If I remember where it is, I’ll go back again. 
On my way home, I met up with Brittney who told me that they were going out to see the Dark Knight tonight. I love that movie so much. Britt, Christine and I were the only ones to go, and it was an interresting experience. The theatre was below the building where HomEver is located, and all together, it cost each of us 10 dollars to go in. That’s 7 dollars for the ticket, and 9 dollars split 3 ways for 2 bags of popcorn and 2 cups of soda and a thing of nachos. GOOD DEAL! actually, it was 10 bucks for the food, split 3 ways, so i paid 11 dollars for everything. But that movie is so epic, I love it. Christine and I had a big Batman discussion going home. It was fun, apparently Angelina Jolie will be playing Catwoman and Johnny Depp will be playing the Riddler. I’m interested in seeing how that goes, apparently either the earnings from the Dark Knight or something or some amount of money generated from the Batman franchise is going towards support for Heath Ledger’s daughter? *shrug* anyhow, GOOOD NIGHT.
The next day went pretty well too, teaching-wise. The kids listened and seemed to really catch on to my lessons. (usually) it wasn’t AS good as Wednesday, but it was a big improvement from days 1 and 2 of teaching. Again, that night it was Gavin and Georgia leaving work with me. 
Something I should mention about Georgia, she doesn’t eat pork. Infact, someone in our entire group doesn’t eat SOMETHING. But I’ve been willing to try anything. I’m NOT across the world so I can eat McDonalds and Kraft Dinner. We wandered for maybe an hour looking for a place, and me I was craving Gaubi (speling? or Gaobi? anyhow, it’s the all you can at pork place I went with Devin and ppl on Friday). Except Georgia refused to eat pork! So Gavin and I, being the mean people that we secretly are, drilled her for answers to WHY she didn’t eat pork. Her answers were “I just decided I wouldn’t”, and pigs are “so dirty!” both of which we decided were poor answers. At this point, it was purely our stomachs who were talking and saying “you chose the worst time to stop eating pork, Korea’s most often consumed meat is pork.” and “pigs are actually one of the cleanest animals, contrary to popular belief”. In the end, we accomodated and actually found an amazing chicken place that has CURRY CHICKEN! I’m going to have to go back to have some. Maybe tonight? anyhow, we had this really spicy dish of chicken and compressed rice things and glass noodles. and ONE potatoe. it was very good. We also ordered a bottle of Soju, and my first sip made we want to vomit, because it reminded me of LAST wednesday and how horrible i felt the morning after. Me and Soju are never speaking to each other again. And Soju can forget about hanging out too, because we just don’t get along.
I think my night concluded with me and Gavin hanging out in Brittney’s room talking and sharing music. a wonderful evening. 
Friday, more of the same in terms of teaching. Each week, at the end of the week, we have to hand out Preview/Review sheets. they basically tell the parents “what we’ve been doing this week” and “what your child should prepare for next week”. The day before, I only remembered to pass them out to my last class of the day. today, I changed my system and handed them out at the beginning of the class. it worked out much better. I’m starting to really enforce a routine with the kids, and they’re really grasping it. I had a failed nametag making fiasco the first 2 days, but wednesday, i scrapped it and things went so much better. 
Anyhow, Friday night Georgia and I went out to Chicken and Beer for some fried chicken, because sometimes, I just really need fried chicken. That night, I just stayed in and watched Avatar. apparently both Britt and Alix tried to get a hold of me. I guess my speakers were too loud. 
Yesterday (Saturday) was pretty fun:
I spent the morning wasting time, had some eggs and then met up with Britt, Alix, Christine and Gavin. We went to Samsung plaza to meet Erica and the 6 of us took a bus to some place…I forget the name! biut it was nice, lots of stalls with cool stuff, lots of tourists, a TON of authentic old Korean and Chinese things for sale, I saw these amazing books filled with chinese, all weathered and batterend from years of age, I wanted to buy them all, but they were so expensive. Next time maybe. I also tried to get a new stamp with my chinese name on it. the guy said it’d be ready in 8 minutes. 10 minutes later, he hadn’t even touched it, so we went to look around some more. about 45 minutes later we returned to find that it was still just sitting around doing nothing. we were then told it would take 2 hours. I left. I’ll have to find another place. I really desperately wanted that. I bought some old patterned paper, and a sketchbook. the kid that’s all one piece of paper.  forget what they’re called. Rey or Tessar would know. 
Anyhow, afterwards, we went to Hongik which is apparently the youth culture hub, and we saw so much exciting things, it really felt like the metropolis, or just crowded exciting place I pictured Seoul to be. We wandered around for an hour looking for a Chinese restaurant Gavin liked and then Christine’s TD card was eaten by the bank machines. 
Christine and Erica took off and the remaining 4 of us did some browsing in the crowded streets. Britt went looking for shoes, and we found this hilarious building that has separate Karaoke rooms, but the rooms face outside with big windows like a dollhouse and you can look in and see the korean girls rocking out. When we finally decided we needed food, we stopped at a tiny side street corner where there was Pasta or Korean BBQ. While deciding, Chase showed up randomly with his buddy. That made my night, seeing someone from back home. He’s leaving soon for home, and I wonder how it must feel for him, I’m just arriving and loving it, he’s been there a whole year already. I just can’t believe the luck, bumping into him in such a HUGE city. and the chances of doing it on such a small sidestreet too. 
We decided on Pasta after Chase said his goodbyes and it was pretty good, but expensive. After, we went to a couple bars, the first, as Brittney said, felt like being at a house party. you took your shoes off at the door like a traditional Korean place, and sat at tiny tables on the floor. My camera also decided to die after I took a really cool photo of Britt. We then hopped over to a JAZZ BAR!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING MUSIC! holy shit, the first band was a tiny girl on piano, some dude on bass guitar and a drummer and they were more a fusion band than jazz, but ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I think I’ve found my new favourite place in all of Seoul. I want to go every night for Live Jazz. The second band was a quartet, piano, drums, upright bass and this tiny quiet looking girl with the biggest, most amazing singing voice ever. she sung in english, and i swear she sounded like….I can’t even describe how amazing. I think/hope britt or Aliz posted their videos of her singing, because I want everyone to see hear and see this girl. Incredible. 
We grabbed a cab home, and on the way, Gavin accidentally cleared the fare, which made Gavin (who has a really mocking laugh) and Alix laugh, which only seemed to piss off the cab driver more. He spent a good while speaking angrily at Gavin. I spent the ride contented and listening to jazz on my ipod.
This morning, nothing to really report, though Spore comes out today. I feel like a nerd for buying it and waiting to play it, but whatever. It’s pre-loaded on my computer so in about 6 hours when it officially is released, I can play it.
AND THAT WAS WEEK 2!!!!!!!!!! i feel like i missed a lot, but whatever. I’m gunna try and get Photoshop back on this thing and then I’ll put up photos of Saturday on here and on Facebook. 
Bye for now!

Day 5 and 6 and 7 morning

So I’ve been keeping pretty busy, day 5 looked a bit like this:

went into work, and it started to really dawn on me that i’d be teaching kids for a year. I sat at my desk just thinking, “holy crap, am i really going to be able to do this?” I’m not gunna lie, I’m a bit scared. But everyone keeps assuring me I’ll be fine, and to just take it easy and take everything that happens with a grain of salt. So, that’s what I’m hoping to accomplish.

Also, I broke the laminator in the upstairs office : ( (but Joe can apparently fix it.)

In the afternoon, Devin and I started going over all my classes and we made a lesson plan for my Monday classes. Hopefully this gets the ball rolling and I’ll have all my week’s planning done soon.

Georgia moved t0 her new desk downstairs, which means I get very lonely now. Erica’s never at her desk, Sharolyn is, but she’s always pretty busy, so I’m basically isolated upstairs. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I kind of like to be in an environment where I can see others working hard around me.

Anyhow, the day finished and Devin, Erica, Amanda, Wattchala (I hope i spelt that right), Anna and Meg went out for “All you can eat” umm,…something. Basically, you’re sitting at these traditional tables, where you’s down on a mat and in the middle of the table is a metal pot where they put hot coals. on top of the pot, flush with the table, they put down a metal grate, and it was help yourself to any kind and any amount of meat.

Most of the meat was pre-cooked, so we were basically warming it up, but i ate SOOOO much! the bad thing was, you couldn’t sit properly and it was hot and humid to begin with, but now we were all sitting around hot coals so the whole lot of us were sweating all over the place.

The way you eat it, is you grab a leaf of lettuce, grab a piece of meat, maybe put some sauce on it, and then they have any number of other items to put on it. various kinds of kimchi, sprouts, etc. VERY good.

So after I had all I could eat, I left my share of the bill, and met up with Britney and Alix. We hung out in their apartments for a bit until Christine and Georgia met up with us and I decided to join them for dinner and have MORE than I could eat. It turns out Korean food fills you up temporarily. For me, anyway.

We ended up going to this small noodle house and it was the most ridiculous fiasco ever, because Britt ordered her food and got it, I asked for the same thing and got nothing, Christine asked for sushi and got hers, but then Alix asked for noodles and got sushi as well! then, Georgia asked for noodles with chicken, and got nothing. Then, this other couple came in and ordered what is apparently called “OmRice.” which is basically a big omlette wrapped around rice. with delicious sauce. So I asked for the same. Alix ended up getting a noodle soup with vegetables and Georgia went back to Chicken and Beer for some spicy boneless chicken.

We then went to the department store, HomeEver and did some shopping before turning in for the night.

a side note for the evening, Italian food is really popular here. if you don’t mind spending the little extra for it, we passed by a whole bunch of Italian restaurants on our way to the noodle house.

day 6:

So i’ve been here almost a week! I think I might start writing one post for the week, and with less detail, because if I keep this up, I’ll have a novel written in no time.

Moving into Saturday, my feelings of unprepairedness increased and in an effort to ease that incoming stress, I went to school on my day off to grab my notes and files to go over at home. I’ll go over all opf that stuff today (Sunday, day 7).

I joined Devin, my boss and her boss in one of the empty rooms, since Saturday is only one AM and one PM class. We sat, listened to some music and talked and drank beer. (yeah, at work. also, it’s socially acceptable to be drinking beer practically anywhere. also, corner stores sell beer. you can buy a BIG bottle for less than 4 dollars!) Anyhow, they were warm beers because Devin had them in his bag all day, but they weren’t bad. After, Devin and I met up with his buddy Albert and hilariously, managed to swap out the remaining warm beers for cold ones at the Seven-Eleven. We drank those outside and then made our way to Devin’s place.

There, Devin started packing and I moved my suitcases into his place. I would be moving in officially on the 31st (today). I ended up joining Britt, Alix, Christine, Georgia and Gavin for spaghetti and in the same vein as the day before (but opposite order), skipped out early to meet up with Devin, Erica, Amanda, Meg and others for their going away party. But first, (a second) dinner! We went to a place called Kraze burger. (we decided it was supposed to be pronounced “Kray-Zee” but all the Koreans with us insisted it was pronounced “Kraaze” with a long A and a softish E. I’m not sure if i’m using the right words to describe that…) Anyhow, at this point, there was maybe 18 of us all together.

We all pretended it was Dev’s birthday and the staff brought us an ice cream cake with candles. We gave him the slow-clap. and a big, single “Devin!” cheer.

After a mediocre “American burger”, we headed out to a different Monkey Beach. It wasn’t as bad as the other one, This one had fun lights and fire spinning and pize winning basketball hoop thing, tables with poles where people could step up and dance on them and it was FULL of drunk westerners and LOUD club music.

I had a bit of a headache, so I didn’t drink much, but Erica won a bottle of tequila and Nigel was gifted a bottle of triple distilled vodka by some random. Amanda and Devin marched off with the bottles, basically coaxing our entire group to take a swig from each bottle. Eventually, people got extra drunk and one of the girls with us had to be helped out of the bar, because she had clearly drunk WAY too much. Outside, and actually, a bit inside the club, emotions came pouring out and Meg and Amanda (who were teaching partners at Maple Bear) did a bit of boo-hoo-ing.

I was about ready to pass out, thankfully, so was Nigel and He and I took a cab back to Yatap. He started chatting up some random girl walking alone on the street. He deduced that she was a prostitute, but she basically just seemed confused by two guys talking to her in english. We grabbed water, and as it turns out, he lives right across from the Love Hotel.

So that was my last two days. I woke up this morning, watched Star Wars episode 3, packed up my last remaining bag and checked out. I’m now at an internet cafe wasting time until a time that I can safely assume Devin will be awake. That’s all! The adventures continue soon!

Day Four

So day four is just coming to a close, here’s what happened:

firstly, I would like to say i’m feeling much better than i did this morning. And, apparently Alix and me left in a cab to go home and it dropped her off at her apartment and amazingly, I navigated home safely. But anyhow, I got to school, typed up my day 3 and then promptly got to lesson planning stuff for my classes.

Today was a really relaxed day, which helped a lot, given how I was feeling. I spent half of it just wandering around thinking up ideas for things and talking with the other teachers. Then, a very hung over and still kind of slightly drunk Devin stumbled into work. We just had one class today, and as per usual, the kids are insanely cute. We mostly played games, but since Devin was the way he was, I did a bit of teaching today. the kids kept mockingly repeating what I said, and Devin made them stand up with their hands on their heads, shake their hips and say “Sorry Carson”. Jaden was assigned to be the Korean Police (which means he calls out his fellow classmates if they let some korean slip out during class time) but somehow ended up being the only one repeatedly using korean.

We learnt about leaves today! and then because Gavin was tired, they had an impromptu naptime. The kids all joined in, lying down around and on Devin, using various Devin body parts as a pillow. Next, following that same theme, we played the “Lying Game” which when they said it, sounded like the “Lion Game”. but basically, it involves lying down and staying really still. If you get caugh moving, you’re out and have to get up. suffice to say, after learning the rules, Devin said, “Teacher’s playing too!”

And so it went. after class, I did more socializing. Tonight was Maple Bear Bundang’s one year anniversary! So there was a wonderfully catered dinner, with a slideshow, the owners of the school and members of a sister school and some other randoms were present. Also, a friend of the owner came in and sung a few traditional Korean songs. very interresting! I think Alix took a video, maybe she can post it on Facebook and I’ll grab the link.

I had planned to do more with my night, but Joe came by to grab me and Georgia, since Georgia would be moving into her not so shiny, but newish apartment, she had left her bags in my room. We grabbed them and moved them to her new place, and now I’m here at the internet cafe.

ta-da! my night. tomorrow is prep day and then next week, i start the teachy-teach. should be exciting! take it easy, folks, if you have time, send me updates about what’s up on your side of the world.


Day Th-Reee

So day 3 was party day. here’s how it went down:

Woke up, took some photos of my room and outside the window, and of a funny packet of condoms the hotel leaves there. (I found out that the hotel i’m staying at is a “Love Hotel”. the kind where couples pay for single night lodgings so they can umm…talk. a lot.

With regards to posting any photos, I want to wait until I can charge my camera, so photos wont happen until next week.

Anyhow, me and Georgia (i remember her name now!) walked to school, it’s about a 20 minute walk. then, we did schooly things, the kids are really cute, today was the last day for a lot of the kids, so they got report cards and we spent most of the classes playing games. The kids had to pick a poem and make up a tune for the songs and sing them, so we had a “Red Bear Idol” (the rooms are colour coded) show, and Erica recorded it on her camera. SUUUPER cute. Devin (the guy whose students and apartment i’m taking over) bought treats for the kids to eat, the evening class got pizza! there was a pizza printed on the box advertising 2 new pizza flavours, one had calamari and shrimp on it, the other was called “Idaho Potatoe” and had some kind of sauce on it that was drawn out like a Star of David, which confused me a lot. Maybe they meant “Israel Potatoe”? at any rate, there were potatoes on it.

After that, I walked home with Devin and Georgia and we bumped into Alix on the way. Alix and me went out for dumplings at a dumpling house in the area. It’s really nice, because all day, you see them handmaking the dumplings right in front of you. We were lucky enough to share a table with a Korean guy who worked at some company in their international sales department, so his english was good, and he helped us order what we wanted.

I then rushed home after our meal to shower and meet Devin, Erica and Alix at Yatap station. From there, we stopped at a convenience store and bought beers (2 dollar beer!!!!) and went across the street from my hotel to a loft apartment owned by a friend of Devin’s. It’s AMAZING! such high ceilings and pretty furniture. NOTHING like what my future apartment will look like. He made tacos and more people showed up. We talked and sort of watched Rambo 3. At about 10, we headed down to Yatap and took the subway to Seongnam station (i think) which is 2 stops over.

We ended up in some hole-in-the-wall bar called Monkey Beach and bad news ensued. The bar plays american club music, and there were lots of americans I dont think I drank myself stupid, but beyond leaving the place with Alix at 1 am (the others stayed, apparently bars never shut down in Korea, Koreans who come to Canada always complain that there’s no night life. I think they’re correct.) I know we were going to take a cab back, but beyond that, I have NO idea how i got home, took off my shoes, got changed, locked my door and even managed to put on the chain, let alone the act of getting the cab and paying it. I’m going to ask Alix today, so I know. I feel this big urge to know rather than live with the mystery of how I got home.

So that was party night.

I woke up this morning feeling gross, I realise it’s a horrible idea to get drunk in a city where I don’t speak the language and can easily get lost. NEVER happening again. I’ll have a few drinks here and there, but that’s it for me. I want to remember my whole experience here, not have to grab a friend and ask what happened or look at facebook photos and piece the night together.

So this morning, I had a cup noodle to help settle my stomach and now, I’m at work, supposedly planning out my first day of real teaching. I should go do that.

BYE EVERYONE! only a few more days and i’ll have my own place! If you do feel an urge to mail me something, apparently it’s better to just mail it to the school address and it’ll get dropped off on my desk. so that address is:

MapleBear Bundang
1,2 Fl. Daejin Bldg.,#137-1
Imae-Dong, Bundang-Gu,
463-806 South Korea

And I guess you can just put Attn: Carson Wong on the thing. Okay! worky time!

Day Two

oookay! so day two:

today, I woke up at 4:30 am and poked around my place, watched some tv, which was all either bad american television or korean soap operas. I tried to go back to sleep, and woke up at 7, at which point i went for a walk.

So my neighbourhood is pretty cool, it’s all restaurants and randomness. I tried to figure out how to get breakfast from a noodlehouse and gave up when i found out none of them speak english or have any english menus.

i plan to take my camera out with me tomorrow, so i’ll takelots ofpictures, but basically it all remindsme of Honk Kong. all high-rises and nothing else.

So at 10:30am, Joe came to pick us up and drove us to school. there, I fiddled with the computers and managed to talk to some ppl and met some of the awesome staff here.

Following some orientation and teacher shadowing, (which involvewd some really cute kids) the whole lot of us, (about 10) went out to a place called “Chicken & Beer” and had….*drumroll*…Chicken! and Beer! afterwards, we went wandering around for some secret underground Black Market.

Right now, I’m at this girl Alix’s apartment which will probably be a carbon copy of my future place, since i’d be down the hall from her and then here I am, typing on her computer. In a bit, We’ll be going to a place to buy some random stuff at a department store that takes up 8 floors.

aaanyhow, that’s my day so far. I’m not sure if I’ll be going to the internet cafe later, but this is my day thus far, have a dreat tuesday, everyone! this was mine!

Day One – I Have Arrived!

(copied and pasted from an email)

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to let you know that I got here safely, and here’s what my day looked like:

-got on plane, met a couple from Halifax named Jeff and Madeleine, became friends. they’re working in another city, and had to take a 2 hour bus ride to get out there.

-Joe picked me and another girl (i feel bad, she’s sitting beside me in the internet cafe and i forget her name) up from the airport and drove 2 hours to a hotel. We’re staying there until the teachers who we’re replacing leave. so I’ll be in the hotel until the 31st. which means i’ll be frequenting this internet cafe when i want to talk to you.

-on the way there, there was this crazy tollbooth where a mannequin was wearing the tollbooth guard uniform and it had a mechanical arm that waved cars through. STRAAAANGE. i’ll try to take a picture if I’m passing that place again.

-It’s humid here, but the rain came and cooled everything down.

-Joe left us alone in our hotel rooms for an hour, wherein I discovered none of the plugs in the place seem to fit my adaptors i bought. then, i took a shower in the shower curtainless bathroom (which i’m told is a traditional korean bathroom) and completely flooded the bathroom. apparently that’s SUPPOSED to happen?!? this is also after my curiosity got the best of me, and got my shirt sprayed by the toilet which prompted the shower in the first place.

-when joe came back, he showed me and other girl around, showing us the nearby subway station (Yatap) and bought us both rechargable transit cards. we were shown the pharmacy, supermarket, and internet cafe (this one!).

-then, Joe said goodbye, and told us we were having dinner with a teacher who is finishing her term there, Vanessa. a thin, freckled blonde girl who’s leaving maple bear to live closer to her korean boyfriend.

-So while waiting to go out for dinner, I watched Kung Fu Hustle on tv, which was thankfully, in cantonese/mandarin! I also watched a Starcraft tournament. Yellow won. and by Yellow, I mean Asian.

-We met Vanessa at Yatap station and Anna and some other girl who are both korean teaching assistants joined us, and the 5 of us went out for Pho. I had my regular rice noodle with beef. Vanessa paid.

-Theeen, we parted ways and Anna showed us to the internet cafe and got us set up. End story!

So that was day one…I’m pretty homesick already though. I opened up my luggage and everything was so neat and perfect the way Mom and Dad packed my things, i didn’t want to move anything, because it made me think of you guys, and i felt if i moved anything, their mom and dadness would go away. So i’ve been carefully moving things about.

One thing that worries me is that my hotel room, being a hotel room, means maids have access to my room while i’m gone, and no “do not disturb” signs exist. so i almost want to take my luggage with me everywhere I go, but i know i can’t.

Anyhow, that’s it! day one, crossed off! 364 days to go! actually, no. more like 371, since i got here a week early. I miss you all very much and I can’t wait till I move in to my own place and can actually set up my own internet and everything and start going on msn and getting skype set up.

Bye everyone! i’ll write more tomorrow!


yeah that’s right folks, i’m out of hibernation. some recent doodles:

I’ve been really interested in doing graphite studies of people lately. Yes, it’s a move away from my exciting inky stuff, but i figure i need to refresh the fundamentals before i go off on a tangent again.

I’ll post some more soon. more conceptual work on its way as well, i promise for real this time!



My love, can you hear me?
I am broken.

I told you a story once
Of a foolish boy and his big heart
For which he gave pieces to all
Cut veins like branches and handed them down.
Passed them around.
Till he was bare and cold
And even then, he gave more
And more
Until a gaping hole
Stretched its borders across his chest

And begged to be filled.