Monday, August 23

My New Kitchen Table and Paper Airplanes

August 11th

Haha my how things change quickly – I was just rereading what I wrote last night as I was waiting for Rim to pick me up. Did I mention it’s practically been raining the entire time I’ve been here? I think there’s a hurricane nearby and we’re getting weather associated with that. Last night Rim and I went shopping at a store called E-mart. For those who aren’t familiar (like I wasn’t) think Wal-Mart + Dillard’s, but it’s 8 stories – groceries, shoes, electronics, department store clothing sections, it’s pretty impressive. What I like the most is they have inclined moving sidewalks so people are going up flat escalators with their carts. Going grocery shopping is quite interesting in another country – it feels basically the same, EVERY thing is just in Korean. Things look the same, but you can’t read what they are. You pay a dime to use a cart and when you return it you get the dime back. This is to avoid people stealing the carts.

I chuckled when I read my post from earlier. When Rim mentioned getting a table…I thought American table – round/square with a few chairs to sit on, like a card table, – I learned that you sit on the floor in Korea when eating meals. I now have a table…but one that only high enough above the ground for me to sit Indian - er, Korean style, with my knees under the table. I took pictures of my apartment today and am excited to post them. I am taller than my shower and my fridge and the entire place is probably less than 500 square feet. But, I’m adapting– I’m sleeping well, I feel safe, and I’m even getting used to the warmer temperature and not keeping the air on all the time.

Last night Rim and I didn’t get back from shopping until 10:20. Then, we both were hungry so she invited me to eat with her family. I was a little hesitant since I was tired and haven’t had much of an appetite since I’ve been here, but I didn’t want to be rude and not accept the invitation. Boy oh boy did Rim’s mom cook up a FEAST! I couldn’t believe it…we were sitting on the floor – the entire square table just kept filling up with dishes – salad with a very salty salsa like dressing, kimchi soup (VERY VERY spicy cabbage, pork, and tofu soup), small hard fish which I couldn’t eat, broccoli, cucumbers, pork, eggs, sticky rice, and watermelon for desert. There were a few traditional Korean dishes that I don’t know the name of. I tried a few new things, but was very self conscious since I don’t know how to use chopsticks. They gave me this teeny tiny fork and it limited the foods that I could try. I didn’t eat that much, but did make sure to say thank you, though I don’t think Rim’s parents speak ANY English b/c they haven’t talked to me the times we’ve met.

So that’s a recap of last night. Today was good – I slept until 7am and then kept myself awake hoping to get used to this time zone, I think I felt more tired today than yesterday. Rim and I did get the cable hooked up last night and out of the 78 channels I have – I found 4 or 5 English channels!! One of which is CNN – so I’ll probably be more current on the news now than I ever have been before. Also I watched NCIS, Sex and the City, CSI, it was fun! I had a banana for breakfast and lunch (I’ve eaten a lot of bananas since I’ve been here) and then showered around 12 – and took a nap from 1-1:45. Rim picked me up at 2:15, and I taught classes from 2:30-7:20. I think yesterday I won, but today I think there was 1 class that was difficult because the students were 5 and 6, and another group of students were just terrible. Yelling, hitting each other, throwing paper airplanes at me, haha looking back I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall, but I was getting very agitated. That 50 minute class felt like 4 hours long. I felt like I was being really mean, but there was no way for me to talk slow, enunciate, and try to talk over those that wouldn’t quit talking!

On a more positive note many of the students I had yesterday came in to say hello to me, and asked me if they could bring me anything. One of my students, Dennis, (such a cute little Korean boy! I’ll have to take a picture)proudly walked up and handed me a caramel candy. Small victories. Wrapping up for now!

You know, maybe chairs are overrated!

Emily :)


  1. Teaching is alway about the small victories Emily...if you are always looking for the big ones you will never see them! Strive each day to have one small victory and at the end of your year there...they will all seem big! Miss you....

  2. Yeah! You have a blog! I sure am going to enjoy continuing to read it and keeping up with you. I can't imagine the adventures you will have - you will be a great teacher Ms. Emily!


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