Thursday, June 30, 2005

What have I done?!?

Now that I've had a good cry over all your thoughtful comments and emails, I try to summarize the last few hours as best I can. I'm sitting on the faux wooden floor of my rather adorable apartment after being awake for more hours than I care to count.

I slept for two hours on Tuesday night and maybe two hours in total on the brutally long plane ride(s). The first leg of the journey, from Toronto to Vancouver, had me sitting next to an exceptionally friendly Korean man on his way back from Lima, Peru. We spent five, yes five hours going through my various Korea books and practicing vocab. I think he was working on his English while I worked on my Korean, but I appreciated his interest and warmth. He shaved his face with an electric razor blade as our plane made its descent.

Between landing and taking off for Korea I chatted with another foreigner at the gate who was heading towards some city I know nothing about to teach an adult split shift and reunite with his Korean girlfriend. He seemed cool and we exchanged email addresses. A grade ten boy overheard us chatting in English and joined in the conversation. It was some kind of friendly atmosphere, let me tell you.

On the plane I was seated next to a 12 year old Korean girl whose parents have sent her away to live with her aunt and uncle in Calgary so she can have a good life. We spent the 11 hour plane ride chatting about The Hatchet and Harry Potter, playing hangman and SOS, and doing other 12 year oldy type things. I also quickly retrieved gravol from the stewardess when Tina threatened vomit.

I arrived in Korea with popping ears and an aching behind, not to mention the return of my cold that hasn't gone away since before Mexico. My nose is full and my throat isn't far behind. Walking along with my vocabulary friend from the first flight, I attempted to pop my ears clear. Somehow this caused extreme dizziness and I had to stop myself from fainting by grabbing onto a bar. I felt like crap for a five second instant and then everything was okay.

My director who's name I have yet to recall, picked me up at the airport holding a name sign of course. He looked a little hesitant at the sight of me. Maybe it was because I'm a giant. Maybe it was because I was sweating like crazy because of the dang humidity, or maybe because I neglected to follow Paul's advice of applying lipgloss or something before meeting him. Ugh.

The drive from the airport to Suji took about two hours. Two hours I'd rather have spent plucking each hair out of my head one by one. Awkward conversation, uncomfortable sinuses, and a terribly jet-lagged self made me want to crawl into a ball and sleep for hours.

Finally we arrived at the school where I met two fellow teachers who seem very warm and welcoming and got a look at the facility. It's very charming and well equipped - just wait till I take some pictures. The colours, the computer room and gym... all very nice.

Then, horror upon horrors, my boss took my out for dinner. I ate some nasty cheese based spaghetti and we conversed about breakfast cereal.

I was then taken to my room where I now am, my bags full, as well as my head. I'm exhausted and am about to hit the hay. Hooray for an internet connection in my room. Hooray for a cute apartment and school.

Boo for a long walk to school. Boo for an uncomfortable experience with director. Boo for teaching tomorrow... did I forget to mention that? Yeah. I'm starting tomorrow.

I miss you guys.

14 Comments:

At June 30, 2005 6:59 AM , Blogger Margie said...

Glad to hear that you've arrived safely. Can't believe you have to start work so soon after your arrival. ACK!!! Good Luck!

 
At June 30, 2005 7:46 AM , Blogger TickToo said...

Don't they realize that Friday is Canada Day? The kids should have the day off! It's a statuatory holiday, after all. You should complain bitterly about the working conditions, and take it to the Canadian Consulate.

I'm glad you arrived safe, Jess. Hope you rest up soon, and can start to enjoy your time there. Take all those meds you brought with you... pepto can cure anything, right?

 
At June 30, 2005 8:17 AM , Blogger greyguitar said...

I'm addicted to knowing exactly what's happening in Korea now. Definitely keep up the updates. Glad you're feeling better. Hope the first day goes great!

 
At June 30, 2005 10:48 AM , Blogger Blake said...

Hey, you made it here in one piece, had an ackward experience with your director AND it sounds like you have a better apartment than I do.

Sounds like you'll fit in just fine.

Happy Canada Day!

 
At June 30, 2005 2:01 PM , Anonymous Carlo said...

hey Jess! Good to hear you made it there okay. Wow, I can't believe you start the next day...heheh well I hope you're all settled in by now. I can't wait for pics! Take Care!! :D

 
At June 30, 2005 7:05 PM , Blogger Christopher Olie's Dad said...

Hi Jess, It is 8:00 p.m. here. What time is it there? Are you working yet or is it just early monring. I can't wait to see pictures of you apt. How long will it take you to walk to work. Is there public transportation that you can take. Write back and let me know how your little kids are? I guess your first day of work is July 1. I really needed a teacher here today. Too bad you weren't here. Have a great first day and tell me all about it. Love. Mom.

 
At June 30, 2005 7:49 PM , Blogger Shells Bells said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At June 30, 2005 7:51 PM , Blogger Shells Bells said...

I feel your pain...the first time I went to Korea I had to teach the very next morning...it was rough..but it gets easier :) My only advice to you while you are in Korea is this..

- don't drink the water
- don't buy rotisery chicken from a street vendor
- and soju tastes great with just about any kind of juice or softdrink!

Have fun in Korea!

 
At June 30, 2005 10:41 PM , Blogger Rory said...

Welcome to a different world.

The waters fine, this isn't China - it just tastes like crap.

The chicken is good.

Soju is bad. I know I was drinking it last night, I guess I will never learn.

 
At June 30, 2005 11:32 PM , Blogger Blake said...

Like Rory said; what's wrong with the water and chicken off the street? I consume both on a regular basis and I've never been sick once in the 3 1/2 months that I've been here, not counting the times that it's been self inflicted.

 
At July 01, 2005 3:35 PM , Blogger Eddie in Montreal said...

Jess: This is dad writing from Eddie's house. Just registered him for the blog.

Hope this works.

dad

 
At July 02, 2005 12:47 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

Margie: I couldn't believe it either, to be honest!!

Rick: Hey Jam face. I filed my complaint immediately. I drink my Nyquil right out of the bottle.

Rob: Yay for addictions! I'll try to help you out with that. :)

Blake: How was your Canada Day par-tay??

Carlo: Pics are to come!!

Mom: I'll get to your questions in a second!

SSSC: Welcome! Thanks for the tips. I was dehydrated until I finally bought water today.

Rory: Haven't tried soju yet.. stuck to Cass last night instead. I do love chicken..

Blake: And how many times was that, eh?

Zaidy/Dad: Hello! Or, annyong haseyo!!

 
At July 02, 2005 10:57 AM , Blogger Shells Bells said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At July 02, 2005 10:58 AM , Blogger Shells Bells said...

You guys who ate roasted chicken from a street vendor and didn't get ill...were better off then moi! My friend and I got food poisoning so badly we were in bed for 3 days..and I think I saw God..as for the water..couldn't drink it in my apartment...unless I was in need of a laxative..but glad you guys had it better then me...anyway have fun!!

 

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