Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Setting: far-far away from home- the wrong road following the wrong river
Props: 24 rolls of toilet paper, a broom I found in a trash pile, new umbrella, a bag full of kitchen supplies, mini-trash can
Characters: Me, Ajuma (Korean lady), 3 Ajushis (Korean men)


Plot: I was dropped off at my apartment on Thursday night (Aug 25) at about 9:30PM.. in the apartment WAS a bed, some quilts, a pillow, a closet, an empty kitchen (well.. there was a refrigerator & washing machine in it), a table & chairs... what WASN'T there was toilet paper, utensils, cups/bowls, soap, trash can... the basics!

Luckily I had saved some napkins from the airplane :) The next morning, I woke up and decided to explore the dong (neighborhood) I live in... Seosheon-dong. The thing is.. is I have no idea where I am or how to find my apartment again.. so I took some pictures of the area.. wrote down some key elements (river, Yeoul-ro (a large road I live near), the huge school that's near me, Mano Bar, Gapsyeong-ro (my street name)).

So off I went, at 9:00AM to explore the new area, grab some lunch, and shop...

... 4 hours later ...
I am hobbling because I have blisters on my feet from my new unbroken-in Rainbow flip-flops, sweat rolling off me from the heat & humidity, deciding to go ahead and pick-up some toilet paper because I'm definitely close to my apartment (huge pack of 24! .. since I don't have far to go and all)... I begin walking along the river 'in the right direction' and NOTICING that the street name I am walking along isn't the street name I wrote down.. thinking.. 'maybe it's like South America, and the road names change every couple of blocks?'..

... 30 minutes later ...
Same wrong road name.. WHERE AM I?!

I see some people standing outside of a garage, walk up to the Ajuma and point to the road name I had written down in Korean... she says "TAXSHI, TAXSHI" along with a million other words in Korean. I shake my head no, and start pointing in random directions, trying to get her to point in which way I need to go.. she continues to 'yell' (talking seriously loud and intensely) in Korean.. the only word I'm understanding is "TAXSHI". There are 2 other Korean men standing there, and they start chiming in on the conversation.. oh yea, in all Korean.

THEN, a man walks over who speaks English, and can obviously tell that I am more than confused. The first thing he says is, "She says you need to take a taxi, it's far away." I told him that, "I walked here, I'd like to walk back.. I just don't know the direction."

:::Note: Don't forget how tight I am with money... ME.. pay for a taxi when I could walk?!:::
:::Note 2: I STILL have blisters on my feet.. paying for it.. just in a different way!:::

THEN, he starts talking to them in Korean.. and I'm thinking, GEEZE, PLEEEEEEASE please, just point in the direction I need to go, and I'll be on my way.. confusion.. done!

He told me that "They just fixed this truck, and they'll take you there."
Me: "OMGoodness, really?! THANK YOU, Thank you!"

So they put all of my stuff in the back of the truck, motioned for me to get in, and then to scoot over, and off I go imbetween two Ajushis, trash can on lap... FOR A FEW MILES.. as they took me to where I THOUGHT I already WAS! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ready for my 1st Day of School

I went shopping for school.. and of course since I am teaching university students this year (plus 1 class of 10 year olds & 1 class of professors) I realize.. I need to be completely professional. Which is why I bought these notebooks...

I Love Dot

My story My assey ... (I'm assuming they were going for EssAy!?)

Cat and Fish
Delicious Fish, You're Thinking Did They Changed? I Just Eat?

Couldn't resist!

Plus these are my amazing post-it flags... I LOVE ASIA! (Taking orders for my return :) )

2 Spanish Nuns, 2 Egyptian Kids, 20 Indians

I have wandered around Jeonju for a total of 10 hours (over the course of 3 days) and these are the only foreigners I've seen.

Are there any English teachers out there (echo, echo, echo)?!

I'm in a ginormous city (to me), population of about 700,000 (don't laugh.. I'm from TROUTville!). I arrived to the Seoul airport at about 4PM on Thursday.. the 22 hour plane extravaganza went well, but I must say I am not a fan of American airlines... I was jumping up and down when I got to switch from United to Asiana in Chicago!

Then, I took a bus to Jeonju.. no, not the other Korean cities of Gwanju, Jinju, Gyeongu... Jeonju (sounds like Jon-jew).. oooh Korea. And while sitting on the bus only half-way awake, I hear these two ladies speaking. I was amazed I could understand everything they were saying... I thought I was in the middle of a day dream where I could actually speak and understand Korean. Errr, wrong! They were speaking Spanish, before I turned around and looked at them I had to be sure that I was on a bus in Korea and not still on a bus through South America. I look at the man sitting next to me.. yup! Korean!

Turn around... 2 nuns! I asked them if they spoke Spanish.. in Spanish (dumb question), and then we started talking. One of the nuns actually lives in Taiwan, and the other has been living in Korea for 20 years.. both from Spain.

Thoughts: strange world.. I like Jeonju already!

These past few days have made me realize that I wish I knew Korean...I don't know how I survived last year without pulling my hair out. I don't know how to say bathroom, excuse me, where am I, I can only count to 4 - two different ways. I've been accidentally speaking Spanish to these people non-stop, "Si, Permisso, No se, Donde..."... and that works about as well as my English when speaking to Koreans. I have only encountered 2 people so far in my 3 days of wanderings where someone actually didn't lie to me and told me they spoke a little English.

That was my main pet peeve about Koreans who know a little English (stereotyping.. I realize this).. you ask them if they speak English, becuase you need help, and they say "No". I'm calling BS on that one, you obviously know the word NO, meany-weenie!

I just feel like if someone came up and asked me if I knew Spanish after I had taken 3 days of Spanish classes.. I would say POQUITO ( a little bit ).. and try to help the person if I could.. and if I couldn't, well sorry mister. But geeze, TRY!! Maybe that's just a personal thing because I'm outgoing, but most of the times you can at least kind of understand what a person needs without knowing a single word of their language.. how else have I survived traveling around China, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea.. where I know hardly any of the language.