I’m Sailing Away in the Morning, Is There Something I Can Send You from Across the Sea, From the Place I’ll Be Landing?

If anyone is interested in reading more about Korea than just my daily going-ons, then check out these two blogs, they’re my favorites:

jasoninkorea.wordpress.com – He updates pretty much daily with some pictures of amusing Korean culture, and his muscle in brevity is much more handsomely maintained than my own.

speakingkorea.com – Two bloggers that have been here much longer than I have and deal with a bit more in-depth and lesser known aspects of Korean culture. A bit more serious in tone.

Yesterday I ended up teaching, though I was expecting to be traveling. Couldn’t get permission to leave. I was really not in the mood. Tuesday had blown me out. Really rough day. The irony of me bitching about not being able to teach, and then complaining about teaching and how tiring it is are not lost on me. It wasn’t too bad though. Nothing of real note to talk about.

This morning I woke up at 7:30 AM to drive to Daejon with Mr. Lee. It was a mostly good drive. He made me a little uncomfortable asking me if I believed in Jesus and if I’d go to church with him, but the rest of it was better. I told him the PC names we have for people of different races in America, talked about Obama and American politics, taught him the word ‘fart’ (he rather ungraciously lifted a cheek and let one rip in the car, I suppose that’s not a thing here). We got to the Immigration and after like half an hour of waiting and arguing found out I couldn’t get my ARC because technically foreigners aren’t allowed to work full-time. This means my contract is being revised and we’re going back tomorrow. This doesn’t mean I’ll be working any less, just that the contract they give the Immigration Office will say I work less. While not strictly legal, I don’t really care, because I don’t even work 40 hours and I receive a more than livable wage here. I may have to go to a hagwon a couple times a week though, which would have me working until 9 PM, instead of the 6:10 PM I’ve been finishing at so far. Though he did say that instead of coming in at 10 AM I could start coming in at 1 PM though, so it balances out. I’ll still probably come in a little early to chill with Michele and Jieun and get a free school lunch.

Got back to Cheonan just in time to start teaching. My first grade class was a bit better than usual. I’ve just got the one or two trouble makers, and the boys in back who like to push the benches together to make a bed, which makes not paying attention even easier, so I spend half of my time walking back there to straighten them out.

Rest of the day was pretty routine. I’m starting to really get used to the flow of things, and I think my teaching improves every day. That said, I can absolutely not wait for the weekend. I’m tired as hell. I stayed up too late Tuesday watching Korean movies, had to get up way too early today, and I’ll have to get up early again tomorrow. A chance to sleep in will be fantastic. I don’t have plans as of yet, but earlier in the week Michele offered to take me to the Korean Independence Museum in Cheonan and to karaoke, or norebong in Korean, with her friends sometime, so perhaps maybe that. Even if I don’t do anything but sit in bed all day though, I’d be satisfied. I’m ready to relax.

The new foreign teacher should be arriving in Cheonan around 6 PM tomorrow, so hopefully Mr. Lee will allow me to accompany him to meet the guy. I think it’s as much for the guy as it is for me. It would’ve been nice to have an American welcome me to Korea and just know that someone was there. Also, I do need someone to talk to. It’s not that I feel lonely. I just feel the need to communicate. Both Jieun and Michele speak nearly fluently, but it’s not the same. A lot of the idiosyncrasies of American English are lost on them. More than anything, I miss just being able to communicate complex and abstract thoughts to people. I imagine it’s hard for anyone in a new country, but being an English major, I feel like it hits me harder. I’m quite used to being a wordsmith, if you will, so constantly having to speak slowly and unidiomatically¬† (I may have perhaps just invented a word) is really draining sometimes.

That being said, it’s not like I never see other white people around. I see one or two a day. I just never talk to them. It seems odd to just approach someone and be like “Hey. I’m white, too. What’s up?” I saw some white woman in school today at a computer in an office, so I’m pretty sure she works there, which gives me an easy in. Unfortunately I was just getting a drink in the middle of class, so I couldn’t stop.

I have to cut it off here, since I didn’t charge my laptop after all my movie watching. I’ll do my best to cut down on the day-to-day crap and just hit the important bullet points. Sometimes I feel like my English degree just gave me a license for long-windedness.


One Response to “I’m Sailing Away in the Morning, Is There Something I Can Send You from Across the Sea, From the Place I’ll Be Landing?”

  1. Jason Levine Says:

    You’re now totally one of my favorite people.

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