One Month Anniversary

As of this moment I have been in South Korea for one month and its amazing how exactly the same I feel, and yet I know already everything's different.

I haven't done as much as I wanted to in my first month, BUT that is just because I'm overly ambitious, poor, and I've adjusted my time schedule here a bit. The first month really is spent settling in, and getting acquainted with your surroundings and meeting new people. Also for me, its getting used to the weather. The first week and a half was more humid than I care to think about and the last three weeks, or 21 days, Im pretty sure that it has rained a solid 15 of them - hells its raining right now. Really all I wanted my first month to include was seeing as much as possible, and taking a hike or two. The hiking hasn't happened yet, but I don't really like the idea of sliding up & down a mountain. Eventually though...

But for this post there are two separate lists I can think of (Things I've done, and Things I Wish I Had Known) that will better sum up my thoughts.

Things I have done so far:
-Start teaching a full schedule
-Witness & survive a fully capable foreign teacher get fired on my fourth day
-Learn to lesson plan & create time filling activities for kids (harder than you think)
-Go on a field trip to KBS
-Spend a night in a noreabang (korean karoake) and think of it as a special type of place
-Meet dozens of people from all over the world and call them friends
-Seen more 6am nights than I have in years
-Drink a fair amount of asian beer and korean soju, but successfully decline it as well
-Go into Seoul
-See the Monet Exhibit at the Seoul Museum of Art
-See Itaewon in all its glory and declare it Americatown: A place that never needs be visited again
-Spend hours walking around Hongdae and realize its a cool counter culture area of Korea/Seoul
-Plan my first vacation (During Chusock, and it remains to be seen how successful this will be)
-Ride the Seoul Subways/Buses

Things that I wish I had known:
-That I would have been living in a spare bedroom of a basement apartment with no air conditioning across the street from a dump for my first week
-That Suji wasn't in Seoul (its 45 min away)
-That I'd be teaching little kids for half my day
-That I'd have to pay my first months bills ahead of time for my apt things
-That Koreans are generally some of the most generous people I've ever met
-That time would go this fast.

Not for any particular reason tonight, a couple of us went to have Korean BBQ at this patio outdoor place, and then have a few beers outside over at the Family Mart. True to Family Mart's nature more people showed up, great life conversation was had, and then a Korean man came to our table. We learned about his life, his family, he told us that we were all ugly, and then as the conversation went on he selectively told us who was beautiful and ended up buying us a round of beer. Couldn't have really asked for a better night to immerse myself in the life of a Korean.

Basically I've settled in pretty well... and I'm learning more things about myself and Korea as time goes on, and that's really what matters right? Growing up in this place that's made me regress a bit. Also, this starts a new tagging of my posts... there was In the Beginning for my trials & tribulations of finding a job, then right before I went with Preparing to Go, and then Finally in Korea and the first few posts I had here... now, Young Korea is born since everything's still so new to me.
Jenn PeddeYoung Korea