Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mental Low

Waking up this morning, I sure as hell was not feeling like P.Diddy, maybe more like Ke$ha (a hot mess). My nose was (and still is) congested with snot and my throat was dry and itchy. I have diagnosed myself as literally, "worried sick". Thank God there weren't any classes being held today, just a field trip to the hot springs. Great timing.

Kate and I on our way to Termeden in Icheon, Gyeonggi-do

There were about 32 students and 6 adults in total. I was told to bring a swimsuit, t-shirt, and shorts. I made the assumption that it wasn't a bath house (찜질방) so I didn't need to worry about nudity. As soon as I entered the women's locker room, my female students were stripping naked in front of me. I kept looking around for the co-teachers to follow their lead, but they were no where to be found. Let me just make note, I have been to a bath house before, however with friends (which I thought was awkward), but this time it's with my students. Talk about building relationships, just throw me in a bath house locker room with them! It makes it all easier. So I waited by pacing throughout the locker room (walking the opposite direction every time a naked Korean stood before me). Then I realized, the faster I put on my swimsuit the less nudity I would see. (Durr...)

Termeden Hot Springs is a wonder. This was the first hot springs I have ever visited and I must say it made a huge impression on me. My co-teachers later mentioned that Caribbean Bay is much larger. (WTF?-STFU!-moment.) There is an indoor pool with outdoor facilities, too. I was awed by the outdoor hot spring and heated-pool area, I later discovered an outdoor-sauna-hut. (Saunas = Love!) It was freezing cold outside, but it didn't matter, I was soaking like ramen-noodles in Lemon Tea. (Can your insides cook if you stay in the hot water for too long? I felt like mine were.) My male students enjoyed their time torturing me with water splashing at my face. It wasn't until after lunch, when two co-teachers and I escaped from the students. I was able to breathe for most of the day and forget my worries and my sickness, until we departed. The silent-mofo returned.

I'm asked every day if the students are good, behavior-wise. I wonder every time, "Were they ever bad?" Other than splashing water in the hot spring today, I wouldn't even fine them for that offense. Honestly, I would chaperon 32 Korean students than supervise 5 kids at Oxford Swimming Pool, only because 5/5 would most likely drown from diving or crossing into the 6-feet end, which I sure as hell wouldn't even cross into. It's funny, too, that the school would have me chaperon at a swimming pool (or put in charge of the first-grader), because I can't even swim. Which I later found out that the water at Termeden is only 3-feet deep and life jackets for kids are free.

Now Playing: BoA - "I See Me"

What's been worrying me?

- Time to find in order to wire money home.
- Broken glass frames.
- Lesson plans gone bad.

My solutions:

- The money will be there and bills will be paid, even if they're late.
- I am not blind.
- The lesson never went wrong, just not the way I had planned.

Let there be bread (or rice, in my case).

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Grandpa's 72....

...actually I've been telling that to everyone for about 10 years. He turns 83 years young this January 20th. I can't believe he still carries my rice-sack (50-lbs) cousins on his back.

2011 Adventures

My D-Day app says, "IPO DAY 34".

Rather than counting down my days here, in South Korea, I'm counting them. What have I done since I've landed? Well, not blogging, that's for sure. But I have been posting videos on Facebook and YouTube. Here's a recap for readers and not viewers, starting with the earliest to the latest.

Day 1 - Went to Hell and back in a day.

Day 3 - Tour of the English classroom and the first day I officially met the entire town.

Day 5 - In the 'Hood

(I still don't know how to take out the trash.)

Day 11: Christmas with K.will (Korean solo artist)

Week 4: Ipo's English Winter Camp

A month has gone by and I have accomplished a lot more since my first day here, more than I would have imagined or anyone would have after viewing my first video. I'm actually really happy that I did record it, because my family and friends, even people I don't know, have motivated and encouraged me to be strong. I'm just thankful to have running water, a blanket, and toilet paper. Yes, the mold is still here in my apartment. No I didn't throw out the random condiments in my refrigerator out (I even drank all the instant coffee mixes leftover). And I still have recycling piling before my eyes, because I haven't gotten around to asking some body how to do it. But I have met many people within the past month that has made me more comfortable living in Korea.