While I stand by the hysteria of my last blog – leaving home was stupidly hard to do – I can barely remember it. This is my third week away and I don’t mean to sound callous, but I’m kinda fine with it. I think that it’s been easier for me because I had no preconceptions of what Korea is like (well, actually, I had very high hopes for the food and that, uh, isn’t working so well for me) or how marvellous life would be here so I’m just taking it as it comes and it’s all manageable. The pace of life seems so much slower here; people rarely seem to be in a rush, it’s like a “hey, if it’s happening, it’ll happen with or without me” feel to the place. That bit is a lot more laidback than I had been led to believe, but I guess part of it is living in Daegu.

Orientation was interesting, it was a lot more hard work than I think actually working will be. We had a constant stream of lectures and things to attend but I think that for me one of the hardest things was living 24/7 with 400 of my best friends. There was no way to be alone, we even had roommates (luckily mine was cool), and I found that really claustrophobic.

Having left there on friday, I was delivered to my new apartment. It’s pretty nice but I’m still waiting for my fridge to be delivered! I also need to remember to ask if they’ll buy me a microwave. Korea, I thought you loved your gadgets! What’s the issue? I’m also decorating it slowly in Hello Kitty, which started as hilarious irony but I’m fairly sure that the deeper I get into it the more I begin to sincerely appreciate the bubblegum pink asthetic. In my defense, this is Asia, Hello Kitty is everywhere and it is kinda cute in my bare apartment!

Now I’m in school and it’s a pretty sweet deal. I was worried that because I froze up and utterly choked in our orientation practise lesson, I would be awful as a teacher also. Thankfully, children are much less scary than the judgemental glare of 50 adults. However, I had a bit of a disaster today as my powerpoint wouldn’t load and, unbeknownst to me, the only lesson plan of today was for me to chat to the kids about myself and for them to ask me questions. I’ve never heard such silence. Pure blank stares and tumbleweeds. Turns out that lots of the kids are quite shy in lessons…not that it stops them from occassionally cornering me as I’m trying to get to a lesson and screaming questions in my face with all the urgency of an ER nurse on crack. My favourite reaction so far is the kids who gasp and say “wow!” upon seeing me. Some of them take a while to get over it, covering their mouths with their hands and just whispering “wow wow wow!” for as long as they’re standing near me.

I choose to believe that’s a reaction to my breathtaking beauty.

All my co teachers are nice enough, not too bothered about letting me know anything but I was sort of prepared for that and it also works out because there’s another native speaker who’s been here for nearly three years and he keeps me informed. So far it’s just been about getting orientated and seeing how the land lies. Oh and deskwarming. A good chunk of time desk warming. That’s alright, though, hopefully it just means I have no work to do at home.

The nightlife is fun here, especially when you travel in convoy with 200 other foreigners who are all giddy on the cheap booze! Korea doesn’t really do single/double/triple measures, Korea does “stronger?” So they’ll pour you a drink and then ask if you need more booze in it. The correct answer is “yes”. They also have bag drinks, which is like cocktails in an IV bag, or a big see through capri-sun bag if you prefer, that you can just cart around the place with you. This place also has a loyalty card, buy 4 and your 5th is free! What a world.

So yeah, that’s how I’m settling in so far. I’m just now trying to think of some better activities for the kids for tomorrow to avoid todays shyness…think I’ll need some luck though!