Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I love (most) of my kids..

Even though it is very, very naughty for the kids to do graffiti - I secretly love it. AND if they graffiti in English that's good right? This was all done before I arrived...

Here is a video of my Juniors singing along with a song on the computer - notice how most of them are not paying attention...
And here is one of my classes - this is only a class of 3 - they are quite cute - a bit older but they're just beginners...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Kickin it in Incheon OH OH!

- I have been teaching math and drama A LOT this week - it's been good, most of my kids are adorable - the others literally climb up the walls. I've gained a Noodle, Lion, Tiger and Bear as students.  There have been a few criers - but they only tell me what is wrong in Korean. I just pat their head and give them a hug.

 - I went to get my medical check-up and it was a bizarre experience. The hospital has barely any privacy but it was pretty funny. We got given a paper cup with our name on it (the same cups that you get your coffee in) and after you have peed you just walk it through the waiting room and put it on a tray with all the other pee cups. 

I didn't faint when I had my blood test and I've lost 1.5kg since I have arrived - I need to eat some more.

-One thing that freaks me out is the lack of not only seat beats but car seats for kids. Babies sit on their mothers laps in the front seat and little kids run around the car as the parents are driving.

-On Friday night it was FREEZING! We went to a Foreign Food festival, I found my beloved plum wine and we watched a hilarious performance (well I think it was meant to be hilarious).

 -I have found 2 pairs of sweet new shoes. That is all I'm going to buy for a while. The fashion in Seoul is unbelieveable - I love it. But you see the same things everywhere - you could see a pair of shoes you love and then down the street see the exact pair for 20,000 cheaper. I love the men's fashion. And really good tights are EVERYWHERE.

-I went to a Beer Buffet on Saturday night. I am not the best beer drinker but with total concentration I managed to finish 3 during the evening. Needless to say because the beer was called "Morphine" and was 8.5% it was all I needed. It was great to talk more with the public school foreign teachers and it was amazing to hang out with New Zealanders. Even though they were from Christchurch. (haha just kidding). We all passed out in the taxi on the way home, I think the driver thought we were crazy.

-I'm picking up a bit of Korean - Hello and Thank you is what I say to everyone. Hurry, hurry is crucial for teaching and today I learned "sit down" - which I have forgotten already but I am sure I am going to put it into good use this week.

-I have a Korean Bank account now. I think I should only have to wait 1 more week for my residency card and then I can get a cellphone wheeee! I keep thinking of things that I want to text people and I can't. It's annoying. And I'm afraid to go anywhere on my own in case I get lost and  can't get a hold of anyone to get back.

-Man, I can't believe I'm back at work tomorrow -this weekend has gone so fast! New Project Runway is on TV and it is amazing.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I R Jenna Teacher

Today it was meant to rain - and I swear every single child had an umbrella with them. Sure enough, when it started raining at 5.30 in the evening the kids were all prepared.

I had my first and I mean FIRST ever classes today and I subbed a class. SO 6 classes in a row. The classes are actually quite cool and I think i will get more creative with the text book as I get a bit more practice.
I have learned I'm just going to have to give them English names because I can't remember the Korean ones at all! So now in one of my classes I have a L-Sword, Zombie, Bill and Raven. It means I can speak to them directly and makes life alot easier.

I taught maths and drama today which was interesting. I had a few criers but they would only tell me what happened in Korean...I had no idea who to tell off. Some of the kids are so smart and pick up on things really amazingly. Others....hmmmmm. I can tell its going to be hard work but most of the time it can be fun - and they do a lot of drawing which is cool.

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I have Internet!

I thought it would never happen! (you can probably tell from all the photos and blogs I just uploaded).
I have been observing classes and they are pretty interesting. Some of the kids are angels - so cute, they speak great english and you just want to squeeze them! 
The less advanced kids - just don't listen, run around and apparently get violent. Mind you, I wouldn't have listened in my after school programme - I just know it.

I was walking down the hallway and a wee boy ran past and pretended to shoot me and another one did the fingers right in my face and said "Puck you". eeeek! haha

End of the weekend

  •       Left my window open – woke up at 8am by a fly. Sleepy. Watched Sex and the City marathon. Amazing.
  •        Went to the supermarket. I had no idea what to buy so I got noodles – will be more inventive for meals soon. Nice fruit.
  •        Bought a plant, came home with about 5 plants that were gifts from the beautiful plant lady. My room is now all flowery and nice.

  •          Went to a Science festival with Ray-k and Ashley. Cute Kids showing their science experiments. We saw the last 5 minutes of an Incheon vs. Ulsan soccer game at the World Cup Stadium. That’s all I needed for sports but there were crazy chanting fans with drums.

  •        Still can’t work my freakin internet. Computer man is going to look at it tomorrow.
  •      I start training tomorrow. I am learning to teach in 3 days.  
  •    It is so hot here – 25 degrees. Others think it isn’t warm. But I’m from Dunedin – it’s hot, muggy and quite polluted. 
  •        I’m watching America’s Next top model (11- the one with the transvestite. Yuss).

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Saturday in Seoul

Okay these are starting to back up – I should hopefully get my internet on today. I have only had about 5 minutes on my email in the past few days and it drives me crazy that I can’t just be on it whenever I want.

Yesterday was so full on and I can’t remember the names of anything! I will find out though…I started Korean lessons – this a bit of a commitment because we travel into Seoul every Saturday morning for a 2 hour lesson but I think it is worth it. (I say this now – though, I paid $40NZ for these so I better go.) It was pretty hard, similar to Japanese but 4 of the vowels sound pretty much the same.  Anyway, I going to have to do some study. Eeek. Sarah, who lives across the hall from me, and I, will motivate each other.

We then met all the others and went to Changdeokgung Palace, which had a secret garden. It was beautiful, so old! It is really hot here (for me anyway – 25 degrees) so it was nice to walk around under the trees.

Theeeeeeenn we got dressed up and went out for dinner - which was delicious (just like all the food here). We then went to this beautiful coffee bar – it was all white and each booth had curtains, chandeliers, couches etc. We just ordered tea and hot chocolate and then suddenly the waiters were bringing over an expensive bottle of wine and fruit platter, which some weird Korean/Russian guys bought for us. We accepted (of course) but got out of there kinda quickly… onto a hip hop club…it was pretty fun – I realised I hadn’t been in a club like that for about 4 years and the novelty wore off for a bit. That was when I missed being able to walk 2 blocks home – but after we were off in a taxi home back to Incheon and bed at 3am.


-       Everybody stares – it’s weird. They don’t try and hide it.

-       This is a place I don’t want to be out of control drunk in – it’s crazy enough just being sober.

-       I LOVE Korean babies.

-       Everybody that I have met here are really cool – I just follow them on the subways and hope they know where they are going.

-       I miss my peeps; I wish they were all here with me.

-       I am watching a sex and the city marathon, it is awesome.



Second Day Blog! from Saturday!

I have woken up at 7.30 this morning so it seems to be getting a bit better (also I learned how to turned down the heat – my room was at 28 degrees yesterday.) Yesterday was a pretty good day. In the morning I got dressed and went down to the school office to see what they wanted me to do and they were like “Rest, Rest!” but I was SO awake because it was just afternoon time back home. And I was STARVING – I had no idea where to get any food – I found some of the other teachers at lunch time and had lunch down the road with them. All I needed was to walk down there once and now I am fine to get to the supermarket, bank etc. (well, getting there is fine – asking any questions wound be impossible.)

At the moment, Friday’s at our school seem like they are going to be pretty fun – in the morning we have the CUTEST kindergarteners come and then in the afternoon we get on a bus and travel to public schools for “Hello GEC” where we try and get kids to want to come to our school. I was on face painting…some of the kids were SO CUTE and would just giggle when they looked at us, they would also shyly come up to us and ask for our autograph. (I also had a wee boy tell me I was beautiful – this place is great for your ego).

In the evening I jumped on a bus to…(I can’t remember the name) and we have a delicious pizza/ pasta dinner and it was cheap as – about $40NZ total for pizza, pasta, garlic bread, drinks for 6 people. Wheee!

Then we went to this underground market thing. The clothes are AMAZING – the shoes are RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING! Argh I had to contain myself..but I got a dress and a t-shirt for about $30NZ..I’m going back for shoes later (I really need this one pair…) The fashion seems to be short, baggy dresses, kind of like a shift dress but big sleeves…really cute anyway, there is lots of tartan, cute blazers and the shoes are high heeled (always) that cover the whole foot, finishing under the ankle with wee laces (these are what I want to get). Ahhhhhhh!

I left the other teachers to go on to karaoke and I went home. I have found my favourite T.V. channel called On Style – omg it is just full of America’s Top Model, Project Runway, Sex and the City, Oprah, E News – it’s amazing. I tried to stay awake for a new ANTM episode (the one with the tranny) but fell asleep dammit!

Today is going to be super busy – I’m going to Seoul! Korean lessons, then a palace and then dinner in town yay! I should get my internet on in my room tomorrow – I can’t wait!

Quote of the Day:

Me (to a Korean teacher): I like your socks

Her: I like your face



First day in Korea! from last Friday..

So I think yesterday was actually the strangest day of my life, and I have always read on other peoples Korean blogs how mad their arrival is but just don’t think you can be prepared. (p.s. I have just woken up at the lovely time of 6am…soo that seems about right – I would be waking up at 12pm in NZ about now…)

It was SO AWESOME that on all the flights we could possibly get, I could see Stuey at Auckland airport so he could be the very last person to see me off. (and it was AWESOME seeing Alex there also!)

My flight to Incheon was fine – just long and sweaty. I must have looked very young and na├»ve though, on both flights having middle aged men take me under their wing. On the way to Singapore I had an Indian man (who could not believe how little New Zealanders worked and who also did the most classic double take when I told him it was my first time to the Northern hemisphere) and on the way to Korea I had Korean christian missionaries (they played me Jesus Christ Superstar on the wee TV screen). Both were very helpful at the airport and went out of their own way to help me, carrying my hand luggage and leading me where to go (this is happened without me even asking.)

When I arrived in Korea, I felt  VERY VERY white. My driver was late (as expected), but that didn’t stop me from having a mini internal panic attack until he arrived. He didn’t speak a word of English but within minutes of his arrival I had spoken to my recruiters and one of my bosses on the phone. I sat in the back of the car (no seatbelt) as my driver neglected to use indicators and swerved through the lanes (and being on the right side of the road did not help.)

I pulled up to the school (which is MASSIVE) and got a quick tour of the “experience” classrooms. I can’t wait to put photos up of this but my favourite was the broadcasting studio where it has a wee news desk and gets filmed so they can see themselves on TV.

Also, I would like to make a point how it has been pointed out how LIGHTLY I packed.

I chilled out in my room for a bit (which is HOT I’m boiling at the moment but afraid to touch the Korean AC remote), then had quite a few visitors to my room from my fellow teachers /neighbours. Two of them took me into town to get dinner and I met some more foreign teachers. I was SO tired but trying to keep awake so I wasn’t that chatty but all I can say is it the most bizarre experience and I wish I was in more of a frame of mind to take pictures.

On our way home in the taxi I experienced the whole speaking Korean but they still don’t understand you thing but we got home and I just passed out from exhaustion.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bye NZ

I would like to spend more time in Wellington - 'tis nice.

I'm leaving Welly at 8.30pm, Auckland at 12.55am then onto Singapore and  then Korea.
Like, just incase you were worried or something...:)

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Wellington Cherry is Popped

I am standing in my friend Ashley's bathroom - holding my lappy over the sink as I write this so I get receive free internet from Victoria University.  Yeow!

I wasn't that happy about leaving my Number One behind and coming to Wellington yesterday. Even the vintage clothing didn't do it for me.
But I made it to my interview at the Korean embassy and now hold a visa in my hot little hands. 

The interview was pretty sweetso, they asked me what I could say in Korean (Hello, Thank you, Kimchi), What events were currently happening in Korea (melamine, North Korea are off the terrorist list), and why I wanted to come to South Korea (the art!).
Also, as of this evening, I now have a flight to Korea!!! Tomorrow!!! and the best part about it is that I can see my Number One again as he waits at Auckland airport to go to London. 
All of this makes me happy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Step 2 ACTUALLY completed

I leave Dunedin on Monday morning.

I have a Visa interview on Monday Afternoon.

I should go to Korea on Tuesday. Wheeeeeeee!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Korea Process: Step 2 kinda completed


So what I have been waiting on for so long is my Visa number from Korea - this isn't my Visa. But I finally got this yesterday (I was meant to recieve this on the 30th).

Today I couriered my passport, my visa application (with my visa number on it) and $70 to the Korean embassy in Wellington.

Tomorrow I call them in the morning (by which time they would have recieved my application) and we are to organise an interview in Wellington.

I am hoping I can just have my interview on my way out of New Zealand - and hopefully this is on MONDAY! Though to the embassy lady this sounded like this was a bit optimistic. Which I am. Anyway I'll be in Korea by next week.

This means I get to go to Hay Man! on Friday! Zing!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sugar Liberation Army

A flurry of media interest was started by our little protest - but I really do believe we proved that if you have something, anything you want to say you have the right to say it.
I also think we proved that ANYTHING can make it on the news.
Big ups to Leigh - who is now the face of Sugar Liberation - yeah!

Watch the 3 news item here
and check out the AMAZING comments on Stuff.

Meanwhile, in Korea news I still don't have a visa - I emailed Clara in a worry yesterday and she said not to worry, my job is still there and it's all the Korean immigration office who are holding up the process. Oh well....I'll just keep waiting - am currently procrastinating about moving out of my flat as I type, but this is happening today. :(