Greetings Loved Ones!
I hope you have all had a pleasant nights rest and are ready to starta new week. I am personally decompressing after work and willeventually be heading to bed (currently it is 10:36 pm).
It is hard to believe that I have been in South Korea for a month already, it is getting hot and we are well into the throes of rainy season here. I will probably have to learn to walk gracefully in heels so that my pants will not be in a constant soaking wet stage. It is rather uncomfortable and can be very distracting. Other than that andthe dangerous (when wet) marble that is everywhere, I am enjoying my time here and I am getting acclimated very quickly. I still am very much in what one would call the silent period if you study linguistics or language learning theory, but each day my "survival Korean" is getting better. I am hoping to be able to start taking Korean classes in September on Saturdays after intensives are done. But I am not scared even though everyone keeps telling me that Korean is a really hard language to learn. Its true it probably is but not any more difficult then any of the the other languages that I have tackled or will eventually get around to tackling.
I am starting to meet people and make friends, what is nice is thatthey are from all over the world, and they provide interesting insight not only about the world, but also about how Americans are percieved.There has been some very interesting discussions about that already. I am also beginning to understand why these stereotypes aboutAmericans exist... having met some of the stereotypes personally I am rather ashamed to be lumped into the same group as them. But this isall part of the change when moving abroad and dealing with the"culture shock" that is bound to happen. I do have culture shock moments-- some of them have to do with the food, and some of them have to do with things like common courtesy-- like not running down others while you are pushing your children in a stroller (it happens here alot) or trying to decipher what something is based on the pictures. Pictures can be terribly misleading-- if I can't figure out whatsomething is I usually don't buy it. And the red sauce here can belethal... so beware! Or being singled out because you are obviously not Korean.
But along with the negative things I have also had a lot of positive experiences like meeting people I would have never met before, feeling very succuessful when I was able to take a cab by myself for the firsttime (on Sat.-- even though he did take the long route and the fare was 11,000 won (the equivalent of 11 dollars)), I have gone to my first football/soccer match- it was the Queen's Peace Cup (women'ssoccer) New Zealand vs. South Korea, I have tried curry, sushi, Indian food, and have even eaten shrimp (though that was not the bestexperience). I am finding myself a little more independent each day and am becoming a little more bold in trying new things whether its asking for the price or wandering off a little bit farther than I am use to. The metros still kind of freak me out and I don't forsee myself going on them by myself anytime soon.
But as great as everything has been there has also been days that havebeen horrible and I have wondered why I even bothered to come here. But those days are few and far in between and for the most part I amdoing well with it, though I do miss people from home. But I do have a proposition for that-- I am trying to make my apartment feel more like home and with that I have a little fridge/freezer combo and a armoiretype thing that are in need of some serious decoration, so if you (or your kids) are inclined to write letters, draw pictures or send pictures I will put them up on either my fridge combo set, or my closet doors, and will email pictures with each update that I send...:-)
If any of you know of anyone who would like to teach English in SouthKorea for a year, there are two openings at my school in Suwonstarting the end of August. You do have to have a bachelors degree andthe school would reimburse you for your flight to and from SouthKorea, provides housing, pays 2 million won a month (which is about2,000 dollars), and pays a lot of heath care costs, there is a plan--and at the end of your contract there is a severence/ bonus, you get apension from the government. So if you know of anyone that isinterested let me know.
If you would like my contact information send me an email and I will make sure you get the information.
This turned out to be a long and kind of intense email. :-) If there is anyone that is not currently on this email list that you think would enjoy getting updates let me know and I will add them to my list.
Send questions that you have, because then I will know more aboutwhat to say in my next email :-)