My first night in my apartment was really great. My co-teacher picked me up today around 9:30 to take me to the school. It was about a 30 minute drive, and she tried to explain/show me which bus and stops to get on/off. Later that day she looked up the bus times, and she says I will have to get on the bus at 7:55 in the morning, and I will get to school around 8:40. She said she would tell the principal the problem so that I don’t get in trouble. I feel weird about that though. Also, I have to leave school at 4:15 to catch the bus home in time, so she will tell the principal I have to leave a little early. She said she will find a better plan soon, so hopefully this will only last one week.
At school, I met the principal, and she was so nice. She put out her hand for me to shake, and I bowed. Then she gave me a big hug and told me I was so beautiful. I gave her the gift I brought from home. It was a box of chocolate pralines from Lammes in Austin. She seemed to really like the gift. Then, my co-teacher made some coffee, and we all sat at her table and I listened to them talk in Korean while gesturing to me for about 15 minutes. Every once in awhile my co-teacher would translate. The principal wanted to know how I liked my apartment, and she expressed how much she really liked me, so that’s awesome!
After that, I was shown around the school. It’s really big! I went with my co-teacher into the 5th grade planning office and met many teachers there. I listened to them talk in Korean for about a half hour. A few times they would point at me, and I never got told what they were saying so it felt really awkward. I just kept on smiling! Then my co-teacher showed me our office and my desk/computer. Everything seemed really great.
I also met the vice principal, a man who can speak a little English. I also gave him some of the chocolate praline candy from back home. He seemed happy to meet me, but not as excited as the principal. It went well though.
After spending a couple hours at school, my co-teacher brought me to lunch with some other teachers. It was a traditional Korean noodle restaurant. I was so nervous! I’ve had a few traditional meals here in Korea, but always with other foreigners. It was really good though. I was embarrassed at first at my horrible chop sticks skills, but they got better and I guess I was so focused I didn’t mess it up too bad. They brought out some sweet peppers with chili sauce first, and of course kimchi. Then we got some steamed dumplings that were SO good. After that they brought the giant bowls of noodles. It seemed to be in a sort of cream sauce broth. My co-teacher later told me that these noodles are very unhealthy, but they were really good. I successfully ate my noodles with the chopsticks. Everyone was slurping a lot, but mine splashed a few times all over me…I don’t know if they noticed. But I think I mastered the non-messy slurp by the end. The only thing that was hard was sitting there for an hour with no idea what they were saying, but it was still a great experience.
After lunch, we went to the immigration office to apply for my Alien Registration Card. That was boring so I won’t say anything about it.
So, I just realized today is Leap Day! I’m going to attempt to take the bus to the subway station and then into downtown Daegu to meet with some people. I’m scared. Wish me luck!