odds and ends

4 Things in Korea I Will Never Get Used To

I've officially entered my third year teaching in South Korea.  I'm settled into my new apartment and have already started teaching at my new elementary school.  It's a challenging and exciting time.  On the same token, it causes me to reflect on all my experiences since I started.  From body-altering judo injuries, to eating dog soup (yes I did it!), to meeting the wrath of ajummas getting on the subways.

As I reflect, I recount the things that I grew accustomed to, learned to accept, and also those things that just won't get through to me.  The things I will NEVER get used to.

Cats on Leashes

4 Things in Korea I Will Never Get Used To

I’ve officially entered my third year teaching in South Korea.  I’m settled into my new apartment and have already started teaching at my new elementary school.  It’s a challenging and exciting time.  On the same token, it causes me to reflect on all my experiences since I started.  From body-altering judo injuries, to eating dog soup (yes I did it!), to meeting the wrath of ajummas getting on the subways.

As I reflect, I recount the things that I grew accustomed to, learned to accept, and also those things that just won’t get through to me.  The things I will NEVER get used to.


The Mighty Korean School Computer

All you have to do is ask around to teachers in Korea about their computer situation and you'll likely get the same answer.  They're BEAT!  I was not left out of this either.  For 4-5 months of my first year I sat in the back of the classroom to use the even older computers to check email and whatnot because the one at my desk was shot.  That meant I couldn't do anything for lessons other than worksheets.


If you know about teaching English in Korea you'll know that the sight of more paperwork to a student is like Kryptonite. 


So this was a frustrating time for me in the classroom.  My school finally swapped out the dead PC for another computer and it seemed to be working fine until about the end of last semester - around December 2012.  It started moving at a snail's pace and I pretty much couldn't do a dag nabbit thing with it.  A simple task like playing an MP3 was too much for it.

It's That Time of the Year Again

Namhang Market near my home
Even though Thanksgiving hasn't actually made it our way yet officially, there's no mistaking the fact that Korea is already preparing for Christmas.  The main streets near my neighborhood, the streets in Nampo-dong, and even stores selling only Christmas decorations are already alive and kicking.

Is Facial Hair OK in Korea?

Behold...Real K-Pop

I am not a big fan of K-pop music.  I think it sounds great and all but it's for the youngins, not ajushis like me!  I know about many of the groups and popular songs though because I'm bombarded each day by my students asking to play it over my loudspeakers.  As we all know so well, escaping the death grip of Gangnam style is impossible.  I really like the song.  In fact, it was the first song I actually really liked since coming to Korea.  The video is the best part.  The elevator scene cracks me up every time. 

However, it wasn't until recently when playing a K-pop game (K-pop Slam, I think) I downloaded from Waygook.org that I found out what has now become the single greatest K-pop song ever produced.  It's a bit of a sleeper, not a chart topper or anything like that.  I won't say anything about it, just watch in amazement.  I think it'll become your favorite too.

Taejongdae Park (태종대공원) in Busan

Taejongdae lighthouse scene
Taejongdae Park is located not far from my neighborhood in Yeongdo-gu, Busan - an island right off the tip of Busan next to Nampo-dong shopping district.  Yeoungdo is home

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