March 5, 2012

Host Moms Everywhere

I literally feel like Korea is filled with host moms everywhere I go there is a middle aged Korean woman looking out for me. At school, at home and now at Caffe Bene the coffee shop I often visit.

You should know that it's pretty much the craziest thing in the world to see a Korean woman out in the rain without an umbrella. Maybe they're all witches and will melt in the rain, who knows. All I know is that it doesn't happen. I've assimilated to this aspect of their culture but since I "lost" my umbrella in Seoul (I was tired of carrying it around so I left it at my favorite Mexican restaurant) I have been either borrowing one from my host family or adventuring out without it. My host mom has gone so far as to instruct me to call her if I'm at school and it's raining and I don't have an umbrella. I would obviously never do that but I want to stress the umbrella thing.

So I was super bored in school today and decided to actually adhere to the only have to stay in school for 6 hours a day rule. Unfortunately for me it was raining, but no big deal, I put my hood up and walked to Caffe Bene. Upon entering the coffee shop owner who recognizes me (not hard, I go there like three times a week and I'm the only white girl there, ever.) starts scolding me for not having an umbrella, goes back and gets me her umbrella and then gets a handful of napkins and wiping me down. not giving me the napkins but like rubbing all over my coat. Was it out of fear of getting her restaurant wet? Probably not since it was only drizzling. What is most heartwarming is that she is letting me borrow her umbrella, I only hope it stops raining before I head home so I don't have to actually take it with me!!!

Thanks to the ajummas everywhere lookin' out for me.

PS read this story: The K-Pop wave is leaving the East and heading West! Watch out America!

March 3, 2012

Back in Cheongju

Well, it's been an eventful few hours back in Cheongju. Let's start with what's going on in my school.

Jihyea and Mina are no longer English teachers at Namsung :( Jihyea's school was switched at the last second and Mina has become a homeroom teacher for 3rd grade (which is ironic because she hated teaching third grade but... we'll see). Her pregnancy is coming along nicely and she looks beautiful! I'm glad she's staying at Namsung so I can see her around. It was really sad coming back and seeing Jihyea's desk empty though *sob sob*

Don't worry preggers still works here.

Mirim and I met the new English teachers. My new official co-teacher's name is KyeongAh and the other teacher is Sunhi. KyeongAh seems really great, she's 36 and I only met Sunhi very briefly so we'll see how that turns out. We also have a new principal who is the head of a teacher's rights organization so that should be good for the teachers at Namsung. We have a lot of new faces actually, about ten new teachers. I don't usually hang out with them so that probably won't change anything.

Host mom and Sol have been in China for the last week which is sort of scary for me because host mom definitely doesn't know English and she doesn't know Chinese either. I think they went on some sort of tour or with a group of friends. It's just been me, brohan and host dad around so I've been going to coffee shops. Also, someone broke into the three houses across the street last night at 10pm... which host dad laughed at... he's number one on my suspects list. But I guess the robber broke through a window and stole clothes and shoes. I seriously don't understand how it went down because it was only 10 so I'm sure people were still awake and they don't have guns in korea so... yeah.

I spent today with two ETAs in Cheongju. Izumi and my old roommate Ekatarina. Ekat spent the break in Russia with her grandparents (her grandpa is on new blood medication or something?) and Izumi was in Seoul too so I saw him a couple times there. We went and saw "This Means War" and then to a coffee shop then to dinner. It was nice to see them and hopefully I'll hang out more with the Cheongju ETAs this semester.

I don't know my new schedule but I was told I will be teaching 3rd and 6th grade. I'll let you know later!