Monday, April 13, 2009

괜잖아 질까요

Two Sundays ago I was somewhat bored so I decided to explore Gimcheon on my own. I think I took a bad route cus I mainly went along the highway, which was pretty desolate and never connected to the main part of town. I did eventually find my way to Gimcheon College though, which was interesting. And there were a couple good sights.

My town and school has many cherry blossom trees!

Last weekend I went to Busan. I met a cool korean woman and we stayed up all night on Friday exploring 헤운데 beach and another beach. The Diamond Bridge was really cool at night. I got to eat some mexican food (ITS SO HARD TO FIND IN KOREA) and we explored the 헤운데 area, which is popular among tourists and among Koreans.

On Saturday, I met up with American friends having got no sleep. We went to the aquarium near the beach and had Indian food. Then we went downtown and explored a bit before making our way to 부산 tower. I wanted to meet up with my friend Emmy for dinner, but due to some faulty communications we only got to meet for five minutes before parting ways. On Saturday night I stayed at a 찜질방 for 6,000 Won ($4.50). Pretty good deal considering I got to shower, hot tub, sauna, and sleep for that one price.

The view from Busan Tower. The city stretches far in every direction and on the other side is the bay to the Sea of Japan. On the mountains in the background, many refugees lived during the Korean War. At one point in the war, almost all of Korea had been taken over by the north except for Busan... so it was the best place for refugees.

On Sunday I went exploring on my own in some of the markets in downtown and got to experience shopping for counterfeit products and haggling over prices in Korean. Sometimes I was a little nervous though because I'm not sure about the quality of the products, or if it is sincere when the products say "Made in Korea." I got a few things, but I don't want to say what they are cus I want to send them home to family. I also want to get some of my fellow teachers to help me pick out things to send home. Then my korean friend took me to Shinsegae department store, which is supposed to be the best one in Korea (she may be biased cus she's from Busan). I got a swimsuit, which I desperately needed cus I want to go to some beaches when it gets just a touch warmer. Also, I got some takoyaki, which is my favorite street vender food in Korea. Its a Japanese dish made from cuttlefish, dough, and onions. They fry it in balls on top of the stove like Aeblskiver and then serve it with a hot sauce and mayo on top.

Next week the Principal, Vice Principal, and lots of other teachers and senior teachers will be sitting in on a class that I am teaching with my main (and favorite) co-teacher. She is really nervous and wants to put together the perfect lesson. So at the end of last week we brainstormed a bit and then today we put a lot of work into it over dinner and coffee. I feel really good about it... but she is putting in a lot of extra work and I fear that she is stressing herself out too much over it. But she is a new teacher and will be working at this school for the next 35 years, so she really wants to make a good impression.

Last Thursday, 정민채 was really sick and had to go to the doctor, who told her not to work for a week. So she comes in on Friday anyways, even though she looked like she would rather be dead. She fainted during her class and had to go the hospital. She looked much better at work today, but I am really worried that she is pushing herself too hard. This first month or two of school has been really hard on the young teachers because they are not used to working so hard and they have to create alot more material and work harder than the experienced teachers. I wish she would have stayed home to rest. Today she thanked me for my concern, because she could tell from my text messages that I was really worried about her. To be honest, I'm still a bit worried about her -_-oo

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