Sunday, June 12, 2011

No U Turns???

I will miss both so much... Skip and my Kinder class!

Today I was reminded why some Koreans are so completely and utterly illogical. Not all of them obviously but a lot of them. So, I left Skip's apartment Sunday afternoon and walked out to the street to hail a cab (hailing a cab means waving your hand downwards, low by your side… I don't understand how this makes sense because it's hard to see your hand when it's not raised up. I've definitely gotten yelled at by Koreans if I wave my hand upward). After 15 minutes of waiting, I finally got a cab. I got in and gave him my destination. The way I was going meant that the cab driver would have to drive to the next light and do a U turn… not a big deal, right!? In Korea, that is a very big deal. You've got to be going the direction they're going, or cross the road. When he realized he would need to turn around, he made a bunch of hand gestures, spoke a bunch of Korean and made me get out. I picked up a few words that he said and realized he wanted me to cross the street so he could pick me up on the other side. Did I hear this correctly? WOW! Well, I crossed the street and sure enough, a few moments later he was turned around and right there to get me. He could have made more money by taking me with him when he went up the street to do the U turn.. whatever. He probably saved me a quarter haha. Silly silly Korean ways!

The weeks are long but there aren't many left. This new schedule is not as bad as I thought it would be. I teach from 10 am to 6:20 with no breaks. I take that back… I have three 10 minute breaks and one five minute break. During those breaks I have to write my student evaluations (after every class I write a 3-5 sentence evaluations about each student). They are hardly breaks. I have a 20 minute lunch but I have to help the kids.. I quickly shovel in some food and then I run upstairs to write my evaluations. Occasionally I have time to get a cup of very strong, much needed coffee. I am trying to enjoy these last few weeks as much as I can. I am going to miss all my students, especially my babies. My kinder class is progressing so much. I've even got a few extra. It started with two back in February when they were pre- K (Jen and Jenny), now I have seven. I have named the last three students… Hailey, Jayden and Eric. It's funny when you name a student because you don't want to name them something that you would want to name your own child but you want to name them something you like and something you think them and their parents will like. It's an interesting concept indeed.

Only three more weeks and I'll be back in America. My stories are not quite over though. I've got one more big adventure left… my journey home. Since I have a 19 hour layover in Tokyo, I thought I might as well make the best of it and venture out as far as I can and as comfortably as I can in that amount of time. I will arrive in Tokyo at 3:55 p.m. on July 3rd. I've got till 11 am the next morning to cruz Tokyo. I made a reservation at the Holiday Inn near Narita airport. A shuttle bus will pick me and my years worth of luggage right outside the airport and take me to the hotel. The hotel offers a shuttle bus that will take you on a tour through the city. I plan on freshening up and taking the bus into town and hopefully enjoying a nice Japanese meal on my last night in Asia. I will be able to get a good nights rest and a shower before I sit on the plane back to the USA for 13 plus hours. I'll eat my complimentary breakfast at the hotel, shuttle back over to Narita, check in all my crap and board the plane back to America at 11 a.m. I like to plan ahead… way ahead, especially when it comes to traveling. I get so so nervous when I travel. Oh, I can't wait to be home and see my family!

Korean Facts/ Randomness:

In Korea, if you are younger than the people you are around, you are their "oni"- big sister. Your job is to take care of them and pretty much cater to their every need. In America, if you are older, you often take care of the person who is younger.
-Silly Korean ways… a waste of shoes is what I call it. At my gym you have to wear a different pair of shoes that you wore in. If you have to go to the bathroom during the time that you're at the gym, you have to put on a special pair of gym shoes that go over your tennis shoes… not the ones you wore in, the ones you changed into. These shoes are huge… after all, they fit over large tennis shoes. In the 45 minutes that I am at the gym, I wear three different pairs of shoes.. four if I take a shower. WHY!? UGH!

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