The “Wait, how did I get here, where am I?” moments have finally hit. I realize that having the double X chromosome ensures uber-sensitivity is a given and will happen throughout my life, but this has definitely surprassed all prior experience.

It has also become rapidly apparent to me that teaching, though fun at times, is definitely not something I want to do for the rest of my life. I had already suspected this.  The kids are adorable but to work with them for 8 hours a day would require the personality of a cartoon character. Luckily, I don’t do the 8 hours a day thing here or I honestly don’t know if I could last.

One of my recent teaching discoveries/faux pas occurred yesterday. Growing up my mother taught me quite the file folder of fun little kid songs and I thought I’d pull out an old tried and true favorite, “We’re going on a Lion Hunt” as a fun end to the final 10 minutes of my 8-9 year old class.  Somehow, logic took a vacation that day, and caused me to forget the oh so obvious fact that even a song meant for wee folk contains a LOT of ENGLISH WORDS…  and the requirement to sing those words in a little rhyming row also requires some ability to speedily recite them.

This does not work for kids who, though incredibly smart, are not used to slinging out whole sentences in rapid fashion. I tried slowing the song down…  and this is what it sounded like:

Me: “We’re going on a Lion Hunt”

Kids: “Wa gogggil ona lishoahugaaa”

Me: (trying not to laugh) But I’m not afraid!”

Kids: “Bag amm nolafraaaadididi!”

We then resorted to 6 rounds of hang-man.

Teaching experiences aside, I also took a trip to Seoul two Saturdays ago to meet up with Zach Bardon and some of his friends. This required my first trip on the Subway and use of my “T-Money” which is the little card you purchase and hang from your cell or wallet or object of your choice, and then charge as need be. Almost everyone here (including the kids) have little knick knacks hanging from their cell phones and before my introduction to the T-Money I thought it was just a trendy thing to do. I now have one with little Korean depictions of bugs and monsters… seemed appropriate? Ha…

The subway is vast and confusing and the map looks like a squished caterpillar bearing names in gibberish. I am confident I would never have located Zach or his friends had Amy not offered to go with me on my trip in as she wanted to stop by a temple . We also visited a bookstore within the Subway and to my joy I found an “English” book section and proceeded to purchase no less than 7 books. Amy kept wandering off and then coming back to laugh at the ever-increasing pile within my arms. She doesn’t understand why I like reading. Actually almost no one here seems to understand why I like reading. Perhaps that has something to do with the ridiculous amounts of studying they are all forced to do as child.

Anyhow, back to Seoul. Seoul is intense. Imagine a small patch of land, covered with various cement buildings containing stores that house EVERY type of food and anything purchase worthy. Then imagine helicopters carrying bins of giant neon lighting and signs have flown over the city and dropped their contents across this area. And to top off that overdose of imagery, you are jostled on side to side as your head struggles to takes it all in, because there are more people than sidewalk (or so it would seem).  OH and in your imaginative wanderings take note that your senses should be going into overdrive as you will constantly be smelling, seeing, hearing and bumping into/being bumped into. And that… is Seoul.

I suppose I also ought to mention that I took my first “hike” on a mountain this past Saturday. I’ve also forgotten the name so you probably shouldn’t ask. The hike itself was somewhat steep but definitely do-able and the funniest part was that at the top we found exercise equipment. So should the hike prove to be an insufficient workout you could then proceed to lift weights, do sit ups, pull ups or any other number of things to ensure every single previously unused muscle in your body would ache the next day.

And the outdoor exercise equipment is actually a common thing here. The park I walk through every day has a whole row of equipment, including an eliptical machine. So instead of paying for a gym membership, you can just saunter on down to the park and have yourself a sweaty old time. It’s pretty convenient and obviously much cheaper.

While trekking back down the mountain we also came across a man attempting to catch a small but poisonous snake. I’m not really sure why though my co-workers surmised it may have been for eating or selling purposes. I managed to catch a bit of it on video and finally figured out how to post it on the blog. (It should now be the post before this one).

I could say more (especially concerning Korean food) but I think I’ll save it for another post.  As far as pictures go, I’ve uploaded some to facebook and originally planned to post them here as well, but in the interest of what is easiest, I’ll just provide a link to those pictures and you can peruse them at your convenience.  😉

*If the link below does not work, let me know and I’ll figure something else out)