Thursday, 25 February 2010

Just before I move to Incheon


Just a quick blog to say that I've found out where I'll be teaching! - this is the website of the school. It's all in Korean, but just click around randomly like I did until you find some pictures. If you copy and paste 명현중학교 or 37.530965,126.712961 into google maps you can see where my school will be :)

It's a middle school, so I think I'll be teaching 13 (Ryan's age)-15 year-olds. As I put that as my first choice, I'm pretty chuffed with that.

Anyway, got to pack - I'm meeting my co-teacher and moving into my apartment tomorrow!

p.s. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get the internet in my apartment - it could be tomorrow, it could be next week sometime - but I might try and get to an internet cafe seeing as they have one on every corner. Seriously, I've seen more PCthan actual cafe's and convenience stores put together. There's a lot of churches too, but I'll get on to that later ;)

Monday, 22 February 2010

Folk Village day

Just come back from a meat ball, rice, and fried chicken (mostly bones) lunch, so I thought I'd write on here about yesterday.

Went to a Korean folk village first (which you can find at this website: and it was completely different to what I expected. I thought it would be a small, dusty village with hut-type building's and we'd have to participate in drumming or clapping or something. It turns out that it was a proper tourist spot where there was all kinds of traditional Korean structures and traditions that we were shown by a microphoned up tour guide. We saw most of the place, but it was bigger than it looked and we had a time limit so we trekked back to the bus. But not before we had the best meal I've had over here so far! We were in the folk village restaurant where they had beef strips and vegetables with a kind of sauce boiling at the table we were at. Needless to say, it was amazing. By the way, on the picture is me, on the left; Denis, in the centre; and John, on the right at the village outside one of the buildings they have there.

There are other photos on my facebook page if you want to see those. (@Mum and Dad - Ask Ryan to show you my facebook page if you want to see them and I'll also send you some later).

Had SPAM for breakfast today, which was weird but, naturally, I filled half my plate with it.

OK, I'm off to find a bar that has a pool table.


Saturday, 20 February 2010


Firstly, thanks for the comments! It's evidence that people read my babbling :)

I woke up about an hour or so ago feeling wide awake! Shame it was something like 5:30am though. I'm pretty jet lagged to the extent that I started nodding off during the opening ceremony last night (oops...). I thought staying out late the first night would beat it, but I was very mistaken and I feel rough as you like. Even going out for a couple of beers yesterday didn't help! I'm starting to think that alcohol isn't a cure for jet lag, which I'm kind of gutted about because that began as a great excuse to sample the Seongnam-si bars.

Anyway, the ceremony last night was great. They had some famous Korean Taekwondo elementary school kids demonstrate their skills by breaking bits of wood and generally being as badass as it's possible for an 8 year-old to be.

After the ceremony, we had a buffet meal which had a ton of different Korean specialities. I was up for trying all kinds of stuff, but there was too much seafood to sample in one sitting and after I bit the head of the mini-octopus I called it quits and stuck to chicken. The octopus, by the way, tasted a bit like squid, except that it didn't really taste that seafoody and was very chewy, which was annoying because I wasn't crazy about the idea of keeping it my mouth for that long.

I've decided that learning the Korean language is going to be pretty much essential if I want to get anything done without getting stressed. The orientation I'm at is running Korean classes every night, so I'm going to have to be extra attentive in class and not fall asleep.

There's a field trip tomorrow to a 'Korean folk village' where there will be 'ceramics' for us to see... Bet you can't wait to hear about that one!

Friday, 19 February 2010


My first blog from South Korea!

Turned up at the airport, about as sheepish as it's possible for a human to be, but started shaking hands and chatting to some people and after an hour bus ride to Eulgi University got to know some of them pretty well :)

About 20 minutes after turning up at the Uni, I'd already had my first taste of Korean food - and, even for me, it's pretty spicy. Kimchi - a kind of 'spicy cabbage' - I can see myself getting used to. As it's as common as having chips with your meal back home, I'll certainly be having my share of it over the next 12 months.

Also, went to a few local bars with a ton of EPIK (English Program in Korea) teachers just like me last night and had an awesome time. The local beer 'Cass' (I think) is quite easy to drink and had a shot of Soju (the national drink), which tasted a lot like vodka but not nearly as strong. Everyone is really friendly, so I don't think it'll be a problem getting to know some people who'll be teaching near me, e.g. the Canadian guy I met last night :P

Anyway, I've got to go uncover the mysteries of breakfast now, so I'll keep you updated on how I manage that :P

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

This time tomorrow...

...I'll be in South Korea! I just about managed to fit all of my gear into one bag by sitting on it and zipping it up around me, which I was quite impressed with. I'm still worried about losing my luggage at the airport, but if it happens then I'll deal with it. Apparently deodorant is rare over there, so if I lose my luggage then the hunt for Lynx Africa will begin.

Well, time to eat a 'potato in its jacket' and put the last bits in my hand luggage...

Thursday, 11 February 2010

7 days..!

No, this isn't a homage to the movie 'The Ring'... It's how long I have left until I head off for South Korea!

Excited? 100%. I'm looking forward to seeing how I'm going to cope with everything from the little differences to living on my own. I mean, I've lived away before, but that's always been in dorms or in a student house with my mates.

Nervous? Only about the teaching part - I'm scared that I'm gonna be shit and then everyone will be like 'who hired this clown?'... I'll have to be careful not to over complicate things and listen to my co-teacher and hopefully I'll be OK. I'll be sure to post updates on how I manage it (or not, if that ends up being the case).

All that's left now is to pack... great.
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