John and I survived our first week and a half! It has definitely been a roller coaster ride, full of different emotions. I think in just one week alone, we have experienced every possible emotion from happiness, sadness, excitement, fear, anxiety, apprehension, joy, etc. I honestly wouldn’t expect anything less though. Moving to a new country and surrounding yourself in a whole new culture is difficult. It is also very rewarding because you get to see just how other people live their daily lives.
Walking along our neighborhood trail!
We trained for our new teaching positions last week. Training went well, though it was a little nerve-wracking on my first day, standing in front of a bunch of kids who expect you to teach them something! I will be teaching elementary students and John will be teaching both elementary and middle. We are teaching at Hagwons. In Korea, education is very competitive and parents will do anything they can to get their kids ahead. Children will go to school during normal hours, like in the States, but afterwards, their schedules are filled with different Academies. Some examples of different Academies are Math Academies, Piano Academies, or most commonly, English Academies (also known as Hagwons). Since Hagwons are after school, our teaching schedules start at 3:00 pm in the afternoon and end at 10:00 pm. It has been interesting to see young children leave school at 10:00 pm and head home. These kids are so smart and work so hard. Teaching English here will have its learning curves, but I think we will catch the swing of it within a few weeks! Our first days in our own classes start tomorrow.
People love their smartphones here – Everyone has a smartphone, even the kids!
We experienced a doctor in Korea last week. John has had a dull stomach pain for a few months now and when we were in the United States, he went and had an endoscopy done. The doctors found an ulcer in his esophagus and gave him some medications for treatment. On the meds, John still complained of slight pain, but brushed it off thinking it just might be the ulcer. When we got to Korea, the nerves of being in a new country kicked in, and John’s pain intensified. With this happening, we decided to go to a doctor here. We were afraid of the cost since we don’t have insurance yet (we get it within a month through our teaching jobs), but we decided that it wasn’t worth the risk of waiting. We found a doctor a block away from our apartment. When we stepped foot into the office, we were immediately taken care of and the environment was clean and nice! The nurses/assistants asked us for our insurance and we let them know we had none. Luckily, they let us know that it was okay and they just took our basic info. Afterward, they immediately sent John into the doctor’s office to speak with the doctor himself. The doctor spoke English and took his time speaking with John to make sure all of his questions were answered. Afterward, he took a blood test, urine sample and did a chest x-ray, to see what might be causing the pain. Within less than an hour, the results were ready! John had nothing serious wrong with him. The doctor said it might be muscle spasms or he might have a teeny-tiny hairline fracture on a rib, since his pain is away from his ulcer site, but his X-ray and tests came back clear. It is funny because after that diagnosis, his pain has gotten a lot better! For all the tests, the visit, the speedy results, and no insurance, we paid $84 usd! I can’t even imagine how much that would have been in the States and with insurance!! It is nice to know we have a doctor here!
After the doctor, John and I went to a korean restaurant and had a soup called “Samgyetang” for lunch. It is an amazing chicken soup and great for when you feel sick! – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samgyetang
The rest of the week we spent tasting more new food and trying to explore more! We also got the hang of grocery shopping and riding the subway. This post is getting a little too long so I will leave it at that, but will share some more pictures below! When John and I finish getting our apartment together, I’ll get pictures of it up as well!
Till the next post.. 🙂
The walking/biking trail that is behind our apartment. It is monsoon season right now so all the plants are full of life!
There are some things that always stay the same, no matter where you might be in the world lol.
Exploring Gangnam, a district of Seoul, and the area where my sister lives. Korea takes a lot of pride in landscaping and art! They also love a lot of American favorites, like Dunkin, which is great for me! p.s. I love the expression on the Korean who photo-bombed the photo of John and the Gangnam sign!
Food, Gelato, and more food! We walk A LOT here, which hopefully balances out what we eat! I try to choose healthy though!
I’ll leave this post off with this precious moment that happened today! Pom Love ❤
Good night, or Good morning (however you may look at it!)