Saturday, April 11, 2009

6 months in Korea

Many hats make a party!

We have reached our first major milestone in Korea!

We feel this is quite an achievement: our first few months in Korea were quite tough and there were quite a few instances where we wanted to throw in the towel...but here we are halfway through our 1 year contract and we're doing surprisingly well! So well, in fact, that we might just stay another year! This is of course not to say that we are absolutely ecstatic and feel like Korea is our new home (not at all in fact!) but life here has taken on a comfortable routine and we have got used to many of the bizarre aspects of life in Korea! We keep reminding ourselves that we are MILLIONAIRES every month anew... and that our jobs in Korea are opening up many opportunities to us that we would otherwise not have. Who else can say that they have actually eaten REAL Kimchi? Who else can say that they've been to a REAL noraebang? Who else can say that they have to change their shoes at school AND at the gym!

Anyway, the point is we are getting on just fine. The 'injection' of new foreign teachers into Sangju has also been fun...we had an AMAZING party to celebrate our 6 month anniversary with Korea last weekend. Our little apartmnet was full to the brim with people speaking English, eating, drinking and having a good time, it was quite something: the first real house party we've had in Sangju!

Our NET (Native English Teacher) numbers have more than doubled over the last two months. When Jules and I first arrived in this little city, we were only 7 public school native teachers in total. There were some other hagwon (academy) teachers around but we felt rather isolated, to say the least. Anyway, so in the last few weeks our numbers have increased to about 20! Yiipppeee! More friends, and more importantly, we can now start CHOOSING our frieds - and not just be friends by default, what a luxury (Do you realise how ridiculouc that is??)

Another plus of having all these new teachers around is that, as Jules puts it, we have now 'graduated' from being 'newbies' to being 'oldies': quite a pleasant feeling. We are now the ones dishing out advice and coming up with phrases like 'don't worry about x you'll get used to it' 'oh, really? that happened? oh well, that's Korea for you!'

So here are some pics of our highly successful "6 Months in Korea Hat Party"...some of you might recodnise them from facebook but here they are anyway. (We told our friends that hat parties are a South African's ridiculous what lies one can get away with in the name of culture and cultural exchange :))

James and Barbara: our first ever friends in Sangju - very special people and without them we'd have felt even more lost and lonely

Jess and Nawaal: Nawaal is one of the new teachers. She's from Cape Town, yeyyy! Some more South Africans!! She's a sweeties and hass the cape accent down to a tee....'takes me home' everytime I hear it!

Devon, Jess and Kimberly. Devon's been here a month longer than us. She's from the US and we've had some good times with her. Kim's also from the US and is a newbie. The two of them have the real 'gift of the gab' (is it a gift???) and can talk the hindleg off many a donkey - they make me seem like a very quiet littel mouse!

Kelsey, Barbara and Jules. Kelsey is also new and can also talk (no surprsie then...she's also American)! She's quite a character: she studied fashion design but it was wearing her out (funny one!) so she's come to Korea...won't be long til the Koreans wear her out!!

Brad, Jules and Kelsey. (Told you she's a nutter!) anyway, Brad is an old faithful and has just finished his first contract. He's just gone home for his 2 weeks vacation and is coming back for more!

Jules and Devon...these two have that funny love-hate relationship...

The night would've not been complete without a visit to the noraebang (singing room). We traipsed off to 'World Cup' noraebang, one of our favourites in town - we are friendly with the son of the owner who turns out to be involved with the Korean mafia...and they have cool wigs and masks!
A great time was had by all...with loads of beer and loads of singing: on and off key!! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

No comments: