Settling In

We have now been in Korea for a few days and gotten one day of orientation at school. They have been going over different aspects of cultural adjustment, expectations, they gave us laptops and so forth. During one of our breaks we learned that we are not the only ones who are still dealing with jet lag as many of the teachers are waking up at 3 am and struggling to get back to sleep. We also found out that one of the other teaching couples who brought their cat had to pay $300 to get someone to get the cat out because the courier company they hired in California and paid ($1100) messed up. The cat ended up spending an extra 12 hours in the airport. Talk about stressing the cat out. Everyone who brought pets has said their pets are sleeping a ton, this makes me worry a little less that Olive seems to be non stop sleeping.

The apartment they put us in is nice, it is smaller than what we had but still seems large enough. It has a bathtub and a nice big fridge. The heating is done by water pipes in the floor. And while it is hot in Seoul right now we have not been able to figure out how our heating system works and have managed to create an oven of our apartment a few times. I’m sure once it is actually cold this will be nice and toasty but until then we are struggling to figure out how to work it and have had the AC on at the same time.
The apartment is located about 5 minutes from school and in what seems like a nice little neighborhood. There is a main drag a few blocks away that has a bunch of coffee houses, restaurants and small grocery stores. So far Caitlin and I managed to order dumplings to go. They were delicious but when we looked up to the menu to order I realized that there were no pictures and I could not read any of the words. So I went with the point number and English combo. This worked but it made me realize that I really need to work on some functional Korean. Many people here speak some English but I don’t want to be that person. So I am setting a few words a week goal for myself along with the alphabet for the first week and then I’m going to try to build upon that. In addition to that the school took us to a Korean BBQ restaurant last night which was delicious. In addition to the food being good I realized that I am missing much of the cultural knowledge. We sat on the floor in fours and a huge array of vegetables in little bowls was around us which were used to wrap up the meat and eat it. I am sure I committed multiple fopas on how I was supposed to eat it but at this point I am clueless what they are so I am just rolling with it. It is currently 5 in the morning here and I am going to try to fall back asleep as I have been in and out of sleep since 1am.
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