Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Really, a month?

Today marks the day that I have officially been in South Korea for one month. When I'm experiencing something new it feels like just yesterday that I arrived, but then when I am proudly and comfortably teaching one of my 24 classes, navigating the subway (I actually gave subway directions this weekend), or easily scarfing down familiar Korean dishes with perfectly placed chop sticks in hand, it feels like I've been here much longer.

There are few things about the country and its culture that I am not head over heels in love with. One thing that I just can't seem to dismiss, though, are the intense group stares that I sometimes receive from the older population. Specifically, when I am walking down a familiar walking/bike path on my way to and from school, groups of literally 5+ older women lock eyes on me, not flinching nor changing their facial expressions, until I am out of site. I smile, nothing. I wave, nothing. I certainly cannot begin to understand the reasoning behind such actions, legitimate or not, but do know that it is far too much to handle early in the morning or after an entire day teaching. Any other time, patience can persevere.

So when I stumbled upon the 1000 Awesome Things Blog, a blog dedicated to documenting the moments that brighten out days, and read number 399, "Discovering a Shortcut Home," I grew inspired. Sure, the lure of the walking/biking path's trees, benches, street stands, and children on their way to school is enticing, but the stares...they were enough for me to set out in search for a new track. And what do you know, I found one via sidewalks and it is, indeed, shorter and I, indeed, get to cut through a parking lot (something the blog glorifies), which makes it feel even better. The walking/bike path and I will reunite very soon, I'm sure, but as of now, we are on a temporary break.

In other news, I finally purchased a rice cooker or Cuckoo. Operating it was a little difficult because all buttons are in Korean, but tonight I managed to successfully prepare some rice for dinner! It was a much needed treat after having a cold hot dog for lunch, the first school lunch that I have disliked and the first school lunch that has been even remotely "Western." The disappointment was a surprise to me since just yesterday, students told me that they had not liked the lunch, but they were excited for the food the next day. Guess I'm still just eager to indulge myself in mainly Korean food.

And I'm pretty sure I can eat as much of it as I want because next week I start yoga and a fellow Anyang resident has offered to sell me their bike that they no longer ride. SCORE! Everyday I think to myself: "I wish I had a bike, so that I could..." and now I will hopefully be able to say: "Now that I have a bike, I can..." :)

Beautiful Marigolds outside my school remind mm of home.
Happy autumn. The leaves here are beginning to change.   

No comments:

Post a Comment