Our Scary First Week in Korea

8 Aug

We arrived in Korea Sunday 20th May at about 11:30 am. We then briefly met our recruiter at Incheon airport who then put us on a bus to a place called Cheongju. This apparently cost 8,700 won each, which at the time meant absoloutly nothing to us. Tired and weary from travelling, which including the time difference had taken 24 hours. Tamsyn slept as I was taking in the sites of what would be our new home for the next 12 months. Incheon airport is on an island just off Korea connected by a massive bridge. The journey to Chengju was 2 and a half hours but not very scenic.

We were then met off the bus by representatives from each of our schools, mine including ; a Korean teacher, the foreign teacher i’m replacing, his girlfriend and the director of my school’s husband. Tamsyn’s consisted of just one Korean teacher from her school. We were then taken out for dinner and got told about life in Korea and what to expect in our new jobs. We were also told something our recruiter had failed to mention in our conversations over the phone. I would be living in a place called Cheongju, Tamsyn would be living in a place called Ochang, which is roughly a 15 minute car ride away. Not too bad except we plan to live together, which we made very clear to our recruiter who led us to believe our schools would only be 30 minutes walk from each other. So first day, first disaster. As Tamsyn is also working Kintergarden 10:30 – 12:30 Monday to Thursday and I don’t start work until 1:30 every day we decided to live in Ochang and I would take a taxi or bus to work.

When we arrived at the apartment further disasters awaited. Second disaster; the internet didn’t work and the man who could sort this out was away until the Tuesday. Third disaster; the toilet blocked but I won’t go into details about that.

Then to top it all off, we were also told we would be teaching a class solo as soon as possible. All I could think was “I have no idea what to do”, I’ll talk more about the teaching in a later entry, as I feel I’m ranting a lot and there is still A LOT more to complain about coming up.

So that’s basically how our life in Korea started, not the best but they say ‘things can only get better’.

Jonathan and Tamsyn.

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