Training in Seoul
27.09.2010 - 27.10.2010
It has been a long couple of days what with traveling to Seoul so shortly after arriving in Busan. Originally I wasn't too keen on finding my way to Seoul by myself, since I was pretty much handed a train ticket, and a subway map, and was left to figure out the rest on my own. While there were some difficult situations that arose, I overall had an amazing time!
My first impression of Seoul was not too great, it was actually that first time I have felt really upset since I got here. I got off the train relieved that I made it to Seoul, it was at this point that I had to find the subway station, and if I could speak Korean this would have been simple, but my small vocabulary of thank you, good bye, and soup were not helpful in this situation. While searching outside for the station, I had a nice little encounter with a homeless man who would not leave me alone despite saying no and walking away. He kept grabbing my arms and wouldn't let me go, an english lady told him to stop but he didn't seem to care what she thought so he continued to harass me, later grabbing my neck. Needless to say I was a little shocked by this, but I was on a mission so I continued on my way. A nice Korean military man saw me looking lost and confused and he helped me buy some tickets and did his best to explain the subway system. It is actually pretty amazing how two people who cannot speak many similar words can interact with extremely basic English and lots of pointing and hand movements. I don't think it is easy to imagine without being thrown into a place where your weakest form of communication is speech, therefore forcing you to be creative. I eventually made it to training, an hour and a half late, but in one piece.
The teaching training program (TTP) was pretty good. it was a lot of in class learning, Since my school is pretty structured in what we have to teach the kids, this course explains all of our material to us and we have to do a class practicum. The program will be helpful, but the greatest part was the people I met. New teachers from all of the YBM schools attended the training. The people were what really made the last couple of days. We spent a lot of our free time bar hoping and hanging out, it was a great way to experience my short time in Seoul. During one of our drinking nights I learnt that Korean convenience stores (GS25) make for amazing bars. You can actually just sit outside at patio tables drinking. A bottle of beer or soju is about $1 at the GS25, making for a cheap night.
Surprise, surprise, YBM put me in a love motel while I was in Seoul. Thankfully it was much cleaner and I had some TTP friends staying there as well. Though it was a super nice hotel, the fact that you can rent the room by the hour really disturbed me, the owner wouldn't even let us leave our bags there, he said we had to check out every morning so that he could rent it out during the day, lovely. Since not sleeping was not an option I took precautionary measure to not directly touch anything, and when I did I always had purell handy.
Here are some pictures from my time in Seoul, there arent too many because of how much time was spent in the class, but I will definitely be going back for a TTP reunion.
Most of the TTP Gang
Me, Lisa, & Carly
I think Hyundai should bring these trucks to Canada!
Cool bar in Seoul
Anyways that is all for now. Things are crazy here and it is hard to get to a computer especially now that I have my own place that doesn't have the internet. I will try to update again soon with more pictures.
Miss everyone lots!