Sunday, February 28, 2010

Finally Arriving at Pohang, South Korea

Song of the Moment: "Ave Maria" - Beyonce

3 plane changes, 25 hours of continuous flying, a 5 hour bus ride and a 13 hour time difference later...I have finally made it to South Korea. It's hard to believe that today is actually here. I've been planning on coming here ever since I graduated from high school and now i'm here. Freaking wow.

Well let me catch you up to how I actually got to Pohang. It's a doosy so get ready.

The past few weeks have been spent with my family in Indianapolis and the goodbye to them was tough. I knew I would lose it in the airport and not be able to get on my plane if I didn't keep it together so I thought of the first funny thing that popped into my head and just kept replaying it. That funny thing happened to be the "King Burger" commercial from YouTube. If you haven't seen it you need to. Hilarity will ensue. My mom and sister love that video and love my rendition of it even more. With that playing in my head I was able to focus on the humor of "Bonquiqui" and not the fact that I wouldn't see my family for the better part of a year. Yup. Tearing up just thinking about it.

After leaving Indy we get to Chicago. We leave Chicago but at the last minute they tell us that they can't fit 50% of the carryons on the actual plane so we will have to pick them up from baggage. They didn't care if we had an existing connecting flight. Sweethearts. So when we landed in San Francisco I had to leave security, search down my bags, go BACK through security and find where the hell the international part of the airport to go to. If you have never been to San Francisco it seems like there are international everythings. It's definately safe to say it took me a hot minute to find my gate and get ready for my supposedly 13 hour flight. I say supposedly because that flight turned into an almost 17 hour flight because of stupid weather. Don't you just love mother nature?

Oh and let me just say, if you have a choice if and when you ever travel to Korea you have to travel Singapore Airlines. It was freaking amazing. Yes the seats were cramped and yes everything smelled like stale...well airline...but there were televisions in the back of every single seat in front of you so you could watch whatever you wanted during the flight. Screw the inflight movie. Also, if any of you have ever seen Wedding Singer this next part is for you. I sit down and immediately am given a hot towel. I have never in my life been given a hot towel when getting on an airplane so I didn't really know what the hell to do. I pulled an Adam Sandler and watched the rest of the passengers wipe their hands and face and did the same. Yes I know that copying is wrong but what else was I supposed to do? Also..they give you these weird yellow socks. Apparantly they help you enjoy the flight experience better. Who knew.

Finally arriving in Pohang (which was an hour late) and getting through customs (that took forever)...I go out to the meeting place and look for my sign from Mr. Kim. There was no sign for Jennifer Comer. No Mr.Kim. Awesome. I finally get in touch with the current tennant of my apartment and after alot of texting and calling on her part gets in touch with my school. Mr. Kim comes back to the airport and pushes me (yes, literally pushes me) down the street to a bus. I think they forgot about the 5 hour bus ride that I would have to take to the school. That was interesting to say the least.

So..that's the abridged cliffs note version of the adventure from Indianapolis to Korea. It's 3:30AM and I am sitting here typing instead of sleeping because i'm not tired. I'm sure it'll take time to get used to the time difference but right now i want instant gratification so down the hatch the sleeping pills go. We'll see.

I have a good feeling about it here. Everything and everyone is so small but they are so polite and helpful that I think I will do just fine. I kind of have to do just fine since I signed a contract for a year. Fingers crossed everyone.

If i don't already have your address send it my way if you want post cards or Korean goodies.

That's it for now. Be on the lookout for my first in Korea. There are going to be many.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mr.Miagi and the Karate Kid

Song of the moment: "Haven't Met You Yet" - Michael Buble
Person shoutout: Thank you Chilis kids for making my last week one to remember.

Quick recap since the last update: I drove to Chicago for my final Visa interview. Yes I got lost (shocking I know) and yes I got the finger (more than once) but the big thing was that I did it all by myself. I drove the 4 hours there and 4 hours back for a 20 minute interview. Clearly it was totally necessary. When I was finally called in for the interview, imagine my surprise to have the interviewer be Mr.Miagi from the Karate Kid. Okay maybe he wasn't the ACTUAL Mr.Miagi but he was the spitting image. He didn't speak very much English and during the interview asked me to describe myself and to tell him where I was from. I told him "I am a very outgoing girl who is from Indiana." He heard, "I am a little spunky cowgirl." Oh those Koreans. Apparantly he likes spunky cowgirls because he approved my Visa. Solid.

My trip to Korea is finally set in motion. I have my plane ticket. I have my apartment waiting for me in Pohang. I have my students waiting for me in their classrooms. I have the little bit of Korean language that I know repeating itself over and over again in my head. I'm prepared for the move...but i'm not ready to leave. Not yet.

I am finally getting things packed and ready. My apartment is filled with boxes and filled with lists of things I need. It doesn't seem real. Sometimes it doesn't hit me that in a few short weeks I will be moving to the other side of the world where there is not a single person that I know around me. I knew it would be tough to say goodbye when I left but I think I underestimated just how tough it would be. I thrive off of my friends and family and I know to not have them near me will be the toughest part for me.

Well there's no turning back now. The plans are in motion for me to go and hopefully have the experience of a lifetime. Hopefully this blog can explain the ridiculous journey i'm about to undertake. I hope i'm not as crazy as people say I am for going around the world to teach English to children I don't know and can't understand without an interpreter. I guess i'll know in a few weeks if they are right. I hope they're wrong.