Friday, February 4, 2011

First Impressions

 We have now been here for just over a week. So we wanted to share with all of you what we've seen, done, etc. since we first saw our apartment.

Where we live
We live in an apartment complex called the City of Angels in the downtown area of Bundang (pronounced Poon-Dong).  If you look at the Seoul subway map, we are at the Migeum subway stop which is located right outside of our apartment building.  Our apartment building has many different businesses located on five floors including:...
  • 4 coffee shops
  • 1 grocery store
  • 15+ restaurants
  • 2 medical clinics
  • 1 books store
  • 1 eye glass shop
  • 2 cell phone store
  • 1 internet cafe
  • 6 clothing
  • massage palor
  • 2 banks
  • as well as others that we probably forgot to mention 
 Food- Restaurants

We were told by our principal that Korea has the most restaurants per square mile and we were still shocked by how many there really are.  While wandering around, there is at least 1 restaurant every three stores or less (the malls are worse).  We aren't sure how all of them stay in business because there are so many.  We have found two styles of restaurants: those that have English and Korean writing and those only in Korean.  The one nice thing though is that most places have pictures for us to point at what food we want to eat. Sometimes the money amount is in English and others its not.  We have just found the rule of give them money and they'll give us correct  change.  The food is very cheap and we aren't sure how people dining solo could handle all the food. Most of the meals at restaurants are meant for 2 or more people.  We have spent anywhere from $2.50 - $6. Everyone is really nice and accommodating even if they speak little to no English. Also, there is no tipping, which makes whatever you order the entire cost of the meal. Tax is sometimes included but we aren't sure exactly when and why there is a difference. We have found a place that we really like called Misoya that we plan to visit once a week.  It has delicious calamari and pork and chicken cutlets with sides of fresh cabbage smothered in thousand island, a broth- like soup, butternut squash slices, garlic, spiced radish and a watery bbq-like dipping sauce.

Subway system

Since the subway is right outside our building, it is very easy to get to Seoul. Adventure Teaching provided us with T money cards which are prepaid transportation cards that are refillable.  It cost us roughly $2 round trip to Seoul.  When we sat down in the seats, they were heated :).  There were also vendors going from car to car trying to sell items from a cart including: toys, socks and toothbrushes along with other random junk.  The vendors ignored the two of us, we're assuming that they didn't think we would understand them.  The subways seem like the easiest way to get around Seoul. 

We were given a quick tour of our school on our second day in Korea.  It is located on the fourth floor of Micheleon Chereville complex.  There are approximately seven classrooms in the school ranging from 2 and half to 5 year old children.  Each class has 12 to 16 children with 1 English teacher and 1 Korean teacher.  Some of the other rooms that we have seen for enrichment are an art room, a technology room with a smart board, a small PE area, a very tiny music room, and a library. Also there is a dining area which Danelle got the opportunity to try their food. I enjoyed it and realized that I actually like seaweed.  The school seems very modern and we look forward to teaching there.


So I know it seems strange to say something about our garbage, but the way they do things here in Korea, amazes me.  They recycle everything. Well, literally everything except for food itself.

Strange Things
  • The only type of heating is floor heating.
  • When any type of repair person comes, they don't speak to us and just do their work. They take their shoes off when they enter and then get to work. Once the job is finished, they bow to us and then leave.
  • Young women wear miniskirts and high heels in the winter time and around 0 degrees. However, they bundle up the top half of their bodies as if they are in a blizzard.
  • Children, beginning around the age of 8 walk around the city alone! (This scares Danelle)
  • Stores are extremely small, but they cram them full from top to bottom.
  • Everything has a noise/song/jingle when it turns on or is suppose to make you aware of something.
Pictures coming soon!

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