It has been a couple days so I am going to hit my weekend as well as my first day of teaching.
Firstly, on Saturday night, I decided to make a ballsy move and just go out and make me some friends. So, I went on the Internet (because Ulsan actually has some decent resources for foreigners), and I looked around for where they recommended a good place to go would be to meet other foreigners, and pinpointed where I wanted to go, primarily because it had a very specific map on how to get there. I get on the bus and take the 45 minute ride to get to “new downtown” and realize that they weren’t kidding when they said downtown. This area was huge scary crazy big. I just stood there for a few minutes before I gathered the confidence to follow my map and make it to the bar. So I get there and spend about 15 minutes awkwardly standing in the corner acting like I am super into the view out the window before I gather the courage to approach someone; eventually, I find someone who looks awesome and approachable and it was all awesome from there! I ended up making a ton of friends, because apparently the foreigner community is pretty close in Ulsan so eventually people would just come up to me and be like “are you new?” and totally embrace me and my new Korean life.
I also found out around 11:30 that the buses stop running from 12-6 (which is totally stupid, right?), so my options were a) leave that exact moment when I was just getting to know some nice people, b) take a cab when I was ready to leave, or c) play it like a baller and rock out until the buses start back up again. I clearly chose c. That’s right; Weston, the old man who has trouble making it past 1:30, rolled back into my apartment at 9:00 Sunday morning. Granted, I wanted to die on the bus ride back to my apartment, as it was sunny and I kept nodding into sleep and smelled like bar, but it was totally worth it and fantastic. So, that was a long way of saying, I have friends.
To teaching! Today I had my first day of solo teaching, and it was awesome! It is going to take a while to understand how much I should plan for each day. That is just an acquired skill though. Once I get to know all of my classes, I will know how much we can take on in a day. I had a super fun time with the little kids, despite their limited vocabulary. The tricky ones were the couple of low-level older classes where getting any English out of them was like pulling teeth, but that’s where the challenge lies.
From my older kids, who speak enough English to carry on a conversation of sorts, I was given a list of k-pop groups to check out so that I can be cool. They also told me that my earring made me look like I am in a gang, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It started with them being like “piercing!” and then making some violent, menacing gestures. That is clearly me: gangsta like none other #sorryboutit.
Well, I didn’t bring an umbrella today and ended up having to walk to and from my bus stops on my way home in the rain, so I need to get out of these wet clothes, so I will talk to you all later!
Miss you all.