Two years ago, as a sprightly young native-teacher-in-waiting, I read up on Korean saunas. These public baths dot the country and polarize foreigners. Some appreciate its soothing hot tubs, steam rooms, and cold-water baths. Others recoil at the thought of public nudity. So when a former co-teacher invited me for a “Korean cultural field trip” … Continue reading Korean Saunas
Life always changes. Nothing is permanent. However, in Korea, that flux feels just a bit faster. This semester I’ve slowly adjusted to a new schedule - my walk-in-the-park 16-class load expanded to 20. However, despite initial growing pains, I’ve found several positives in this new work routine. Initially, I taught 8 classes in the first … Continue reading New Schedule, Same Constant Change
Last year, I have fond memories of spending each and every weekend with friends. We would romp around Gwangju, take day trips to museums, explore countryside historical sites, immerse within a local festival, or simply enjoy a drink in Mokpo. I procrastinated on spending a weekend alone for nearly three months. However, these solo weekends … Continue reading Solo Weekend or Lonely Weekend?
I will preface this post by saying there is no “typical day” living here. Schedules change. Routines change. I am consistently working to learn and grow and develop more efficient systems. All I can do is describe how a typical day goes down now. One month ago it was likely different. One month from now … Continue reading A Typical Wednesday
Sometimes culture shock is less about overcoming difficulties and more about managing pleasant surprises. Most of my experiences in Korean shops and restaurants shock my system in this fashion. For one, tipping isn’t a thing here. Also, any sales tax is often the merchant's responsibility. In other words, the price on the menu or shelf … Continue reading Korean Customer Service
I have taught at Namak High School for nearly two months. Like any new job, there are exciting new things to learn, obstacles to navigate, and growing pains to endure. Overall, however, my work adjustment has been very positive. Despite a mostly positive adjustment, I occasionally have workplace gaffes. Moreover, the language barrier makes it … Continue reading Settling into School Life
The title of “Biggest Little City” belongs to Reno, Nevada (by what authority I do not know). To be fair, Namak has no large casinos (that I am aware of). However, the way this town merges urban, suburban, and rural living melts my mental models of what a city should be. Growing up in the … Continue reading Namak – The Biggest Little Town I Ever Saw