Getting settled

Trip Start Aug 25, 2012
1
4
17
Trip End Feb 25, 2013


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Flag of Korea Rep.  , South Chungcheong,
Friday, August 31, 2012

Sleeping on the floor was... well, it was sleeping on the floor. What can I say? I took two Benedryl to help me sleep, but I woke up repeatedly in the night with my arms asleep, or my knee caps hurting from pressing into the floor. I woke at 8 feeling a bit better than the night before, but with swollen eyes to show for my misfortune. I picked myself up, connecting to the internet to Skype with my family and friends who were just getting home from work. I have to tell you, being comforted by my friends makes a world of difference and soon I was starting to feel better. I received an email from my recruiter asking me how my new school and apartment were and I mentioned to him about my dilemma about not having a bed. He emailed me back stating that I shouldn't worry, he would handle it.
I decided to unpack and put a load of clothes and bedding (I wasn't sure when the last time the bedding was washed) into my new washer. I then started hanging clothes up in the wardrobe and sliding socks into the drawers. I took the time to organize the dishes that had been left for me in the cabinets as well as my toiletries in the cupboard in the bathroom. The last English teacher who lived here left a number of toiletries behind when he left. I looked at the large pump bottles suspiciously. They said things like "Deep Moisture" and "Happy Time" but I didn't know if they were shampoo, conditioner, body wash, or lotion. Oh well, free stuff is free stuff and beggars can't be choosers. So I found places for my new goods on the carefully lined up shelves. It is amazing how getting organized makes me feel so much more in control and I started to perk up more and more.
With my clothes churning away in the wash I decided to take a shower in my new bathroom. It is common in many parts of the world to not have a separate shower, but to just have a shower head that sprays water into the bathroom. Mine is a hand held shower head that is mounted to the left of my sink at about stomach level. I figured out the dial on the sink that turns it from running sink water, to running the water through the shower. Unfortunately, because the shower head is set so low, I have to hold the shower head in my hand to get it over my head. This means that I can't lather my hair with both hands, but I guess I will just have to learn how to multi-task. Thankfully Ms. Kim showed me how to turn the hot water on with a dial in the bedroom that works all of the heat, so I had a lovely hot shower.
Late in the morning Ms. Kim showed up, she had brought me a sandwich and two cans of juice for my breakfast because she knew that I didn't have any food yet in my apartment. Then we walked together down the street to visit the bank. Unfortunately my debit card didn't work in the ATM, so we wandered inside to see if I could exchange some of my American money. Ms. Kim addressed the teller behind the desk and after a volley of Korean he pulled his wallet out of his back pocket and started counting out bills. Ms. Kim turned to me and instructed me to give him $100. I did, and quickly pocketed my money in return. Ms. Kim then deposited me back at my apartment so I could eat my sandwich.
In the afternoon, my co-teacher, Mrs. Lee showed up with Gin and my new bed. She seemed happy to see me as they assembled my new bed frame and set the mattress into place. After the movers left, Mrs. Lee patiently informed me that if I ever had an issue that I should go to HER and not anyone else. Oops... I tried to explain that I didn't mean to go over her head. That my recruiter had asked me. That I didn't ask for him to fix it. That I would have talked to her about it. She didn't seem impressed.
She loaded me up into her car and told me that she needed to take me to meet the English teacher coordinator who would take me to get my Alien Resident Card. We chatted in the car, but when we met up with the English teacher coordinator they had a terse conversation in Korean. I stood by, watching Mrs. Lee get more and more fervent with her speaking. Oh shit. She's complaining about me. As soon as Mrs. Lee left, the English teacher coordinator turned to me and explained to me, once again, that if there is ever any issue, I should speak to my co-teacher first. Not anyone else. Yep. I get it. I messed up.... shit.
So my co-teacher waves cheerfully at me and departs and the English teacher coordinator takes me, and picks up two other new teachers (one of whom I had orientation with) and drives us to the office where we can get our ERC. Some uninteresting paperwork doing later she drops the boys off in Dangjin (proper) where they live and then drives me to the suburb (I will learn the name of it eventually) 20 minutes later.
I then took some time to go grocery shopping at a tiny little store right near my apartment and I picked up some of the Ramen noodle cup soups, Frosted Flakes (complete with Tony the Tiger and Korean writing), low fat milk, and a bag of chips.

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Comments

Benny on

It's always frustrating when you make a mistake and then a whole bunch of people feel the need to explain it to you. Be patient and this one will blow over though I'm sure.

I'm really glad you got a bed, and some money and food. I'm sure you'll be settled in quickly, and I'm really glad you're writing and keeping us all updated.

The shower thing sounds to me like something you could maybe fix by putting something up on the wall that would hold the shower head a little higher? An extra hook or something? I lived for a summer in a place that had a hand-held-only shower head as well, and while I didn't like it I did get used to it. It's a bit less comfortable, but at least you'll still get clean.

Carlo on

Benny's got the right of it -- not much more to add except hang in there, you'll get into the pattern soon enough. ;)

Christine Jacobs on

Yayyyy things are looking up. She should let up on you! How were you supposed to know? Oh well, now ya do. I'm glad that you got a bed :)

Mom on

I'm glad things are getting better little by little. I'm glad you got your bed - it's amazing that you have to ask for things we all take for granted. And I love how you've settled your things into the nooks & crannies of your new little home - everything in its place!

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