Friday, November 2, 2012

New School, New Home

Home update first:

Last Sunday I finally moved into my permanent apartment! Although I'm still living in a small studio apartment, it is a mansion compared to my temporary living, not to mention, I live here alone so its really not like I need a whole lot of space. I live in an area called Cafe Street which is awesome because it is filled with shops, restaurants of many different food genres, bars, and (you guessed it) cafes! This is a great area to live in and I couldn't be more excited about my location. The downside to this apartment is the storage space. There is not much room at all and if you know how many clothes I brought to Korea, not to mention the ones I've gained since being here, you will understand my struggle. See the picture below to get a better idea.

I am currently in the process of making this studio into my home, a place I want to come home to. And if you know me at all, you know this starts with my bed! The beds in Korea are uncomfortably firm. My first purchase was a comforter to put UNDER my fitted sheet to act as some sort of buffer between me and my very very firm mattress. After searching craigslist and a trip on Sunday that will take approximately 3 hours total on the subway, I will have acquired a mattress topper, pillow, comforter, and sheets from a kind couple for only 50,000 W (please imagine me carrying all of these things back on the subway). I'm so excited to have a bed that I truly adore because that is one of the most important things to me. You might be thinking to yourself that 50,000 won is kind of a lot for those things, right? If I have learned anything in my recent search for bedtime comfort, it is that a set of sheets alone in this country go for about 60,000. And if you want to find some cheap plastic drawers that you could get at Target for 10-15 dollars, it's not possible. Try 30 ish dollars in Korea. INSANE. Hence the reason I have yet to buy the plastic drawers to put in my little closet. It's probably cheaper to buy a real dresser and keep it outside of my closet. On that note, I'm also trying to figure out how to arrange my room. My friends gave me a few suggestions but I think my biggest issue is with this little round pink table that currently holds my computer and internet box and nothing more. I need a bigger square table and then I will feel at ease with the space it takes up as opposed to this round table that seemingly takes up a lot of space, yet does not hold much.

As far as decorating is concerned, I'm having serious issues with sticking my pictures on my wall. Round one was scotch tape versus wall paper. Wall paper won as almost all of my 30-or-so pictures fell off the wall in the middle of the night. Round two was double sided thick stick foamish stuff versus wallpaper. We're gunna call that one a tie because during the night, only 6 pictures fell off and while I was gone at school, only 3 more fell off. However this is not going to cut it, I need more strength in my wall stick ons. As for cleaning my apartment, I was introduced to a cool sponge thing but it did not suit my cleaning needs like a few Clorox wipes would do.

All of these new-found Korean quirks aside, I was very blessed to have been left with many things in my apartment, saving me much strife. These things included 2 comforters, 3 pillow cases, 1 pillow, a fitted sheet, some frozen meat, jam, spaghetti, ramen, dishes, a pot, a pan, a water filter, a table, a couple garbage cans, some wine glasses, kleenex, toilet paper, shampoo (even though I already have 3 large bottles), salt, pepper, olive oil, sugar, a cutting board, many cooking utensils, dish soap, laundry detergent and fabric softener! Feelin pretty good.

The bed and unpacked bag. The view from my door.

My bathroom. Love the toilet seat that doesn't fit. 

A big shower though!

Small room with a washer.

This picture doesn't do the Cafe Street justice. 

This is all the closet space I have. Hmmm...I see a problem. 

School Update:

My coworkers are fantastic. We're currently working on getting ourselves to the Phillipines for Christmas vacation. The goals were as follows: 1) be warm. 2) very few to no children around. 3) beach. 4) cocktails. I think our goals have been accomplished although a few of us are still in the tedious process of making our flight reservations (this is very difficult when you don't have your ARC or a bank card and their website makes it near impossible to book online).

The school itself is fantastic as well as the kids. They are adorable and do the craziest things that mostly make me laugh but sometimes make me wanna say "really bro?" or "come at me bro!" or "seriously???" or "do that again, I dare you" or "get off the ground, he barely touched you, I saw it!" I often have to remind myself that they're 7. This is how they act. That being said, there are still some things that they would NEVER get away with in the states and it drives me a liiiiiitle crazy, but what can I do, really? The thing is, those few kids that drive me absolutely insane for 50 minutes straight will come up to me while I'm not their teacher and give me a big hug and say in their adorable little voices "Helloooo Melissa Teachaaa!" And I'm like "HA! You don't hate me, you just like to make my life difficult while I'm supposed to be teaching you important things!" and give them a nice squeeze right back.

Today and tomorrow (yes I'm working on Saturday) is Mother's Day at the school. This means that half of the kids came in today with their moms and the other half come in tomorrow with their moms. The mom gets to sit and be apart of the kids class, which also means our boss has been stressed to the max for us to make a good impression on the moms (they do fund their child's education, after all). Talk about needing to have high energy! It was very interesting, however, to see how the kids are with their moms right there behind them. I think all of my co-teachers felt the same when we realized that all of a sudden, our kids that never say a single word during class knew the answer to everything, the ones that are usually crazy outa control were perfect little angles, and the kids who are usually the go to kid to get the answer you're looking for wouldn't say a single word even when you told them exactly what to say. Very interesting dynamics and I'm sure many more surprises tomorrow!

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