This post goes out to Michelle. Thanks for your wonder and care, in a place as isolated as Korea, it’s heartwarming to have someone be so intrigued. It’s giving me something to do aside from work.
So you’d like to know about the drinks… beer is abundant and widely varied, however, I don’t like beer. That being the case, I stick to girly drinks. At convenience stores like 711 or GS25, I pick up Hooch, KGB, and/or Smirnoff Ice. When I’m out and about, I’ll order cocktails, usually screwdrivers and tequila sunrises, because they’re cheap and so well mixed. The drinks are definitely something to be happy about!
You also want the good and bad news about experiences. I’ll start with the bad, and that would be the issue of vanity and physical superficiality. Not a day goes by that I don’t get stared at because – in comparison to Koreans – I’m fat. As a 5’5″ curvy woman of 180lbs, I admit that the only shape I’m in is round. I’ve had students ask me, “TEACHER WHY YOU SO FAT?!”, vendors at malls declare, “NO BIG SIZE!!”, if I’m ever checking out their clothes. Being fat in Korea really fucking sucks. But you have nothing to worry about Michelle, they’d think you’re perfect. On a lighter note, my best experience was definitely the wild night in Hongdae, I’ve never had so much fun and felt so confident in my life. For the first time ever, I wasn’t afraid of anything. Something came over me that clouded all the doubt within me and it was amazing. My friends thought nothing of it, but I celebrated with myself.
As for being a teacher, I’ve already learned A LOT about myself and what I want out of this profession. Working at a hagwon that deals with kindergarten and elementary, I’ve realized that I’m not cut out for the smaller kids because it really just feels like I’m babysitting them. I prefer the older elementary kids because I can actually have a conversation and get to know them as the growing, developing individuals they are. The kindy kids are just cute and inject me with a dose of adorableness everyday. However, for five hours each day, I have to deal with the constant calls of, “teacher I’m cold”, “teacher I’m hot”, “teacher draw flower on paper”, “teacher I can’t see board”, “teacher I’m captain”, and it just goes on and on like a goddamned broken record. I don’t really teach them anything because I spend most of my time managing behavior. I teach 7 year old kindergarten kids and 1st-6th grade elementary kids. The days are split with the kindy in the morning and ELE in the afternoon. But hell, with 10.5 hour work days, who wouldn’t be tired.