Monday, November 17, 2008
A Weekend Full of Seoul
This weekend, Vicky and I made two trips into Seoul for various reasons.
On Friday, I joined Vicky, her mom and her sister for an all-night shopping trip to Dongdaemun. Dongdaemun Market in Seoul is famous for its thousands of outlet-type booths. The stores typically are open from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
There are a bunch of really big, department-store sized buildings with little stalls in them that are no bigger than a walk-in closet. The stalls are filled with off-brand clothing that is pretty cheap. I only found one thing I actually liked there. It's just a hooded, long-sleeve shirt.
We were mostly walking around the women's clothes. Go figure. I was with three chicks. But it was still a really cool experience since I've never seen anything like it before.
Vicky's dad picked us all up at about 5 a.m., and we headed home totally exhausted.
On Saturday, we were kind of supposed to go to a wedding in Seoul. It was one of our boss' brothers who no one knows, but I was told all the teachers were going, so I didn't want to look like a jerk. Later I found out that only the other two foreign teachers and Stacy were going.
So Vicky and I, after our very late night, backed out. Thank goodness, because I was dead.
Instead, we ended up going into Seoul again to a neighborhood called Gangnam. It's pretty much just a business district. We went because Vicky had to help her younger sister get information about studying abroad.
After she helped her sis, she took me to a really cool wine bar, where we got our own private little room to hang out in. For $32, we got a sweet red wine from Germany and a big plate of nachos. Add that to the private room with all the cushions and cool atmosphere, and it's a pretty great deal.
Since we were still pretty dead from the night before, we decided to just hop on the bus and head back to Incheon. We went to InHa, near her house, and just had some drinks and relaxed.
The nice thing about public transportation here is that while you could take the subway for $1 to get to Seoul, it's even easier to hop on the bus. We would have to take a cab to the subway station, then make two or three transfers to get to Seoul. But the bus comes right in front of our house, and only costs $2. It takes between 1 and 2 hours, depending on traffic, but it can't be beat for convenience.
On Sunday, I met with Vicky and her friend, You-Kyoung in Guworldong. You-Kyoung works in one of the Asiana Air lounges at the Incheon International Airport, catering to businessmen, who no doubt hit on her constantly. Her English listening is pretty decent, but she's studying the speaking now in college. She and Vicky were roommates at InHa when they were freshmen.
She and I decided that we're probably on the same level. It's fun when she's there, because the conversations between the three of us are probably about 50-50 English and Korean, with Vicky helping when necessary.
As for work, not much has changed. I have the most hours of any teacher there, and I have some extra things to do that the other foreign teachers don't have, like calling all the students at home to speak a little on the phone. It's a hassle. I guess that's what you get for being the "veteran" after two months.
The school just hired another Korean teacher though, so maybe my hours will go down a bit. But I'm not getting my hopes up.
Anyway, the job is more boring than anything. I just look forward to every day at 9:05 p.m. when I get to go home.
The pictures from the weekend, and some other random pics from Jess, are posted below. Enjoy!