Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Arriving in Daejeon

So the plane ride was not as bad as I thought it would be. It was a fifteen hour flight. The service was amazing! I've never been offered a beverage of any kind every hour or so it seemed. I slept for a bit, watched a movie or two, and I mostly read a book. Note to future-self, don't read a book about leaving when you are actually leaving yourself. I totally was not thinking when I chose the book!

A woman sat next to me on the plane that was flying home to Korea; she has been studying at Penn State. She was very sweet and offered to show me around even though we live an hour or so apart!

We landed in Seoul, and I had absolutely no cell phone service. I was planning on calling home to let my parents know that I had landed safely, but I did not have the type of phone that would have allowed that. I went through customs without any problems whatsoever. Not that I have ever had any problems but it was a very short process. On the other side of customs a man was waiting for me with a sign that said my name. The pickup guy was with some sort of escort company I think. He took me across the airport to where the buses were and purchased my ticket. Unfortunately, there was no room on the bus that was leaving and the next bus was not leaving for a couple of hours. When the pickup guy discovered that my bus was going to be awhile he guided me to a seat and told me to wait, and he just left me there by myself! It wasn't a big deal because he left me with my ticket and I was sure I could find the bus myself. Especially since I had already seen where it would be. While I was waiting I tried to use the pay phones to call my parents. I tried three times and heard my mom say hello and it hung up on me. Each time I got my money back so it wasn't that big of a deal and my mom assumed it was me. But the pickup guy did come back an hour or so later and brought me a bottle of water. I think he left because he felt awkward because of the language differences. But he paid for my ticket and my water. He told me that I needed to get off at the second stop. Which was everything that I needed from him.

So when the bus arrived, I got on and fell asleep within minutes. I was not planning on sleeping because I was afraid that I would miss my stop, but I was so tired! I woke up when the bus driver merged off the interstate to go into the city of Daejeon. I got off at the second stop and waited ten minutes for the Director to come. In the meantime, an older guy asked me if I needed to use the phone. It was so sweet. The people are so friendly even if we don't understand each other.

It was pretty late when the Director dropped me off at my apartment, so I wasn't able to do much exploring.

First thing this morning though, I bought an international calling card and went on a hunt for a pay phone to use it hoping to be able to talk to my parents. However, the pay phone I found did not accept that card; so I tried cash again and still couldn't get it to work.

I do not have internet access yet. I looked for an internet cafe, but I could not find one near my apartment. My director is supposed to pick me up at 11am which is in a couple of hours so I was kind of timid about venturing too far from my apartment. I am currently piggybacking off of some one else.

It's raining here today, but luckily the guy who lived in the apartment before me left an umbrella so I used it. The apartment is very nice. It's not small, but its not massive either. The bathroom is interesting. The shower is connected to the sink, and there's no place to hang a shower curtain. So when I take a shower, I get water all over the toilet seat, and no matter the setting it goes from being warm to cold and back to warm for no reason. It's definitely interesting.

The city itself has so many lights!!! There are lights everywhere, like Vegas. My apartment is right across the street from a Quickie Mart type place which was nice to run over there and pick up a few things. There is also a French bakery on the corner. I don't think most of the stores open up until later. So I'll have to wait until after I get back from the school to get the things I need for my apartment.

I believe that I have had a very successful first day so far! I checked my e-mails to find that Korjob Recruiting has found another teacher to work at Daejeon Wonderland. I believe the e-mail said that she would be here next week! How exciting! I suppose that is enough for now!


John from Daejeon said...

Welcome to Daejeon.

Your water problem might be because of the size of your water heater and how stong you have the water pressure coming out the of shower (fast). The weaker the stream, the longer the hot water lasts. You also might want to adjust the water temperature on your water heater's control panel to your taste.

It might be easier to take a picture of the control panel and then show it to your boss if you have questions about how it works. That's what I had to do, but it ended up being that the actual water heater needed cleaning and a new part before it would heat correctly.

Melanie Chastain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melanie Chastain said...

Thank you so much! That is very helpful! My director sent someone to my apartment today to fix a few things, and he took some pictures of some of the things that I was having trouble using. He showed me how to use the control panel using the pictures the guy had taken. Thanks again!

John from Daejeon said...

Glad it helped.

This is a good website for information about Daejeon:

Melanie Chastain said...

Another great tip!!! Thanks for everything!!!!