I have been in Daejeon since Wednesday, and I have already learned so much about the city and about myself! I have already experienced so much! On Thursday, Director Kim came by my apartment to bring me to the school. I observed some of the classrooms, and I ate lunch there. I learned that the students are very loving and that I cannot use chopsticks! Hahaha. I get teased now about whether or not I will use chopsticks to eat. I try to use them everyday so that hopefully I will learn. I do not use them in restaurants though because I am afraid that people will think I am disrespectful.
On Friday, I decided to walk to school from my apartment. I did pretty well for not being in the city long. I got to the bus stop where I was dropped off the night of my arrival. Thankfully, Director Kim and the Assistant Director, Vicki, were waiting at the bus stop for one of the other new teachers. Vicki told me that if I wanted to wait with them, they would take me the rest of the way to the school. So I waited with them for a few minutes for the new teacher, Janet. While waiting, Vicki explained to me that two new teachers had arrived Thursday evening, but only one of them, Mariana, was able to catch the bus to Daejeon. So Janet had to sleep at the airport because the guest house was full, and there aren't any other hotels in the area. Janet's bus arrived, and she informed me that her luggage was in San Francisco due to a last minute change in her flight. We drove to the school, and Janet went to her hotel room for a bit to freshen up before coming to the school for lunch. Since it was the last day of classes for the semester, the classes were having parties; so there wasn't much to observe. The other two teachers and I decided to go to EMart (much like a Super Walmart) to get a few things. I bought cleaning supplies for my apartment; as well as a few mats and a pair of slippers to wear around the apartment. We all stopped by the school once more before they went to their hotel rooms and I walked back to my apartment. On my way home, I received the second lesson about myself this week, I have no sense of direction. I got seriously lost!!!! Hahaha. I figured that if I kept walking around I would eventually figure out where I was. But no. After over an hour of walking while carrying my purchases from EMart, I decided to call it quits and catch a taxi. Luckily, I was near a Taxi Stop. In Daejeon, they have places to go if you need a taxi much like the bus stops back home. Thankfully, I had asked Vicki to write down my address so I was able to show the taxi driver the address of where I wanted to go. When I finally got home, I was too tired to do anything so I went to bed.
Today, Saturday, we had orientation for the parents of all the new students. We had to dress nicely. I had decided to try to find my way once again so I wore tennis shoes with my dress and packed dress shoes in my bookbag. I looked at the time and realized that I didn't have the time to get lost again. At that time, a taxi drove by and honked asking if I needed a ride. I figured it was fate telling me to take the taxi. After asking Vicki for my apartment address, I had asked one of the Korean teachers to write down the address for the school in Korean. So once again, I showed the taxi driver the address of my destination. When I got to the school, I decided to ask Vicki for directions. However, she is bad with directions as well; so she told one of the foreign teachers to take me home using the best way for me to go when I walked to the school. She told him to make sure that he pointed out the turns.
Before going home, all of the teachers had to go to the orientation. We sat in a separate room while one of the foreign teachers presented the necessary information for the parents. At the end of her presentation, we were escorted into the room to wait for the Director's presentation. During the Director's presentation, he introduced each teacher and explained a bit about each teacher's professional background. Everything was spoken in Korean of course; so none of the foreign teachers new exactly what he was saying about us. We just bowed and tried to smile. After the presentations, a couple of the mothers came up to me and talked to me about their kids. It was so sweet!!! Of course they are concerned about their kids well-being, and they wanted to make sure that I would take care of their kids.
After the orientation, John, one of the foreign teachers, drove us to our apartments and pointed out the turns as he was instructed by Vicki. When I got back to my apartment, I decided to change clothes and try my hand at my newly found directions. I walked to EMart to purchase more cleaning supplies and some food. EMart is by the school so I figured if I could get to EMart then I can get to school. My trip to and from EMart was a success! I made it home with no problems! What a difference good directions can make! Hahaha.
I have two days off this weekend, tomorrow and Monday. I am going to try to explore the city, finish setting up my apartment, and take some pictures of my apartment and the city to show everyone! Tuesday and Wednesday, I only have afternoon after-school classes. Thursday is the first day of the new semester, so my morning classes will start then!
It has been a great first week, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of the school year holds for me!!!