Sunday, January 2, 2011

Oh, how I don't miss training week. Well, except for a really cute Korean guy...

Oh, the long and eventful training week! I came into it thinking it was going to be the worst week of my life, but it actually wasn't all that bad considering I fell in love with my first Korean, and made amazing new friends! I won't say who this specific guy was, just to save myself a lot of embarrassment if he ever sees this (which I'm sure he won't, but if I ever want a chance with him, then he can't know I'm in love with him already). This week consisted of learning about what classes I was going to be teaching at my branch, and A LOT of mock teaching so everyone could get experience on what it would be like to teach at Chungdahm. I also experienced my first Korean meal, since before this specific day, all I had eaten were bagels from Dunkin Donuts.This week also marked my first Thanksgiving away from my family, but a bunch of us went to this restaurant and ate Korean BBQ on the floor. It was a very fun and exciting new way to eat out! During this week my bed finally came in, so there wasn't any more sleeping on the floor! Yeah! At the end of the week, I was very sad to say goodbye to all of the amazing people I met, and of course to my Korean lover, but I was very excited to finally start teaching and meet everyone at my branch. :)

Samantha, me and Airielle on Thanksgiving

some of our Thanksgiving meal!

More of our meal..
Where we ate our dinner

fun during training!

the girls with one of our trainers Min

The day of the big move!

I really don't think I can put into words how I felt the morning of my move to Korea. Let's just say it started off with one of my bags zipper breaking at 4 a.m. while I was "finishing up" my packing before I had to be at the airport at 5:15. After that, it was just a huge emotional mess from start to finish. I woke up that morning scared, which was honestly the first time I had really ever been just SCARED about moving across the country by myself. Luckily my sister Elizabeth, my mom, and one of my best friends Jordan were there to help me with anything I needed before my mom took me to the airport. I think you can assume how I felt saying goodbye to my mom at the airport, so I won't go into all of that. :) The flight from Nashville to Detroit was simple, but the flight from Detroit to Seoul was a WHOLE different ballgame.

From the moment I got on this flight, I knew that I wasn't going to be able to sleep at all, because for some reason I just can't sleep on airplanes, but I really didn't imagine how uncomfortable I was going to be for the whole........14 hours. After 2 hours of being on the flight, the TV's broke, which meant no movies for anyone, and no map to see where we were along the flight (which was really interesting to me, because I loved knowing what country we were flying over). Luckily, I met a great guy on the flight who was sitting next to me who is from Seoul but is going to school in the USA, so he entertained me with lots of stories about my new country. I think the worst thing that happened to me on the flight over was the fact that I ripped a HUGE hole in the back of my leggings trying to let people in and out of the seat to go to the restroom, so you can imagine how classy that looked walking through the airport when I arrived.

When we FINALLY landed and that dreadful flight was over, I can't tell you how excited I was when I looked out of the window and saw how pretty Seoul is. My new friend helped me through customs, baggage claim, etc., and then unfortunately he had to leave me, and I was stuck to figure the rest out on my own. The first thing that started this night off wonderful was the fact that not only had my broken bag entirely ripped open and stuff had fallen out, but the cart that I had to put my bags on didn't fit all of my bags, so I had to pull two of them, and push the other two on the cart. So I somehow managed to get that cart to the bus station clerk to get a ticket, and unfortunately for me, she could barely understand what I was saying, and in the end ended up giving me the wrong bus ticket. So I just went over to the correct bus stop hoping and praying that they would just let me on because I couldn't emotionally handle anything else at this point, and the guy that helps put the luggage on the bus couldn't understand me either. At this point, I thought I was going to have an emotional/nervous breakdown, but this girl that was standing near me spoke Korean AND English, so she told the guy where I needed to go and everything was finally starting to come together. (or so I thought)

Once I got on the bus and we started taking off, I got a phone call that would just make this whole situation 100 times worse than it already was. "Hey Emily, I have bad news. Your bed hasn't arrived yet."  You can guess how I felt after I got that phone call....  I was informed that one of my coworkers had a "mattress" that I could sleep on, so I figured at least that was better than nothing, right? Well after a 2 1/2 hour bus ride (and trying to figure out where my stop was, of course the bus driver didn't understand where I was supposed to get off, since my ticket had the wrong bus stop on it), I finally arrived at my bus stop! One of my coworkers met me at the bus stop, and helped me get all 4 of my luggage bags across the street to my apartment. This mattress that he had was really a 1 inch foam pad, but hey I would have much rather had that to sleep on than nothing! If it wasn't for him, I would have been sleeping on the hardwood floor. So, he helped me get some little toiletries at the convenient store next door before I finally went to sleep after being awake for 30 hours.
To wrap it up, that big day was definitely an eventful one, and one I will never forget.

One side of my apartment on the first day
The other side of my apartment on the first day