Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Pretty Cool Day

            A pretty cool day deserves a blog post. It started off with me waking up late and running out the door. I quickly grabbed a bit to eat and almost had to chase my bus down. Every day to get to school I have to take an hour long but ride into the countryside, it sucks that I have to start my day earlier than the rest of  the TaLK scholars but I have time to listen to my Korean language lessons, listen to music and organize my thoughts. Most importantly the countryside is beautiful once you get out of the city! Also, so far, every ride has had a little adventure, todays? Swarming Agimas! (Note: Agima is a term used for an older, usually grandma age, Korean woman. Here, what they say is law and they have no reservations touching you or your foreigner hair without asking.)

            So from these bus rides I have come to the conclusion that Tuesday/Thursday must be market days for two of the stops just outside the city. Today (Tuesday) I was riding in a mostly empty bus (often when the bus gets to the countryside I am the only rider) when we stopped and They swarmed in what felt like hundreds (more like 20) Agimas hobbled into the bus and then on the next stop even MORE came! All carrying the produce newly acquired from the market. Like any good young whipper snapper I offered my seat to the oldest one standing near me. Now standing up around them was another different experience because literally some were almost HALF my height. I’m not use to being the tall one but that I was, youngest too. It looked like I was the only one there under the age of 40. That plus the consistently breath taking countryside definitely made my morning!

            I got to school and everyone greeted me in English, my mentor teacher was wearing the cutest dress while beaming because she just found out her baby is a boy and the cafeteria was serving two of my favorite Korean dishes. A spicy fish stew with bones still in it and an eggplant based side dish, yum! Then my Korean co-teacher came! I have met her before but this was her first time at the school. Her English name is Jenny and we got along very well. She feels the same way I do about teaching, complete and utter confusion due to lack of experience. In the end we made things work out and I really wish she could come every day (she only comes Tuesdays). AND during the break she helped me with my hangul (Korean written language)! My first word oddly enough was 타잔 (Tarzan) and now I can write my full name 애슐리 거ㅣㅓㅣ로 and my Korean name 민지 (Min-ji) in Hangul. YAY I’m learning! :D

            So I come home and eat dinner then head off to my daily taekwondo lesson.  Me and the crew of girls that live near me (Monica, Sarah, & Zyna) all started taekwondo lessons yesterday and since we are beginners we got thrown in with the 10 year old boys. At first it felt alittle degrading but then when we realized how hard the class was worked we decided it was better to look like a fool in front of 10 year olds then people our own age. Boy does the teacher work us hard! He speaks almost no English but still manages to force us past our limits. Flash backs to my high school dance academy are frequent. My legs feel like jelly and I need to pass out soon, but know what? If I keep this up I’m going to be in the best shape of my life!

            So yeah that’s my update for now. Hope all is well!


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