This week has been VERY busy!!! We enjoyed our first real "weekend" on Friday by going out for Indian food and taking a very crowded bus home. Unfortunately for the cute little Korean girl standing next to me, I fell over numerous times as the "skillful" bus driver raced down the streets. The Indian was so fabulous that Carl and I went back on Tuesday night for more!
On Saturday we joined up with our recruiter and met loads of new foreigners! I haven't seen so many English speaking people in one central location since I've been in Korea! It was absolutely fabulous! We started off by going downtown and eating Shabu Shabu- which is essentially meat you cook yourself in a pot of spicy broth with loads of greens and mushrooms.
|I forgot to take a picture... So I pulled this one off of google, almost like what we had.|
It was absolutely scrumptious! Since I have been here in Korea, my tastebuds have craved spice and heat, and unlike many of my fellow westerners I cringe at the idea of having (*gasp!*) PIZZA! After dinner we experienced Korean nightlife for the first time.
|Yes, We have come to Korea to go to a German Bar|
The westerners took us to various foreigner bars where we could get to know each other better and talk about life in Korea. We had such a blast!
|How F*&%ing HUGE is that beer!?!?!?|
After sleeping in until after noon on Sunday, we threw on our soccer jersey's and headed to the World Cup Stadium to watch our own Gwangju FC play Seoul. It was quite an experience! Even though the stadium seemed rather empty, it was amazing to see the sportsmanship and cheering that goes on during sports games in Korea. After brillantly beating Seoul (a shocker to all!) we quickly asked our Korean boss the next morning how to say "Good game!" We live about a block away from the team and see them nearly everyday, so we wanted to be able to congratulate them on their victory!
I learned another important cultural difference this week in Korean life. We had a lot of kids this week at the village, and was really the first time since I've been here that I have seen kids regularly. This week we had a lot of preschool/Kindy and Elementary children come to the village. Some fantastic, and some extremely shy. You tend to not get kids that really misbehave, at least not the way that kids misbehave in American schools. BUT, what I learned this week is the difference in Korean age and American age. In America, when you are born, you are 0 months old and exactly 12 months later you turn 1 year old. In Korea, you are 1 year old the moment that you are born. They count the time that you are in the womb as an age. BUT Korean's also turn ANOTHER year old on New Years. In order to calculate your Korean age
Current Year-Year you were born + 1 = Korean Age
HOLY WOW! I'M 26 IN KOREA!?!?!?!??!?!
How this becomes super relevent to me is when they say, we are having 4-7 year olds coming to the village today. I had kids today that could not have been older than 3... Can you imagine how difficult that would be? They barely speak Korean, let alone English!!! It's just another challenge that you learn to manage, and at the end of the day your voice is gone and you have dirt all over you from playing on the grass, but they are cuter than anything you can imagine! My favorite this week was having Kinders. They were Korean age 5, so probably 4 years old. A group of girls had so much fun playing with my eyes, lifting my eyelids up and down and out. It's probably why I have a sty in my eye now, but oh well!
Korea is also a lot different in the fact that you are allowed to touch the children. Most of my days are spent giving children hugs or tickling them. The first time I saw one of our teachers tickle, hug, and throw around a kid I was slightly shocked, despite the fact that I had already read this about Korea. The first day with Kindy's I learned not to wear any jewerly as my favorite necklace and Christmas present from Carl was broken. Carl also learned not to wear his glasses around the Kindy's since they decided he didn't need to wear them.