An-nyung-haseyo, on Tuesday (day 1) I was taken to Cheongu to sort out my Alien Registration Card which will take around two weeks to arrive at my digs. I had lunch with the teacher who picked me up and then visited the school where I met the Principal (Gyo Jang Song Seng Nim , 원금) and later the bank issued my ATM card instantly! After this the co-teacher took me shopping for pans, bedding etc etc. She then took me for dinner we had Dweji bulgogi (돼지불고기), spicy pork bulgogi. I went to bed knackered!
Day 2 (Wednesday) I was picked up for work as they were worried I couldn’t negotiate the buses. I explained I was well travelled but it was kind of them. After completing a lesson plan template we had a staff meeting at which my qualifications were read out (all very embarrassing) and they all gasped and clapped, I still don’t know why, it must have gained something in re-interpretation. after that we were taken for lunch and I was told I could go home to sort out my Internet, again I was dropped off. The Internet engineer came within the hour so its all systems go. The TV takes longer….guess what? It because it comes from Virgin (the cable channels) so I think, but cannot guarantee, I will have some English channels (Communication was fraught with misunderstandings). £10 all in, no Internet limit. There is a block manager downstairs to sort out any problems. The school are also buying me a gas range because I cook, they say the electric one is no good. After that I went for a four hour walk to get my bearings. I had a nightmare vision when I saw doggy pictures across a double shop front………it was the vets! later…….I think I did see a canine restaurant in the back streets but I didn’t dwell. My feet are killing me, thanks to Carol B for the peppermint cream tip….unfortunately I could’t find any so I used ibuprofen gell which seems to have had the desired effect. I received a lovely detailed letter from my very shy co-teacher which I know some of you have read.
Thursday (day 3) and it’s a national holiday, back on Friday. I am navigating my own way tomorrow (Lotte Mart bus station, any bus from station 17 to Eumjeong, then a 5 minute walk, buses at 06:45, 07:15, 8:00 etc etc. No timetable yet but I can prep as I know who I am teaching. It seems as if have some freedom to do my own thing so it will be K-pop and soccer to start with. I set out at 9am to find my local park which was full of elderly people playing golf on the soccer AstroTurf and exercising for all they are worth. there is tennis, badminton, exercise machines, parallel bars an other paraphernalia for them to enjoy. Around 10 am all the youngsters arrived for soccer, bowed respectfully then invaded firing soccer balls everywhere whilst the old folk ran for cover.
I then decided to take the walk to Peace Park which is being developed to the West of the city centre across the river. Ban-Ki Moon was born here and they are developing the Peace park with a martial arts focus and some major architecture is planned (see pics). I climbed the hill at the back and after a short period of hyper-ventilation found a sculpture park at the top, the circular walkway gave some spectacular views (pics page) and also I found a temple which had not been signposted and an archery centre. It was enough to cause heart failure, they were firing arrows over about 150 metres but as they did people walked by showing no fear for their lives, surely some of ten must be shit archers? On the hour longg walk back home I called in Lotte Mart for rations. the prices are similar to the UK certainly NOT cheaper so i will try the real market on Saturday. I got a range of stuff including chicken and a large tub of pepper paste which they use to stir fry veg and meat. Little did I know that I would lose my tonsils later when I added too much to my stir fry. Anyway knackered and ready for bed, I will update on Saturday. An-nyeong-hee ga-seo-yo