Thursday, July 30, 2009

View of Busan for the Busan Tower. 
Busan Tower
In front of the Tower 
Tons of people!!!! 

Fred and I at the beach for the day.
The Korean "rally caps" we think.  Everyone had one on.  
The stadium.  Notice the gray dirt. 
Outside of the stadium. 

Busan aquarium with a shark. 

Only at a baseball game in Korea.....

Yesterday we woke up and headed to the Busan aquarium.  They had tons of animals from fish, to penguins, sharks to eagle rays.  We were able to walk around and read all of the info that was in English.  After we walked around the beach and enjoyed the nice day.  

Then we headed to the Lotte Giants baseball game.  Lotte is a company here that owns high end department stores such as Nordstroms to Koreas version of Target.  We had great seats, upper deck behind home plate thanks to this lady.  We we arrived the seats were filled and we were sitting on the steps.  She grabbed us and let us sit next to her.  We have learned that the Busan fans are unlike any other group of fans in Korea.  They go insane for the Giants.  They have a cheer or a song from everything to a home run to a walk.  Only at a baseball game in Korea can you bring in your own drinks, dried octopus, and the standard fried chicken.  Apparently fried chicken is our hot dog.  It is sold everywhere from outside on the streets to vendors roaming the bleachers.  Towards the end of the game bags were passed out which the fans proceeded to fill with air and put on their heads.  It was quite a game.

Today we took it easy.  We woke up and went to the beach.  We were able to rent chairs and relax.  After we headed to the Busan Tower which overlooks the ocean and part of the city.  On a clear day you can see a Japanese island.  We stopped at a "Latin" place for dinner.  We use the term Latin very loosely.  You couldn't get tacos or a burrito but you could get potato skins and chile paste pasta with seafood.  

Tomorrow we are headed back to Pohang! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Walking around the Temple. 

These photos are at the Temple.  These prayer lanterns were before you entered the Temple area and the others are of Fred and I in front of it.

The main beach in Busan, Haeundae
The view from our cable car ride. 

Summer Break in Busan

Yesterday Fred and I traveled from his city of Pohang to Busan.  It was about a 90 minute bus ride.  Busan is the second largest city in South Korea with about 3.65 million people.  When we got here we checked into our hotel and headed to the very tourists beach called Haeundae Beach.  We walked around for a while and had dinner at a very nice Chinese restaurant.  

This morning we woke up and headed to the Lotte Giants baseball stadium.  We were trying to buy tickets for tomorrows game however they were closed.  From there we headed to Beomeo-sa Temple.  We walked around for a while, taking videos and photos.  After that we went to the area around Busan University and had lunch at this Turkish place, Doners, just like in Germany.  After that we went on this cable car up a mountain over looking Busan.  We had to hike quite a ways to reach the cable car and then had a 5 minute ride to the top.  Once we were at the top we hiked around to this fortress.  We are now back at the hotel.  We are going to try this sushi place across the street.  

I am going to post pictures on soon so look there (like when I was in Germany).  It is hard to post a large amount of photos here.  

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Around Pohang

Yesterday was my first full day in Pohang.  In the morning Fred and I had lunch across the street and then walked to the ocean.  The beach was already packed with people setting up their spots for the firework festival.  There were stages set up on the beach, tons of vendors and people from all over.  We then walked down to the market and looked around.  They had everything from meat to fish (fresh and dried), clothes to shoes and tons of random things.  Around 6:30 we met up with some of Fred's friends and went down to the beach to get our spot.  It started to rain so it cleared a little bit however miles of the beach were packed with hundreds of thousands of people.  The fireworks started at 9:30 and lasted for over an hour.  Japan, Korea, Russia and France all had their own shows that went along to music.  These were the best fireworks that I have ever seen.  

This morning we went for a little hike up the mountain overlooking the ocean.  We were able to go up in an observation tower.  Tonight we are going to go downtown for dinner and then head out to Busan in the morning.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Hello from Pohang

I arrived here last night to spend the summer break with Fred.  I left Suji around 11 am and headed out to Seoul on the subway.  I had been on the subway for about 5 minutes when this man started talking to me.  He wanted to know where I was from, if I liked teaching and if I liked Bush.  If people here speak English, they want to practice with you and ask tons of questions!  Then he left and another man started talking to me.  He was telling me which subways to take, I had to transfer, so it would be the fastest.  He ended up getting off of the subway and leading me to the transfer point.  Then he went back where we had just left.  On the second subway another man started talking to me.  He wrote down "Express Bus Terminal," where I needed to go, in Korean for me in case I got lost.  Then he decided it was too hard so he got off and walked me there.  We needed to exit the subway and just walk a little ways.  He even showed me what track to go to.  Everyone said "God Bless" and went on their way.  The Korean people are so willing to help you and really want to speak to you.

Once I was on the bus it was smooth sailing.  I had my own seat on the passenger side which was nice because it only had 1 seat and the drivers seat had 2.  Across from me was this lady, upper 20s, and her son, under 2.  We had stopped for a little break about 2 hrs outside of Pohang.  I was sitting back on the bus when the lady came back on.  She sat her son down and they gave me this bag filled with these Korean pastries.  They were really good.  She didn't speak English but was so nice and proud that I liked them.  

When I got here Fred and I went out to this place on the beach.  His apartment is under a 10 minute walk from the ocean.  At the restaurant you sit kind of outside.  The 3 walls are like tarp ed off but not solid walls so you can see the water (or pretty much just the gigantic steel company POSCO.)  Anyway, the tables have this open pit in the middle where they bring you your own fire pit.  It has a grill top and you cook your food.  They really only serve clams.  We had tons!  They came two ways, one with like a marinara sauce and cheese and one with jalapenos and onions.  They give you tons of sides to go along with it.  The people also come over and cook it for you so you don't have to.  We learned that they are not too happy if you try to do it yourself.  They laughed a few times at me when I tried to pick up carrot pieces with my chopsticks.  Not easy!  We had 3 ladies come up and talk to us.  They had had a little Soju (Korea's version of Vodka sort of and everyone drinks it like water) and were very talkative. They wanted to know what school we were at, where we were from ect.  Then one guy came up and grabbed them and said "Bye bye."  Its pretty crazy how fascinated people are with us.  

Fred showed me his school.  They have this really cool banner in front of it and has the teachers pictures on it and their info: Fred Jordan, Minnesota USA ect.  Fred doesn't have one yet but he will.  His school looks very different from mine.  It is its own building not jammed in a high rise like mine.  You can tell you are in a city of only half a million now very easily!  

Today we are going to the market in town.  It is also suppose to be one of the largest seafood markets in Korea so I am sure we will see some crazy stuff.  Tonight Pohang has its annual firework festival and the city is filled with people from all over Korea.  It is suppose to last like 90 minutes.  Koreans love their festivals and there is always at least one going on somewhere.

More later! 

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The top picture is of Korean bbq called Galbi. We went out for dinner the other night as a goodbye to Matt and a welcome to me. This picture is of the building where LCI, the school I teach at, is located. We are on the top floor.

Walking around Suji

These are pictures from one of the classes that I watched. That is Amanda Teacher and her entire class. They are the same age and English level as the kinder class that I will teach. The picture at the top is of all of the goodies that Lilys mom brought in for the celebration.

The picture above is of my hotel and the one above that is walking on the street.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Off to Seoul!

Just a quick update!

Things have gotten better for me. I had a very rough first few days, wishing I hadnt come. But now that I am at the school I am starting to feel better.

The other day one of the students had a birthday. Her mom brought in tons of treats from a cake to fried chicken to melons. The kids all brought presents (the ones in her class) and we had a little party. It was really fun to see how excited the Korean people get for birthdays.

I move into my apartment tomorrow and cannot wait! Then I leave to go see Fred!!!! I will be in his city until Monday and then we are traveling to Busan, on the southern coast until Friday. On Monday the 3rd I will get internet in my apartment and start teaching! Kind of scary.

Today I was invited to go to Seoul for the day by Janice, one of the other teachers. I am excited to see what it is like.

I will update more later!

Love London

Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome to the LCI Kids Club

Hey everyone!

So I just finished my first day of school. The teachers are all really nice and very helpful. There are 12 of us, well 13 until Matt leaves on Wednesday, I am taking over his classes. It is split pretty evenly, 6 from the states (3 from MN) and 6 from Canada. Everyone was very friendly and made me feel welcomed.

In the morning, starting at 10 I watched Matt teach his kindergarden class. There are 5 boys and 4 girls. They are called in 6-1 class which means they are 6 years old and this is their first year of English. They are all very smart and more advanced then I had thought. That class went until 12:30 and then we had lunch. Many of the teachers and I, along with the school director and a few of the Korean staff went for lunch. We went to this pasta place right by the school. I loved it. That was the first large thing I had eaten since I arrived. From 1:30 until 2:20 we had kindergarden again.

Then in the afternoon I watched 3 different classes. The first was a grammer class for 8 year olds. The second was a social studies class. This class was so smart! They were reviewing for a test and had gone over material about Rosa Parks, the government (taxes, freedom of speech, ect) and capitals of many countries. I was shocked at how advanced they are. The last class was for 9 year olds who have only had 2 years of English. They were a little behind.

Tomorrow I am watching and observing new classes. In the afternoon on Tues and Thurs they have the older kids, about 4th grade. One of the teachers told me these kids are almost fluent. It should be interesting!

Fred arrives in Korea tonight and I am so excited. I spoke to a few of the Korean teachers and they said that P'ohang is really far but I am just happy to have someone going through this too. I am trying to arrange a way to go see him on Friday. The teachers said that I can take a train but would have to change a few times. I can also take the subway to Seoul then a bus straight there. The only thing is that it takes about 5 hrs from Seoul. I think I want to do this. I am nervous to have such a long trip on the trains by myself be my first experience. We will see!

I am suppose to get my phone on Wednesday so that will make life easier. I will then get phone cards so that I can call home. Also, on Wednesday I am moving into my apartment. Then I should be able to get Skype working. (If you dont have Skype get it! Its easy to download and takes only a few minutes. Then we can webcam talk for free!!)

3 of the other teachers are leaving in about a month and that is when the other MN girls will arrive.

Thats all for now.

Love London

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hello Korea!

So I landed in Korea just fine. The flight was long but I tried to sleep and watch movies. Once we landed we all had our temperatures taken as a caution for Swine flu which is still a problem here. Then it was on to customs which was very easy. I got throuh very quickly.

I was then met by a guy from the school named Scotty. He took me to my hotel and showed me a little around the town. I do not have internet at the hotel so I am at a webcafe now.

It is very rainy here as it is the wet/monsoon season here for the next 3 weeks. Today it is very humid and but not raining yet. I am alone so I am just roaming the city, or the little area that I am not afraid to explore. Tomorrow Scotty is picking me up and taking me to the school. I cannot wait to get there and meet the other teachers and the students. I know tomorrow will get easier.

I will post some pictures once I have taken a few. I am hoping to get everything figured out!

Miss everyone already.


Friday, July 17, 2009

If you did not hear my depature date was pushed back until today because I did not get my visa and passport in time. So right now I am sitting in the San Fran airport on my layover before heading to Korea. I have never been so scared in my entire life. I am filled with nervous energy just waiting to get there.

I am getting picked up at the aiport by someone from the school. From there they will take me to my hotel. I think that the city I am in is about 2 hrs from the main airport that I am flying into. From tonight (Saturday) until Wednesday I will be staying in a hotel. The teacher that is in my apartment now does not leave until then so I must wait. Starting on Monday I will be following another teacher. I thought that I would do this for a week however the school goes on their summer break begining on Thursday so I will only have 3 days of training. They are on break until August 3rd. Fred comes to Korea on Sunday and has the same break as I do. We are planning on going to Pusan/Busan for part of the break. We have heard that this is one of the most beautiful places to be in Korea during the summer.

The other girls from Minnesota that I will be with arrive in Korea around the end of August. It will be nice to have them there.

Once I get to Korea I will update. I am sure I will be very overwhelmed and hopefully to the excited point!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Heading to Korea!

I am headed to Korea next Tuesday, July 14th! I am flying from MSP to San Fransico then, after a 4 hr layover, flying to Seoul (about 13 hrs!)

Its exciting but also making me nervous to have a flight booked!