Please wait while your teacher adjusts….

I’ve arrived. I’m safe and sound in Seoul. In fact, I’m already a four-day veteran of this wonderful country. Unfortunately, I have a sinking suspicion that it takes more than four days to become a local…

However, I’m slowly starting to adjust to life in Korea. These adjustments are certainly not complete, and certainly not the only things I will need to adjust. Regardless, progress is progress, and any adjustment is better than no adjustment. Some of these are smaller adjustments, and I already feel somewhat successful in my ability to stand tall in the face of adversity. Why no, sir, my life is not over simply because I have no shower curtain. Instead I will just not put anything in the bathroom that I could not allow wet! And the lack of full-size towels? No problem! I can just be efficient in my use! Or use two!

Some of these are larger adjustments, and it may be a long time before I feel natural in these areas. I’m slowly starting to progress at getting around without speaking the language. I can purchase things at a coffee shop or 7-11 and work my way around the subway system, but I would feel less confident in a nice restaurant or a cab. Ultimately I’d like to adjust by actually learning how to somewhat speak Korean. My vocabulary so far is “annyong haseyo” (hello), and “gamsahamnida” (thank you). One step at a time.

I’ve been a little surprised at some of the ways I’ve needed to adapt, or at how ingrained simple behaviors of mine are. I’m getting better at taking my shoes off before entering my hotel room, and not crossing my legs so that the bottom of my soul is facing out (my head teacher corrected me on that). Jet Lag has also claimed me as quite an easy victim. I woke up at 7am and 5:30am the first and second morning, and then 3:45am, 5:30am, and 7am the third morning. I’m much too awake to fall back asleep until about noon, when I’m basically standing awake the rest of the day. It’s slowly getting better, so I’m seeing a light at the end of this tunnel.


One of three 7-Elevens within
half a block of our motel