Johns Diary English Teacher in South Korea First Impressions
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Part 1: Arrival and First Impressions of South Korea
Arriving to South Korea felt a little bit like landing in another world. I have travelled fairly extensively before, but never to Asia, and things here certainly are different. The language, to the untrained ear, sounds composed of air and intonation rather than vowels and consonants. The writing on the signs looks like the remains of a child’s breakfast – there is absolutely no way of guessing what they mean. Add a bad night’s sleep and a touch of jetlag and that is how I felt as I arrived in Incheon Airport in Seoul.
But not everything seems as though it is from another world. The people all have one head, two eyes, two arms and two legs, reassuringly enough. And the bank machine looked like a bank machine, and even had a button on it for English. Right around that point in time I knew I’d survive in this country!
It was a further reassurance to be met by my recruitment agent. He took me in his car and drove me to my new life, all the while feeding me various morsel of information about life, work and socializing. It all sounded more or less what I had been hoping for.
We arrived at my apartment and dropped my bags and then went to meet Mr. Kim – my new boss. There I met some of the other teachers –Nicola, a girl from the UK and my flatmate also, along with the Korean teachers at the school and the other staff. Mr. Kim took me for an 89 course meal, or so it seemed, downstairs with my recruiter. The food was extremely tasty, although getting into my mouth was a slight chore. Mastering chopsticks would take a little time!
Part 2: First Day in the classroom, coming shortly!