First Week Wrap-up

Well, the curtain is now closing on my first week. On Friday, my roommates and I went and had some Korean BBQ and then went to Cheap Shots again. It’s nice to go there and meet other expats and I enjoy talking to them, but I’m not terribly interested in beer pong (there was a tournament going on) and I generally like more relaxed venues. I still had a blast there and afterward, me, Shannon, and two other foreign teachers went across the street to a bar called HObar. While here, a korean man invited us to his table and poured us drinks from the entire bottle of Jose Cuervo on his table. He also offered some of the thinnest cigarettes I’ve ever seen. He was pretty enthusiastic to talk to us and he was pretty generous, although it was pretty hard to understand him with all the noise in the place.

Bupyeong at night. You can see the sign for HObar if you look closely.

The next day, I needed to go to buy some clothes, so I headed off to Bupyeong market. While looking at a jacket on a manikin, the manager came out and talked to me. He had decent English and he picked out a jacket he thought would be good for me and some shirts that matched it. He assured me all of his clothing was made in Korea, not China, so it was better. He also talked to me about color coordination and explained that he had worked at the shop for 8 years and I should trust his opinion. He showed me how the jacket should be worn and told me about “famous Korean style”. He also told me his age, which was 4 years older than myself (he said, “Ah, then I am like older brother,”) I ended up buying the jacket and two shirts and he gave me his business card. On the reverse side it was a point card and I would get a free pair of pants if I bought clothing from him 8 more time (he gave me two stamps this time, one for my purchase and another for us being new friends and have me a discount since I was paying cash). He also told me I should come back if I need anything or if I want to talk to him some more. He wanted to practice his English a bit since he wants his young daughter to be bilingual. He also told me that Koreans were all very kind and generous, but sometimes there are Koreans who take people’s money or hassle them. He said if I’m ever in Bupyeong and being harassed, to call him immediately and he’d come help me out. I was really surprised by this guy’s kindness and friendliness as well as his dedication to making sure my outfit all matched properly. I decided I’d definitely go see him for most of my clothing needs.

While in Bupyeong, I also bought shampoo, conditioner, instant rice, mouthwash, a book about learning Korean, and a Korean comic magazine I’m planning to use to practice reading. While comics will often have made up words that make reading them difficult, the pictures give context to situations and help with inferring the meaning of things. This was something I did to improve my Japanese as well, so I think this will work well.

So far I’ve really been enjoying myself here and the expat community is relatively close, so I have plenty of friends if I need some assistance. A guy last night told me that if I was really enjoying myself from the start, it would only get better. He explained that for most people, Korea kind of had to grow on them. Someone else told me I might not like it as much down the road since I’m probably in a bit of a honeymoon period in my first week. I will say that I do feel like I’m on vacation so far, even though I’ve been working. I guess time will have to tell, huh?


~ by James on February 26, 2012.

12 Responses to “First Week Wrap-up”

  1. Glad you’re having a great time too! Loved the story about the older man selling you clothes.
    I know about the honeymoon period, and I’m hoping that I haven’t hit it yet or that it lasts for awhile because I’m also really enjoying myself.
    It definitely has its ups and its downs, but so far, I really like Korea as well.

    I’ve also noticed that all the expats seem to be pretty close and hang around together. And then the Koreans will get mixed in too and it’s a fun little group.

    Good luck on week two! 🙂

    • I’m glad you made it safely and everything. So far I’ve been very pleased with my decision to come here. I think we’ll have very different experiences though. It sounds like you’re working for a public school from you most recent post. I’m a Hagwon, so I teach at night. I love it.

  2. I am new here as well. And I am loving it.

    • Cool, welcome to Korea. What area are you living in?

      • Im living in Andong. I have been here for 2 weeks so far.

      • Ah, that’s a few hours away from me. And it looks like you’ve got a week on me. Are you public or hagwon?

      • Im at a hagwon. My hours are from 2-8:20pm. M-F . How about you?

      • Same. Except I get off a little later than you do. If you make plans to come through Bupyeong-gu/Incheon let me know. I’m also about 30 minutes from Seoul, although I haven’t been. I’m sure you know by now, but there’s a national holiday on Thursday, so I’m planning on going to Seoul that day, possibly go to see Nanta. I’d be a shitty tour guide right now, but in the future you’d at least have some connection in this part of the country 😉

      • Yeah that would be awesome. You are welcome to come check this part of the country as well. I’m going to be going to seoul I think next month to see a rugby match. So I am pretty excited about going. I’m also making future plans to make a trip to fukuoka, japan. I saw really good weekend packages leaving from busan for 240,00 won. I also want to make a weekend trip out to jeju once it gets warmer. I guess I want to do everything lol .

      • Well, I haven’t been to Fukuoka, but I’ve been to Osaka and Kobe. I’d love to visit Andong, but I still have so much to do in this area. And I was also planning an excursion to Jeju and Busan in the summer. If you’re on facebook you should add me:

      • cool. I added you, hit me up when ever on facebook.

  3. You should check out my blog its

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