So, I’m in Dongtan, South Korea! I got in to Inchon airport Oct. 24 around 4 p.m. after flying from Detroit to Chicago, and then Chicago to South Korea. Total travel time being about twenty-four hours. Yuck. I didn’t really sleep at all on the airplane because I couldn’t get comfortable, and I didn’t sleep the night before either. Once I got to the airport I took a bus from Inchon to Dongtan, which was a good two and half hour drive. When I got into Dongtan the bus was supposed to drop me off at the hotel where I was going to meet up with some teachers from my school; however, apparently that wasn’t the bus route schedule so I got dropped off somewhere in Dongtan and searched for the hotel with a Korean guy who spoke English who was also on the bus. After walking for about a mile a woman called out my name, who turned out to be the woman I was supposed to meet, and her and two other teachers had been searching for me for a while and were getting worried. By that time I was completely exhausted from hauling my two 65 lb suitcases, my laptop and a giant backpack, but they wanted to take me to dinner. I, on the other hand, wanted nothing more than to get to my apartment, call my mom and have a good cry. It would have been rude to refuse dinner though, so we went to a Korean BBQ, which is really good; however, I had to excuse myself a few times to go to the bathroom when I felt like I couldn’t hold back tears. After dinner they took me to my apartment, and I completely fell in love with it. I was picturing some tiny room with a kitchen and bathroom and bedroom all crammed into one tiny place, but this layout is totally awesome.
A downside to the apartment was that my bed hadn’t been delivered when I got there, so I spent the first three nights on the tile floor. The teachers offered to let me stay at their house until it came, but I just wanted to be by myself and cry when I needed to and have my own little area. So I folded up some blankets and made do for a while, and then my bed came this afternoon! The mattress is just about as hard as the floor, but whatever – at least it isn’t actually the floor!
I would like to report that everything here is amazing and I’m having the time of my life, but that’s not the case. Right now I’m sleep deprived, PMSing and going through some awesome culture shock. The thoughts that run through my mind are as follows: what the hell were you thinking moving to frickin South Korea where you don’t know anyone (at least in this town), you can’t communicate with anyone (except for maybe two people), you don’t know the layout of the area, no idea how the bus system works, don’t know where to buy anything, the food is all different, the music is weird, your internet connection is spotty… why on Earth did you think that this was a good idea?
Thankfully, though, I knew that this was coming. This, my friends, is culture shock in its purest form. And then this is where you really have to rely on the faith that you’re supposed to be here. Every obstacle has shown a solution simple enough to solve, and I know that this is where my life path is meant to go. Do you ever just know that things are working out the way that they’re supposed to? It’s like I’ve tried to ignore this path for two and half years now, trying to avoid going to Korea. And yet… here I am. I’ve said it a million times, but I know and feel it in my bones that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. But at this moment… I have no idea why.
Today was better though. I didn’t cry at all! I think that getting more sleep and getting a bed and being able to totally unpack has really helped. Everyone at school is really nice, and the kids are the CUTEST! They call me Codi Teacher and they all want hugs all the time. Once I get my own schedule and my own classrooms I’ll be able to slip into my groove and be good from there.
There’s still much to talk about, but it would make for a super long blog and I’m too tired! Stay tuned…