(Image via Pixabay)
I have become aware of the fact that I should make more efforts to keep people in the loop concerning Korea, and I shall.
Though, now that I’m beginning to adjust to adjusting, I’m finding myself enjoying being on my own. Now that the roller coaster is leveling out a bit, I’ve linked my arms behind my head, and sighed. And sometimes I forget that I should be sharing more of this craziness. It was so easy back home to keep in contact with people, and now, well, it’s not.
So here’s me practicing being a person, in the following ways (AKA me learning how not to be an absolute introvert, because if I’m not careful I will be, and I know that’s not the best thing for me):
-leaving my apartment
That’s too general. Sort of. Let’s fix that:
- Contacting this person I think I talked to once during orientation (there was a lot of people at orientation and I met a decent bunch of them, I will have you know). I recently realized this person now lives near me, and so a thought in my brain fired off with something like, “Now we need to be friends out of necessity and/or proximity.” I hope. They seem pretty rad. And not just because I know they also love Netflix. If they’re reading this right now, well, ok. Now they know a little more than they otherwise would. P.S. – I make a good friend! Especially when it comes to being awkward in a foreign country together. I think that last sentence just demonstrated the awkward part. Ahem.
- Continuously exploring and walking around my neighbourhood trying to map it out in my brain and memory.
- Being classified as brave just for coming to Korea, even though I’m not the type of person who loves going out, doing new things and partying on weekends – all just for kicks. My idea of a party most commonly involves playing card games or playing video games with friends, perhaps blasting some 14-year-olds in Halo on my Xbox One….and occasionally being blasted by said 14-year-olds, but mostly the other way around.
- Talking to a random person at the bus stop that just got out of the English church service (so I knew they could speak English), asking about the bus, then sitting back on the bench. Then going back a few minutes later because I actually wanted to meet someone new that day if I was going to to make the effort to take a bus when I hadn’t actually gotten the system figured out yet. Turns out this Korean girl I was chatting to had lived in Canada for a number of years (yay!) and was very friendly and helpful. It made my heart quite happy.
- Getting used to constantly communicating with people who don’t speak native English. I’m getting better at it! Also: Learning more, new Korean words.
- Meeting some of my students on the sidewalk as I was out exploring today. They stopped their bikes, saying, “Teacher! Adina! Hi!” They make me smile. I smiled a lot today while teaching, which was a full day with 5 classes back to back. I really enjoyed myself, though, and that’s because I enjoyed the kids.
These students stopped to talk with me a bit, though mostly the older ones. Even though I hadn’t actually met them yet, they still somehow knew my name. At one point, one of them asked a question I didn’t understand so her friend started humming “Here comes the bride.” I said no, and they smiled. Or did they giggle? I can’t remember. No, it was a different boy who giggled earlier in the day, right after yelling out as I was walking by in the hallway, “Teacher, pretty!” He was in grade 2, I think. Charmer.
- Actually, those students who stopped to talk were some of the fastest people ever to ask about the scar on my cheek. For the uninformed, said scar is from a dog bite that happened when I was practically 3. Usually, people think it’s a birthmark. I had one though who thought it was a tattoo (?) and I usually forget it’s even there. I’m not that surprised they asked so quickly, though, knowing what I do about the famed Korean bluntness I heard so much about, though I haven’t yet (yet) experienced as much of it as I was expecting.
- When one of my co-teachers discovered I hadn’t left my apartment for one day on the weekend before, she seemed very surprised – almost concerned. I wasn’t. I had just been getting over sickness before and was still settling in and cleaning and organizing and was satisfied to just lay around and relax. Besides, I had just found a grand show on Netflix. Ahehehe…nothing out of the ordinary, folks! Move along! Nothing to see here!
There you have it. Proof to others (and myself) that I’m making getting out and being social. Thanks for sticking around for all the introversion!
One last tidbit: When my laundry is done, the machine sings a little tune. A 25 second-long tune (starts 30 secs in. Different washer, same tune). I’ve never used a washer like this, and now I will never forget to take my laundry out. Thank you Samsung.
Greetings from Dad
Hello teacher Adina, what is your favorite Korean food? and…and…and…I can see why the kids like you, as I’ve seen for many years, you have a way that’s inviting. I’ll bet they ask some interesting Qs .sounds like things are going well and that makes your mama’s heart happy, I can see it.
Well, keep up the great work dida, can’t wait for the next installment 🙂
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