Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Would you like some candy?

After a journey of what felt like forever, we are alive and well in Suwon! It took about 30 hours to get from Sheboygan to Suwon. Andrew and I slept only about 3 hours the whole way - and were SO exhausted when we arrived. All we wanted to do was to sleep - but Ray (the guy who picked us up from the airport) took us to our school.
The drive was definitely interesting... We seemed to be going through endless skyscrapers, all of which are apartments. On the ride Ray asked us if we would like some candy. We said sure and he handed us each a small square piece of candy. It actually was not candy, Ray had handed us Halls Cough Drops. He asked us if we liked them, and we responded with, "Mmmm, yum." I can't stand Halls Cough Drops!

Once we arrived at our school we met our co-teachers, directors, managers, secretaries -- the whole shebang. Imagine what we looked like after 30 hours of travelling on 3 hours of sleep! Not my idea of a good first impression. We looked like crap and were SO exhausted! I could hardly stand, I felt like I was going to faint. I think my body was having some form of sea-sickness because we were moving for so long, when I sat still my body felt like it was going to tip over. We were a little embarrassed because we were still wearing our plane clothes, were kind of sweaty, and hadn't brushed our teeth in 30 hours. Gross.

There must have been a lot of confusion as everyone around us was speaking in rapid Korean, motioning to us... and some times getting angry and yelling. Diana, our school Vice President kept looking at us and would smile, cover her mouth and giggle a stereotpyical Asian giggle. We just sat there and smiled until they told us what to do next.

We were given three phone numbers of our co-workers and directors and they took us to our apartment. They had us walk because it was close and we needed to learn how to walk there. (It was now about 11pm). We got in to our apartment - and were a little disappointed. They aren't kidding when they said the Korean apartments are tiny... and there was NO BED! We only had one blanket and they said the school would hopefully get us a bed next week. We were so exhausted, and the whole time our new bed was our driving factor.

Once we got our luggage in the apartment, Tony (the guy who was showing us around) asked us if we would like to go get dinner. We felt rude to say no, so we said yes. We walked to Lotteria, a fast food burger place. The burger had a really weird sauce and steamed broccoli on top, with onions under the patty. He also got us french fries and Cokes. Once we finished our burgers, he swooped up the fries and our drinks and threw the rest away, saying, "lets go!" We were kind of confused why we didn't sit and finish our food, but whatever - I was ready for bed so I didn't care.

We got back to our apartment and got ready for bed. The school gave us two bags with things in them for our apartment. The items consisted of a comforter, pink bath sandals, two bottles of shampoo, two spoons, four chopsticks, a butcher knife, six hangers, two toothbrushes, two tubes of toothpaste, two bath towels (They are smaller than the size of American Kitechen towels), a bar of soap, two small pillows, two small bowls, two large bowls, two small plates, two coffee cups, and a pot and pan.
We laid down by midnight. It was an uncomfortable sleep on hard wood floors. We put the comforter on the floor. T-shirts over our pillows for pillowcases, and covered up with scarves and miscellaneous clothing items. Trying to sleep through the night reminded me of when I first went to Australia. I felt like an infant who could not sleep through the night. My body would make it through one sleep cycle, and I would wake up for an hour, to fall asleep again for another sleep cycle. It is very frustrating waking up every four hours and not being able to fall back asleep! I'm sure I will get it down in a few days!
Packed and ready to go at 3:30am!
Eating a glorifed version of Ramen on the plane. The beginning of our chopstick adventure!
We made it over Japan... on to Korea!
Our first view of Korea.
This is the outside of our apartment building. We live in the middle building of the three.
This is our apartment. The windows are our laundry room, which is actually like a crawl space, we have to climb up through a window to get to it - and have to kneel because it is only a few feet tall.
Another view of the front of our building. I will take pictures of the inside once we are fully unpacked and moved in.
This is the apartment building across the street. We are kind of glad we didn't get in a high raise apartment becuase they seem to be smaller than what we have.

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