allrighty so its been a month now that we’ve been here already which I think is pretty amazing because I still only know 2 words in Korean, “hello” and “thank you”, which has suited me pretty well but we will be starting our Korean classes in a few weeks to build on that stellar vocabulary. As you are all aware, Nicole had gone to the states for her best friends wedding last week (Congrats to you both by the way!), and so i was left to fend for myself….along with the not so helpful Olive for the week. Here she is on the bus to Seoul!
The majority of my time was spent working but I did manage some hiking and biking over the course of the week as well. I hiked “the ridge” as its called which is a fairly steep hike through a mountainous area behind our apartment that takes about 45 minutes to complete and by the time you are done you should be able to break fists on your behind….if you have good fortune of being punched there 😉 I think we may have mentioned this in an earlier posting but the trail is also somewhat of a “fitness” trail with actual workout areas that include outdoor versions of steppers, incline benches for situps, hula hoops, and elipticals. Its pretty sweet and the amount of older Korean women that I see everytime i hike working out is pretty impressive. Not to mention that fact that they are working out between 20 minute hikes up a 70 degree incline path. Here’s on of the lovely ladies doin her thing.
They seem to all use the same technique of clasping their hands behind them which seems to work. The view from some of the higher points hives you a really nice perspective on the city and is an amazing contrast between the beauty of the mountains and the endless sea of buildings and mega-highrise apartments that cover every square foot of land between the mountains in Gwangju.
The biking trip was fun but due to the weather was somewhat short. I traveled along a river that is a very useful guide to get me to the downtown area and back home without getting lost. I managed to find a all you can eat salad bar and steak place along the way which was pretty excellent but for the $30 I spent on just myself, i’ll probably stick to the kimchi and shabu-shabu places closer to home.
So I know the title just seemed like a ploy to get you to read but my weekend did include many naked Korean men indeed. I was told by a few coworkers about a place called the “jinjilbang” which is actually a bath house with several types of baths and saunas. You pay about 4800 won which is barely over $4 US money and you can stay and relax as long as you like in the baths and saunas. Now I would say the catch is that you have to be completely naked but in Korean society nudity
isn’t really viewed the same. They all semmed very comfortable with is and fairly shortly, so was I! I mean, took a few minutes but it actually felt pretty liberating after a while and I was able to just relax and even chat it up with some Korean dudes about where i was from and my thoughts on Korea thus far. There is even a green and black tea bath which were very nice to soak in. So that was my experience there and i can honestly say that it won’t be my last. Oh yeah, so no pictures from this adventure. Seemed mildly innapropriate.
Allright and finally now that I have completely exhausted you attention span i thought i’d just give a few thooughts on my teaching experience thus far. For most of the day i’m prepping my lesson plans which are mainly laid out for me but I like to add some flair via games and interactive activities. The kids are pretty great and with the exception of a few occasions I have not had to repremand to many of them which is nice since i think they get enough of that from the Korean teachers. I’ve got one class in particular where the kids are obsessed with suicide and killing which is kinda disturbing but they are like 10 so its actually not that worrisome. Here’s a picture of a few of them. Pay close attention to the picture on the board in front the kid with the red shirt. He’s quite an artist. 😉
Ok so thats all I have for now but we are planning a trip down to Wando this weeekend to see the beach so there will be more excitement to come shortly!!!