Monthly Archives: March 2013

Immigration Office Issues

One of the things I really need to do before all other things in Busan is procure an ARC (alien registration card). Without it, I can’t get a phone, or internet, or television, or a bank account, and probably I’m missing out on a lot of other things as well. So, I looked up directions to the immigration office, received a copy of all my documents from my school, and set out for success!

Little did I know this would be a more complex mission than I had planned for. I made it through one subway transfer and a walk to the immigration office on time, with no hang-ups, so step one was golden.

But, step during step two, fill out appropriate form, I realized that I did not have my current address in Korea on me. Panic! And then, an idea, and the journey to a PC room to find my address, which I had emailed somewhere, began.

So, where was a computer room? Luckily, while standing outside looking confused, someone came up and asked me if I was lost. In Korean, but then asked if I was American, in English. The nearest PC room was a ten minute walk “that way,” he assured me. Hoorah! Can do!

I made it to the PC room only to find that I had no idea how to log on to a computer. Upon much pantomiming the lady at the front desk hooked it up for me and I found my address and wrote it on the forms. Immigration conquered! Just kidding.

Back at the immigration office once more I realized I had forgotten my passport photos, which I also needed for the form. Luckily, there was a photo booth in the waiting room, so that was easily taken care of. However, when my number was finally called, I handed in my forms only to be told that I needed the ORIGINAL copy of my medical forms. Not the photocopy my school had provided. So, I left, ordered (pointed to) four fried sweet potato things at a food stand I passed, and went back home to eat and sulk.

Oh well. Tomorrow, I am conquering this ARC process for sure!

행운을 빕니다!

Ariel

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Hello Busan! Settling in slowly..

Alright so I took a high speed train and entered Busan. The weather is gorgeous here, and I haven’t been to the beach yet, but let me tell you, I cannot wait. My apartment is super close to one of the beaches, and although, I’ve been focused on unpacking and buying everything I need (hello Daiso! Korean dollar store :D) I plan to head out there as soon as possible.

I’ve been teaching this week too! And the kids are super cute. I don’t know if it’s the Ariel the little mermaid rules chart I made, or the fact that I’m new, but they’ve been super well behaved. And so adorable! They’re really trying to learn, and I’m eager to teach them.

Ok, photo roll!

My first glimpse from a taxi window: ferris wheel, beach, blue skies

My first glimpse from a taxi window: ferris wheel, beach, blue skies

more blues skies and apartment buildings

more blues skies and apartment buildings

just too pretty for me to stop taking pictures haha

just too pretty for me to stop taking pictures haha

snapshot of the Busan subway rails. They play classical music when a train is arriving!

snapshot of the Busan subway rails. They play classical music when a train is arriving!

A spicy kimchi stew! And side dishes, of course.

A spicy kimchi stew! And side dishes, of course.

A night on the town! Just kidding, it's dinner in my apartment.  The most amazing cheese flavored chips, kimchi kimbop (korean sushi, kind of), and Doctor Who!

A night on the town! Just kidding, it’s dinner in my apartment. The most amazing cheese flavored chips, kimchi kimbop (korean sushi, kind of), and Doctor Who!

My apartment! Bed, rug, and several chairs

My apartment! Bed, rug, and several chairs

So, my window looks out into another window, not the greatest view haha. But I'm determined to fill my window ledge with flowers!

So, my window looks out into another window, not the greatest view haha. But I’m determined to fill my window ledge with flowers!

Kitchen and computer

Kitchen and computer

Doorway! Welcome all!

Doorway! Welcome all!

That’s all for now!

Miss you!

나중에 봬요!

Ariel

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Goodbye Seoul, Last Impressions

Hey guys! I made it through training! It was a very busy week, to say the least. First, I went through extremely efficient medical exams in a hospital that smelled like oranges and sported luxurious white couches. It was like a spa, but you were shuttled around through different medical exams instead of in and out of different saunas.

So that was nice, but training got intense once I got to the training center! It limited my time in Seoul, after training I just went back to the room and studied/mock taught forever. Now, I feel I’ve got the material and methodology down though, and I can’t wait to start teaching in Busan!

Ok, well, here are some photo highlights:

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Looking up after getting lost, a sculptural treat!

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Funny thing about the subway, fast closing doors on heart clasp purses!

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The most delicious things I’ve had in Seoul, walnut treats! Or walnut bread? I’m not sure actually…

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A wavy building, also found while lost.

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On the bus coming back from training! A tired, but happy, me.

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Super blowfish restaurant!

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One of the many iced teas I tried that week, this one was much better than the corn iced tea!

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Seoul underground subway mall. Reminiscent of the Cosmopolitan in Vegas right?

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More cool buildings!

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A golden hands statue!

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A very cool curvy sculpture.

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An egg structure!

I

Eating noodles! It was a lunch special and one of my last meals in Seoul

Eating noodles! It was a lunch special and one of my last meals in Seoul

Miss you all!

즐거운 저녁 되세요!

Ariel

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Seoul Searching Day One: To the Han River!

Today I walked briskly down Gangnam-daero to the Han River, past many bustling people and shops blaring Justin Bieber. I also passed some pretty unique buildings along with  a man dancing Gangnam style, and ventured down into a huge metro area to try and arrive at the other side of the street. When I made it to water, I bought myself a treat:

Apple juice sodaaaaa

Apple juice sodaaaaa! It was delicious

Ferry boat restaurant?

Ferry boat restaurant?

Hanging out by the river yeahhh

Hanging out by the river yeahhh

River view number two

River view number two

Bridge structure

Hannom Bridge structure

River views

River views

Bike path!

Bike path!

Han River overlook

Han River overlook

A statue by the bridge!

An adorable statue by the bridge! I believe it is a dog?

Another cool building.

Another cool building.

Basketball Building

Basketball Building

A gas station!

A gas station!

A japanese restaurant! Purokanjankejan, perhaps...

A japanese restaurant! Purokanjankejan, perhaps…

The Urban Hive! A pretty holy building.

The Urban Hive! A pretty holy building.

And to conclude my walk, I snapped a photo of another sculpture, back in Gangnam, down near where I’m staying.

Flower rod sculpture in Gangnam

Flower rod sculpture in Gangnam

Goodnight everyone!

굿나잇!

Ariel

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To Seoul!

I made it you guys! I made it to Korea! Me and my two large suitcases and two carry-ons stepped onto the South Korean turf of the Incheon-Seoul International airport yesterday night. It was similar to many other international airports, sleek and streamlined and ideal for arriving-passenger-herding to the baggage claim. I was sad to leave the plane because I took a Singapore Airlines flight and, number one, the flight attendant’s outfits were gorgeous. Number two, the inflight entertainment was crazy amazing (600 channels of movies!). Number three, the food was delicious and plentiful, and number four, I was a bit nervous about landing and dreading donning my large backpack yet again.

Well, I was not in control of the plane, so we landed smoothly without any hold ups and I hauled my things to the immigration line. Which was unremarkable except for the fingerprinting machine they had. Do they have those everywhere? I don’t recall, but these were very official-looking. From there I picked my other bags up at the claim and shuffled around to where I thought I might be able to buy a bus ticket. Hm, wrong way. Then I ran into a taxi man who assured me it would be easier to take a cab but I was insistent on following the printed out detailed instructions given to me by Chungdahm, and he looked them over and pointed in another direction, which I went in, but got lost, and finally found a bright yellow transportation help station! The lady inside wrote down the bus number I needed and I changed my USD to South Korean won, bought a ticket (with a tiny snafu in which I comically miscounted the amount of zeros on some of the won bills, 10000 won is like 10 dollars! Crazy. Too many zeros.), and was on my way to Seoul! The bus was luxurious, with seats that laid waaaaay back and lulled my to sleep. I did spot red fog brushing mountain tips and some multi-colored rainbow light bridges before drifting off though! So that was my first glimpse of the city.

Next step, bus to cab and cab to hotel. I’m staying at the Coatel, in Gangnam, and it’s super nice. Heated wooden floors and two tvs and a kitchen included. I’m waiting on two more roommates to join me but for now I feel like a million bucks! Or a billion won? Who knows. It’s nice though, and I included some quick glimpses for you below:

Living Room

Living Room

View from my window!

View from my window!

View below my window!

View below my window!

Kitchen View

Kitchen View

Thanks for reading! Next post will be more exciting (with more pictures) I promise.

 

사랑해!

Ariel

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