I know what you’re thinking: “But Rachel, it isn’t Tuesday.” True. It is Wednesday. I’m just coining a new phrase for those of us who work weekends and are off Wednesday-Thursday (meaning Tuesday night is the beginning of my weekend, thus thanking God for it being Tuesday). It was a little strange to be off Saturday and Sunday, work Monday and Tuesday, and be off today and tomorrow.
I was a bit lazy this morning but still managed to fold my clothes (they were finally dry after having washed them Monday night) and wipe down the bathroom and kitchen. Rene and Zaaid came over a little after 12:00 and we took a walk around Heyri, an art village, right outside of GEV. It’s a really strange place; artists live and have their studios there, and literally almost every building has a coffee shop and/or restaurant. One street had 3 coffee shops in a row. There were a few statues around, but otherwise, there wasn’t too much to see in terms of artwork. There are a couple of intriguing museums that I would like to go back to once we get paid: the Museum of Modern Korean History and the Museum of Musical Instruments. Rene took some pictures of what we saw and will allow me to post some of them once she sends them to me.
Walking back to GEV, for the first time I saw the large “English Village” sign up on the one hill, imitating the Hollywood sign (but not nearly as big, obviously). While we were entering GEV, passed the “Stonehenge” circle and then went through the “Castle” (main gate), it suddenly hit me what a bizarre place this is to live in. Tons of people teach abroad, and many of them go to Korea; how many people live and work in an English theme park in Korea? This will probably be one of the most unique teaching experiences one could hope to have. It is kind of weird, but also really cool, in my opinion.
It also struck me that this will be the “college experience” that I never had since I lived at home when I was in school. Instead of my classmates living next door to me on campus, my colleagues do. I can’t go anywhere without seeing someone I teach with, which is both awesome and a little suffocating at the same time. Imagine looking out the window of your house and seeing groups of school children and families looking around, running around, taking pictures. Also imagine not being able to drown out the Disney and kids’ songs they blast throughout the village. Then, imagine leaving your home and having all the children and tourists saying “hello” to you as you make your way to the store, bank, your friend’s apartment, etc. I’m sure that in a couple of months this will all be ‘normal’ to me, but it’s all still so new and just… strange.
After our walk this afternoon, we came back to GEV and I went to the bank to open my bank account. The lady was there and I was finally able to do it. Then I joined Rene and Zaaid at the coffee shop here in the village, but couldn’t get anything because, well, I’m down to $30. I’m very anxious for payday! The 3 of us discussed what to do this “weekend” (today and tomorrow) since none of us can afford to do anything. Later, we ran into one of our colleagues who suggested we go on some of the hikes around here. Something new to do? For free?! DONE.
We also met some of the Edutainers today on the way back from the coffee shop. We had gone over to meet them after work on Monday, but forgot it was their day off… so, it was nice to run into them and have the opportunity to introduce ourselves. It turns out that the one girl, who was really friendly, is my neighbor! We promised to visit each other and I’m hoping this turns into another great friendship.
When I got back to my apartment, Glenn was online and we Skyped for just a few minutes before I let him try to get some sleep (it was 3:00am for him). He FINALLY got his background check! If all goes well, he should be able join me in 2.5-3 weeks. YEAH!
Tomorrow, we’ll go on a hike or 2 and maybe go into Ilsan to walk around there. I’m eager to see more of Korea (not just GEV and Paju) so I can learn more about the country, culture, and people.
Over and out.