Hangeul means, “Korean,” in Korean.
Yes, it’s true… I have been learning Korean and can now say a few basic things, key words, AND… yes… I can read it! I’m a bit slow at reading right now, but with time and practice, I’m sure I will get much faster. I’ve been learning with a couple of members from the Spanish club and also with my Korean friends, Andy and Lucy. They swear that I’m a fast learner and have good pronunciation, but Korean is so different from any other language I know and I’m positive I sound like an idiot any time I say something. But hey… I can read Korean!!! 🙂
It’s all about the little victories that maintain my confidence in my ability to survive here, and lately I’ve had a couple of big victories: learning to read Korean this week, and last week it was going into Seoul by myself for the first time. My next challenge is to find a post office, buy stamps, and mail a ton of postcards that I bought last week in Seoul. You would think that something as trivial as a trip to the post office wouldn’t be considered a victory, but when you have no idea where to even find one, don’t know how to ask for stamps, and don’t know what Korean mailboxes look like, trust me… it will indeed be a victorious moment for me!
I had another successful “weekend” after 2 days of work with very high-level soldiers (one soldier lived in Canada for 11 years and another lived in English for 20!), which was a lot of fun and a nice change from teaching low to high intermediate. I ended Tuesday (my Friday) by helping them prepare for their presentations (I was assigned to do that instead of Cinema English) and Wednesday morning, I slept in and then had a couple of Skype dates. I was lazy the rest of the day and then around 4:30pm I headed into Seoul to meet up with Andy and Lucy. This time is was just the 3 of us, which was really nice because we haven’t hung out alone yet except for last week after dinner. We had really good Italian food for dinner and then went back to their apartment early so that they could help me study Korean. Eventually, “studying” turned into conversations, jokes, and lots of laughs. They’re so much fun! I really enjoy spending time with them. It’s a shame they are moving to Australia this coming February! I will miss them a lot.
We went to bed a little after 1:00am, but I couldn’t go to sleep until 4:30am because I’d had 2 cups of coffee, and seeing as I don’t ever consume caffeine – and I had 2 cups before bed – I was wide awake all night! I eventually managed to drift off and I woke up on my own at 9:00am, for some silly reason. Instead of trying to sleep more, I got up and left to go back to GEV. I returned around noon and didn’t really do a whole lot during the day other than catch up with a few friends online. This evening, we had a meeting for Spanish Club and then I went to the gym and worked out. All in all, it was a pretty good weekend!
Tomorrow after work, I’ll be going to Geumchon (a part of Paju) to hang out with my friend, Stephen, and some of his friends whom I haven’t met yet. They’re going to build a campfire outside and make smores, so I hope the temperature isn’t TOO below freezing. I think it will be good for me to make some friends outside GEV and to go somewhere new. Variety is the spice of life, is it not? 🙂