The Brave, Little Ninja Goes to School in South Korea: Weeks 40 & 41

This time I go the Osan Airforce Base twice and start my level 3 victory lap!


Wed Nov 29: This day I went to a lady who was in my level 2 class’s house to tutor her son in English for a little bit. She wanted to turn it into a language exchange to she tutored me a little in Chinese afterward. The tones of Mandarin still elude me.

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The statue spotted the ninja.

On my way back on the subway, two guys who were clearly foreigners asked me for directions on how to get back to the airport. They were at a station that would take them to the airport, but they were on the wrong platform, so I was able to direct them to where they needed to go. I hope they made it on time.

When I got back to the apartment, I was suddenly overcome with an urge to clean the kitchen? So I decided not to fight that, and I organized and cleaned out our silverware drawer and some other cabinets. I decided that mentioning this was blog-worthy because I am never in the mood to clean as I’m sure no one else is either, and I was proud of my hard work. So there.

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Star Wars poster in Gangnam

Thursday I was what I call aggressively lazy. That’s the kind of lazy where you purposefully get almost nothing productive accomplished and you feel almost physically sick about it, but you still choose to sit there on the couch and watch Kdramas. The only thing I did was two loads of laundry.

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Koreans love Christmas too. You can frequently see Christmas trees, small Christmas lights, and hear Christmas music playing in stores. Although I think even Koreans would have a hard time reaching the same level of obsession and hard-core-ness as Americans about the holiday. And that’s saying something.

Friday was just a little less lazy as I did four loads of laundry. This included things like my bedsheets and towels and etc.. Again, you really didn’t need to know that….

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In Korea, the word for “selfie” is “selca.” You can just feel the amount of sass this thing contains. I desperately want someone to give this to.

Saturday was fun. Sydney, Monica, and I met up with Luke in Osan, and he took us on the base to eat at Chili’s and to go bowling. Monica had never been on a military base before, so this was really exciting for her. And it’s always exciting for me to eat at the infamous only Chili’s in Korea.

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By SRT (super rapid train), the base is about 20 minutes south of Seoul. If you go by subway, it’s over 2 hours.

 

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The base isn’t shown in detail on Google Maps for obvious reasons.

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Building on base

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I don’t bowl a lot, but this was definitely the most high-tech bowling alley I’ve ever been to.

 

Wednesday was my first day back in my victory lap of level 3. I realized that it had been my 4th first day of school I’d had this year. Strange thought, isn’t it?

My classmates are from all over as usual. Two students are from Taiwan and then there’s one each from Chile, Ecuador, Italy, France, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. It’s a smaller class, and I can already tell the atmosphere of the class is a lot different than last semester’s. I’m looking forward to getting to know them.

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This is from Shinpo which is a place that we go to eat at after church quite frequently. This is rice with fried pork and some scrambled eggs. It’s really good.

My teachers for this semester are familiar faces. My homeroom/speaking teacher from last semester is now my writing teacher, and my listening/reading teacher from last semester is my listening/reading teacher again. My listening/reading teacher must not have checked her class roster before she came into the class as she seemed very surprised to see me. I wanted to be like, “You saw my test grades, 선생님 (teacher). You knew I would be here.” Instead I said, “So what brings you here?” (In Korean, of course.) She got a little laugh out of that.

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This is another one of our frequent after-church eating haunts. This place is called Saboten, and this is Japanese curry and rice with a broth soup that has mushrooms in it.

This is going to be an interesting semester, but I already feel much more confident because I have literally done all of this before. And it’s not that I didn’t understand the grammar, it’s just my speaking is very weak, and I have trouble making what we learned in class come out of my mouth fast enough to be considered true conversation. I think repeating this level will be a good thing for me, and will give me the extra time I need for everything in my brain to connect faster.

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This thing attached to the escalator railing sanitizes it as is passes through. Genius, I say.

Friday was the OMS Christmas party. We had Outback take-out for dinner, which was awesome! And then we did a gift exchange. It was White Elephant style, so where you can open a new present or “steal” one of the ones that were already opened. However, the presents were things people actually wanted instead of goofy presents and such. I ended up with a really fluffy blanket, which I am currently snuggling with as I type this blog post.

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Saturday, Sydney and I went to Osan again because that would be the last time before we all got back from our Christmas breaks that we would be able to hang out just the three of us. We ate on base of course. This time we ate at the food court. I was able to use the gift card that Luke got me for my birthday so that was even better.

After we went back to Luke’s apartment, we watched the Mr. Bean movie and we figured out how to order food on this Korean food deliver app. Crazy how things work nowadays? You can just press a few buttons and food shows up at your door.

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This carnage WAS my Arby’s.

Anyway, so my next blog post should be updated from the good ol’ US of A! I’m so excited to go and see my family. It’s going to be lots of fun fighting jet lag, but I don’t even care. I’m just so ready to see them, and the anticipation is going to kill me.

So for prayer requests, please pray that I have patience and a peace that allows me to be present where I am so that I can still do well in class. Also please pray for safety as I fly back on the 22nd (Korea time).

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While this snow melted even the same day that it fell, this was the first sort of real snow this year.

I’m glad I was able to get back to updating on a normal schedule. Technically the Monday I should update is Christmas Day, so I can’t say that I’ll update exactly on that day for obvious reasons, but I’m sure I’ll have time around then as I’ll probably be wide awake at 4am one of those nights because of jet lag.

Thank you for reading!

Weeks 42 & 43
Weeks 38 & 39

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