Sunday, August 20, 2006

Job training

Well it's been a busy week. Last Sunday I moved from my nice little koshiwon and into a hotel that's being paid for by the company I'm working with. The new place is in Soelleung and the room is really nice.

Two televisions, a jacuzzi, sauna and internet access? I just hope they're not going to make me pay.

Probably the best thing about the room is the toilet which has a control panel on the side. Being the curious monkey that I am, I started pushing the buttons one day when I was doing my morning business. All of a sudden a jet of warm water started spraying my nether regions. After I got used to the tickling sensation, I found it to be quite enjoyable.

This is my roommate, Ben. He's from Canada and used to teach here a long time ago. Right now he's at a street vendor ordering takgatchi, marinated chicken skewers on a stick that taste a little like teriyaki.

Itaewon is a district in Seoul which is a hub for multicultural businesses. Due to its proximity to the US army base, there are a lot of American style bars and nightclubs. In the daytime you can buy things you'd normally have difficulty finding in the rest of Seoul. Here we are playing pool at a bar called Hollywood.

And here we are back in our room the next day with some friends that the wind blew in. We ordered some delivery food and Ben was still keen on drinking soju. I lent them my spare shorts and we hung out in the sauna for a couple of hours. Daniel and Alex on the left are from Sweden but they live and teach in Thailand.

Every few weeks around the city you see a whole a lot of these buses parked near strategic locations. They're riot-squad buses and they carry special policemen that have to do drills with helmets and shields. The protests in Korea can get pretty serious, especially the student ones. All the doors and windows on the buses are protected with metal cages.

This is a French restaurant in the heart of Sinchon called Le Petit Paris. It's owned and run by a French-Korean adoptee and the staff are adoptees too. The food is good and you can get decent wine as well.

That particular night it was Matthias's 24th birthday. He's from Sweden and recently landed a university scholarship to study here. Happy birthday dude.

Us at the Six O'Clock bar.

Thomas and Sara rocking it hard to some Scandinavian beats.

Pirate love.

Daniel feeling the pinch from a long night out. He was fine the next day. Young bodies heal quick.

So I started my training to be a teacher at a company called CDI last week. The schedule has been pretty intense and I've been impressed by the setup. The company runs private language tuition schools throughout Korea and is expanding into China next year.

The training I've done has involved a lot of theory and mock teaching in front of classmates. The training has been surprisingly smooth and well-planned. While I still don't think I'm ready to teach just yet, it's helped me a lot to organise my thoughts. The rest I guess I can only get from experience.

Even though we're training for 5 hours a day, we still manage to squeeze in a drink with co-workers. But everything in moderation, of course.

Those two girls in the front are satelite adoptees from the US. Satelite adoptees are the name I thought up for those who aren't connected to any of the organisations here. But now they're kinda connected.

Well this is a view of Seoul from our CDI training building. If you look closely you can see my reflection in the glass. I'm leaving this city today and have a bit of catch up blogging to do for the in-between time I've spent here. I guess I'll get that done in Busan. Oh well, cyas.

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