One thing I failed to mention in my previous post is that it is extremely hot here. Also, very humid. Imagine someone with moist breath blowing in your face all day and you just about have it. Happily, the rooms and dining area are air conditioned but sadly the classrooms are not and so far this has resulted in at least one fainting spell that I personally witnessed.
Today was a series of lectures on teaching given by an assortment of Koreans and "Native Speakers" (which is what they call EPIK teachers here). I don't think the details are worth going into here but my personal highlight is when one of the Korean speakers mentioned the popularity of the American show "Miserable Housewives"... meaning of course "Desperate Housewives."
Last night I went out with some fellow "Native Speakers" for beer and soju. We got several immense pitchers of Hite, one of the native brews. It was kind of like Budweiser, as far as I can tell. Pretty bland. Soju, a kind of rice vodka that's the #1 drink here, tastes like watered down bad vodka. Honestly at the present moment I'm having trouble understanding how a nation of enthusiastic drinkers has made due for so long with something so incredibly off-putting. Well... maybe it's a developed taste.
The more I learn about my impending life in the classroom the more terrified I become. Looking back on the many hours I spent vacillating between wanting to move to Korea and remaining in the States I'm appalled at how little time I spent actually thinking about teaching. It's going to be a real sink-or-swim situation.
I have a bit of a break before I'm meeting a new acquaintance downstairs for dinner so I think I'm going to spend some time reading and generally decompressing. I feel some pressure to spend all my time networking and socializing but one of the suggestions we were given on "culture shock" was to spoil ourselves a little and for me that means time alone with a book.