About a month ago, we were supposed to get alien registration card, but our employer kept putting it off until 2 days before the date was up. We took a Friday morning off to go to the Seoul immigration office only to find out we had to go to a different city 3 hours away. (We'd woken up at 6am that morning to wait for a bus that never came and took a subway a couple times, by the way.) So, we had to actually ended up taking the entire day off. We bought a bus ticket to a city I won't mention just for safe purposes... and we were picked up by a staff member of the other school in that city. She was a really sweet and comforting woman. She bought us coffee, took us to the immigration office there, and then to the school. We met the other foreigner teachers at the school and got to see the different school. It was an eye-opening experience... this school had every ounce of effort poured into it. A homely Christmas feeling, tons of staff members, lots of foreign teachers, more books... everything about it was just nice. Anyway, the same lady that took us around the city took us to dinner and then back to the bus station. She was an all-around sweet lady and I wish we could've kept in touch just because she was so friendly. By the time we got home, it was 11:30. Exhausted might be a decent word to describe the day.
The weekend after, we went to visit our friend, Mark, in Gimcheon for Thanksgiving which was really nice. We all brought/cooked something and ate at a restaurant that hosted our get together. We just had to buy drinks-- that was it. It was nice because people came from different places... far away, too. It took us about 3 hours to get to Gimcheon, but it was worth it.
Recently, one our friends, Manuel, got his visa and flew into Seoul so we met him this past Monday. It was really nice to see another familiar face and to just hang out with someone who spoke English and wanted our company. A majority of the Koreans we are around tend to be rather stand-offish or egotistical, so it was refreshing. At dinner, we went to eat Korean BBQ and for the first time, someone was able to figure out that I was American... but a Chinese American. She spoke Mandarin to me and it threw me off. "Ni hui bu hui shuo Zhongwen?" Hold on, let me do a double take at you. Come again? "Hui bu hui?" I kind of got excited and replied "Bu hui" like an idiot. I was thinking, "Well, you're speaking Chinese right now..." and she looked at me incredulously and took some slight umbrage at that response possibly. She begged for some kind of explanation. So I told her very quaintly, "Yi dian-r, Yi dian-r. Dui bu qi." Boy did I feel like an idiot. Then the entire dinner consisted of a waitress standing over us and cooking our BBQ even though we knew how to do it. I was almost tempted to ask them if we could do it ourselves since I knew that they could speak Mandarin, but I just bit my tongue and understood they were doing it out of the thought that maybe we didn't know what we were doing. Every BBQ place eats their sides/meat differently so we just let them do their thing. We then met up with Ryan's friend from Yonsei that same day and finally got Jamba Juice. It was pretty exciting for us. I was just craving it the day before.
Other things I can think of are that we had our first snow about 2 weeks ago, so that was pretty awesome. Not used to it snowing still since it's only snowed maybe 3-4 times. Most of the snow was light and none of it has stuck to the ground yet. Today, Ryan and I just went and bought Christmas presents for our pre-kindergarten children that we have from 9:50-2:15 and for the Korean staff members. Tomorrow morning, we have to buy bags and some wrapping paper. Our boss didn't pay our Internet bills so we are without Internet for a while; Starbucks wifi is our friend. The only downside is we have to purchase an Sbucks here everytime, and it's more expensive here!
Anyway, Christmas break is coming up next Tuesday so we'll be meeting with our good friend, Gunawan, from Cali. Pretty excited. :) I'll try and update more after that. Hope you all have a wonderful and Merry Christmas! Stay warm!