As you may or may not know, I have arrived safely in Korea! YAAAY. Now, if only the biggest hurdle was getting here. For starters, this is going to be an informative blog post, not a contemplative one.
I arrived at Incheon airport around 3:30 on Tuesday. I was picked up, after a long trek through customs, by a deacon, Dr. Sang Hun Lee. He had the honors of making small talk with me until we reached my new home. My living arrangements are really swell. Probably...Definately better than the college apartment I recently abandoned. I am living in a room on the 7th floor of St. Michael's Hall at Sungkonghoe University. The college is really beautiful. It's hard to believe that it is in one of the biggest cities in the world. It is about the size of two "American" blocks. I put it this way becasue from what I can gather, Seoul doesn't really have blocks. Everything just sort of rambles around. If you don't believe me, check out this google maps photo. I asked for walking directions to the metro by the University and it figured it would just give me a vague black arrow saying "get here" as something like street names or blocks are hard to come by. That being said. I still feel like google is phoning it in a little bit.
As for the company I will be keeping during the coming year, I am pleased to announce that I am living with the seminarians here at the University. It is a small group, 17 in all, and they have welcomed me kindly into their midst. I am impressed at what a family they seem like to one another. They spend just about every second laughing, hitting each other, or making fun of each other. Yet, you can tell that they really like one another. I couldn't have been more relieved when they started making fun of me a bit too. It is really interesting to see the way this group operates at the University. I don't think I have ever seen any of them alone. I know they seemed surprised when I told them I had walked to Home Plus (think Korea Target) by myself. And when I told them that I had eaten lunch by myself one day, they seemed to take that as a moral failing on their part. I've learned my lesson about meal time. ALWAYS TOGETHER. Which is nice, I can't hardly think of the last time family dinner was a thing in my life. Addtionally, what you've heard is true. The other rule for meals is ALWAYS KIMCHI. Which I have to admit, I'm really pumped about. I can't get enough of the stuff, which is good since I've had it at every meal. I have to admit, I generally eat more of it than the seminarians, but I figure they've had their whole lives to get their fill.
The other exciting thing happening currently is my enrollment in language class! I am now studying Korean at the University four hours a day, five days a week. I'm finding it very very very difficult. I am picking up the alphabet fairly well, but the pronunciation is a huge struggle. I never realized that English speakers never have to employ their throats of cheeks for speaking until I discovered how woefully out of shape mine were. But I will get there. I really can't wait to be able to speak to more people. It's a bit of a challenge not being able to stop and talk to everyone I pass.
As for my position with TOPIK, well, I haven't started yet! This afternoon I am going to meet my boss at the Anglican National Cathedral in downtown Seoul. I think this will be my first taste of how crazy Seoul is. The University sits on the outskirt. Like if you walk three "blocks" you are no longer in the city proper. This will also be my first time taking the Metro here in Seoul. That being said, if you don't here from me again after this post, send help down into the tube. Or just wish me luck now.
Peace and Blessings,
P.S. If this post has a lack of art, it's because I haven't found my camera chord yet. The next post should be a bit more colorful.