Thinking about it now, I’ve been living in Ingyedong for about three months thus far. I still don’t know how to fully describe the experience of it. The city has one main street. It’s full of coffee shops, banks, violent old women, and a huge movie theater. The sidewalks are always busy with people on a mission to get on with their day, and there’s always the obnoxious music of cellphone stores. It’s really nothing special. Maybe it’s because of the neighborhood I live in. Look, I think the best way to describe it to utter the words “multiracial” and “shady as fuck” in one sentence. The area is full of restaurants (for late night drinkers/businessman+soju) and there are countless Middle Easterners who still don’t understand that it’s definitely not okay to stare. Their eyes look so mean. And full of hate sometimes. It’s like “Whoa doood, I’m just here to buy some juice, kay?” And yes, let’s describe my apartment. A bomb shelter. Concrete box. An elegant version of a jail cell? I have no window. And mold is all up in my shit. When I first got here, I used to sit up at night and fervently hope that I wouldn’t die prematurely. Or, you know, get lung disease. My job is like the T-Express rollercoaster at Everland. There are big highs and sudden lows. The work atmosphere can either be very isolated, or very inclusive, depending on how the staff is feeling on that particular day. It’s like those people are on the same menstrual cycle – they all feel the same things at exactly the same time. Cray. I have accepted that there are only a few people that I can constantly talk to, and that seem genuine in their intentions. My classes are all different, and the students are as well. I teach in the mornings and at night; it does feel nice to have a break in the middle, especially to nap. Or catch up on Netflix. Or yeah, lesson planning for four hours. My evening classes are what I enjoy the most. Mainly the 7pm class – the chemistry is perfect between all of the students and they seem to enjoy being there. We talk about families, future plans, hobbies, personal issues, more personal issues, marriage, dating, etc. They are pretty open, which is terrific. Anyway, this is my last week at this school. It’s a long story, which I plan to explain in another blog post; but as of right now, I will be moving back to Yeongtong this Wednesday and starting at my old job on Monday. That’s right, back to LCI I go. Insane, maybe. Ludicrous, probably. It just seemed like the right decision, and I need to start preparing for life after Korea. A year seems like enough time for that. So last Friday, I went back to the school to “observe” the class I will be inheriting. The infamous 6 year olds. There are maybe 4-5 altogether in the class, and I was watching to see what kind of personalities they have. Um. Cute, absolutely. But manners, zero. Just like when I first came to LCI, and got my previous class. I have a lot of disciplining to do again when I start out. It’ll be fine though. The Chungs gave me the head teacher position, which is very generous of them. I just secretly hope I will do as good of a job as I did last time. After the kindy classes, I saw my old students again. They basically ran me over on the stairs. I don’t think they know I’m coming back to teach yet. And my little Andrew. He made me super sad. I said hi to him, but he kind of shrugged back and didn’t look me in the eye. I remember his mother telling me that, my leaving would traumatize him – unfortunately, she must’ve been right. ): I’m hoping he’ll come around after a little while. Poor guy.
Anyway, I hope this next year will be successful. Anything can happen. Especially working at LCI.
Bye, Ingyedong, byeeeeeeee.