Saturday, August 27, 2005

Unfurling the Sails

On July 8th, I started a serious hunt for an English teaching job in South Korea. Two days from now, I'm leaving on jet plane. I'll fly through Chicago, Tokyo, and finally land in Incheon International Airport. All economy. May God have mercy on my soul.

I'm sitting here in my brother's Brampton house just killing time. Boredom is going to set in very soon. But just temporarily. Two days. Two days.

This is going to be an interesting year. Yesterday, I had a little preview of what it is going to be like. I had three stops to make: get my flight ticket from a Sears store in Brampton, declare an extended absence from Ontario at the OHIP office in Etobicoke, and pick up my work visa from the Korean Consulate in downtown Toronto.

It very quickly dawned on me that I know nothing about Toronto. A friend graciously drove me to the Sears store and the OHIP office; if she hadn't been available, finding bus and subway routes would have been a bit frustrating. Getting to the Consulate myself wasn't difficult; there was a subway stop right beside the OHIP office. It was getting back to Brampton that was tedious; finding the right Go-Train, and then deciding which bus would bring me closest to my brother's house. Without knowing any of the routes and only a handful of street names, it took some figuring.

Which is all to illustrate that getting around in a new place isn't easy. Finding my way about Incheon and Soeul will take a lot of getting used to. Hopefully it'll be old hat a month in.

I'm not sure exactly what my teaching schedule will be; it looks like I'll mostly be doing afternoon shifts. Which means a little bit of kindergarten, and a lot of elementary. Fine by me. I've packed stickers and an alphabet bingo game; seems like they'll be useful.

I'm going to have to live like a monk, at least for the first little while. I'll have a credit card and a laptop I need to payoff.

It occurs to me I don't know anything about Korean food. I'm going to have to learn cheap and easy recipies. Chocolate Lab flambe, perhaps.

Photos will come when I get a digital camera - that's a month or two away.

That's about all for now. I'll post an update in a week or so.

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