Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is this really happening?

So... yesterday it all became REAL! I got my address in Anyang , South Korea. Omg...it's really happening. Each day my future unfolds and I get a bit more excited about my life. It's a bittersweet moment to realize that one of my dreams is coming true, however in the same breath I'm leaving a life an old life behind...in the hopes of becoming something new. I'm a little freaked out, I'm not gonna lie. It's overwhelming and exciting at the same time.
A side note: F.Y.I this apartment will be my first! A place of my very own! I know you think wow, you're how old and never lived alone? But now I feel I'm ready! Ready to stand on my own two feet, independent, clear headed and determined to live my life.
Ok I got a little deep there for a minute people, let me swim back to the shallow end as not to scare the rest of you.On a lighter note, I joined a Facebook group called Brothas and Sistas in South Korea.( For those of my friends who say I'm not really black, I qualify as a sista dont I?)...it's kind of exciting finding other people of color in South Korea. Im excited to immerse myself in Korean culture but it will also be nice to see a familiar face every now and then.Oh let's digress for a minute to my YouTube debacle. So... Im attempting to get my video diary up and running on Youtube I filmed this super cute video on my phone, but me being a videography neophite, messed up the audio and then inserted a wrong code somewhere and my video ended up looking like a bad PSA for drunken youtube users. Absolutely terrible! That is one I won't be posting.
I have a few more weeks to get the hang of the whole video blog editing thing.
Anyways I'm looking forawrd to some hardcore chillage with friends and family. A year may seem like a really long time, but it's only a blink of any eye in the scheme of one's lifetime.

*Confucius say: life is full of unexpected surprises...be sure to air freshener near by

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Squatters Paradise...not so sweet!

So today someone asked me... "What are you most nervous about ?" I shrugged. Then I  took some time to ponder this question. What am I nervous about? I mean... sure the langauge barrier is going to be an issue, but I dont see it being that difficult to find a Korean language partner once I arrive in Seoul. So over the past couple of days I've been surfing the net, browsing a number of websites, claiming to be the travel FAQ for expatriate teachers. Scrolling through interesting cultural idiosyncrasies and laughing at my distinct extraordinary measurments in comparison to the Korean clothing size chart was comical to say the least.  Guess I won't be strolling into a Korean H&M  anytime soon! But that wasn't the worst of it people.The clothing issue I can work with, however I came across something that disturbed me. To your right, you will see a sign for I know what seems like a bob-sledding poster. Well, unfortunately that is a sign for a Korean toilet. What?!?! Yes that's right a Korean toilet. One squats in the leap frog position to do your business. Now me, finding solace in a comfortable toilet, was taken aback by this discvovery. So many questions came to mind after seeing this... How far do I have to pull my pants down to accomplish this? Am I going to be able to hover that long? What if I wear stockings? Is this sanitary? and worst of all what if I have diarreaha? Now I know these are not the most exciting or exactly P.C. questions to ask but they are practical. So then I decided to research this Korean public toilet further and found the next picture. Oh my! You may be saying to yourself WTF?
I'm sure you're wondering about the trashcan in the corner. Yeah, that's for your soiled toilet paper, because Koreans believe toilet paper clogs the drains! Two cheers for the poo paper basket in the corner! Now don't you fret, I do have a westernized toilet in my apartment. Phew!(wipping my forehead).Western toilets my also be found at McDonalds! Yeah for the golden arches. So if I am found outside of the confines of my apartment and must indeed use the bathroom I will pull a page from Paul Finch (American Pie) and make my way to my American home away from home Mickey D's ,to use the bathroom. Oh what other discoveries await me in South Korea?

*Confucius say: if one uses Korean john number two is no good for you

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are two bags better than three?

So today was an eventful day... I went shopping for luggage not hoping to find anything spectacular. C'mon let's be honest I was shopping for form not fashion.
Aisles and aisles of cute, stylish bags. What they lacked in fuction they definitely made up for in fashion. I told myself... " this is not a fashion show, Diane Von Furstenburg did not design her bags for you to pack a year's worth of your life in. Put the bag down." So I redsigned myself, to the functional bag section. With a deflated sense of excitement I came across what resembles a silver emergency floation device. Reading the label, I learned it was made out of some impenetrable polymer material , it was expandable, and had a seven year warranty( great! because we all know how accident prone I am). Looking back at the DVF luggage I grabbed " The Terminator" and proceeded to the front of the store, when I almost stumbled over 70's print carry on! Eureka! The best of both worlds! I can have "The Terminator " for travel and  "Farrah" for fashion. All is right with the world. Upon arriving home feeling very satisfied with my luggae choices, I open " The Terminator" only to find two other nesting "Terminator" suit cases. Three for the price of one! You cant beat that. So, it reinforeces " The Terminator" was the right choice. So now I will be packing " T1 & T2" for my Korean Adventure.  Oh and of course I stopped off at Super Wal-mart, got lost in the massive consumer's paradise, bought more than I needed, but also picked up the ever useful first aid kit and space bags ( now I'll be able to fit a yr's worth of clothes in T1and I can use T2 for miscellaneous belongings). It's all falling in to place. Gotta love life for those serendipitous moments. So until next time people peace, love and positivity.

*Confucius say: unlike breasts, two bags are always better than three!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So.. It's decided! South Korea here I come...

So after about what seems like a perilous mound of teach abroad applications, resumes, statements of intent, apostilles, passport photos and 1:00a.m Skype calls to Korea, Ive finally taken a position at a middle school in Anyang City, South Korea, ( about 30 mins by train outside of Seoul)
I've always said this was something I was going to do, and here was fate slapping me around saying " Hey Tiff, are you ready yet?" So I leave in little less than a month.(yikes) The task at hand is to pack a year's worth of my life into 3 suitcases or less. Anyone who knows me, knows that's going to be a challenge. I've read the testimonials, talked to ex-patriate teachers, skimmed the teach overseas guide books,and  read travel blogs of others.
What it boils down to is either you LOVE it or you HATE it. But I figure hey, either way it's an experience!
So I'm going into this next chapter of my life, excited about what life has in store for me.Don't get me wrong it's not all deep thoughts and rainbows.I'm nervous but my excitement drowns out my fear, well at least for now!
So over the next year I will be chronicling my journey in South Korea and the experiences along the way!    I'm a bit ridiculous ( which might be an understatement) so some days you might hear about the wondrous marvels of living abroad and teaching and other days you might bear witness to a meltdown. But I invite you into my life with no plan, just hope for something wonderful. 
Welcome to Serendipitous Adventurer: American Teacher in Korea!

*Confucius say: "pack only what you need. memories, an open mind , and lots of deodorant!"