Into the Unknown(s)

Travelling to a new country often means accepting that a number of unknowns lie ahead, regardless of how much preparation you do beforehand. Here are four things I no longer wonder about.

1. How smoothly will the travelling go?

It takes exactly 24 hours from the Western Budget Hotel in Leduc, Alberta to TOPIA campus in Suji, Korea. I always expect delays in travel, but there was just one in that entire 24 hours. The hotel in Leduc offers shuttle service to the Edmonton  Airport at any time, but when I arrived at the front desk at 4:30am, the lady started calling different numbers, and then informed me the airport shuttle cabbies were asleep. But after five minutes of fear, somebody called her back. Then, the next 24 hours were so smooth. Seriously, Asiana Airlines is such a smooth flight

2. How bad will the jet-lag be?

None at all. I never seem to get jet-lag going to Asia, but it lasts for two weeks when I come home, and I have no explanation yet. But it’s a good thing, because I basically started orientation about fifteen minutes after arriving at my school, TOPIA.

3. What is my apartment like?

Check out the pictures. The other foreign teachers inform me that my apartment is the biggest of any of the foreign teachers. I find it is excellent…except I’m stuck with a very short kitchen sink (not the first time), and my back will hurt when I lean over it while washing dishes. Also, I finally figured out the hot water switch today, but the last week was cold showers (and the unusual part is the sink and shower occupy the same area).

4. What is the area like in Suji?
I have really enjoyed exploring Suji so far, and I am glad that I scrapped my original plan of trying to move to some isolated village. A ten minute walk East is my school. A ten minute walk West is Lotte Mart, an excellent department store. Five minutes further is Jukchon Subway Station, which could go to anywhere in Seoul within an hour or two. And all around are apartment buildings, restaurants, cafes, corner stores, churches, walking paths and English academies.

Of course the school itself and the people there represented the most significant unknown I think, but that deserves a a separate explanation.

Thanks a lot for reading!


About mwitster

Blogged about teaching English and language learning in Korean and the Middle East. Now, as a Speech-Language Pathologist, hope to post some new info and possibly reflections from private practice.
This entry was posted in Exploring, Korean Culture and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Into the Unknown(s)

  1. Andrea Z says:

    As for jet lag, I’m the same way. It’s always easier for me to travel west than east. Maybe because it’s easier to stay up extra late one night (west), than to go to bed ridiculously early (east)?

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