You’ll be glad to know, after my last post,

that I have discovered several more chicken restaurants in walking distance. I guess that’s a thing here. Also, they have KFC here, which reminds me of traveling with my sister to an exotic country with yummy, cheap local food and her insisting that we eat out at KFC.       

Eight days. Wow – Korea is a confusing time warp. (Yes, I suppose most time warps are confusing.)  In some ways I feel like I’ve been here forever; Sweden feels a lifetime away. But at the same time, it’s hard to believe I’ve been here over a week.

Today was freezing – OK, technically it was a few degrees above freezing – and every time I stepped out of our (thankfully) heated classroom, I bolted to my destination. The hallways aren’t heated, and generally feel colder than it does outdoors, probably because they’re built to keep cool during stifling summers.  I’m not too bothered by the frigid hallways because I had been under the impression that the classrooms wouldn’t have heat either. The joy of low expectations.

On Monday, my first full day, I discovered the women’s bathroom. Well, and why wouldn’t it be filled with squatty potties? Yes, squatty potties – a hole in the ground with a sloping ceramic entrance. As a hiker/former Middle East expat brat, I’ve used my fair share of these, but never on a daily basis. Never in work clothes. Gentlemen, you are blessed to have aim. And standupability. Imagine, for a second, squatting down, pants around knees, squinting at the 2 inch door crack to see if students are peeking in, pulling your trousers and longjohns away from you, and trying to angle your face to get a good view of the stream in case it veers sideways.

You’re welcome.


When I first arrived, Young Rak absent mindedly mentioned something about figuring out how to get me a special trash bag. I chalked this up to some sort of language misunderstanding.  Wrong. The Korea trash system requires special bags that are bought from specific locations. I’ll post in detail on that later. Suffice it to say that I’ve still not purchased these bags and now have a week’s worth of trash in my apartment. This wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t include all my “move in” trash (from all my new stuff, including a giant box full of styrofoam), and my “sick” trash (blowing my nose all week).

And now, a song that’s been stuck in my head all week, because we’ve taught it (with actions!) to at least 10 classes:

I laughed quite a bit the first time I heard it, because its central expression “I’m a can do kid,” is not very commonly used anymore. I have visions of my 4th graders visiting the States for the first time and describing themselves as “can do kids” to strangers.


12 thoughts on “You’ll be glad to know, after my last post,

Add yours

  1. Go online and look up “an idiot abroad” and find the one where he goes to the deaf KFC in Egypt! Hang on I’ll try to find a link for you! Your chicken story reminds me of that!!


  2. Oh, Siobhan…you should have warned me not to read while snacking. I have such happy memories of those potties in Iran and they are why I never leave the US any more. They and water-in-foreign-places. Oh, and I’m old.


    1. Says the woman who went to Norway a few years ago! The water thing is killer though. You’d probably have a problem here. (Or have problems as you scoped out the water brands to figure out which works for you…)


  3. Siobhan! I can’t believe how detailed you get in your descriptions. You wouldn’t be writing that way if your brothers in still in high school! …but funny, very, very funny!….and a little eww. “Squatty potties-” did you make that up? So funny!

    Loved the opening with the chicken follow-up.


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