March 3, 2015
Tuesday was the first day we met the kids at our school. We held a first day of school event where we (all teachers) were introduced to the parents. As foreign teachers, we all had to say something comforting to the parents, such as “I am so happy to be here. I’m excited to teach your children and I know we’ll have a fun year together.” I can’t say it’s not a true statement, but a lot is done to appease the parents. There are lots of schools in Korea and if they don’t like you for one reason or another, they can take their child out and enroll them into another school right away.
During this event, we met with one of our homeroom classes for 20 minutes. I met with my 7M class (advanced “7 year olds”) and we played a couple of games together. They are not only cute, they are really smart. The one girl in my class, Kate, apparently knows Chinese characters, too.
Anyway, after the kindergartners left, we ate lunch and had a break until the elementary kids showed up around 2:30. On Tuesdays, I don’t have any elementary classes, so I got to relax and prep for the rest of the week. Since we stayed so late the night before and didn’t get to go out for my birthday dinner, Kevin and I decided to go out Tuesday night. Ever since we started talking about going to Korea and did research about the country, we learned there is a chain Western restaurant called Ashley Buffet. Given that it is named after me, I’ve been saying for months that I want to go for my birthday, and that’s just what we did!
We had someone write down in hangul for us where we were going so we could show the cab driver (they are not known to be proficient in English). We successfully arrived. Ashley Buffet in CheongJu is located on the B1 level of the Home Plus department store in Shinae (downtown). It’s a homey looking place and the food isn’t too bad! There were definitely a few Korean quirks. For example, Kevin thought he was picking up a piece of cake with strawberry and chocolate on it for dessert. It was actually a piece of garlic bread. An interesting combination indeed.
My first dish from the buffet included garlic chicken, Hawaiian mango salad, chocolate strawberry pizza, garlic bread and some pasta.
And here’s the obligatory photo of me at the entrance to the restaurant.
In the cab on the way there, we realized we had no idea how we were going to get back. Luckily, Korea is very Internet friendly, and we had free WiFi in the restaurant. We opened Google maps and were able to “pin” an approximate location on the main road close to home. We showed that to the next cab driver and were even able to direct him when he needed to know right or left. Thank goodness for paying attention on the ride over! Overall a successful evening on the transportation front. My confidence is redeemed after the airport incident. 🙂