Pyeongtaek and other ex-pats

Even though our address says we are in Anseong we are truly closer to Pyeongtaek. I actually like the area a little better. Where we live we get a true Korean experience because not many people speak English and if they do it is very limited. One day we actually got on the wrong bus and out of pure luck ran into a student who was able to give us directions. I was so proud of her :). It really gave me a chance to speak with a student outside of a classroom setting.

I have been debating getting one of my advance students to “tutor” me in Korean for a trade in English lessons.

Tonight Dave took us to a place called ‘Puffin’ and I LOVED it. If you have read anything so far you would realize that I am having trouble with Korean food and the Asian spice pallet. I don’t know if it is a curse of being a vegetarian or just a curse of being picky but to anyone who would want to come … learn key vegetarian words. I can only suggest so much but I really struggle. Tonight’s meal was a splurge on our summer vacation bonus that included caesar salad, fresh baked bread, olive oil and balsamic and these phenomenal quesadilla rolls. My stomach and taste buds have not been this satisfied since we got here. It is a shame I have not found a Korean dish that I love yet because it truly is cheaper to eat out here than in. I really really enjoyed this meal.

We met some other ex-pats last night. Whenever I think of an ex-pat (the name given to foreigners who come here) I think American. I was SOOOOO wrong. We met two? (I believe) other Americans but everyone else was British, Welsh or Scottish. It was so interesting hearing all the accents! I actually asked them if their students had an accent and they said sometimes they pick up on theirs (it’s cute lol). It was good to have intelligent conversations in English. I find I use broken English sometimes because the Korean language doesn’t have pronouns and certain adjectives like the English language does so using lots of “fluff” words really throws people off. If you keep it simple (usually broken English) you will get a better response. I would never use this with my students because I have a sick determination to get them to use full sentences…like a use it or don’t answer obsession. They have picked up quickly on this and have really made progress.

I am really proud of my students. They have so much schooling and so many things they do each day. Sometimes I have a short fuse with them. If they just won’t stop talking I get so frustrated but other days I understand there are such strong cultural differences. I don’t like the word “trained” but I believe our students have a much better understanding of what Chris and I expect from them (compared to when we started a month ago). We expect a lot more of them than I believe they have been required to achieve before (reasonable to their level). I believe we will most likely only a have a year to make an impression on their lives and I know we will do our best to truly give them everything we can give to help them be their best.

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