Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Seogwipo: little city by the sea

So i have arrived in Seogwipo and after two days of sharing caitriona's bed i have my very own place to live, hooray. It is a very cute studio apartment in the metro building which the jeju education board rents out for all us weiguks (foreigners). I am in number 1003 and it is well hooked up. My bathroom actually has a divider on one side of the shower (most don't there is just a shower head above the sink), but i can still reach the shower head to all areas for easy cleaning. Although the pooled water seems to be producing a perfect fresh water source for mosquitoes to breed in, as i keep on waking up with bites all over me. I bet i am up to about 20 after three days now. My room also comes with the usual stove and fridge, but lucky me (well most of us on the island) i also have a clothes washer, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, some dishes and other random things and a computer with a lcd flat screen. I feel very spoiled indeed. The building is right in the heart of town, by the bus terminal. So there are lots of markets, shopping, banks and even some very nice bakery/cafes. It could be trouble for me though, far too many baked goods. Also my main school i teach at wed, thur and fri is literally a block away.

Speaking of schools. I got to meet my two main co-teachers on the night that i arrived on Jeju. They are both very sweet and speaking quite good english. One of them even wants me to call her Heidi, so cute. I got to talk to them both briefly and talk about my schools and my classes. I am teaching 8 classes on mon and tues at my satellite school Dajeong Seo Elementary, grades 1-6 and i am teaching 14 classes on wed, thurs and fri at my main school Seogwi Jungang elementary, grades 2,4,5,6. I am also teaching an after school program at jungang for kids who are especially interested in english and get an extra $700/mth. Daejong seo has only 90 students in the whole school which is awesome, my largest class will be only 19. But Jungang is a big school and most of my classes will be 30ish.

I am presently at school actually after a four day week because Daejong Seo is under renovations, so i don't start until the 8th. I figure this makes up for having to wait two days to get my apartment. Also today i am not even teaching, i am just hanging out in the teachers lounge and playing on the internet, as i have already finished my intro lesson plan. Unfortunately i must stay at the school from 8:30-4:30 because that is what the contract states. So i must fill my time some how (i have a feeling there is going to be a lot of blog writing).

As for Seogwipo itself, it is quite a nice little city. It is between mt halla (the extinct volcano) and the sea. It is very hot and humid and the air is delicious. It is quite hilly and is spread out with only a few buildings over 4 stories, of which one is our apartment building. The people seem much friendlier than in Seoul and some wish to chat with us and others pay us little attention. There are a million restaurants and i have found many cute little shops, including a ridiculous number of golf shops, as it turns out there are like 50+ golf courses on the island. There are not any actual beaches near the city but it is still lovely near the water and on saturday we went and saw some lovely waterfalls which are a 15 min walk from my flat. All in all it is a dope little place i have found myself.

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