You know you are truly at home in a foreign country when you can navigate your way around the grocery store without much difficulty. I’m not there yet. However, this evening after work, on probably my 5th trip to Home Plus (think Wal-Mart with 5 floors) I am feeling much more comfortable than I did the first time. I now can easily find dog food (3rd floor in the back next to the toys), shampoo (2nd floor all the way on the right) and tonight I mastered the meat department. US imported cow is probably 4 times the cost of back home so I purchased Australian cow meat instead. And some chicken. (And yes, I know that I probably shouldn’t have told you that I’ve only been to the grocery store 5 times in almost 3 months. But that really shouldn’t surprise most of you either.)
And then I came home and made my dad’s infamous burritos. And they were good. So very good. My dad sent me a box last week with taco and burritos fixins’ and shockingly, it took me this long to get my bum to the store for some meat.
Yummy Deliciousness. This is comfort food at it’s best and there’s nothing like familiarity when you are so very far from home. The ingredients were slightly different as they had to be shipped halfway around the world, but it was a pretty close replica. I’m actually surprised with myself that they are leftovers for tomorrow.
A lot of changes have been going on at school. We lost a few teachers in the last few weeks so now we have a few new teachers. Isn’t that the way it usually works?? I was sad to see teachers leave, but so far the new ones have reached out to me more than anyone else has so that’s been really nice. Everyone has always been super polite and helpful, but that’s about where the socialization stops. Given that I’m not the most social person it doesn’t really bother me but I’m finally starting to feel like I’m part of the school which is great. I think the school is just so big that it’s easy to get lost in the mix.
This week we started a new program and so far I love it! The other books weren’t very fun and I really had a hard time teaching some of the subjects. I realize not all lessons will be fun, but schools pay a fortune to have foreign teachers that can help teach the kids English while making sure it’s a fun experience. (And because parents will pay a ridiculous amount to have their child taught by a foreigner.) While euthanasia and war are important things to learn about, I really didn’t enjoy being the one to teach them. I really like the new books so far but that’s primarily because tonight I got to talk about this…
The kids are on their winter break from regular school so in mid-February when school starts back they will all advance to the next level. Instead of having one big summer break like in the states, here they have a 7 week winter break and a 7-8 week summer break. They continue their academy classes throughout the break, many even increase the number of classes they take during this time. My class load has dropped from 17 to 12 (apparently I was never supposed to have more than 15…) which is awesome because with the new books I will have more freedom to design my own lessons. I’m pretty excited about that. Also most all my classes are 6th through 9th grade now so I’m having a ball. I love middle school.
That’s it for now. Nothing exciting going on over here, just quietly hibernating and working on my Korean vocabulary until Spring appears. I’m supposed to go shark diving sometime in the next month or so and still need to find some plans for the Lunar New Year in February since I have almost a week off work. Hopefully I will have some cool stories in the near future to share but right now it’s just status quo.
Hope all is well with everyone reading this. Miss you lots!