My first full day in Korea


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Nicole and I woke up around 5:30 am, not bad for my first day on a 13-hour time difference. Nicole had correctly assumed I didn’t buy groceries my first night in Korea, so she brought over bananas and a granola bar. We ate that and decided to explore my new neighborhood.

Gwangju is nice, this photo is not, better ones coming soon
Gwangju is nice, this photo is not, better ones coming soon

Korea is an interesting place in that nothing is open before 10 am, and I mean that quite literally. With the exception of an occasional coffee shop, 1 in 10 maybe, everything is closed until at least 10. Nicole and I happened to stumble across a little French bakery around 10 and had our first Korean breakfast: bagel pizza. So my first Korean breakfast was an Italian dish from a French bakery. It was interesting, to say the least. First off, I view bagel pizza as a bizarre take on regular pizza and the Korean version was a bizarre take on the traditional pizza. It had cheese, tomato sauce, I think mayo and corn. All the pizza in Korea has corn on it…all of it.

Banana Milk
Banana Milk

Post bagel pizza, Nicole and I went shopping for basic necessities: water, shampoo, etc.

[box type=”notice” ]UPDATE: the shampoo I bought is amazing, possibly the best shampoo I have ever used and fortunately for me it comes with a giant refill bag of more shampoo that I can siphon into the original bottle. All the Korean shampoo I’ve seen comes with this additional refill bag. It’s odd, but incredibly thrifty.[/box]

Around 11 Nicole had to leave to go to her school so I wandered over to the Samsung store and bought myself a router. In Korea, Samsung makes everything: Forklifts, A/C units, routers, and the usual electronics they make in the states. When I got back to my apartment the router didn’t work, hence the delay in posting these blog entries.

As far as I could tell, this store only sold eggs.
As far as I could tell, this store only sold eggs.

At this point it was around 12:40 so I met up with Kayla, the other new teacher that lives in the apartment next to me and we walked downstairs to meet Judy, another one of the teachers who’s been here awhile. The three of us picked up more Kimbap at the little restaurant we’d stopped at on my first night in town.

When I got to the school I spent most of the day just observing other teachers. Around 8 pm the director of the school let me leave to get some rest and try to adjust to the time change. I took a cab to Nicole’s apartment and we drank Hoegaarden and hung out before passing out around 10. Adjusting to this time change will be harder than I thought.

3 responses to “My first full day in Korea”

  1. Iain Avatar

    Thank you Austin!!
    This is exactly the right stuff — and it’s great the way you incorporate the photos. “Meet your bosses” upon crawling out of the airplane and bus seems to be a standard beginning, certainly was for me in Japan (same thing happened in “Mr. Baseball” to Tom Selleck, too.)
    Pls take some pictures of this famous “Kimbap” that you keep eating.
    BTW, corn on pizza was a big thing in Japan, too. Sorry to keep up these references to J–, hope they don’t get you in trouble, but it’s what I know so, hey.

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