Sunday, June 30, 2013

In Which I Make Some Observations

So, just a few thoughts. Nancy's post updated you on what's going on. I just have to get my word in. First off, Olle Trail hikes aren't like any of the hikes I've done in the US. They are through towns, through farms, everywhere, and only portions of them were through forests or along the coast. I'm not saying that it wasn't cool or that I didn't like it, I'm just saying that it was different from what I'm used to, and that's okay. Second, in case you were wondering, 18.8 kilometer is a whole freaking lot of kilometers! It's like 11 miles! I haven't hiked that far in a few months, and I don't think I even hiked that much on our trip down to Pandora's Box when I broke my hand. Granted, the two are kind of apples and oranges, since I wasn't packing a huge backpack this time, and this terrain was way easier, but I'm just saying. It's a long way to walk, no matter what terrain you're on. Third, (and not related to the first two) I have noticed a major mindset here: Conservation. Like, to a pretty big degree. You sort your trash. Paper recyclables, plastic, glass, and metal recyclables (and those you have to wash out), food garbage, and then regular garbage (though I'm not sure what's left for that). AND if you don't sort it right, the garbage people will sort through your garbage looking for something that identifies you so they can fine you! What the? Anyway, there's that. Also, they don't have central air. They have individual A/C units for every room. Also, hot water isn't accessible from every tap just by turning the tap onto hot water. You have to turn on the house's hot water first, and then you can get hot water from the tap. Also, not conservation related, it's not recommended that you drink the tap water here. Just kind of interesting. Finally (I think this is my last thought.) I think I'm going to have to bend over a lot here. Everything is smaller or put down lower to the ground, like sinks, refrigerators, drawers, even light switches to some degree! Despite all that, I am enjoying myself and overall I like it here. At any rate, that's all I've got at the moment. I'll post a picture from Saturday that Nancy didn't post and make an end.

Actually, make that two photos, because there's one I think my dad and brothers might find interesting:

It's like a rototiller with no blades rigged to pull a trailer! How cool is that? Apparently you'll see these things all over the island. Anyway, that's all I've got. This is Captain Danger out.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

We're in Our Apartment and Did Our First Olle Trail

Well, we have already completed a whole week here.  The teaching is easy (all from set curriculum and set books and workbooks) so it is really simple with little planning necessary.  That is a win.  Also, with few exceptions, the students are super well behaved. Double win.  We teach kids from kindergarten to junior high school.  The kindies are so cute and funny.  Also, everyone loves Cliff's beard.  Our schedule is pretty good too.  We don't have to be at school until 1:40 and we usually get done by around 8:15 so the hours are not bad.  So far, we just go jogging and then Cliff does homework in the morning or we wander around the city but hopefully we will find some awesome things to do nearby that we will be able to squeeze in before school some days.
Today, for our first weekend on the island, we did one of the famous Olle hiking trails with another couple from work.  These are trails that go all around the coast of the island.  We did number 19 today which was an 18.8 km trail that went through many different sites on Jeju.   We started by taking the bus to the starting point, a memorial building, then the route continued through some peaceful farmland, across a couple beautiful beaches and paths right along the ocean, and through some jungle type vegetation.  It gave us a chance to see many different views and scenes of Jeju-do.  It was a really good hike with some beautiful scenery and we had a great time. Now that I have seen some of the beautiful beaches, next on my list of things to do  is a beach  day.
Anyways, we moved into our apartment last night.  It has a pretty good sized bedroom, a smaller second bedroom, and a pretty good living room and kitchen area.  Plus, it has an enclosed porch all the way around two sides of our apartment which is really nice and has a good view.  All in all, it is really nice to be in Korea again.  The ward was super nice and so welcoming and I am sure we are really going to love our year here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

In Which I Get Very Wet

I'll elaborate more on the title later on in the post. So we went to the hospital today. Don't worry, neither of us is sick, and I haven't had an opportunity to do anything dumb and hurt myself yet. Don't worry, I'm sure it will come. It's something that I just feel a need to do. At any rate, we were at the hospital for our medical exam. We need to get one so we can get an alien registration card, which we apparently need to do anything, like get a cell phone, get a bank account so we can get paid, buy anything big, rent a car (I think we need it for that.), etc. The hospital was really crowded, and I'm beginning to see a pattern in Korean public buildings. They definitely have air conditioning, but they choose not to use it! It was ridiculously hot in there and I was sweating like crazy, because that's what we fat guys do. We went to the foreign section of the hospital, and the people there were really nice, but I was surprised that in the foreigner clinic, no one seemed to speak English very well. We had your general health exams, including a chest X-Ray, and an eye exam, which I'm pretty certain I beat the pants off of. So, that was an interesting experience, especially since a lot of the time the nurses/techs or whatever you call them had to mime what they wanted me to do. Kind of funny. 

Anyway, as the afternoon wore on, the weather slowly turned more and more sour, and by the time it was time to come home we had a steady rain going. It wasn't anything crazy, pretty much like a solid storm back in Utah. However, I've realized something. I'll give some background first. In the past, I've generally eschewed (How's that for a good word?) the use of umbrellas, thinking that they were pretty unnecessary, and for me in the United States, I still hold with that. However, what I've realized is that back in the US, when it's raining I walk from my house to my car, and then from my car into the store, rarely spending more than a minute out in the rain. Here, we walk everywhere, at least at this point, and so you're out in this steady rain for a while. Thus, our first stop was at the Lotte Mart (Kind of like a Wal-Mart, but it seemed a little more classy. Also, it had five floors, and moving ramps, so you can drive your shopping carts between floors! How cool is that?), which is about a block from our school, to get umbrellas. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough money right then to buy two umbrellas, so we got one and figured we'd share. However, I discovered, as I have before, that I don't really like sharing an umbrella, because I feel like I just get wet anyway because it's impossible to hold it exactly right over two people, so I just walked in the rain, and by the time we got to the restaurant where we were having dinner (We are still staying in a hotel so we have to eat out.) I was of course soaked and dripping all over everything. So, I've decided to relent and get an umbrella for myself as well. It will probably be necessary before all is said and done, and I don't really like dripping all over the table at restaurants, as it tends to make me look like a dipstick. I'm sure everyone who looked at me was like, "Hey, check out that dipstick foreigner who thinks he's too cool for an umbrella." That being said, I'll leave it here for the evening. This is Captain Danger out.

Monday, June 24, 2013

In Which I Meet a Large Number of Korean Children

So, we went to work. I feel like I'm kind of going crazy on this blog. Don't worry, it will wear off a bit once I get a little more used to things here. Anyway, work was solid. Seems like it's going to be pretty easy. The teacher I'm going to be replacing acted like most of his students were absolute demons, but they seemed fine to me. Maybe it's because I look scarier than him with my size and my beard. He introduced me to the classes as "Cliff Teacher," so, for the students who can't pronounce my name, I will be "Creep Teacher." Awesome. Also, I learned today that if we put our garbage in the wrong bags, the people who collect it will go through it so they can find something to identify us so they can fine us. Sounds a little over the top to me. So, now I can look forward to something when we get back to the US: we can throw things away wherever we want and however we want. Anyway, that's all I've got for the moment. This is Captain Danger out.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

In Which I Get Ridiculously Sweaty

We went running this morning. It ended in large amounts of sweat, due to the humidity. However, it was sunny! That's good, because I was worried that it was going to be overcast all the time here. Also, the humidity really wasn't that bad. I've had far worse, as far as sweating goes. High stemming in a canyon comes to mind. Also, speaking of canyons, there are a few streams running through town, and based on what they look like, the prospects for canyoneering on this island look very promising indeed. One bad thing about running on the streets here is that the stoplights take forever to change, so you find yourself sitting at a light for a couple solid minutes every few minutes of your run. However, one good thing about running here is that when there are sidewalks, they are made out of track material. How cool is that? We saw one other person running while we were out. They were also white. We waved at each other. At any rate, I'll leave this one here. I'll end it with a picture of me and Nancy.

This is Captain Danger out.

In Which We Take a Ridiculously Long Flight and Arrive in Korea

Well here we go. Just for the record I'm not entirely satisfied with the name of this blog and I'm open to suggestions. I mean, it's pretty good, but not quite what we were looking for. I was all "For Captain Danger And Wife," but Nancy shut that one down. Anyway, here's the first post. Follow. Comment. Share. And if enough people start following then maybe we'll put ads on it and start making money. (Just joking. But then again, why not right? ) At any rate you aren't here to read about my slight dissatisfaction with the blog title or how I want to use our readers to make money. No, you want to hear about how we sat our butts on the biggest plane I've ever been on for a ridiculous amount of time so we could cross the pacific ocean. And we did. And it seriously was a ridiculous amount of time. There was a map showing how far we had gone so far and it was just depressing, because while we were making progress it was negligible. Also, those big planes are LOUD. I could hardly hear a word Nancy said half the time. Anyway, we made it, and here's a list of things I've learned on my first day in Korea:

1. Korean airports either don't have or don't use their air conditioning. Just sayin'.
2. If I ever drive here it's going to have to be with a near perfect mix of offense and defense. Last night on the way to the hotel (read "hostel" really) where we'll be staying for our first week, I wished several times that I was wearing my seatbelt, but I'm pretty sure it was broken.
3. "Imnidah" it's something that a whole gob Of Korean words have. I don't know of it's some kind of word ending or a word or what but it gets said a lot.
4. Taxis are nicer cars than I thought they'd be.
5. Humidity really makes me sweat.
6. Church goes about the same in Korea, just everyone is speaking Korean.
7. Koreans will pronounce my name either as "Creep" (My personal favorite) or "Cuhlippa."

That's all I've got for the moment. I'll leave it at that for the day. We start work tomorrow and I'm sure I'll have something to say about that. This Is Captain Danger out.