Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 1: Holy Moses

Hello everyone!

I'm in Korea. Holy smokes. It was a long flight but I made it. I have to say, if all planes were like the one I took to Korea, I'd think about flying a whole lot more. Leg room, lots of it. The food was awful though. Don't have the fried rice.

I stepped off the plane and started sweating right away. The sweating still hasn't stopped. It is so so humid here. After taking a bus and taxi, I arrived at the Coatel Hotel around 8:30 p.m. Korea Time. I guess they weren't expecting me to get there so early so they had to find a room for me. After asking a million-bagillion questions to the front desk clerk (thank god for him), I found my room on the 12th floor. It took me about... well... way longer than it should take anyone... to find out how to turn on the lights. After that, I was suppose to call the recruiting office. So, I wondered down into the streets to find a public telephone. I found one, couldn't figure out how to use it for the life of me, and decided I'd just e-mail her to let her know that I had arrived. Then it was off to sleep.

I woke up around 6:30 a.m. (Well... woke up is a loose term. I more so just got up because I couldn't really sleep). To get to the training center I had to use the subway, something that can be difficult the first time if you're alone and don't understand a lot of the Korean language. By some stroke of luck, I made it there with, oh, about 2 hours to kill. I wandered up and down the streets like a tourist and made my way to a bench next to a passed out man and people watched until I decided maybe someone from my program would be at the training center.

After talking to a REALLY nice security man, I found my way to ChungDahm's recruiting office. Water. Cold Water. I liked this place already. After chatting it up with other trainees, I started my day with a class full of other people about to embark on their journey to the April Institute. We did mock training and I felt a little behind (only because I definitely was about two days). Nevertheless, we completed our day of training and I was told to go to the hospital to get my medical check.

One cab ride later and I was there. Here are the things and people I encountered, in order, before and at the hospital:

1. Angry cab driver who rolled down his window to, I'm guessing, swear at the car next to him for not letting him cut in front.
2. A very nice old man who had a tag that said "Volunteer Interpreter" that didn't really know what I was saying.
3. A nurse who I'm pretty sure said that I was cute, and then proceeded to check my weight, height, blood pressure, eye sight, and hearing.
4. An X-Ray machine that took a picture of my chest.
5. Another nurse who took three viles of my blood (my arm swelled up like there was a golf ball under my skin and it still hurts) and asked for a sample of my urine.
6. The old man interpreter again who somehow helped lead me to the nearest subway

Surprisingly, I made it back to this hotel. Now I'm off to study all this stuff and mock teach with myself.

Still humid here. But I found out how to turn the air conditioner on finally.

Hope all is well wherever you may be.

Matt Mead

P.S. Did I mention that in Korea I'm a mill-Won-aire... hehe

1 comment:

Stephen Maturen said...

Lovin this keep me posted.