Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Day in the Life

Like many of my friends who have blogs, I've been feeling lately like there's not much of interest to write about. The normal day-to-day goes by, and it just doesn't seem very blog-worthy. But yesterday was a normal day with a few interesting quirks, so today's entry will be dedicated to writing about what I usually skip over.

A day in my life in Korea:
7:10 a.m. Wake up and read in bed for a while. (I know, I know, luxurious. Believe me, I appreciate it.)
7:30 a.m. Keegan comes in to tell me good-bye and lets in the kittens. Snuggling commences.
7:40 a.m. Get up reluctantly and prepare for a trip to the pool.
8:05-8:30 a.m. Drive to the pool past the DSME (Daewoo) Shipyard. Barely even glance at the huge cranes and masses of half-built enormous ships.
8:30-9:00 a.m. Enjoy a swim at the newly renovated pool. It's 5,000 won per swim, but the monthly fees for the pool are so exorbitant that it makes sense to pay every time unless you plan to swim practically every day. The new locker rooms make me feel a little more like I'm getting my money's worth.
9:00-9:15 a.m. Shower and get dressed with twenty of my closest naked friends.
9:15 a.m. Turn in my locker key to the friendly woman at the pool desk. Yesterday, I was stopped by a man also working at the desk, who asked me to sign my name and handed me some free goodies promoting the newly renovated pool. I received a small bag, a huge and very, very nice umbrella, and a little baggie of warm dumplings made from rice paste dough and filled with sweet red bean paste. Like many Korean food items, I found them vaguely and indefinably distasteful.
9:40-10:10 a.m. Change into yoga clothes, eat breakfast, begin planning the afternoon's lesson.
10:10 a.m. Leave for yoga.
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Yoga class. There were very few women yesterday. A few Koreans, some Brits, Norwegians, Ukranians, and unusually, only one Brazilian. Our teacher directs us in her own special English, which I love, but only came to understand after a few classes. It is peppered with "chang-ee" (change) and "po-jee" (pose - Korean doesn't have a 'z'). Yesterday there was a photographer who came in to take publicity photos of our class. I didn't want to be photographed in my unshowered, scantily clad, uncomfortably contorted glory, but what can you do?
11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Stop at post office to mail Christmas cards and pick up boxes for Christmas presents. Use my Korean to specify the number of boxes. Am met with skepticism at my Korean ability and my desire for nine boxes.
noon - 1:15 p.m. Shower, finish planning the afternoon's lesson, leave for Gohyeon.
1:15-1:40 p.m. Drive to Gohyeon and listen to "This American Life" on my iPod. A highlight of each Tuesday and Thursday.
1:40 p.m. Arrive in Gohyeon late, race to my students apartment. Spend an hour going over food vocabulary and vowel sounds and talking about count and non-count nouns.
2:45 p.m. Drive to HomePlus, the nearby superstore to run some errands. Park four stories below the ground in a miniscule parking space. Take the escalators all the way to the sixth above-ground floor because the elevator is sooooo slow.
3:00-3:30 p.m. Get a haircut at Park Jun's salon. My hairdresser didn't speak English, so it was a quiet but pleasant experience. My shampoo included, most notably, a step where the hairdresser ran her hands briefly under very hot water and then massaged my earlobes. I highly recommend it. At the end of my haircut, the hairstylist apologized, and then reached into her tray of hairstyling supplies to pull out a notebook with a number of salon-related English phrases, including "Is your hair short enough now?" It was.
3:30-5:00 p.m. Wander around HomePlus buying many things I don't need. Buy cat litter (which we do need) and greet the enormous Persian at the vet whose cheeks are dyed rosy red. Get accosted by Jehovah's Witnesses in the baked goods aisle. Politely refuse their request for English lessons. Sample delicious fried dumpling. Pay way too much for my cart brimming with imported and rare goodies. Like ground (not instant) coffee and decent wine.
5:00-5:30 p.m. Drive home and finish my episode of "This American Life."
5:30-6:00 p.m.Unpack and unload everything, greet cats, snack ravenously.
6:00-7:30 p.m. Cook and eat a big pan of ratatouille with moderately good bread from the bakery at HomePlus. Keegan is home and tells me about his day at the shipyard as I cook and he helps with the dishes. (I know, I know, he is appreciated, too.)
7:30-8:30 p.m. Pack up and address Christmas gifts to send to the U.S.
8:30-9:30 p.m. Watch two episodes of the Simpsons on DVD with Keegan.
9:30-10:15 p.m. Check the Internet and get ready for bed.
10:15 p.m. Into bed, with book and kittens once again.

So, I hope this recitation gives you some idea of how my days are filled here. And some idea of why I sometimes don't write about them!


chrissy said...

Your day sounds fabulous and not too different from what's going on over here (for me at least)! When you're famous on the cover of the pool pamphlet, you'll have to autograph some and send them stateside.

Jamie said...

This is exactly the type of post I like! I love hearing mundane details about people's lives - probably becasue I'm not sure what to make of the mundane details of my life and I like to compare. Also, when you're in Korea, it can't be truly mundane!

Jihyeon song said...

It sounds like you have a wonderful time in Korea. you have a tight schedul ^^