Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

    Helo welcom 2 my websight

Welcome to Korea

Annyeong yorobun~!

Sorry it has taken a while for me to finally sit down and let you know what’s going on in Korea.
We have been super busy the past week, and even right now it’s actually already 23:30, so I’m going to keep this post a little on the short side. Mianhae.

Anyway, I will give you a giant-ass rant about my flight from Schiphol, Amsterdam to Incheon, Seoul on my regular blog (if it EVER comes back, what the hell?) but for now this will suffice:

36 hours instead of 12.
Yup.
I missed my flight because Frankfurt is retarded, so I had to SLEEP IN AN AIRPORT CHAIR to catch a flight 24 hours later ;_;

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This on the left was my dinner. Seriously. Two awful buns and an overpriced beer. I have a picture of my ‘accommodation’ here somewhere, but it’s on my phone and I don’t have my transfer cable with me right now so you will get to see my agony later.
When I finally got to step in line for the Asiana flight to Seoul, I was so happy I didn’t even mind all the ajummas cutting in front of me.

Okay, so, when I arrived, I had a giant jetlag (Korea is +7 hours from Holland) plus I hadn’t slept much (I couldn’t really sleep well in the plane, and the night before I slept in the airport) plus I hadn’t showered in three days and was still wearing the same clothes I had on when I left home. And of course when I got to Incheon I didn’t have even a second to collect myself because I was already late for the IWO Orientation.

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Incheon Airport is actually supposed to be one of the most beautiful and awesome airports in the world (it’s like in the top 5 of the official Best Airports list) but I could hardly see any of it since I had to catch the train to Seoul right away..
Also, LOOK AT THAT GREASY HAIR GODDAMN WHAT THE FUCK. This is why we shower, kids.

When I finally got to the IWO building in Seoul (it was not that hard to find, luckily) looking (and smelling) like a dirty bum, I met all the other volunteers. It was pretty weird to just drop in halfway through the ice breaking, so I was a bit worried, but it turned out everyone was super awesome and we had a great time even while listening to boring lectures about ‘what kind of things to expect from volunteer work’ and stuff like that.

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We had a LOT of food together (Korean food is crazy; they eat a full meal 3 times a day and in between they eat lots of snacks), and obviously also a lot of alcohol since, you know, it’s Korea!
You can’t go to Korea and not have Soju and watery beer.
We kind of ended up having a bit too much of..well..all of it..but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The last night of Orientation, we decided we should go Noraebang (Karaoke) because it would be the last night with all of us together. Supposedly you’ve already seen some of the youtube videos, but in case you missed them, here’s some highlights and pictures:

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By then, the maekju and soju had already been flowing quite generously, but the night was still young!

So most of us went on to go to a bar and have some more Max and Cass beer and proceeded to get crazy-ass drunk.
Actually, the main reason I got crazy-ass drunk was because of Incheol’s ‘Daegu Stylu~’. Basically, you get a shot glass and fill half of it with soju and the rest with maekju, and then..well..you chug it. DAEGU STYLE, YEAH!

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Incheol is my donsaeng (younger brother) so it was awesome when we were getting drunk together and he was like AHHH HYUNNGGG (older brother). It’s surprising how much Koreans loosen up when they drink a little. They get very physical too, and it’s pretty funny. Actually, with my students as well, it’s very normal for donsaengs to hug and hold their hyungs or unnis (older sister), you just won’t see a guy holding a girl very often.
This is a good example of what happens when you enjoy DAEGU STYLE a little too much:

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By the time we left (which was WAY too late, because we had to get up early to leave for our projects the next morning) we were so drunk that we decided it would be good to just ask any random girls to take pictures with us on the street. And, surprisingly, there wasn’t even one who said no.

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Also, when we were bothering some staff at ‘Paris Baguette’, a very famous chain of bread and pastry stores, for some reason they gave us a free cake! Being white kicks ass!

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The night was rather uncomfortable since I drank too much and my stomach was already bothered by getting used to Korean food, and I sleeptalked like crazy as well, but in the end we all survived to get on our ways to our projects all over Korea.

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The trip from Seoul (almost in the utter North of Korea) to Wando (almost the most Southern point) took more than 6 hours, but it was well spent catching some well earned sleep.

When we arrived at Wando though, there were some unpleasant surprises.
First of all, it turned out IWO hadn’t been completely honest when they said the Children Center was just funded by the church and not actually religious. Because it is. Like crazy fucking indoctrinating children religious.

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That also meant I couldn’t stay in the same apartment as the other volunteers (they had told us we’d just live with 2 separate bedrooms) and I had to sleep in the Moksaengnim’s (pastor’s) apartment. Sounds pretty bad, right? Actually, it’s kind of okay, to be honest. The pastor is from the Philippines and is also an English teacher, so he speaks English fluently and living separately means I don’t have to worry about my snoring and going to the toilet :3
The Religiousness of the project does have some other consequences though. For instance, we’re not really supposed to drink (although it’s not like they will constantly check our fridges or anything) and we’re forced to go to service on Sunday. Yesterday, we went to friggin’ service from 9:00 to 15:00! Supposedly, we can dodge going to service every other weekend, but it’s still quite tiring because the services are very long and very much in Korean so it’s even more boring than a regular service.

Anyway, the apartments we’re staying in are quite fancy. We have our own bathroom, kitchen, and washroom, air conditioning (but not in my bedroom, FFFFFFF) and they are very spacious, especially compared to some of the other..hallways..volunteers of other projects will have to sleep in.

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The center itself is very modern and nice as well, just like the church. It’s not some run-down backwater place like we expected; it’s actually really fancy and well equipped.
The children are also much better at English than we expected. That’s actually due to Johnny Moksaengnim, the Philippine English teacher, because he has already been teaching them for over a year. The kids are also so incredibly cute. Personally, I like the older ones that are good at English because teaching them is quite easy, but the young ones oh my God they are so incredibly cute I could die!
At the same time they are little devils though, don’t get me wrong.
Some of the children are extremely shy, while others are very outgoing and wanting to know everything about us.

Teaching here is a lot harder than I wished it was, but that’s mostly due to internal problems. Moksaengnim knows well how to teach the children, but the other Moksaengnim’s wife, who runs the English program, has a very Hanglish way of teaching, which means BALLI BALLI BALLI (hurry hurry hurry) and who cares if it’s done right. The Moksaengnim’s wife actually only started to interfere with the lessons like 2 weeks ago, so Johnny is kind of venting his frustrations and we’re caught in the middle. Especially GaHui, who can speak korean and english well, is kind of suffering from this because he hopes he can make her talk to the Moksaengnim’s wife. I’m worried…

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Anyway, the teaching is pretty crazy due to all of this. Kids keep walking in and out, they have to learn how to do everything in like 20 minutes (reading, writing, comprehending, pronouncing) and we don’t even have time to think while we’re doing ‘conveyor belt teaching’.
Maybe it will get better the coming few weeks, but I have a distinct feeling we should just DEALWITHIT.jpg.
At least some of the children are already very good in English, so it’s fun to talk to them.

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Our island, Wando, is extremely beautiful.
When I read and heard about it, I thought it would be a tiny-ass little town, but it’s actually quite big, and it has anything you could need but a stage for Kpop singers to perform on.
The nature is also absolutely stunning. Wando is an island with a lot of height differences, so wherever you go, there’s always a lush green mountain in the background to greet you.

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The people have also been very friendly so far. The island is mostly inhabited by really old and really young people, so there’s no one to hit on, unfortunately, but everyone seems genuinely happy to have us here, and the children are very impressed when we talk some Korean to them.

The culture shock is quite minimal, I think, since I already knew so much about South Korea.
Sure, sometimes I forget to take off my shoes when I go inside, and maybe I can’t eat all the food without drinking half a gallon of water, but overall I think I’m doing fairly well.

Now it’s about 1:30 at night so I’m gonna wrap it up here.
Maybe I will elaborate on this post a bit and fix my grammar (in this one week my English has already gone from pretty awesome to explaining-stuff-to-Koreans level) tomorrow, but honestly I’m already glad I could even find the time to get this much on here.

Expect many more pictures and hopefully some good news regarding the teaching situation next week!

Groetjes uit Korea~

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This entry was posted on 26 September 2011 by in Korea, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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There's just no stopping this guy!
Season 2 #GSL champion #김대엽 #Stats  is also your Season 2 #SSL champion!
In an amazing back and forth, the #Protoss ultimately managed to defeat his #Zerg rival #박령우 #Dark.
As the #Starcraft season is coming to a close, I can only look forward to more of the same next year.

#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #SC2 #스타크래프트2 #스타2 #Starcraft2 #esports #gaming #progamer #Korean #gamer #videogames #tournament #저그 #프로토스 #경기 #게임 #프로게이머 #champion #Splyce From #temples to #churches.

#church #Korea #SouthKorea #Seoul #religion #Christian #Christianity #cross #Korean #spooky #spoopy #filter #woods #교회 #무서워 #서울 #기독교 I had a great time working with #SBS on their new program #내방안내서 in the beautiful #Mihwangsa #temple. I'm sure that @zazimusic has made @haemin_sunim proud with their song based on his book, #멈추면비로소보이는것들.
며칠동안 #미황사 에서 시간을 보내는 게 큰 인상을 주었고 만난 사람들 너무 친절하게 챙겨서 감사하는 말 밖에 못 한다.
다들 #수고했어.

#Korea #SouthKorea #tv #filming #television #tvshow #Koreantv #Buddhism #Buddha #traditional #절 #불교 #텔레비전 #쇼 #촬영 #버라이어티 #발송 I came back to #Seoul yesterday. Waking up to the sound of cars passing under my window and people shouting instead of the sound of the waves rolling over the beach and bugs chirping, I realized again that a part of me hates this city, no matter how much I love it. Now I understand why #혜민스님 makes the trip back to #미황사 so often even though he lives in Seoul as well.

For people living in a big city like this, it's important to #slowdown and not get caught and lose yourself in the flow of things. Life in the #countryside and in a #temple is so different, so much more #empty, but so much more fulfilling.

#Korea #SouthKorea #Mihwangsa #color #peace #reflection #religion #Buddhism #Buddha #tranquility #traditional #절 #평화 #불교 #해남 #108배 #전통 #역사 #생각 #자성 #내이야기 #미황사 에서 사흘밖에 안 보냈는데, 그래도 #생각 을 많이 바뀌었다. #성찰 하면서 내 한국 생활도 생각하고 한국 사람들의 #촌 을 생각하면서 왜 한국이랑 사랑에 빠졌는지 다시 깨달았어요. 한국에서 사는 것이 선물이니까.. 잘 살아야지.

#절라도 #절라남도 #절 #평화 #불교 #해남 #혜민스님 #Korea #SouthKorea #Temple #Shrine #tranquility #peace #reflection #religion #Buddhism #Buddha #혜민스님 의 #미황사 에서 #멈추면비로소보이는것들 많다. #절 의 #평화 를 느끼고 마음을 비우면서 깊은 생각도 하고 한국 생활을 #감사 하는 생각도 많고.. 한국이 역시 #아름다운 나라입니다. 
Another gorgeous #sunset at #Mihwangsa #temple.
I am so thankful to #SBS and 혜민스님 for letting us stay here.
Just like the title of his book, there are many things you can only see when you #slow down. Staying at the temple and talking with the staff has taught me once again that Korea is an amazing country, and I couldn't be happier to be here. 
#nofilter #Korea #SouthKorea #island #traditional #tranquility #nature #wood #meditation
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