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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Day In The Life Of Us

Sleep

We are still, yes still, attempting to get a regular sleep schedule down. What our bodies want us to do does not agree with what we would like to do. So right now, we are still waking up around noon or so, having something to eat, maybe going to the coffee shop to get on the internet, then making the 15 minute walk to school at 2:30. We usually get home from work between 10:15 and 11 depending on whether we get something to eat on the way home or not. And this is where the fun begins, we usually try to wind down by watching a movie or some Lost or The Office. Unfortunately we have trouble falling asleep before 3 or 4 some nights. Needless to say, it is a struggle.

Language

The Korean language is very easy to learn. The alphabet is much easier to read than the English alphabet. Every character has a distinct sound. For instance, the letter A in the English language can be pronounced like 4 or five different ways depending on what it is followed by. But in the Hangeul alphabet ㅏ is always uh, as in up. so it is nearly impossible to misprounounce words. We are learning the alphabet slowly but surely. The subways are in English and Korean, so that is a good learning tool for sounding out and matching up characters with their english counterparts.

Food

Another way we are learning to read is through the menus, which is what we read most often. I believe Alison is going to be posting some pictures, so I will let her tell you more about our meals later. I love the food here, there is a decent variety, although almost all korean restaurants serve the same things. But there are also japanese, chinese and vietnamese places everywhere as well. There are also Burger Kings, McDonalds, Bennigans, Subway, Quizno's, and TGI Friday's, along with some korean run Italian places. Korean food is by far the cheapest. For instance Alison and I had lunch yesterday at one of our local favorites, the total bill was 4500 won, which is less that $4.50 and it was plenty to eat.

The Korean People

Everywhere we go we get little looks and glances. Last week we had one of the funniest things happen yet. On our walk home from school every night we pass about half a dozen schools that are letting out kids. So we get lots of funny reactions from students who think that I am a real sight to be seen. This particular night we were come up to an intersection waiting to cross the street. I noticed three high school age boys look at me, and then murmur to themselves, nothing new. I just stand there talking to alison standing next to me. And I didn't see it for my self but Alison said she saw one of the boys come up and stand right behind me, and he was making some faces and trying to appear as tall as possible. She looked back to his friends and they were showing him with their hands how much taller I was than him. Almost all the smaller school children we see in the subway will say hello to us. Some of the braver ones will ask us questions, take pictures of us and try to have a conversation.

Transportation

Walking is our main mode of transportation. We can walk to our local corner store, to buy water(cant drink the tap water) and other small items. We can walk to any number of restaurants and of course school. Our other options are subway, bus, and taxi. We use the subway to go to E-mart, basically walmart, it is where we do our grocery shopping, and they also have any household items we need. It is two stops from us(about a 15 minute trip from street level to street level) The subway costs anywhere from 900 won to 1200 won(one way) depending on how far you go. We can take a bus to work if we choose, which costs 800 won base, and increases over distance traveled. The subways stop running around 12:30 am on weekdays, and 11:30 pm on weekends. So if we are out late, the taxis are the best and only choice besides walking. the base fare is like 2200 won and increases over distance. For example to take an taxi home form e-mart would cost 4400 won compared to 900 on the subway.

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