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[Korea Bound] – Phone Adventure

my gosh it is impossible  to find a normal phone in Korea. it’s either smart or why bother. So I ended up getting a Galaxy note. It is the most giant phone ever!!!

Here it is next to my old HTC…

Can’t get over how giant the phone is. I can barely hold it with one hand.

look at that!! The only finger that’s long enough for me to grasp it this way is my middle finger, and even that’s barely long enough.

There is is in my palm. I did try to get a smaller phone, but they kept pushing this one (actually they were going to give me a even bigger one, some version of the LG optimus) but I hate LG phones (after getting one for free in Canada), I cannot stand LG phones. I had already decided that if I can’t get an HTC my second choice would be a Samsung (and this is Korea, so of course HTCs are hard to find…makes me sad).  Anyways, yes GIANT PHONE!

My plan is 200 min, 200 text, and 1.5GB data for $43, but after including the phone I pay around $65 per month (or that was what I was told, will update once I get my bill). I am pretty content with what I am paying, since in Canada I’ll have to pay the phone up front, it will be discounted but still at lest $200 or $300 needs to be paid up first, and this isn’t happening in Korea. I went into the store, came out with a giant phone and paid nothing, plus I won’t be charged till April. Overall the process was fairly painless, except we went into 2 stores before we decided on this one. At first we were going to get it from KT (Olleh), but the people at the store were not very helpful nor friendly, and I was also told that I will need to pay about $200 up front for a simple phone. The next store we went to was U+ and the people were a lot more friendly. The sales person even told my co-teacher that because I will need to sign a contract, when I leave in a year I can just leave, because the insurance company will pay on my behalf, but that’s a secret, don’t tell people LOL. I was already told this by my friend, but my co-teacher insisted that I don’t do that or she will loose face, so depending on how much I like this phone I will either transfer it to someone when I leave or I will pay it off (or I will stay another year and keep using it LOL). They told me that if I decide to pay it off after a year it will be around $340, which is cheaper than buying a phone without contract in Canada, so I think that maybe an option for me. I will decide when it comes down to it.

So far the phone has been ok, aside from a few inconveniences, it is definitely better than LG, but overall I still prefer the user interface of HTC. For example I can upload multiple pictures at a time for the HTC, but Samsung only allows one picture at a time, and I can’t pick the albums I want to upload into (I can pick albums on HTC, even create one if I want).

I have a feeling that I will need to fork over money for data once I get back to Vancouver though…that will suck T_T why must Canada be so expensive!!!

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Korea Bound, Out of the house

 

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[Korea Bound] – Second Night

Feb 23, 2012 (KST)

I am still too lazy to change the time setting on this blog.

Second day in Korea was pretty horrible. There was class from 9 in the morning down to 9 at night. A collection of how to teach, how to co-teach, how to make lesson plans and such. There was also a survival Korean class that I was very much looking forward to, except our teacher wasn’t the best for teaching this. There was a guy that spoke fluent English, I think he learned Korean as a second language himself, his Korean had a bit of an accent. He’s not a great teacher, that’s all I can say. The other one was fluent in Korean, but had crappy English (our home room teacher). Her explanation of things involved saying a lot of “if you don’t know, nevermind, it’s ok.” Which left us wondering, what the hell should we be learning…She’s a elementary teacher herself, so she talks to us like we are elementary kids. She had a lot of hand gestures like crossed arms when saying no; pointing to the head when saying thinking. It was really hard to listen to her, I drift in and out. To make things worst, she would sometimes contradict herself! I think I am better off learning Korean from the online website I found.

I am not really enjoying the classes, which makes me wonder if I will even enjoy the teaching once I start. It seems like they were preparing more for the EPIK teachers to teach on their own rather than co-teach. I don’t know about other people, but I was expecting to only need to be support for the co-teachers. Also we were told that we will have to teach summer school and after school classes on our own…I really wonder what the quality of education is for these Korean kids, because the majority of us have no teaching experiences, and you are leaving us all alone with these kids. How are we suppose to explain things to them if they don’t have any English? I suppose I won’t know if I like it or not till I start teaching. During my EPIK interview, I asked the interviewer what are the school’s expecting from us, and she replied “not much really.” hum.

In any case, it is another full day of classes today and tomorrow. The day after tomorrow we get to go to a farm and experience Korean culture (WTF), not sure if I am looking forward to that. I think we get to learn how to make bean paste and dye clothing (?). I think I’d rather learn how to make kimchi. Speaking of which, we eat kimchi every single meal except for breakfast, them Koreans are really crazy about the kimchi.

Our room get sooo hot even though we turned down the heat, like ALLL the way down. I’ve asked other people and they’ve said the same thing. We had to leave our window open to get some air in, while we are sleeping.

I was so tired last night that I didn’t bother blogging, but I said I’d share my experiences, so I am up early to do this (not really, I just couldn’t sleep LOL).

Anyways! Hope I can find the energy to blog tonight!

OH! and I found Wifi where I have classes, so yeh! I can maybe finally post up some pictures. 🙂

Meanwhile, here’s the link to my facebook album: Korea Bound

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Korea Bound

 

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[Korea Bound] – First day

Feb 21, 2012 (KST)

It is now 5 in the morning and I can’t sleep! The flight in was okay, the food was surprisingly Korean for Air Canada. I’ll try to post pictures later…kinda of lazy at this point.

The orientation site has LAN internet not WiFi, so I can’t upload straight from my phone. I do have it facebooked though, so meanwhile you an look through that if you want.

I had the shittiest time coming into Korea. Overall it was quick and easy (and I totally recognize the airport from all those Kdramas I watch! LOL). While I was going though immigration, the guy took my passport, I did the finger printy thing. Just as I was about to grab my passport and walk away, he sudden takes back the passport looks at the picture then looks at me, and says to me “this doesn’t look like you.” I replied “well I have just been on a 11 hour flight, and have my hair pined up with no make up on. Do you want to see my other IDs?” To which he said yes. I showed him all the picture IDs I had (citizenship card, international driver’s permit, BC driver license) and he says to me, “are these all the same person?” umm…YES! “You don’t look like any of them.” #$@#%$# WHAT THE FUCK! So I was like do you want me to take off my glasses? He said no, but asked me to make eye contact with him, then stated in a joking-ish tone “can I trust you?”…seriously? your country is that great that I would want to fake my way into it?? um NO. In any case, he let me in, but I was still pretty pissed off.

So I am at a dorm now, and I have a room mate from New Jersey. She speaks Spanish to her family, so we can both avoid the awkwardness of listening in on each other’s conversations (I speak Mandarin/Taiwanese with my mom).

I am also happy to report that I got the correct adaptor (yeh!), so all my electronics work and my blow dryer! My room mate however, did not do her research and tried to use a 125volt hair dryer with just the plug adaptor, I lent her mine.

what else…oh yes! This city feels like my home town in Taiwan, except it’s cold and I can’t read the banners. And also my trip here included three incidents of being mistaken to be Korean. Flight attendant gave me a declaration form in Korean, which she switched to an English one after seeing a confused look on my face. Then this older lady that was sitting around me was speaking to me in Korean when I was pulling out my passport, I had no idea what she was trying to tell me…But then she gave me a dirty look when I told her I don’t speak Korean, I am sure she didn’t understand that, but she probably thought I was a disgrace for being Korean but not being able to speak it (BUT I AM NOT KOREAN!!). Then at the 7-11 at the airport, the cashier was speaking to me in Korean. I think it was something like I can help you now, he also told me the amount the item cost in Korean, good thing I understood that part. LOL

AND ALL THE FOOD ARE SPICY!! not that it matters to me, but I think it might get old soon…

ok, that’s all that I have to report. I still can’t believe I am in Korea.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Korea Bound

 

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[Freaking Out] – Good-bye Vancouver

Feb 18, 2012

IN 12 HOURS AND 30MINS I’LL BE ON A PLANE TO SOUTH KOREA!!! I AM FREAKING OUT!!!!!

THIS SHIT IS GETTING REALLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!! OOOOO MMMMM GGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!

ok…apologies. I just can’t believe I am actually doing this. I know I wanted to do this for the longest time, but when it comes down to it, it’s hard to stripe yourself away from the life that you have gotten use to. Today was my last day at work, so many people came out to say good-bye and we had a fun game of Taboo. I cried like a baby. I surely will miss the people that make up the pieces of my life. I know I don’t see some of you often, but I do appreciate you being part of my life: Friends, family, co-workers and the likes.

I am going to be mushy and say that I’ll miss the people more than the place. Vancouver is a boring place to be, but you all made it so much better. See you all in a year! (I will be back, I promise!)

Lots of love ❤ Over the internet hugs!

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Korea Bound

 

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[Announcement] – Good-Bye Vancouver

Jan 23, 2012

This has been in the plans for a while. Originally I was planning for a Working Holiday trip to Australia, that was back in Jan 2011. While I was saving up for it, I got to thinking of all the possible complications of going to Australia, and backed out. My plans changed from Australia to Toronto/Montreal. At least I would be able to fly home within hours and my working experiences can help me in the future. And so I continued to save up. Until Sep 2011, a friend of mine sent me this thing about teaching in Korea. I actually did think about teaching English in other countries, but always threw that thought aside, as my English is not the best. Well, the benefits seemed to be quite good and I decided to apply. Through a long process of dealing with documents and having interviews, I passed. I got the news back in Oct, but it never really struck me until I received my placement (the place I am suppose to go to): a province call Gyeongbuk. And now as the date of departure (Feb 19) is coming closer and closer, my mind is thinking about all the things that can possibly go wrong in this trip. I think FREAKING OUT is an understatement.

In any case, backing out now is not a solution for me at the moment. It’s going to be good-bye Vancouver for a year. I really hope I will enjoy this year, and wont die in a ditch somewhere rotting away…Wish me luck, and I will (hopefully) continue to update, if I can get internet over there. Gyeongbuk is apparently the country side…god help me if I can’t get internet.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Korea Bound

 

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