After many months of planning, several weeks of packing, a couple of days of traveling and very few hours of sleep, I’ve finally made it to my new home. I walked off the plane, went straight to the restroom (where I had the choice between a regular toilet and a squatty potty, yes, of course I used the regular one!) picked up my five suitcases, was met by my principal, his wife and my new roommate, and headed out into the wild unknown of my new life.
Because I arrived in the morning, I had all day to stay awake while trying to adjust to the time change (it’s 12 hours ahead of the east coast and 14 hours ahead of Colorado). I kept myself busy by unpacking everything and talking to the roommate. For dinner, a group of us all headed to a favorite Korean place, a 20 minute walk on my still very sore feet, where we had…I have no idea of the name, but it’s was fabulous and very spicy. So, across the street from the Korean restaurant, there was this marketplacey thing where they sold this “favorite” type of tea. It’s called “bubble tea” and apparently very well loved by some of my new friends. Several of the people in the group bought the tea (I didn’t have any money because I hadn’t exchanged any yet) and one of them asked me if I wanted some. Sure, I say, not really paying attention or making eye contact because I was feeling awkward being penniless and still sweating profusely from the mile or so walk there. When I grab the cup, I notice that it’s really milky looking, room temperature and is sealed off by an aluminum lid with a very large straw sticking out. Without thinking about it, I take a large sip but the straw jammed or something so I sucked really hard. Whatever it was that was caught in the straw came loose and I ended up with a massive “taste” of the bubble tea…and something squishy in my mouth. Come to find out, the reason the thing is called bubble tea is because it has black balls of tapioca in the bottom of the cup. Hence the large straw. Of course, after I take my sip, I look up and see that everyone is watching me to see my reaction. Apparently, it’s a little joke they play on everyone just because they like to see what the person does, i.e. choke, throw up, scream. If I had only been looking at them when they had given me the drink, I would’ve realized something was up. Oh well, it was all in good fun and now I can’t wait to try it on someone else!
After walking back to the apartments, I went over to a friends’ house to use their internet because I don’t have it yet, Skyped my family (it was like 5am there, good parents) and then headed home and went straight to bed. Today, I’ve gone to church, eaten lunch and had my first experience shopping in a place where I don’t speak the language, can’t read the labels to tell what the products are, and saw things I’d never seen before. I don’t know if I’ll ever be brave enough to buy meat here, especially at that store. Nevertheless, it was a good first-time experience and was able to buy everything I needed.
I could tell you a million more things but this post is already long enough. And I apologize for it being so diary-like but it kind of is a diary, at least for now. I want to remember everything about these first few days.