Jeju-si, Jeju-do

Jan 3, 2011 by    Posted under: Travel

I arrived in Jeju-si (Jeju City) on Jeju-do (Jeju Island) to more snow than they’ve had since the beginning of time. It doesn’t look like that much snow fell in Jeju City, but I know that other parts of the island were blanketed (at least according to Jeju standards). It’s funny seeing palm trees with snow on them.

I arrived Sunday night and my recruiter picked me up at the airport and drove to me to the college where the camp is being held. I was pretty tired from nearly 40 hours in transit, but really needed to get some exercise after all that sitting. There are a few blocks around the college with restaurants and shops so, I wandered around, found an internet cafe and was back in my dorm room and asleep by 9 pm.

On Monday, I didn’t have to be anywhere until orientation at 6 pm so I decided to go for a walk and explore for most of the day. I had it in my mind that I should find the big E Mart in the middle of the city. My brother took me there when I was here visiting him a few years ago and it’s a huge building that’s hard to miss. The problem was, I had no idea where in the city I actually was, or where, for that matter, where exactly E Mart was.

I walked up the street to the internet cafe I visited the night before to quickly check my email and then, just picked a direction and started walking. Everytime I came to an intersection, I would stand there for a moment, then go which ever way the wind seemed to be telling me to. After about 30 minutes of doing this, I found myself in a vaguely familiar intersection. Then, when I turned the next corner, I just about shit my pants when looming in front of me was….E Mart! I have no idea what the odds were of me actually finding E Mart after being placed in the middle of Jeju City, on Jeju Island, under the cover of darkness and a delirious state from of 40 hours of traveling were, but there¬† I was, in front of my holy grail of the day.

E Mart is a typical Korean department store with a supermarket in the basement and several floors of clothing, housewares, books, electronics and such. There is also a restaurant on the second floor, which I decided to have lunch at. I am a much braver eater this time to Korea than I was the last, so I decided to get a popular Jeju meal of breaded pork on rice with something on top (maybe sauteed onions). It was really good, as was the miso soup, cabbage salad and pickled dikon that came with it.This whole meal cost me 5000 won, about $5.

I wandered around E Mart for a while and ended up getting a notebook for class notes, some citron tea and vitamin C packets to put in my water.

I forgot to mention the weather. When I left, it was drizzling slightly but it quickly turned into snow. About 15 minutes into my walk I was out in the middle of a full blown hail storm. This lasted all the way to E Mart and , fortunately, nothing was falling from the sky on my way back to the college.

Speaking of crapping my pants, I was told in orientation last night that I am going to be teaching grammar to middle school children. Grammar! Fortunately, another English teach has shared with me some PDFs she has from when she took a TEFL course. At least I now have a definition of what a gerund is.

And now, I am off to find some lunch and then I get to meet my kids for the first time and go on a field trip to the Jeju Art Museum!



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  • B! So sad I didn’t catch you before you left, but I’m so excited to be reading about your adventures! Please, please send us emails or FB messages as you update the blog!! Much love and trans-Pacific nookie nookie– Kdizzy

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