I begin my journey at the O'Hare airport with Lionel and my mom. We arrive at 9am and eat breakfast before I went. I board my plane at 11:30 am and we begin take off at noon sharp. The flight is 14 hours. After about 6 hours it seems crazy that I will be on the plane for hours to come. I watched all movies they had available including Something Borrowed, Super 8, Green Lantern, and Mr. Popper's Penguins. I slept on and off but not more than 30 to 45 min at a time. I sat next to a Korean couple who were very pleasant, even sharing their soup they brought and had made with me. There was food non stop, steak, potatoes, veg, shrimp, crab salad, cheese cake, the list goes on and for the first meal you could choose between western and Korean.
Once the plane landed and I went through costumes’, which was simple and fast, I asked around for the place to buy my bus ticket and tried multiple times to master the Korean pay phone to notify my boss that I had arrived and was about to board the bus. I slept on the bus for most of the 4 hour journey; there was one stop half way to use the bathroom but not much time for anything else. I arrived at the bus station in Gwangju and waited for my boss to pick me up.
I was also greeted by the teacher I was replacing and a Korean teacher I would be working with. They took me to a great place to eat and tried
Kiamichi for the first time. It was spicy and I enjoyed it. The restaurant had a chose of ground tables (which you took your shoes off to sit on pillows on the floor) or western tables and chairs. Their chop sticks were a bit trickier than at home because they were metal and slippery, though I gave it my all to use them the entire dinner. We shared a dish and ate right from the same main dish.
After dinner I was shown my apartment. It was bigger than I expected and looked almost new. There is one main room including the bed, TV, kitchen (minus the oven), a laundry room (minus the dryer), a bathroom (minus the shower stall), and a small extra room that was turned into a giant closet. The teacher I am replacing was very generous and left me washed bed sheets, shampoo, laundry supplies, toilet paper and much more, it seemed like home already. There were also many items to help me navigate Gwangju.