It has been just over two weeks since arriving here in Seoul and I'm very much still getting settled in. Since my classroom observations ended and I started teaching my own classes this past week, my falling into a routine has definitely sped up the familiarity process.
My route to work
There is one thing that needs to be said. Seoul is cold, very cold. It has been hovering around freezing every since I arrived. It has warmed up slightly in the past few days, but much in the same way that Colorado is warmer than Alaska. It's no help that the sun is constantly hidden by a thin and extremely grey layer of clouds at most all times. On my way home from work today I thought the sun was setting much later than usual since it was much brighter out, but no, the clouds had receded a simply a little sunny outside.
A view of the Mapo district
Seoul is with out a doubt an interesting place. It very much strives to be extremely modern, with cel phone coverage in the subway system, monitors at bus stops with real-time arrival information and the fastest Internet in the world. But at the very same time it seems as though it goes too fast for its own good, not stopping to realize what that its doing is not actually acheiving the desired output. Take the high-rises below as an example. A common sight throughout Seoul, these complexes were made to meet increasing demand for housing in the city; they probably intended to be beautiful and the epitome of cospomolitan city living. They somehow miss the mark though, instead of looking like the perfect place to live they look boring, bleak, imposing and depressing.
I think this is probably why Seoul and Korea as a whole have a lot of potential, there's is a lot of great to be had but also a lot that is being improved upon. And with World Expo taking place later this year and the Winter Olympics are coming in 2018, Korea is increasingly becomming a more prominent participant in global culture.
A look from Seoul Station
Old Seoul Station
My local grocery store
My neighborhood, Hongdae
This is pizza, right?
Pedestrian crossing in Sinchon
Work is going great. I'm stilling getting my bearings and finding out what works and what doesn't with my classes. Honestly, all of my nine homeroom students are great in their own ways, some are more troublesome than others, but it's hard for me to complain when comparing them to some of the true terrors some of the other teachers have. I mean, just look at these guys.