My current habitat is the Pares Hotel (pronounced like Paris). Before I left for Korea, my ignorance often conjured up visions of me arriving to Seoul and sent to a back alley to work- not as a teacher but as a prostitute for the Korean mafia. I had this dark image because I have incredible luck and I can be terribly naive, not to mention my family's history with mafias and black markets.
Before Chandra and I left for Korea, we were informed that we would be staying in a hotel for our first night. It was about 10:30 pm by the time we finally arrived in Seoul and I could not wait to sleep in a bed. After our hour long drive from the airport we finally made it to Seongdong-Gu, however the driver drove down a dark alley and parked in front of a random building that I could only compare to as an adult movie theatre for its giant poster of upcoming films and flurescent sign. In the back of my mind I was that the driver must have made a mistake. We entered the dark motel and were led to our rooms. As I wandered upstairs to my room I noticed the condom vending machine and fear began to settle in. What the hell did I get myself into?
Well, I found out the next afternoon that my school was legit when I had to be at work to meet everyone. The love motel is not as haineous as it sounds aside from the small living quarters and the screams and banging of furniture from the other rooms.
I begin teaching this Friday. Over the past five days I have felt like I am back in elementary school since I have been observing so I simply cannot wait to actually work with the little ones. I am teaching first year preschoolers- ages 7 (in America they are actually about 6 years old)which means they are have only been studying English for about six months. My students are absolutely adorable and they call me Niki teacher- occasionally Monkey teacher (they have just found the humour in calling people animals).