Monday Funday?

It’s now Tuesday here in South Korea, and it’s turning into a really nice day – the sun is shinning, the kids are laughing outside, and buildings aren’t shaking….

Yesterday was a very strange day. I did a little bit of research and found out more about the shipping company dilemma.

Apparently this shipping company, the largest in Korea, has been receiving government subsidies from tax-payer money. The government has decided to stop paying into this company and now the company is bankrupt. So their ships are just chilling out there, in the middle of where ever they are, not being able to dock in any ports because they don’t have the money to pay the port fees. This is a summary of what my adult student told me last night.

And no – if you just happen to be in the same mind frame as my mom – it has nothing to do with relations with the north.

But it does mean that I can’t start shipping things home. Which kind of sucks but I still have some time to wait. If I wait a little bit longer than I can ship home all my summer things and not have to worry about them – which would be fantastic! One thing I hate about travelling is having to worry about suitcases. I want to check all my luggage at the airport – no carry on for me! But I also don’t want to pay to check more than the allotted number of bags. When I flew home last time, I was only allowed to check ONE bag! ONE!!! I had to pay extra to check a second and then had a carry on as well. Now it seems that the airlines are back up to 2 checked bags which is awesome. Especially when I am moving my entire life.

If the shipping thing isn’t resolved, I should be ok. I have two big suitcases and a carry on right now so I should be able to fit all my stuff in there. Although the trip to the airport could be interesting since I only have two arms. The subway might be a little difficult to manage. It also means I can’t go shopping again for some new fall/winter clothes… I could be ok with that…..maybe….

Getting to work, I had to ride the elevator with my boss. After the incident I haven’t been overly friendly with him and for good reason I think. I’ve lost all respect for him and his business practices. But getting into the school, there were some boxes by the front door. He told me take one of the packages inside the boxes as a Chuseuk gift. This week is Chuseuk, which is the Korean harvest festival. You can kind of call it a Korean Thanksgiving.

So I pick up this bag and it was HEAVY. I was given one during Lunar New Year as well back in February and I was just hoping that the contents were different. They weren’t really.

A collection of spam just like last time. The bottles on either side are the same as well (cooking oil and cooking syrup which I think is the same as corn syrup….) Only the bottles in the middle are different. The green one I’m not sure what it is, but the other one is bulgogi meat marinade. I LOVE bulgogi! Love love love! So that’s good. Maybe I will keep it and take it home?

But I don’t use the rest. The cooking oil from February I am still working on, haven’t touched the syrup. And I don’t like spam or tuna…. so it’s just kind of there. Not sure what to do with it all since I still have all the same stuff from February. Although it came with soya sauce (long gone with my rice addiction) and some pomegranate stuff to add to water. The rest of the food just sits in the case.

While teaching my adult conversation class, my student and I were talking about everything except for the book. She has reached a place grammatically that I can no longer help her or answer her questions. So we just focus on speaking and that means sometimes we spend the whole hour not even looking at the book. A suggestion from my boss who told me “just focus on speaking, why is she asking grammar questions?”

Well we were talking and then all of a sudden I felt kind of like a rumbling. At first I thought I was just imagining it. I work from 1:30-8 without a break. I do get about 10 minutes between my last child class and when this adult arrives to inhale half a pb&j sandwich, and yesterday I was feeling the pangs of hunger, and I thought that was all it was. Then I looked at my water bottle and the water inside was moving.

I looked at my student and asked if she had felt that and she did. We learned, 20 minutes later after class was over, that it was an earthquake. We walked out of the class to see the Chinese teacher sitting on his computer chair under his door frame haha! Adorable. It was nothing more than any earthquake I have ever felt in Ontario, and less disruptive than when there was construction happening in my apartment building all spring.

However, it was a really serious earthquake! The strongest ever recorded in Korea. And at the origin point, very destructive. People were evacuated, buildings damaged. Thankfully for me that was far far away from where I live. Well not really THAT far….just a few hours but still. People think I have to drive to another country to visit my brother when I tell them it’s a 6 hour drive. 

So here’s the picture of the earthquake. Taken from The Korean Times  which has more information about it. I’m way up in the yellow-green area. If you draw a straight line from this persons 4th finger up towards North Korea, you’ll eventually find where I live in Incheon, which is beside Seoul.

So all around a super interesting day! Hopefully today will be less exciting since it’s the last day before the holiday! YAY for 5 days of no work!

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