A Gym Freak Gets Her Wish....
YAY!!!! Sorry I haven't posted all week, junkies! :P It's Friday night and I just got PAID! Finally....I'm not broke! And you know where I went first. Yes, the GYM! I just joined though. I'll be going tomorrow morning at 1030am sharp. Yes! I did a 3-month membership and then if I want to extend, I can. As far as I can tell. gyms are pretty scarce around here. There are only 2 in my area, maybe 3. One that I checked out was basically a bunch of old equipment jammed into a big room. I mean treadmills crunched up against the free weights. ALL WRONG!!! I felt claustrophobic just walking around so I couldn't imagine working out. The one I joined is sectioned off nicely with weights in their appropriate area and treadmills in their own area. And there's a separate section for classes. Nice and Western...just how I like it. I will not compromise! They also have "uniforms" which consist of either a red or blue t-shirt and track pants. I was like, "Hmmmm...no thank you. I will bring my own." Call it vanity but I like my gym clothes tight. Body hugging...I want to see what little muscles I do have attempt to ripple. None of this masking all my hard work with baggy tshirts. You ever notice that? The more weight people lose, the tighter their outfits get. I've seen some old ladies rocking more Spandex than you can shake a stick at....and it's pretty funny. And I love them for it.
What else did I do on payday?? Steve said it's "tradition" for the foreign teacher to take out the other teachers with their first paycheck. Ummmm....tradition is it?? I dunno if that's valid, but I bought it. Steve especially deserved it because he's been so helpful. Luckily only 1 other teacher went so I didn't break the bank. We had a good time though. I'll post pics of the feast! Honestly, I want to roll over and die a slow death right now....that's how much I ate tonight. It's beyond uncomfortable. It's almost unbearable. And this is why Mama needed a gym!!!! RIGHT HERE!!! Most people lose weight in Korea and I feel like I'm packing it on. That's all going to change though! :)
I'm surprised more people aren't sick here. You know why??! Cuz no one covers their damn mouths when they sneeze and cough!!!!!! I'm coming to terms with the spitting. I'm coping with the nosepicking. But holy crap, can you PLEASE cover your mouth?!?! Actually, do one better. Cough into SOMEthing! Your sleeve, a napkin, whatever. Don't just let all the free radical germs migrate to my damn desk! Because they inevitably do just that. And then you think I'm crazy because I'm Lysol-ing every 30 seconds. BUT I AM NOT CRAZY!! I developed a serious case of germophobia working in New York City. I mean some people there were just vile creatures, but there was an attempt at keeping germs contained. No such luck here. I give up......I'm just letting go. I'm not gonna change South Korea....and they're not gonna change me either. So I'll keep covering my mouth and containing my germs.
I don't know where the time goes here, but wow, it's November. I've been here for exactly one month! 11 more to go! :) With my first check, I realize I can send home quite a bit of money each month. I can live very well here on $50-100 a week. $100 a week is at the high end. If I'm doing a lot of shopping or hanging out in Seoul a lot, I'll top out at $100. Otherwise, I can live on $50/week easily. So, that's good because my credit cards are screaming. And I basically depleted my savings once I quit my job. I see why most people end up staying here for at least 2 years. The first year goes to paying off debts and then you can just save the next year or travel or whatever. It's gonna be a stretch for me to pay off debt, save, AND travel. My main focus is to pay off my cards and travel. I figure as long as I don't have that huge monthly card payment, once I come back to the US and start working, it can all go into savings. And traveling is obviously my only reason for living. Hahaha...but you know, I thought going to Australia would be cheaper from here. It's NOT! Plane tickets are like $1800!!! So I may have to scratch that one off the list. If my brother comes out to visit, I think we will go to Japan. He's already said he wants to go somewhere so if I start planning for it now, I can swing it. I'm all about showing him a good time and believe me, partying in Tokyo ain't cheap!! But that would be a nice brother/sister bonding trip right?? If I take my big bro to Japan, well, I think that pretty much solidifies my position as the most awesome little sister EVER....right??
I've gotta go to Thailand at some point since one of my friends and her husband will be teaching there starting in January. I think that will be pretty affordable. And um, I'd love to see China during the Beijing Olympics but that's a matter of vacation time (which I don't get much of) and the fact that Chinese immigration has made it quite difficult and expensive for Americans to get in the country. It costs like $150 for a tourist visa for us...compared to, say, Canadians which is like half of that. This is what happens when your President pisses off every country in the free world. You pay. Quite literally. So those are my travel wishes. Yes, initially I thought I'd be able to do some island hopping in the South Pacific. Shoot over to India even. My mind was racing with possibilities. But now that reality has set in, I've reeled it in a bit. I have my whole life to travel so I'll do what I can for now. And I can always come back :) That's the beauty. But I really, really want to hug a panda bear in China while I'm here. I mean, that's like top priority....because at this rate, they might become extinct and then I can't come back for that....
Something's missing. Yes, I'm in South Korea. Yes, I am helping little kiddies learn English. Or I'm trying. My boss says I'm doing a good job at least. But I can do more. So I'm looking into volunteering. I really hope I can do it. Before I got here, I did some research about racial relationships in South Korea. Granted, a lot of the feedback was negative. "Koreans hate black people and blah blah blah..." I didn't buy that crap. But then I stumbled upon articles about how these biracial babies (Black and Korean) were being thrown out. Orphanages were filled with all these little babies that no one wanted because they weren't "pure blood" Korean. Crazy to think, right? Yeah I thought so, too. So I have my sights set on volunteering at one of those orphanages. There have to be some in Seoul. And don't worry, I'm not going to adopt a baby. Call me cheesy, but I believe in the power of human touch and well, I just want to HOLD those babies. They deserve that. Since their mothers and fathers did not feel they were worthy of a real shot in life, I'll do my part. That's the plan at least.
Before I end this post, I just want to mention something that's been on my mind. Several of my friends, and one random stranger, have told me how much they enjoy my writing. And I gotta say I enjoy that you enjoy my writing. Even my Dad says I'm actually a decent writer. He was surprised. I've always kept journals and I'm a huge stickler for grammar and spelling most times. (Example: your hat vs. you're annoying, their books vs. they're late vs. there you are, I could go on forever here). Anyway, I say all this to say that...well... I don't know what it all means. A couple people have suggested I try writing a book someday. And I want to. I have no idea what it would be about and maybe that's okay. It seems that most people just enjoy reading about my thoughts. What a huge and humbling compliment. I don't think there's any better feeling than knowing that people care about what you have to say. Maybe one day I'll sift through all my journals since 5th and 6th grade and compile them into a self-help book. You never know when your words will help someone through a tough time or motivate someone to leave that jerk of a boyfriend. If my words can do that someday, well....I'd feel full. I'd feel whole. So for now, I'll keep writing. And you'll keep reading. And we'll continue this love affair of words and maybe one day, you'll log onto Amazon.com and buy my book :) Until then, <3 J