Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dong Chim

Day 2 of teaching has passed and so far things have been pretty uneventful. I don't actually have to get up in front of a class until next week, so most of what I've been doing is researching ideas for lesson plans and preparing a PowerPoint presentation to use as a personal introduction for next week's class. I think my favorite part so far is the photo montage about what it means to be an American. So far it has: a GTO with a blower doing a wheelie, a monster truck painted like the American flag, a guy riding a bull, a guy eating a giant hamburger, a skinny guy in a wife beater eating barbecue, Richard Nixon bowling and Nixon shaking hands with Elvis. I'm pretty dang proud of it.

I also went to the bank for the first tine today. I brought some Korean currency and mostly travelers checks with me from America, thinking that travelers checks (which I could only get from my bank in USD) would be the easiest and safest thing to carry. I was running a little low on cash and my co-teacher was too busy to accompany me today, so I went to the bank with the phrases for "deposit," "bank account," "cheque" and "convert into cash" in Korean written in a notebook. Things actually went pretty well, all things considered. The only snag was, after the teller worked for about an hour to figure out how to use American travelers checks to buy Korean currency and deposit it into a Korean bank account, he told me that it would take about a month for the money to clear. Fine, I think, I've still got half my travelers checks and I can probably scrape by for a while on what I've got in cash as long as I don't go roaming the countryside looking for bars or something. Of course that's I realized that I might not be able to cash the travelers checks I have for a couple weeks because I had to hand my passport over to the Immigration office in order to apply for an Alien Resident ID. (Yes, I know that sounds a little sketchy, but these things happen over here.) So basically what I'm left with is about $50 worth of won and the ability to take money out of my American bank account via ATM should I need it. I get my first month's pay and the reimbursement for my flight on the 23rd so I'll be fine by then, but it looks like I might have to put off buying that blender/coffee grinder for a little while...

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