Cheonan, Korea Rep.
Yesterday I went to the hospital where I had a full medical test. If it comes back positive for drugs or HIV I get sent back home. Today I went to the bank but still can’t open an account so spent the rest of the day doodling the time away with a little lesson-planning, e-mails & Facebook. The school day is pretty long compared to SA schools. We start at 8:20am and end at 4:30pm and because I’m not teaching yet it can drag on a bit. The students leave school at 3:30pm and then the teachers stay an hour later, I’m not quite sure why.
I had a laugh at myself today. Before I left for SK, Lance instilled a great fear in me about the toilets and whether they would be holes in the ground or not. Those just don’t appeal to me. So, at the ladies bathroom at school there are 2 toilets – one hole in the ground and one normal one. Naturally I chose the normal one, but as I went into the cubicle what struck me was a panel attached to the side of the loo and plugged into the wall, with an array of buttons on it, all labelled in Korean! I studied the panel hard but couldn’t figure it out and was too scared to give it a go so went back to the staff room and quietly asked Jina if she could show me how to flush the toilet. She took me back there and very seriously demonstrated the flushing of the toilet. “OK, you see this handle here?” and she pressed down on the (normal) silver handle just beyond the panel, attached where they normally are! I felt like such a moron – I had been so preoccupied by the fancy/scary buttons that I didn’t realise there was a perfectly normal flusher there. I still don’t know what the other buttons are for but suspect it has something to do with (amongst others) the heating of the seat. Yes you read right…the seat is heated.
This afternoon was lovely though. Jina took me to fetch my medical results which need to be sent to the office of education. Then she took me for an amazing Chinese dinner at a restaurant close to my flat. I managed to eat a massive bowl of noodles all with chopsticks. (By the way, I have had a few compliments on my chopstick-usage at school lunches so far.)
Jina is going to take me shopping for a camera as soon as we can both go. Once I have that I’ll be a very happy traveller and will upload lots of pics. It’s driving me crazy not having one!