Better late than never: A Trip to Tokyo

At the end of November/start of December myself and my friend Chase (whom you may remember from the Busan for Chuseok blog entry) visited Tokyo for a brief 4 days. The main reason for our visit was to go to the most recent installment of the Hostess Club Weekender festival. The main attraction at this year's festival was the recently reformed Neutral Milk Hotel, but there were several other attractive draws on the lineup including Deerhunter, Four Tet and Austra, so we couldn't miss out. Additionally both Chase and I had always wanted to visit Tokyo, so this seemed like an ideal opportunity.

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Scaring kids, shooting adults, killing myself

 The Thursday before last was Halloween, a day not widely celebrated in Korea, but one in which we would be partaking at Jong-chul (and at all English academies I assume) because we want to introduce the kids to some American/English cultures. And, as I said in my last blog, kids sure love candy - so a day that entirely revolves around the stuff is like a dream come true for them. 

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8 things making my little Korean world turn

This week I’ve decided that, since not that much of note has been happening, rather than tell a linear story about what I’ve been up to I’ll just tell you about a few things that have become important facets of my life recently. From foods, to tricks, to hobbies, here are 8 things making my little Korean world turn.

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Team Bonding

I left off last time by saying that I would be welcoming the new English teacher to our school on the evening of the Sunday on which I returned from my adventures in Busan. Sure enough he did arrive, but a little later than I was expecting, and thus I was flagging a little by the time I went to meet Mr. Lee, Christine and the new guy, Ben. Thankfully they'd chosen to eat at a restaurant just a couple of doors down from my place, so I didn't have too far to go. 

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A trip to Busan for Chuseok

This last week was Korea's annual Chuseok holiday, similar to Thanksgiving in the United States. This meant that we only had to teach on Monday and Tuesday and then had a stretch of five days off, which I decided to use by heading town to the large and beautiful seaside city of Busan with my friend Craig to visit my Beats Per Minute colleague Chase, who has been teaching down there for almost half a year, and is a large part of the reason why I'm out here in Korea. 

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A couple of nights of drinking; a couple of drinks and a couple too many

Another week of working has passed at an alarmingly fast rate, and with now 5 weeks of teaching under my belt that means that I've more or less completed 10% of the contract that I signed. If the next 90% goes at this rate then I feel like I might have moved through the space-time continuum so quickly that I'll come back a year younger than I was, rather than year older. Spending the days with youngsters certainly adds to this feeling of gaining youthfulness. On the other hand, the amount of alcohol consumed regularly has the opposite effect, and the two most interesting stories from this week revolve around that. 

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Class characters / Chewing the pooch

I'm pretty sure the calendar is playing tricks on me. It tells me that I've just finished my fourth week of teaching, but my brain finds this almost impossible to fathom. I still feel like I'm brand new to the country, to the job, to my students, but I've been here for a month now. And when I actually think about it, things have really completely settled. Each day ticks by just like the one before it, my students are used to my presence and I'm really feeling at home now. 

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Settling into the routine, with some minor interruptions

In my second week at being a teacher at Jong-Chul (my first proper full one, since we'd had the Thursday off the week before) I've found myself settling into the routine and system of teaching and living in South Korea quite comfortably. 

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So he sits down to write

Welcome, one and all, to Rob Hakimian's brand new blog/website/ventspace! 

The main purpose of this here piece of internet property is for me to share my experiences of what I'm getting up to in my new life as a teacher of English in the city of Daegu in South Korea, but it will also (hopefully) include several other pieces of writing that I find myself inspired to write. 

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