We spent this morning getting a tour of Songtan, learning the bus system, and visiting "E-Mart." The tour was hosted by Eric and Laurie, returning teachers. Some things they showed us weren't new to us, but some were. And it was fun to spend time with the other new teachers. I don't get to see them often, so it was a lot of fun.
We visited the market again, saw how various roads connected (nothing is straight here, and there are smaller roads and alleys EVERYWHERE), and were shown different landmarks and places of note (is that redundant?).
I kind of wish they had gone into more detail about some things, like how to find the various churches from our locations around town, as well as telling us how many and which churches were in English or offered English services.
They told us which buses go where, although do you think I remember them all? Ha ha, nope. Just that the 1-1 goes from a stop at the top of the hill by us all the way out to Home Plus and E-Mart. And back again, but using a circuitous route. Eric and Laurie decided that they could show whomever wanted to go how to use the bus to get to E-mart, so we went along. Ryan and I hadn't been there yet, only seen it from the train on the way down to Pyongtaek, and have heard lots about it.
The bus ride was... um.... interesting. I don't know if the buses had just gotten new brakes, or what, but they sure do stop fast! To be perfectly honest, it wasn't a very enjoyable trip. What with the sudden, fast starting and stopping, we were jerked around and the kids were unhappy that we were having a hard time keeping our balance, even in seats! Max kept wanting to get down and walk around on her own, and got very upset that we couldn't and wouldn't let her, due to the unsafe nature of the whole thing. Suffice to say, we much enjoy the train/subway. (I honestly don't know what the difference is between the two.)
E-Mart was a lot of fun, but neither Ryan nor I got much time to walk around and explore. It is, like Home Plus, a lot like Wal Mart, or some such store. Not as big as Home Plus, though. It did, however, have a food court that contained a McDonald's, a Korean fast food place, and more Chinese/Japanese place.
This afternoon, after Max decided that less than an hour was sufficient for a nap, we headed back to the train station/mall in Pyongtaek. We've visited several times and enjoy it very much. (Overall, at least. I took the kids there by myself on Saturday, and it was mainly disastrous.) However, it has great A/C, as does the train/subway (seriously, can someone please tell me the difference??), and fun things to see, do, and eat. Max was sad that she couldn't play in the big play area, but it was jam-packed with kids, and we knew that she wouldn't enjoy herself at all. But try convincing a 2-year old of that. Ha! (Oh, yeah, the other reason we went down there, besides the lousy nap, was because it is freakin' hot here right now. Like, standing still, in the shade, sweat dripping down your body, HOT.)
Please join us in praising God that:
- the kids are adjusted.
- Ryan is enjoying his new fellow teachers.
- even though Ryan was sick at the end of last week and through the weekend, he is better now.
- we haven't had any problems finding our way around learning how to do things on our own.
- two of the new female teachers love little kids and babies so much, that they offered to do one free night (or whenever) of baby-sitting a month so Ryan and I can go on a date.
Please pray with us that:
- this August would be the mildest August Korea has ever seen. (August is infamous for being the hottest month of the year, and so far it's living up to it's name.)
- that if God chooses to say "no" to the above request, that we would have extra grace and patience to get through the next couple of weeks. Tempers shorten considerably with the rise in temperature, as does crankiness and crabbiness in toddlers.
- that Ryan would have no problems setting up his classroom, learning his new curriculum, and starting to lesson plan.
- that I would not feel too isolated and/or ignored, simply because I'm not working at the school.