Thursday, August 26th
I've just finished my first day at Sin-sang Middle School here in Seoul. The staff is extremely friendly, and was very eager to meet me. Almost as eager as the students. As I did only office work today, I didn't have much of a chance to interact with the students. Passing them in the halls, however, illustrated to me how fascinated they are with me. The students here are very respectful as well. Usually, if I made eye-contact with them in the halls, they would stop and bow formally. Needless to say, this behaviour on the part of students is very unfamiliar to me.
In order to do things such as get a cell phone or internet service, I need to get my alien registration card. To do this, I first need to have some passport-style pictures taken. They took a few hours to get done, so I took the opportunity to walk the streets in my area. The first thing you notice when you step outside here is the humidity. It has been overcast and rainy ever since I arrived, and even when it's not raining, it doesn't take long for your clothes to be in a perpetually clingy state.
On the streets, everyone is Korean, and I am immediately identifiable as an interloper. There is a big difference between the curiosity of the students at the school and the curiosity of the average person in the street. Whereas the students bowed and said hello, when I made eye-contact with passers-by, most tried their hardest to pretend they hadn't noticed me. I received a few grins and nods, but for the most part the reception was lukewarm.
My task for this evening is to take the train to Costco, where I'll buy some much-needed supplies, most notably bedsheets, towels, and a power converter. Tomorrow I will go to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education to get a copy of my contract and to the Samsung Hospital to get a medical exam. Until tomorrow, I bid you a fond adieu!