Week 2, Tuesday

After leaving school I ran into a parent in the parking lot. She actually introduced herself in English and told me that she’s American.

She told me her daughter is in my fourth grade class and that she really liked the previous teacher (Yes, bummer I’m here instead). I have that class tomorrow so I’ll keep an eye out because I’m curious.

Several small things happened today:

Fifth grade homeroom teacher: wow pretty! the fifth graders talked about how pretty you were

Coworker at lunch: omg! Your eyes are green!

Next door after school teacher in the middle of scolding a kid: oh hi! I’m Jennie. This is a very rude student. Nice to meet you!

Before class started I went into the teachers lounge to get coffee. I heard the teachers at the table saying that I was pretty and one of the braver ones turned to me and said: Abigail you look so nice today!

Me: ah that’s because I’m going to Gangnam
Table: for the club??
Me: lol nah Korean classes

(Honestly getting compliments from children and other women are the best because they come with no ulterior motive.)

After school I went directly to Gangnam to take a placement test for Korean classes. In a strange transcendental 180 moment from three months ago the evaluator told me that my speaking is better than my writing and that she would advise level 3 but because of the timing I should start at high level 2.

There is only one other person in my class, an American from Chicago who has been working here for six years, which is a great deal. The small class size is good for learning but terrible for when I want to cry about verb conjugation and there’s no one there to soften the blow. (Some but not all colors are actually verbs and one conjugation uses a Korean letter that is so rare I haven’t written it once in the last three months). I got dinged for pronunciation (건) and probably made the young teacher want to cry with my excessive questions. “You said this verb conjugation, what does it mean?”

Because I’m at a private academy now instead of the same university, the format of class is different and I have some gaps in my knowledge. But then I was thinking, isn’t that how language learning goes? Your knowledge is continually compiled from different sources. (Example: I learned “peanut” from a fried chicken seller)

I got to see Gangnam at night which is very pretty and upon exiting the subway station by my apartment I bypassed the bakery and street food stall (yes, INSIDE the subway station) in favor of the hot dog street vendor outside. She only appears at night unlike her two comrades, corn man and fried seafood man. It was a damn good hot dog and under $2.

Living here is kind of the best.

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