Sunday, January 29, 2012

Let me introduce you to my daily bubble…

So I’m still workin on catching up my blog with my adventures thus far. So I guess  now would be a good time to fill everyone in on my little corner of the world….Daegu is a booming city that has a rather large population. I’ve heard everywhere from 2.5-4 million people, but ya know the difference in opinion is so small that it’s like pocket change :P My stomping grounds are in the Siji area. Now this may sound so confusing…many people back home say “I thought you were living in Daegu city?!” well it’s a little diff here. I had thought that the city was no big deal…”oh look, I’m so close to downtown!” NOT. Daegu is just a smidge bigger than a city back home (sarcasm kids, sarcasm!). So Siji is like saying the city and Daegu is more like the state, there’s just different terms here. For example, on my Tuesday and Thursdays I work at other schools on the other side of Daegu and that is a 40 minute subway ride. So ANYWAYS, I believe I’m rambling and not sure if I’m making a coherant sentences.
I was finally able to get into my apartment after training. My very own place!!! I’m sure that if any of you are, or speak to my parents, they can attest to the fact that though there is love for our family, me living in the basement was a challenge for all. Now, I have my own little bubble and they have their downstairs back! :)
I live in a three level building above a restaraunt. There are 2 of my co-teachers that also live in the building and my other co-teachers are near by. This is definitely the are for foreigners to live. I see new people every week and have made a fair number of friends in the area.
My pictures that I’ve posted were taken during my moving in process so they aren’t totally accurate. Some areas are cleaner and on the other end of the spectrum there is always the standard “Anna pile” that seems to develope where ever I reside (there is a handful of you that can understand this oddity that fallows me around). There is a classy yellow floor that always makes me want to be ill, but I guess it’s not forever so I’ll deal. There is also a large collection of wall decor that has been edited over time. I’ve been pulling some down, putting some up, and looking to add my own touch of art eventually.
In the far left picture, you can see the small seperate rooms in my place. The left is the bathroom and the right is a kitchen. The bathrooms in Korea, for those that don’t know, have a unique charm to them….no shower stall! There is a hand shower that is attached to the sink. I was truely thankful that my can at least be mounted on the wall, which is more than I can say for all bathrooms here.  Another interesting tid-bit about the rooms here is that it is standard for the floors to be heated. That should be a nice thing in the cold months, as anyone from my homestate or equivelant can understand, a cold floor is the worst! The windows make me a smidge uncomfortable…their idea of privacy is frosted windows, though there are also a line design in them, so I’m not feeling all to confident in the privacy factor.
My kitchen…AHHHH my kitchen. What to say….When living in Kato, Tony and I did a lot of cooking and always commented on the difficulties of a small kitchen and limited counter space….this is well worse! As many of you know, I love to cook so a mini fridge, no oven, and no counter space is sort of a torturous situation, but I’m surviving. I’m thinking some furniture re-arranging could be some problem solving (desk in kitchen) as well as the purchase of a toaster oven.
Before arriving here, I’d read that Daegu may be a big city, but has a small town feel. I’d definitely agree to that opinion, at least in my area. Other parts of Daegu are a bit, how can I put this nicely….I can’t, parts are dirty and nasty!
A park that I walk through to get to the downtown Siji area
There is a run of parks near my place that is between my living location and the area I work in and do my shopping, eating, and hanging out time in. There is a bunch of parks that look the same one after another, so it may feel like an infinite walk at times.
The square in Siji
There is a lovely city square area that people hang out in. There is a fountain on the warmer days for kids to play in, basketball courts, sitting areas and is surrounded by a large numer of amazing food places and small shops. This place is always occupied with people whether it is small children laughing and romping in the water or adults throwing back a mildly chilled beer and relaxing at night.
Majority of our shopping takes place at E-Mart, which is generally equivilant to a giant walmart or just generally a small mall. Every time I’ve asked someone where to get something, the answer is E-mart. The store may look like it goes up, but ironically you have to go down to enter the other levels. Sadly, the food is all the way down to the 3rd floor, so running in quickly to grab something is a bit of an adventure. There is also a costco and many Home Plus stores (similar to E-mart) in the area. These also supply some western type foods, though I am desperately lacking some Ranch and some foods, such as honey, syrup and peanut butter have some rediculous prices!
In our poor people excursions, we’ve done a lot of walking around to explore the main areas of Daegu. The downtown area (which I’m lacking pictures of) is a booming shopping area during the day, and a chaotic night scene during the night. That area definitely has A LOT more shops and has more of a city feel to it. I have discovered the presence of Quiznos and Cold Stone, which totally brightened my day…though I was sad to discover they have not acquired the same taste or flavors here….Quiznos has no classic club, which is my fav, and Cold Stone lacks the cookie doughtchya want some AND cake batter ice cream. Sadness overcame me when this reality hit. But alas, that is about the general sum of the area I spend my days in. I’ll be getting paid soon and so expect some more adventure type blogs in the near future….this weekend I’ll be going on a small trip with horseback riding, kayaking, ATV’s, star observatory, herb festival, and a cabin in the mountains and I am also planning an amazing trip to Busan to see a georgous temple on the shore with my friends in October!
Walk to my Thursday school
View at my Thursday school
Some Korean flowers

Subway near my school and my work is across the street
Rebecca demonstrating some workout equipement in the city square

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