Today is the first day

I hate Korea.

I went to dye my hair and I had no developer, so I went and bought some box stuff.  They must use some really strong developer, because my hair was like straw afterwards, and it is three times darker than the color pictured. I hate it.

Went to my school to get my photo taken for the Alien registration card, and the laptop arrived.  They insist my mac won’t work with their AV equipment, which is pure hogwash, so they had to go buy a new laptop for me.  OK, if that is what they want to do, I told them, as long as the windows portion is in English.  Of course it wasn’t, so who knows what they are doing right now to find an English version of the operating system.  Meanwhiile, I mention my ISOLATION problem with my co-teacher.  She mentions it to the Vice Principal, who tells her there isn’t room for me with the other teachers.  (never mind that they already know how to speak Korean and aren’t in a foreign country and aren’t living by themselves and god forbid one of them should have to sit by themselves next to the Vice Principal’s office)  She says sorry, and hands me a candy she got for free from yesterday’s teacher orientation. This is huge.  This is enough to make me want to ditch the place.

Later, Pat introduces me to the home economics teacher, who speaks very good English.  Pat describes how the school has provided EVERYTHING for me.  And also Pat describes how the other teachers get used laptops while I get a new one.  I explain to her that the schools are given a budget of up to 2 million won to spend on the new teacher, and that the accommodations are, from what I’ve seen on youtube, pretty standard.  There were some nice personal touches that I appreciated, though, I tell her.

We stop back at my place and she translates my washing machine for me.  I mention the isolation thing again, and she just says sorry.  I can see I will not get any help from anyone on this.  This makes me want to cry.  This is why I was so miserable at Weber Thompson from day one, shoved in a corner by myself with no one to talk to.  Pat says she will make a point to visit.  Big deal.  How natural is that?  How am I supposed to remember any of the 90 teachers if I never see them or get to speak to them?  I ask if I need all my documents, or just my passport while in the elevator. Pat presses forward, so the documents stay in the apartment.

We go to immigration to get my card, Pat, me, and the Chief Officer of the school.  It’s a long drive in his car, we’re running late, there is a traffic jam.  Of course they need my documents.  Must fax to them.  I will get my card on Wednesday.  I will be able to get a phone sooner than I thought.

We take the subway back, and Pat picks my brain about racism in America, Koreans in America, Raising kids in America, and what I think about Koreans learning English.  My bag is full of almonds, which have fallen out of their bag and all over.  I eat them anyway, because I haven’t even had breakfast yet, and it is after 6 pm.

I rush home to find out where to meet two of the teachers from Thailand – but there is no answer from them (probably already left) I have no phone, and they didn’t tell me where to meet them.  Poop.

Bad hair, a year of working in isolation, my never-ending period, and why did my classmates not tell me where to meet them?

Tomorrow -should I hold the extra classes ransom for a desk around other people?  Must go to the school to fax my documents, then meet my hero Jane Jeong Trenka and help her protest new adoption laws being researched and made without consulting adoptees, and then attend a lecture on Korean culture at the National Museum.

Will these days never slow down one bit?

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