Borientation continued....

The next week was devoted to “orientation” – basically involving lectures from 9 til 5:30, followed by dinner in the canteen (or elsewhere when we felt the need for food that was warmer than room temperature!) and then Korean lessons from 7 til 8. The lectures consisted of advice about lesson planning, classroom management etc, Korean cultural information and a history lesson. Some of it was useful but it was a bit annoying because with lessons all day and a midnight curfew we were left with little time to explore or just hang out. Still, we made some friends and a lot of them are now living close to where we are placed so orientation was good for some networking, if nothing else.

Possibly the best day of the week was the day we went on a field trip. After a weekend of lectures, Monday saw us piling into coaches and preparing for the cultural experience of a lifetime. There were 3 activities on the agenda: Jump, lunch and POSCO.

So Jump! It’s a comedy martial arts performance – wow! It’s like EPIK knew me… It was amazing, funny, impressive and brought out the ninja in me! They have toured the UK before and I recommend going if they are ever around again.

Next is POSCO. POSCO is the third largest steel manufacturer in the World and we were driven for 80 minutes to get to the manufacturing site. Everyone but me and a guy called Joe seemed to think it was a waste of time and were not interested in the slightest (I found it interesting but was overcome with vertigo walking around the factory so couldn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to!). But we got to see molten steel and saw them press some red hot steel to make it flatter and longer. I found it amazing, interesting, impressive and it brought out the engineer in me. Wow, after these trips, I had become the... ninja engineer! Imagine me sneaking around in the dead quiet of night just outside your house. You awake and BAM, I’ve sneakily built a bridge connecting you directly to Westfields. No more annoying tube journeys, no more sitting in traffic jams – you have a direct pathway from your house to the biggest indoor shopping mall in Europe. Thanks ninja engineer. You’re welcome imaginary scenario person.

I’d just like to add that as it is, Dave and I have a direct subway link to the biggest indoor shopping mall IN THE WORLD! So suck on that Westfields!

So, I think it’s time for a little toilet humour cos the toilets in Korea are as confusing as watching Inception, in Korean, while on LSD. So in Korea, you’ll never guess what, but they have DIGITISED the loo! Beware Britain, it starts with the televisions, soon the pesky ConDem alliance will get the bogs. Is it me or does ConDem alliance sound like something George Lucas could turn into a trilogy? Do not join the red side Luke, new labour will turn you into a liberal, good for nothing, homosexual! So here’s a photo of the digibog on my digiblog!

Digibog – gotta catch the crap! Starring Pooechu, Mewturd and Squirtle…Shartizard, Jigglyguff…this is too much fun! Post your own in the comments and the best entry gets an authentic David Sobell faeces in the post!
There are several electronic buttons on your average toilet and your guess is as good as mine for what they do. One seems to squirt some water up your arse, another seems to clean the toilet, and who knows about the rest. Apparently, if you have the runs and your crap leaves your bum at over 88 mph, your poo will be transported to the future. This leaves me to wonder about a future society where they manage to harness the power of poos to create a green (or should it be brown??) energy source.

So my friend Petros pressed one of the buttons and got a soaking. Tom pressed a button, got a surprise bum wash then felt too uncomfortable so stood up and got it all over his trousers. Basically, these digibogs are like minor sex offenders – they don’t do enough that you feel like you should tell someone but it is enough to make you feel uncomfortable and leave you feeling full of shame.

A note for you girlies…perhaps the best feature of the digibog is the heated seats. Dave has obviously not gone as far as to sit on any of these gadgets yet, or he would have discovered the joy of cheek-to-heat comfort…obviously this is inconsequential if you hover, which you had best be good at if you come to Korea as you may be faced with the digibog’s arse nemesis…the squat-john! Better start strengthening those quads now because you never know when you might be faced with nothing more than a hole and a prayer!

So anyway, after the field trip of wonder it was back to the grindstone for the final few days until Thursday evening, when it all came to an end. And boy did it end with a bang! First we got the results of our medical tests – all clear! I obviously never actually thought that I had HIV but it’s still nice to see it in writing, confirmed, definitely no secret AIDS, all is fine. Then there was the closing ceremony (speeches and a cheesy photo montage including a couple of me and Dave fresh off the boat looking ROUGH!) and then a buffet dinner which was definitely better than the food we’d been given all week.

Ok so then we headed out…the night started in a bar that was doing BOGOF cocktails…which Dave was buying 4 at a time! (6 actually!) Then we and the other EPIKers from this bar headed to our new favourite spot, Thursday Party. We’d all been going during the week as it was a western style bar with decent music (most of the time), table football, beer pong, cheap beer and two very sexy barmen. (2 smoking waitresses as well and they had several screens dedicated to ESPN star sports, which just plays footy or footy highlights all night!) It’s not a huge place, but it managed to accommodate a large percentage of the 400 EPIKers that night, including some of the EPIK staff (one of whom is a lovely girl called May, who was one of our class’s mentors and all the guys viewed as the ultimate KILF). 12am came and went and we figured, if James Kim, the man in charge of the orientation, was still out on the lash, then we should be too. Finally at around 2am those of us who were left finally staggered back to the campus. The next day was a challenge.

My two favourite people - myself and May. Katie is there too :p
As I awoke I was greeted by my first real Korean hangover…and I had to pack…and I missed breakfast…and had to sit through a really long meeting about nothing in particular…and then meet my co-teacher…and then be driven 45 minutes to my new flat, the whole time feeling like I was going to vomit because the car was so stuffy and she didn’t seem to want to open the windows! Anyway, I was taken to lunch, which was DELICIOUS! My first Korean BBQ and I was hooked! Then taken to school, met principle and vice principle blah blah blah…then my co-teacher took me to Dave’s flat and said goodbye until the following Wednesday when school reopened.

So that was orientation and my first day out in Korea for real…Dave had a similar experience except without the BBQ and so was much grumpier than me by the evening! I blame my hangover on the very attractive barmen who were encouraging me to practice my Korean and complimenting me on my brilliant pronunciation of “One beer please *swoon*”…anyway, tune in next time for the thrilling details of our apartments!

Don’t forget to leave your Pookemon in the comments – best one wins a turd signed with my authentic smell!!