My A.C. is defunct. How is this cultural? Because if I was a 50-year-old man with a good job, it would have been fixed about 30 minutes after it stopped working properly.
If I had a friend who was a 50-year-old man with a good job, same story! I could ask him to call my landlord, and it would be done. But as my friends here are 20-something females, this is a problem.
Korea is very hierarchical. It’s a bit crazy. If someone enters the room who is of a higher rank than you, you must bow and greet them with a respectful “Anyanghaseo” (vs. the informal “anyang”). Depending on where you fall, you may be able to get away with a head-nod. I head-nod to my other teachers, but bow a little more for the vice-principal and principal.
On that note, the principal is somewhat of a god-figure. Mine is a female, which I think is rare. But regardless, when she is around, all eyes are on her. I get the feeling some of my co-teachers are a bit scared of her, as well. At lunch one day, she and the vice-principal–a man–came and sat down, but a few seats away from me and one of my co-teachers. My co-teacher got very nervous, and we finished up and left after about 30 seconds.
Francesca told me how her teachers full-out bow when the principal enters the room, and Ryan was at a going-away-dinner for his vice-principal and shocked the other teachers when he actually spoke to him.
I get bowed to at least 100 times a day though, just in the halls by students I pass. That will be a weird transition on the flip side, when I return to the U.S.!
So, my A.C. I slept on the floor last night since heat rises–it helped a little. Thankfully, it was very cool this morning, so I opened my windows. I can’t keep them open all night because I’m only on the 2nd floor, and I know the crime-rate in Korea is basically non-existent, but I still wouldn’t feel very safe. Thankfully, the school has said they will pay for it because I just got here.
I speak too fast. Obviously. I feel like I’m speaking slowly, but I still get blank stares from some of my students. I think this will be the most challenging part of my job!