Adventures in South Korea and how important it is to enunciate

30 Jun

Alright children gather around, the following narrative is very important if you are to say anything in a different language ever!

So it is my last day before I begin working as an ESL teacher, so I decided to venture out to the neighboring town Gangneung (because they have beautiful beaches and a great market that puts the one in Samcheok to shame because you can find peanut butter). Everything was going well and I had made it to the bus terminal when I noticed that the bus from Gangneung was arriving in 20 minutes. As a proper adult I approached the counter and asked for a ticket to Gangneung. The lady at the counter promptly entered it on the computer and used a calculator to let me know the price for my ticket would be 25,000 won. I thought this was a bit steep after all the other teachers I had been shadowing had told me that it was not really that far.

So I payed (because who knows maybe they hiked up the prices and how do you argue in a different language?) when I got my ticket I read that it was going to Seoul (this is a four hour trip to the capital city) thinking that maybe she had miss-heard me I went back and tried my best to say “not Gangnum (remember that song by Psi? it is about a place near Seoul) Gangneung” she gave a bored look as if to say “yeah I know you have the ticket go sit down”. Well I did not and tried to show her a map on my ipod (because I don’t have a phone yet) and she just kept insisting she had given me the right ticket. Resigned and maybe defeated by the fact that my Korean is still horrible despite having studied it for a year I sat down and waited for the bus.

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I got on the bus and took in the scenery of leaving Samcheok and entering Donghae (which is the city between Samcheok and Gangneung (see where I got confused? it is sort of in the same direction).

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All seems well as the buss pulls over to the Donghae station and I get up and ask the driver if this is Gangneung, he gives me a looks of “Wha?” and tells me to talk to the person in charge of that bus terminal. I got to the counter and did the same pointing of the map I had done with the other lady almost convinced that I may have to return to Samcheok. But no he actually got on the phone talked to the other bus terminal (I think they yelled at the lady that sold me the ticket) and gave me money back. then they mentioned something about a taxi. Here is where I think I got confused and thought ok so a taxi is involved Gangneung must not be that far right?

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Well no it turns out it is far, very far. 45,000 won far to be exact (but then there is the dollar conversion right?)

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nope that was a lot of cab fare.

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Beroe I had realized how much money I was spending I took some pictures of my surrounding which was good, because the day was gorgeous too bad it became gloomy as it went on.

I still managed to get some things done, for example I was starving since that incident had re-routed me way out of my schedule so I manage to find this (not sure what it all is because I do get a bit grumpy/angry/nervous/bored when I get super hungry and my blood sugar drops like a hot potato with a spider on it in the hands of an arachnophobe), but it was delicious and great.20140629_220207 20140629_220210

When I got back to Samcheok I went to the information center to get a map so this never happens again. Side note the bus ride back to Samcheok was only 5,800 won.

As said earlier I begin work tomorrow which technically makes me a productive member of society so the blog flow will slow down to a weekend thing. Have a great week and remember if in a foreign country point at written things or write them down before you end up in a 45,000 won cab ride and ruin your budget.

 

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