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Jack Brown: Blog

A moving story

Posted on September 8, 2012 with 3 comments

The season changes abruptly this time of year in Korea!  We went from hot, humid and rainy to cool, moderate and less rainy in just a few days.  And this weather pattern appears to be one that will stick around.  It went from feeling like Gulfport in August, to feeling like Redondo Beach in October -- all in about five days.  And I've changed too!  Or at least my exact location has.

So my wonderful Samik apartment (in Suji-gu, 12 minutes south of the school via bus) was really fine with me.  But Kimberly, another new teacher, wasn't happy with her place.  It's about 30 minutes north of the school, not as convenient to public bus, not as kid-friendly (she's a single mom of a two-year-old -- no sidewalks, one tiny park at her place), and generally more difficult than she expected.  So, long story short, I swapped apartments with her.  I lost some convenient access to school via public bus, and this new apartment is a shade smaller in the living area; but I gained, shall we say, what I consider to be a neighborhood with more of my kind of vibe!  I'm now in Bokjeong, much closer to Seoul (even closer to Gangnam, for those who like the video!); a five minute walk north of a university and five-minute walk south of a community college; closer to a subway station (8 minute walk); a great variety of all sorts of shopping, restaurants, bars, etc., within a short walk; and then my favorite part.  New paragraph.

Nothing against apartment-block high-rises -- I've lived in more than one.  But down in Suji-gu, I was in a 12th-floor apartment in a 14-story building, part of a complex of 12 identical buildings, each with probably 150 apartments in it, with even more apartment buildings in every direction as far as the eye could see.  Here in this new place, I'm in a neighborhood that looks like it came out of Sesame Street!  Most buildings are 3- or 4-story walk-ups with 8 to 12 apartments per building, all brick, varied architecture, windy streets with cars parked in every nook and cranny -- there's a feel of neighborhood and character here!  It's like living in New York or San Francisco or Boston -- it just feels more like a home.  And with the switch, Kimberly got lots more park for her daughter, lots of sidewalks for safe strolling, and lots of families with children around her daughter's age.  So, although I wasn't really looking to move and was pretty content where I was, I think it was win-win!  I should have the spare bed here well before my son Kevin's visit in December, so y'all come visit and enjoy my 'hood!

Not too many new Korean adventures to report, other than moving Saturday.  Kwancho and Erickson, two of the Korean support staff at school, worked their rear ends off to help me move.  The support staff at this school are amazing -- they do everything for us, from arranging moves like this to translating instructions on household product bottles.  Life here would be a lot tougher without them.  The students continue to make work life a joy for me, and the preparation and planning time is a godsend.

So this weekend I'm doing school work, mainly because I missed some planning time at school this week due to a couple of doctor appointments.  Nothing serious -- just little things left over from the US.  It's Sunday afternoon and I'm not yet ready for Monday morning, so I better get going.  I think I'll do my planning out on the front porch!  Something else I didn't have down in Suji-gu.  This'll work for me.

Robin

September 29, 2012

I saw no comments & wanted to make sure you knew that people are reading even if not commenting. Sometimes it takes me a couple of trips to computer to read your blogs, as they're pretty lengthy, but don't change a thing because it's really enjoyable to live vicariously through you! :)

Camille Hammond

September 9, 2012

Jack,
It's incredible to hear that you were "rewarded" for doing something so kind for a mom! You're a thoughtful and generous person!
C

Vicki

September 9, 2012

Hi Jack, Good to hear of your new digs. We miss you -- but I can tell that the teaching arrangements are very positive for you - what a joy. And so glad that there are local folks to help out with all the detail stuff..I am enjoying your blog. Choir sang at church today for the first time -so we are back in gear for the program year. Bluegrass Sunday next week - pretty amazing :) ! Vicki