What a day! First day of orientation. We took the KIS bus to school, were escorted to the cafeteria for some french toast and bacon, then on to the conference area. We were given formal introductions by the director, Steve Cathers, and the school principals. They introduced a scavenger hunt of the school for prizes which included 10,000 KRW. Do you know how much that is in American money? Keep reading to find out if you are right....muahahaha!
They divided us into 7 teams, gave us a list of 29 places to find in the school and 3 questions to answer. We had roughly 35 minutes to complete the task. The school is huge and slightly confusing. Hence, the scavenger hunt to force you to explore, especially because there is money involved. Neither Stacy's team or my team won but it was fun! Remember how I told you that the hallways aren't air conditioned? Well we sweated our butts off!
After the scavenger hunt, it was time to take faculty photos. Yeah, we were hot and sweaty and needed to look professional. We might need some retakes. Next, to the library we went to retreive our Macbook Pro's!!! Those babies are nice! We got our school keys and then headed to pick up Ethan from the day care so we could go to lunch.
So far KIS has done an outstanding job of coordinating everything for us. They coordinated another shopping trip for us at Costco (like Sams Club). THIS was an adventure. The plan was that we would have lunch at Costco, get our memberships, then shop. The school was going to bring more buses and trucks to load up everyone and everything and deliver it to our homes. Let me prepare you for this experience. We pulled up in 2 buses and parked where it said no parking. There were roughly 40 faculty members, 10 kids, and 4 KIS staffers entering Costco at the same time. We kind of clogged the entrance. Dan Choi, our business manager, had a talk with the store manager about accomodating us for lunch and for memberships. We went down a level, walked through the grocery area to this small, mad-house food court and made a LONG line because KIS was paying for our lunch. Once we ordered and got your food (choices were pizza, hot dog, or ceasar salad) we were led through a maze of doorways. We went up a stairwell, through the employee dining area, through their locker area, into a meeting room with one table and no chairs. We sat on the floor, kneeled, and stood while eating off of real plates. The employees took great care of us while we were up there. They even got a group picture of us! They must not get this alot.
When we finished eating, we were led a different direction to get out and back to the main entrance. Again, we clogged the lobby because we were all trying to get membership cards. The funniest thing - my Costco card has Stacy's name on it and my picture and his has mine!! We didn't even notice until we got home. Oh well! I doubt they will even check.
On to shopping. The 2nd floor wasn't so bad, at least compared to the grocery level. We found the pillows we had been looking for there. The pillows in our apartment were super stuffed and firm, just like our bed. We only had an hour to shop after the crazy lunch and membership fun. Down in the grocery area you could barely get your cart around it was so packed. Found some cereal, Quaker instant oatmeal, and a few other comfort foods and headed out of there. At least we know what they have now so we can plan for the next trip. This place was insanely busy.
We had to wait about 30 minutes for the buses to arrive but we loaded up pretty quickly and they delivered us to our homes. I couldn't believe that all 4 of our buses whipped U's right in the middle of the road. Man I wish I had gotten it on camera because it was a sight! The strangest part is there was no honking.
We took a short break at home, freshened up and headed back out for our evening gathering. The school buses picked us up again and took us into the Jukjeon district to this place called Gecko's. It was on the 9th floor but it was wicked nice. The whole gang was there having drinks which we had to pay for but the school picked up the unlimited appetizers. There was pool (billards not swimming) which Ethan tried. The patio had a kids play area (so smart!). There was good music. I ran out of my medicine but took tylenol, so no alcohol for me :(. Definitely next time, I heard their margaritas are awesome! We all visited and talked about the international school experience. The more experienced international school teachers talked about KIS being the best and most organized so far. We all feel very fortunate to be at KIS! It was a great night and I hope the next time I'm not sick so I can really enjoy it. We headed home about 8:45...it was a long day. The night life was exciting and invigorating. The lights, the cool breeze, the food stands, and the shops that are open...it all has a certain energy that grabs at you.
We met our international family tonight and really got a chance to get to know them. So far, we absolutely do not regret this decision.