Friday felt more routine. Bus at 8:10. Breakfast until 9:00. Meetings through the morning. Korean lunch about noon. Then for me a free afternoon but for Stacy meetings until 3:30.
Since he had meetings, I had to go to the dentist all by myself. I realize that I should be a little more adventurous independently but, my experience today did not encourage me. I was able to get a ride from our counselor, Jonathon Webster, to the dentist's office. He is a fountain of knowledge and has lived here 6 years. So anyways, I get up to the dentist's office, sit down and immediately he says "we're going to extract the tooth today." WHAT!!! Um, well...I wasn't prepared for that. I was able to put it off until our first week off in September (Chusok-Korean holiday). The visit lasted no more than 10 minutes. I got another antibiotic prescription in case it starts hurting again. I found the pharmacy again and filled the prescription. By this time, I'm thinking I need to hurry and get back because it is about to rain. There were some heavy black rain clouds looming in the distance over in KIS's direction. I stand on the side of the sidewalk looking for a taxi. Ten minutes I wait. Finally I flag one down (taxi #1) he drives maybe ten feet and stops. He tells me after looking at the address that he can't take me, politely. Right. So I get out and search for another one. In the exact spot that Stacy and I found the taxi waiting last time is a woman in her own vehicle waiting for other people. I walk into the street next to her vehicle to flag down another taxi. Yeah I think, here comes one (taxi #2). What I didn't notice was the hidden lady who really flagged him down. I show him where I want to go and he says yes. Apparently he said yes he CAN go there but this other lady was before me so he booted me out. The lady in the vehicle I talked about before, rolls her window down and talks to him about taking me. They argue (I think, its all in Korean). She asks where I needed to go and I show her my teachers badge that has the address on it. She points to the taxi that pulled up behind taxi #3. Exact same kind of taxi with the green light on top. She rolls her window up and continues waiting for her people. Taxi guy #3 looks at the address and tells me no, somewhat gruffly. I look ahead to the lady in the vehicle and she sees me through her sideview mirror. She rolls her window down and I tell her, he said no. She hops out of her vehicle and begins conversing with this cab driver for me. All I can make out are hand gestures, Bundang-gu and Gungne-dong. He continues to say no. I think she was saying something about it being nearby and how to get to it. No luck. Next thing I know she is opening her car door and gesturing for me to get in. SHE WAS GOING TO GIVE ME A RIDE. God bless good-hearted people. As I get in, 2 other Korean ladies open the opposite passenger door and look at me. "Who is she?" is the question on their faces. I am SO happy that I was wearing my KIS shirt and badge because the lady asked me "teacher?". I said yes I am a teacher at Korea International School. The lady, the guy in the passenger seat and the other 2 ladies in the back with me are conversating in Korean and I can't understand a lick. (I now understand what it is like for my Spanish students last year.) I hear some laughter, don't know what that was about. I'm sure she told the story about the darn taxi driver who was not doing his job. Nevertheless, halfway there it starts pouring down rain. I failed to mention that with that 3rd taxi driver I was preparing myself to walk back to school. I had my umbrella but it was going to take me 20 minutes and I was pretty sure that I was going to have to figure out the right path. I was super thankful that she had offered. They pull up to the gate of KIS and the guards see me. They start to the car with an umbrella to help me out. I tell the lady thank you in the best Korean I could muster and hand her 3,000 won. My version of a thank you. She gets out of the car and gives it to me with a big smile. I couldn't believe it. I did have to walk up the hill to the school in the rain but this was nothing compared to what my trip could have looked like. I will never forget the kindness she showed me.
After all that, I got back in time to tie up a few loose ends then it was time to go home. There was a faculty get-together tonight at Gecko's and luckily one of our new friends has 2 high school aged daughters who were cool with babysitting. KIS sent buses to pick us up at our neighborhood bus stop. We changed buses halfway. Made it to Geckos by 6:30. Had a great time and really mingled with the new and returning staff. We ordered burgers because we thought that sounded good. BAD IDEA for me at least. I thought it tasted like a mix of tofu and ground beef. So I ate my fries and ordered some chicken strips which never arrived. They got lost in communication. I ordered dessert instead. Belgian waffle with ice cream. Yummie!
As we were descending in the elevator in the building, we stopped on a floor where 10 Korean kids tried to pile on. This was like 9:30 at night. These kids were just leaving the Hagwon, which is a private school that specializes in certain subjects. Students attend these after regular school. Since we didn't know where we were, we followed the high school principal and his wife to the nearby subway stop. YES! We finally took the subway. Very easy. Long walk to it but once we found it, we had no problems. They got off before us. We got off at Sunea station and came out at Lotte, a department store type place. It was nice to be out at night. We caught a bus to our home but by this time it was 11pm. Had a fantastic time.