Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Unexpected Plans are the Best Ones

I like to bake.  No lie.  I'll often bring in treats for our office at school:  banana bread, cookies, brownies, and pie.  Since baking at home is rare in Korea (my co-teacher confessed that most of her cookies are of the bakery or store-bought kind), the other teachers in the office always gobble up whatever is served with gusto.

My co-teacher had asked me to teach her about baking, so I mentioned that there is a big baking market in Seoul that she could get some supplies to get started.  She expressed interest in going and checking it out, so we made plans to go over the weekend.  What we didn't realize until much later (or likely forgot) was that the market wasn't open on Sundays.  So instead of letting that deter us from continuing with the day as planned, we decided to alter our plans slightly.

We headed into Seoul to the Insadong area to take a walk through to this place that my co-teacher swore had good coffee shops and restaurants.  Right across from the palace side of Insadong a new through street had been opened, featuring a picturesque walk under trees changing colors.  My co-teacher explained that this was a new project to make it easier for people to get around the palace area, and business owners in the area took advantage of the new foot traffic to boost their stores.  It was like going into a movie or TV set because all the shops had an old-world feel compared to most Korean shops.  Everywhere you looked was a cute little coffee shop or boutique, or a homey-looking restaurant with a patio beckoning you to come inside.

After perusing all the options (and it was hard to choose) we decided on a waffle, coffee, and pizza place.  Those foods totally go together, right?  For about $30 we got a waffle and Americano set, along with a mushroom pizza with Emmental cheese.  The pizza was delicious; it was amazing to eat cheese that didn't come shredded in a bag for a change, and it complimented the mushrooms perfectly.  Add some Tabasco and it made for a great lunch.  My co-teacher preferred the sweet waffle coupled with ice cream, however.

I think we stayed there for almost 4 hours, just eating, drinking coffee, and talking.  As I mentioned before, my co has lived in both the US and Canada, and has taught in a variety of Western school environments.  She understands how both groups of students work, and what makes them tick.  Additionally, she sees that while each group has its advantages and disadvantages, she prefers teaching Western students over Korean ones because the former are more involved in what they are learning, more disciplined, and more interesting. Sharing the same experience and perspective on students and teaching helps us both try to understand what we each should do to try and make each other's lives a little easier while in Korea.  I really appreciate that, and her.

Sometimes the unexpected plans are the best plans.  And sometimes they teach you more than you could have ever expected.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share This


Related Posts with Thumbnails