Oookay, so now I’ve officially signed the contract and am in the final stage of the Visa process that will get started with teaching English in Korea. Even though I wasn’t happy with having an hourly contract, I decided to settle with it because if I pass on this one it could be another several weeks before another position opens for me. And frankly, I’m tired of this song-and-dance routine! That sounds awfully jaded – like I said before, this process probably goes smoother for other people, but I pretty much had problems every step along the way (and that’s seriously not an exaggeration…). So now I just need to sit back and wait to get my Visa code from the Korean immigration office. Then I can go to the Korean Embassy in DC (It pays to live near the capital!) and apply for my Visa.

This time around, I’m working in Hwaseong City(화성시), in Gyeonggi Province which is just south of Seoul. Hwaseong’s name is a little confusing because the city is outside Suwon (수원시), the capital of the province. Suwon is Korea’s last walled city and is the location of the Hwaseong Fortress… That is, the Hwaseong Fortress is not in Hwaseong… But apparently the two cities were once together referred to as Maehol-gun (매홀군). On a side note, I learned today that the ending -gun means it’s a county while -si (시) is a city.

I couldn’t find a lot of information about Hwaseong, at least not as much as I wanted, mostly because all the searches are coming up with the fortress and not the city. But I did stumble on the city’s official website. The places listed on the Culture and Tourism page look pretty interesting. I’m actually really looking forward to visiting the hot springs they talk about. I do love hot springs.

On thing about Hwaseong, its geography is eerily similar to my hometown. It’s a just off of a bay, surrounded by farm land, a stone’s throw from the capital. Hopefully this will make dealing with culture shock easier.

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