Today a bus came to pick us up from the Coatel Hotel at 10:15 and take us to Chung Dahm’s training center. There seemed to be two things on people’s minds: our upcoming tests and how we would get to training every other day. As it turns out, at training orientation Chung Dahm provided us with T-money cards (which you can use to pay for subway fare, taxi fare and even use at some grocery stores) so yay! Our transportation is completely provided for!

As for the tests – I passed all of mine! Yay again! A lot of us passed, which was a little surprising because I kept hearing that “everyone” fails at least one test. Apparently not. I think the key is to hunker down and actually seriously drill the information for an hour or two – and see if you can find someone who knows grammar very well to help you study that because the way they explain the reading and writing grammar isn’t going to make sense to everyone. And study in groups. At times we did get unfocused, but it definitely helped to talk about the grammatical information so we could really see if we understood it or not. People are going to retake the tests they didn’t pass tomorrow after class, so good luck to them!

After we went through a brief orientation and did the tests, we were bused over to a hospital where they did a basic medical exam: eye sight, hearing, height, blood pressure. And, oh yeah, they took X-rays of our lungs, three vials of blood and a urine sample. We all knew about the urine sample beforehand, but the other two tests were new. The X-rays were for tuberculosis and I had heard about other countries doing that too so it didn’t really surprise me. But the blood was to check for HIV and AIDS… How much would it suck if through those tests you found out you were HIV positive?

From there, we were all bused back to the hotel and a group of us went out for a very late lunch/ early dinner. It was the first time we had eaten since our (complementary, western-style) breakfast, so we were all really hungry. We ended up getting dinner at a hot pot restaurant, with the ladies getting hot pot and the guys splitting a grill beef dish. The grilled beef was really cool. They put the grill in front of them and slapped on these giant, bacon-like pieces of beef and after the guys fumbled around with what to do for a little while, the waiter came back and showed them (unfortunately I wasn’t really paying attention so I can’t really say what you’re suppose to do with it). The US really needs to have more interactive eateries but as one of us pointed out at dinner, someone would probably burn themselves and the restaurant would end up getting sued…

Look at those giant strips of bacon!

We’ve all pretty much decided that Koreans love to eat. Which is fine by me because it means I won’t easily go hungry.

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