Yesterday I had a long conversation with both my parents and some of my fellow volunteers about my feelings pertaining to the job I am doing while in Korea. The basic gist was that I really should talk to someone about it because the number of times I have left the office other than to eat lunch is still lower than ten, and this will soon be my third month in the office. This would not be an issue if I had signed up to be an intern or something, but I most decidedly signed up to work with children, not sit in a cubicle all day. Of course, the day that I was decidedly thinking about how to best phrase an inquiry as to finding another project to work with, even for one day a week, I was invited to go on a small field trip. The people in my office have to go various places to check out their suitability or to gather information about a location or activity before taking a large murder of children out and about for said field trip or activity.
Yesterday I got to tag along to an excursion to the LG Twin Towers. It was honestly one of the coolest buildings I have ever been inside of, all crafted out of stainless steel and glass. I wish I could see what the inside of the right building was like, since I only got to venture inside of the left one. It also helped that it was located in Yoido, the Wall Street district of Seoul, and since we were on a bus, I got to see the building where the lawmakers and Senate- like people actually work, as well as the State Building/ Court House place where the ultimate decisions actually get made. Basically, it was just really cool for me, and also not made out of tan carpet- like stuff like my cubicle is... The purpose of our visit was to check out the LG Science Hall, which was honestly really cool. I hope that I get to come with the kids when they actually go, because I want to get to see all the pieces in action, instead of all the tiny fragments of all the possible attractions (Orientation Platform, Wonder Cubes, Body Story, House Story, City Story, Earth Story, Science Drama, and 3D Theater). I felt like a small child, just like when the other volunteers and I were given free reign to act like children in the kids' section of Energy Park during orientation. As a side note, there were two women giving two different tours while we were there and they were dressed exactly alike, which was actually pretty disconcerting and I am not exactly sure why. Both of them had their hair done in a low bun- thing that was covered in a thick black hairnet with a black bow over it, they both had cream bowties with small black dots on them, grey pencil skirts, nylons, and really short high-heeled shoes, black with gold edging and black bows on top of them (like ballet flats but with a really short stacked heel added to them), as well as white collared shirts. The only difference was that our tour guide was wearing a navy blue zippy over her uniform, complete with the logo for LG Towers' LG Science Hall on the right breast. It was just really odd for me to see two people who looked so alike.
Yesterday I did a budget for myself, and learned that I can spend about $8.50 every day with the amount of money that I get from my project. This means that I really get $4.50, since it takes me about four dollars every day to get to and from work. To put this in perspective for you, it means that I can get a 6inch sandwich from Subway, and not much else in a day. Also, a 6inch sandwich is not enough food to keep me going if I eat at 5:20 and have not gotten to eat since noon, as I found out yesterday. If I were actually working an office job, I would at least be making more money than I am now. In all honesty, is this much money really how much people think is needed for a month? I mean, we paid a lot o money to be here, and supposedly should be getting enough to live comfortably-- which means eating. (I really should not be saying things this way, I understand that people live on less than that all over the world. However, I have no control over where I work, and some of the money is meant to go towards food, but that is decidedly improbable with the amount.) Also, I am a little bit scared at how much I can spend in a month that has 31 days...
On that note, yesterday one of the people that is in charge of the volunteer organization got me to help her to cancel the phone contract for a volunteer who is no longer in SK. As is often the case in things such as these, it turned out that they did not really end up needing me, and all I had to do was sign the form pretending to be her... This is the reason that we now all have prepaid phones, since it was decided that the rigmarole associated with trying to cancel a contract that must be for a minimum of two years for someone who will only be in the country for 6 months was not worth it.
Today I taught my coworkers to say "Excuse me, but may I ask who is calling?" and "May I take a message?" I was pretty proud of them, especially since I know that these are the kind of words that will come in a whole lot of handy within the office...
Happy November, my favorite month of the year!
Everyday Acts of Activism