Saturday, November 1, 2008

My First Week

Hello everyone!
I am on my fifth day in Korea and it has been everything and nothing like I expected. My school is amazing as well as my accommodations. I have my own classroom equipped with a 40 inch flat screen and a wall of windows. Once I buy another cord for my camera (of course I brought the wrong one) I will post pictures.

How I learned of Korean showers
I arrived at my new apartment late Monday night. Initially, it was far beyond my expectations. All my furniture is new, albeit hard, and I have plenty of space. However, my elations soon dissapated when I realized I didn't have a shower. That night I sponged the layers of travel grime off in the kitchen sink with freezing water and my least-favorite favorite shirt. I will have to say that first night was my lowest point in Korea. I used my towel as a pillow, curled up into a ball and wondered how the hell I was going to clean myself everyday before work. Around 3 am, both jet-lag and my bladder woke me up. I went to the bathroom and attempted to wash my hands. Suddenly, I was doused with freezing cold water. I look around and my toiletpaper and all of the dirty clothes I had absentmindedly thown on the bathroom floor were also drenched. In Korea, the entire bathroom is the shower and the shower hose is attatched to the bathroom sink. So, I was freezing, soaking wet in my multi-layered pajamas, at three in the morning and all I could do was laugh.

Leslie Russell in: The mystery of Korean hot water
For the first week, I had been at the whim of my hot water heater. I could not figure out when the hot water god's felt like giving my heated H2O. I would periodically check and if the faucet yeilded steaming water...I jump in my bathroom/shower. Most people have computers running their a water heater. Anyhow, in order to solve this mystery we must return to my first night in Korea. I entered a freezing apartment and found the thermostat to be entirely in Korean. Of course, I pushed all the buttons until a green light turned on and I felt warmer. Easy enough. The following week, I used the time honored system of--if I feel cold, turn on the heat; if I feel hot, turn off the heat and open a window. It is an inexact science but effective. Now, in Korea, everytime you want to use hot water you have to turn it on. So what I actually did, on that fateful button pressing night, was turn the hot water on and the heat off. So when I was in my closed-window/heat phase, I was actually in hot water mode and the heating pipes heated the apartment and vise versa. Mystery solved! I can now take hot showers at my own discression. Now all I need is a sleuth's jacket and the Hardy Boys. Eat-it hot water heater!

Why I need Amanda to keep track of both me and my belongings.
Due to a series of Leslie Brand Mistakes (trademark), I had left my purse (so therefore my apartment keys) in my locked classroom. I returned to school with two Americans (one of which I had just met hours before) at around 7pm and the janitor was luckily waiting for us. I thought his presence meant easy access to my purse, in actuality, it meant one more person to catch me if I fell off a second story ledge. Korean janitors don't have access to the interior rooms, they also don't clean for that matter but that is a different story. To prevent having to sleep on the streets that night, I was boosted onto the seconds story ledge of my school. From there, I shimmied across the small ledge and monkeyed around the pillars until I finally reached an open window about brow level. In a dress, I swung my leg above my head to get my heal in the window. Stupidly, I look down (I was momentarily stuck so I had some free time), the two Americans were doubled over in laughter while the tiny, Korean, janitor stood directly below me, lighting me with a flood light with both arms out in case I fell. This poor man would not have stood a chance. Luckily, I was able to awkwardly tumble head first through the window. Needless to say, it was a great first impression and the entire school now knows about the awkward American who climbs through windows instead of doors.


Shan bam said...


I LOVE YOU. Your entry was great, and I look forward to many, many, many more of these. Hint.

I love your take on everything, you make me laugh.

I miss you.


Anonymous said...

i hope you were at least wearing attractive panties.

Carol said...

You are my daughter...I suppose you could thank me and blame me at the same time. I'll probably burst out laughing at inappropriate times during meetings tomorrow. Wonder if the little man who thought to catch you had seen a Peat's Dragon thong before.
Love you Goofling.
Your Mom

syd said...

CLONE!!!!! sounds like your having fun :). What's your address?????? Love you! <3

Carol said...

Happy Birthday Love...I sent you an e-mail on your BD but don't know if you got it. Glad you had some cake and celebration...I did sing to you but not recorded. Papa said he responde to your Blogg but I don't see his comment.
Send me contact/ mail info please.
Love and miss you

Kelli said...

Leslie. You are perfect. Only you, really.

HAHAHAHA I fuckin love you


Tia said...

I have my PC set to ring me first thing Every Friday so I can rush to your Blog and catch up on your adventures! It is like returing to a favorite Novel! You wonderful story teller! I love you, love you, love you! Send us your mailing address!!!!