Thursday, September 4, 2008

English Dept Faculty Meeting

We had a faculty meeting today after school for the English Dept of Young-Il HS to get to know me. I know it sounds dreadful when put like that, but we ate at a samgyupsal restaurant. On the second floor of a building about two blocks from campus (there are about 18 restaurants per square foot in this neighborhood, swear to God).

Samgyupsal is basically the pork version of galbi: strips of fatback pork, onion, potato, tofu, garlic, and mushroom (this particular place's specialty) are put on a hot grill in the center of the table; lettuce and other green leaves are provided, along with panchan (condiments and side dishes). You put the stuff you want into a leaf, roll it up and stuff it in your mouth.

Eight of ten members of the department were in attendance. After dinner was finished, we moved on to "second round": a western-style bar across the street called Adonis. The crowd thinned out a little, but we sat there for almost two hours drinking and snacking on the world's nastiest nachoes and small, raw freshwater snails that you suck out of their tiny little shells. I had one go at each--I'm a pretty good sport, but if I don't like it, I won't eat it.

We were there long enough they provided "service-uh", a free bowl of canned peaches, pineapples and fresh grape tomatoes (huh?) on ice. By this time, the give-and-take was flowing as freely as the beer. They are all nice folks, and I think they like me, too. After all, what's not to like? One of the teachers, Mr. Song, told me the seniors (who I do not teach) think I am the KFC grandfather. That's, you know, Harland Sanders, the Kentucky Colonel. Welcome to Korea. Hell, I don't even have a goatee (anymore)!

Young Mr. Lee, who has the Asian alcohol blush big-time, excused himself when we went to "third round": my first noraebang! This is a small karaoke room. More beer; I sang "My Way," my way. I also sang "Daydream Believer" and had to explain the lyrics to them. Yeah, good luck with that one.

Anyway, I held my own, at least, alcohol-wise, singing-wise and funny-wise, and wowed them with my knowledge and experience (and hardly even had to lie to do it).

Words I learned today include kyu-shil=classroom and kareem=painting.

Tomorrow, I meet up with Mr. Hwang to walk to school at 7:30 and go through the same fucking lesson four more times--fear not, O faithful readers, it will be as fresh and funny and interesting to the students as it was the very first time. Aside from it simply being Friday, the best thing about Friday at Young-Il is that they quit work an hour early. I'm tellin' ya, gang, I've fallen into the very shit, here!


Rod said...

Is the pork or beef that you cook on the coals marinated?

Tuttle said...

No marinade is discernable. The flavoring comes from the panchan that you add--hot peppers, garlic, sesame oil and such. It really is delicious.

Unsinkable Marge said...

THEY THINK YOU ARE COL. SANDERS?!?!?! That is the best news I've heard all day.