Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Busy Day

Though actually my day is a brief time full of nothing--it's Exam Week at school, I have no exams, but I am still expected to show up until 11 AM and twiddle my thumbs (er, um, ah, work on future lesson plans)--it turned out to be quite a full one. Allow me to elaborate.

Yesterday, Mr Hwang and I went over to his house and got on the internet to purchase my tickets for a weigook day trip to Busan (aka Pusan) for Saturday, Oct 4. Since he doesn't have a printer, the very least I could do was show up this morning so I could get my e-tickets, once he printed them out at school.

Furthermore, I have been threatening to join the Fitness Center in my building (what with my high blood pressure, fat ass and all) so that was also on the agenda. It's the beginning of the month, y'know. Well, Mr Hwang and I were going to join together, today--not necessarily my idea.

However, since I had to get athletic shoes just for indoors (my thirty dollar new balance sneaks bought just before leaving the States wouldn't do), I went to Dongdaemun market, which has about 1000 shoe shops. I swear, this is not an exaggeration. The cheapest Korean-made sneaks were about W30,000 at E-Mart-uh. After visiting 999 shops at Dongdaemun, I got what I was after for W9,000. Light-weight, not too crappy "U-7 You Seven" brand with breathable uppers and cushiony soles.

Then I had lunch, a strange ham sandwich on weird bread w/cole slaw, pineapple-on-a-stick, and a cruller and a donut w/ sweet red bean filling--W 3,000. Dongdaemun is awesome! At some point, a couple of flatbed trucks came by loaded with, well, what you see below:

I have been informed that they are part of Soldier's Day celebrations, though what part exactly I was not informed.

Anyway, I eventually made my way back to Deungchon-dong and my apartment located therein, to await Mr Hwang so we could go register for the Fitness Center together--it really helps to have someone who knows what to put in the boxes on the form! About 3:45 he calls to tell me, Oh, we have a meeting, I will pick you up in ten minutes.

I should have known--okay, I suspected--this was the party-type long dinner, with "second course", at a galbi, sushimi or samgyupsal place. We were back at the mushroom samgyupsal joint from my very first Young-Il faculty meeting. The trick to these is to drink as much as the guy who is drinking the most. And still be sober. That way, you're not, you know, a pussy (to those who are offended, appipolologies). Not a problem. When they ask me how much I can drink, I answer, How much have you got? If they keep asking, I say, However much you've got, I'll drink half!

At this event, I sat next to the Principal, Mr Jun, who told me repeatedly how much parents and students have come to love and appreciate me as their English-ee teacher. Well, that's great, but after one month, it is taken with a grain of salt. Mr Jun and I talked for a bit about Yi Chung-Ee--the art teacher--with whom he is very good friends.

It probably helps that I have "hit it off" with Chung-Ee also. We shoot the shit, drink coffee and smoke a cigarette together during our shared free periods. He teaches me a few words of Korean every day. I have mentioned that he is an incredible artist, on the subject lately of rocks and roots exposed by stream erosion in the mountains. I won't bother photographing and posting his work until I have a quality camera that allows you to see its realism and detail. I ain't kiddin' about this guy. The principal says I should just ask him for one of his paintings and he would give it to me.

Well, he's probably right, since Chung-Ee has already been so kind to me, but I don't feel right about that. Maybe once I make it through the whole year.

So we went to second round, again at Adonis, and I discussed philosophy with Mr Ha, the Oriential philosophy instructor, and Mr Kim, Economics teacher, with Lee Song-young serving to interpret. Noam Chomsky is very influential in Korean philosophy circles, let me say (Tanner, you listening?)

Well, it was all over by 19:30, but I can't go work out after drinking a lot of beer, can I?

Without throwing up, I mean.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stone Cold,

I've been reading your blogs every other day....good stuff. Listen, Ben Clcik is heading towards Korea and was gonna try and get a hold of you. Please send me an e-mail at Heritage or given me a call if you can. I told Richard to try and reach you by this blog spot.

J. Stuart