Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Invincible Summer

"In the depth of winter, I at last found that there was, within me, an invincible summer." --Albert Camus

Profound words from the French novelist and philosopher. Not being a philosopher, I have to take my summer where I can get it, which is typically a small island in the Gulf of Thailand.

I bring this up because it snowed today. It didn't stick, but the wet wind was bitter upon my cheeks, and this only a taste of what is to come when winter really moves in. And also because my school finally got the winter calendar worked out, so I know when I have camp, and mini-term, and etc.

I don't usually mouth off too much in advance about my vacation plans, but here they are: Mini-term ends at 12:10 on Friday, February 14. I will be airborne at 4:35 PM en route to Singapore. After 4 full days there, I land at Koh Samui at 9:30 AM on the 19th, where I have already succeeded in booking my beachfront, air con, hot water bungalow with a fridge. I leave from Koh Samui on March 3rd, returning to ICN at 9:55 that night. And have to be at work by 8:40 the next morning.

I realize this is all three months away, but airfares have gotten so high in the last couple of years that the earlier, the better--even at this remove, I paid something over a million won. Happily, traveling in Thailand is still quite inexpensive: that primo bungalow is 1000 Bt (about $31 per day), local beer goes for 50 Bt or so, and an excellent three-course meal is 200 Bt.

Sadly, Singapore is as far from a bargain as you will find in all SE Asia. There are a few iconic things I suppose I must do, such as a Singapore Sling at Raffles, a visit to the top of Marina Bay Sands, and the Singapore Zoo. The only thing I am sure of is I want to visit Tiger Balm Gardens, a place we came to several times when I was a kid. If you, Dear Reader, have any outstanding Singapore experiences I could benefit from hearing, do comment below.

Meanwhile, that's almost three months away; before then, I have three weeks of regular instruction remaining in the school year, one and a half weeks of holidays regularly interrupted by my high school class, and three weeks of winter camp immediately followed by about three weeks of the useless "mini-term" during which grades 3, 4 and 5 will watch movies, and grade 6 won't bother to show up at all.

You can see why I wanted to get all this done now, so I have something to look forward to through the frigid doldrums of Korean elementary school winter.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pointless: The Game

Not much to blog about lately--busy at work, occupied at home. Today's submission will give you an udea what I've been doing in my spare time, especially if you combine it with a similarity in some other recent posts.

Here is an episode from season 6 of the British game show Pointless, aired in February 2012. It was notable for the appearance of a young couple headed to Korea to become English teachers. They did not acquit themselves well in this episode, but it's a double-elimination style game, so watch the next episode to see what happens next, eh?

Still, interesting format, challenging questions.