Thursday, June 26, 2008

Random Kimchi

I've barely been teaching the last few days because of the testing schedule. Normally I'll teach about 4 classes a day. So I have a lot of time at my desk and I might as well use it to do some hardcore bloggery!!!!

Nothing to blog about.

Oh, I went to the doctor today to get the results of my physical and he says the x-ray shows I have a pneumothorax, which means I have a hole in my lung or something. It seems to be a "non-tension" version, which is why it doesn't seem to affect my health. I guess I just keep an eye on it in the future. He also said I shouldn't smoke and that jogging isn't the best exercise. I thought it might jeopardize my ability to get a clean bill of health and get my alien registration card and I had visions of staying in Korea to illegally tutor. It probably won't affect anything though.

In Seoul there's an English bookstore called "What the Book?" Best bookstore name ever! It's in Itaewon, the white people neighborhood. I haven't been back to Seoul yet, even though it's only half hour away. Maybe this weekend. It'd be nice if I had a cellphone so I can meet up with people. I'm only waiting on my alien registration card and maybe I'll be able to go with my co-worker on Monday to get that. Then a bank account and cellphone! And then the world!

I started watching The Aristrocrats last night. It seems too long, like it could have been half an hour.

Everyone is always scurrying around here at my work and I feel like I'm the only one who barely works. It's a new school. Everyone has extra jobs but me. Korea is a country of workaholics and I feel like I hold myself to a higher standard now. Everyone is so well groomed too. In San Francisco I could just slap on some wrinkled t-shirt anytime. Here people kill any piece of lint that lands on their arm.

My friend Daniel just got a new job too and he has ridiculous hours - something like 7 AM to 9 PM. And that's normal for some Korean jobs. These people don't get paid enough either. I think the minimum wage is like $3.50! I think the only reason they give me an 8:30 to 4:30 schedule is to keep me happy.

I would describe the mood of Korea as late-Romanticism. Korean movies are usually tragedies or horror (occasionally tragic-horror). Korean music is sentimental and ballad-like. Korean schools use a Dickensian discipline system. Yesterday I saw this creepy teacher grabbing a boy by the cheeks as the boy's face squirmed to pull away. And they have this stick they carry around
sometimes... haven't seen it used, fortunately.

I get free lunch at my school every day. It's always Korean food and I always skip the kimchi. I like some Korean food. Yeah, and some of it is like, "How many ways can you reshape beef?" The cafeteria walls have sandwiches, fruit, brownies, and other food that is never actually served. I pointed this out and they said, obviously joking, "It's for you!" Hmm, I'd prefer the actual food to pictures on the wall.

The school year goes till the end of July and it's a piece of cake till then. Next week is testing so I don't teach any classes. None! Just prepare for the summer program. So I'm sure I'll get plenty of blog action in!!!! (Feign excitement). July is just whatever I want to teach since they don't get tested on it.

Then in August I teach a program for two weeks, four hours each day. Then two weeks off!

I love how packaging here has smiling white people on it. Or they try to write something in English on it and massacre the words. The relationship with white people is very love/hate, and I choose to believe they hate the military, but love the teachers. It's the illusion I operate under, anyway.



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