Friday, August 29, 2008

The Infectious Allure of Vendor Swag

My contract at work requires me to teach an English class once a week to my co-workers. So my co-teacher sent everyone in the school (only about 20 people) an email asking if they wanted to be in my English class.

Today was the first class meeting. I expected maybe 2 or 3 people. Instead there were about 11, over half the school staff. All women! Almost all the women in the school are in the class, and none of the men. I don't know what to think about this. It sounds like a setup for a porn flick.

My social life has skyrocketed lately, meeting people all the time, getting phone numbers so often that people text me and it takes serious effort to remember who they are. Finally connecting with some native English speakers too. It helps my sanity. I don't get homesick but I get sick of feeling illiterate. I miss English. And English is everywhere! But it's Konglish (a real term used here), the mongreloid foster child kept in a cage and fed kimchi.

Last Sunday I met with a Korean guy who just returned from New York and we went drinking, having beer after soju MISTAKE. Almost sick, I wanted to call work the next day and say I couldn't make it. But I sucked it up, took aspirin, went without shaving, and somehow made it through my classes.

I really have no idea what these kids think of me sometimes. They still go crazy with the "HELLLO HELLO HELLO NICE TO MEET YOU!" when I pass in the hall. I thought that would have worn off after two weeks. I can be walking a hundred feet from the kids and I'll hear them say, "ATUM!" like I'm some endangered species they sited through binoculars. Two girls asked if I would meet them on the weekend... uh, NO. I would like to keep my job, thank you.

Lately I've become fascinated with south Pacific islands. I even plotted an imaginary course that flew me to Hong Kong, over land through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and then island hopping till I'm devoured by 19th century Joseph Conrad cannibals. Maybe I'll do that when I finish my year.

Tomorrow (Friday) I catch up on sleep. Then Saturday I lurch once more into Seoul, meet some girls (no, not my students) to help me shop during the day, and then Itaewon and Hongdae by night. Sunday will probably be my day of rest, as God intended. No more drinking on "school nights".



Blogger John said...

If you want to teach your students English, feel free to use my film reviews as aids. Just make sure you skip the ones where I ramble for 10 pages or use redundancies such as "but yet."

10:35 AM  
Blogger John said...

P.S. If you ever register a dot-com address, don't use Globat as a host. My site's been down for at least 24 hours and all I've been told via automatic reply is "Unfortunately, the servers hosting the files for your site are not working. The senior techs are aware of the problem and are working on it. Please feel free to contact us with questions about other help topics." Great customer service.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Cutup said...

Damn it, Ulmer! I was all set to teach a course on YOU and make YOU a new Korean obsession when you're goddamned site went down. Good luck cracking the Asian market now!

8:16 PM  
Blogger John said...

I heard Asians love cartoons, so I am going to redecorate my blog with Hello Kitty GIF images.

10:22 AM  

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