Tag Archives: Korean

The final season!

28 Oct

I started Korea off in the last stretches of winter.  I can remember my first glimpse of Korea I saw snow everywhere.  Leaving a nice hot summer behind I knew that me freezing my ass off is only minutes away!  But the two months of winter we had wasn’t that bad, and we had a great snowfall in March!  Spring came and it lasted a full two weeks!  Summer started, bringing with it endless suffering!  I really struggled through this summer!  It was extremely hot and humid.  I never wanted to go anywhere because I feared I might just melt!  I had a little hand fan that I took absolutely everywhere with me.  Even as I taught I fanned myself.  The fan also came in handy for hitting naughty kids on the head.  All the classrooms in my school has air conditioners and roof fans.  Now the roof fans are pretty useless as they just blow around the hot and humid air.  But the AC’s were rarely switched on.  In fact only for two months and only after lunch.   So during the pre-AC times all the teachers and students would close all the windows and the doors of the classrooms as if to prevent the heat from coming in.  Makes sense yes, but they forgot about the 40 hyperactive kids that will be radiating heat in the class!!! Teaching during the summer months in Korea was hard and damn hot!

Fall came and for the first time in months I could breathe.  The humidity went away.  The weather was really pleasant.   I was happy!  And then the three weeks of fall was over.  On Monday winter crept up on us like a serial killer in a horror movie.  I must admit I was wishing for winter all through summer but it caught me a little off guard.  This whole week I climbed straight into bed when I got home from work!  I do realize that this was just a sudden cold front that moved over the peninsula and that it is warming up again but still it is freezing.  Now the strange thing is the Koreans open up all the windows of the school!  heaven knows why!!!!!  As soon as I get to class all the windows are opened.  When I get back to the office all the windows are open.  I’m like people seriously it’s below 10 degrees – CLOSE THE DAMN WINDOWS!!!!  My desk is right by the office door and because this is Korea kids roam freely in the teacher’s office.  And kids are stupid so they do not realize that a door that was closed should be closed again after opening it.  What am I saying, not just the kids, EVERYBODY at my school is not used to this.  So I had my co-teacher print out a paper that said close the door please in Korean and I stuck it to the door.  But obviously I work in a school where reading was never taught!!!  So as I am typing this the office door is open, all the windows are open and I am freezing!  oh well!!!


With this sudden winter weather comes winter illnesses.  And everyone at my school is couching so much it feels like I am in a quarantine zone for the SARS virus in one or other horror movie.  Now when they are sick they usually where these little masks.  But they don’t wear them while they are getting sick.  I state this because Koreans never learned to cover their mouths when they cough (just like they never learned to chew with their mouths closed etc etc etc etc)  and thus spreading their contagious germs all over the show!!!  I have breathed in so much cough breathe this past week it’s not even funny!  Korean logic never seizes to amaze me!!!

So as winter is manifesting itself here in Kimchiland I am happy that this is the last season.  The final change I would have to go thruogh in my year in Korea.  I had winter, spring, summer, fall and now back at winter again.  It’s gonna be a cold one – bring it!!!

 

Cheers from Kimchiland!

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Sleep is the shaman of the Soul!

8 Oct

 

 

 

Sleep.  We do it everyday.  Some do it for 10 hours and others do it for 4.  I long to fall in the 10hour category.  And nothing stops me really.  I get home everyday at 4:45PM and then just do nothing.  I’ll go to the supermarket some nights, and on others I will go out for dinner.  Most nights I go home, cook dinner and just lounge around the house.  But I never sleep before 1AM.  I wake up (or rather my alarm goes off ) at 7AM so I get about 6 six hours every night.  THAT IS  NOT ENOUGH!  I am always tired at work and on weekends I tend to over-sleep.  It’s not ideal!  I know I can go to bed earlier but I never do.  I get anxious about work the next morning and feel that if I go to bed early I would have to face those misbehaved varmints too soon.   I did not get enough sleep last night.  I was terrorized by a confused mosquito.  It goes beyond me where it came from as all my windows were closed.  It got in bed with me, nicely tucked in under the covers and had a feast.  It sucked like a gallon of blood from my precious veins.  At 2AM I turned on the light to find this ghastly beast but it had vanished.  The gluttonous bastard probably took  a nap after stealing my sleep (and precious life juice) from me.  So today I am annoyed.  The vice principal shouting all the way across the office to the teacher sitting across from me is begging me to rip his heart out!  Thank goodness I only have three classes today, I can handle only so much child for one day.  I mean seriously – I am doing a lesson on the difference between South African teenagers and Korean teenagers.  When asked where I went to school they all say America.  seriously.  America is not everything, and not every white person in the world comes from America and America is not the only country that speaks english, I mean for goodness sake they didn’t even ‘invent’ the language.  If anything (apologies to any offended Americans, and if you are offended stop reading) they kind of raped the language!  Another thing that pushes my blood pressure unhealthily high is my co teachers.  I am the only male english teacher at my school and in accordance with their prudish ways social contact is kept to a minimum.  All of them are married so a friendship with me is socially unacceptable.  My main co-teacher even informed me during the first months that she feels very uncomfortable being seen with me as people might think we are a couple!  Yes that’s disgusting.  I am such a filthy AIDS ridden foreigner, here to spread my Foreigner’ness.  It’s contageous so you’d better get your mask on.  Anyhow, so our English department were to have a dinner on Wednesday and being Korea they only informed all of us the Wednesday morning.  We are going out to enjoy some RAW FISH!  Are you kidding me.  ALL the English teachers know that I DO NOT eat fish.  I have tried everything else that is Korean but I am sorry I do not eat fish.  Never have and never will!  That is the reason why I do not eat lunch at my school anymore because we get Fish as the main dish almost three days a week.  Not worth my money!  So why on earth would they go out for RAW FISH!  I was so angry with them but actually more disgusted.  I now firmly believe that Koreans are the rudest people on earth!  RAW FISH!!!!

You see the bottom line is that I need more sleep.  I need to heal my soul.  I think it is broken!  Everything rubs me the wrong way and I would be a happier person if I could sleep for 10 hours a day!

Cheers from (*yawn*) Kimchiland!

I like to move it move it!

13 Apr

At the stroke of 5 I will leave my dodgy Korean alley and seek greener pastures.  Finally!  So at 5 the mover and his truck will be at my apartment to help me move Korean possessions down the road!  I can’t wait!

This weekend was thoroughly enjoyable.  A group of us all went down to Jinhae for the Cherry blossom Festival.  In order to get there we had to take a bus from Daegu to Masan, which took about an hour and 10 minutes.  Once in Masan we took a cab to Jinhae.  It was also our first encounter with the notorious black cabs.  Before coming to Korea I remembered reading somewhere that the black cabs should be avoided.  But he said that al 6 of us could squash in.  So we did.  We agreed upon 20 000 won but when we arrived in Jinhae he charged 25 000 Won.  As he had no meter running we had no choice but to pay it.  Not bad between six people seeing that we got there in less than 20 minutes, but still the principal of it all pissed me off.  So in jinhae we met up with some other folks who left earlier from Daegu.  Together we walked around this pretty town and were in awe of all the cherry blossoms.  All the streets are lined with these white blossom trees.  As Jinhae is located at the coast we all had an urge to see the ocean so we headed in that direction.  We walked for what seemed like a 100 miles and finally reached the Korean naval academy.  I got told off by an angry looking military man for taking a picture of one of the military ships.  It was beautiful.  The ocean not the ship.  As we headed back into jinhae we headed toards a park, climbed a few stairs and went up this little path – and what do you know – we climbed a mini mountain.  Amazing.  On this hill is the jinhae tower which gave us a great view of both the ocean and the town.  It was amazing to see all the white trees from above.  We had some bipbimbap for lunch and headed back to Masan.  We waited to catch the bus and boy oh boy were we cramped.  At lest 100 people in a bus made for 52 passengers.  It was intimate.  In Masan we caught the bus back to Daegu.  Everybody was exhausted.  It was a great day and well worth the trip.

The rest of the weekend was just spent lazing around and recuperating for the week to come.  Nicola and I went to my mold infested apartment to pack up.  All in all it took about an hour.  So hopefully tonight won’t take too long!

So folks I guess this will be the last blog from my dodgy Korean Alley!