My new information this week

Trip Start Aug 24, 2006
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Flag of Korea Rep.  ,
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hey!!

New week! Again! This is my 4th week of teaching.

At the weekend we went for dinner on saturday night to a french/mediterannean restaurant called Dijon. There is a very big french influence here. No-one can tell me why. Anyhoo, dinner was delicious!!! They didn't even serve a side of Kimchi with it!! Excellent!

After dinner, we went to a few bars and if you don't drink beer then everything else is too expensive to drink. So i am sober the majority of the time. Here, a huge pitcher of beer is...4 pounds. I asked for a small glass of cranberry juice, and it cost me 3 pounds. (cranberry juice and vodka is 5 pounds).

After the bars we went to a dance club thing, but it is called a 'dance bar' - because it is so small and just a small bar. But you have to pay to get in - as its a club. Confusing. Here Koreans are like gangsters, but nice ones. It is nice. They play R 'n' B and Hip Hop type music (so i've heard thus far) and everyone bops around to the beat. Its brilliant fun!!! So, that was an experience!!

But little men keep coming up and saying they want to give us their pager number - and we have to bend down and try telling them to go away. They don't believe we don't have cell phones. Or that we aren't actually interested in someone half our height and about 40 years old.

In the toilets here they have an Etiquette Bell. This is so that if when you are going to the toilet, you are going to be a little noisy, you can press this little button and it plays music - like waterfalls and crashing waves. I have never heard of anything so excellent in my whole life!! Supposedly in emma's school the teachers use it all the time. And so she has to hide in the toilet until they are gone because she is laughing so much.

I have an update on the legless men - remember I told you that they slithered along the ground? Well supposedly if you steal their money tray and run away, they get up and chase you. How freaky!! But it is rumoured that they make good money!!! I have a picture of one of them now - so will try and upload it as soon as possible!

In Korea, motorbikes drive on the pavements. They also cross at the pedestrian crossings. Which is ridiculous!!! Anyways, they come racing up behind you (speeding up - in the hope you hear them revving so you get out the way) and if you dont hear them - they toot at you. If you dont hear that - they ram you. Most people dont wear headphones with music here because it is too dangerous not to hear the cars and motorbikes that are waiting to knock you down.

Here, every day, every time i walk into a class, they shout Nice to meet you!! So I feel I may need to deliver a lesson on 'Appropriate greetings'. I am pleased they try hard, but after a while it gets a little tiring. That and the fact that every student is always 'Fine thank you and you'. And when I ask them if they understand, they understand everything. Every class goes like this, in this order, every day:

Do you understand?
Yes!!
Do you understand the word 'draw?'
Yes!!
Ok, then draw.
Yes!!
Are you confused?
Yes!!
Do you have any questions?
Yes!!
What is your question?
Yes!!
On you go then.
Yes!!

Then i just ignore them.

Hahahaha - as I was leaving a class yesterday a boy shouted at me "Merry Christmas!!!" What a hoot!!

Did I tell you about the Norabong? The Karaoke bar? Karaoke bar's here are basically room after room which you rent out with your friends and drink and sing (like in the film Lost in Translation). You can choose from hundreds of songs. They provide tambourines and everything. Amazing!! At the end it also tells you how many calories you have burned!!

Last night my principal took ed, emma, and I to dinner at Pizza Hut. He speaks no Engerlishee. Which is brilliant fun! He just turns randomly and starts talking about something ridiculous. He also says to me 'you teach to englishee conbasation.' Which means 'can you teach some english classes before school starts every morning?'. And in Korea, a question really isn't a question. It is a command. You don't say no. And aren't ever really given the opportunity to say no. He calls me from his office and says 'Mr Kim. Yes? Come down now.'. So I go down to his office and he talks gibberish at me for a while. I hate when he says something I dont understand. I used to just nod and smile - but he asks me things and so I really need to understand him. I can't remember what I made him repeat 7 times last night...um....it's just ridiculous really.

Here they also always talk about you. For example, in the teachers room, you hear "blah blah blah taransay blah blah taransay..." And when you ask 'Do I need to know something?' They just say 'No'. And in class - the teachers tell the class something - 'blah blah taransay blah blah' and I just nod at the teacher and smile. They are saying anything they like and I am agreeing with them. Transaltion is the same. I ask someone a question, and then they debate with one another and argue and march about looking things up for a few mintues, make a few calls, then turn to me and say 'No'. I'm like 'No? That's it? Thats everything they said?' They say 'Yes. That is all.'.

Hard bloody work here.

Sorry my stories don't link or anything. Its the way my life goes here and I haven't the energy to make it any easier for you. Ha! Enjoy your day!!
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