Sunday, November 30, 2008


So an interesting thing happened to me a few weeks back.

On my campus there is an office, the Head teacher’s office.
At some point this week I walked into said office carrying a clipboard, as I often am known to do. Upon my arrival, the soon to be wife of our HT gave me an odd look.
“Hey have I missed something? Are the you the new Evening Leader?”

“Good God No!” I exclaimed.

Her soon to be hubby explained that the new position holder had not been announced yet and that I had not applied.

Her response was one of dismay, “Why not?”

“Well, the job requires actually working, where I have made a lifestyle out of avoiding such things” I answered quickly. I may already be the leader of the cooking department, but I have found many ways to avoid actually putting in an honest days’ work.

Suddenly there was a barrage of questions and queries from the both of them about why I have not applied. I was stunned. What do I do?

As I left the room I simply said, “Ok, fine, have it your way. But I swear, as God is my witness, I will not work at that job.”

A few days later I received the “good” news. I am now the Evening Leader.

That’s right, a promotion. When I thought my last few months here would be full of slacking and debating on when to step down from my current position, I was dead wrong.
They are really making me work.
A lot.

I will be designing a new curriculum for the upcoming holiday program, as well as streamlining the current programs.

I will not, however, be in the kitchen anymore. (Thank God)

The upshot is that I have my own desk in the leaders office and I will have computer time throughout the day to work on many projects, including this little old site.

So, for the next few months I will be found in an office, pouring over power points, obsessing over order forms, manhandling obsolete manipulatives, and sulking over a Korean operating system. (That’s right, the computer sitting on my wonderful desk has a Korean operating system. Even the “Start” button is in Korean)

Wish me luck in the gig. (I am defiantly going to need it!)

Say cheese!

I was sitting in Seoul in some random train station restaurant.
I was sitting, minding my own business, ipod on, and mind definatly somewhere else.

A man approached. He was a youngish sort wearing a face mask* that hid his mouth and nose.
He mumbled something in broken English, pulled out a phone, and showed me a picture of myself. "Remember me?" he asked.

He had been a student during military week at some point last year and still had pictures of all his "favorite" teachers on his phone.
It was an odd moment. Teaching and living on a campus such as mine I often wonder what happens to all the pictures that are taken. I live in an amusement park, and the teachers provide the amusement.
Everyday pictures are taken. Sometimes they are group shots with a handful of students and a teacher or two. Sometimes they are individual poses. Sometimes action shots during class. Sometimes they are taken by surprise by the day visitors who see us eating and want proof.

It's an odd thing.

So pictures are taken every day. Pictures of the people I work with. Pictures of me. what happens to all these photographs? Where do they go when they leave the village? Are they downloaded onto a hard drive and forgotten? Are they added to a screen saver slide show for a few weeks and then replaced with bigger and better things? Are they posted on Facebook or Cyworld (the Korean version of Facebook)?

Are they printed out and hung on a living room wall? Possibly sitting peacefully on a mantel.

Are pictures of me all over this bloody country?

After the initial shock of being recognized we talked for a moment. He showed me the other pictures he had taken at the Village. Then his food arrived at a nearby table and he scurried back. The next few minutes were fairly awkward as his was pointing at me and speaking speedy Korean. He was, it seemed, telling the group at his table about me and the village.

I tried to eat without getting food all over my face or dripping on my shirt.

* The mask I am referring to is one of the medical-ish masks that many in Asia wear when they have a cold or sometimes out shopping or traveling around large groups of people. Since it is nearly cold and flu season they have been popping up everywhere.**

**Which, by the way, is why I thought it ludicrous when the Chinese was all up in arms about the American team arriving at the Olympics wearing the black face masks. Every body wears them. Hell, they sell kid sized ones with teddy bear mouths on them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Magic

Ah, Konglish.

It's that strange combination of Korean and English that produces a variety of new words the love and use.

Sometimes Konglish is made of simple words that are almost 100% recognizable in an English setting.
Like "Aircon" instead of "Air Conditioning."
Or "hand phone" instead of "cell phone."

Sometimes it takes a step further.
Like "Autobike" for "Motorcycle."
Or "Open car" instead of "convertible."

There are times it goes farther still.
Like "eye shopping" instead of "window shopping"
Or "stetson" for a "stapler."
Even "Rolling papers" for a special stationary for passing notes to your friends.

With all the fun and exciting Konglish out there it is difficult to pin down the best. But I have done it. I have found the absolute best Konglish word in the entire made-up dictionary.

"Magic Day"

Magic day, means, well, it means the time of the month when a women is… uh… least fun to be around.

Magic day.

Doesn't it have a great ring to it? In the West we come up with little pet names for this "special" time. Rarely are they pleasant or uplifting.

But Magic day is just that. It is innocuous enough for a man to say it without blushing and optimistic enough to almost make a girl feel better about the whole situation.

So next time you struggle to explain your condition, take a tip for this side of the world.
It's not "that time of the month."
"Aunt flo is not visiting."
"Ruby from Virginia is not making the rounds."

It's simply another Magic Day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Driving this Daisy

Something happened this weekend. Something strange and unusual. Something that has not happened in a very long time.

Something that I have been waiting for, that I have been missing, that I have been pining for for a very long time.

I drove a car.

That's right, I drove a car. I drove an actual gas guzzling, people moving, vehicle.

A few of us wanted to hit up the grocery store, a task that requires a taxi or two. As we prepared from the arduous journey one of our car owning friends offered up their mode of transportation.
As it turns, however, there was only one person in our little group that had the skills to drive a stick shift.

One guess as to who that was.

I got to drive. I drove fast and I drove slow.
I drove up hill and down.
I turned both left and right.

I freaking drove.

Right now I can imagine that you are shrugging your shoulders with a "who cares" kind of look on your face. Your thinking, "driving, heck, I do that everyday."

But but but, I haven't. I haven't driven a real true car in over a year.
I mean, sure, I have my bike. But there is defiantly a difference between riding a crouch rocket and driving something with doors.
Cars keep you a bit warmer.
Cars have a trunk.
Cars have much more comfortable seats.

Plus, you don't end up with helmet hair.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Oh, politics

I know I am a world away, and you have likely already seen clips of this weekend's Saturday Night Live.

But just in case, I think you should follow the link and check out McCain's performance.

I know what you are thinking, I am only posting this because I am a republican... but bear in mind, this has been a difficult election for me. I want to stand by my values (mostly capitalism)... but the republican party has been tough to stand by lately.

Not to mention, this clip has little to do with political alliance, and more to do with things that are funny.

follow it and check out the scenes with McCain. They are quite funny.
And I do love a good joke. (hey, I voted for Nader once...)

And, don't forget to vote.

I think the "sad grandpa" won me over.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter